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I'm Mylah, a wedding photographer based in Austin, Texas, capturing timeless and intentional memories that celebrate marriage.
Did you know that about 25% of all my wedding couples are from out of state? Yep! They’re coming to Texas for their destination wedding and I’m HERE FOR IT! I love destination weddings! Most of the time, friends and family are coming from all over, as well, so there is a full week of celebrations and festivities leading up to the big day. That means more meaningful time with those you love most, not one singular rushed day.
Today, I wanted to share some wedding planning advice from the pros! These words of wisdom come from past #EurekaBrides who have planned a destination wedding in Texas from out of state. They’re sharing what they found to be the most helpful in the planning process or what they wish they had known beforehand, giving you a chance to learn from their experience!
Tom & Taylor from Alabama: “Planning a destination wedding was a daunting task but it was so worth it in the end! We wanted to keep the process as stress-free as possible so the first thing we did was make a Google Sheets document that everyone had access to. This was our saving grace-we could chat with vendors wherever we were because we had our google sheets document on our phones. Secondly, take as many trips to your venue/location as possible and be flexible about being involved in every single detail. My mom was the point of contact back in Texas and really helped the process run smoothly (thanks mom!). Also, don’t be afraid to set up phone conversations with your vendors to discuss your day. It is definitely possible to develop a great working relationship over the phone. Lastly, it was essential that we got to town a week before our wedding so that we could be a part of the last minute details-this was really special and allowed us to be familiar with our vendors and venue on our big day. We could not have had such a wonderful wedding day without all of the help of our family, friends, and wonderful, professional vendors. (Shoutout especially to Mylah who was such a great resource throughout the planning process and who helped make our day extra special!)”
Gabby & Bobby from Minnesota: “Before stressing about every single detail, nail down your venue. This will effect all of your other decisions. Understand what “feel” you are going for and what you absolutely “know”. Example: we knew we wanted people staying in Downtown San Antonio. We had friends and family coming from out of state and thought that would be a fun getaway for them to see the city. We also liked that it would be a walk-able area especially if they didn’t rent cars. When we first started our venue search, we took the time to visit a bunch of venues in the “hill country” area, at least 20-45 minutes outside of the city. Looking back, though the venues were beautiful, we wasted a lot of time doing so. We knew that having a wedding in the hill country, but having people stay downtown, wasn’t realistic. Pick the one thing you aren’t willing to compromise on, and work from there.
Todd & Kyann from Washington: “Be prepared to spend a lot more time on internet research far beyond what you would do locally since you can’t see things or meet people in-person. We did a lot of planning for where we would buy things in Austin once we got there too. When we got into town a few days before our guests, we had lists of where we were going to buy specific decorations or other reception items (i.e. alcohol etc). It helped to look at stores that we had at home and were also in Austin, so we could look at specific things here and pick out what we liked, and then just go and buy it once we were in Austin. That helped save a ton of time and stress once we were there.”
Erin & Kyle from Colorado: “Manage the stress as best as you can. It is an incredible feeling to have so many people that you love all together in the same room. Stress as little as possible and just have fun.”
Mark & Maria for New York: “Choosing a destination helps hone in on the theme and area you’ll have at the wedding. This also provides your guests (and yourselves) a chance to share in a more unique experience. Once you’ve chosen a destination, conduct research on venues you want to visit, tastings you want to taste, and other vendors you want to connect with. Most importantly, be ready to make decisions together to make the most of your time there. We found that keeping journal notes and a google sheet works wonders on recording and organizing information. Make sure you keep in periodic contact with your vendors to keep the dialogue fresh. Try to make decisions for your guests rather than leaving it open ended, such as blocking a hotel, creating a guest itinerary on your wedding website, and share contact numbers/emails. Lastly, we suggest coming in a week before the wedding and spread out meetings with vendors to get everyone on board. Even better, if you have a day of coordinator, plan in advance a meeting with all vendors together. It’s a monumental task to organize an event and there will be some unexpected issues come up, but if you have a solid foundation and organization of the event, you’ll have confidence on how to address them.”
Ashleigh & Manny from Louisiana: “Make sure you have a lot of help! My mom was my knight in shining armor. If you have no one local to the venue I wouldn’t suggest doing it. The thing I had the most trouble with was the different state rules for the marriage license. So I would advise getting that figured out early.”
Kyndra & Mike from New York: “In the end, I know you will hear it again and again, do not get tied up in the details, but it is true! There are endless Pinterest boards, wedding blogs and magazines you can easily get in over your head. You will have to let some things go and in the end it will still be perfect and it will still be a reflection of you both. Do not not spend an abundance of money on sparklers or little details people will never remember because trust me neither will you! Save that money for something special the two of you can do together later, something meaningful.”
Mariah & B (planned a destination wedding in Mexico from Texas): “If you travel by plane just being prepared for flight delays/layovers. I didn’t even think of that as a possibility until it happened. But the other stuff was fairly easy since our resort took care of it all.
I make lists for everything (that’s just the way my brain works lol) so I made a packing checklist. That helped out so B and I would make sure we packed up everything we needed.
And the only thing I regret not doing is spending time with B alone before it all started. But I guess that would be for any wedding.”
If you’re planning a destination wedding in Texas from out of state, I hope you found some insight from these past brides!
– Mylah Renae
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Mylah Renae is a refined wedding photographer based in Austin, Texas, capturing timeless and intentional memories that celebrate marriage.