A Simple Guide to Destination Wedding Photography: Understanding Travel Costs and Preparation

For Brides

Planning a destination wedding can feel exciting yet overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding photography and travel expenses. But fear not! We’re here to help you navigate this journey with ease.

Let’s break it down: Understanding Destination Wedding Categories

We classify destination weddings into three groups:

  1. Local (within 2 hours)
  2. Driving Distance (farther than 2 hours)
  3. Requires Flying

This helps us set clear pricing and keep things transparent.

Determining Travel Costs

When you reach out about your wedding, we check the venue’s location to calculate travel. If it’s within 60 miles of one of our team members and they’re available, great! No extra travel costs. If it’s farther:

  • Local Weddings (Within 2 Hours): You pay for mileage beyond 60 miles (120 miles roundtrip) at $0.66 per mile.
  • Driving Distance (Farther Than Two Hours): We usually need a one-night hotel stay for weddings over 2 hours away. If it’s over three hours, it’s two nights.
  • Requires Flying: This includes airfare, hotel, and a travel stipend.

For weddings where flying is required, the details are:

  • Mileage to the Airport (if over 60 miles)
  • Airfare for Photographer and Second Photographer
  • Two-night hotel stay near the venue ($150/night)
  • $250 travel stipend (food, baggage fees, etc.)

Personally, we PREFER to drive if we can. We’ve driven as far as North Carolina to lower costs for our clients. This way, they only pay for mileage, not additional airfare and travel stipend costs.

Special Offer!

If you have a dream wedding day planned at a magical location that we haven’t had the opportunity to experience yet, reach out to us! We often waive travel fees for such destinations!

Addressing Common Questions

Here are answers to some FAQs:

  • Hotel and Flight Arrangements: We handle our own bookings and give you a clear invoice. When there are travel costs involved, those travel costs are laid out in a separate invoice (itemized) that is also due four weeks before the wedding. We book all of our own accommodations (the best price we can find within reason as far as quality of our stay – normally a Hampton Inn!) and then invoice for the cost, as well as provide a receipt so you know exactly what was paid. This prevents us from having any “surprises” when it comes to our accommodations.

  • Venue Visits: We prefer scouting on the wedding day itself. We actually prefer to not do venue visits before the wedding day at all! This is for a few reasons, including minimizing travel when weddings are out of town. But, we have found that scouting a venue on the day OF the wedding (by arriving early enough to allow time to do so) is the most beneficial. The florals, landscaping, lighting, weather and time of year will all determine where we shoot on a wedding day – and those things will only matter on the day of the wedding. So, we don’t ever do venue tours! We just always arrive 30-45 minutes before we begin shooting every wedding so that we can scout the property and find where we will be shooting.

  • Is It Worth It?: It’s up to you! We make sure all expenses are covered for a seamless experience. Hiring us for your destination wedding means entrusting your special day to skilled professionals committed to preserving every moment with care. With our expertise, dedication, and flexibility, we ensure that your unique love story and the beauty of your chosen destination are captured flawlessly. By choosing us, you’re investing in peace of mind and timeless memories that will be cherished for generations to come.

Final Thoughts

Destination weddings are about love and adventure. With a clear plan, they’re stress-free. So whether you’re saying “I do” on a beach or in the countryside, enjoy the journey and let us capture every moment.

Wishing you joy and love,

Sara + SHP Team

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