Shooting my first destination wedding in Greece is one of the best memories of my life. When I first got the email about the opportunity to be a destination wedding photographer in Greece, I had to refresh twice to make sure what I was reading was real. I was waiting for the opportunity to call myself a Santorini wedding photographer for years so when the inquiry finally came in, I was so excited to say yes. Now that I’ve shot a wedding in Santorini, a destination that’s been on my bucket list for years, I know I have the skill and know-how to give tips and be a resource for anyone who needs wedding tips for Greece. A year after that first wedding, I’m now ready to relay my experience being a destination wedding photographer in Greece to brides out there considering having their special day in this incredible country. Whether you’re on the fence or have already bought your plane tickets, here is my guide on having a destination wedding in Greece!
What to Look For in a Wedding Photographer in Greece
After shooting on a warm beach, the edge of a cliff, and freezing tundra, I’ve come to learn that not all wedding photography sessions are created equal. Every country comes with its own unique challenges for wedding photography that many don’t photographers realize until they get there. You want a wedding photographer who’s going to anticipate and be aware of those challenges so that your destination wedding goes off without a hitch. I’d make sure to keep these two factors in mind when looking for a wedding photographer in Greece!
Ability to Improvise
In a foreign country, the ability to improvise is such an important asset that any wedding photographer in Greece needs to have. Countries like Greece can throw curveballs on wedding days that not every wedding photographer is equipped to handle. A huge requisite I’d keep an eye out for is someone with lots of travel experience. If something goes wrong, you’re in much better hands with a wedding photographer in Greece who’s been through more challenging obstacles. Even for those having a wedding in their home country, this is always one of the factors I mention when it comes to what you should look for when hiring a destination wedding photographer. For more on that specifically, make sure to check out 6 aspects to look for in a destination wedding photographer!
Not many brides consider travel experience as an important factor for wedding photographers in Greece but I can not understate its value. I can’t say how often previous travel experience has aided me during a crisis when something has gone terribly wrong and allowed me to save the moment. Many destination wedding photographers have sufficient travel experience to do be well-equipped in this area but certainly not all of them. One story that always comes to mind is from a destination wedding photographer friend of mine who took her first job out of the country and didn’t have much travel experience outside of the United States. She was able to take an uber from the airport in Athens but at the time it wasn’t available in Mykonos. On the wedding day when she went to order an Uber, she had to scramble at the last minute for a taxi and ended up missing the bride putting on her dress, an immensely valuable moment for the bride. This is just one example of how travel experience is so important, so make sure to ask whatever wedding photographer in Greece you’re considering hiring if they’ve been to the area before.
Why Should I Get Married in Greece?
What makes Greece special is so apparent for anyone who’s ever visited. If you’ve never been or just aren’t sure, I’d love to give you a strong basis for why you should pull the trigger on this Mediterranean gem for your wedding. There are several reasons why Greece is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world. It’s one of the most romantic countries in Europe, famous for its cuisine, wine, and incredible history. I’m not shy about why I advocate for destination weddings in Greece – it’s essentially impossible for the photos not to come out looking beautiful. Greece is a place with incredible views, design, and culture which is the perfect trio to make up an ideal location for any destination wedding. I couldn’t go on about Greece without mentioning the locals that make the country such an enchanting place. My first time in Greece was for tourism, and the locals were a huge part of the reason why I wanted to come back. They’re incredibly welcoming in a way that makes you feel at home, which is something I appreciate when I’m traveling.
