Destination weddings present more of a challenge, but are definitely more memorable for all who attend. Many couples are embracing the challenge so that they can extend their wedding celebrations well into their honeymoon, welcoming friends and family to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime festivity with them. Transporting your entire ceremony and reception to a paradise like Greece, Bora Bora or the Maldives gives the event an entirely new sense of fun and adventure. However, a major challenge arises when you need to find a photographer that will take professional pictures using the best possible locations, while still capturing the essence of you as a couple.

You may be very fortunate and be able to visit your intended destination well ahead of the actual wedding to get an idea of where you would like your photographs taken. An even less likely option is that your photographer may be able to accompany you so that he or she can get a good idea of the layout and their shot options. Or, you may hunt for a photographer that has worked at that specific location before. Remember, though, that it does not help if he or she has merely been to Greece, they need to have taken wedding photographs at the venue you are using. Still, most couples face the situation of having hired someone that has never been to the location. As the bride or groom, you may also never have been there, presenting serious challenges.

A crucial step in ensuring that you, your partner, your venue and the photographer you hire are all on the same page is communication. Discuss your needs with the wedding venue or your wedding planner at the destination. Make sure that they all understand your needs, wants and concerns. Get the venue to send you photographs of sites that they deem suitable for your wedding photographs. They should send a collection of other couples’ wedding pictures to show each site and how it works in the context of a wedding. Make sure that you get a few options and show them all to your photographer. Encourage him or her to write their questions down so that you can discuss these with your event coordinator and clear up any issues that your photographer may have.

Another important step is to make sure that you make yourself aware of specific things that could influence the shots. These include the climate, weather patterns at certain times of day, when the sun sets, whether guests of the hotel will be ambling past the area while you are posing for your photographs, and so on.

It is also vital that you know where the nearest town is, if your wedding ceremony and reception venue(s) are not within a well-equipped city. Your photographer may need to replace certain parts of his or her equipment in an emergency. Make sure that a convenient outlet is identified and accessible. Still, your photographer will need to be prepared, bringing all their equipment to cater to any conditions or potential disaster. This may become costly, but external suppliers in a place with which you are not familiar is not worth banking upon.

The natural alternative is to hire a professional photographer from the actual destination. This means that he or she will be completely familiar with the venue(s), and may be able to provide valuable advice and warnings. The possible disadvantages include the lack of a proper relationship with him or her until you meet on or just before the big day and the fact that there may be major communication barriers if he or she is not completely fluent in your home language. Still, this option will probably be cheaper and will enable you to take full advantage of the stunning backdrops of your chosen destination without added stress or concern.

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