A Bride's Guide to Getting Married Abroad

There's a lot to figure out when you decide to have a destination wedding, particularly if it takes place outside the country. While it has an adventurous appeal, you need to be aware of the differences and unique steps that it takes to plan such an event. Have no fear, KAT IS HERE!

I've done a lot of research on getting married abroad, and I'd also like to think of myself as a travel pro. So I wanted to create a step-by-step plan with details that you should be aware of, or things you should look into when getting married in another country. Logistics is so important with this type of wedding or elopement, so don't forget to check the details!

1. Start by checking the country's marriage laws

Contact the embassy or tourist information bureau of the country where you plan to get married and learn about the specific requirements/laws for a valid marriage. Also plan to contact the Attorney General in your state of residence to make sure the marriage will be recognized when you get home! Gather all the paperwork and make sure you cross this step off as soon as you know all the information. You don't want to come home to find out you're technically not married!

2. Find a wedding planner familiar with the area

Finding a planner aware of the location and venues is so helpful when planning a wedding in another country. Sometimes the venue provides someone who can be an extremely helpful resource. This is of course more important if you plan to have a wedding with guests. If you elope, the key vendors to find would be a photographer ;), an officiant, and witnesses for the marriage license. Securing the vendors is the biggest part of the planning process and should be done well in advance. Plan to keep tabs with them during the time leading up to the wedding as well. Communication is key with destination weddings. Check out my destination wedding FAQs for more info on how I handle weddings abroad. Open communication is one of my BIGGEST pieces of advice.

3. Gather the travel details

Grab flight information and make sure you know the luggage rules for the specific airline you'll be using. This is especially important if you plan to bring the dress with you from the U.S. I'd advise that you don't check-in the important items in case the luggage gets lost. I typically try to get all of my camera gear in a carry-on piece of luggage. Or at least have a back up plan. You can find some amazing and unique dress makers within the country you're planning to get married. Try flying out early and getting a dress there. Otherwise make sure to make a detailed checklist of everything that needs to be packed and how you plan to pack it. 

4. Develop clear timelines

I make this suggestion almost selfishly. I'm a sucker for a well thought out timeline. Plan the days leading up to the wedding and the day of with room for travel upsets. It's more important for these travel weddings to be flexible rather than rigid. But a good timeline helps organize everyone else to be where you need them to be!

5. Budget 

I'd make this suggestion for any wedding, but basically determine a budget well in advance to keep things on track. I have a budget worksheet you can use in my free planning guide -> just head over here to get it. Keep costs of flights and other travel details in mind. All inclusive packages are helpful, but sometimes planning differently can lower expenses. Costs not typically associated with at-home ceremonies that do come up with destination weddings include flights, transportation, and tourism fees. But most of the time you can get a cheaper wedding by eloping abroad or creating  destination wedding. 

 

I hope this helps point you to some details to be aware of in destination weddings, but if you have questions or more thoughts REACH OUT to me! I'd love to help out and talk about it.

Don't forget to check out my FREE complete wedding planning guide with worksheets to help you organize. Just sign up here!

Aerial Photography: A New Venture

It official! I've gotten a camera drone. And my excitement is too great to not share it with everyone! And I'm so pumped to share that I can now do aerial photography at your wedding! Whether you want an over sweeping view of the ceremony, or some amazing couples photos from a higher vantage point, I can now deliver. Say hello to my new DJI Mavic Pro!

As an added bonus, I might even take some video to share with your friends and family of your amazing wedding day. :)

Questions to Ask Your Destination Wedding Photographer

It's always important to be aware of all of the details involved in hiring a destination wedding photographer. I always encourage my clients to ask as many questions as they need to. The more communication between us, the better! So here are a few questions that I think are pretty standard to ask your potential destination wedding photographer.

What are your Destination Wedding Photography fees and costs?

Are the costs of travel included in the wedding package pricing or are they separate? Do you have rates for travel that are already estimated, or do I need to wait for a bill at the end of the wedding? What is included in the travel costs (ie airfare, rental car, meals, second shooter costs of travel)? Also, are there any costs associated with photography permits in the country of choice? The communication about costs needs to be absolute so that there are no real surprises in the end.

Do I need to book the flight?

Who is going to be doing the detail planning work for travel? Will it be the client or the photographer? I usually like to do the planning myself so the Bride and Groom do not have to be bothered with details. But I will definitely share the information so that they know EXACTLY where I'm going to be at any time during the venture. 

What kind of timeline are you looking for?

