Destination Weddings

Finding the perfect destination wedding photographer

Destination weddings are on the rise as couples seek to tie the knot with an unforgettable experience in a breathtaking location. Yet, organizing a wedding from a distance can pose difficulties, especially when looking for the right vendors. When it comes to photography, it’s important to look for someone who understands your vision, style, and individuality.

Furthermore, you need a photographer experienced in capturing destination weddings, as they are familiar with the complexities of shooting in foreign locations and the logistics involved. 

In this blog, I will provide valuable insight, top tips, and a step-by-step guide on choosing the perfect destination wedding photographer for your special day!

A collage of wedding photos taken at Villa Sola Cabiati on Lake Como in Italy

Step-by-step guide to finding the best destination wedding photographer for your special day abroad

Step 1: Check with your destination wedding venue on their policies about bringing in outside vendors

When planning your destination wedding, the first step is to check if your wedding venue allows you to use outside suppliers. Some venues, especially beach resorts, may restrict you to using their in-house photographer (along with other preferred vendors, e.g., planner, florist, catering, etc.), or there may be additional costs, including outside vendor fees. 

A bride and groom posing together on the steps outside of Villa Erba on Lake Como in Italy

Step 2: Choosing between hiring a Local photographer vs Flying a photographer in

If your destination venue has no restrictions on your choice of vendors, the next thing you will want to consider is whether you want to hire a local wedding photographer or fly a destination photographer in. Both options offer different possibilities, so you should consider all aspects before deciding. Here are some pros and cons for both prospects: 

Advantages of hiring a local photographer for a destination wedding:

  • Familiarity with the Area: Local photographers will likely know the region well and may be able to suggest the best locations for photos.
  • Cultural Understanding: Being local, they may be able to provide insights into the local culture and traditions, enhancing the storytelling aspect of your wedding photos.
  • Supporting Local Businesses: Hiring a local photographer supports the area’s economy and community, fostering a sense of connection to the destination.
  • Networking: Local photographers may have connections with other vendors in the area, which can be beneficial for coordinating the wedding day schedule.
  • Cost-Effective Solutions: Local photographers could be more affordable, as you may save on the accommodation and travel expenses associated with flying a photographer in.
  • Pre-Wedding Meetings: It may be easier to arrange in-person meetings or an engagement session in the days before the wedding.

Disadvantages of hiring a local photographer for a destination wedding:

  • Language Barrier: If the local photographer does not speak English fluently, it could lead to communication barriers.
  • Time Zone Differences: Due to time zone variations, coordinating schedules and communication between the couple and the photographer from a different country may be challenging.
  • Limited Options: Depending on the location, there may be fewer photographers available in the local market than there is a wider choice in other regions.
  • Lack of Familiarity: A local photographer may not be familiar with your cultural or aesthetic preferences, potentially impacting the overall outcome of the photos.
A bride and groom walking down the steps of the petit palais in front of the gold gate in Paris

Advantages of flying in an English-speaking destination photographer for a wedding abroad

  • Language Proficiency: As they are English-speaking, they will likely communicate effectively with the couple. This is important for understanding the client’s needs before the big day and ensuring smooth direction and coordination during the wedding.
  • Familiarity with Destination Weddings: Photographers who specialize in destination weddings generally have experience working in various locations, making them adept at handling unique logistical challenges.
  • International Portfolio: They will likely bring a diverse portfolio of destination wedding photography, showcasing their expertise in capturing the essence of different cultural settings.
  • Unique Perspective: A specialist destination photographer may offer a fresh & new perspective on iconic locations.
  • Preparation and Planning: They usually conduct thorough research on the wedding venue and surrounding areas before the wedding, ensuring they are well-prepared to capture the best shots.
  • Professional Network: Destination photographers often have connections with local vendors or venues abroad, facilitating seamless coordination on the wedding day.
  • Tailored Services: They will likely offer customized packages specifically designed for destination weddings, including services such as travel planning and multi-day coverage.

