I'm Jessica, the owner of Under the Sun Photography. I'm so glad to have you here! Welcome to my blog! 

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Have you ever thought of having a destination wedding but had no idea where to start? All you know is you want to say, “I do” in a beautiful destination among your closest family and friends. And perhaps enjoy a beach side margarita or two.

Well, girlfriend today is your lucky day because on today’s Wedding Tip Tuesday my amiga, Jessica Upton of Uptown Events & Travel is here to share with you 5 Planning the Perfect Location for your Destination Wedding!

Jessica has a talented craft for not only planning beautiful weddings in Austin, TX but the ability to plan and design gorgeous weddings remotely for couples wanting to experience an island oasis on their big day.

“Woohoo! You’ve decided you want to go the route of a destination wedding, which I totally recommend by the way! And now you’re probably a little stumped on where to start with planning. Well let me start out by saying that planning a destination wedding can be a very different process than a traditional wedding. So if you’ve helped a friend, sister, etc. with their wedding planning, expect your process to be different. Not necessarily more difficult, just different.
I’m going to focus this article on the first step- Picking the Perfect Destination Wedding Location.”

Jessica Upton, Uptown Events & Travel

5 Tips for Planning your Destination Wedding

#1 Determine Your Guests Travel Duration

Determine the maximum amount of time you want your guests to have to travel, and look at destinations that have flights within that designated amount of time. Consider if nonstop/direct flights are must. Keep in mind on average most guests will want to stay 3-4 nights, so you don’t want half that time spent on a plane.

Jessica Upton, Uptown Events & Travel

#2 Selecting the Season

“Consider the season you prefer and what the weather will be like in the destinations you’re looking at.
Will it be hurricane season in the Caribbean? Or rainy season? These are things you have absolutely no control over. So although pricing for these times of year can be a bargain, you’re also taking a huge risk. Choose wisely!”

Jessica Upton, Uptown Events & Travel

#3 Evaluate the Flight Costs for Guests

“Rule out destinations that are out of budget solely based on flights. Flight costs are pretty set. Sure they can fluctuate a bit…  But you want to keep in mind all your guests aren’t going to book their flights at the same time, and you don’t want them to have to stock flight pricing to save a little because the flight pricing is just so expensive they may not be able to attend without getting a great deal. “

Jessica Upton, Uptown Events

#4 Hotel or All Inclusive Resort ?

“Decide if you prefer a traditional hotel or an all inclusive resort.
All inclusive resorts are very popular for destination weddings because they make things easier for guests. It’s nice for your guests to arrive at your destination with everything already paid for, and not having to worry with additional expenses while there. However there are only a handful of destinations that even offer all inclusive resorts. Hawaii for example has no all inclusive resorts.”

Jessica Upton, Uptown Events & Travel

#5 Work with a Travel Advisor

“Once you’ve made it through these 4 steps, the next best decision is to work with a travel advisor. They can help you sourcing the ideal hotel/resort in your perfect destination. Your travel advisor can also guide you through the process of contracting a room block for your wedding guests. There are a lot of contractual stipulations that can be complicated and confusing to navigate, so they can help you through this process. “

Jessica Upton, Uptown Events & Travel

Y’all isn’t this information incredible! I have had the honor of photographing a styled shoot on the Embark Photography Workshop where Jessica completed all of the travel arrangements and to say we were in good hands is an understatement!

Uptown Events & Travel goes above and beyond to answer and plan all questions, especially those that I had for on my last trip and she is amazing. If you are even just thinking about a Destination Wedding, Jess is your girl!

Be sure to give Jess and the amazing girls of Uptown Events a Follow on Instagram @uptowneventstravel and check out more information on all things wedding and travel on their website at www.uptowneventstravel.com

If y’all are loving these posts please comment below or feel free to share more on social media! It means the world to have you here and hope to bring to you guys another “Wedding Tip Tuesday” post next week.

Until then! Adios!

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  1. My fiance and I would like to celebrate our wedding in an exotic place, which is why we have decided to start looking for an elopement wedding package. I guess you’re right that we must consider the amount of time our guests are willing to travel. Thank you for also suggesting here that we should check the weather on our chosen season.

  2. Lucy Will says:

    Beautiful article. We cannot agree more with all the advice given. Weddings are all about being personal and emotional. It was a great read. I enjoyed reading and of course, I shared it for everybody to see.



