First of all, congratulations on such an incredible decision! Destination weddings are so special and I'm so excited for you!
I've been lucky enough to have traveled far and wide literally since I turned 18. My first flight ever was when I moved to Australia at 18 and since then I've loved exploring new places and finding a sense of home in my suitcase.
Although I do love all things travel, I'm not one to pretend that it's all sunshine and rainbows. Traveling can be HARD and I've learned quite a few things in my years on the road. Not to mention traveling for your own wedding adds a whole new spin to the trip, so I hope you find this guide helpful on your journey to your happily ever after!
Your wedding day team should be just that, a team! You want to find people that you guys connect with and that you're excited to be there with you on your big day. So when you're chatting with potential vendors, keep in mind how much time you're going to be spending with them and really pick people that you click with!
Some vendors that I recommend bringing on for destination weddings are a photographer (click here for a free consultation with me!), videographer, a day of coordinator, florals, and any food you might want to cater depending on the size of your wedding!
Another vendor to consider is the officiant! You can totally hire someone in your desired location, but I think something to think about doing that will make your day that much more special is to let a friend or family member marry you! It's relatively simple to get ordained online and it's so sweet to have a close friend or family member performing your ceremony rather than a stranger!
To put it simply, you need a photographer you can trust on one of your biggest days. Someone who will laugh with you, cry with you, and be there for you every step of the way. That’s where I come in! If you’re considering eloping or getting married abroad, you’re obviously not going for the traditional route - and I love that about you! You’re unique, you’re adventurous, and you want your day to be purely about you, your partner, and the love you two share. Every wedding day is a new and exciting experience; whether you tie the knot in an enchanting forest, or on breathtaking cliffs overlooking the ocean, I’ll be there and ready to document it all. No matter where your dream wedding location may be, I’m always up for the journey!
I want to be your bff, and like any good bestie, I’ll be sure to make your day as stress free as possible. Need me to carry your shoes if we off-road it to a hidden spot? No problem, that’s why my camera has a strap! Want me to stand knee deep in the ocean to get that perfect shot? Great, I already packed an extra pair of socks! Thinking of waking up before dawn to catch that amazing sunrise moment when time seems to stand still? Can’t wait, I’ll have all my alarms set and some coffees to-go. Looking for someone to help make all your extraordinary ideas come true? Well, look no further - I’m your girl. Every elopement is unique in its own way, so I can’t wait to get to know you and bring your one-of-a-kind vision to life. Now, let’s go make some memories!
My first step when booking flights is google flights, and here's the most important part, on a PRIVATE BROWSER. I can't prove that they actually do this, but in my experience when you search for flights on a non private browser they raise the price on you when you're actually ready to book because they know you've been searching for those dates already!
So now that you're on a private browser and on google flights you can search your dates! I love using google flights first because they show you all of the airlines side by side, so you can see which airlines have the best deals for your dates!
I also recommend watching the flights for a couple weeks before booking. Depending on your wedding location I recommend booking domestic flights no later than 4 weeks before hand and international flights no later than 8 weeks before hand! That's usually about the time that the flights are the most affordable, but I'll start looking about 2 weeks before that and watch their price fluctuate until it's at a price that I'm happy with!
Once you've found a price that you're happy with on google flights, head over to that airlines website and book it through them! I always recommend booking flights directly through the airline rather than a third party, I had to learn this the hard way and trust me you don't want to risk any mixups!
And after that you're all set and ready to jet off to your wedding adventure!
The next step for your wedding trip is booking your wedding accommodations!
Some of my favorite destination weddings have just been at a giant air bnb and I think it's such a fun way to spend your weekend! There's so many GORGEOUS air bnbs out there, and you can spend your whole weekend there with your friends and family! So before booking and expensive venue it might be worth it to peruse through the air bnb and vrbo website! Or check out my list of perfect air bnbs for destination weddings here!
If you can't find an air bnb that fits your vision, that's totally okay too! Book that dream venue or get a permit for that elopement location! I would definitely recommend finding accommodations nearby your location, just to make your weekend that much easier.
I recommend booking your accommodations as soon as possible! Things can book up fast so as soon as you have a location in mind, start looking through websites and book your rooms asap so that you know that it's locked in!
Air bnb is my favorite place to book through because you get so much more than you would at a typical hotel room!
When you look back on your elopement photos, I want you to be reminded of all the events, both big and small, that played a role in your love story. I want you to feel the same butterflies in your stomach like you did on date one, that nervous excitement in your heart when you first said “I love you,” and that overwhelming sense of joy when you realized you found your adventure buddy for life. All of these moments are significant chapters in your love story that led you to this day - your elopement! So I’ll try my best to make sure your pictures perfectly illustrate the experiences you both shared on your journey to this very moment. It’s an honor to play a part in helping you share your love story with your closest humans!
This can be a tricky one, and is totally different based on your location, but here's some thing's I've learned over the years that have helped me!
First of all, if you're having a domestic destination wedding I recommend booking your rental car through a major rental company like Hertz or Enterprise! The budget rental companies end up being just as much after all of the fees they tag on, and it's just not worth the hassle they give you! And make sure that you book a car that can make it to your destination. If you're having an adventurous elopement at a location that requires some off roading, make sure you have a car that can handle the drive!
If you're having an international destination wedding, transportation can get super tricky. You need a special license to even drive in other countries because of how different driving can be! So I recommend just using public transportation. Take the train, use taxis or ubers and just walk where you can! My husband and I spent a month in Europe and just stayed in towns or cities where we could walk everywhere and let me tell you it was the BEST.
But with that being said, having a wedding with no transportation is a lot harder than just vacationing. But if you're able to book a local coordinator or florist they're usually able to bring everything to you and make it as stress free as possible! This is also something that is worth chatting over with your vendors just to get on the same page with everything!
There is so much to consider when packing for your wedding! So I just wanted to give you guys a little example packing list for you to reference to before hopping on your flight!
•Wedding Day Attire
•All Wedding Details (invitaion, accessories, sentimental trinkets, etc.)
•Clothes for Entire Trip
•Wedding Day Makeup
•Wedding Day Jewelry
•Any Wedding Day Gifts
•Wedding Day Undergarments