Category Archives: Tips

Things to know before doing a Destination Wedding

Destination Weddings are getting very popular now, they allow the bride and groom to interact close with their guests, seize excellent deals, explore new places, have amazing pictures of their special day and enjoy everything easily.

Lets get real here. You want a destination wedding, that’s why you are reading this post. You might feel a little lost, confused and want to consider things before making a final decision on whether you  choose to go with a ‘regular’ wedding or go for a dreamy destination wedding. Read at your own risk! (you might want to go marry tomorrow!)

All photos in this article: © Gisselle Photography

Less Stress!

One of the perks of doing a destination wedding is that you stress a lot less than doing a regular wedding. They usually come as wedding packages so it saves you a lot of time and the hassle of searching for catering, decoration, venues… You can have a budget in mind and work with that.

The downside of this is that if you want everything under control, have your way 100% in the planning, set the clocks at the same time as the wedding planner and catering – AKA being a bridezilla– a destination wedding might not be the best for you. Things might go a little bit wrong (and something will, I can bet), weather could be unpredictable, you could’ve forgotten something back home, someone could’ve missed their flight, etc. But if you are the type of bride that is chill and goes with the flow, a destination wedding is perfect for you.

Less guests

I hope this isn’t a turn-off.  There’s no secret about people attending weddings even if they don’t really enjoy them. For starters, some people are just a little bit grumpy on the love and marriage thing and hate weddings as they are, some others want their free time or vacations to be in their hands and control their activities. This people is likely to turn down the invitation to your wedding. But a big number of people will actually make it and share with you this special day. Look at this as a blessing, you will have more time to spend with each of them, quality time!

Less expensive, great spots

Weddings are expensive. That’s a fact. And we are not considering the honeymoon expenses yet! When doing a destination wedding, you can choose the spot of your honeymoon and do the wedding there! You kill two birds with one stone. Imagine spending an average amount of $8k – $15k for your wedding, including a week long stay, meals and activities. Now that is a deal breaker compared to the average $20k – $30k of a traditional US wedding.

Just keep in mind that if you choose the same resort for the wedding and the honeymoon, you will run into people from your wedding. They are awesome people and they made a big effort to be there with you, but you might want to be alone with your now husband (only lovebirds allowed?).


Dreamy paradise, dreamy pictures

Can we talk about the dreamy pictures you will have by having your wedding in an awesome venue? Yes, please.

Let’s begin by saying the obvious. Your special day will have great sunsets, colorful plants, great folk vibes. Your destination wedding photographer knows how to take advantage of the great natural features your venue offers and will make the photos be one of your favorite things of your wedding. Imagine having your memories immortalized in the perfect spot, the perfect setup, the perfect light… Ah – I sigh with great joy remembering I work doing this.

Now imagine you could have memories of your honeymoon too! Imagine great pictures of the happy couple exploring Mayan ruins, or doing scuba diving.

Get a tan before the wedding?

If you choose an exotic island, or a great spot in Cancún or Riviera Maya, you will feel the urge to get a natural tan under the sun before the wedding. It’s very tempting to go and enjoy the destination the first moments your foot touches the sand. But wait! Your sunburn could go wrong and you will look like a tomato. You could regret that tan you are getting now and the pictures will display weird tan lines or sunburn. Do you want several layers of intense waterproof makeup to cover those up? I don’t think so.


Your wedding will be different than you envisioned

Unless you ship with you a lot of decorations, or go to the destination with a lot of money and prior time, your wedding planners will try to stick to your concept and idea but it will look different from what you first imagined. The wedding will still be amazing!


Destination weddings are perfect to remind us what the day is about and everything else will be small things. You will enjoy your new spouse in a pretty an unique place, your guests will share quality time with you, you will have great memories of it and you will have brag material for ages to come!


We would like to know if you are planning a destination wedding or already had one, don’t forget to share your thoughts and ideas!

How to plan a destination wedding

Destination Weddings are certainly some of the best events in Cancún and Riviera Maya. It is the magic of the turquoise ocean, the white sand and the emotion of people in love sharing a moment in a wonderful place. And I feel very lucky to live in this awesome place many people dream of visiting!

I have been working as a destination wedding photographer for years and I will share with you the ultimate guide to plan a perfect destination wedding that you and your guests will never forget.


