Kristin and Jonny | A Picture Perfect Wedding | January 30, 2021

Port St. Lucie, Florida


Kristin and Jonny’s Wedding at The Barn at Oleander in Port St. Lucie, FL this past weekend was one I won’t soon forget. This was a wedding I had been looking forward to since we did their engagement session last summer at Riverbend Park in Jupiter, FL. I had such a fun time with them at their engagement session, talking and laughing as we literally got eaten up by the biggest mosquitos you have ever seen. That’s a South Florida summer evening for you!  Despite the golf ball size mosquito bites we all left with, I knew their Wedding was going to be a special one. And it turns out, that was an understatement.  


Kristin and Jonny’s love story is seriously the sweetest thing I ever heard. They met on the playground in elementary school and then became great friends in high school but never dated. It wasn’t until Kristin moved back to South Florida for law school that they started dating.   At the time, Jonny had been planning to move back to Chicago but thankfully he changed his mind!  With all those years that went by, and with all twists and turns that life throws at somebody, it’s amazing Kristin and Jonny were still able to make their way back to each other and to realize that this was their “forever”. Loooooove that!   At their engagement session I got to hear all about how Jonny popped the question, and it was so funny how similar their story was to my own!  So many little cute details that were all so familiar to me, from Kristin almost finding the ring in Jonny’s bag to Jonny having to scratch the first location he planned to propose and come up with a Plan B instead. AND that they got engaged in Charleston, SC (where I JUST moved from) more specifically at Hampton Park (where I have shot dozens of weddings and engagement sessions)!  Such a small world!  


Kristin and Jonny are the definition of a fun-loving, adventurous, outdoorsy couple in love and this is everything I hope for when I photograph couples. I wish for laughter, and joy, and down-to-earth brides and grooms with big hearts for the people in their lives. This is Kristin and Jonny to a T! It helps too that they are seriously gorgeous people with infectious smiles who are insanely photogenic. I love them but am seriously so jealous. 😊  


The day started in the bridal suite in the barn where hair and make-up was done, and the guys hung out and drank some tequila in the really cool groom’s den right behind the barn. The girls had Chipotle (Kristin told me she ended up nixing the idea of a form fitting dress so she could have Chipotle on her wedding day!) and then just chilled until it was time to get dressed. Everything was so calm and not rushed…it was SO nice. We got Kristin dressed and took some great shots of her with her sister, mom, and future mother-in-law.  Then I went to get some shots of Jonny and his brothers and dad getting ready, which ended up being one of my favorite moments of the day. You could just tell what a close family they are and how much support Jonny and Kristin have from them all.  They all got dressed, struggled with the boutonnières for a bit, had one last tequila shot, then it was time to get Johnny to his “First Look” with Kristin!  


So, about their First Look… I love First Looks for so many reasons, but I LOOOOOOVED Kristin and Jonny’s First Look.  LOVED.  I picked a spot towards the back of the property, away from all of the hustle and bustle, and amongst a circle of trees and lots of glowy sunlight.  When Jonny turned around to see Kristin the first time as a bride, everyone was overcome with emotion. I had to remind myself to stop sniffling and to keep taking pictures!  


The ceremony was held on the back lawn, under a flower covered arbor, while the sun set behind us through the trees. It literally looked like a dream; it was THAT beautiful. They read their own vows, which were so incredibly personal and touching, there was not a dry eye in the house. The weather was a perfect 76 degrees with no humidity and a light breeze. After the ceremony we took family and wedding party photos and then it was time for the bride and groom portraits!! There was a great vintage red truck on the property that matched Kristin’s bouquet perfectly. Then the owner of the property took us out on his golf cart to a beautiful field where the sun was setting, and it all looked too perfect to be real.  The cows at the farm actually chased the golf cart, which was a real sight for this city girl! It was the perfect time to wrap up portraits (because how can you top cows chasing you during wedding portraits) and get the party started!!


The bride and groom were introduced into the reception and had their first dance. The guests got to hear some great (and long!) wedding toasts by the maid of honor, best man, and father of the bride. They were sweet, hysterical, and all quite memorable. Then the  party REALLY got started and the dance floor was crazy the rest of the night! All in all, it was truly a perfect day. Together, Kristin and Jonny completely complement one another. They are, indeed, a perfect match, and I am so incredibly proud that I get to document their love.  


Kristin and Jonny, you deserved the most perfect wedding day, and I truly think you got one.  I am so beyond happy that I got to be there to witness this beginning of your next big adventure. Thank you a million times over for being so incredible. I hope this new adventure together gets better each and every day. Your joy is contagious, and I absolutely loved being surrounded by it on your wedding day. Cheers to many more decades of love and happiness!             Love it? Then  ‘Like’  us on Facebook   & never miss a thing!

