Orlando Wedding Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Beach Photography’

Shayna and Joey had their wedding in Melbourne Beach at the Crowne Plaza. The ceremony was on the Ocean Deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the reception was indoors in the Grand Ballroom Barbados Room.

They picked a gorgeous spring day for their wedding. Shayna was beaming as her mother walked her down the aisle – both looked beautiful. After the ceremony, Shayna and Joey took some time for portraits overlooking the beach and ocean.

Shayna carried white roses and plum-purple flowers that matched the dresses of her seven bridesmaids. The reception ballroom was also transformed with purple lighting. The DJ, Sophisticated Gents, had no problem keeping the party going as the guests danced well in to the night.

Congratulations Shayna and Joey and thank you for choosing us to photograph your amazing wedding!

The Crowne Plaza of Melbourne Beach – Oceanfront

The Crowne Plaza in Melbourne Beach is a fantastic place for a wedding. They recently had major renovations to their lobby and ballrooms. The easy beach access makes it one of the best locations for a wedding in Melbourne.

Wedding Vendors

Bridal Gown: David Bridal (www.davidsbridal.com)
Bridesmaid Dresses: David Bridal (www.davidsbridal.com)
Hair and Makeup: Mother of the Bride
Floral: Flowers of Distinction – Lynn Winston (www.flowersofdistinction.net)
Formal Wear: Men’s Warehouse (www.menswarehouse.com)
Ceremony: Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Ocean Walk(www.cpmelbourne.com)
Day of Coordinator: Lauren Beaulac (www.cpmelbourne.com)
Reception/Catering: Crowne Plaza Melbourne – Grand Ballroom Barbados Room (www.cpmelbourne.com)
Entertainment: Sophisticated Gents (www.sophisticatedgents.com)
First Dance: All of Me – John Legend
Cake Artist: Mathers’ Cake Shop
Photography: DSWfoto (www.dswfoto.com)

A very special thanks to Harmony Goodson who helped me photograph this wedding!

Melbourne Beach Wedding Photography
Melbourne Wedding Photos
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach Wedding Photos
Bridal Portrait - Melbourne Florida
Bridal Bouquet - Melbourne Beach - Oceanfront
Wedding Rings and Cigars
I Do Wedding Shoes - Gazebo along Beach
Bride Escorted Down the Aisle by Her Mother - Beach Wedding Photography
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach - Wedding Photography
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach - Wedding Photography
Melbourne Florida - Wedding Photos
Atlantic Ocean - Oceanfront Wedding Photos
Melbourne Florida Wedding Photography
Melbourne Florida Wedding Photographer
Melbourne Florida Wedding Photography - Wedding Ring
Melbourne Florida Wedding Photography - Groom and Bridal Bouquet
Brevard County Beach Wedding Photos
Bridal Portrait Along the Ocean
Bridal Portrait with Bouquet along the Beach
Melbourne Beach - Oceanfront Wedding Photos
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach Oceanfront  Ballroom - Purple Uplighting
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach Oceanfront - First Dance with Bubbles
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach Oceanfront - First Dance - Sophisticated Gents DJ
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach Oceanfront - Wedding Toasts
Crowne Plaza Melbourne Beach Oceanfront - Cake Cutting

There are many different great websites and magazines giving you advice on your wedding. While their advice is often great, bear in mind not everything you read applies to you. Planning a wedding in Florida is much different than planning a wedding in Chicago or New York.

I hope these tips can help you with your planning for your wedding day in Florida!

Florida Wedding Photographer

1. June is not the most popular month to get married in Florida

Nationwide, June has notoriously been the most popular month to get married (17% of couples nationwide choose this month to get married). However, in Florida, the more popular months are often March and October, when the weather is almost perfect.

2. Traffic is unpredictable

As you know, driving in Central Florida can be very unpredictable, especially when it comes to some of the major roads such as I4 and the Florida Turnpike.

If you have a wedding where guests need to travel from the ceremony to reception, try to account for this. Especially with Friday weddings, avoid introducing your guests to rush hour traffic.

Another thing that can add delays is the tollbooth plazas. Although, you can zip through the sun pass lanes, not all of your guests will have that option.

A good rule of thumb is to drive the route and double that time as an estimate for how long it will take.

3. Weather is unpredictable

We are so fortunate to live in Florida where we can have weddings year round due to our warmer climate.

However, our wedding can be quite unpredictable. There has always been the adage about Florida — if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. It is not uncommon to have a major lightning storm in one part of town, where just down the road, the sun is shining.

Account for this, especially rain, when you are meeting with your locations, as it is always good to have a backup plan.

4. Plan for heat

Even in early November, I’ve seen days where the temperature hit 90 degrees. If you are having an outdoor wedding, it’s a good idea to plan for ways to make your guests feel more comfortable.

Some good suggestions for this include – fans to cool themselves, cold water bottles to stay refreshed, and an air-conditioned option for guests to duck in to.

5. Pick the best time of day

The time of day for an outdoor wedding makes a big difference. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, check to see what time the sun will be setting, and more importantly where the sun will be facing.

Having a wedding an hour before sunset can be beautiful. But, if half the bridal party is staring directly in to the sun, it can be very uncomfortable.

Your wedding photographer is often the best person to talk to, to help make suggestions with scheduling key moments of the day.

6. Plan for humidity

Not only does Florida get quite warm, it can also be extremely humid throughout the year.

Consult with your hair and makeup artist to make sure you will be prepared to look beautiful throughout the day. A little extra hairspray can help keep your hair manageable. The makeup artist can also give you some “weapons” to prevent shiny skin.