Where To Get Married in Greece
The extensive variety of choices for a Greece destination wedding are hard to believe. In the mainland, the options include vineyards, olive oil farms, and other agricultural beauties filled with lush greens. If you could see yourself just as easily choosing a winery in Napa, make sure to check out one of the many olive farms all over Greece. There’s the same sense of old-world tradition in Napa combined with a comforting sense of family that makes the farms and vineyards in Greece fantastic venues for weddings. As a destination wedding photographer in Greece, I’ve had the opportunity to travel around several islands and that’s what I personally advocate for if you love the ocean. Santorini, Naxos, Lesbos, Crete, I could go on and on and describe each island with its own unique culture and history but I wouldn’t be able to do any of them justice. What’s great about the islands is not only that they each have their own distinct culture but also come with a completely different feeling from the mainland. If you want a bustling metropolis, you have cities like Athens but if you prefer a peaceful small town feeling, go for Santorini. I’ve written about where to get married in Greece in a bit more detail so make sure to check it out if you’re still deciding!
How to Find a Destination Wedding Photographer in Greece
I always like to ask people how they found their destination wedding photographer. I have a lot of time to speak to married couples when I’m shooting weddings, and the topic usually comes up naturally. I get a variety of different answers, some expressed with nonchalance, and others with frustration and regret. I always hate to hear when someone ends up regretting their choice for a destination wedding photographer and hope to steer as many couples in the right direction as possible. Here’s my advice on how to find a destination wedding photographer in Greece!
Word-Of-Mouth or Online?
As a destination wedding photographer, much of my network is made up of other creative professionals. It didn’t occur to me until I started shooting destination weddings more regularly that not everyone has access to an experienced photographer they can be referred to. Word-Of-Mouth offers a unique trust that can’t always be found by hiring someone based off their Instagram. Nearly all of the brides who hired me based off a referral or from knowing me in person turned out to be great experiences for the both of us. Thankfully, in 2018, a referral isn’t the only way to hire a qualified destination wedding photographer in Greece. About 40% of the weddings I shoot are of couples who find me online, whether through a directory, social media, or a Google search. Naturally, this means I get more weddings from referrals but I don’t have a preference because the online couples are always fantastic as well. With so many options, finding a destination wedding photographer in Greece doesn’t have to be as much of a headache as it used to be. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire someone based on their Instagram if, after speaking to them, I realized it was the right fit.
Hire the Right Destination Wedding Photographer
This may seem like a no-brainer but too often couples compromise their choice based on location or budget. For example, your choice for a photographer shouldn’t have to be limited to Greece. The first time I was hired to be a destination wedding photographer in Greece, I was based out of Miami and happily made the long journey to Santorini just for the wedding. I would just as easily do the same journey, even if I was on the other side of the world because the opportunity to shoot in such a beautiful place doesn’t show up every day. Whatever photographer you hire should share the same sentiment and be just as eager to give you beautiful wedding photos as you are to have them. I also always suggest couples who are on a budget to make an exception for their photographer because it’s the one aspect of your wedding that’s going to last forever. When it comes to the one part of the wedding you’re going to continue to relive over and over, would you rather have a smile from the beautifully captured moments or sigh in disappointment that you opted to save some money? As someone who has heard too many painful stories from brides who did the latter, the choice is obvious.
When to Have a Destination Wedding in Greece
With most of the islands having mild winters and warm summers, they’re ideal for a destination wedding in almost any season. The drawback of many popular wedding destinations is that they’re dependant on a certain season to have good weather – most would opt out of a Norway wedding in December, for example – but as a destination wedding photographer in Greece, I have the privilege of being able to shoot in the country almost year-round because of the near-always exceptional weather. Here’s what I have to say about each season!
I first visited Greece in the Summer which is very warm and particularly sunny. The summer is perfect for anyone who loves the beach because it’s warm enough for a comfortable swim around the islands. Island hopping on a boat is a great pre-wedding or honeymoon activity, which is another benefit of a summer destination wedding in Greece. All this does make Summer seem appealing but it’s also got its trade-offs. Most people visit between June and August so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it if you want to avoid tourists and crowds. High season also has a tendency to make vendors more expensive because venues are in higher demand. As a destination wedding photographer in Greece, I recommend coming in the summer for a visit but not necessarily for a destination wedding.
