10 Ways to Have a Perfect Destination Wedding

1. Go On a “Try before you buy” Mission:
If you can afford it, travel to the area and resort you are considering for your destination wedding. It is good to see the exact location and area in person. You can check out the resort to make sure it will meet all of your guests and your needs and wants for your wedding. You can try out the food, check out the service, meet with the wedding coordinator, and possibly view another wedding going on. Once you are there, you may find a different resort you like better. You can always get a day pass, around $150dollars, to other resorts and check those out as well. You may like or not like the local area the resort is in for activities and excursions you want available for your guests to experience. I always recommend using a destination wedding designer in your planning, because they can guide you to a destination and resort that would be perfect for you, arrange the travel, and set the appointment with the wedding coordinator so that you can meet with her, and scope out the venues.

2. Think About Doing a Symbolic Ceremony:
There are a lot of legal requirements when you get married in another country. Usually there is a short window that you have to legally be in the country you are going to get married in. The average is two to three business days, plus all the paper work. You can avoid all the paper work, by getting married at by a JOP, and then all you need to do is bring your marriage license with you to the resort, and you can get married with a “symbolic ceremony” it really still feels like the same thing! I recommend using a destination wedding designer to help you figure out what the legalities are to get married in the countries you are considering. When it comes to anniversaries, you can either pick your legal date, or symbolic date, or some couples celebrate both. Usually they will celebrate small and private for one date, and do something larger for the other anniversary date. Hey, I am always looking for a reason to celebrate!

3.Carry On Your Dress:
Never, never, allow your dress to be put in checked baggage. There are too many things that could go wrong, and have gone wrong when a wedding dress has been put with the checked bags. Your dress should be in a protected garment bag, and may need to be folded. Some airlines will allow you to hang your dress in first class. If you ask you flight attendant, most are very understanding about your needs, especially if you are getting married.

4. Have All Your Attendees Stay at the Same Resort:
If at all possible, try to get everyone to book at the same resort. This will simplify your life so much! When everyone is all in the same locale, it is just easier to do your group activities, enjoy all of your time with family and friends, as well as cut down extra costs for your guests that may be staying elsewhere. Usually, any of your guests that want to be at your resort, but are not staying there will have to pay a day pass fee, plus transportation costs to come to your resort every day. A good destination wedding designer can get you a great group rate, and help you find a resort that will be great for all of you, and work within everyone’s budget.

5. Be Considerate of your wedding party
Remember that your wedding party has paid a good amount of money to be there for your special day. Some wedding packages include hair and makeup for you but for your bridal party, there is an extra charge. Make sure you pick a very affordable package, or better yet, just pay for them to get their hair and makeup done for the wedding.

6. Let Your Hair Down
With a destination wedding, there is supposed to be a more care free, and natural atmosphere to your wedding day. It definitely is more relaxing to hang out on the beach with an endless supply of drinks and food at your beck and call, while getting ready for your wedding. Don’t worry so much about your hair or make up being perfect. After all, you are in a location that usually involves gentle breezes, water, and warm weather.

7. Keep an Open Mind For a Wedding Photographer:
Many times the resort will have their own wedding photographer that they will recommend for your wedding photos. Like all lines of work, there are good and bad photographers. Ask to see some samples of the photographer the resort is recommending. You may need to have your family and friends take some extra pictures of your wedding day, just in case. If you must have a photographer you trust completely, you may need to bring one with you. I have had clients fly their photographer and videographer down with them, so that they will have perfect pictures and video. In general, I have seen great photos from my clients who used the resort photographer, and I have seen great photos from photographers that have been brought in.

8. Give Your Attendees Reason to Explore
When people are traveling all that way, they should get out and do a fun excursion in the area and do some site seeing. There are certain countries and areas where you want to be a part of an organized tour group, because they are licensed, insured, and offer the most safe and usually fun experience. If you organize an activity to do together, you should either pay for your group, or help pay for it. You can send your guest’s website links for things to do in the area, to help get them excited for their getaway.