7. Plan for out of town guests

Another great thing about a Florida wedding is that it’s not hard to convince out of town guests to come to this part of the country. We have so many fun things to offer your guests – great weather, theme parks, golf, beaches, etc. Many of your guests will make a vacation out of your wedding.

For your out of town guests, most hotels will offer a promotion if you book a block of rooms. It’s also key to try to book rooms near your reception site. If your reception is at a hotel, even better!

It’s fun to put together a “Welcome to Florida” basket for your guests with Florida citrus, waters, snacks etc. so that they feel more at home. Feel free to stick in some information about things to do while they are in town.

8. Check for other events

There’s always something going on in Tampa and Orlando. If you can, try to do some research beforehand to find out what will be going on around your wedding day.

Going back to traffic, if there is a major sports event going on at the Citrus Bowl, that could definitely affect traffic.

If you pick a park to go to for some photos after your wedding, make sure that other activities aren’t also going on at the same time.

9. Remember comfortable and appropriate shoes

There are so many gorgeous places to go to for photographs – the 18th hole of a country club, along the shoreline of the beach, through the streets of downtown, etc.

It’s very likely that the shoes that you wore to your wedding, may not be the most comfortable shoes to walk that little stretch to take those photos. If they aren’t, plan on bringing a spare pair of shoes to wear when going from Point A to Point B. You can always change back to your bridal shoes.

You may even want a third pair of shoes that you’ll be hitting the dance floor in at your reception.

10. Be upfront about a dress code

It’s Florida. It’s not uncommon to see guests in shorts and a tee shirt at our nicest of restaurants. The warm wind makes people think that a Tommy Bahama shirt and flip-flops are “fancy clothes”.

But, if you want your guests to be a little more dressed up, spell it out in the invitation. Otherwise, you’ll have some guests that look (and feel) out of sorts.

Along the same vein, if you are going for a casual “beachy feel”, tell your guests too. That way, your uncle won’t feel out of sorts in his three piece suit.

I reached out to Denise to contribute to this blog post. She, along with her husband Glenn, did a Rock The Dress photography session with us last year. Many people are obviously apprehensive about jumping in to the Atlantic Ocean in their wedding gown. I wanted to hear why they did the photo session and wanted to hear more about the experience from their perspective.

Rock the Dress in Cocoa Beach

I had only vaguely heard of a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot prior to getting engaged. Once I got engaged and joined a wedding planning forum, many brides were talking about it and once I saw some examples of the pictures I knew I would want to do one of my own.

Originally I thought I would just buy a cheap dress from Goodwill to do it with because I planned to sell my gown after my wedding, but once the wedding was over, the bottom was pretty dirty already so I decided, might as well use my own dress since it’s already dirty.

Trying to explain to my parents and in-laws what I was going to do was difficult, they just couldn’t fathom why I would want to “trash” my dress. I tried to explain to them about the awesome picture opportunities that we would get from doing the session and that I saw no reason to clean and preserve a dress that was just going to sit in my closet for years serving no purpose like they did with their dresses. Once I explained that, they kind of saw the point, I mean, I spent a lot of money on this gorgeous dress, why not get a second chance to wear it and use it and the pictures are proof as to what a great sacrifice “trashing” my dress was!

Photo Sesson

The actual photo shoot was a blast. Since I knew I was going to be getting wet and sandy, I was so carefree and at ease, unlike my wedding day when I was paranoid about anything getting on the dress prior to the ceremony and reception (we had done first look pictures so there were a few hours of photographing prior to any of the guests seeing me in my dress, so of course I wanted it to still look clean and brand new). We decided to do the shoot at Jetty Park on Cocoa Beach and the weather was beautiful. The wind was slightly blowing, which for the most part helped the idea of beachy pictures and we took so many fun pictures just on the beach itself, on the lifeguard stand, and on the rocks.

We also took this opportunity to capture an announcement. My husband and I had just recently found out we were expecting and knew we were going to be announcing it to our friends and family the following week, so we took a very cute picture of us and in the sand we wrote “and Baby makes 3” – which later in the week was a big hit as we sent the picture out to share the news! Glad we decided to do the shoot when we did, because in a few months the dress isn’t going to fit anymore 🙂

After all the sand and beach pictures, it came to the part of getting in the water, it was a little chilly, I won’t lie. I wasn’t really sure what to expect for most of this part, but my husband and I just had fun splashing each other and wadding in the water in addition to the posed shots that DSWfoto wanted to try. It was a ton of fun to literally be swimming in my wedding dress in the Atlantic Ocean!! (Getting out of the ocean on the other hand was definitely a task with my dress that now felt like it weighed 100 lbs!)

We finished the night with taking some beautiful sunset shots. It was also fun to see all the people at the beach watching us do the shoot. Some of them even praised me for being so brave to get into the water in my gown. About half way through the shoot, another couple started with their TTD shoot as well, so it was fun to see another couple mimicking all the fun we were having by having it themselves 🙂 Overall, for any bride that wants to do something fun and not totally ruin their dress, I highly recommend doing a TTD shoot with water, it was so much fun and the pictures are amazing!

And for the record, my dress can still be cleaned and preserved because it’s just sand and water and depending on the material of your dress, you can still save it, I did some research on the subject and found some good info about the different types of material that are “safe” in the water 🙂


Here are some of the photos from their session. To see more, please check out the blog post – Denise and Glenn – A Cocoa Beach, Florida “Rock the Dress” Photo Session

Rock The Dress Photo Session - Cocoa Beach, Florida

Rock The Dress Photo Session - Cocoa Beach, Florida

Rock The Dress Photo Session - Cocoa Beach, Florida