Day 1: Saturday- Supposed to leave DC at 6:30pm. Tornadoes and thunder storms cancelled all flights across the east coast. At the airport for an additional 3 hours trying to rebook to get to Venice somehow. Finally got a flight... but out of Newark, New Jersey the next day. :P Lose a day in Venice.
Day 2: Sunday- Took an 8am bus from Virginia to New York City. Got in a 1pm, grabbed some Shake Shack (yuummm!) and had a friend drop us at the Newark airport (thanks Joseph!). Flight to Rome at 4:30pm.
Day 3: Monday- Arrived in Rome at 7am. Transfer flight to Venice and arrived at 9am. Took a water taxi through the Grand Canal (our photographer broke a sweat trying to get good pictures under the Rialto bridge) and checked in. Walked all throughout Venice and took pictures until midnight. St. Mark's Square, Rialto Bridge, several campos, L'Accademia, and Sta. Maria de la Salute, etc.
Day 4: Tuesday- Woke up at 4:30am to get to St. Mark's Square for sunrise pictures. St. Mark's and Doge's Palace. Checked out and headed to airport. Flight to Barcelona at 3:30pm. Arrived in Barcelona at 6:30pm. Pictures at Barri Gotic and Sagrada Familia until midnight.
Day 5: Wednesday- Up at 8am to get to Parc Guell until 1pm. Lunch, nap. Sagrada Familia, tapas, Block of Discord (rushed pictures on rooftop of La Pedrera for 20 minutes since everything was closing early because of the Real Madrid- Barcelona futbol game), Plaza Catalunya. Back to the hotel by midnight.
Day 6: Thursday- Up at 3am for our 6am flight to Paris. Arrive in city center by 10am. Notre Dame, pictures along the Siene, Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, and macaroons (YUUUUMMM!!) before hopping back onto the train to the airport at 1pm for our 4:30pm flight. Arrive back in DC at 7pm.
So at the surface this seems all wonderful and dandy. But don't even think this whole trip was a perfect dream and a walk in the park! Mind you, interspersed between those VERY long walks around Europe were numerous challenges, grievances, and near-calling-off-the-engagement-arguments. We definitely were close to not making it back in one piece. :P So in an attempt to help you learn from our trip, here are some tips to surviving your own Dream/Nightmare Pictorials:
- DO take into consideration how much time you have in each city and pick all your shot locations well beforehand to make things more efficient. We only went to our favorite cities that we knew well and already had taken pictures of. We were able to show the pictures to our photographer and tell him what we wanted out of the shots.
- DON'T try to do everything and go everywhere in each city. Destination photography already has the stress of having to handle the element of newness, but you are also fighting jet-lag, fatigue, and weather elements. Pick a few favorite locations that have what you want to emphasize in the pictures (i.e., specific landmarks).
- DO take the time to research and come up with a very organized schedule and plan for each day. Take into consideration time/places to eat, wardrobe changes, and naps (if necessary) so that you will look bright and fresh. Use Google direction maps to print out the route to get from Point A to Point B. As much as I hated Mr. Suit's OCD schedule, his mound of papers of printed out maps/timetables/visitors guides, and his constant time-checks, all these things really helped us get everything done.
- DON'T pack every possible combination of clothing/shoes/jackets/accessories for the photo shoots. Euro traveling on trains/small planes is much harder when it comes to having to lug around all your bags and equipment, versus having a car drive you everywhere. Plan what outfits you'll wear, have them be ok for any type of weather, and make sure that you and the fiance agree with the look beforehand.
- DO make sure that you make time for the little non-picture taking things that you want to do (i.e., get macaroons by the Eiffel Tower). In the rush of it all, it gets so overwhelming that you forget you are essentially on vacation with the person you love. Remember to take some breaks and do/see things that you want. Even though you may feel bad for wasting precious picture-taking time, it's hard to get that time back.
- DON'T let the boys roam the streets of Barcelona by themselves before a 6am flight to Paris. Just trust me on this one. :P
Don't want to show any spoilers yet (sorry!) but this was the boys (Mr. Suit on the left and our photographer, BDFotos on the right) completely exhausted at 4:30am, on our last day in Europe, waiting for our 6am flight from Barcelona to Paris:
Craziest. Trip. Ever. Our engagement shots coming up soon... :)