Florida Beach Weddings – 6 ways to beat the summer heat

Florida is called the sunshine state for a reason – when you’re planning ahead for your beach wedding there are ways to make sure you beat the summer heat – your guests will appreciate the attention to detail and the photos will be filled with smiles no matter how hot the beach is 🙂

Parasols

Instant shade and instant style. These look great in the wedding portraits, too!

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

Water

Make sure there are water bottles on hand for yourselves and your guests. Although you may not be out on the beach for very long, if someone wants a chilled drink, it’s easy to have a cooler or water station nearby.

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

Dress Code

Although some weddings are formal attire, most of our happy couples and their guests opt for lighter fabrics and a semi-formal or tropical dress code. This translates into summer dresses, shorts, sandals, flip flops, or sandy toes 🙂

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

A morning ceremony

Temperatures tend to be cooler in the morning hours and the skies are often the brightest blue. A morning ceremony can be followed by a celebration brunch and there is the rest of the day to celebrate!

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

Fans

Providing a fan on each chair will help with the heat – they can be found in a number of styles and shades – also a great prop for the photos. A popular twist on the ‘fan’ theme is to print a card program and attach it to a holder so it doubles as a memento.

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

The waves

When you’re steps from the shoreline, it’s hard to resist! Make time for some cooling fun in the sun with a dip in the Gulf of Mexico

Florida beach weddings by Suncoast Weddings

If you’re ready to start planning your beach wedding or vow renewal, give us a call to start planning. 727-443-0039 or visit us online at http://www.suncoastweddings.com

Erick and Erica’s Beach House Wedding

Amidst a confusing and unprecedented time for the US and the entire world, weddings, travel, and the very way we all interact has been altered more than we could have imagined. As the coronavirus swept around the world, plans inevitably changed and shifted as families quarantined and everyone had to seek a new way of navigating these difficult and often traumatic times. At Suncoast Weddings we see it as our role to support our couples as we focus on wedding planning. We would like to share a story of love which saw Erick and Erica say “I Do” at the Sunset Beach House last week. All of the social distancing rules were followed and the wedding was a smaller, more intimate ceremony than had been planned.

Erick and Erica

It was three and a half years ago that Erick and Erica fell in love. This is their story.

If ever there was a poster child for a positive that could come from the effects that COVID 19 has had on the wedding plans of thousands of couples, then Erica would be it.

Like many couples, Erica and her fiancée  Erick were devasted when the realization dawned that the big, beautiful beach-front wedding and reception they had planned was in jeopardy as the whole country began to lock-down.  

But one thing they were 100% certain of was that their wedding was going to happen on the day they had planned.

“It didn’t enter our heads to cancel the wedding, not at all.  I am a firm believer that tomorrow isn’t promised so no matter what happened, even if it was just the two of us he wanted that day and I wanted that day.

“True, we had to make a lot of changes and as time went on there was the gradual acceptance that our wedding day was not at all going to be as planned.  But we wouldn’t let it get us down.  After all, weddings should be a positive – Erick and I were not going to let it turn into a negative because of what was going on.

“The  last few weeks would normally be that perfect time to enjoy all the last minute planning and  all the fun stuff that you usually do just before a wedding.  But we had to cope with a lot, including people we knew who passed away.  It was a prayerful time.

“When the day came, it was to us both,  the true meaning of what marrying the love of your life is all about and just what really is important on your wedding day.

“Because our ceremony had become so small we were able to really involve our kids in the day, we had so much more time for them on the day too – it was the true meaning of family.  

“Our vows to each other were very deep and so emotional and intimate, a true exchange of love and I think all the more so because of what we’d been through to make the wedding happen.

“I’m not an overly religious person, but I believe that not only did God bring Erick and I together,  I truly believe that He was present on the day.  It was just all so very special. 