Choose the dreamlike location

Your destination should have hotels with enough rooms for your guests. Also, you need to have the resources to make it memorable. Think that also pictures are part of this event, therefore, consider a place where you can be comfortable and check if there are also cenotes or a landscape that fits your memorabilia plans.

All photos in this article: © Gisselle Photography


Tell your guests a soon as possible

Your family and friends need to know in advance. It is important to give them the chance to find good deals for their tickets, as well as let them plan everything for the ceremony and reception.


Decide if you want to go local

It can be a good idea to consider flowers, plants and local specialties for your reception. You can optimize your budget if you take what your destination has as a typical dish instead of ordering extravagant meals from abroad.


Consider everyone’s budget

It would be amazing if everyone stays in the same hotel as you. But if you think the price might be an issue, find a second option for guests not far away from yours. Check if this place has enough space for everyone before deciding on your date.


Hire a professional coordinator

Make sure to find a destination wedding planner or coordinator. Sometimes the hotel offers this service. Find someone you feel comfortable with, as you will be miles away. It will be much easier to have someone on-site who speaks the language and understands the destination.


Define the dress code

Mexico is a warm place and depending on the season might be possible to wear some fabric or not. Check what works with the heat and also share this with your guests. For example, in Riviera Maya, it is really cool to just feel the soft sand and forget about shoes during the reception.


Exchange rate

Destination weddings are a dream, but you should also know the exchange rate to stay on budget. Also, your guests will appreciate this information in case they want to take your marriage as an excuse for a little holiday.


Your dress should go in the small suitcase!

You have to bring this important wedding element close to you! Do not check in the dress with the suitcase, instead bring it up with you. Have you heard of lost suitcases? Exactly! We do not want that, so better bring it with your carry-on luggage and steam it on the hotel (ask the wedding planner to set this for you beforehand).


Do not forget your Honeymoon

You have planned an amazing event from afar. Be sure to make some plans for the honeymoon, this is only for you and your significant other. The destination wedding will be amazing and fun, guests will be with you and you will enjoy other landscape and activities. However, a lot of brides and grooms say that taking time to relax after the wedding is priceless.


Photos are a central part of a wedding abroad. When having a destination wedding you can get amazing images from the place and also take a bit of it with you. Be sure to find someone who knows around and is able to communicate with you in order to find the perfect moment. The photographer should have a good eye and be able to understand your needs.


Do it in the Mexican Caribbean!


A destination wedding in Cancun or Riviera Maya costs from 2,000 to 10,000 US dollars, there are different type of packages which include wonderful places to have the most emotive ceremony and fun reception.

From a Mayan Ceremony to live Mexican music; from the white sand to a mysterious cenote, there can be something that suits your needs and makes it unforgettable. Some hotels offer discounts for the first year anniversary, so this is something to consider as well.


Let me know how is it looking for you

How is the planning for the wedding coming along? Leave a comment if there are other ideas that could be helpful for destination wedding lovers!


Forget the mobile hassle with an unplugged wedding

We all have a friend who loves sending messages in the middle of a nights out. Or that photography fan that posts 3 pictures to instagram every couple of hours…

But let’s be honest, you don’t want your friends to interrupt your wedding with phone calls and messages, or that person standing in the middle of the photoshoot trying to capture a picture on their phone. We know the guests are well-meaning but their phones and their effort to take photos of the key moments of the ceremony could compromise your professional photographer services.

A great way to asking politely to keep their phones away is to serve an unplugged wedding.

You can ask the wedding officiant to read some kind words welcoming the guests, wishing they have fun and thanking everyone for joining this ceremony of love,  that they are encouraged to capture the moment in their memory instead of their phones.

Another idea is to throw a vintage-style wedding, “back to basics” kind of thing. You can place a sign welcoming your guests and be clear on the unplugged wedding. Be nice and friendly asking them to turn off their phones and cameras. That you will share your pictures later.

As a professional, I can tell you our priority (for us photographers) is the client (you!) and we love to deliver the best work possible; cameras, flashes and mobile phones can stand in the way and sometimes the exact key moment just lasts seconds.

Consider offering an unplugged wedding ceremony and enjoy!

Get inspired with this guestbook ideas

Wedding guestbooks are very fun, they allow your attendees to leave you messages or wishes in your reception. If you are having a creative wedding or just want to show something special in your guestbook you are in the right place!

