Do’s and Don’ts for a Beach Wedding

Beach weddings…the dream destination at the perfect time for just about every bride at some point in their life.

They are becoming more and more popular, or maybe I just think they are because I’m a wedding photographer in a Destination Wedding location with beaches…Who knows? Either way, as a photographer who has attended beach weddings and a bride who had one of her own (If you can count our small elopement in a cruise port as a wedding) I’ve put together this list of do’s and don’ts for any bride out there currently planning or thinking about planning a beach wedding.

Do’s

Do – Pick a dress that is appropriate for the heat and sand that you will be encountering on the day of your wedding.

Do- Make the requirement for guest attire as casual (maybe even beach casual) as possible

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Do- Try and plan for a sunset/sunrise ceremony (Makes for fantastic pictures)

Do-Remember sunscreen and Sunglasses (and possibly a darker shade of foundation)

Do- Buy an alternative dress to wear for your reception, I can guarantee you won’t want to be in a full length dress all night in the tropics.

Do-Provide water in some fashion for your guests….if you’re hot they probably will be too. Don’t want anyone passing out and making your big day all about them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do-Have a back up plan!!! The weather (especially here in Florida) doesn’t always play nicely.

Don’ts

Don’t- Be Afraid to have a Trash the Dress session…If your photographer doesn’t ask (shame on them) don’t be afraid to ask them. You’ll never wear it again anyway, might as well have fun with it. I was too afraid to ask, and I wish I hadn’t been.

Don’t- Try and wear real shoes (Heels,Dress Shoes, anything you might find in a typical ballroom wedding), you will sink into the sand, it will be unfortunate, you will regret it. Try out those fake sandal things you see on Pinterest all the time, or maybe even some real ones if you don’t want to go completely barefoot to your wedding like I did.

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Don’t- Try and make your groom and his groomsmen wear a full suit, it will not work, it will be uncomfortable, and you could end up with a groom who decides to wear swim trunks, neon sunglasses, and a fishing hat instead (I’m unfortunately not making that particular scenario up)

Don’t- Forget to file all the paperwork for your marriage license beforehand if you’re doing a destination wedding. Some places can take several days to process, and you don’t want that to stall or ruin your perfect day.

Don’t- Freak out when the day doesn’t go as planned. The weather sometimes doesn’t behave, the schedule sometimes can’t be executedย  100% on time, your guests may get a little drunk and try and make things about them. Take a page out of island life mentality and just relax and go with the flow.

Don’t-Expect your groom, his groomsmen, or your guests to be sober by the time the ceremony starts (Even with a sunrise wedding). They’re on vacation, just because you spent all day getting ready doesn’t mean everyone else did. Even at a regular wedding, the groom has probably been drinking most of the day, so don’t expect anything different from a beach wedding ๐Ÿ™‚

With no help from my husband, (his only input to this blog was “don’t wear shoes” and “don’t wear white because you’ll blind everyone”) that is my list of Do’s and Don’ts for the Beach Wedding Bride. Even if you chose to ignore this list entirely, the most important thing to remember is, Have Fun, its your wedding day!

Until Next Time,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer

Christy + Mido

Wedding Highlight #2

Summer Weddings, can be both a blessing and a curse. Typically, here in Florida they would be a curse, especially with an outdoor wedding. It was way too hot, humid, and unpleasant, which is why when I was asked to go back to Utah to shoot yet another Utah wedding my immediate answer was Yes! (Even if that wasn’t Josh’s exact response :P)

Starting from the beginning the wedding was untraditional. Most of my brides are the traditional “I want him to see me at the altar and get his true reaction” type brides, this wedding however gave me a whole new challenge. First look photos that will be ready to be printed for the wedding the next day. We arrived, we shot a whole day of getting ready and first look/bridals, and I made sure those photos were edited and ready by the next morning…..even if it meant editing in the back of a car on an hour long ride.

First Look & Bridals:

 

The first look was stressful, but I adored it, I honestly wish there were more locations like this here in Florida. ๐Ÿ™‚

Going into the wedding day, things were stressful, but thankfully Josh and I could kind of relax until the ceremony started. We got a chance to enjoy our time in Utah, at least for a little while. Backyard weddings have a certain sort of whimsical element to them, and that was the essence we tried to capture while working on the details before the wedding.

Details:

With the details out of the way, it was time to start the ceremony. Without really any vantage point to shoot from this time around, I had to find my groove. So, I decided to try something completely different. I decided to move around the small ceremony space to capture the intimate, sentimental ceremony from all angles (Actually, where our now staple dual angle perspective came from)

Ceremony:

A beautiful ceremony officiated by the one and only Christine G (Also my and the brides grandma), the night quickly moved into the reception and family formals. Unlike the typical wedding with a sit down dinner, this crew was ready to party the night away from the minute the newlyweds said “I do”!

