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

 

 

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Florida Beach Weddings and ‘bad’ weather

If there is one worry we hear the most from couples on their countdown to a perfect Florida beach wedding it sounds most like

“But what if it rains?”

We’ve seen enough weddings to know that the day isn’t about how warm it was or how brightly the sun shone. The memories are made when you look into your soulmate’s eyes and say your vows, they are made when you embrace family and friends and when you dance the night away with happiness. The photos taken will catch the joy and the laughter and they aren’t dependent on the weather. Besides, Florida beach weddings are popular precisely because the weather is usually in your favor, only rarely does it misbehave and then hopefully it is short-lived.

In fact, after rain showers you may be lucky enough to get a rainbow to frame your portraits.

rainbow

Rain

We have seen couples literally delight in the rain and their laughter lights up their photographs. If it rains, don’t let it dampen your spirits.

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It is no exaggeration to say that portraits under ‘moody skies’ are among our all time favorites. The dramatic backdrop adds such emotion to the scene.

moody-sky

 

We do have some suggestions though if it looks as though rain may be a factor on your day.

  • Consider a venue with a shelter nearby. There are several options where you could be under cover and still on the beach – like the pavilion on Sunset Beach (which can be booked if you want to reserve the space)

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  • Use parasols as umbrellas!

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  • Ask for some landscape shots to capture the beauty of the setting

 

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  • Consider a morning wedding

Often in Florida if a shower develops, it is in the afternoon.

trash the veil

  • Think seasonally

Ask us about the monthly trends and chances for showers as some times of the year are more favorable than other.

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Generally, light showers are not a problem. If the showers look as though they will end imminently then it may be possible to adjust your ceremony time.

 

A strong breeze

If it is windy for your beach wedding you’re in for a treat – the surf will look spectacular and the crashing waves add a soundtrack which will be hard to imagine on a calm day. In addition a breeze could blow away ‘bad’ weather in record time.

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If you have long hair, think about an up-do instead and if you are planning to wear a veil, consider weights for the veil so that it is more predicable in a breeze.

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Get ready for some awesome shots as your wedding dress billows in the breeze 🙂

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Storms

We’re lucky to have a great climate most of the time in Florida and inclement weather only affects very few ceremonies, however if a storm is forecast then it may be necessary to make alternate plans for the sake of safety. Nobody should be outside on the beach in a thunderstorm as it is dangerous.

Sometimes we have been able to move weddings indoors and although the overall ‘look’ is not ‘the beach’ we do our best to recreate inside, your color scheme and the ‘look’ of your décor. If the forecast a few days before your ceremony looks troublesome,  don’t  stress as Florida weather can change constantly.  But give us a call and we’ll  discuss possible options.

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Life would be boring if it was totally predicable and Florida can look even more picturesque without permanent blue skies.

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We had one bride who was stationed on Guantanamo Bay.   No surprise that she was unable to find a wedding dress on Guantanamo so  had to wait til she was able to fly to Florida, just four days before her wedding to start looking for a dress.

The day before her flight back she developed stomach pains and put it down to pre-wedding nerves.  The pains got more intense during the flight and she was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery to have her gall bladder removed.  It poured on her wedding day and with all that had gone before, she could have been very stressed – but it was the opposite.  It’s no exaggeration to say that she is a perfect example of a bride who was not going to let one or two setbacks spoil her day and she smiled throughout.  And guess what?  We were able to find a break in the weather – her  pictures were beautiful and the event was memorable to say the least!

The number one thing to remember is not to sweat the small stuff – a rain shower pales into insignificance next to the journey you are beginning together. Welcome the day with every promise it holds because

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain!

 

If you’re excited to start planning, give us a call at Suncoast Weddings – the future looks occasionally cloudy with a chance of extreme happiness! 727-443-0039

 

 

Should I wear a veil to my beach wedding?

If you are lucky enough to be planning your wedding and have dreamed about this day for months (or years!), then you probably already know the answer. Some brides have always imagined wearing a veil and having a beach wedding certainly shouldn’t get in your way. We’ve got some super ‘looks’ to share with you from our Suncoast Weddings albums as well as some ideas to inspire.

toasted8If you’re worried about a breeze on the beach, remember that you can buy small weights to keep the veil under control. To be honest, some of our most beautiful bridal portraits are when a breeze does catch the veil – the look is romantic and ethereal.

 

Cathedral length veils

These tend to bring the most drama and the ultimate ‘bridal moment’. Here are some portraits with long veils. Ironically, the length of the veil actually makes them less likely to blow up or misbehave in a slight breeze. To get movement into a portrait, you may need a willing helper to lift the veil then duck quickly out of the shot.

long veil

 

pass-a-grille at 22nd ave veil

 

Echo the veil in the train

This look gives the illusion of a long veil although in fact the veil is mid length and the train of the dress appears to follow the veil’s lines.

bridal portrait3

Short Veils

Sharp, modern and sassy, these veils give the bridal look without any worries about a breeze. As an added bonus, they can be easily paired with accessories to enhance the look.

