Each time we get an inquiry for a destination wedding, I love it! I start thinking about the area and how cool it will be to film a wedding there. So, what is a destination wedding? It depends on who you ask. Many say that a destination wedding is any wedding outside of the United States. For me, a destination wedding is anything that requires a hotel stay.
We have a wedding film collection menu, which is a set price for our local Chicagoland wedding cinematography services. For any weddings outside of the Chicagoland area, we charge a travel fee. This fee varies by destination (typically broken up by region: Midwest, West Coast, Southern States, East Cost, Caribbean, South America, Canada, Europe, etc.) and travel length multiplied by the number of crew members needed.
Why the travel fee? The travel fee is a way to compensate us for the time we spend away from the studio (family and home), as well as cover any travel expenses and incidentals on the road. Many clients might think that a travel fee should only include a hotel night and air travel, but traveling requires much more time and expense.
A destination wedding isn’t like covering a local wedding for one day. We like to arrive at least a day before the wedding to get a lay of the land and capture scenes of the area-without having to rush around. That also helps ensure we don’t run into any travel delays. It’s typically one-two days of travel, the wedding day, then another day of travel back home. Depending on the location, there are airfare costs (for a minimum of two people), extra baggage fees, a rental car (including gas, insurance, and taxes), meals, hotel accommodations (preferably at the hotel where the bride is preparing for her wedding–it makes the wedding day so much smoother!), and other incidentals. As you can imagine, adding up all of these line items…and hours spent traveling does add up.
Charging a travel fee allows us to have piece of mind that all costs are covered. Thankfully, we have the most amazing clients who agree!