Any other questions? Just give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!  If you have any questions regarding your upcoming Wedding or just want to chat to discuss your options, we are happy to help in any way we can! Just CONTACT US here and we will discuss your vision and questions in more detail!      


Annsley and Jonathan | A Perfect Autumn Wedding | October 24, 2020

Reevesville, South Carolina



Annsley and Jonathan’s Wedding at the bride’s family home in Reevesville, SC this past weekend was from start to end a picture-perfect day. So much work went into making this wedding look straight out of a magazine, and it definitely paid off. It is hard to decide what part of the wedding day was my favorite. The location, the weather, the incredible display of flowers, the wedding attire, the bridal details, the food, the ceremony setup… I could go on and on… it was all so thoughtfully planned and executed beautifully.


This wedding was one I was especially looking forward to since Annsley and I started discussing her wedding well over a year ago.  I already knew Annsley from several other weddings we photographed where she was a bridesmaid. I even remember her telling me a couple years ago at one wedding that when she finally got engaged, I would be one of her first calls!  Her excitement was contagious at our very first meeting and she already had a special vision planned for her wedding day.


Jonathan and Annsley have known each other their whole lives since babies.  Annsley says they “dated” at the age of 8 but called it quits because a relationship was just too much work then! 😊  And almost like a vision of what was to come, they were the miniature bride and groom in his aunt and uncle’s wedding 18 years ago!!!!I think it is so sweet that they then dated for two years in high, parted ways, and then made their way back to each other the end of sophomore year of college and have been at each other’s sides since then.


I got to know Annsley ad Jonathan pretty well when I shot their engagement session last year. Annsley is admittedly a little “extra” about everything, which as a photographer I LOVE, and her engagement session was no exception. She had the idea of doing the photos on a river near where they live, and had Jonathan bring the most adorable wooden boat for them to take some photos with. Now, when I say we took photos at the river, I really mean we took photos IN the river. We got down and dirty, got some really unique and beautiful photos, and I got to see first hand how much this man loved his future wife because he was such a good sport and did everything he could to make Annsley’s vision come true. I will never forget it.


Fast forward to their Wedding Day, where again Annsley had a beautifully detailed vision for the day and Jonathan did everything he could to help fulfill it. The day started in the family home where hair and make-up was done, mimosas were passed around, football was on tv, sun was shining through the windows, and the nerves were starting to flow.  All of the fabulous bridesmaids were so sweet and attentive to the bride, all trying to make sure she was relaxed and had everything she needed. We had photographed the weddings of three of the bridesmaids and will be photographing a fourth’s wedding next year! So, it really was such a fun, and personal, day for us as well. Annsley was surrounded with so much love from her girls and her mother and other female members… there was just an abundance of joy and laughter in that house that morning. Annsley got ready in her bedroom upstairs, finished putting on all the special bridal details, and then we were able to have a quiet couple minutes with her to get some photos alone at her vanity and bedroom window. Definitely one of my favorite moments from the day!


Annsley then came downstairs, and we met her dad at the side of the home for their “first look”. When her father first saw her, he instantly started tearing up as did Annsley. And I might have as well. 😊 She read her dad a letter she wrote him, which brought more tears.  At this time, the guys were getting ready next door and taking their portraits with our second photographer Bryan. They were all in great spirits and were just so easy and fun to work with Bryan said. Cannot ask for more!  We then did the bride and groom’s “first touch” at the side of the house, in front of the pasture fence while the horses roamed behind us. So perfect! Annsley and Jonathan held hands back-to-back, exchanged a couple last minute words, and then everybody was off to get ready for the ceremony!


The ceremony was on the front lawn, where a large number of wooden pews sat, under a warm and bright autumn sun.  The bride arrived in a black vintage car with her father, then walked down the long aisle where she met Jonathan. They stood at the top of the stairs and recited their vows in front of their longtime pastor, then sealed the deal with one of the best first kisses I have ever seen! They did not disappoint! 😊


After the ceremony we took family and wedding party photos and then it was time for the bride and groom portraits!!  The sun was just starting to set, and we got some of the most beautiful glowy and dreamy portraits in the tall grasses behind the home.


After portraits we headed to the reception under a massive white tent with the most beautiful floral arrangements you ever saw. The wedding party had some great entrances (I loved the chugging of the drinks lol) and the dance floor was hopping all night.  Then at the end of the night the bride and groom exited through a huge line of party goers with sparklers, who were all then surprised with a fun firework show!   (CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE THOSE PHOTOS!)  Jonathan then lifted his beautiful bride into the awaiting fire truck and off the newlyweds went. 