If I could only pick one, I would say Greece is best for a destination wedding in the Spring, with the advantage of fewer crowds and better weather. A more temperate climate means less sweat and more time enjoying this beautiful country on your wedding day. A place like Athens will always have tourists but they’re far easier to avoid in much of Greece from March to May. It takes a bit longer to get warm because of its climate so a March wedding may be too chilly but a May wedding will likely be perfect. I would honestly call Spring the best season to have a wedding in Greece and I know for a fact that I’m not the only destination wedding photographer in Greece who would say that.
The first time I was a destination wedding photographer in Greece was in the Autumn and I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better. It was early September so the water was still warm enough to swim in and the weather comfortable enough to enjoy during the day and in the evenings. During Autumn, the air is crisper but the water does get chillier the later into the year it is, so it’s a bit less inviting in November than September. For most Europeans or anyone from the Pacific coast who’s already used to colder water, this isn’t a concern but I’d recommend a place like the Philippines if you’re looking for warm water year round.
Winter is the only season I would consider skipping but this is mostly due to the rain. For a destination wedding photographer in Greece, rain doesn’t make for as good photos as a sunny May day on the crystal blue coast. All the main attractions of Greece are dulled or absent in the Winter, which defeats the purpose of going. What most people look for in their Greece destination wedding photos are the signature colors of the islands, which aren’t as pretty in the winter. The creamy whites and stark blues of Santorini lack the brightness they should during the winter so I don’t advocate for a winter wedding. The best time to get that sunny day with clear skies and the best photos is when it starts to warm up in Spring, starting in May, and before it cools down too much in Autumn.
Hiring a Wedding Photographer in Greece – Local or Foreign?
For those opting for a wedding outside their home country, the path always diverts to two options when it comes to where you should hire your wedding photographer – do I hire someone from the country I’m getting married in, or just bring one from my home country? This situation is a little easier for those in Europe to untangle but for those in the states, this situation is a bit more tricky. Will there be a language barrier, what’s a fair rate in their country, and other questions will all be answered below!
Local Greece Wedding Photographer
Hiring a local wedding photographer in Greece has its advantages and drawbacks. On one hand, a local Greece wedding photographer will have insight that nobody else does, no matter how well-researched. Then again, this only applies to those who live in the city where the wedding is being hosted. For example, a Greece wedding photographer who was raised in Athens won’t have the “local” edge in Santorini or Mykonos, both over 100 km away. Knowledge of the location is one of the first things I bring up whenever I talk about what to look for in a destination wedding photographer. One major downside is that Greece is a lot smaller than people realize. With only 10 million residents, it’s half the size of the state of Florida. This can put a pretty significant cap on the pool of qualified Greece wedding photographers within the borders of the country.
Foreign Greece Wedding Photographer
I’m a big advocate for hiring whatever wedding photographer is the best fit for a couple, no matter where they’re from. This is why it’s sometimes necessary to hire a foreign wedding photographer in Greece. The only real drawback in bringing someone with your from a foreign country is the paying travel fees. On the other hand, bringing in a destination wedding photographer with you from your home country or elsewhere in Europe has some huge convenience factors. You know you’ll find someone who speaks your language fluently, you know what rates are fair (plus you can pay in your currency), and the logistics are always easier. Communicating and planning with someone in your time zone is something that anyone in wedding planning can appreciate. As someone who planned their own wedding, I can’t recommend simplifying your wedding planning enough!
Destination Wedding Photographer in Greece – Final Thoughts
It’s my goal as a destination wedding photographer in Greece that my clients are the center of my efforts and focus on arguably one of the most special days of their life. For this reason, it’s important that I’m as informative and knowledgeable as possible, which is why I love being a resource for those questioning from the start. If you’ve heard enough to start looking up more photos of this iconic country or have already started your search by looking for a destination wedding photographer in Greece, hopefully, your search is over! Whether you’re looking at Athens or Mykonos, a Greece destination wedding is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. Contact me at 786-270-8527 today or fill out a form submission and we can get a conversation going about your destination wedding photography needs!