Destination Tips | Kristen Ellis | Professional Wedding Photographer in Lexington, KY | Luxury Wedding Photographer

Destination Wedding Tips and tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when planning a destination wedding.

Check if your venue allows outside vendors

If you’ve strolled to this page from my Destination Wedding Info page, then you read how some venues do not allow vendors outside of their staff or contracted help. You may have your heart set on a certain resort, but then get tied to a photographer you don’t want simply because of this rule.

Some venues may allow outside vendors for a fee. Some will waive this fee if the photographer stays for a certain number of nights at the hotel. Double check with your coordinator about venue policies regarding vendors to save heartache later.

Check the weather

If you’re wanting a sunny and tropical paradise, don’t forget about wet season. Be sure there is a backup plan in case of rainy weather. If you want an amazing mountain wedding, be sure to check when heavy snows come in so you and guests won’t have issues while traveling.¬†

Traveling with wedding attire

You may ask the airline if you can hang dresses and suits, because many planes have closets, but double check at the gate in case they don’t. Or if you prefer to have it within eyesight, place it in the overhead bin across your suitcases after everyone has boarded.

In any case, bring a steamer, or ask your hotel if they have one guests can use to steam out any wrinkles that will inevitably appear. Do this the day before so you have one less thing to do on the wedding day.

Also, look into purchasing a travel garment bag that is waterproof and well made. It may relieve some stress if you’re nervous about spills or rain.

Hire a photographer based on skill, not location.

The best photographers in the world know one thing. Light is EVERYTHING. We are obsessed with it. We look for it. We create it. This is why professional photographers are incredibly versatile. We know that photography comes down to lighting and composition, no matter the location. Give me an ordinary hotel room and good light and I can create magic.

Photograph everything

If you’re having a rehearsal dinner the night before, the wedding, then a family brunch the day after, consider having it all photographed. Plus you can have a day-after session of just you two exploring the landscape and being in wedded bliss.

Remember Tourists

So, this is especially true for beaches. I have witnessed a number of weddings with bystanders in their bathing suits watching a wedding. If privacy is important to you during the ceremony, check with your venue and ask if your ceremony space will be blocked off from peering eyes.

Also you want a quiet wedding in a popular tourist spot like Vail, CO, then avoid peak tourist season. Research and call your venue with any questions.

Honeymooning and Privacy

Some guests may turn the opportunity to come to your wedding into a vacation. Nothing wrong with that, and is a plus side for many guests. However, if you are honeymooning at the resort you get married, remember that you may run into friends and family. If you’re cool with this, awesome! If you’d rather be completely alone during the honeymoon, consider staying on different sides of the hotel when booking rooms.


A couple points here. First one being if you are getting married in a different country, research all the legalities of it. There could be a mound of paperwork to go through, residency issues to solve, and so forth. If you want to save the workload, you could get legally married at home, and have the ceremony and reception abroad. (Who’s gotta know?)

The second point is make sure if you are bringing a vendor along with you, that they have the permits/visas they need to work legally in the country.

Tell everyone ASAP

If you decide on a destination wedding, let people know as soon as possible. Your guests will need to save money and make arrangements for babysitters and work. Vendors you decide to bring along may need to obtain visas, and, depending on the country, can take up to 4 months to obtain. So, just give everyone a heads up.


Get wedding insurance. You just never know what can happen in a year. Weather, natural disasters, and more can end up putting a dent in plans, so it’s better to have the insurance and not need it than to need it and not have it. Check with your insurance provider and ask what exactly it will cover.

Wedding Photographer Lexington KY | Portrait Photographer Lexington KY
(859)-619-3631 | 3276 Waterford Park Lexington, KY 40517 |

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