All in all, it was truly a perfect day!  Annsley and Jonathan are truly meant for one another. They are such a funny, romantic, PDA loving couple who you just know after the first time meeting them they are the real deal.  I cannot wait to see what Annsley has planned for them next!  😂


Vendor Credits

VIDEOGRAPHER: Southern Tide Photography

FLORIST: The Garden Gate Florist

CAKE ARTIST: The Baking Byrd

CATERER: Catering For All Occasions

DJ: ML Event Entertainment

MAKE-UP ARTIST: Maggie Robertson and Rebecca Bamberg BRIDAL GOWN: Verita (Calla Blanche Dress)













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Any other questions? Just give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!  If you have any questions regarding your upcoming Wedding or just want to chat to discuss your options, we are happy to help in any way we can! Just CONTACT US here and we will discuss your vision and questions in more detail!

Raven and Camlin | A Hometown Wedding | South Carolina and Florida Wedding Photographer

Raven and Camlin  | A Hometown Wedding | October 03, 2020

Vance, South Carolina


  Raven and Camlin’s Wedding in Holly Hill, SC this weekend was one that had its early hiccups but turned out simply beautiful and perfect. Raven and Camlin originally had their wedding scheduled for last March, just as life as we knew it start shutting down because of Covid-19.  They decided to reschedule for October, and I must admit, I was a little nervous about the date because for several years in a row that exact weekend had caused issues with some other weddings because of hurricanes! I’m a little superstitious and thought that weekend was just cursed, but Raven and Camlin’s wedding proved me wrong! Thank goodness! We had a beautiful fall day and we ALL were so happy about it.

Raven and Camlin met about 5 years ago at a party, when their best friends, who were also dating, introduced them to each other.  Then June of last year they were on vacation at the beach with Raven’s family when Camlin decided to make his move. One night before dinner Camlin, Raven’s brother Davis, and his girlfriend Meghan suggested they go for a walk on the beach before dinner.  Raven had NO idea what was coming!  They decided to take some photos across the “swash” on the beach  (where the water runs into the beach). Camlin thought is was shallow….  it was not haha! Raven was on his back and as the water started getting deeper, Camlin dropped Raven into the water in order to save the ring that was hidden in his pocket!  They were completely soaked so Raven suggested that they needed to hurry up back to the beach house and change for dinner, but when she turned around Camlin was down on one knee with the ring. She was completely shocked and of course didn’t hesitate to say yes… and here we are!

I have gotten to know Raven and Camlin a bit over this past year, with doing their engagement session the summer of 2019 (I CANNOT believe it’s been that long!) and then Raven’s bridal portrait session this past winter. Both sessions were had at a family member’s farm, and also on a private road near Raven and Camlin’s house. Both sessions were some of my favorites, with all the interesting and beautiful backdrops I had to work with and a couple of models who are both so easy and photogenic.  We are also shot the custom wedding video for Raven and Camlin and I have no doubt they will look just as perfect on film as they do in pictures. It is almost not fair! 😊

Raven and Camlin are such sweet, soft spoken, and easy-going individuals, and that is exactly how I would describe them as a couple. Raven said that what she loves most about Camlin is that he is so kind to everyone, always makes her feel so special and comfortable, and he is silly and always makes her laugh.  And Camlin said he loves that Raven is so funny, kind, and is a very loyal person.  All of that came out in abundance on their wedding day and it was really special to see. Raven is a graphic designer so she designed their wedding invitations herself! I loved taking detail shots of these, they were so interesting and fun. And nobody else will ever have ones just like it! We also got some special photos of Raven’s mon’s handkerchief tied around her wedding bouquet. We think it is so important to capture all of these little details because the day is so fast and in the whirlwind of the day, the bride and groom may not remember these things later. After hair and makeup, Raven got dressed and everyone just gasped when they saw the final look… she looked THAT good!  She was jaw-dropping and her mom had tears in her eyes watching Raven get ready, it was so sweet.   We took portraits of all the beautiful ladies around the property, and then Raven had her first look with her brother and dad.  It was really cute and relaxed and funny…just perfect. Bryan our second photographer met the guys at the church to do their portraits.  Everybody did great, the guys followed directions very well (you never know!) and we got a lot of great shots of the guys on the front steps of the church… mixed in with some “not for your momma’s ears” toasts and a lot of mosquito swatting. My goodness I have never seen mosquitos that big!

The ceremony was at their home church, Providence UMC, and following the ceremony we took family and wedding party photos and then it was time for the bride and groom portraits!! We did it all on the grounds of the church, which made it so seamless and easy.   The reception was held at a relative’s estate overlooking a lake and rolling fields. Cocktail hour was around the pool, which was so fun for guests, and then the reception under a beautifully lit tent. It was all decorated with beautiful candles and greenery and some touches of light blue here and there.   The party went on for hours and everyone seemed to be have such a good time.  All in all, it was truly a perfect day and I know Raven and Camlin will remember it forever.  Raven and Camlin are no doubt meant to be and I know they have a lifetime of adventures ahead.   Raven and Camlin, I am so happy you finally had your perfect day, and that we got to be a part of it! I hope this new chapter together gets better each and every day. Cheers to many more decades of love and happiness!