Reception & Formals:

Unplugged?

We live in a world where no matter where you look everyone around you is plugged into the online universe. Whether it be scrolling through social media, reading a blog, listening to podcasts, or playing a game, the online world often seems like a better reality than the one we’re actually living in.

Which leads me into this weeks topic of conversation and HOT TAKE!!

Cell Phone/Cameras during the Ceremony! Necessary or Completely Rude?

There’s a couple ways to approach this, but I’m going to take it on from the perspective of a wedding photographer who edits their own photo gallerys and give you, the people of the internet, my Hot Take.

PUT YOUR GOD DAMN PHONES AND CAMERAS AWAY!! 

Personally, I think that if the Bride and Groom shelled out hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars for a professional team to come in and capture their big day, all guests should respect the wishes of the Bride, Groom, and their families.

No moment on your phone is more important than the Brides walk down the isle with her father, no photo is worth blocking the professional shot with your arm and hardware while risking the contract the Bride and Groom created with their chosen photographer, and no cell phone is going to get a better photo than the thousands of dollars worth of photo equipment no matter what the spec sheet of your iPhone XR says.

Brides and Grooms shouldn’t have to ask their guests to put their phones down and be present at the ceremony, but if they do happen to ask you as a guest FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO IT.

Now that you know my opinion, I’m going to tell you a little story that lead me there.

Story Time

Recently, my husband and I we’re hired to shoot a wedding, a wedding where all of the guests we’re told by the family multiple times that they should unplug and be present at the ceremony. Even posting signs like the one below all around the wedding venue:

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My husband and I actually really appreciated this ask, we’ve had trouble in the past in the editing stage where there were constant phones ruining the shot, or people leaning into the isle blocking it entirely making it hard to deliver a shot that didn’t require hours of photo shop to fix.

Seemed like a simple enough request, guest put your phones down, the professional ones will be shared with you once they are delivered, which wasn’t too long after the wedding if I might add.

However, this request couldn’t be respected. They’re not my guests, so its not my place to say anything, but it made delivering the images from the wedding a slower process seeing as we had to turn images similar to the one below where the bride was walking with her father, into images that we’re acceptable to deliver.

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Amongst my editing process, as more and more of these photos came up, I decided to send a pre-edit shot to the Mother of the Groom, whom I had dealt with most of the process leading up to the wedding, and who I was sure would have her own opinion of the shot. She sent me back the image below, of which she blasted to the guest on Facebook. I was happy that the family still had our back, but just upset I couldn’t get the photos to them sooner due to the extra time it would take to erase all the digital evidence.

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So whether you’re a guest or the bride and groom, for the love of all that is holy PUT YOUR DAMN PHONES DOWN. Enjoy the ceremony, and then capture all the fun of the reception. You can handle a 30 min detox from the digital world, I promise.

Love,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer

Just a Girl?

Our name can be misleading, so we thought we’d start this company’s jump into the blogging world with a little more of an introduction you can put on an About page. I want our couples to understand who we are, just as much as we want to understand them and what they’re about in order to best capture their big day.

Who are we?

By day:

We’re both engineers with uber technical, stressful, and chaotic jobs.

By Night:

We’re Florida Nature Loving free diving and paddle boarding free spirits that come home to a house full of 3 fluffy creatures (2cats and 1 bunny).

By Weekend:

We’re also those nature loving people, but we’re also photographers looking to make other couples big days and special events easy and amazing.

Our Journey to the Altar:

We met in Downtown Disney, truly apart of our generation seeing as we met on Bumble. It was a short, sweet, whirlwind, kind of love. We went into this relationship knowing what we wanted, we had both had rough lives growing up and weren’t typical 23 year olds.

Fast forward 3 months after we met and there was a perfect ring on a finger of a 23 year old woman completely head over heels in love. Remember that feeling? We sure do.

Fast forward another 3 months, we we’re hopping on our cruise ship with our favorite other couple (Also our witnesses ๐Ÿ™‚ ). In case you didn’t catch on, that was 6 whole months from first meeting to marriage, told you it was a whirlwind. We decided to have a small intimate thing with just us and the people closest to us, we realized sometimes our families can be a lot so the smaller the better. It was perfect, we were perfect, the cruise was perfect. The perfect day, for what in our heads was the perfect couple.

Fast Forward a Year and some change….(Brings us to present day). We’ve celebrated our one year anniversary, about to celebrate our 2 year dating anniversary, photographed some weddings together, went through some crazy adventures, and now are looking forward to making other couples weddings as special as ours was.

We want everyone to feel as special as we did, and as Just a Girl Photography, we strive to make a couples big day or special event in life turn out as perfect as we can. We shoot from a dual angle to catch all emotions of the day. We’re a couple that has been through all the chaos recently, we understand what it is you’re going through and try to make it easier on everyone involved.

Now on to the photography,

Just a Girl Photography.