There seems to be an obligation when someone thinks of having a destination wedding to go abroad. As much as I encourage people to travel to other countries, I don’t think it’s always necessary when there are so many great options domestically. As a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles, I’m an advocate for those who live in the U.S. to consider this southern California gem to tie the knot in. Besides being a great place to elope, I’ve discovered through my experience shooting weddings that this city offers so much variety for a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles. From beaches to artistic urban areas to vineyards, LA holds a wealth of locations any couple can feel good about choosing for their special day. Whether you’re day 1 into the planning process or are already choosing vendors, here’s some advice for anyone having a destination wedding in Los Angeles!
How To Find a Destination Wedding Photographer In Los Angeles
The search for any vendor can be stressful but when it comes to a photographer there’s a multitude of variables to consider. A wedding photographer is with you for nearly as much time as your own spouse on your wedding day, so it’s important that you choose the right one. I haven’t been shy about what I think couples should be on the lookout for when hiring a destination wedding photographer. Here’s my advice on what to consider when on the hunt for a good destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles!
Do I Have to Hire Local?
I’m always being asked by brides whether or not they should find someone in the town they’re getting married or to find their favorite photographer, no matter where they are. It’s not hard to find a great destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles but I’m not always an advocate for hiring locally. I care so much about a couple getting exactly what they’re looking for because wedding photos last forever. The idea of limiting your options to one place is something I don’t recommend because it may mean having to compromise on one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. My advice is always to look for the photographer you want. If the photographer you find is willing and able, hire them from wherever in the world they may be located. The short answer is no, you don’t always have to hire local and should be open to hiring the right Los Angeles destination wedding photographer, no matter where they are.
Online or Referral?
Although there is something special about getting a referral, it’s not necessarily the only way to go when looking for a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles. Finding a photographer online, whether through a directory like The Knot or on Instagram is a great way to find candidates. A google search or through social media is how about half my brides find me and they’ve been some of my best relationships. Sometimes couples online who reach out are just shopping for a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles and they don’t necessarily care about my work. What I like about a referral is that I know they’re coming to me for me, not just as a blanket search. I’d say if you find someone online, make sure to reach out and talk to them before you book. Instagram is also a great resource to see not only a destination wedding photographer’s photos but a bit of their personality. A great photographer that you don’t see yourself getting along with on your wedding day isn’t worth hiring, no matter how good their work is!
Where to Get Married in Los Angeles
One of the many benefits of Los Angeles wedding is the incredible amount of variety this one city has at its disposal. For a resident of Los Angeles, going to a sunny beach one day and skiing the next isn’t out of the ordinary. This is a dream scenario for a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles because of how creative we can get with every wedding. Here are a few options for anyone deciding on where to get married in LA!
Beach Wedding in Los Angeles
Although LA may not be the absolute best spot for a beach wedding in Southern California, it still offers phenomenal choices from Malibu down to Redondo Beach. Here are some of the aspects I appreciate about the beach towns in LA county!
It’d be hard to not disappoint for a place with so much praise, but Malibu lives up to its reputation. In part because of its unbelievably beautiful, cliffy beaches, in part because of winding canyons and mountains, Malibu is one of my favorite cities in southern California. I’ve had the chance to continue coming back to this gorgeous seaside town every so often, one of the many privileges of being a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles, and I never take it for granted. My first exposure to the rugged Pacific coast was in Malibu and the feeling it gave me seems to return every time I’m back.
I’ve always considered Venice to be more of the people’s beach. Parts of it are plagued with gimmicks for tourists but the parts that aren’t are some of the best beaches in California. Venice is one of my favorite towns in LA because it’s cool and artistic without being pretentious. It’s also very boho-chic which is an aesthetic that’s not easy to pull off and makes for great couples photos. My time as a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles hasn’t brought me to Venice quite yet but I’m hoping a couple finds me that has the same affection for Venice as I do!