THAT photo op!

Yes – there are some brides who cannot imagine their wedding album without the classic shot of the kiss beneath the veil. Here are some of our favorites.

Showing off the veil

It’s also a great portrait shot when the bride revels in the one day she will wear a veil – maybe that is the ultimate charm of the veil …. this is the only occasion it will ever be worn.

What are the alternatives to a veil?

There are certainly options if you opt not to wear a veil. Here are some of our favorites.

Jeweled Clips

Starfish as hair accessories

Peacock Feathers

Flowers

Jeweled Headbands

When it comes to your wedding day, there are no rules, just follow your heart and the day will be perfect. If you’re ready to start planning, call us at Suncoast Weddings today 727-443-0039

10 Ways to highlight the beach at your wedding

Beach Weddings are our passion. If you’re like us then you want to enjoy every second on the shore and we have some great tips to maximize the fun and amp up the beach atmosphere. A little planning up front saves a lot of stress down the line, allowing you to savor each precious moment.

1. Go Barefoot

Feel the sand between your toes and ditch the heels. You’ll feel more relaxed and so will your guests. For stylish brides, check out foot jewelry to bring extra glamour. Think ahead with this as the decision could impact the length of your wedding dress.

beach wedding sign  foot jewelry

2.  Have a starfish lined aisle

Brown sugar starfish or white starfish make stylish aisle markers and add drama to your ceremony. Choose one color or alternate.

As a variation on the theme you could also consider alternating with conch shells, especially if your color theme has shades of blush as the inside of the shell will fit in perfectly.

 

3. Beach bouquet inspiration

The sky is the limit, think of seashells, pearls, starfish, jewels. Flowers can still be a traditional base or you can totally reinvent the bouquet and create something unique. If you craft your own bouquet from shells, starfish or sand dollars you also have a wonderful keepsake to remind you of the day.

 

4. Pictures in the surf

You’re at the beach and the waves are calling. You can cool down and have some fun to get some great candid portraits or choose the backdrop for romantic shots. Memorable and exhilarating, you’ll forever be reminded of your beach ceremony.

 

5. Wipe the sand from your toes

Beach wedding signs are hugely popular. Quirky and personal, make the most of the beach theme by inviting your guests to wipe the sand from their toes – keep the mood relaxed by displaying it with some paintbrushes.

 

6. Groom Beach Style

It’s not just the brides who can shine in the style department, take inspiration for a boutonniere with a difference. Shells, starfish, alone or combined with flowers. Echo the details in the bridal bouquet with a miniaturized version for the groom and groomsmen. When it comes to beach wedding etiquette, you choose your dress code. Grooms may be formal in a tuxedo or casual in a Hawaiian shirt. Let your guests know in advance so that they know what to wear for the occasion and also your wedding coordinator so that the minister or officiant are prepared.

 

shells for the groom

7. Beach Ring Bearers

Shells and starfish make for a stylish entrance when the ring bearer walks down the aisle. Remember to tie a ribbon around the rings just in case as dropping a ring in the sand on the beach leads to a difficult search. The ribbon can enhance your color scheme and will give a little extra confidence to your ring bearer, especially if they are young and a bit nervous for their starring role.

 

8. Beach makeover your reception

Take the elements of the shore and weave them through your reception. Ideas include piping on the cake, starfish toppers or shell decorations.

Carry the theme through to beach themed centerpieces which highlight your favorite beach themes.

9. Ring Shots with imagination

Classic ring shots show them stacked in front of a bouquet or on a pillow. Bring some beach inspiration with a handful of sand or use the arms of a starfish to showcase the symbols of the day.

One of the most creative ways to showcase the rings on the shore is to make handprints and then place the rings in the sand in those prints as if they were wearing the rings. It makes for a surprising album shot.

rings4

10. Sunset Magic

On the west coast of Florida we’re lucky to enjoy spectacular sunsets. If you want the sunset to give you one of nature’s best backdrops, look to plan for a service about an hour before the scheduled sunset so that you can enjoy your ceremony and have time to relax and take some group portraits before the photographer focuses on romantic shots with the happy couple and the setting sun in the background. The light is sublime, the mood is intense and you’ll get magical portraits.

Sometimes moody skies make for even more spectacular shots as the sun sets.

 

Beach weddings and vow renewals offer the opportunity to think outside the traditional box. Look for a beach wedding specialist who knows how to adapt to changing weather, respects the beach (take only photos, leave only footprints) and has suggestions to make your day stress free and fun. Think about taking beach toys to keep youngsters engaged while the photos are being taken or give them a disposable camera to take their own snapshots. When your potential gatecrashers are pelicans and dolphins, make sure to enjoy the beach and make the most of your tropical paradise.