how to plan a destination wedding

a guide on how to select a photographer for destination weddings

destination wedding photographer

A destination wedding is a wedding that takes place in a destination that is away from the couple's hometown or surround regions. This can be anywhere in the world, from a far flung city in the same country to more typically, an exotic location in another country. Destination weddings are often more intimate affairs, with close family and friends attending. Because of this, it is important to choose a photographer who can capture the special moments and emotions of the day.

There are many reasons why couples choose to have a destination wedding. For some, their wedding, is a way to escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives and celebrate their love in a more relaxed setting. Others may want to get married in a place that has special meaning to them, such as where they first met or where they got engaged. Whatever the reason, a destination wedding is a unique and memorable event. I have used all of my experience as a destination wedding photographer and put together an extensive guide to what to look for in a destination wedding photographer.

Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering into the unknown.

anthony bourdain

Leah Marie photography | Destination wedding photographer

destination wedding photographer


My name is Leah and I love travelling the world with my couples to capture once in a lifetime moments on their special day. I've put together this guide as I absolutely love being a destination wedding photographer and have had the pleasure of travelling to weddings in Italy, Spain, the Caribbean and more.

I'd love to be a part of your special day and would love to use my experience with destination weddings to help make your planning process even easier...

Get in touch and see if I have your date free...

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how to pick a destination wedding photographer

picking a destination wedding photographer


There are several reasons why you might choose to hire a destination wedding photographer instead of a local. First, destination weddings can be complex and chaotic, with many moving parts. It can be helpful to have a professional who is experienced in dealing with the logistics of a destination wedding. Second, destination weddings often take place in locations that are unfamiliar to the couple. A destination wedding photographer will speak your language making it easier to portray the style you want for your wedding.

Finally, destination weddings are often more intimate affairs, and it can be nice to have a photographer who you build a relationship with, which is of course easier if they are local to where you live. This can help to create a more personal connection with your photographer, and ensure that your photos truly capture the spirit of your wedding.


When you are choosing a destination wedding photographer, it is important to keep in mind that they will be travelling with you to your destination. This means that you will need to feel comfortable with them both as a person and as a professional. Here are some tips for choosing the right destination wedding photographer for you:

What to look for in a destination wedding photographer

When you are looking for a destination wedding photographer, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, it is important to choose a photographer who has experience in destination weddings. This will ensure that they are familiar with the logistics of destination weddings and can help to make your day go smoothly.

Second, you should choose a photographer for your wedding who you feel comfortable with. This is especially important if you are having a destination wedding, as you will be spending a lot of time with your photographer. You should feel confident that they will be able to capture the spirit of your day and tell your story through their photos. Finally, it is important to choose a photographer whose style you love. This will ensure that you are happy with your wedding photos for years to come.

Do your research

Ask around for recommendations or look for reviews online. Once you've found a few photographers you like, take a look at their websites and portfolios to get a sense of their style. Do bear in mind that it's not necessarily essential that your destination wedding photographer has shot at your destination, or even that specific country before, but it is important that they have experience of destination weddings generally. They can be complex and having a supplier you speak to regularly who can use their experience to part wisdom and tips will be invaluable.

Think about what you want

Do you want candid shots or posed portraits? Do you want black and white photos or colour? Do you want formal photos or more relaxed, natural images? Think about the kind of pictures you want before you start talking to photographers. If you're not sure, take some time to look through online portfolios or even their Instagram accounts to get some inspiration.

Get a quote

When you've found a photographer you like, get in touch and ask for a quote. Make sure to ask about travel costs if your destination is outside of the photographer's usual coverage area. Unfortunately, it's not unheard of for couples to be stung by additional travel costs that are raised nearer the time when it's too late to change. Make sure to get an 'all-in' price that includes everything you'll need.

destination wedding photography

Check availability

Once you've decided on a photographer, make sure to check their availability for your wedding date. As a destination wedding photographer, it's not unusual for them to get booked up 2-3 years in advance, so picking your photographer should maybe be one of the first things you do in your wedding planning.

Consider a second shooter

If you're having a destination wedding, it may be worth considering hiring a second photographer. I offer it as an extra within my package and manage the whole thing for you, with some wonderful photographers that I work with frequently and trust deeply. This will usually cost extra but can be helpful in ensuring that all the key moments are captured. I always recommend it for my couples to have a destination wedding to ensure coverage is extensive and no moments are lost.

Communicate your vision

When you've chosen your destination wedding photographer, make sure to communicate your vision for the day. Share any ideas or inspiration you have, and ask for their input too. I recommend my couples to share Pinterest boards with me that act as a mood board for their vision of their big day. A good destination wedding photographer will be able to use their experience to help bring your vision to life and capture the spirit of your destination wedding perfectly.

How do you book a destination wedding photographer?

When you've found a photographer you like and are happy with their quote, it's time to book! I recommend my couples to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. I usually require a deposit to secure the booking, with the balance payable nearer the time. For destination weddings, I also ask for a list of must-have shots that the couple would like, so that I can be sure to capture everything they want.

What questions should you ask a destination wedding photographer?

- Do they have experience of destination weddings?

- What is their style?

- What do their prices include?

- Are they available on your wedding date?

- Would they recommend a second shooter?

- What is their vision for your destination wedding?

- How do they book destination weddings?

What is your advice for destination wedding photography?

There are a few things I would recommend for getting great photos at a destination wedding. Firstly, make sure to communicate your vision to your photographer. Share any ideas or inspiration you have, and ask for their input too. It's also worth considering hiring a second photographer to make sure all the key moments are captured. I also recommend my couples to share Pinterest boards with me that act as a mood board for their vision of their big day. And finally, make sure to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!

There are lots of reasons why destination weddings are good! They're usually more intimate affairs, with only close family and friends in attendance. This can make them more relaxed and fun. They're also a great opportunity to explore a new place and create some amazing memories. And of course, the photos are always going to be amazing!


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