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Eight tips For Planning a South Florida Destination Wedding

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If you are planning a destination wedding I’m South Florida These tips should be helpful.

Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular. One cannot deny there is a certain allure about getting married in a far-flung location. Whether a tropical beach or the base of a snow covered mountain, there is something magical about tying the knot away from home. However, there are challenges involved when planning a large scale on foreign shores. Here are 8 quick tips to help you plan your destination wedding, and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

This Sepia tones wedding picture was taken in the Florida Keys at The Coconut Palm Inn. It was an fantastic day with perfect weather. Because of the location I was able to position the bride and groom with the setting sun behind the bride and groom. This gave me perfect lighting on their faces. If you are recently engaged and looking for a great wedding venue in the Keys than a call to the Coconut Palm Inn should be on your call list.

Tip #1 – Visualize the setting and scale of your wedding.
The first thing to do when planning your wedding is to visualize its setting and scale. Do you want to be married in a forest? On a pristine beach by the sea? Or in the snow on a mountain resort? Do you want it to be quaint with a few guests? Or are you planning on bringing a large number of people? Before researching your location, know what setting and scale you want for your wedding.

If you are interested in planning a Boca Raton Wedding then this is the place to visit. I shot this image at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. This is one of the most popular venues in South Florida. The wedding and event venue is known for it’s pink buildings and it’s incredible well appointed grounds. There is no shortage of places to make great pictures at this place. In my website I have many pictures from the Boca Resort. Here are a few link to some of my Boca Raton Resort and Club wedding pictures.

Bride and Groom inside the Boca Resort

Wedding pictures from South Florida including Boca Resort

A Boca Raton Resort and Club Wedding

Tip #2 – Decide on the location
Once you have decided on the scale and setting you want it’s time to start researching locations in relation to your budget. For example, if you want a sandy beach wedding, there are numerous locations to choose from. When comparing possible locations you should take a number of factors into account including:n
• The distance of the potential location. The distance of the location is important, as this will affect both the cost of travel and accessibility. For example, picking a location in a different time zone will likely be expensive to get to. It also may take you a couple days to get over jet lag. The last thing you want to be on the day of your wedding is tired. Also, make sure to contemplate the location in terms of accessibility for all your guests. If you have guests coming from different corners of the world, finding a central location can make it easier for guests to travel. Also keep in mind that if the trip is expensive, some guests may not be able to go.n
• Cost of the potential venue. It is no secret that wedding venues and all the frills that go along with them are expensive. Therefore compare a number of similar venues but in different countries/areas. This will help you find out which country/area will give you the best bang for your buck. When finally agreeing on a venue, make sure to get everything in writing also.n

This South Florida wedding pictures was taken at Sail Fish Resort. Although I have only worked there once I thought it was really beautiful. This photo was taken at a Jewish wedding during the Ketubah signing. This Ketubah signing took place in a room with this great ocean view. The bride and groom signed on a table with I shinny top. I saw this double reflection on the table and decided I had to to use this for a double reflection shot.

Tip #3 – Consider the Exchange Rate
Regardless of the location, it is more than likely your wedding is going to be costly. Therefore, something important to consider when contemplating a location is the exchange rate. If you choose a destination with a favorable exchange rate, this can save you a huge amount. If the exchange rate is not in your favor, consider making your weddings purchases at home and having them shipped to your destination.

This picture was taken many years ago at a place in South Miami. I think the venue was Red Reef Grill or something like that. It was a very small wedding and a interesting place. I shot this from a lifeguard station because I thought the lines of the ramp pointing to the bride and groom and the lagoon made for a interesting picture.

Tip #4 – Book Your Flights On Time
With so much going on, it can be easy to forget to book your flights early for better value. To save money it is recommended to book your flights on a Sunday at least 3 weeks before your trip. If you are booking multiple flights back and forth, a travel rewards credit card can put money back in your pocket. Using a travel rewards card travel rewards card for your travel and accommodation expenses will net you a significant amount of rewards points. Points can be redeemed for various things such as future flights and hotel bookings. If you use a travel card for all your wedding planning flights, this could easily give you enough points for your honeymoon flights.

Ocean Reef Club wedding picture. The Ocean Reef Club is one of my favorite places to work. I decided to use the latticework would make a nice natural frame for this bridal portrait.

Here are some links to other Ocean Reef Club pictures.

Married at the Ocean Reef Club

A Unique Black and White Ocean Reef Club Picture

Bride and Groom at the Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo FL

Tip #5 – Do multiple research trips
You should aim to travel to and research your potential venue at a number of times prior to the wedding. Ideally, you should visit your venue before booking it and then visit it a number of times after to set up details. It’s advisable to meet your potential wedding vendors face-to-face also. Prior to your first visit, make a list of the better-known vendors in the area (for example, florists and caterers) and then meet them and compare them. It is also worth asking around about potential vendors when you land.

Another fantastic wedding venue is the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This place is amazing. The grounds are beautiful and perfect for a South Florida wedding. Furthermore, your wedding party and guest will be treated to one of South Florida top hotspots. If awesome restaurants and nightlife is what you are seeking this is the place for you. I always thrilled when I get to photograph a Fontainebleau Miami Beach wedding.

Here are some links to other Fountainebleau wedding pictures.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach Lobby Picture

Bride posed at the Fountainebleau, Miami Beach FL

Artsy Fontainebleau Miami Beach Bride Picture

Tip #6 – Determine the best season.
If you’re planning a destination wedding, consider doing it in the off-season as opposed to peak time. Peak time in most destinations will drive up travel and accommodation costs. The destination will likely be far busier with tourists also. However, another factor you must consider is the weather. Generally, peak season coincides with the best weather. It is always worth checking if you can book your wedding for just before or after the busy season. Just make sure not to book your wedding in the middle of a hurricane, monsoon, or blizzard.

This creative photo was taken at Vizcaya in Miami. What makes this Split Toned image unique is the fact that it was shot with a special Infrared camera. We love to shoot infrared because it is unique and difficult to work with. However infrared often results in photos are are artsy and interesting. If you are looking for an fantastic high-end wedding venue then visit Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Tip #7 – Give plenty of notice to potential guests.
If you are planning a wedding far from home, make sure to tell your guests as early as possible. It’s a good idea to send save-the-date cards and wedding information six months or more in advance. This will allow them to book flights and source any potential visas they need prior to your big day. It is also recommended to inform them about the destination, how to get there for as cheap as possible, and any items they should pack.

I shot this photo at the W hotel in Miami. The W hotel is an interesting choice for a wedding or corporate event. It you are looking for a city vibe that this is the venue for you. I shot this photo on one of the hotels balcony’s. The view in the background is downtown Miami.

W Miami

Tip #8 – Research the destination’s legal requirements for marriage.
Prior to tying the knot on foreign shores, it is highly important to investigate your destination’s laws regarding weddings. Some countries have a residency requirement, which means you must be in the country for a certain period of time before you can get married there. For example, France will require you to be in the country for a full 40 days prior to your wedding date.
When planning a destination wedding always remember that planning and preparation are key. Make sure to do all the research you can into your destination and follow these tips to help your big day go all that bit smoother. And on a final note, congratulations and enjoy your big day!

This scenic bridge wedding photo was taken at Stonebridge Country Club in Boca Raton FL. Because I’m based close to Boca it’s one of the South Florida towns were I work the most. Boca Raton is the home of may great wedding venues and Stonebridge is one of the prettiest places in the area. It’s always great to work at this venue.


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