Have Love Will Travel

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Hi everyone. It’s Steve here from Steve Gerrard Photography. I thought I’d write a post about destination weddings and show you some images from a fantastic wedding I shot in New York City while I’m here.

I know what you’re probably thinking…. There’s no way we could afford to have a wedding in New York. Or Italy. Or the Bahamas. Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise. You may just have to rethink how you get married.

In actual fact destination weddings can work out significantly cheaper, mainly because the amount of guests attending is sure to be much lower. These days, around 5-7% of couples are getting married overseas in their dream location. The majority will have just close friends and family at the wedding and then have a party for everyone else once they’re back home.

If you do have a group of people traveling with you, you’re likely to be successful if you apply for discounts on accommodation for both you and your guests. Some venues will even forego the fee of a small wedding if you book an agreed number of nights at the venue/hotel. On top of that you may be able to get reduced airfares when traveling with ten or more people.

Most couples realise that asking people to travel overseas for their wedding is a lot to ask and will let guests know that they don’t expect a gift as well. Their presence is present enough!

Do make sure you give people plenty of notice if you’d like them to make the trip with you. Some families will treat this as their yearly vacation and will need to prepare accordingly.

One important thing you’ll need to check on is any legal requirements in the country you hope to marry in. These may be anything from translation of documents to medical checks or marriage fees. You may love the idea of having the ceremony on the beach, so you don’t want to arrive to find that you’re legally unable to do that.

One easy way to help plan a destination wedding is to research and book a wedding coordinator local to your chosen wedding location. They should have experience of local customs, requirements and recommended suppliers should you require caterers, photographers etc.

Of course, some couples – Steph & Steve included – consider the photography one of the most important aspects of the wedding. With all the money you’ve saved by not having to fork out to feed 100+ guests you may want to choose a photographer you trust and pay the extra to fly them out to capture your wedding in the way you envision it. This usually means paying the usual fee for wedding photography and adding on an agreed amount for flights and accommodation. But remember, you already agreed those discounts yeah? 😉

Taking a photographer with you also makes things easier once you’re home and planning your dream wedding album. You’ll be able to pop in to make choices face to face with the photographer rather than dealing with someone on the other side of the world by email or telephone.

The last tip is that you really should, budget allowing, visit the location before you decide to go ahead with planning a wedding. It may look idyllic on the website or in the brochure but it’s reassuring to see the real thing to avoid any disappointments when you and your guests arrive for the main event.

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And so to New York…. Steve & Steph LOVE New York City! They planned, in Steph’s words, “a small wedding in a big location!” The ceremony was held at the top of the Rockefeller Center overlooking the Empire State Building and downtown Manhattan. Steph wore a fifties style dress chosen to match the colour of the city and influenced by old Marilyn Monroe movies (she even has Marilyn’s signature tattooed on her foot!).

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She worked with Jo at The Couture Company in Birmingham to create a dress complete with petticoat and leopard print corset which she could wear again and again.

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I knew we HAD to go to Times Square for this shot!

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And then it was on to Tavern On The Green in Central Park – A grand setting for any celebration.

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Believe it or not Kay & Sean met a couple of nights before this was taken. She has now moved to the UK to live with him. Everyone say “ahhhh..” Notice the matching hair colour!

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Now here’s the cool part. The day after the wedding Steve & Steph got back into their wedding outfits and we spent a few hours out and about around Manhattan getting some great pictures which we wouldn’t have had time for on the wedding day. As a photographer, I was in my element! First stop – Brooklyn Bridge.

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Hey ladies, it’s Carrie Bradshaw’s step from Sex & The City 🙂

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So, wherever in the world you get married, there’s one thing to keep in mind. It’s YOUR wedding! Do it however you like and make it an amazing day that you’ll look back on and smile 🙂

Steve

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All photos – Steve Gerrard Photography

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