colorado destination wedding

5 Tips for Planning Your Destination Wedding

Many of our clients choose to get married somewhere epic in order to create the adventure and excitement they want for their wedding day. Sometimes that means planning a wedding from a distance, sometimes it means planning a wedding in a remote location. Either way it means planning a day to remember for both you and your guests. While these often end up being some of our favorite weddings, they do create a set of challenges that we would like to help address. Check out this Colorado destination wedding in Rocky Mountain National Park or this one in Big Sur, California. If Travis and Kelsey can plan a wedding in remote Lassen National Park or Chris and Brianna can have a two part destination wedding both in Sequoia and Sonoma, then you can plan the wedding of your dreams too no matter where your ideal location happens to be! We’ve broken it down into two categories, the destination wedding and the remote wedding. We’ll start with the more broad destination wedding category and discuss the additional challenges of a remote location next time so be sure to stay tuned.

Destination weddings have multiple benefits: the excitement of getting away in order to celebrate, the intimacy of a smaller guest list, and the beauty of a location you might not generally have access to. They also have several challenges we hope to help conquer with our tips below. destination wedding

Planning Your Destination Wedding

1. Making the Best of the Scout Trip

If possible, you’ll want to make at least one scout trip to the venue or area you’re considering getting married. This can be easier if you’ve chosen a general location with a few specific venue choices. For example, if you know you want a Colorado mountain wedding you can visit Colorado and scout more than one venue that you have pre-researched online. If you start with a few choices, then you can narrow it down to your favorites in person. Your scout trip can also be an opportunity to meet your key vendors. For example, it’s a great opportunity to schedule your engagement shoot with the photographer you will be working with for your wedding. Additionally, getting on the same page with a planner will help you when you continue to plan from a distance. Which brings us to our next tip…

2. Number One Planning Tool

Your number one planning tool for destination weddings is video chat. We don’t always get to meet with our out-of-state clients in person so meeting them over video chat is the next best thing. We find that many of our clients are comforted by at least getting to “meet us” before committing to having us be a part of their wedding. It feels personal and when we do get to see each other in person we don’t feel like strangers. Additionally, it’s easier to communicate effectively when email isn’t enough.

3. Enlist Help by Picking the Right Vendors

Hiring a wedding coordinator can be extremely helpful when you have to plan your big day from a distance. Make sure your coordinator understands your tastes and priorities and that they know what you need the most help with. Coordinating everything with all the different vendors can be tricky when you’re not nearby, but that is something you can often lean on your planner for help with. As photographers, we’re also happy to help with logistics such as locations, lighting, and vendor recommendations.

4. Embrace the Unexpected

Planning a wedding from a distance can be a challenge even if you find great vendors eager to help you achieve your goals. The key is to know that part of what you are deciding when you choose to have a destination wedding is to let go a little. Trying to control everything when you have limited ability to do anything about it will just add stress to your big day. It’s a much better plan to decide that you’ll be ok with whatever happens with the details and instead keep your focus on the big picture.

5. Manage the Guest List and Budget Preemptively

A destination wedding can either ease your guest list and budget or wreak havoc on it. For some couples, it’s easy to look at a friends and family list and know how many people would be excited and willing to travel for wedding. If a destination wedding for you means a smaller guest list, that can have a huge positive impact on your budget. However, depending on family dynamics, you might have to be sensitive since your wedding harder for people to attend can have varying results. It might be a good idea to have candid conversations with your VIPs and explain your decisions and priorities to them. On that subject, don’t be afraid to allow the joy of being somewhere unique and exciting to trump the need to focus on the infinite tiny details that can slowly blow your budget. If people are on a vacation to help you celebrate your wedding, they probably aren’t focused on what forks you chose. In the case of budget and guests, game plan ahead of time to keep your scope in check.
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We hope these destination wedding tips helped give you some ideas of how our clients have expertly planned their big days in far away places. Be sure to view more wedding photography advice posts and let us know what questions you have that we can help answer.

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As always, thanks for stopping by the Bergreen Blog. You presence means the world to us! Hope you are enjoying 2017 so far and look forward to what we have in store for you. We’re getting more committed… to our blog, our newsletter, and YOU! So keep stopping by and sign-up below to be kept in the know.

We are Marc and Brenda Bergreen, a husband and wife photography team specializing in outdoor weddings and other adventures. As Colorado adventure wedding photographers we’re here to help you plan and capture your ideal mountain wedding.  We also frequently travel to California and other wedding destinations to document your love in a variety of memorable settings. Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help! Be sure to follow us (weddings instagram & adventures instagram) and/or like us (facebook) to stay tuned. In the meantime, remember to…

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