So you want to know how to book your first destination wedding?
Have you been googling things like “ how to book destination weddings?” “how to find couples getting married in cool locations?” Let me tell you, it's not hard. matter of fact the info that I am about to give you might not even be anything you haven't heard before.
the difference is, HOW YOU IMPLEMENT IT.
I know there have been multiple photographers that have said to me "Danielle, how did you do it, how did you just go full time and start booking destinations, and working with your ideal clients?"
Well, let me tell you. This is not a "secret" I loved giving out, because honestly, it upset me a little bit. We just met and you're wanting me to give you ins and outs of how I make my money.. I know were community over the competition but would it have been that way if I was asking how you consistently book weddings at a venue I have dying to photograph at? Maybeeeee, buttttt probs not.
But I quickly realized, that more people were asking me for business knowledge than ever before, and I truly do believe in community over competition so I started sharing, and as I've continued to grow I've continued to get asked. When I first started with the dream of traveling full time for weddings, I couldn’t find the help I needed anywhere, no one was willing to “share” their “secrets” and that was incredibly frustrating, there are enough people getting married to go around!
So here it is. my 5 tips to get you started in booking your dream destination weddings!
YOU CANNOT EXPECT IT TO HAPPEN -- This is my number one tip. You don't just decide one day to book destination weddings and change your insta bio and get an inquiry. nope, sorry that's not how it works. It takes months of planning to finally get that first inquiry that may or may not work out. Start planning months in advance to make the switch, think about content that can attract your dream destinations and couples, write blog post for them, take photos that would attract them. Put yourself in their line of vision.
RESEARCH YOUR MARKET -- cue the eye roll. I know, you hear it all the time but seriously. There is a certain type of clientele that books destination weddings, do your homework, nail down who they are and that's how you write the content, take the pics, and post things that attract them. This clientele may be different then the couple you are used to booking or the target audience you have nailed down for your at-home weddings, and honestly to me, that's a good thing. You want to show diversity every way you can.
HASHTAGS/KEYWORDS -- You think im joking but cut that whole #dirtybootsmessyhair hashtagging out and notice how many other inquiries you get via likes. Because Im pretty positive likes don't pay your bills. Use hashtags for the places you'd like to book. ie: #greeceweddingphotographer #santorinielopementphotographer and then your keywords are the same, incorporate those in your keywords on blog post.
HAVE MULTIPLE WEDDINGS LINED UP -- When I started marketing myself as a "destination wedding" photographer, I had multiple weddings on the books that were "destinations" for me. ( they weren't out of the country, some weren't even the "type" of wedding I wanted to photograph anymore, but when it comes down to you booking more "destination" stuff saying that you're traveling to another state, helps build that portfolio!) So I went in with a game plan of how I would market myself, I knew I would use those weddings as marketing for destinations.
PUT YOURSELF WHERE YOU WANT TO GO - If you want to book a wedding in Iceland, GO THERE FIRST. Show images of you working there, so what you don't have a couple to photograph, or you have to front the bill. THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES SOMETIMES. Couples don't know you travel if you don't show that you do.
Not crazy stuff huh? and chances are you are already doing half the work that goes into these, but guy's it really is all about the drive and implementation of what you learn. You've got this. You can and will book destination weddings if you follow these guidelines, it may not happen overnight or within a month, but remember NOTHING worth having come's easy.
& aren't things a little more enjoyable when you know you've worked your butt of for them?
Lets finish this, with a Cheers to YOU. Reading this blog post shows you’re serious about booking destinations, hopefully next year you’re in Greece ( or wherever you want to be) Cheers-ing with your couple to booking a wedding of your dreams with them!