wilmington nc weddings

Beach Weddings...Check the Tides

Beach Weddings...Check the Tides

     So you're getting married and opted for a beach wedding. Great! As I've stated many times before, beach weddings can be as simple or elegant as you want. From board shorts and Hawaiian shirts with a Ukulele player, to tuxedos and an orchestra in the background. But you have to check the tides. Tides in NC are semidiurnal. You have two high tides and two low tides within every 24 hours and fifty minutes. If you opt to have your beach wedding during high tide you might get something like this...



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Terraces on Sir Tyler Weddings. Wilmington, NC.

Terraces on Sir Tyler Weddings. Wilmington, NC.

Continued effort to showcase weddings and wedding photography in Wilmington, NC, and surrounding areas. This is a wedding that took place on Terraces at Sir Tyler by Billy Beach Photography

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The dress doesn't always have to be white.

Two very memorable weddings I shot in the past year involved brides that were thinking out of the box by wearing dresses that weren't white. But first a little shallow history. In the 19th century and about midway to the 20th century women wore their best dress to get married in, whatever the color. The notion of buying a special dress to wear for only one day would have seemed ludicrous in those more austere times. In 1840 Queen Victoria wore a white satin dress on her wedding day. Slowly over the next 100 years or so, women with money followed the trend. Fast forward to the end of WWII. After the deprivations of the depression and the boom that followed World War 2, and with a little help from the wedding marketing machine, brides started to opt for a one time use dress. Many brides crafted dresses from the WWII parachutes their boyfriends wore into battle and others bought their dresses in the trendy color of white. The dress manufacturers pushed the color white to symbolize purity and innocence. This is paraphrased from an awesome book called Brides Inc. If your interested I posted a link at the bottom of this post. 

Back to my two wonderful brides of the past year. They really surprised me by their dresses and the weddings were great. Don't feel limited by the bridal shops. Many shops are offering a wide variety of colors, or purchase a dress that can be worn for more than one day off the rack. I'm speaking to western brides as many Asian countries use the auspicious color of red. Here are a couple shots of my thinking out of the box brides and their husbands.

Buy the book..... Great book if your interested in general wedding lore or the wedding industrial machine.



A very beautiful bride in very non-traditional dress at a beach wedding with her equally non-traditional husband in the back. Carolina Beach, NC.



Beautiful bride in a green dress on her wedding day at Greenfield Lake in Wilmington, NC.

To veil or not to veil.

A super short post about veils. About 30% of the weddings I photograph brides opt to wear a veil. In a church...no problem, on the beach...not always good. Bridal veils come in different styles. According to my admittedly shallow research, veils started in ancient Greece and Rome as a way to guard against evil spirits. Also in arranged marriages it prevented the groom from seeing his bride before the ceremony. As religion started to enter weddings the veil became a symbol of modesty and eventually style.

As I market to the beach wedding brides I have some thoughts on veils. Although beach weddings are beautiful, most days at the beach are accompanied by a breeze. Long veils absolutely don't work except in the calmest of days but you might get away with a short veil. Veils are expensive and I've had countless brides remove the veil within 5 minutes of hitting the beach.


Gusty Wind

Wind was blowing in the wrong direction. Shortly after this shot, the bride removed the veil. Ceremony was short, in hind site she should have switched places with the groom.

While I'm on the subject of the wind, hair is another consideration. Doing photos at the beach we're frequently at the mercy of the wind. When we take pictures we want the ocean and beach in the photos, not the trash cans or the condos in the background. Short hair, no problem, long hair...sometimes a problem. With long hair we have to go with the direction of the wind. When beach brides (and anyone who will be in the group pictures) have their hair long and it's moderately windy it can make it twice as long to get pictures and not always successfully. Normally I'll shoot with the background that's best and then have to turn the group to photograph with the direction of the wind regardless of background. Results are not always optimal. 


Windy Day

Barely keeping the veil under control. Bride removed veil shortly after this shot. We got some nice dramatic images.

Quick Recap: If your getting married on the beach, please think about your veil and your hair. The beach can be quite breezy and the wrong veil can screw up all your other preparations. Nothing worse than reciting your vows and no one can see your face because a veil is blowing. After the ceremony we usually do some family/group photography. Nothing worse than 9 people in a group looking fantastic and one person has hair blowing in their face. The little details matter. If you ever have any questions give me a shout....Billy ;)