“So yes, our wedding day was entirely different from what we had planned, but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.  There’s a reason why things happen in your life”

Photo credits: GMP Photography (thank you for allowing us to share them, Erica)

If you have a story that we could share with our Suncoast Weddings family, drop us an email to sue@suncoastweddings.com

 

Boutonniere Inspiration for a beach wedding groom

We’re lucky to see many stylish grooms at Suncoast Weddings. Traditional boutonnieres work well at a beach wedding, although sometimes running with the seashore theme can lead to unique and memorable details. With so much planning and so many details coming together for the big day, here is a dash of inspiration for the groom-to-be.

Seashells on the sea shore

Delicate and so varied, choose from bold to subtle, and scalloped to spiral. Seashells are reasonably priced and naturally enchanting.

Starfish

With varying colors and textures, starfish blend in or stand out, versatile additions to a stylish boutonniere

Pearls

Another seashore reference and a traditional theme for a wedding day

Sand Dollars

The one that didn’t get away

lure buttom hole fish

This lure is a super creative accessory for the groom that loves to fish or perhaps a nod to the fact there will be two less fish in the sea

fish sea

Exotic elements

From orchids to lilies and peacock feathers to succulents, there are so many ways to add color and charisma to your beach wedding day.

If you’re ready to start planning your own Florida beach wedding or vow renewal, give us a call at Suncoast Weddings, we’re always ready to make the magic happen.

727-443-0039

10 ways to help your guests relax at your Florida beach wedding

1. A wedding rehearsal

If you have a large wedding party and especially if some of your group aren’t familiar with the traditional order of the processional, a fun, light-hearted (but ultimately informative) rehearsal one or two days before the ceremony will help relieve stress on the big day.

2. Keep cool

It can get warm in the sunshine state so planning ahead with fans or bottles of water for each guest during the wedding can help guests stay hydrated and cool.

custom water

3. Have an ‘unplugged’ ceremony

Trusting your professional photographer takes the pressure off family and friends. Taking this one step further, an ‘unplugged’ ceremony invites guests to leave their phones and cameras so that they can be fully present and enjoy every moment with the happy couple.

beach wedding photography tips

4. Pick a seat, not a side

pick a seat chalkboard

Traditionally, families and friends of the couple sit on opposite sides of the aisle. A beach wedding is the perfect opportunity to let people mingle, bringing a modern and stress-free twist to the seating plan. For something totally different, banish traditional rows of seats and choose one of our spiral seating plans.

turquoise spiral

5. Sandy Toes!

Enough said! Nobody can be stressed when they’re barefoot. Sandy toes rule on the beach.

6. Bring the fun

In place of confetti (which damages the beach), think out of the box when celebrating the “I Do’s”. Beach balls are great fun for everyone and they make fantastic photo portraits.

beach balls

7. Make the fun

photo booth1

Selfie stations and props are the perfect excuses to not just smile for the camera, but to genuinely laugh! Oversize sunglasses, hats, masks – let your imagination run wild, let the good times roll and end up with some crazy keepsakes to remember the fun.

selfie station

8. Hire a professional

A day-of coordinator will help smooth any bumps in the road as your wedding takes place. They have the experience to remain calm, the local connections to formulate a ‘Plan B’ and your guests will know that everything is in hand and they don’t need to worry or step out of their comfort zone.

wedding day emergency kit

9. Choose a fun soundtrack

To get your guests’ toes tapping and get the children rocking, choose some upbeat songs which everyone will recognize. A little dancing goes a long way to having a memorable and fun day.

10. Have fun yourselves!

Everyone else is here to celebrate your special day. When your family and friends see you having a great time, they will, too! Don’t sweat the small stuff and make sure everyone understands how much better the day is with their company. Love, laughter and Happily Ever After!

love laughter1

 

If you’re ready to start planning your own Florida beach wedding or vow renewal, give us a call at Suncoast Weddings, we’re always ready to make the magic happen.

727-443-0039

Wedding Day Regrets

With so much focus on wedding planning, it’s important to also learn from others. When regrets occur on a such a carefully orchestrated day, there are lessons to be learned and we know a few tips and tricks to help the wedding day stay a regret-free zone!