Vendor Credits CEREMONY VENUE: Providence UMC

CATERING: Catering For All Occasions

VIDEOGRAPHER: Southern Tide Photography

FLORIST: The Flower Gallery & Gifts

CAKE ARTIST: Farm Sweets by Shelley

DJ: DJ Freddie


TUXES: Generation Tux OFFICIANT: Reverand Justin Ritter

BRIDAL GOWN STORE: Verità. A Bridal Boutique

BRIDAL GOWN DESIGNER: Calla Blanche – Maura

RENTALS: Ruth’s House Event Rentals

INVITATIONS: Raven!      





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Any other questions? Just give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!  If you have any questions regarding your upcoming Wedding or just want to chat to discuss your options, we are happy to help in any way we can! Just CONTACT US here and we will discuss your vision and questions in more detail!

Nikki and Cody | Charleston Wedding at the The Island House | South Carolina and Florida Wedding Photographer

Nikki and Cody + Better Late Than Never | September 19, 2020

The Island House | Charleston, South Carolina


Nikki and Cody’s Wedding at The Island House in Charleston, SC this past weekend was one I won’t soon forget.  Nikki and Cody are a part of the unlucky group of couples who were planning on having their wedding back in the spring when Covid-19 was shutting everything down and forcing all of us to adapt to the “new normal”. With the help of  an amazing Wedding Planner, Sparkles, Events Décor & Design and delightfully laid back couple, the wedding was rescheduled from May to September…and here we are!  The wedding was originally set to be a church ceremony with a reception to follow at a separate venue, but that all changed once the wedding was rescheduled for May. The Island House in Charleston, South Carolina was the new venue, and  while we know the couple loved their original venue, we knew they would love The Island House just as much! We have photographed many weddings at this venue and just love the beauty and ease of it. The Island House sits on a private island on the banks of the Stono River. It has the most stunning sunsets, a perfect view of the river, and a delightful island breeze that just adds to the comfort and charm. It is also a venue that you never have to leave! It has a floor for the girls to get ready, a separate floor for the guys to get ready, several beautiful options for your outdoor ceremony, and then a huge white tent with fun lighting for the reception. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

The day started in the big white house on the property where hair and make-up was done, the guys hung out, and the girls had a blast just hanging out.  Nikki was surrounded with so much love from her girls, her very sweet daughter, her mother, and mother in-law to be. I’m pretty sure her heart was exploding with anticipation and excitement at this point, because they waited so long  to get married and they were  SO close at this point!  After hair and makeup was done, she got her dress and everyone stood in the doorway in awe of how beautiful Nikki looked. She was jaw-dropping and looked straight out of a magazine.

Then comes the groomsmen. Our second photographer, Ramsey, had such a blast with them as they took pictures overlooking the property. These guys were so much fun to be around and pretty much laughed through all their portraits. Then Nikki and Cody read the letters they wrote to each other and I swear there was not a dry eye among us.

We ended up with a really pleasant, overcast day, which as a photographer you just love. The weather was a perfect 76 degrees with little humidity which was such a treat compared to the 90+ degree weddings I’ve been shooting lately! The only hiccup was the wind…it was BLOWING!  Betty Anne and her crew with Sparkles, Events Décor & Design worked so hard at controlling the mayhem from the wind and they did an amazing job. I don’t know how they did it! For all the future bride and grooms reading this right now, here’s a bit of a wedding planning tip… hire a Wedding Planner if you can (even if just for the day). They are worth their weight in gold.

The ceremony overlooked the river and their pink and white linens with gold touches, tons of beautiful greenery, and all the other personal touches were so lovely. It was so elegant, simple, and perfect for the location.  After the ceremony we took family and wedding party photos in front of the vibrant wild flowers and then it was time for the bride and groom portraits!!   We took some really fun portraits using Nikki’s veil, which ended up being my some of my favorite portraits from the day. We wrapped up with some portraits around the property and then went to the reception tent to get the party started!! The wedding party led the party and the dance floor was hopping all night.

Together, Nikki and Cody completely compliment one another. He is always smiling (as is Nikki) and you can easily tell he loves her deeply, and quietly. They are, indeed, a perfect match, and I just feel so lucky that we got to document their love.

Nikki and Cody, no one deserves this perfect day more than the two of you. I am so happy that we got to be there to witness the beginning of your next big adventure. Thank you a million times over for being so fun and easy to work with. I hope this new adventure together gets better each and every day. Your joy is contagious and I absolutely loved being surrounded by it on your wedding day. Cheers to many more decades of love and happiness!