I always recommend having me arrive two days before the wedding to get over jet lag, get accustomed to the surroundings, scout photography locations, and get mentally prepped for the big day! This is an excellent time to add a pre-wedding engagement shoot or other type of bridal first look. However, some photographers may have different timelines of how they prepare or arrive for your wedding day, and it's crucial that you know what those are.

What locations do you blacklist?

With the world having so many changing political and physical climates, some photographers opt to not travel to certain locations. You should be aware if they are available at the location your planning to get married.

Do you have a plan B if something happens?

What do you do if 'x' goes wrong? This is something that all photographers should be careful to maintain. There are so many "what ifs" to travel, including but not limited to: what if the airline misplaces your check in luggage? What if the TSA doesn't allow your batteries? I think it's encouraging to ask what the photographer's method of travel is to make sure they are prepared for the shoot as well as how they make sure the images make it home. Feel free to ask me how I travel! I love to talk about my procedures.

Have you shot in this country/location before?

For some clients, knowing that the photographer has been to their destination of choice is important. Some photographers/travelers can adapt anywhere, and it's important to know that they can. But if you your truly concerned about the destinations peculiarities, bring that up in your consultation to see how the photographer would handle it.


I hope this list helps! If I've left anything out, comment below! I'd love to know what else you want to hear from a potential destination wedding photographer.

The Month I Went To Greece

When I was finishing up college, I made the decision to go on a study abroad to Greece for a month and boy did it fuel my desire for travel. I loved seeing new places. Greece was hot, beautiful, and delicious!

I think traveling as a young person is so important and yet now so difficult. People are more afraid of travel these days, but I don't think it has changed all that much. It's not any more or less dangerous than it was before. We just have a more guarded nature about travel these days.

But I just wanted to share all of the amazing memories I made while partaking in this once in a lifetime adventure. I apologize for the low quality images, but these were taken long before I became a photographer. It's a good way to look at where I started out though!

The Greek Islands are magical. 

The Greek Islands are magical. 

And there's so much history to be involved with there.

And there's so much history to be involved with there.

Look at how TAN I am!!!!

Look at how TAN I am!!!!

Meteora is a collection of monasteries perched high up on these pillar cliffs. It's a majestic view for sure.

Meteora is a collection of monasteries perched high up on these pillar cliffs. It's a majestic view for sure.

My love for animals knows no country boundaries.

My love for animals knows no country boundaries.

Straight gangsta

Straight gangsta

Darling Let's be Adventurous | A guide to Honeymoon Locations

Ah the Honeymoon.

I just wanted to write this blog entry mainly to daydream about all the places I want to visit. You don't mind do you? Let's daydream together. Here are some of my top honeymoon locations to check out based on the type of experience (i.e. beach, adventure, or cultural experience):

Beaches

So many beaches to choose from! I know that beach honeymoons are typically the most popular destinations for loving couples. The pineapples, the drinks, the drinks inside of pineapples. What's not to love?! 

Some of my favorites include the all inclusive package deals like Jamaica, or Costa Rica. For those who like to stay within the country, there's Malibu or anywhere in Hawaii. And then there's my personal goal: Bora Bora or Tahiti. I've been as far as Fiji, and let me tell you, it was amazing. I wish I could spend all my days there.

Mountains

For the more adventurous, lets talk mountains and jungle. My husband and I did our honeymoon in New Zealand. New Zealand is rich in mountains, camping, and great people. I think Canada would be an awesome location, like somewhere in Banff National Park. 

Currently, I've been dreaming of Iceland. Desolate and yet so beautiful in its remoteness. 

If you want to stay closer to home, a cabin in the woods nestled next to a large fire with two glasses of champagne is so romantic I can't stand it. This is even a good idea during the wedding planning season (get out and relax for a weekend before the big day).

Some good places to look for travel deals on adventure trips would be apps like Groupon or Living Social, which tend to have all inclusive deals on some cool adventure trips. I'd love to try the ones that check out Machu Picchu. 

Culture/Cities

I love to travel to new places and experience new cultures. I've been to Greece and the UK. Both are excellent ideas rich with cities that have tons of things to do and see. Paris, France is the city of love, and Italy can be amazingly romantic.

If you're looking for an all immersive experience into something completely foreign, try some Asian countries like Japan or China. I've always wanted to visit Tokyo and see the sights and sounds there. And I know my husband wants to see Mt. Fuji some day. 

 

I hope that gives you some ideas for honeymoon destinations. I feel like the sky is the limit on where to go. Anywhere will be amazing as long as you're together!

 

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