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Monday, May 14, 2012

A. Hedges Photography Wedding Blog Series ~ Pt 1 ~ Destination Weddings

I work with amazing people. I've said that over and over again. From the vendors I meet at weddings to the couples themselves, they all have great stories and they have all worked together to plan incredibly beautiful weddings. I knew that if I asked, those gracious people would want to share their planning processes in order to help future brides and grooms. I never expected such a huge response. These blog posts are going to be PACKED with tons of information that will help newly engaged couples navigate through their wedding planning process. Now, disclaimer, I'm not a wedding planner and I'm not trying to be. I simply want to allow these vendors to use their own voices and pass along tricks of the trade right from the horses mouth. I would LOVE feedback throughout the week- let me know which tips are going to help you- let me know what other information you'd like to read about.

I'm so excited to launch the first part in this series- DESTINATION WEDDINGS!!

My first destination was just this past November. It was at the 
Couples Tower Isle in Jamaica!!

To see more images, check out their original blog post 
from this fantastic, intimate, tropical wedding HERE!  

It was a true destination, as in tropical island, beach, sun, sand and cute umbrellas in your drinks!! Originally, the bride hired me to take her engagement photos locally and was planning on using the resort photographer for her wedding day. As the wedding neared she doubted her choice. She had looked at the portfolio the resort had shared, but she wasn’t sure which of the multiple photographers listed would actually shoot her wedding. Furthermore, much of the wedding day wasn’t going to be covered by a photographer- something she was disappointed about. Lucky for me the bride and groom decided that it was worth it to bring me along for their special day. During the engagement session process, we had built a relationship, they loved my work, they knew they could trust me. 

I was going to Jamaica....SCORE!!! 

I think the most important part of choosing a photographer, destination or not, is to have a good relationship with that person and to feel comfortable with them. While hiring a competent, experienced and talented photographer goes without saying, having someone with you on one of the most important days of your life, all day long, is a big deal!! You want to look back at your day and remember your wedding, not any negativity surrounding any of your vendors including your photographer.

The bride, Becky, also brought along a hair and makeup stylist Brittany from "Beauty by Brittany". Brittany also has some insight about destination weddings from a stylists point of view. If you haven't already, meet Brittany!!
Q: What were some challenges working a destination wedding?
A: The travel restrictions on liquids made things more challenging so I had to make sure I was able to bring all of my supplies and still get through airport security.

Q: What is the process you go through with a bride, creating a hair and makeup plan prior to the wedding day?
A: I like to meet the bride as far in advanced for a trial run so we can go over details for their hair makeup to make sure that it is perfect. I include a complimentary trial run for all of my brides. The perfect time to do the trial is for your engagement session!

Q: How do you suggest brides convey ideas about hair styles to you?
A: I love it when my brides have ideas. They can show me photos, magazine ads etc.  But sometimes they aren't sure what they want for their wedding day styling, especially for a destination wedding when they may be unfamiliar with styles that would fit the atmosphere. Then I simply have them tell me what they like about certain styles so we can customize their look.

Q: How did you deal with the climate change?
A:  I have many products that I can use to make sure your hair is picture perfect no matter what the weather decides to do!

Q: Why do you recommend bringing a trusted vendor with you on a destination wedding as opposed to using a resort employee?
A: I 100% recommend bringing your own stylist to your destination wedding!! You can be assured that you will love your hair on the wedding day because of the prep work we've put in!

Q: What trends do you love right now for destination brides?
A: The biggest trends right now are waterfall braids with loose curls or a soft side bun. Long soft curls with extensions are very popular these days too- all great choices for a tropical destination wedding! 

For more information about Beauty By Brittany, email her at

And this post wouldn't be complete without some insight from a brides perspective. 

Q: Becky, what did I love about having a destination wedding?
A: It was different!  As it was my 2nd wedding, I wanted a much more low key affair, something that Matt and I shared together.  For us, we were required to be present in Jamaica a full 3 days prior to the event, so it was perfect, as we got to “relax” before the big day.  It was also so very convenient, as the wedding and honeymoon were all rolled into one!  

Q: What challenges were faced while planning the destination wedding.
A: By far, the biggest challenge was just getting all the ducks in a row, legally speaking.  Being that we were married outside the U.S., we wanted to make sure that there would be NO hang-ups regarding the legitimacy of our marriage.  Getting all the paperwork together was a bit time consuming.  It’s very important to research what requirements there are to have a legal marriage if you are getting married outside the US.

Q: Would you do anything different?
A; The entire experience was perfect.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing! If anything, I may have chosen a lighter dress, as it was soooooo hot!

Q: Why did you decide to bring your own vendors?
A:While most resorts offer a complimentary photographer for about an hour during your wedding, any extra time was quite expensive.  There was also no guarantee of the quality of work, and as I had a poor experience from my first wedding photographer, that was one area that I was willing to spare no expense for.  Bringing along a stylist was an added bonus, as I got to do trial’s with hair and makeup as any other bride.  I’m sure the resorts staff would have done a wonderful job, but in the end we are thrilled with how our photos came out ."

It all comes down to trust and building relationships with your vendors. Ask lots of questions, look at their work, make contracts (and bring me along) and when it’s all said and done your day will be the destination wedding of your dreams!!

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