The summer is always, as you would expect, a busy time for an international destination wedding videographer. But this summer was particularly hectic.
In a three-week period, I was either travelling, filming or editing weddings in Greece, Switzerland and the United States. Throw in a couple of trips for weddings in Yorkshire in the UK too and summer 2019 was a great one for marvellous adventures.
♥ 14,144 air miles over 10 flights
♥ 462 miles on 17 trains
♥ 106 miles on 2 ferries
♥ 1 private excursion boat
♥ 6 taxis
♥ 10 hotels
♥ 1 chauffeur driven car
♥ 495 miles driven by car
I wanted to share with you some of the wonderful moments from these gorgeous weddings, but also leave you with a few destination wedding tips inspired by these adventures.
Wedding in Ios
Ios is a picturesque Greek island, nestled in the centre of Cyclades Islands, between Mykonos and Santorini. It was here that Rebekah and Jarrad travelled to from Australia for their gorgeous wedding.
When I arrived I met up with couple who were having a pool party and we headed to the beach for a pre-wedding shoot in the glorious sunset.
It was very, very blustery for their ceremony the next day but still so stunning.
Wedding in Thun
Straight after Rebekah and Jarrad’s wedding, I travelled back to Switzerland for the wedding of Ian and Brandon.
Again, this couple also wanted a pre-wedding shoot so we headed up the Jungfraujoch with their small wedding party. We were so lucky because we had such amazing blue skies while at the top of the mountain.
Then we headed to Bern and I was able to do more pre-wedding filming with with the couple in the city for a couple of hours.
On the day of the wedding, I captured a wonderful First Look moment in Bern, before we headed by boat across the stunning Lake Thun to Schloss Oberhofen.
This magnificent fairy-tale Swiss castle is such a romantic setting and, again, we were fortunate to be blessed with amazing weather.
Wedding Party in Malibu
As soon as I had filmed the wedding of Ian and Brandon, my epic destination wedding marathon took me to Los Angeles from Switzerland via London Heathrow.
I had been invited by Jane and Chuck to film their Malibu wedding after-party. You may remember that last year I filmed this couple’s wedding in a small village in the Drôme Valley in the south east of France.
So, I was so delighted to be invited to film their party in Malibu – especially for our day trip to Paradise Cove!
Wedding in York
My summer adventures also included two trips to Yorkshire, where the weather was less kind, but I had such fun with the couples that it didn’t matter one bit.
First of all I headed to York, near where to Story Of Your Day had its original headquarters.
It rained almost all day, which might have marred some couples’ plans, but Lauren and Tom embraced every moment of it and in the end it became very much a part of their celebrations.
The couple then tied the knot at St Nicholas’ Church at Askham Bryan – a lovely 12th century church built in the Norman era before returning with their guests to Lauren’s family home for a garden marquee reception.
Wedding in Settrington
My second trip to Yorkshire was to the village of Settrington, where Victoria and Richard said ‘I do’ at The Orangery – an elegant and picturesque wedding venue set in the heart of North Yorkshire.
The couple had painstakingly created a Senbazuru – a group of 1,000 origami paper cranes held together by strings – as a stunning art backdrop for their wedding and a brilliant representation of their commitment and dedication to each other.
Destination Wedding Videography: my top tips
I am a solo shooter but some couples want more than one videographer to capture all the action as they worry something will be missed. Bear in mind that it will cost you a lot more money if there is more than one shooter, because in most cases you’re going to be paying for their accommodation, flights and all their travel expenses as well as for them filming.
It is possible to get a local second-shooter and I often do that if I need a drone operator but they will charge the going rate for the job in that country, which will vary from country to country.
I do not charge travel expenses for any wedding I film in the UK or Switzerland.
Use local or bring your own supplier.
Related to above, this is question I get asked a lot and it’s dependent on many factors and what’s important to you. I personally would always recommend you use a videographer who is native in your language or at least speaks your language well because then they can use the audio better to tell your story.
Also a planner who speaks both the local language and your own will help you make the right planning decisions. But in terms of your hair and make-up, unless you’re especially concerned about using someone you know already, then someone local will save you hundreds of pounds.
You can always have your trial when you visit for planning meetings. And, again for flowers, not only will using a local florist to save you money on travel expenses and bringing over the florals but also they’ll be able to course locally and use fresh!
You can’t control the weather
You cannot guarantee the weather at any destination wedding, especially in Switzerland. Try to manage your own expectations that the weather might not do what you’re hoping … and that doesn’t just go for sunshine.
I have filmed weddings in Santorini where it’s rained and in some places, where the temperatures stayed hot late into the afternoon, my equipment has over-heated.
You don’t want that to happen to you or your guests so a late afternoon ceremony in the middle of summer for a destination wedding is ideal.
Are you married yet? The law – Getting married legally abroad
This is a huge subject and different in all countries. In some you can get legally married there and in others you need to get married before and then it’s a case of having a blessing during your destination wedding.
There are cases, like in Italy, where it is possible but you have to spend some time there beforehand and there’s usually quite a lot of paperwork and can be quite expensive.
Any good wedding planner located in the country of your wedding will be able to unpick the legals and formalities for you but this is something you need to consider before booking your wedding and perhaps even before choosing your destination location.
What about your guests that can’t make it?
In my experience there’s usually many guests that can’t attend a destination wedding. It may be because the couple have decided to have more of an elopement wedding or that the guests can’t find the time to attend or perhaps even can’t afford it.
Those guests can still participate by sending messages to the couple that could be read out during the speeches and another tip: Abigayle and Callum had another party when they got back home to the UK and at the party they set up a ‘big-screen’ and showed their wedding film to all their friends.
This was something that Jane and Chuck did as well … when I flew to Malibu to film their after-wedding party, the film of their wedding was being shown throughout the evening, so guests could enjoy the wedding they couldn’t attend.