As a human who is OBSESSED with adventure, exploring new countries, and gaining new experiences in foreign places, I’ve done my research on wedding photographers abroad. If I could change one thing about my business, it would be that I’d like to do some more weddings out of the country each year. There are definitely reasons to look for a photographer in the destination of your choice, but there are infinitely more reasons to bring someone you trust from the U.S. with you.

At least in Europe, a lot of wedding photographers start at $5k for quality work. Trust me, I’ve checked. The ones in the $2k range are not people that I would want to work for me.

Many photographers – especially those emerging into the elopement scene – are willing to trade travel for pay. Destination weddings aren’t often as big of an ordeal as a regular wedding day back in the states with all your family and friends. Often times you only need the photographer for a couple hours, unlike the whole-day-coverage of a wedding in front of everyone you’ve ever met… ever. It’s much easier to charge a little less to get to such a cool place.

If you find the right person, they’d rather take less money just to gain the experience. The photos themselves are worth it, in my opinion. Elopements are sweet, romantic, and calm. They give you the time to really appreciate each other, instead of feeling the pressure to walk around your reception and greet every single guest at a 200+ person wedding. Another huge bonus? You can meet them in person beforehand instead of discussing every single detail over the phone or through email!

While a local photographer would know the surrounding areas better, a U.S. photographer would be new to the country. But in my opinion, photographers do what they do for a reason. We’re able to go to a place that’s completely foreign to us, and find the beauty in all the right places. We have an “eye” for that kind of thing, and every place will be new to both the couple and the photographer, and they can share that together.

Now for maybe the biggest perk. There isn’t a language barrier! I know that many photographers in other countries consider themselves bilingual, but sometimes it’s more conversational English instead of being capable of giving directional cues while posing their couples.

Photography is the very best possible investment you can make for your elopement. You’ll have the memories forever, but your whole family won’t. Investing in your wedding photography will be the one thing that you can share with your family and friends, and yourselves, for years to come.

Now take me somewhere pretty!