What I Learned From Filming My First Destination Wedding

Last November my team booked our first location wedding and below are some small things that I learned and thought I would pass on to others who may be making the plunge and shooting a destination wedding soon.


Flights to be organised for you to arrive to the day prior to the wedding.

By organising your flight the day before you allow yourself the ability to re arrange flights if yours is somehow cancelled or if still in your country the option is still available for a road trip with your second shooter.

Using your pre wedding time wisely!

As you are probably new to this area its always smart to decide on photo shoot locations early and whilst scouting be sure to fill up on B-Roll and time lapse footage to build towards your end product. Take note of how harsh your light is going to be and location of light by using apps like Sun Seeker. By doing this you will be more relaxed on the actual wedding day knowing you already have additional footage up your sleeve. Additionally obtaining the knowledge early will show you have the day under control when working with the bridal party.

Pack for all weather!

I made the mistake of packing and dressing for Port Douglas as if I was at a wedding in Sydney. Being in November (Australian summer) this was a horrible idea as the weather was a scorching 40 degrees. The groom asked me the day before the wedding to go around the corner and get some black shorts as he wouldn’t ask anyone to work a full day in this heat wearing dress pants.

Luggage Limits!

Most planes will give you 20 kilograms of checked baggage and 7 kilograms of carry on.

Carry On: Be smart with this and carry on all your most important items that you couldn’t shoot without.

Checked Baggage: Leave this for additional clothing and items you could possibly do without in case those clumsy baggage people decide to lose your gear.

Pro Tip: A satchel or referred to by my friends as a “man bag” is considered like a handbag for a female and is not weighed as part of your carry on. I used this to transport the remainder of my glass and all my important audio equipment (my satchel would have weighed well over 10 kilograms).

Getting along with other vendors!

This goes for every wedding but on this special occasion I was booked for video prior to the photographer being booked and to top that this lovely couple asked who I would like to work with… I went through some of my other favourite vendors that I love working with and the bride picked my high school pal Rose Jane Photo and her fantastic second shooter Vienna.

Because of this we could all travel together in one car and all four shooters had a nice share apartment booked. Obviously working with like minded people really does help you produce your best work and when you are being entrusted with a destination wedding you really want to ensure that everyone has the bride and grooms best interests in mind.


While you may be trying to make this wedding your best its important to remember to take the time to get plenty of fluids and food, both for you and the bridal party. Rose and Vienna packed us a nice lunch and sweets to keep us going on what ended up being a 14 hour day!

I hope these small pieces of advice helped anyone taking on some of their first or even their hundredth destination wedding. Below is the culmination of this wedding day and a lot of planning from the lovely bride and groom.

Special thanks to :

Brent and Harriet for letting me be part of their day and Rose Jane Photo.

To see wedding images taken by Rose Jane Photo click here.

Photographer / Cinematographer and all round tech geek.

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