Vendor Credits

WEDDING PLANNER: Sparkles, Events Décor & Design


VIDEOGRAPHER: Southern Tide Photography FLORIST: Gladys Murray Flowers

CAKE ARTIST: The Baking Byrd

BAND: Mighty Kicks



CATERER: Fletchers Finest Deli & Catering

BAR SERVICE: Blue Flame Bartending

OFFICIANT: Bobbie Ethridge  




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Any other questions? Just give us a call or send us an email and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!  If you have any questions regarding your upcoming Wedding or just want to chat to discuss your options, we are happy to help in any way we can! Just CONTACT US here and we will discuss your vision and questions in more detail!

A Realistic Guide to Florida Beach Weddings from a local Wedding Photographer



So you’re thinking about having a Florida beach wedding?! That’s exciting! A nice, romantic, and intimate ceremony with beautiful sunset photos to follow? LOVE it! Sounds simple enough right? Hahahha WRONG.

Having a beach wedding in Florida is a very popular idea among couples planning their wedding and can be just perfect. We have shot a lot of Florida beach weddings and have some of the most beautiful photos and videos from these weddings. But I can for certainty that  planning and pulling off a beach wedding is never as easy and straightforward as most couples expect it to be.

So let me share my years of experience and wisdom (a big LOL at the wisdom part) with you, and give you some tips and things to consider if you are planning a beach wedding or trying to decide if a Florida beach wedding is the right idea for your big day! But first, a pretty pic to keep your attention!


There are lots of things to consider before setting your sights on the ocean, from permits to personal beliefs about sand (yes, that’s a real thing). There are a number of things to check on, plan for, and time correctly. To help with all of the details and logistics that are behind a beach wedding, I would consider one or both of the following if your budget and/or vision permits:


  1. Hire a coordinator who does beach weddings. There are coordinators who actually specialize in beach weddings and they offer specific packages just for beach weddings.  Getting married on the beach is just like a regular wedding, but with a ton of unexpected things you probably never considered. So if it’s within your budget, I recommend working with someone who is experienced in planning a beach wedding in Florida. They’ll know their way around the local ordinances and get any permits you may need, take care of organizing all your vendors and their unique needs that may arise because of the beach venue, and they can act as your wedding bouncer if friendly passersby try to walk through your ceremony photos.


  1. Get married at a beach resort: You know who does those private picturesque beach weddings really well? Destination beach resorts. And there are often a bunch of perks that come with it when you book one. Understandably leaving the country may be out of budget for you and your guests, but there are plenty of beach resorts here in the United States that offer a similar level of inclusion, with cheaper airfare costs (think: Florida). Beach resorts that offer beach weddings will most likely provide a wedding coordinator that will assist in the planning and execution or your wedding. It will be included in the package you purchase at the resort to have your wedding on their beach.

Now if either of the above suggestions will not work for you, here is a list of things to consider when you ae planning your own Florida beach wedding.


1. Public or private beach wedding

Most beaches in FL are open to the public. There are some though that belong to private residents or even some resorts have their own private beaches. So if getting married on a private beach to avoid bystanders and regular beach traffic, then you will need to get started early looking for a private beach with availability for your wedding. Having your wedding ceremony on a public beach is just going to be a lot more practical for most couples. Yeah, you may have some beach-goers  who walk by during your ceremony or some kids yelling in the background. You can’t control that, so if that is something that might irk you then you should start your search for a private beach. But really, we have photographed so many beach wedding on public beaches and we rarely saw moments that the other people on the beach really interfered with the ceremony. And the small amount of times that it did happen, it was actually kinda funny and gave everybody a good laugh.


2.  Ceremony on the Beach? Maybe the Reception too?

A wedding ceremony in the beach is usually what you think about when hearing the phrase “beach wedding”.  Not often do you see a reception being held on the beach, but it definitely has been done and is possible.  Permits and county/city ordinances vary depending on what kind event you’ll be having, whether food and drink, specifically alcohol, are involved, and if you’re requesting to block off a particular part of the beach. I will be honest and say I think a reception on the beach s just too hard. Even if you have the best case scenario and have a private beach to work with. You still will have the issue of sand, cause sand a food just do not mix, bringing enough electricity to the beach, having to lug all the rentals and food somehow down to the sand, etc. It’s just not the easiest reception venue  So I would defintely recommend having the ceremony and portraits to follow on the beach, and then move the party somewhere that is better equipped to handle a large party. And you don’t have to travel far! There are so many waterfront restaurants, beach resort ballrooms, and even beach houses that are beautiful spots for nearby receptions. And the great thing about a beach house is that you can get ready for the wedding there beforehand and then pass out tipsy there when it’s all over! Win-win!





