Bride & Groom: Dakota & Cody
Ceremony/Reception: Anna Maria Island Dream Inn
Dress Designer: David’s Bridal
Today, I have Dakota & Cody’s Anna Maria Island Wedding to boast about! I’d never actually been to this beach before this day but I would definitely go back to visit. Dakota & Cody got ready with their bridal party and family at Dream Inn which was conveniently located right on the beach. At the beginning of the day, most of their family members helped to prepare the BBQ dinner that would be eaten in the evening. They also put together all the items for their reception area such as their centerpieces, gift table, decor, ect,. Everything was decorated with the beach in mind with lots of turquoise, sea glass, and starfish. Dakota even handmade the mens unique boutonnieres with shells, ribbon, and tiny starfish. There was lots of DYI and craft making that pulled their Wedding decor together. These decorations made the day sentimental to Dakota & Cody’s relationship while also tying in their beach-themed Wedding location. Dakota & Cody opted for a first look which we all know is a moment I love to capture! Seeing each other before the ceremony meant that would could take the opportunity to photograph this sweet couple around and about the hotel property, then jump into photographing their family portraits and then the bridal party images without the rush of having to get it all done during cocktail hour. As the sun started to set, Dakota & Cody sweetly exchanged handwritten vows along the seaside. At the end of their Ceremony, we photographed a handful of officially married images on the beach with just the two of them. At the end of a fun-filled reception, their friends and family made an archway full of sparklers along the beach for the happy couple to run through sealing the end of a beautiful and perfect Wedding day.
Couple: Alon & Joey
I’ve noticed that when picking favorite images to make the blog, weirdly, the kissing pictures barely make the final draft. Sure I photograph them, and let’s be honest, some of them are pretty cute. One or two might make the cut occasionally but I do end up favoring the images of moments that happen before and after those kissing ones. I think it’s because when I first started taking pictures of couples, that was always the “fall back” pose if you were completely stumped in panic and couldn’t think of anything else. That being said, I’ve learned over the years that there’s a lot more story to a picture when you can see facial expressions, the quiet thoughts of the couples future together, or the sheer excitement about their Wedding day. And to me, these are great stories that can be told better through pictures that aren’t just of a cute couple in a pretty location and lip-locked. Saying that though, some are still really lovely (there’s even a couple of images here that made it to this post! ) I’ve been pretty excited to share this particular session. I just love this location. And additional plus side is that I equally adore this couple too so it definitely made the long drive up to New Smyrna Beach worth it. We started this session casually along the beach boardwalk. Then we hit the shoreline area to take advantage of all that amazing fall-time sun and ocean breeze. There’s a very natural confidence and ease between Alon & Joey. Photographing the way some of these men look at their brides-to-be are moments that are one of the reasons I love what I do. It’s adorable and I absolutely can’t wait to document their Wedding day in a few weeks. I can tell it’s going to be just stunning if these two have anything to do with it.