How to Plan Your Perfect Destination Wedding or Elopement

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I'm a California and destination wedding photographer based in Orange County. I create romantic and timeless photographs and document polished celebrations all over the world. Learn more about me here!

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Hi, I'm Jasmine

Destination weddings and elopements have become increasingly popular, offering couples a chance to celebrate their love in breathtaking locations around the world. As a destination wedding photographer based in California, I understand the excitement and challenges that come with planning these extraordinary events. In this blog post, we will explore the key steps to help you plan your perfect destination wedding or elopement, with a focus on some enchanting locations such as Mexico, Italy, and the Caribbean.

Step 1: Define Your Vision and Budget

Begin by envisioning your dream wedding or elopement. Consider the atmosphere, ambiance, and scenery you desire. Once you have a clear vision, establish your budget to determine what is feasible and identify any compromises that may need to be made. Mexico, with its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, offers enchanting destinations like Cancun, Los Cabos, and the Caribbean, each with its unique charm.

Step 2: Research and Select the Perfect Destination

Delve into thorough research to identify the ideal destination that aligns with your vision and budget. For couples dreaming of an Italian fairytale, the picturesque regions of Tuscany, Lake Como, Milan, Florence, and Puglia offer romance, history, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Alternatively, the Caribbean boasts a range of exquisite locations, including the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Trinidad, where sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters create an idyllic backdrop.

Step 3: Hire a Local Wedding Planner

Planning a destination wedding or elopement can be challenging from afar, so hiring a local wedding planner is crucial. These experts have insider knowledge and invaluable connections, ensuring a seamless experience. A seasoned planner can guide you through the legal requirements, coordinate vendors, and recommend the finest venues and hidden gems, making your dream wedding a reality, regardless of the location.

Step 4: Arrange Travel and Accommodations for You and Your Guests

Coordinate travel arrangements and accommodations for both you and your guests. Look for group rates or packages that cater to large parties, ensuring everyone can celebrate together. Whether it’s a luxurious villa overlooking the Mediterranean in Italy or an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, provide your guests with a range of options that suit various budgets and preferences.

Step 5: Select Vendors and Wedding Professionals

Choosing the right vendors and wedding professionals is crucial for capturing the essence of your destination wedding or elopement. Seek recommendations from your local wedding planner or use online platforms to find photographers, videographers, florists, and caterers with experience in your chosen location. Remember to inquire about any additional costs or requirements for international services to avoid last-minute surprises.

Step 6: Plan Unique Experiences and Activities

Make the most of your destination by planning unique experiences and activities for you and your guests. Mexico offers vibrant nightlife, historical ruins, and breathtaking cenotes for adventurous souls. Italy offers wine tastings, guided tours of ancient architecture, and romantic gondola rides. The Caribbean boasts snorkeling, water sports, and sunset cruises. By incorporating these activities, you can create unforgettable memories for everyone involved.

Step 7: Capture Your Special Day with a Skilled Photographer

Lastly, but certainly not least, book a skilled destination wedding photographer who specializes in capturing the magic of your chosen location. A professional photographer will document the heartfelt moments, stunning landscapes, and unique cultural elements, ensuring your memories are preserved beautifully for years to come. Remember, selecting a photographer familiar with your destination will bring an added level of expertise and creativity to your wedding or elopement album.


Planning a destination wedding or elopement can be an exhilarating adventure, filled with love, joy, and unforgettable moments. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way planning your perfect destination wedding. If you’re looking for more personalized advice about your destination wedding or elopement, be sure to reach out and inquire!

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