3. Permits and Ordinances

This is my least favorite topic ever. Ugh, so boring. But it is a must thing to consider and research when planning your own Florida beach wedding. Beach rules vary by state, county, and city. The best way to check to see if you need a permit and what are the rdinances to consider is a good old fashioned phone call. Call the local city office. Just by picking up the phone and speaking with somebody at the local government office can save you so much time and stress, and will ensure you are getting the right information. The internet on this topic is not always the most reliable source. There will be people telling you what they did, think, believe, suggest, etc. and unfortuntely none of those people are experts. Save some time and go straight to the source.   Check with the local government to see what regulations they have regarding events and gatherings. Some things they may ask you are:

  • How many guests are you going to have? Some beaches have regulations about the number of people at one gatherings. Don’t be shocked if the beach you want to get married on has this restriction, it is somewhat common.
  • Do you want a more private ? While there here be options for roping off a section of the beach for the ceremony, this is not guaranteed and is something the local government office should be able to assist you on.
  • Will there be alcohol outside? If they ask you this, I would immediately say no. Many beaches prohibit alcohol on the beach, and even f they don’t, they may restrict your permit if they know a large number of people will be drinking together at the event.

4. Is Your Beach Wedding Accessible?

One of the reasons a beach wedding is so intriguing is because it can be so beautiful while being so simple? You don’t need a fancy aisle because the sand is beautiful enough! You don’t need to rent a bunch of chairs because the ceremony will be quick and simple so everybody an just stand and enjoy their toes in the sand. But what is Aunt Martha can’t stand very long? Are you going to have an option for her so she can sit? What if Grandpa is in a wheelchair these days, is he going to be able to get down to the ceremony site in the sand?  The beach can add an element of challenges that other venues don’t, so just make sure to consider your guest list and figure out if any additional accommodations will need to be made.


5. Weather

So what’s your Plan B if it rains? Just with all other outdoor venues, you need to consider where you will have the wedding if it ends up raining. But at a beach, you can’t just put up a tent or run inside if the skies were to open up. So plan for the worst, hope for the best, and you will save yourself so much stress and running around the last minute if the weather forecast doesn’t look great. Also, consider when rainy season is. The best way to try to avoid rain is to book your wedding when it is not typically rainy. So in Florida, try to avoid the summer months for your Florida beach wedding because that is when we get the most rain. Which is actually a good thing because the summer months are so hot, who wants to get married in 100 degree weather?!Also, if you can, try to avoid hurricane season! I know that’s hard because hurricane season is pretty long, but if you have the option to avoid it then you should avoid it!


6.  High Tide

You have got to check those tide charts! In Florida and every other beach on the world, the exact time for high tide is different every day so you must find out what that time will be on your wedding day and plan around it!  You have got to make sure your ceremony start time won’t coincide with high tide or you very well may not have a beach to stand on.


5. Sound

The beach s noisy. Waves, wind, birds, people…it’s loud.  Beaches aren’t usually equipped with power outlets so you may need to get creative so your guests can hear you. An experienced DJ should be able to assist with this, but make sure you discuss with them how it will be done and if they are experienced with beach weddings themselves.


6. The Sun

Oh the sun. A wedding photographer’s arch nemesis. In all seriousness, when planning your beach wedding you really need to consider what time the ceremony is going to start and where that darn sun will be during that time. Unless you are getting married near a pier, the beach rarely offers any type of shade for a ceremony. So you have to know where that sun will be and possibly adjust the ceremony time to account for it. You don’t want the sun to be too high. That is the most unflattering and harsh light. Sunset offers beautiful light but if it’s down too far it may be in your guests’ eyes or in yours. Also, you want to make sure you leave enough time to take all your family portraits, bridal party photos,  and those beautiful bride groom portraits and following the ceremony!  Your photographer should be able to assist is this so use their expertise to set the time of your ceremony and you should be in good shape.

If you have any questions regarding your Florida Beach Wedding or just want to chat to discuss your options, we are happy to help in any way we can! Just CONTACT US here and we will discuss your vision and questions in more detail!

My Favorite Part of Weddings: First Looks

My Favorite Part of Weddings: First Looks

Right before Christmas I got to shoot a wedding that allowed me to take some of my favorite types of photos…First Look Photos! I have much love for “First Looks” and I love to talk about them and share why they are so awesome. A first look is a moment staged and set up by a wedding photographer for the bride and groom to see each other before the ceremony. It is usually at a spot at the location of your ceremony. The groom would be looking while the bride starts walking down towards him. She will tap his shoulder, and he will turn around and see his beautiful bride for the first time.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE First Looks for many reason but I know not everyone is aware of how great they are. And in reality, they aren’t for everyone. We never will force or even try to convince a couple to do a first look. Most brides have always dreamed about walking down the aisle and the emotion that comes with her groom seeing her, at that moment, for the first time on their wedding day. I get it. That is a special moment. A first look is, however, just another version of that dreamed about special moment.

