beach wedding details with couple in distance

Choosing a Photographer for your Destination Wedding

Choosing a photographer for your destination wedding is a BIG decision! You have the option to hire someone local to your wedding, bring someone from home, or use the resort photographer. We will go into the advantages and disadvantages for each option below. Photography is one of the MOST important decisions you’ll make when planning your destination wedding, as other than the memories, the photographs are all you have after the day is done. It’s worth the time to be sure about your decision.

But before we get too deep into it, can we quickly introduce ourself? Something Azul is an award-winning boutique destination wedding travel agency in Calgary. You can read more about our owner Chelsea here and Kristen here! We are based near Calgary but we work with couples all over Canada.


Bringing your destination wedding photographer from home


This is one of our favourite options when booking a photographer for your destination wedding. When you hire someone from home, you have a chance to connect with them in person. We always recommend booking engagement photos as well so you and your fiancé can practice in front of the camera and get comfortable taking photos with one another.

The main disadvantage is that when you hire someone from home, you can expect to increase your budget to cover their travel expenses. Although you can find someone who may be willing to photograph your wedding in exchange for the cost of travel, we don’t recommend hiring someone unless you can completely trust that they will capture your date perfectly.


Hiring a photographer local to your destination


When you take this option, you don’t have to pay any travel costs which is great! But the disadvantage is, unless you booking a pre-wedding planning trip, you won’t have the chance to meet them in person. It can be hard to trust someone you only communicate with over the internet!

Lucky for you, we travel frequently to network with the most desirable vendors and build personal relationships with as many photographers and other vendors as possible. It also helps that they are familiar with the destination and are well-practiced in taking golden hour photos as the sun sets.


Booking the resort photographer


The MAIN advantage of this, is that you don’t have to pay any outside vendor fees. With the above options, you may have to pay a fee to hire a photographer that is not on the resort’s list (although this can sometimes be waived if your photographer is staying at the resort for a minimum of 3 nights). ALWAYS confirm this with the resort before booking. This outside vendor fee can range between $250USD – $1000USD.

The main advantage to hiring a resort wedding photographer is that it’s easy. But to be honest, it is our least favourite option. Often times, the resort’s photographer will be a big company so you don’t necessarily get to chose your day-of photographer. You could get someone experienced, or you could get someone on their first day. Either way, it is not worth the risk.


Planning a destination wedding?

We would love to get started. We help all of our full service wedding planning clients find and book their dream destination wedding photographer but we are also happy to provide recommendations to any of our travel agent couples as well. Here’s the link to save 10% for reading this entire post.

Already working with a travel agent but want to chat with an experienced destination wedding planner to ask a few questions? We also offer planning consultation services. Trust us, you want an experienced destination wedding planner in your back pocket! We are happy to help share our expertise on an “as needed” basis – especially for our friends in the USA who can’t hire us to be their travel agent!