Simple Destination Wedding Tips To Optimize Your Photography Coverage And Get The Most Of Your Schedule (Part 1)

 In #BeachWeddingTips, Costa Rica Wedding Photography, Uncategorized, WeddingDayStory Family's Favorites

So… you already know what your wedding day will look like, the main events you’ll have and when each one will happen. However, there are simple things you might have not yet thought about, but can make a big difference and help everything run smoothly.

We find that some brides and grooms, regardless how much planning they can do, often miss paying attention to some key, easy aspects of each moment so as to plan for the best “flow” of events with the photographer, wedding coordinator and guests. Read on for the top simple destination wedding tips most photographers won’t tell you about!

Getting Ready: The “Getting Ready” session is a great opportunity for your photographer to get some amazing shots of you and your close ones, during such an intimate moment shared together.  Also, you can get some detailed shots of the venue you selected, its Bridal Room and any items that are close to you such as your “something old, something blue…”, etc. Prepare everything you would like to capture and have it ready for your photographer before they arrive, you can lay it on the bed or somewhere close to a window so that they can take advantage of the best light the room has to offer and produce artistic, creative shots. If you are having a makeup artist, make sure they arrive before the photographer so that you can take photos “pretending” you are applying your makeup when, in reality, you are all done! This way, you’ll get the most out of that special extra pampering on your big day.

We like getting wide angle lens photos from the outside of the locations as well, so as to tell the whole story, starting with the backdrop you chose for this special day, so if there are any particular locations you liked more, or you know when the setting for your reception will be ready (but no people will be there yet), let us know so that we can go shoot all your decoration selections while everything is still nice and tidy.


  • We recommend your photography services to start at least one hour before the ceremony, for the “Getting Ready” session at the room.
  • Remember that, if you book a two photographer coverage, both rooms can be covered at the same time. It will also make it a lot faster for us to capture the setup shots and the general area location images.
  • Grooms are usually bad at letting the photographer capture portraits and natural moments during their getting ready. As a bride (or second groom), you’ll want a sneak peak of these moments when he’s anxious and looking forward to your union. Talk to him so that he loosens up and share with us any ideas both of you would like to implement during this time!

First look: This is a moment that is just between you and your (almost!) husband/wife. We like shooting from afar with long lenses to allow you both to take the moment in, see each other for the first time on your wedding day and feel the emotion and joy of this unique day. Many people won’t book this session because of the belief that it is bad luck to see each other before the ceremony… We think what YOU believe is important, so if you rather not do it, then we can still have some great photos after the ceremony, and reserve that “first look” moment for the altar. However, if you are up for it, our beautiful natural landscapes can be a great backdrop for this moment, provided your venue has a suitable open space close to your room.


  • If you want to take this session, we recommend pushing the “Getting Ready” pictures start time at least half an hour earlier, so that you have enough time to add the First Look and you don’t have to rush trough none of it.
  • Remember that pacing your day slowly, and letting each moment sink in so that you enjoy them fully is a priority for us. Take the right amount of time for each situation so that you be relaxed, happy and serene. You’ll look better than ever in your photos!


Ceremony: This is the most emotional time of your wedding. It is the instant when everything you have been planning (throughout your life, in many cases) comes together and you devote your love for one another in front of your loved ones. It is usually made of several bits, as described above, and many variances of them (each ceremony is unique!). As photographers, we don’t necessarily need to know the details of each part of the ceremony, unless there is any special appearance that we might need to be prepared for, or any surprises for the guests, that we might need to be ready to capture.

For example, most catholic resort ceremonies usually consist of:

  1. The Procession: This is the part where everyone walks down the aisle and takes their places for the ceremony. You each make your way to the altar separately, symbolizing the fact that you’re coming from different backgrounds.
  2. The Officiant’s Opening Remarks: You’ve heard it a hundred times: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today….”
  3. The Charge to the Couple: Your officiant may take this moment to emphasize the significance of the vows you’re about to exchange. This may also include a reminder of your duties and roles in marriage.
  4. The Exchange of Vows: Your vows are your promises to each other. You may repeat the familiar “to have and to hold, for better or for worse” vows, or recite ones you’ve written yourselves.
  5. The Ring Exchange: As you exchange rings, you typically say, “With this ring, I thee wed.”
  6. The Pronouncement of Marriage: The officiant makes it official (“I now pronounce you husband and wife”).
  7. The Kiss: And now the moment everyone’s been waiting for: your first kiss as a married couple.
  8. The Closing Remarks: Your officiant wraps things up with a few last words and, for a religious wedding, a blessing.
  9. The Recessional: Basically the reverse of the processional, you exit the ceremony together as husband and wife, followed by the wedding party. We’ll usually ask you to stop at the beginning of the aisle for a nice last shot with your whole wedding setup in the background.


  • Make sure to fill in your WeddingDayStory photographers on any surprise appearances, sentimental details or any other remarkable moment you might be planning during your ceremony.
  • Talk to your officiant about the clothes he or she will be wearing during your ceremony, and see if they match your chosen color scheme. Black –or white, on dress code ceremonies- is usually the safe choice, but many “civil” law officiants wear regular clothes that might be distracting for pictures. Also, -this is a big one for us- ask about the items they’ll put in your altar, such as folders, books and pens. Less is more! You don’t want your beautiful sand ritual shot to feature a big, brown cardboard folder next to it.

destination wedding tips by photographers

Contact us for information on our destination wedding photography coverage options!

Stay tuned for more helpful tips to get the most of your coverage next Friday, on the WeddingDayStory blog!

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Showing 3 comments
  • YesMyBride

    Thank u so much for this post! This site has been such a huge help for me as I plan my wedding in DR.

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