"We have the most beautiful moments of our lives    "


- Jessica & Austin 

"Beyond Incredible! We really hate getting our picture taken but Jessica made it feel so natural and not scary at all! We knew for our wedding it had to be done and done right because you only get 1 chance! How did she make us look so good and not awkward? She's truly great at what she does and I will never pick anyone else after the experience we had."

- Brandi  & Joe

"I will never pick anyone else after the experience we had"

Jess is the best, from the moment we met her we knew we made the right decision. We had to make major changes to our wedding due to covid, Jess addressed all our concerns, and answered all our questions along the way making all the necessary changes effortlessly. Jess captured our engagement, bridal and wedding day photos each every photo is absolutely amazing. We have the most beautiful moments of our lives captured so beautifully because of Jess.

Jessica & Austin

"We have the most beautiful moments of our lives captured"

"Jessica was right there with us getting ready and capturing some very sweet and intimate photos that I know we will forever treasure. She knows exactly what to say and when to say it to get that best smile out of a very nervous bride! We had a perfect ceremony and I've seen a sneak peek of my wedding photos and am just speechless! Jessica was with us for our entire FIVE hour reception and was the perfect combination of photographer and dance partner! Jessica very quickly became a guest favorite and a family member for life! I would have her as my photographer and friend 100 times over! I will never be able to thank Jessica enough for making my day even more special."

Katie & Derik

 "I would have her as my photographer and friend 100 times over!"

"Jessica is so much more than a photographer! She is a planner, friend, someone who listens, and such a beneficial asset to any wedding! I cannot recommend her to enough people. She exceeds any bride's high expectations - all with a smile on her face. It is impossible to feel uncomfortable around her, she is goofy and will constantly keep you laughing. She does anything for her Bride and Groom and will not stop until you are satisfied."

- Kayla & Derek

"Jessica is so much more than a photographer! "

I love Jessica and her work!! She took mine and my husband’s engagement pictures, wedding pictures and bridals and did an outstanding job. My husband is not very happy when it comes to taking pictures (especially with PDA ) but by the time the first session was done she turned him into a pro. The night after our wedding he was telling me he was ready to see how all the pictures turned out! She definitely knows how to help you feel comfortable in your own skin while in front of the camera. Highly highly highly recommend her for your wedding! I cannot say enough good things about her work!

- Melissa & George

My husband isn't happy when it comes to taking pictures, by the time the first session was done she turned him into a pro.

"Would recommend to any and everybody! She did an amazing amazing job with our wedding and engagement photos. I couldn’t feel more grateful and thankful that we found Jess! She is amazing and funny and finds all the great moments that we take for granted. Thank you so so much for taking care of us and our crazy family!"

- Kaitlyn & Chris 

I couldn’t feel more grateful and thankful that we found Jess! 

"Jessicas passion for photography radiated from her soul the moment I met her. When looking for a photographer, We decided that we would call a few to get a feel for the type of people they were and if they (the photographer) would fit into what we were looking for in our wedding vendors. We saw your work, we LOVED your work, but we didn’t know you. From our first conversation up until now you made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day! On my wedding day you made me feel like the prettiest bride to ever walk this planet! Your photos blew my husband away! You captured the uniqueness and beauty of us, our surroundings and our guest! This review, nor my “thank you”, will ever be enough to show you how grateful we are for your talent!"

- Eliza & Bradley 

 You made us feel like you were meant to be apart of our big day!

I can't say enough great things about UTS. Jessica is the BEST photographer, not just because she makes you look great, but she makes you feel great! She fills the shoot with funny jokes, music, and laughs to make sure you feel comfortable because not everyone is a super model. Each and every time I get our photos back I am blown away by great they look! She went way above and beyond anything I ever expected from a vendor. She helped us out on the wedding day in so many different ways and worked side by side with our other vendors to make our day successful and perfect. The sneak peak was incredible! She also brought a partner with her who was equally as fun as Jessica. I loved how they both worked and made the pictures fun. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. My husband & I will be using UTS exclusively for all of our photography needs. 

- Bailey & Doug

She went way above and beyond anything I ever expected from a vendor!

"Jessica is so passionate about photography, not only does she take amazing pictures BUT she also makes you feel so beautiful and comfortable while you’re with her! She’s very professional but FUN!! I used her for my engagement photos and my wedding, beyond happy with her!

-Kailey & Garrett

she makes you feel so beautiful and comfortable while you’re with her!