6 Reasons Why You Should Hire Experienced Travelers For Your Destination Elopement
So, you’ve decided to have a destination intimate wedding or elopement! We are so excited for you! Like many of our couples, from the moment we got engaged at Sólheimasandur in Iceland, we knew that we wanted to get married somewhere we had never been before! We scoured the internet and originally planned to have our intimate wedding in Morocco’s Sahara desert. We found a venue complete with “glamping” tents, traditional Moroccan musicians, and an outdoor dinner with incredible food. (If this plan interests you for your own wedding, get in touch haha!) But we ended up deciding to get married in the Scottish Highlands instead. As soon as we saw Isle of Skye’s otherworldly mountains (and the sheep) we were sold.
As you begin your search for the perfect team to document your destination wedding day, we encourage you to find someone whose personality you get along with (after all, you will be spending a lot of time with them!), someone whose work you love, and someone who has experience with traveling for weddings.
Why Does It Matter If My Photographer + Videographer Travels A Lot?
It might not seem like it, but there is a lot more to filming or photographing a destination wedding than just hopping on a plane, capturing the wedding day, and going home. It takes a lot of preparation and planning. We’ve created a list of six things for you to think about when selecting the photography + videography team for your destination wedding.
As destination elopement photographers + videographers, our couples take us all over the world. Some of these places we’ve been before, while others we are going to experience for the first time with our couples. If we are traveling to a location that we’ve never been before, we spend a lot of time researching the area so that we can create a location map filled with amazing spots for our couples. (Click here to read more about how we help our couples plan their weddings) Whenever we travel outside of Colorado for an intimate wedding or elopement, we give ourselves one or two full days before the wedding day to scout the area ourselves. That way we can get to know the area firsthand and give our couples a better idea of what to expect. By giving ourselves this extra time to explore, we are also able to find hidden gems that aren’t listed online.
2. Packing Gear
Photography + videography require a lot of gear! For most of our elopements, we bring four camera bodies (two main cameras + two backups), many batteries, a laptop and external hard drive for backing up footage and raw photos, three lenses for each of us, audio gear, monopods, tripods, and location-specific items such as rain protection. So it’s safe to say that we spend a lot of time hauling equipment from place to place!
On the way to Brittany + Justin’s elopement in the Faroe Islands, all of our luggage got lost on our layover in Iceland. This could have been absolutely catastrophic. Luckily, we had the foresight to keep almost all of our gear with us as a carry-on, so the only things we were missing were our tripods and monopods (and clothes). As soon as we filed the reports for our lost luggage, we immediately began problem solving. We rented a car and found a camera shop in Reykjavik. $400 later, we had new tripods and enough clothes to get us through the rest of the trip. It was a stressful and expensive afternoon, but it’s part of doing destination weddings!
3. Delays Happen
Have you ever been on a flight that was delayed for hours? We have too. We’ve heard many horror stories about photographers + videographers flying out the day before a wedding and not being able to make it to the destination because of a flight delay. The last thing we want is for a flight delay to keep us from making it to a wedding in time. Whenever we fly for a wedding, we give ourselves buffer days on the front and back ends of the trip in case a flight is delayed.
4. Jet Lag Is Real
The last thing you want is for your photographer + videographer to be jet lagged on your wedding day. It is important to hire a team that has traveled over many time zones and knows how their body responds. Over the dozen or so international trips we’ve been on in the five years since we met, we’ve learned what’s best for our bodies and how to fight jet lag. For us, (as much as we hate it) we always make sure to stay awake when we land in our new destination until it is an acceptable time to go to sleep in our new time zone. Even if we arrive in a location at 6am, this first day is normally a waste because we spend all our time warding off sleep. By the second day, we’re usually feeling a lot better, but we would prefer to spend this day scouting your wedding location.
5. Culture Shock Is Also Real
Our very first trip out of the country together was to Kathmandu, Nepal. Before we left home, we read every travel book available and searched through every blog post online, so we thought we were prepared for everything! We quickly realized that being comfortable in new places comes with experience, which we surely didn’t have. After a stressful wait in immigration, we finally emerged from the airport into chaos. Taxi drivers calling for us to get in their taxis, cars honking, and people everywhere. Our hotel had sent a driver to pick us up, and on our way through the parking lot, two men tried to mug Alex. We quickly loaded our belongings into the van for safety. The drive didn’t help much to put us at ease. In Nepal, the rules of the road are very different than in the US. There weren’t lanes in the roads so cars were everywhere, and there was a constant symphony of horns. By the time we got to our hotel, we were so overwhelmed that we were certain that we would not leave our hotel for the duration of the trip. We did leave our hotel, of course, and we ended up falling in love with Kathmandu’s history, food, and people. But it was evident to us that we had gotten in a bit over our heads.
Now that we’ve traveled to so many different countries, we’ve learned how to quickly adapt to new places. We’ve learned how to communicate with locals even when there is a language barrier. We’ve learned how to keep ourselves and our belongings safe. And most of all, we’ve become confident in ourselves so that we’re no longer the wide-eyed tourists that were easy targets for the men outside the airport.
6. A Helpful Friend (or two)
Not all of our clients are experienced travelers, and most of our clients have never planned a destination elopement before. We are always available to give advice, suggest locations, create timelines, help coordinate ceremonies, calm nerves, find other vendors, search for accommodation, be the first to problem solve when things go wrong, and be the people to lean on as friends. We absolutely love traveling the world for our job, but it truly is our couples that make all of this worth it for us. (Click here to read more about how we help our couples plan their weddings)
Peace Of Mind
What it comes down to is choosing a team that can give you peace of mind. Invest in a team that you don’t have to worry about, a team that can help alleviate any worries that you may have. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime day (or maybe even week!) that you want to look back on fondly. It’s more than just your films + photos, it’s also the experience.
Where We’ve Been
We’re not telling you this to show off. We’re telling you this so that you can see the variety of locations we’ve traveled to in the past few years.
OTHER JOURNAL ENTRIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU
We're Lisa + Alex, the goofballs behind Vow of the Wild. We live in the beautiful state of Colorado, but we are passionate about traveling to new places and meeting new people along the way. We are lucky enough to have what we consider to be the best job in the world (other than a professional dog petter). We get to create films and photos for adventurous Colorado Elopements and adventurous Destination Elopements across the globe! Feel free to reach out to us, we'd love to meet you!