Wedding Wednesday

5 Reasons You May Be a Destination Bride!

Wedding Wednesday

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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


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We are currently in route to NYC to fly to ITALY to photograph a beautiful wedding for a very special couple!! We’re taking Evy AND my sister, her husband and their baby boy! Crazy right?! The cutest part of this experience thus far has been getting Evy’s passport in the mail! She looks so cute and tiny!!!!! So as we were gearing up for this trip, I have been thinking a lot about destination weddings! We just photographed another destination wedding LAST weekend in Hatteras (very southern point of OBX!) and now we’re traveling across the ocean for another one!

So, if you’re a current bride or hope to be engaged and getting married within the next few years, this post may be helpful to you! Every bride needs to recognize what she loves and what she wants her wedding day to be like. Every woman is different and will have different preferences for her day …. same with the groom! Weddings aren’t one-size-fits-all, but a lot of times they are treated that way. The truth is, I’ve witnessed some weddings where the Bride and Groom are COMPLETELY overwhelmed, and I could tell that they were only having a massive wedding to appease their parents. I understand wanting to honor your parent’s wishes, but I also think that a Bride and Groom should have a wedding day that reflects their wishes and who they are!

For some, this may mean a destination wedding! After planning (and paying for) two weddings, my parents joked about how easy it would have been to just do a small destination wedding! It’s true, that would have been easier…. but Emy and I both wanted all of our friends and all of our family there!! So a destination wedding wasn’t the right fit for us!

So how do you know if it’s the right fit for you?! Here are FIVE characteristics that we often find in all of our destination couples! So, you may love a DESTINATION WEDDING IF……

  1. YOU HAVE A SMALL, TIGHT KNIT GROUP OF FRIENDS! If you don’t have a massive amount of peers and casual friends who you care to invite to your wedding, you may enjoy yourself WAY more if you’re in a tropical location with just your BEST friends!!!
  2. YOU SHUT DOWN IN BIG GROUPS! If you feel like a turtle retracting into its’ shell when you’re in a social setting with a ton of people, imagine that same feeling but with ALL eyes on you! It’s a lot to take in!
  3. YOU DESIRE EPIC PORTRAITS! A lot of time, our destination brides want an intimate ceremony and also desire to have adventurous portraits! I mean, if you’re getting married in a foreign country or a long distance location, it’s normally going to be a beautiful place! Destination couples deserve amazing portraits because they need to document their epic location AND have some impressive portraits to bring home to show their friends and family at home who weren’t there!
  4. YOU VALUE EXPERIENCES OVER DETAILS! A lot of our destination couples have had a similar desire to create an amazing experience for their closest family and friends! When we talk to them about why they chose a destination wedding, they all shared that they wanted their wedding to be an awesome experience for EVERYONE, not just them!! I had my wedding in my parent’s backyard and I think our guests had a BLAST, but having a destination wedding provides more than just a fun night on the dance floor!
  5. YOU VALUE “SIMPLE” & are indecisive! Maybe picking linens, florals and laying out 165 seating assignments isn’t your thing. That’s ok! A lot of people hire a wedding planner to help them with that part. However, even if you have a planner, you will still have to make a million little decisions. If you prefer a more simplistic approach to your wedding planning, you would love having a destination wedding because your options are normally very limited. Also, you don’t need a million details when the location is so breathtaking!

So, if you’re starting to think about your wedding day and what that’s going to look like, take this all into consideration! Even if you’re not planning on having a destination wedding, you may realize after reading this that you want a more intimate wedding at home which is great to!! (You just have to deal with all of the friends and family that think they should be there! Yikes!)

Overall, as a bride, you need to do what feels right for the two of you and your personalities!! The good news is that even the weddings where the bride and groom were overwhelmed, it was still a BEAUTIFUL CELEBRATION and they had a magnificent time!!!

ERIN + KYLE  – Les Mirandes Wedding, Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard, France Wedding

TYLER + KATIE – Newry, Maine Wedding at the Glenn House

DREW + BECCA – Sarasota, Florida Wedding at the Powel Crosley Estate
HAYDEN + GELI – Iceland Wedding

MAC + KATELYN – Charleston South Carolina Wedding – Legare Waring House

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Nathan + Jenni Rae Historic Estate Wedding | Franklin Tennessee

This beautiful day way unlike any wedding I have ever photographed before. It’s hard to put into words how powerful and inspiring it was.


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