I was lucky enough to shoot two destination weddings on the Amalfi Coast last year so I thought I’d share my tips for planning your day. I’ve been lucky enough to be a destination wedding photographer for a while now, and I’ve travelled everywhere from Dubai to Italy for my couples. Each wedding has been so different but there’s a few hints and tips I’ve picked up that are useful for all.
If you’re planning a destination wedding do read on for some helpful ideas for planning your wedding, from someone who’s been there!
1. Hire a wedding planner
You won’t know the area as well as somewhere in the UK so it’s really important to hire a wedding planner. They’ll know the region, the venue and the rules so you don’t have to. They’ll also speak the language, which is useful for managing suppliers, like florists and caterers. Another bonus of a wedding planner is that they’ll look after everything on the day for you, so you can just enjoy yourselves.
2. Set your dates early!
Places like the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany are really popular for tourism and weddings, for good reason, so you need to book your venue and hotels as soon as possible. Doing this also makes sure that your guests can secure flights and nearby accommodation before they book up. They’re travelling a long way for you, so it’s good to help them with planning.
3. Visit the venue
Think of it as a bonus holiday! Pick a few venues and visit them before you book anything, so you can really get a feel for whether you like the place.
It’s really hard to judge what a venue will be like from a website, there’s no replacement for being there. You’ll also get to meet the staff and suppliers too.
4. Have your photographer arrive early
We’re not just here to enjoy the sun! 😉 I like to arrive at least 2 days early to scope out the venue, meet the staff and have a chat with you before the day. Sometimes there will even be time to squeeze in a pre-wedding shoot or a welcome BBQ.
5. Don’t go home straight away
One of the joys of a destination wedding is that you’ve picked an incredible location to celebrate your marriage. Why not extend your stay and relax after your wedding? Make it your honeymoon or a mini-moon before your actual honeymoon. Having some time to chill after a busy wedding day is the perfect time to spend time with your new husband or wife.
6. Get recommendations
Ask your friends and family, your social media followers, your photographer for recommendations! It’s best to choose venues or hotels based on people’s actual experiences rather than a glossy website or brochure. I’ve been to the Amalfi Coast twice now and I have a great list of recommendations for your destination wedding there. The most popular towns in Amalfi are Ravello, Positano and Sorrento, here’s a list of great hotels and venues to check out there:
Belmond Hotel Caruso
Giordano Hotel Ravello
Hotel Palazzo Murat
Villa San Giacomo
Hotel Santa Caterina
I’ve loved my time shooting weddings in the Amalfi Coast, for more inspiration head on over to the blog to read about Mykela & Dan’s and Becky & Tom’s wedding.
Did you have a destination wedding, or are you planning one? What advice would you share to other couples?