Whether or not you’ve already decided on Playa Del Carmen for your wedding, even considering this astounding seaside marvel means you have great taste in destinations! The Yucatan peninsula is abundant with places that would make even a seasoned Mexico wedding photographer’s jaw drop but Playa Del Carmen has something special. From its crystal blue waters to the almost-too-friendly locals to the bright beaches, this location makes for the ideal elopement or wedding destination for an adventurous couple. Since the question of where has already been answered, the question of how is next up! I’ll be going over what to look for in your wedding photographer, how to know what wedding package you might need, and when is the best time for a Playa Del Carmen wedding. Sprinkled into each section are tips for other important factors to consider from an experienced destination wedding photographer, so make sure not to skip over any of the important details!
How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Of all the variables that come up when choosing your wedding vendors, I’d argue the most consideration should be placed on who’s going to be documenting the event. Food isn’t remembered past a month, neither are the tables and chairs, and certainly not the inscriptions on the napkins, but photos last forever. I took months planning my own wedding and I absolutely think catering and other specifics are important but the Playa Del Carmen wedding photographer you choose is going to make a permanent record of everything that happened. Moments you’ll look back on for the rest of your life should look the exact way you want them to, so how do you choose which one’s right for you? I took a look beyond the basic factors and dug a bit deeper on what makes for the best choice for your destination wedding photographer.
How confident are you in your photographer’s competency? I’ve heard one too many stories of couples opting for the cheaper option because the destination wedding photographer they originally had in mind was just out of their budget. A had an acquaintance who wanted to save for their Playa Del Carmen elopement and ended up going with an amateur photographer they were close to who offered to do it for free. When I asked them about how the photos turned out, they told me they want to go back with a different photographer next time they’re in Mexico for a reshoot. It’s almost a cliche at this point, but when something is cheap, you always end up paying for it in the end. Choosing a destination wedding photographer you don’t have to worry about is worth stretching your budget, especially if you value what your photos will look like when you show your friends, kids, and even grandkids!
This may sound silly to some people but think about the actual day of your ceremony. Do you want an experienced Playa Del Carmen wedding photographer who’s going to be helpful, tell you how beautiful you look, and be able to guide you through the tedious parts of the day with a smile or a photographer who simply wants to get the work done and is counting down the clock to go home? Your wedding photographer is someone you’re going to be in close contact with for 7-9 hours on one of the most special days of your life, if that’s someone you don’t feel good about then you’re not likely to enjoy your day as much as you should. You want to feel nothing but comfortable, and your photographer should add to that feeling.
What happens when it starts to pour rain during your groomsmen portraits? What actions can you take when guests start to show up earlier than expected and everyone’s seeing your dress before the ceremony? When something goes marginally wrong on the day of a wedding, there’s a tendency to react disproportionally but if something big goes wrong then there’s a chance for absolute chaos to take over. Being able to guide a bride to an alternate location and stay dry when the rain starts to pour while keeping a cool head is a characteristic of only the most experienced Playa Del Carmen wedding photographers. I had a bride earlier this year who started to have a visible panic attack when the first look she was expecting to be backlit with sun became gray in an instant. The sun was dipping in and out of the clouds so after some convincing that the sun would come out at the right time and calming down, we were able to continue and it came out beautifully! The right wedding photographer should be able to make the most of a less than ideal situation and be flexible enough to still capture everything they need even if things go wrong.
What Wedding Package Do I Really Need?
Once you’ve chosen your photographer, the next important step is deciding how much you might need from them. I find that choosing a wedding package is easier to determine because it usually comes down to a handful of common factors. To choose your Playa Del Carmen wedding package, come to a resolution on these three critical components.
Time: I wanted to start with what is, in my opinion, the easiest decision to make: how long do I need a photographer for? Most weddings can be covered start to finish, including the bride getting ready up until the dancing at the end of the night, with 8 hours. Some of the best weddings I’ve shot were booked for only 6 hours but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that because you can find yourself missing out on valuable moments. The sweet spot for a Playa Del Carmen wedding package is 7-9 hours, which you can decide based on what kind of timeline your wedding is based around. A long ceremony, like with Catholic weddings, will probably need more than 7 hours. On the other hand, when I find myself shooting a wedding past 9 hours, I notice there’s time spent standing around with nothing new to shoot. At the end of the night, there’s only so many photos you can take of people dancing before things get repetitive. There’s a point of diminishing returns after about an hour where you’re paying for little to no new photos being taken and weddings are expensive enough without paying for your photographer to stand around. Overall, remember it’s better to have more photos than not enough!