Disadvantages of flying in an English-speaking destination photographer for a wedding abroad

  • Cost Considerations: There may be extra costs for a specialist destination photographer to account for their travel fees and accommodation.
  • Cultural Understanding: There may be cultural nuances unique to your chosen location that a specialist photographer may not fully grasp, impacting the authenticity of the captured moments.
  • Limited Availability: Popular destination photographers may have busy schedules, as they will often spend multiple days plus travel in many locations, so might not be available for your desired wedding date.

Please note- It is important to use these points as a guide only. Everybody is different, so check with your preferred photographer directly with any questions you may have about the considerations listed above.

A bride and groom posing together on the Pont Alexandre III bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Step 3: Consider the photographer’s style – Does this match your vision

The next step is to identify your preferred wedding aesthetic, as you’ll want to find a photographer with a style that complements it. The best way of narrowing down a favorite look is to search through Pinterest and pin any images that resonate with you. After a while, you’ll see a pattern develop with the visual you are drawn to. 

A collage of photos showing the different styles of wedding photography, including light & airy, editorial, and fine art.

Wedding photography styles vary widely, from bright and airy to dark and edgy, covering a broad spectrum in between. Different styles work better with specific wedding aesthetics. For example, a darker or moodier style may be ideal for a rustic wedding in an Italian vineyard. Whereas, in contrast, a romantic wedding at a French Chateau might call for a light and airy style.

When searching for a good destination wedding photographer, make sure you carefully examine their portfolio to ensure their own unique style matches your vision. And, always ask to see complete wedding galleries to evaluate the consistency and quality of their work throughout the entire wedding day. 

Read more about the different wedding photography styles in my blog: The Key Wedding Photography Styles you need to know

A bride and groom posing together in the front gardens of Villa Sola Cabiati with Lake Como and the mountains in the background.

Step 4: Assessing compatibility – Looking at a photographer’s personality

It’s important to choose a photographer with whom you can communicate well and who will collaborate effectively with your other wedding vendors (e.g., planners, florists, and, makeup artists, etc.). 
Feeling comfortable in front of the camera is the key to great photos, so it’s the photographer’s job to communicate well to ensure you feel at ease. You will spend a lot of time with them on the big day so they should have a friendly, warm, and approachable personality and be someone you genuinely enjoy being around. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a meeting, even if it’s just through a video chat, before making a booking decision.

Are you worried about being in front of the camera on your wedding day? If so, you will find some great tips and lots of useful ideas in my blog: Getting married? A guide to getting wedding photos you will love!

A bride and groom walking hand in hand after just getting married at Chateau du Grand Val in France.

Step 5: Research their experience & expertise

Finally, look for a destination photographer with plenty of experience. An experienced photographer will likely have a greater skill level and more confidence in handling unexpected situations if they have been shooting weddings for a long time. 

Here are my TOP TIPS for assessing the credibility of a professional destination wedding photographer:

  • Research their previous experience: Ask about their number of years in the industry and how many weddings they have captured as the lead photographer. 
  • Check their online ratings and reviews: Search for their Google reviews & Facebook recommendations, and, if possible, ask them to connect you with past clients so you can hear about their experiences firsthand. 
  • Verify that their business is legitimate and fully insured: This is essential as many venues are now asking for proof of public liability insurance from wedding vendors.

Although it may be time-consuming, investing time beforehand in conducting thorough research and doing your due diligence will ultimately lead you to select the ideal photographer for your destination wedding!

Want to know more about what to look for when looking for a wedding photographer? Head over to my blog: What to Consider when Choosing a Wedding Photographer

A bride and groom walking hand in hand in front of the large Louvre pyramid in Paris. The bride is raising her bouquet in the air in celebration.

I hope you found some helpful tips in my step-by-step process for finding a potential photographer. Here are some common questions couples ask. 

