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

 

 

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10 Fun Ideas with a Beach Wedding Theme

If you love planning and playing with a theme, beach weddings give a perfect opportunity to think outside the box and have fun with the details.

Here are some of our favorite ways to take inspiration from the beach and incorporate them into your wedding.

1. Message in a Bottle

A great way to send ‘save the date’ invites is a ‘message in a bottle’. Here, the addition of a sand dollar adds extra charm.

2. A nautical centerpiece

A net, shells, and starfish transform the table with style and whimsy. Easy to set up, yet effective and appealing, this popular choice works for indoor and outdoor receptions.

3. A seashore inspired sign

Everyone loves being at the beach, and there are so many ways to personalize your wedding day.

4. Themed Coozies

Because once you say “I Do” they’ll be …

5.Sandy Favors

This is a really nice idea to create a personalized keepsake for guests. Shells can be picked from the beach or locally bought and the sand can be from your special location 🙂

6. Fisherman’s Frivolity

For the couple that loves to fish, we have unexpected ideas like starting your aisle with fishing poles!

And for symbolism and theater during the ceremony, tie a fisherman’s knot together.

7. Beach ball shower

No confetti is allowed on the beach and a shower of beach balls creates a fun mood and a great backdrop for pictures

8. Tropical Music

Everyone is transported by the distinctive and uplifting steel drums. Get ready to dance down the aisle!

9. Wedding cake – beach style!

No need to compromise on flavor or impact – a beach inspired wedding cake can be a show stopper!

10. Beach bouquets

We love seeing these creative and beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres – look forward to great portraits and style points from all your guests.

If you’re ready to start planning, we’re here to help! Call us today to get started 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.

 

 

6 Ways to bring Crystals to your beach wedding

There’s something magical about crystals catching the sunlight and that’s the beauty of having an outdoor wedding in Florida – when you come to the Sunshine State, why not maximize the bling appeal and incorporate crystals into your big day. We’ve got some creative ideas and we’ve been inspired by our Suncoast Weddings couples. So read on and start planning, here’s to the glitz and the glam 🙂

A crystal drape

A picture is worth a thousand words. In the sunshine or as the sun sets, adding our crystal drape as a backdrop for your arch truly sets the stage for a magical ceremony and stunning wedding portraits. It can be added to any of our packages or as part of a customized a la carte ceremony.

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A Chandelier

Why not? If you love crystals, a chandelier is an easy way to set a shimmering centerpiece within the arch. There are many styles to choose from – some bring a vintage flair and others are chic and modern in style. Looking to carry the theme to the reception? A chandelier over the top table will leave no doubt who the stars are on this special day 🙂

 

Your bouquet

This could be an homage to crystals or some strategically placed gems in your flowers, we’ve seen both versions and they both look awesome. Easy to transport, you can order these well before your wedding and adding that touch of decadence will really make a difference to your photos.

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Your wedding reception

Bring the bling to catch the candles and lights of your reception. We can help with beautiful centerpieces or votives. The glimmer from the crystals showcases your flowers and brings an opulent setting. It’s a super special day and every detail counts.

Your Wedding Dress or shoes

Yes – there are stunning wedding dresses with crystals as a part of the gown. Stylish, eye-catching and very fashion forward, if you love crystals then check out your options.

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Your Jewelry

Hair clips, bracelets, necklaces, tiaras, earrings … whatever makes you feel special on your wedding day! You’ll remember this day forever and it’s the perfect time to take your confidence to the next level with your bridal style.

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When you’re ready to start planning your big day, we’re your Florida team to make your dreams come true. Check out our wedding themes and wedding packages and then give us a call at 727-443-0039

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 Tips

We’re sharing some tips to de-stress your big day. Are you ready to say “I Do?”

 

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