How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Dreaming of a destination wedding on a white sand beach, to a European country, or something more urban in the city of your dreams? By pure definition, a destination wedding is a wedding outside of the couples hometown. Destination weddings offer impeccable means to make your experience one of the most incredible of your life. With these weddings becoming more common and accessible, they are not as complicated as you may think. You can achieve all your wedding goals with a clear vision, planning, and little help from experts, particularly a planner and a destination wedding photographer. 

To inspire your vision, I would love to share my recent wedding and a few tips below, on pulling off such a dreamy celebration. As Emily and Rob’s destination wedding photographer, I was honored to capture their day in scenic Georgia. Their high priorities were the historical charm, gorgeous views, and location in between family. Gorgeous views make a lovely haven to create unforgettable memories, however it’s not complete the planning process.

So let’s walk through the essential steps you need to know when planning for a destination wedding. 

Prepare a checklist

First, you must prepare a checklist, which will help streamline what needs to be done and when. This can be done on your own, or you can hire a local planner to assist with this process.


Before you start booking anything, identify the budget you would be willing to spend and the aspects where you wish to allocate it.

Prepare a list of essential documents

Important documents for a destination wedding include a passport, birth certification, change of name documents, and marriage license.


Did you know even your friends can officiate your wedding in a few destinations? Some couples opt for this to give a personalized touch to their ceremony. Or you can simply hire a local one who will infuse your special moments with the area’s customs.

Hire a professional photographer

Finding a professional destination wedding photographer who can flawlessly capture all the day’s magic is essential. Choosing a professional destination wedding photographer can help you in several ways. Some of these include:

A photographer helps tie together your vision

A professional photographer can help you with your aspirations, style and align with your vision. Knowing which photography style you like will help you narrow down the plethora of vendor options and deliver memorable keepsakes from the day. As a photographer, I help all my destination couples with the timeline, location scouting for pictures, coordinating with other vendors, and answering any questions they may have. I shoot at SO many different venues a year, being at a destination wedding is no different.

A photographer helps deal with dynamic issues

Besides creating beautiful imagery, an experienced photographer is a problem-solver who will make a world of difference on the wedding day. Being well-versed the structure of a wedding, these professionals can organize many aspects effectively, allowing your destination wedding to unfold seamlessly.

A photographer makes you feel at ease

Hire a photographer you trust. This could be a photographer local to your area that you fly out for your wedding, or it could be a photographer local to the destination. A photographer you trust makes you feel relaxed – which is essential as it will set the tone for the rest of the event.

Still wondering how to find a wedding photographer & what to look for? Make sure they are willing to chat, answer all of your questions, and even have video calls to see if you are a good fit!

Are you looking for a destination wedding photographer for your big day? Get in touch; I would love to capture your dream event as you have always envisioned.

Venue: Atlanta Georgia Tunnel Depot

Photographer: Sarah Marie Photography