With this ideas you will not think twice about asking your friends and family to leave their words. You will love to keep all their wishes as a constant reminder of the big day, and you can even showcase the guestbook at your house – some of them are great decor ideas too!


Ask people to complete the puzzle

“Without you our puzzle isn’t complete. Please sign a piece.” – This were the actual words in this guestbook table. Every signature or message forms a big puzzle, just like life itself where our friends and family are part of us.

All photos in this article: © Gisselle Photography


Guestglobe (is that even a word?)

So you are having a wedding between two countries, have a lot of international guests, a bunch of travel stories in your family or friends or just plan on traveling a lot with your soulmate? Say no more, this idea is just the one for you!

Have your guests leave their name or a message in the places they have been, or make this globe your travel plan to visit a lot of countries with your now to be husband while you read your wedding wishes.


Instant photography station

Another great way for a guestbook that is easy and compatible with all kind of wedding themes and parties. Get an instant camera and place it in the guestbook area, ask your guests to take a picture, paste it in the book and add their message. They will have a lot of fun taking pictures and you will enjoy looking at your dream day with a new perspective!


River wish stones

What about a nature-inspired thing for your guestbook? Get river stones and invite your friends and family to write their wishes.

Once you have all the stones filled with words, you can put them inside a glass jar to decorate your livingroom. I bet you’ll love this great idea!


Wine bottles: message for today and for the future

Some people like to share suggestions of what the married couple can do in different time spans after the wedding and this is a very nice idea to have in your party.

The wine bottles are marked with the time spans, for example: today, 1 year, 5 years (but you can get creative with it, theres no wine-wishing-bottles police here) and people add their messages to each one. I personally find this one very cute!


Framed memories

Another idea that could be used as home decor is having a framed glass where all your attendees’ wishes and messages go into. Who needs some modern art picture when you have the words of your loved ones hanged in you wall?


If you decide to have a guestbook in your wedding, I hope this information is useful and inspiring. Let me know if you have another good idea or if your wedding had an original guestbook you’d like to share with us!

How to plan your wedding without stress

One of the most common feelings women have when they get engaged is the overwhelming stress and anxiety to plan ahead the perfect wedding. Maybe your mind is trying to think about all the steps that you need to get done and maybe you feel you know anything about flowers, decor, vendors…


Let me give you a little piece of advice before you go overthink and overdrive: don’t jump right away and start wedding planning. Live your engagement and excitement! Let yourself enjoy every piece of congratulation, and then start planning after a few weeks. You will start with the right foot instead of racing your brain to the future. Enjoy the moment of today, knowing that you will spend the rest of your life with your best friend.


All photos in this article: © Gisselle Photography


You can set up a couple of weeks to start planning. Begin by prioritizing what you need to get done by 9 – 12 months, 6 – 9 months, etc. Buy a scrapbook to fill in with magazine cutouts and add notes, use a to-do list app, or use Pinterest to grab some cool ideas. You can use whatever tool(s) you find useful and appropriate. It’s your wedding and you get to decide.


Using Pinterest (or any internet tool for that matter) can be a little bit overwhelming, but it’s a great place to get visual ideas for the concept of your wedding. You can show the pins later to your vendors so you can help them visualize what kind of concept you are after for your big day.


After you start planning, you will get a lot of ideas, suggestions and advice from your friends and family. You might want to avoid them in an attempt to avoid stress but you can really get cool ideas and tips from the people around you. Instead of listening to them over and over, set up a meeting with them and listen to them. You might find a great venue recommendation from a friend or a great dress in a friend’s favorite boutique. Your married friends could have great vendor contacts too. Use any help available in your circle and gather up as much information as you can from people who have been through the wedding path already. It will be slightly overwhelming to listen to a lot of different opinions and advice (specially when it doesn’t seem to match with your concept) but it’s wonderful to have so many people caring about you and helping you!


Another thing to keep in mind is to be aware that changing opinions on the road is ok. Don’t be afraid to answer questions from your vendors because you haven’t decided on something. You will find later on the road that there were times you changed your mind about something you thought was final. Don’t overthink it.



And the last piece of advice I have for you is: if you have your perfect fit, go for it. Be true to your concept and stand firm even if friends, family or vendors suggest the other way around. It is your dream day! You will have a great time and the memory of that day will be with you for the rest of your lives!