Frequently Asked Questions – About Destination Wedding Photography

Where can I find a destination wedding photographer?

Planning a wedding in a different country or location can seem overwhelming, but fortunately, the online world simplifies it! Google & Pinterest are great resources for finding a photographer by using geographical locations in your search terms. Social media channels are ideal, too! Instagram is a great place to look, as you can search easily using hashtags (e.g., #DestinationWeddingPhotographer) and geotags (e.g., #ParisWeddingPhotographer). Generally, the more specific you are with your search term, the better the results. You can also ask your venue or wedding planner for their recommendations.

Not sure if you need a wedding planner? Have a look at my blog: The TOP reasons why you should hire a wedding planner

After narrowing down your list of potential photographers, visit their websites to see their work. If you like their style, reach out to them for a video call or phone chat to get to know them better.

A screenshot of an Instagram feed showing multiple square photos all relating to the search #parisweddingphotography

How much does a destination wedding photographer cost?

Destination wedding photography prices can vary widely across different businesses, and your investment will typically reflect the photographer’s skill, creativity, expertise, experience, and services. Factors such as the number of photographers, wedding location, package options, final deliverables, and guest count can influence the overall cost. Additionally, their pricing will often involve extra expenses for travel costs and other logistical considerations, so it’s essential to confirm these prices before booking.

How far in advance should I book a destination wedding photographer?

It’s highly recommended that you book a destination wedding photographer as soon as you have determined your wedding date and confirmed your venue. Ideally, aim to secure a photographer anywhere between 6 and 24 months in advance to guarantee their availability for your special day. 

A bride on the balcony of Villa Sola Cabiati overlooking Lake Como in Italy.

What is the typical process for communicating and planning with a destination wedding photographer from a different location?

When communicating with a destination wedding photographer from a different location, the typical process involves initial contact via email or phone to check availability. After that, you can schedule video meetings using platforms like Zoom or Skype to discuss details, share your vision, and solidify plans. After confirming the contract and deposit, you can communicate via email and/or video chat to plan the timeline and ensure a smooth collaboration. 

How do destination wedding photographers handle travel logistics and accommodation arrangements?

Destination wedding photographers typically coordinate closely with couples to manage travel logistics and accommodation arrangements. They often include the cost of travel in their pricing as part of their service, which covers flights and lodging. But always ask for clarification.

A bride and groom walking hand in hand towards Chateau de Bouthonvilliers in France


In summary, choosing the perfect photographer for your wedding abroad is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Your chosen photographer is tasked with capturing the essence and memories of your special day, preserving those precious moments for a lifetime. 
By considering factors such as style, personality, experience, location, and pricing; and reviewing references and client testimonials, you can ensure that you find the right photographer who compliments your vision and matches expectations. Whether opting for a local professional or a photographer specializing in weddings abroad, research the options available and choose someone who best aligns with your vision and personality.

A bride and groom posing together on the Pont Alexandre III bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Are you looking for a Destination Wedding Photographer for your big day overseas?

Hello, I am Victoria Amrose, a destination wedding photographer specializing in intimate elopements to grand celebrations across Europe and around the world.

A portrait of destination wedding photographer, Victoria Amrose

My photography style is characterized by warm and luminous tones, blending classic elegance with an editorial edge. With over a decade of experience in capturing weddings and editorials globally, I take immense pride in documenting such happy, emotional, and pivotal moments in people’s lives.

My approach revolves around creating a relaxed and comfortable environment for couples, especially those new to being in front of the camera, ensuring every moment is beautifully preserved.

I understand the importance of offering helpful guidance during portraits whilst remaining unobtrusive throughout the day at all other times.

Photographer, Victoria Amrose, helping lay out the bride's wedding dress for portraits

Partnering with me ensures a seamless wedding photography experience backed by a decade of expertise and a commitment to delivering breathtaking images that exceed expectations.

Want to know more? Contact me here for a quote!

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Elopement vs Wedding: How to know which is best for you!

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