As Portland wedding photographers, we love heading out west for Oregon Coast weddings. But we’ve always been beach wedding photographers! Joe grew up on Long Island with beach weddings on both shores within miles of his base. I grew up in Southern California and early on knew more about photographing a tricky beach wedding than a standard ballroom wedding. What we each brought to our joint business is a lot of mixed knowledge in how to best photograph on the beach for the wedding of your dreams and the best beach wedding photographs to match.
Let’s start with a few of our favorite things about beach weddings, starting with the beach itself. The tones of sand, beach grass and the ocean (or lake!) bring a cool, neutral palette from which you can springboard or accent.
Best Beach Weddings
Tina and Danish’s Long Beach wedding was a great example of using the natural beach landscape as part of decor. Note the beach grass in the bouquets!
Speaking of beach grass… this is one of my favorite things! The Southern California beaches I grew up on had a complete lack of dunes and beach grass. No matter how crowded the beach, tall waving grass and dunes make for dramatic portraits and sweeping landscapes you just can’t get elsewhere. Take Amy and Dan’s Ocean Club wedding, for example:
And whether you choose to walk out to your wedding ceremony with the sand in your toes or in your shoes, the options are endless. Seattle wedding couple Carly and Tom chose a tiki torch lined path.
And then of course, there’s the creative signs we like to see at the best beach weddings!
Beach Wedding Portraits
Bride and groom portraits on the beach always offer dramatic backgrounds, so even if you can’t have your actual wedding on the beach you can add the beachy look into your wedding! If you’re aiming in this direction, do your best to schedule portraits as close to sunset as possible like Vin and Jessica did.
In whatever you choose, be true to yourself. If you’re the kind of person that can’t wait to shower off the salty air the minute you leave the beach, it might not be the best choice for your wedding. The best beach weddings include the good and the bad of the beach – that might mean a windy day and not so perfect hair!
And don’t forget to take care of your guests! That beach sun can be intense! Take Carly and Tom’s lead by providing parasols for the outdoor ceremony on the sand and beachy drinks during cocktail hour.