Couples can get caught up in how “un-traditional” it is and they immediately write it off. And I get that too. Everyone wants a REACTION. Brides want their grooms to be surprised and overcome with emotion when they down the aisle. And if they can get some tears from the guys, that is an added bonus! Those that are not interested in a First Look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as special or as intimate as it would be if the first time they saw each other was when the bride is coming down the aisle. What I have found during my years of shooting weddings is that a “First Look” can offer an even larger reaction from the groom and provide for an even more special and intimate experience than the tradition of seeing the bride the first time as she walks down the aisle. When a bride walks down the aisle, you have A LOT of people sitting there just watching you and waiting to see your reaction. This is hardly an intimate moment and can add even more stress to the situation because everyone is looking at you, waiting to see your expression and emotions. With a First Look, when the nerves start creeping up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded space until his time to enter the ceremony…. what if you took him to a private place… no people, no on-lookers, no distractions…. and you let his beautiful bride, the love of his life, walk up to him and gently tap his shoulder. He would turn around and finally get his first look at his stunning bride and not only would he get to see her… he could embrace her… cry with her…. kiss her… and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they wanted. As she shows him her dress, twirls a few times and then asks him what he thinks… his nerves start to diminish. After all, she’s the one that can make him most comfortable anyway.  

And there is no time crunch… they casually move into their romantic portraits. No one is around, the coordinator isn’t announcing “15 minutes left”, and there is no pressure. They can take their time, get all of the romantic and special pictures they have envisioned, and not miss any of the fun cocktail hour either! After their romantic portraits are done, they meet up with their bridal party because they still have plenty of time to spare. The bride can touch up her makeup if needed and the guys get to have a little more fun. After a few minutes the bridal party portraits begin and they are all able to have fun because they aren’t on a time crunch, and you don’t have to miss cocktail hour yourselves! (I know I mentioned that before but it’s such a great perk to First Looks…you get to party sooner!) An additional benefit to having a First Look is that you will get 30-40% MORE portraits of the two of you on your wedding day. Those are the photos that will mean the most to you and will be what you decorate your home with. Wedding Day Photography is a significant investment and with a First Look, you make the most out of this huge investment and will get all of the photos you dreamed of.

 I introduced the idea of a First Look to Brandon and Colleen, the couple whose wedding I photographed before Christmas, during their initial consultation. Since they were getting married in December, sunset was going to be really early, around 5:30pm. And their ceremony was set for 5pm. Which means all of their special bride and groom portraits would be done at night. They wouldn’t have any portraits of them as a couple with pretty natural light. Colleen and Brandon didn’t love the idea of all their portraits having to be set up in some way with artificial lighting. And I didn’t blame them one bit.  So since their timeline of events for the day was not set in stone and they were up for suggestions on how to best plan their day, I suggested we do a First Look. Neither of them had ever heard of doing a First Look before the wedding, but when I explained it to them they thought it sounded great and were up to try it. It worked out PERFECTLY for the couple the day of their wedding and they could not be any happier with how their experience and their photographs and video turned out! There was so much emotion during their First Look, we ALL shed some tears. I mean it with all my heart when I say I will NEVER forget the exact moment when Brandon turned around and saw Colleen, how he was sincerely speechless and overcome with emotion.  This was their moment, and since they didn’t need to share it with hundreds of people watching them, they felt comfortable expressing every emotion they were feeling. I know for a fact they will never forget this moment either. 

We were able to stage Colleen and Brandon’s First Look a couple hours before the ceremony was to start, and when we were done we had plenty of time to take all of their Wedding Portraits around the property. Brandon arranged to have a really cool vintage red truck available for their portraits and we got some great shots with all of the hustle and bustle of a Saturday afternoon in town as our backdrop. We were able to take our time and everybody was relaxed and had a lot of fun. When we were done with the Wedding Portraits and photos with the bridal party, the girls went to one room to refresh their makeup and touch up their hair, and the guys went to another room to hang out (and drink a couple more beers I’m sure.) Then after the ceremony was over, everybody was able to join the other guests immediately for cocktail hour and nobody was ever rushed. IT WAS PERFECT.

Now with saying all of that, every client is different and every wedding is different. While a First Look may be perfect for one couple, it might not fit another couple’s vision for their big day and that is perfectly OKAY. My goal is to give you the exact experience you have always dreamed of…and even better than your dreams if I can!