Budget: Sometimes you make decisions based around exactly what you want out of your destination wedding photographer, and sometimes your budget makes those decisions for you! If you find yourself asking, “Do I really need the higher package?” the answer is probably no. You can also cross off the photographer pushing you to get their most expensive package because they’re clearly in it for the wrong reasons. This doesn’t mean you should immediately look to the cheapest wedding package available but if your budget completely prohibits anything else, make sure it’s the right one. I’m not a proponent of asking for a discount on the package you want but if there’s something small you need that isn’t covered, there’s no harm in asking for it! I had a bride ask for an extra 20 minutes on the package she could afford because of a dance she had planned with her grandfather at the end of the night and I was happy to say yes! For a Playa Del Carmen wedding package, my best budget advice is to not get any more than you need. If there’s something included in the package that you may not need, asking about removing it for a reduction in price, the worst thing that can happen is a no but if it saves you hundreds of dollars then it’s so worth it.
Second Shooter: I’m not even going to pretend I’m not a huge advocate for 2nd shooters. Usually, a second shooter’s rate is a fraction of the main photographer’s and they’re able to capture an entirely different perspective! There are, of course, physical limitations to a single wedding photographer not being able to be in two places at once and that problem is solved with a second shooter. I include a second shooter in my third package because I think it adds so much value to a wedding. More value comes in with a second photographer because they can assist the main shooter and add a second opinion for certain shots. It’s important to consider that photography is art and a second artist’s attendance is able to contribute more than their own presence but add value to the first photographer’s work as well. I’ve had second shooters give massively important tips about the composition of a shot or a second opinion on the lighting of a photo. If you haven’t thought about opting for a second shooter and you’re able to work it into your budget, I urge any couple to hire one!
Best Dates for a Playa Del Carmen Wedding
Nearly everything I previously mentioned comes from years and years of experience being a destination wedding photographer and I would consider some of the points to be objectively true but what’s coming up next is 100% subjective. I have no problem admitting that I have my own opinions on when to have a Playa Del Carmen wedding and what I personally consider to be the best dates to go. You may agree and you may not, so read below to discover if we line up or have different points of view!
April/May: Springtime weddings may be a cliche but in this instance, the perfect mix of warm temperatures and less crowded beaches make a May wedding an ideal choice for a Playa Del Carmen wedding. We’re dealing with a tropical climate all year round in the Yucatan, with the same proximity to the equator as many Caribbean islands, so don’t expect a cool wedding in early April, even if it’s only technically the beginning of Spring.
November/December: On one hand, dealing with tourists on vacation looking to escape the cold can be an annoyance but what these months have to offer makes up for a multitude of travelers any day. The closer to the equator you get, the less of a change in seasons you experience, so for a Playa Del Carmen wedding you won’t see dramatic differences between the temperatures in winter versus summer but you will see a difference in precipitation! This is what makes the winter months a winner for a Mexico destination wedding, the lower likelihood of having rain and the ability to have your venue outside without being hot and sticky from the humidity! If you don’t want your wedding guests going home with stories about the amount of mosquito bites they got but instead how wonderful the ceremony was, a December wedding will do the trick.
Playa Del Carmen – Final Thoughts
It’s hard to go wrong with a destination wedding, especially in such a picturesque place like Mexico. I have a fondness for Mexico, and if you’ve selected this amazing country for your wedding, I’m sure you do too! Looking back, if there’s a place I would have picked outside of the States for when I got married, I’d have been looking for either a Playa Del Carmen or a Tulum elopement photographer! In choosing your Playa Del Carmen wedding photographer, know you’re not stuck between a rock and a hard place but more likely between a superb photographer and a fantastic photographer – you can’t go wrong! The best way to navigate how to choose your Playa Del Carmen wedding package is to speak to someone who’s been through it dozens of times, so feel free to call or text me with any other specific questions I haven’t covered and I’ll be more than happy to open a dialogue. Let’s chat today!