For us, photography was a major priority; in fact, after our destination, it was THE major priority. I know most brides say that it is a priority, but trust me, when most of your nearest and dearest will not be in attendance at your wedding, it is an even bigger deal.
When we knew we were going to do a destination wedding, we also knew that many people important to us would not be able to attend. One of the most important people in my life – my maternal grandmother – was one of those people. We knew that if nothing else, we wanted to be able to give her photographs of our day. We knew that we wanted to be able to watch a video with her of me walking down the aisle. Will she cry then, sitting in her living room, watching that with us? You betcha. Will I? Probably even moreso. So, we wanted photographs and a video. For us, for those who were not there, and for my grandma.
We are not getting married in a popular resort town in the Dominican, so I had to do a little research (i.e. stalking of former brides) to find out about photographers in the country who would drive to Samana to shoot our wedding. We found three local photographers. They all had their positives and negatives, but one was way out of our price range (even though her style was awesome), so we had to eliminate her. Then there was one photographer, middle-range price-wise, but this one came with a videographer! The pictures were nice, the video was nice, the price was good… SOLD. Am I in love with the style? Not oh-my-god-they-are-the-most-amazingly-artistic-photographers-in-the-world. But I like them. So I am happy.
One tip for you fellow destination brides, though: It is possible to maybe save a little moolah if you bring a photographer you love from home. Many will waive their fees and only charge you the price of their flight and hotel room. Some destination weddings have employed this tactic with great results, and yes, we thought about doing the same. We found a photographer here that we liked, who was trying to get into destination weddings, but at the end of the day, the price was very comparable to the local Dominican photographer, except that company had experience in the area, and it came with a video, and we end up with all rights to the pictures. How do you say no to that? Now came the tricky part. We are getting married near Samana. The destination wedding photographer/videographer are in Punta Cana. That means, not only are we paying their fees (which are very reasonable), we are also paying a travel fee, and… wait for it… their hotel room. For two nights. Those extras sure work out to a lot! Actually, the room prices are more than the original package we went with. Sigh. Big sigh. Really though, it works out to, altogether, about the same as a photographer here, but we still get a video and all rights; that would not happen here. I have read and heard a lot of amazing reviews about the company, spoken to them with several questions (all of which they answered quickly and efficiently) and am happy with our choice. I cannot wait to meet them face-to-face and then see what they come up with!
So here is the cost breakdown:
Multimedia Package: $1100 (not bad, right? Wait for it…)
Trash-the-Dress Session (Next Day – more about this another day): $200
Travel Fee: $500 (almost enough to make us want to rethink a more popular destination. Almost)
Hotel Fee (2 nights; night before and of the wedding): $645/per person (so, $1290 altogether here… ouch. Seriously ouch.)
Altogether, considerably more expensive than we had planned on, but still, I am pleased – so far – with our decision, though it was rather hard to hand over the cheque for their hotel room!
Is photography one of your major priorities?