Tips for Planning a Beach Wedding

Destin Wedding Photographer; Dothan,AL wedding photographer


I get it. There is nothing that beats a wedding at the beach. As far as venues go- that’s basically built in GORGEOUS decor that looks amazing in every photo. It is hands down my favorite place as a wedding photographer. However it does come with some challenges. As someone who frequents the Gulf Coast to photograph weddings, I’ve put together a list of some of my best tips and tricks. And if you’re looking for a Destin wedding photographer, head on over to my contact page and let’s chat!

  1. Hairspray and bobby pins are your friend. It doesn’t matter if it’s a perfectly clear day, it is always windy near the ocean. Plan your wedding hairstyle, and warn your bridesmaids ahead of time with this fact in mind. On a similar note, skip the sticky lip gloss and opt for a matte lip- no one likes their hair sticking to their mouth. (Usually your make up artist will include a little bag for touch ups later; that’s pretty standard for wedding make up).
  2. Ditch the shoes. I know there’s some super cute sandals out there, but seriously, save your money. It’s so much easier to walk barefoot through the sand, plus you won’t have to worry about sand rubbing and causing a blister.
  3. If you use florals or drapery on your arch, zip tie it in place. Again, it will be windy that day.
  4. Your guests probably won’t be able to hear you unless there’s some sort of microphone in use. Might not be a make or break point for smaller, intimate ceremonies, but if you want to make sure Aunt Greta hears your vows, shop around for some rental equipment (usually a wedding planner or coordinator can point you in the right direction).
  5. When shopping for photographers: you want someone who is well versed in multiple lighting scenarios. Shooting in mid day sunlight, a cloudy day, at sunset, and indoors at the reception all require very different settings. Plus with any outdoor wedding, these conditions can change on a dime.
  6. Speaking of lighting, when choosing somewhere to get ready, choose a rental condo/house! If it’s in your budget, most of these have a large master bedroom with big windows. Large windows are your friend for the most flattering getting ready photos. Emerald Coast by Owner, Vacasa, and VRBO are great starting points for rental shopping!
  7. If you want photos that really have that wow factor, consider getting into the ocean for your couple pictures together. I’ve had brides change into a different reception dress after the traditional portraits. It makes for stunning photos!
  8. Unless you’ve rented a beach house directly on the ocean, you probably won’t have a private beach for your ceremony. Any beach wedding photographer should be used to this, and a pro at both posing you and photoshopping out the background people.
  9. Debating on a first look? I love the beaches in Pensacola and Destin, Florida. Most of these I’ve been to have tall enough sand dunes that I can photograph a first look as your guests are arriving and seating themselves. The dunes offer privacy for your special moment, and you get the benefit of beautiful scenery.
  10. Getting married on the beach in the summer? Have someone pack a cooler with wet towels. Trust me, you’ll be happy to wipe off any sweat between the ceremony and your portraits after. In that cooler, also toss in some bug spray. Gnats can be crazy at the beach once you start sweating!

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