Tips for Destination Weddings
Being a destination wedding photographer/film maker, I have been present at many destination weddings in Santorini, Zakynthos, Folegandros and many other islands and I see what works, what doesn’t work, what people enjoy, what they get frustrated with. Here, I have simply put together some of my observations.
I normally cover weddings on Greek islands, so my experience is primarily from there, but the suggestions can be applied to many places.
Date. Firstly, the ‘when?’ question. Check out the usual weather conditions at your preferred destination. Bear in mind the temperatures you see are often in the shade. An average of 32 degrees C (90F) in the shade can easily be 45 (110F) beach wedding in the direct sun! If you and your guests don’t cope well with the heat, my suggestion would be opt for spring or autumn. In Greece, the weather then is still usually sunny all day, but the temperatures much more conducive to a wedding, especially if you will have the ceremony between midday and late afternoon when it’s hotter. If you plan to get married in the summer, consider having the ceremony at 6 or 7 in the evening. The locals get married at that time in summer, and there’s good reason for it!
Venue. In my experience, things run much smoother when everything takes place at one venue - the bride’s preparations, the groom’s preparations, the ceremony, and the reception. There is less chance of anyone arriving late or getting lost. There are no transfers to arrange. No time is lost in travelling. Guests are all still around for the group shots. And the photographer is always nearby, and doesn’t miss a shot!
Try to avoid standing in the direct sunlight during the ceremony. Invariably, one of you will be squinting into the sun while doing your vows. Speak to your wedding planner about options for shade. You will have a more relaxed face if you are in the shade, and therefore nicer photos and video!
Clothing. Spending all day in the Mediterranean in polyester or nylon is not comfortable. Your skin can’t breathe and you will sweat a lot more. Consider wearing natural fibres, a chic silk dress is very elegant. Or what about a boho, floaty, cotton lawn gown?
The same applies to the groom. Make sure your shirt is 100% cotton, and consider a linen suit. Linen is very appropriate in a hot climate. If you bring a brand new shirt, don’t just wear it straight from the packet, but take a few minutes to iron out the creases that the packaging leaves. It will look so much smarter.
Whichever outfit you choose, check if the colour changes when it’s wet. You will sweat at some point, and you don’t want obvious evidence of that on your wedding outfit. A note to the grooms - consider wearing a vest (undershirt). In Northern Europe and the Americas, it’s not a common practice anymore, but in the Mediterranean even young men wear vests. It absorbs sweat and keeps your suit looking smarter. These clothing tips also apply to the guests.
Timing. Allow time in your day’s program for your photo shoot as a couple. Personally, we prefer 1.5 to 2 hours between the ceremony and the reception, but obviously there are a lot of variables, so take time to confer with your photographer and wedding planner well in advance. Your wedding planner will have plenty of ideas to keep your guests occupied in the meantime.
The Core People. At your wedding, there are a few people working with you from the first moment to the last - the photography and film crew, and your wedding planner. Make sure they have food and water. It’s important that these key players have the energy to keep going all day! What would happen if any of them collapsed from exhaustion during your most important day?
If you have any of your own tips to offer, send us an email, then we can share them with everyone!