Make time to interact with your guests

Let’s face it, the day is primarily about the two of you. Having said that, if you choose to invite family and friends who are important to you and your future, taking time just to say a quick hello should figure somewhere in the day. Traditionally, this was in the form of a (sometimes stuffy and awkward) receiving line. Do you have to do that? Absolutely not! The more modern approach is to mix and mingle either on the beach after the ceremony or when you have eaten at the reception. Beach weddings are perfect for this as they tend to be a more relaxed setting anyway. A few heartfelt words will be remembered forever and you won’t regret not saying how wonderful it is they made the effort to celebrate with you.

Too many cooks

We’ve all seen the pictures where the bride is looking straight at the camera and the groom is looking at someone at a slightly different angle! When you hire a wedding photographer, trust them and let there be one focus. This is especially important when there are group portraits. Well-meaning guests trying to catch your attention and get their own snapshots will result in confusion and will compromise the professional shots. If you are not hiring a photographer for the reception, then designate someone you know who loves to take pictures and let them snap away!

1-2-3 Eyes on me!

It is a sign of the times that many people now regard life through the lens of their phone. If you want people to see the details and engage in person, consider an ‘unplugged ceremony’. Not only will they not feel any pressure to try and capture the perfect moment, your pictures will look better without a sea of phones in the image.

beach wedding photography tips

Not taking notes

When you’re opening the gifts, make sure to make a note of who gave what. It sounds basic but will enable you to personalize each thank you note instead of sending a generic ‘thank you’ to everyone.

Not hiring a professional

Not everything may go to plan. It could be the weather, it could be an extra few guests being able to attend, it could be the florist is late, it could be that the paperwork is missing … the list goes on. Did you know you need a permit to marry on many of the beaches, even though they are public beaches? This is a one-off event for you and an important day. We are finding that more and more couples are hiring a coordinator for the day just to make sure that if something unexpected crops up, they are not the ones who have to troubleshoot and save the day. Professionals who have coordinated many weddings are more likely to have ready-made solutions or know the local vendors and venues to remedy any issues. As we often say – “Go be a bride” – it’s hard to enjoy the day when you’re worrying if a vendor has arrived.

 

Breaking the budget

We’ve seen a lot of advice on this subject and still, it often gets broken. Perhaps the best we’ve heard from our couples is to set a budget, then build in 5-10% ‘wiggle room’ for the unexpected. It’s a day that shouldn’t feel about compromise so plan carefully and look for beach wedding packages or deals that will help with overall costs. A couple of really easy ways to potentially save money:

  • Rent beach wedding signs instead of buying them
  • Use silk floral accents in your decor
  • Re-purpose bouquets as centerpieces at the reception
  • Ask about military / first responder discounts

Do you have any more ideas to share with couples? We’d love to hear them! If you’re looking to say “I Do” in sunny Florida, give us a call to start planning. 727-443-0039

 

 

Beach Wedding Packages vs an à la carte Ceremony

We’re looking at some of the factors in deciding if a package is the best fit for your wedding day.

 

 

Weaving florals into your wedding day

Flowers are a classic staple of any wedding day but why stop at the traditional bouquet and boutonniere? Here we look at some creative ways to feature your florals. Fresh flowers are most affordable when they are in season and featuring them more could help lock in a ‘bulk’ deal, however, fresh flowers, especially the exotic blooms, can soon add up. Silk flowers are a good alternative or even a mix. Consider fresh florals for the bouquets and the arch, then silk flowers for the chairs or aisle.

She wore flowers in her hair …

The options here range from subtle to bold. An example of a subtle style would be simple, elegant orchids. These images also show the contrast between a bright color palette and softer tones. The flowers are a great way to extend the color theme of the wedding into your bridal fashion.

