How I Prepare for a Destination Wedding – Kelsey + Hammy

I could go on for hours about how guests and couples should prepare for a destination wedding, BUT today I wanted to share how I get ready for travel as a destination wedding photographer!

My process of booking a destination wedding includes a meeting with the couple to discuss the details of the trip and the goals they have for their wedding day! After all, I’m not just there for one day with these kinds of weddings – these events usually take place over a week. I ask many questions about the accommodations, schedule, flights, etc. This way, I can give the couple an accurate quote on how much photo coverage I recommend they book!

Packing is complex

Packing for any trip can be a lot, but it gets extra tricky for a photographer with a lot of gear when I’m prepping for a destination wedding. My carry-on is usually a tiny suitcase packed to the brim with camera gear. I don’t dare check any luggage with this kind of equipment in it because I’m not one to tempt fate with lost luggage! 

My checked bag has the usuals one would pack. Clothing, bathing suits, and toiletries. On top of that, I usually also bring a few props to capture detail shots for the couple! If I made a video of my bags, it would probably last too long. I’ll share some behind-the-scenes when packing my bag for the next destination wedding!

Punta Cana Bound for the destination wedding!

Once everything was signed, and flights were booked, it was off to the Dominican Republic for a fantastic time!

The venue was perfect. The beach had crystal clear blue water and soft white sand that didn’t absorb too much heat. Kelsey + Hammy planned to get married on the beach, surrounded by all their favourite people! They chose to do a destination wedding to save money and allow their guest to have a vacation! These two wanted to provide their guests with memories to last a lifetime. 

They relaxed and had a great time before the wedding day. Their bachelorette and bachelor parties were booked for separate boat cruises, bringing both groups together to go 4x4ing in the jungle. They came back covered in mud but with giant smiles on their faces.

They said I do

The whole guest list was filled with people who could not have been prouder to be there. A partying group – the open bar policy all week was taken advantage of.

During their seaside reception,  the bar staff couldn’t keep up with this group; they were here to party! Kelsey + Hammy jumped behind the bar to help make drinks! They both have bartending experience, and their guests LOVED it!

It was the best dance floor I’d ever seen – even at 3 am when the DJ was done, they were begging him for more songs. He obliged with two last ones before it was shut down, and everyone went to the courtyard to chat and have a few last drinks. 

I have a few more destination weddings on my books next year, and I am grateful for each of them! The next plane that I’m getting on is actually to Morocco! I’ll be away for two months on the trip of a lifetime and photographing a destination wedding in Italy while I’m over there! 

Photography: SFP Photography | Venue: RIU Palace Punta Cana| Destination Wedding Planner : Destination Weddings | Florals: ALR| Dress: Juliannah’s Bridal | Suit: Moores | DJ: FJ Events |

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About me

I am a margarita-loving photographer based out of Canada’s capital. I have an obsession for adventure and an appreciation for the small things in life. I’m known for my love of strong margaritas, big curly hair, and notorious sailor’s mouth.⁠