What to Expect From Your Photographer When Planning a Destination Wedding

Destination wedding Positano Amalfi coast italy by Sheri McMahon

Destination weddings are a dream for many couples. But a lot goes into planning a wedding abroad. 

Where will we stay? What if a certain family member can’t make it? How do we know what vendors to hire? Where are the best places to take photos? What happens if it rains?!

If only it were as easy as choosing a venue, booking the flight, and filling an album with photos of your tropical paradise celebration or Tuscan food and wine weekend experience! 

It takes dedication, organization, and choosing vendors who will support you every step of the way. Including, but certainly not limited to, your wedding photographer. 

If you’re planning a wedding abroad, your photographer should not only fit your artistic style but also be someone who travels often. 

Having someone with experience navigating a foreign country and logistical know-how is essential. They’ll be able to prepare you, guide you, and offer you a smoother experience than a photographer who has never travelled overseas or to a particular country. 

I’m a destination wedding photographer who has travelled to numerous places like France, Italy, England, Scotland, New Zealand, Hawaii, Fiji, California, and Thailand. I’ve enjoyed every minute of being with my couples in these beautiful places. And I’ve learned so much about navigating these (and other) countries.

The way I see it, it’s my job as your photographer to take some of the stress off of your wedding planning – particularly, a destination wedding. After all, you already have so many decisions to make and plans to consider! 

So, as your photographer for your destination wedding, here is exactly what you can expect from me.

Preparation (Have Passport, Will Travel!)

When you hire a wedding photographer, you want to make sure they can travel to your chosen location. Some countries require certain forms, permits, and fees to photograph a wedding. And in some cases, they can take months to obtain. 

And with the global pandemic still fresh on our heels, we must be even more prepared before travelling overseas. But not to worry! I’m always ahead of the curve and know what I need and when I need it to make it to your wedding ahead of time.

Early Arrival 

There should be no reason for you to leave anything to chance when it comes to travelling abroad. This is why I arrive a minimum of two days before all destination weddings. One – to make sure I arrive with plenty of time in case of flight delays and such. And two – so that I can scout locations for photos, meet you in person (if we haven’t already done so), and review any last-minute, final details. 

Plus, the extra days ensure I’m over any jetlag. And fresh and ready to capture your wedding beautifully!

Travel Expenses

Some photographers may ask you to make their travel arrangements for them. Or, worst, don’t let you know you’ll have to pay additional money because that cost wasn’t included in your package to begin with. But not me!  

I include any travel expenses in your package – from the very beginning. And instead of having you add one more item to your ever-growing wedding to-do list, I’ll take care of my airfare and accommodation requirements.

Weather Flexible

Working around mother nature can be a challenge. This is why it’s great to have a Plan B in case of rain. Tropical locations like Thailand and Hawaii have rainy and dry seasons – both of which can be unpredictable. This is why it’s crucial to have someone who’s been-there-done-that. And who can change challenges into opportunities?

For example, during an elopement in Phuket, we had to restructure the entire event before the rain came. To make sure we had time to photograph portraits on the beach before the downpour, the couple and their wedding party had their hair and makeup done earlier. And because I helped the couple communicate with vendors about the change, we were able to push up the ceremony time and get them married before the storm rolled in. 

I’ve had plenty of moments like these. All of which I’ve learned the importance of remaining calm and flexible. And how to get the job done beautifully.

Post-Wedding Photos 

A destination wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. So my advice? Soak it all in by staying a few extra days. 

Take advantage of what the area offers, stroll through local hotspots, and explore the stunning landscapes. 

I’m happy to stick around and capture the fun! And get some gorgeous shots of you married, relaxed, and happy now that the pressures and stress of planning your wedding have melted away.

Culture and experiences are significant factors in my life. If this is the same for you, having a destination wedding is a decision you’ll never regret. After all, how often do you get to do something so unique? 
Ready to pack your bags and make some island adventure memories? Your dreamy destination photos are only a few questions and a click away!

See this pre-wedding session in Downtown Santa Barbara in California HERE.


That is when I stumbled upon Sheri’s page and wow, Sheri has the WOW factor, like this is professional photography. I think there is something to be said about a photographers editing skills, it’s the time spent behind the computer that people don’t consider in the cost. But in the end it is worth it!

– Linder

See this Classic Destination Tuscany wedding at Villa Catignano for Aimee + Adam HERE

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Whether your love story is one blossomed from elegant romance or one of epic proportions, I am so excited to be a part of this journey with you and can’t wait to get to know you more. I am a fine art photographer providing my services all throughout NSW, Australia and destinations worldwide. Passionately devoted to capturing the beauty of your special day. 

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Sheri Mcmahon

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