Simply put, a destination wedding is a chance for you to capture that kid-in-a-sweetshop excitement of going on holiday, combined with the rare and special chance to celebrate surrounded by your friends and loved ones. Travel is a deep love of mine, and even though I’m happy to have found a home in beautiful Oxfordshire, the wanderlust still prickles my palms and I love nothing more than stepping out of a plane into a new climate full of new sensations and places to explore.
A Seasoned Traveller…
My love affair with the world started in my twenties, where I got the chance to study for a semester in Spain, and immersed myself in the food, culture and colour of the place. From there it was on to the spice-laden heat of Morocco, and then an inter-railing trip through Europe, taking in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. I was hooked. Syria and the dusky deserts of Jordan came next, until I came to Israel, where by this point my purse strings were looking pretty tight! I found a job as a photographer, taking photos of tourists on boating day trips, and something within me clicked into place. I remember the light playing on the water, and the feeling of being connected to my camera, and I knew that this was something special!
I turned my new-found passion into a Masters degree in photography back in New York, but not before taking a madcap cycling trip through Kenya and Uganda, and spending 6 incredible months in the colours and chaos of India which left me inspired and enthralled.
Photography and travel go arm in arm for me, and being able to indulge both my life’s passions in one with a destination wedding is a dream come true! Choosing to get married abroad is a big decision requiring a lot of planning, but the rewards are many and varied. Take your guests on a trip away from this green and pleasant (or, more likely, cloud soaked and drizzly) land, and let the exotic into your wedding. Apart from the promise of golden sunshine (or crisp white snow – whatever floats your boat), here are my top three reasons why you should consider a destination wedding:
1: Chances are, there’s a place away from England that has a special piece of your heart, and plays a part in the story of your relationship. It might be where you got engaged, or the first holiday you took together. Home comforts have their place, but to my mind memories made in faraway places always seem to shine that bit brighter. So why not revisit a landmark location for your relationship and make your marriage vows there?
2: Nowadays, weddings are usually a much more international affair than they used to be. At many of the weddings in and around Oxford that I shoot, couples have had family or friends fly in from Europe, the US or further afield. Opting for a destination wedding means you can meet in the middle, in an exotic locale that’s exciting for everyone.
3: In the UK, there are certain restrictions in place regarding where you can and can’t hold your wedding ceremony. If you’ve got your heart set on saying your vows at a tranquil beach, mountain wildflower meadow or magical woodland glade, and you don’t want to go down the route of separate legal ceremony and celebrant blessing, then get researching the rules in destinations outside the UK. You might well find the perfect blend of stunning location and flexibility of regulation to create the wedding you’ve always dreamed of having.
My Destination Wedding Wish List
As far as locations go, the world really is your oyster. But here are the five places that feature highest on my most-wanted list. If you’re planning your wedding in one of these five, give me a call and make one of my photography dreams come true!
The Big Apple has definitely stolen a piece of my soul. It’s hard not get hooked on its neon-lit mix of the iconic and the quirky. If you want photography backdrops with a wow-factor, you can’t ask for much more than NYC. As a former New Yorker, I know all the secret corners and hidden-gem places for some seriously special images. Take me along as your tour guide!
Morocco is so easily accessible from the UK, just a 3 hour flight away, but it’s like a whole other world as soon as you step off the plane. Whether you choose to enter the jewelled labyrinths of the Marrakesh souks, or head out into the vast desert or cloudscapes of the Atlas Mountains, the atmosphere here is just incredible.
Or…more specifically a Greek island. I recently discovered that there are more than 6,000 Greek islands, and many of these are uninhabited. Cue several romantic desert island fantasies! As for islands with a bit more life about them, Santorini would be my current pick. The combination of blinding white buildings with deep blue roofs, sun-splashed coves and inlets and warm, clear waters is a winning one in anyone’s book!
Let’s talk Paris, first and foremost. It’s the city of romance for a reason! I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about, truth be told, and was convinced it wouldn’t be able to live up to its enormous hype, but my first visit to Paris to shoot Claire and Olivier’s engagement had me well and truly smitten.
If you fancy going further afield than the capital, you can find an array of fairytale landscapes and chateaux fit for the pages of any epic love story. France is vivacious and varied and rustic and romantic and, as is probably evident, I have fallen very much in love with it!
Ah, India! After my first life-changing six months there and having finished my Masters, I applied for a Fulbright scholarship and to my delight I got it! It meant I was able to spend a whole year in India with my camera, and this beautiful country has been under my skin and in my heart ever since.
A trip through India is like visiting several countries in one – there are so many different regions, each with their own distinct personality. Anywhere in India will give you a thrumming, vibrant experience, but particularly high on my list would be lush Kerala or laid-back Goa with its waterways and beaches.
If you’re thinking of getting married abroad and would like to discuss your photographs then I’d love to hear from you! Get in touch, and let’s have a chat about what you’ve got planned. I can’t wait to hear about your globetrotting adventures.