9. Lighten Your Load:
There is great satisfaction in being able to plan and pull off your own destination wedding, but is it worth all of the organization, phone calls, websites, and amount s of time and stress on your end? I don’t know about you, but I don’t go to a friend to get my teeth cleaned, (my dentist is very nice), I don’t ask the Sephora make -up specialist to help me with the brakes on my car, (she could make them look prettier, but probably not going to stop the car any better). There are so many great destination wedding designers out there that can help you design and pick a great wedding package, perfect resort, and arrange an incredible group rate, along with travel arrangements for you, for not much more money than it would cost you to do on your own.

10. Go With The Flow:
As I mentioned before, a destination wedding has a more care free atmosphere to it! Hopefully all of the planning and attention to detail will make your special day go on without a hitch. Every so often, as with any wedding, there can be things that don’t always go as planned; maybe the floral arrangement looks a little different than you thought, the wedding cake is not the right one you picked, or the minister mispronounces you names. Even if it were to rain, (there is always a plan B for that by the way), try to go with it and have fun. Everyone will be watching you and how you react to everything. If you decide to laugh and shrug it off, when things don’t go as planned, everyone else will do the same, and you will have a fun and relaxing time, no matter what.

Wedding Spots in Ocean City, Maryland

Ocean City Wedding Spots – Getting married in Ocean City and you are not sure where you’d like to have the wedding location or reception? Allow me to inform you of the places that make for some great Ocean City Wedding Photography spots and give you my thoughts about them. Please keep in mind that these Ocean City venues are looked at from a photographer’s point of view and what I’ve experienced there working.   

Seacrets – A great place to check out, you can’t go wrong with Jamaica USA in Ocean City. Often times couples book their dance club area which can fit a lot of people. What I liked most was the staff was off the hook friendly, and being there as a wedding photographer, they let me go everywhere I wanted to go to get the good shot. This place offers some great sunset shots, out by the palm trees and on their pier, plenty of little hidden areas that will make for some interesting photos. They have their own catering and chatting with one couple they said it was at a really good price. Keep in mind in the summer this place is a mad house but in the off season its cozy and relaxing.   

Fager’s Island – Pretty close to Seacrets which offers a nice reception area, hotel close by, great food and the staff was really nice. There are so many cool places in Fagers to get great photos; you often getting lost and you can take a couple to like 10 – 15 different spots and make 50 -75 images unique. Plenty of palm trees, a gazebo on the water, the upper deck reception area is a little tighter but for smaller weddings this is a really good place.  

Lighthouse Sound – This little gem is hidden away right outside of Ocean City, a little ways over the first Hwy 90 bridge in into Bishopville. It’s located right on a golf course which is a good thing because you have beautiful landscapes to get great photos on and one thing to consider is adding some time with the photographer as you might like to take a golf cart to some of these very pretty photo spots. You’ll end up having Ocean City on the bay as you backdrop which makes for an awesome photo. The staff is great, food it good too, I like the huge fireplace they have indoors, and the overall area is able to accommodate a lot of guests. If you get a chance to get you and your guests together for a group photo, you have a couple of hills to get height on the crowd.  

Golden Sands – this hotel and condominium is located around the north end of Ocean City right on the beach. You can get married right on their little patch of sand or you can get closer to the water and have your ceremony there. Depending on the time of day and weather conditions I might lean towards closer to the beach, were you’ll have more sun, the building itself is cuts out a lot of sun for sunset ceremonies. They have a really lovely reception area up on their top floor; hope you aren’t afraid of heights. Nice dance floor, easy to accommodate a lot of guests, and even though you are up so high take advantage of the rear of the building on the 22nd floor for some quick photos of the sun setting.   

The Clarion – another hotel not too far away from the Golden Sands, and every bit just a good. What I found unique about this place, if you foresee bad weather, this place has several giant rooms for having the ceremony and reception. The whole inside offers a lot of great spots to take some fun and unique photos and chances are you will have sun for your wedding, you have the beach right there. keep in mind the building will shadow you and your guests quite a bit, so by getting closer to the water, you’ll enjoy some better photo opportunities. They have an onsite coordinator here, Lisa I believe who is super nice and will bend over backwards to help you.   