To see more of Colleen and Brandon’s First Look, check out their custom Wedding Day Video, filmed and produced by Southern Tide Photography, here:

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Engagement Photos Tips and Tricks Charleston Wedding Photography

Engagement Photos Tips and Tricks South Florida Wedding Photography


We have been shooting engagement sessions for years. I couldn’t even begin to count how many I have personally shot. I get so many questions from our couples when booking and preparing for their engagement sessions, I decided to create a short guide to serve as reference to the couples we work with as well as all other couples out there who may have some questions. Take a look at the tips below, and if you have any more questions please feel free to CONTACT US and ask!

Engagement Session Tips 1: Location

Location. Location. Location. I personally believe this is the most important thing to consider when planning your engagement session. The best location is somewhere that really symbolizes you as a couple. Somewhere that has meaning to you. It could be the place you met, where he proposed, where you had your first date, or even a spot you just like to hang out at on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

If you are having trouble picking a location for your session, I am always happy to help. I will just ask some questions, we’ll chat a bit about your relationship, and I should be able to give you some great options.

The best time of day for engagement sessions is either early morning around sunrise or at the end of the day at sunset. The starting time will depend on the time of the year, since sunset times are always changing. We will get the most attractive and romantic lighting at these two times.

If for whatever reason we have to shoot in the middle of the day (work restraints, location hours of availability, etc) we will just need a good shaded location, because of the bright sun. That could be a brewery, your home, a cool warehouse, in the woods, etc. Great lighting is extremely important to great photography.

Every couple is different and has a different story. We want to tell your story in your photos. We can start with photos of you playing a sport in the park, and end with a fancy dinner. We can shoot a football Sunday at your house, while you are barefoot and lounging on the couch. We can have your pets and kids join us. We can incorporate some beautiful architecture, which Charleston is famous for. Anything is fair game!

I do not limit the number of locations, but it does need to all fit within a two hour time frame. Engagement sessions typically take anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on how many locations you want to hit. Even without traveling, there are always great spots around every city that you can go to and after only one hour you can have a dozen different backdrops in your photos. Downtown Charleston is a great example of this. I have taken couples downtown for their engagement session, and withing 30 minutes we were able to get photos in front of the harbor, with the Ravennel bridge behind us, on the cobblestone alleys, in front of some beautiful iron fencing, along Rainbow Row, and on the steps of one of their favorite bistros. In 30 minutes! Imagine what are able to get in one hour downtown!

Engagement Session Tips 2:
What to wear

What you choose to wear is also a very important part of your engagement session. It really defines the style of your session. You can have one outfit change during your shoot, so that allows you to get creative.

Since every couple will have a different style for their engagement session, it is hard to give you a list of “things to wear”. It should be something you feel comfortable in and something that you would actually wear. Accessories are great too! Sunglasses, a cute hat, or some fancy jewelry all look great in photos.

There are some locations that you may choose that will cause you to have to be mindful of the colors and patterns for your outfits. If you chose a location that has a lot of texture, architecture, or colors, then you want to keep your outfit more simple. For example, if you chose an engagement session on Rainbow Row in Downtown Charleston, I would try to choose pieces that have more neutral colors, pastels, or jewel toned colors. Charleston is the city of pastel colored homes, so basic primary colors can look odd against them.

Engagement Session Tips 3:
Hair and make up

Some people opt for a natural look, while other brides have their hair and makeup done. Either is totally fine, but regardless of which way you go, take extra care to consider the environment you will be in. If it is a windy day on the water, you probably want to pull your hair back. If it is super muggy, like Charleston is know to be, curling your hair or wearing a lot of makeup may not work out well.

Bringing some makeup, hair ties, and a mirror to your shoot is always a good idea. Retouches will be your friend!

Engagement Session Tips 4:
Please feel free to share your ideas and vision with me

Send me those Pinterest pins! Email some sample photos that have caught your eye! Sharing with me what you like will help make sure you get the photos of your dreams. Do you enjoy the more airy and dreamy images? Or the more dramatic ones?

Engagement Session Tips 5:

It’s always fun to incorporate your favorite activities to the engagement session. It really helps to make the shoot mere personal and interesting. Playing your favorite sport can be really fun. You guys enjoy hiking? We can incorporate that on your shoot. From taking dance classes to picking flowers, activities always add that little special touch to an engagement session.

Engagement Session Tips 6:

Props can really help make your session more personalized and creative. The most popular prop that couples like to bring with them is a sign showing the wedding date. Those photos can later be used for “save the dates”, which I think is a great and easy idea.

Engagement Session Tips 7:
I will help you through the whole session,
so relax and trust me!

Your engagement session should be fun. It should be relaxed and enjoyable. Unlike your wedding day, we will not be in a hurry or be at a bunch of places in a short time.

It is my job to direct you, pose you, help you feel comfortable, and make sure we all have a good time! Engagement sessions are a once in a lifetime type of thing. My goal is to make it memorable and fun!

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