For a bolder style, flower crowns give an ethereal, utterly romantic wedding day aura.

pink roses

Decorating the cake

The flowers needn’t be edible, having them purely for decoration before slicing the cake is a great way to get a show-stopper impression. Flowers can also be positioned around the cake as well as on it.

Of course, you can always evoke the romance of flowers with the skill of a great wedding cake designer, who can craft the flowers as part of the design.

cake

A centerpiece with a twist

Flowers are often used as centerpieces, in fact, the bouquet(s) can be ‘recycled’ after the ceremony to do double duty. We like the effect of submerging flowers (real or silk work equally well) as a centerpiece. Teamed with floating candles or alone, the beauty and delicacy of the petals and stem seem to be magnified.

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A backdrop for the rings

A great album shot, use the flowers as a ‘stage’ to showcase your wedding bands.

An accent for the chairs

Flowers can be peek-a-boo style in the sash, or can be attached to chairs as accents. Some couples opt for all chairs, others opt for those only along the aisle.

Aisle markers

The most popular options for aisle markers are conch shells, starfish, and grasses, but flowers can also lead the way towards the arch.

 

Flower girls

It’s exciting to be a part of a beach wedding – especially such an important role. To make it extra special, let your flower girl sprinkle petals of a different color if you already have a petal-strewn aisle – she can see what a great job she has done!

flower girl3

 

If you have a unique way you would like to weave flowers into your wedding day, we’ll help may the dream come true. Maybe you ‘make’ your bouquet as you walk along the aisle by gathering a stem from each person in your wedding party, maybe you want a backdrop of suspended flowers behind the arch. When December rolls around, how about mistletoe on the arch to await that first kiss 🙂 If you’re ready to start planning, give us a call at 727-443-0039 or visit us online at http://www.suncoastweddings.com

 

 

Beach Wedding Photography Tips

Trust your photographer

There is nothing more frustrating than looking at a beautifully composed shot of a wedding party where some people are looking in another direction! This happens easily when well-intentioned family or friends are also trying to capture ‘the perfect shot’. When you have a professional wedding photographer, trust them and let them direct your wedding photography session. This will lead to less frustration and better shots with everyone looking the right way 🙂

To encourage people to put down their electronic devices and truly enjoy the ceremony with you, consider an ‘unplugged ceremony’. The sign says it all.

beach wedding photography tips

Sunset Portraits

If you want a chance to get portraits as the sun sets, work backward from the scheduled sunset time to plan for the ceremony and group shots before the happy couple poses for romantic sunset shots.

beach wedding photography tips

 

Silhouettes

Sunset is also the perfect time to get creative with stunning silhouettes, particularly dramatic with a ballgown style wedding dress or a veil. Make sure the couple aren’t too close as their silhouettes will merge into one.

beach wedding photography tips

 

Use the beach for inspiration

You chose a beach wedding because you love the beach so what better way to be creative with photographs. Sand, starfish, shells and the surf itself all make for great photo opportunities.

beach wedding photography tips

beach wedding photography tips

beach wedding photography tips

Keep Equipment Clean

Sand can be an enemy of cameras and spare equipment. Use clear plastic bags to protect and seal and change lenses carefully.

 

Have a wishlist? Speak up!

If there are certain photos you know you want in your album (like a particular grouping of people for instance) then make sure your photographer knows asap.

Keep the horizon straight

A crooked horizon will instantly draw the eye and can ruin a picture. Set the horizon straight and remember the rule of thirds – a picture will often look better if the horizon is at the 1/3 or 2/3 level than at halfway.

