Tips When Planning A Beach Wedding

October 17, 2009 ocweddings

Details:  Please confirm with us the exact date, time, and location of the events of the day.  Even though it is written on your contract, sometimes things may change.  Also make sure that we have your cell phone numbers or the numbers of those who will be in charge.  The balance due should also be paid approximately a week ahead of time, and although we do not recommend this some brides wait until the day of to pay the balance.  Things are crazy, as you know, on that day, and it just adds to the stress of the day to wait until then.  Also remember to include 6% MD state sales tax if you are getting married in Maryland, and to add the 25 dollar license fee for special event photography if you are getting married on the beaches of Delaware

Getting Ready Shots:  If we are doing the ‘getting ready shots’ (pre-ceremony formals), give me the addresses of where the guys and girls are getting ready.  We try to allow at least an hour to an hour and a half (depending upon the size of the bridal party) to do those shots with you.  Please see more tips below under Time Frame & Schedule.

Time Frame and Schedule:  What if we are getting married in a church but want beach formals, or what if we are getting ready in one place, getting married in another, and having our reception in yet another location?


Keep in mind that this takes time, so plan accordingly both with the ceremony/reception venue(s) and with the portrait package that you choose.  If you did not opt for full day coverage, the time frame is CRITICAL, because although YOU may think that everything is going to go according to plan and everything is going to be on schedule, it rarely does.  If your package only includes 3 hours, then it is 3 hours INCLUDING travel time to get from location to location.  We really do try to accomodate all of our brides to the best of our ability, but we cannot give you all day coverage when you did not choose a package which includes full day coverage.  During the busy summer months traffic and parking are issues.  People wrongly assume that they can get from place to place in a few minutes.  Even though your destination may only be a few blocks away, tourists drive very slowly, traffic jams are common, and parking is at a premium in some locations (think boardwalk and the beaches of Delaware).  For example, if your ceremony is on the beach somewhere in midtown Ocean City and your reception is in Ocean Pines, then you need to allow a good 30-45 minutes for travel time even though it technically is only about 12-15 miles away.  Also keep in mind that we need time to do all of those “must-have” before and after shots that you will want to remember on your special day.  If we are doing getting ready shots, then PLEASE be ready to be photographed when we arrive!  It happens so often that the brides and her bridesmaids are not ready until the last possible minute, and then we have to scramble to get those all-important pre-ceremony formals.  It results in everyone getting all flustered and maybe forgetting something they were supposed to bring or wear or do.  We need an hour or so to do these, so that means that your dress should be on by that time because you will be in every shot.  After the ceremony, you will need to allow time for the post ceremony formals.  This is so crucial for all weddings, as these are the images that will utlimately end up in your album.  Remember that if you scheduled your reception to start a half hour after the ceremony, then all we will have is that half hour-subtracting time for travel, receiving line, etc.  I always tell brides to allow at least 45 minutes for the formals-especially if the bridal party and/or families are large.  Some family shots can be done at the reception when there is more time and when everyone is more relaxed, but the majority of the formals are done directly after the ceremony.  It takes time to pose groups of people, and if there are children involved it takes a little bit longer to get them to pay attention.  This is when we applaud the brides who have included a cocktail hour for their guests so that we have time to do the formals while the guests are enjoying the beginning of the reception.  Although we understand that it is your wedding day and that you should have the right to be late to your own reception if you want, it does cause problems with the other vendors.  If you and the bridal party are late to the reception, then the chef or caterer, the DJ,  the servers, etc are understandably unhappy because the food will be cold and they will be under a time crunch to try to get back on schedule.  We don’t mind taking as many pictures as you want-after all, that is why we are there-but we do not want to do that at the expense of everybody else involved in making sure that your day goes as planned.  Beach WeddingsBeach weddings are lovely, but be sure to plan for windblown hair, squinty eyes and harsh shadows if the wedding is too early, a possible rainout, and uninvited beachgoers in the background if it is not on a private beach.

Rehearsal:  Tell us if and when you are having a rehearsal.  It is preferable that we attend the rehearsal if at all possible, but there are times that we may not be able to do so, including weekday and Friday weddings, logistics, minister & venue availability, venue familiarity, weather, timing, etc.  Rehearsal dinner coverage is available at the prevailing hourly rate

Church Weddings:  If you are getting married in a church, keep in mind that if we are not allowed to take pictures during the ceremony or to use flash we may have to reenact parts of your ceremony, which takes time.  Also, if you are having a receiving line that also slows down the formals after the ceremony.  It is wise to schedule a cocktail hour for your guests so that they can enjoy the beginning of the reception without having to wait for the bridal party to arrive.

Full Day Coverage:   Unless you have been contracted for this service in advance, late morning salon hair and nail appointments are not included in ‘full day wedding coverage’.  Neither are early morning rounds of golf, family breakfasts, etc.  Full day coverage starts with the getting ready shots approximately an hour to an hour and a half before the ceremony and ends with the reception-however long that may take. 

How long does it take to see our proofs?  We pride ourselves on quick turnaround time, because we understand that the bride & groom, family, and friends are anxious to see pictures of that special day.  We make every effort to post the proofs online within two weeks.  Albums take a little longer than prints because they have to be embossed and assembled, but we still can have them ready within 6-8 weeks.  Remember that it does take a considerable amount of time to edit the images, and we have other weddings to process that may be ahead of yours-especially during the busy season.

Albums, Prints, DVD’s, etc  Your prints will be available after you choose the images you would like to order approximately 1-2 weeks after the wedding is posted online.  If your package includes the printable DVD or if you purchased it seperately, this will be available two months after your wedding.  Albums are always available after the big day.  Talk to us about your specific needs & wants as far as this service is concerned.  It is more affordable than you may think.

Shot List:  Attached is a list of our ‘usual shots’.  Keep in mind that not all weddings are the same, so we do our best to get these shots when at all possible, but sometimes for various reasons we may not be able to get all of them.  For example, if it is not a beach wedding, then obviously we cannot do beach shots, or if there is no limo or a place to do sunset shots, then we don’t do them. We do what is logically possible.

Uncle Tom or Aunt Mary with a camera or a video camera:  Although we are very nice about giving family members and friends the opportunity to take their own pictures at your wedding, we cannot have them interfere with us when we are trying to do our jobs (this doesn’t happen too often, but it is better to avoid this situation before it happens).  We try to discourage them from taking pictures when we are trying to pose everyone for our professional shots.  Oh, and also-don’t forget that we are the ones you are paying, so please look at us when we are doing the formals! You would hate to have a bunch of images of the two of you looking at Aunt Mary instead of us in your wedding album!

Entry Filed under: Beach Weddings

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