When you think about a beach wedding what typically comes to mind is the sun, the sand, beautiful scenery and an amazing vacation. And that’s great! We want you to think that, because it’s true.
We’ve sat down with Courtney Venus, 5 year photographer and Founder of Destination Wedding Collective, an online wedding planning platform, to get answers to the questions nobody is talking about.
Q. How many weddings do you attend/ manage per year?
A. Anywhere from 80-100 weddings.
Q. How long have you worked in the wedding industry?
A. I have worked in a variety of different areas of the industry over the last 5-6 years.
Q. How does the location affect destination vendors / weddings?
A. Well, when you plan a wedding far away there are a lot of variables you just can’t control. Sometimes when you’re far away it is easy for communication to be lacked as well. Communication is key.
Q. How often do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film in just the way you want?
A. I would say probably 80-90% of the time, depending on the scenario. We have a pretty good list of shots that we aim for with every wedding.
Q. Are there any challenges unique to beach weddings or beach photography that people should be aware of?
A. Definitely. The elements of the earth, you’re outside, you’re on the beach, there’s sand flying, the wind is often quit strong and that can affect things like makeup and hair and the positioning of décor. You need to consider things like walking on sand in heels for example. It’s really just considering the elements involved in a beach wedding.
Q. What advice can you give to our brides on choosing the perfect gown for an outside beach wedding?
A. Temperature! Check the weather. You do not want to wear satin in +30º. Make sure that you know what the temperature will be the time of your wedding.
Q. What advice would you give to a couple about having a destination wedding?
A. Don’t panic. And don’t expect things to operate like they would in your own country. That doesn’t mean that things will go wrong, but it does mean to just take it easy, be organized and take your time.
Q. What is one thing a bride should never scrimp on in her planning?
A. Never scrimp on makeup and hair or photography in a destination wedding. The reason for that is because at the end of the wedding most brides have no idea what happened. They are exhausted. There has been so much attention, so much family, so much running around that they missed the entire day. So having those photographic moments documented is hugely important after the event. One thing I’m commonly hearing now a days is a lot of brides regret their decision to not have a videographer and it’s hugely beneficial because you can watch what happened after. You can actually watch things that you missed by running from moment to moment to get things done.
Makeup and hair plays a huge factor in your photo and video. Everyone looks great for the first half hour, but if you did not pay for the quality that you require for a high humidity environment after the ceremony your face is melting off it is going to ruin your photos.
Q. What are some protocols we should be aware of having a destination wedding?
A. Most of the protocols are limited to resorts. It’s important to remember that every resort is like its own independent city, they have their own rules, their own regulations. Make sure you ask what they are.
Q. What is the best time of the year to have a beach wedding?
A. That’ll depend heavily on your location. If you’re going to Jamaica they will have a season that is specifically higher and busier and that will be because of the weather. And that will vary for every country. Mexico’s high seasons for example are October to the middle of December and then we have another which is February to the middle of June.
Q. What time of the day do most destination weddings occur?
A. This is a great question and a super important one. Most resorts are scheduled to have as many weddings in a day as they can. That usually means they have not optimized those time settings for you. One thing I hear as a photographer is that brides are unhappy because their photos are super over exposed. We can’t do anything about that if your ceremony is mid day. That is the highest point of the day. Our cameras being the best of the best that you can buy still can not over compensate for pure white light. The beach reflects it, your white dress reflects it, and you end up with a blown out white look. My advice is find out what time sunset is and book your ceremony within three hours of the sun going down. That is called the magic hour. That is when you get beautiful hazy backgrounds, sunset colors, and decent lighting for all of your photos.
Q. What should we consider when choosing a location?
A. Again, think about the weather, the sun and the space. Make sure there is enough room for your quests, your reception, dance floor and lighting. Also make sure there is a space encase it rains. The tropics are very unpredictable.
Q. What are the benefits to having a destination wedding?
A. The benefits are huge! You’re looking at a lower price point, a private intimate event that only the people you want are there. As well it is a vacation for everybody! You have photo opportunities you normally wouldn’t have. It can also be beneficial because you can wrap it in with your Honeymoon if you plan right. I always suggest to couples if they can afford to, book two weeks instead of one like their guest so they are around after the guests leave.