How not to do it:

beach wedding photography tips

How to do it:

beach wedding photography tips

 

Look for reflections

If the tide is going out you may be lucky enough to get some great portraits and awesome reflections. If the tide is coming in, this isn’t likely to be an option.

beach wedding photography tips

Beach Wedding Photography is unique

Taking great beach wedding photos is not as easy as it looks. Being able to take great photographs elsewhere doesn’t directly translate to the lighting challenges and changing weather conditions on the shore. The safest way to plan on a beautiful beach wedding album is to hire a professional beach wedding photographer. The Suncoast Weddings team of photographers specialize in beach wedding photography.

beach wedding photography tips

Play with Color

Sometimes looking at an image in black and white can change the mood of the photo. Alternatively, selective pops of color can be used to great effect.

beach wedding photography tips

Listen to your photographer

Part of being a good photographer is composing shots. Listen to your photographer during the shoot so they can coordinate the wedding party. A good example is the blessing stones, the best shots have everyone throwing the stones at the same time.

Turn off any sounds on your camera and have backup plans by bringing spare memory cards and batteries.

If you’re ready to start planning your destination wedding, give us a call and we can start planning! 727-443-0039

Email: inquiries@suncoastweddings.com

 

 

Beach Wedding Locations – How to choose?

There are many factors which should be considered when choosing the perfect beach wedding location for you and your wedding party. Here we explore a few of the obvious and not so obvious points you should take into consideration.

 

Nostalgia

If you’ve vacationed to the same beach area throughout the years and already have a firm favorite, that’s going to be a hard beach to beat. It could be the beach you proposed on, the beach you shared your first kiss or your dream beach that you’ve pictured in your mind forever. If you already have that venue in mind that is calling your name, look no further!

 

Parking

If you have lots of guests driving to the ceremony then you may want to choose a beach where parking is straight forward and plentiful. There are many beaches which fit the bill and some of them require parking meter fees – not a problem as long as you know in advance what to expect!

 

Proximity to your accommodation

Believe it or not, there are hotels and inns nearby where you can literally step out of your room, onto the beach and down the aisle. If that appeals, we know the best local places to stay and take transport off your wedding day ‘to do’ list.

 

Close to your reception

Maybe you are looking at a ceremony not even ‘close to’ your reception, but at the same place! There are beautiful venues nearby where we can set up your ceremony and then you and your guests can step straight into cocktail hour or your reception. This doesn’t have to be a sunset only option. Brunches and lunches also work and could be a more cost effective alternative. In this scenario you can stop worrying about transporting your wedding party from one place to another mid-celebration.

 

Wheelchair Access

There are some local beaches (particularly those in local parks) which have done a fantastic job of making their beach access accessible. Once the pathways and boardwalk have been crossed, a location with a relatively ‘narrow’ beach at the time of the ceremony (beaches always change with the tides so a picture might not be the best indicator) can make the logistics easy.

 

Location, location, location

Some beaches cannot be replicated no matter how soft the sand or how perfect the sky. For a location like our ‘Mangroves By The Sea’ venue, a spectacular beach of natural outstanding beauty, the location is unique.

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Likewise, if your dream backdrop is a pier or rocks on the beach, we have local beaches that would be perfect for you.

 

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Permit Fees

Most beaches now require permits before you say “I Do” however the price varies in different areas and may also change if your wedding party rises above a certain number of guests. Some permits require filing a minimum number of days in advance. This can be complicated and the fee structure has changed frequently so give us a call to find out the latest information.

Access to Gardens, Private Property or Parks

If you’re lucky enough to own property locally (or know someone who does!), that may become your wedding location. It needn’t be a beach – we have performed beautiful ceremonies in gardens. The looks you see on the beaches can be recreated in gardens or parks.

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Shower-proof Cover

If inclement weather is likely to be an issue then consider a venue with a back up option. Sunset Beach has a pavilion which can be rented – it also acts as a picturesque backdrop for portraits.

sunset beach pavilion

 

A long aisle walk

If you are worried about walking a long way in the heat or you simply want the drama of walking down a short aisle before you’re seen, consider a beach where you can access the aisle directly from a boardwalk or a beach that is relatively ‘narrow’. Some of the locations have wide expanses of sands and even dunes which you may walk across before approaching the arch.

sandy aisle

Ready to get planning? We are! Give us a call at 727-443-0039 or visit us online at Suncoast Weddings