Ocean Pines Beach Club – Located on the Ocean side of Coastal Hwy and not be confused with the Ocean Pines Yacht Club and Ocean Pines Country Club. If you aren’t careful you’ll find family and friends heading to the yacht club or country club and might miss out. Here is another place that has their own patch of sand close to the main building structure and if you are planning a sunset wedding you might find a very distinct shadow going on here which depending on your timing you might deal with as they have a nice huge deck to place chairs on for your guests to sit on. They have a nice little second floor section where all the brides end up getting ready at. The poor guys end up hanging out in the basement area, down under the deck. Part of the deck wraps around and makes for some lovely sitting and eating outside. Plenty of spots for a DJ or Band to set up and while the guests are relaxing you can roll out on the beach for those beautiful sunset photos.   

The Beaches – Ocean City beaches are some great beaches to get married on. Unlike the Delaware beaches right up the road they don’t require permits to be on the beach or get married on the beach. Getting married in Delaware isn’t as easy as in Maryland where you can walk right out there on the beach with the wedding minister and say your vows and walk right back off. All the beach ceremony’s I’ve photographed, it happens 100 percent of the time, were you have very friendly and accommodating people that step aside for you to get married and often times they cheer, clap, and whistle when you get to “you may now kiss the bride”. To get the better photographs I’d recommend scheduling your ceremony around Sunset whenever possible and the next best time would be around sunrise. Those high noon weddings always end up with dark shadows under the eyes and lots of other unpleasant features. 

And if you can decorate the beach a little with an archway, flowers, tiki torches, or something. A naked beach is ok, but it really reflects well and looks like wedding photos when you have things to enhance the photo. For brides I’d stay away from heels in the sand, it’s a no brainer but every year someone does it and it’s difficult on the bride to walk in. Also a runner would be pointless, as it will get ripped to shreds.    There are many other wonderful places that I have not mentioned here that I could turn this article into a full blown book, but I wanted to name a few of my favorites.  

Some other ideas for wedding locations in and around Ocean City, Maryland that I’ve photographed and liked:   Assateague Island State Park Coconut Malorie Catched 54 (used to be known as Sharks Cove) Ocean Pines Yacht Club – Ocean Pines Ocean Pines Country Club – Ocean Pines Ocean City Inlet on the Beach Harrisons Harbour Watch – Inlet area The Hilton – Ocean Side Fresco’s – Bayside Macky’s – Bayside Princess Bayside – Bayside Princess Royale – Ocean side Carousel Hotel – Ocean side. Have a Happy Wedding Day!

Wedding Photo Booth

Having a photo booth at a wedding can create the most memorable experiences for family and friends. Something about getting into a small space together, hidden behind a curtain, brings out a moment of craziness in each person that can create a visual memory that could literally last a lifetime. Knowing that you have a strip of four creative facial poses while your friend has an identical strip makes a connection that ultimately has led to the resurgent popularity of photo booths.

Want to rent a booth for your upcoming wedding? It may be tough to find one nearby. Try searching for “rent” “photo booth” and “your city”. If nothing turns up, try typing in the nearest big city to your location. Most equipment rental companies serve a specific regional market, and may travel farther for an additional charge. Also consider booking well in advance. Photobooth rentals are often made six months or more in advance. If there are not very many companies to choose from in your area, you want to get on their schedule before someone else takes your date.

Thinking of starting a photo booth business to serve weddings in your area? Many successful rental companies have been started by entrepreneurs around the country. As long as you are committed to the serious effort of owning your own company, a wedding photo booth business can deliver reliable profit and grow as you experience positive word of mouth.

There are several steps to starting a photobooth event rental business. First evaluate your market. Who will be your competition, are there many existing companies or no one serving your area at all? Next budget your startup costs. A wedding photo booth with paper and freight costs can total $9000. Then you will need to transport your booth, which means a trailer, ramp, and large dolly. Include marketing and administration costs for your company, and you will see the total capital requirements for getting started.