Last spring, I had the pleasure of not only attending my lovely cousin’s wedding, I also photographed it. For this Indiana photographer, it was a dream come true capturing a splendid beach wedding on Sunset Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The night before the wedding several of us, including the wedding party, met up for dinner and drinks at a beachside bar. A delightful sunset treated everyone in attendance. I expected another the next evening.
With a one o’clock ceremony I knew I had my work cut out for me. I did not realize how much. With the temperature hovering around the 90’s, it was not only a test of endurance for myself but also my camera equipment. Mind you, this wedding was the end of April, I could not believe how warm it was for this time of year.
Before the wedding, everyone congregated inside the St. Petersburg Lions’ Clubhouse, the reception site, to stay cool until the ceremony. The groom gave a nice pep talk and handed out waters to people as they headed to the beach. “Stay hydrated, if you are standing don’t lock your knees.”
The ceremony was a mix of touching moments and beachgoers scattered about. Having never attended a beach wedding, I had expected a roped off area of the beach for the ceremony. Besides the altar and chairs, the remaining part of the beach was open, making my job more difficult. I realized there would be no getting around having a messy background of guests and people walking the beach. However, it added to the casual and laid back ceremony the couple wanted.
As a wedding photographer, you learn to go with the flow. After the ceremony, we spent time getting family photos indoors. Then moved on to the wedding party outside.
Although I was the official photographer, my cousin wanted me to enjoy the reception too. I had promised to capture the first dance, the parents’ dance and the cake cutting along with a few sunset photos of the couple. After that, it was my time to relax.
With a wonderful sunset nearing I grabbed the couple to head down to the beach for intimate photos of the couple.
Several of their friends and family joined in the photo fun as many wanted their picture taken with the couple. Surrounded by their wonderful friends and family, the love for this couple shined through.
Despite the long hard day, it was worth every minute of the memories I captured. My reward came along in the form of several adult beverages with my camera stowed away. What an honor it was to be there for my cousin’s wedding, not only as her guest but as her photographer.
I wish Valera & Robert many years of happiness together. She picked a wonderful guy, and he picked an amazing gal! Love you both.
Happy one-year anniversary!