Not every couple who chooses to get married in a place with a coastline should feel obligated to have a wedding with an ocean view. Beach weddings are often very pricey and for those who grew up on the coast, it may not be as special as it is for those who grew up far from the beach. I grew up in Miami and the vast majority of the couples I shot for opted for a traditional wedding in the city because the beach wasn’t as fascinating as it might be for a couple from Pittsburgh. Here’s where you should consider getting married if you’re going inland!
For one of the first LA weddings I shot, I remember searching to see what venues were in the city and saw clusters in and around downtown. I didn’t think much of downtown LA until I saw the venues there and couldn’t believe what it had to offer! From impeccably designed traditional venues to chic lofts and warehouses, downtown has a surprising amount of options for both the big spenders and the budget minded. The options expand even further for those considering an intimate wedding with few guests. I’d suggest downtown LA for any artists or those looking to spend less than they would in a higher end area, which artists are usually looking for!
As far as wedding locations go, it doesn’t get better than Beverly Hills. Be prepared to hear some pretty outrageous prices for venues here but for those with the budget, you’ll get the most for your money in Beverly Hills. I’ve looked at venues out of curiosity, and have seen some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful design of any place in the world. I’d jump to be part of a wedding here because I know the photos would come out amazing. My time as a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles has taught me that although you may pay more in this city, you get what you pay for. Choose Beverly Hills if you have the budget to be picky and you’re almost guaranteed to have an incredible destination wedding.
Why Choose Los Angeles?
I didn’t expect to ever be an advocate for Los Angeles as a place for more people to have a destination wedding but the more I shoot there, the more I realize how perfect it really is. I wouldn’t have ever guessed that my first time as a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles would lead me to want to return so often. It may seem limiting or silly to choose a place like LA for a destination wedding but for those who may be on the fence, there are a few big reasons why I’d choose this underrated location.
I’ve shot destination weddings in several countries, and have experienced the thick humidity of Colombia in the middle of summer and the bitter cold of Iceland in the winter. This is where being a destination wedding photographer in Los Angeles has a huge advantage. With average highs in the 70’s, it’s still more than suitable for a comfortable wedding in the middle of a scorching summer. With average lows in the 50’s, even a chilly winter wedding would be tolerable with a light sweater. The ability to shoot great, sunshine-filled weddings all year is something I consider a huge advantage.
Foreign Yet Domestic
This one mostly applies to East Coasters and Midwesterners who have yet to make it out to sunny LA. I’m always astounded, having grown up in Miami, by how many of my friends have been to London and Paris but not California! That’s led me to realize that Los Angeles has been able to maintain a cool, semi-exotic allure with none of the drawbacks of leaving the US, like a language barrier or different currency. I’ve always said it’s important that people explore their own country as deeply as with as much interest as they might explore a foreign country – LA is a great place to start.
Great Honeymoon Destination
As well as being an underrated city for a destination wedding, I’d consider LA a great spot for a honeymoon. For visitors, there are another 10 pages of tips I could write because there’s so much to do. For those who aren’t inclined to beaches or hikes or mountains, LAX is also a great launching pad for places in the Pacific or East Asia. Tickets to Hawaii, another sought after honeymoon destination, are usually in the low 300’s. Thailand has been growing as a great option for more adventurous couples, and a well-seasoned traveler could find tickets in the 400’s from Los Angeles.
Destination Wedding Photographer in Los Angeles – Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, anyone looking to Los Angeles as host for their wedding is heading in the right direction. My goal is that, after reading this, you’re more equipped with useful advice for your Los Angeles destination wedding. There is so much to think about and thoughtfully consider when it comes to weddings, so I encourage anyone to dig deep on the aspects that matter most to them before making a decision. It’s better to wait an extra 30 days and be certain than pick something out of convenience or in a rush and then resent the decision throughout the rest of the planning process. My priority is to make sure my clients always feel sure, at the very least, that their destination wedding photographer is a part of their wedding they don’t need to be concerned about. Make sure to reach out by filling out a form submission or give me a call at 786-683-9168 and we’ll talk about your Los Angeles destination wedding photography needs today!