I had the pleasure of meeting Bethany when she was a bridesmaid in Dawn & Chris's wedding a while back. With my job, I see lots and lots of bridesmaids, but Bethany's sweet personality and cute sense of style stuck out in my mind, and I was thrilled when she contacted me about her own wedding. And then she told me it would be on the beach of Oak Island, North Carolina. On the one hand, I was super pumped. A beach wedding! A destination wedding! I've been wanting to become a destination wedding photographer, so any time I have the opportunity to shoot outside of middle Tennessee, I jump on it.
But on the other hand, a little part of me was starting to panic. The truth is, I've never been a beach person. I'm pale, I don't like swimming with creatures, and sand...just, I can't. What about the sand in my equipment? What about the harsh light? See, in my nearly 10 years of photographing weddings, this was my first one on the beach. I was excited, but also stocking up on my SPF 1000.
And then the day came. This wedding may have changed how I feel about the beach. It was more than perfect. The island itself was flawless, with the pastel beach houses running down the coast line of white sand and wispy dunes. Joshua and Clark traveled with me, and we stayed with Bethany and some of her wedding party in the beach house they rented. When it was time for me to begin shooting, I literally walked about 10 feet from the room where I was staying to the room where Bethany was getting ready. The whole day was easy going, laid back, and full of happiness and love. And the wind! Oh, how I love wind! It moved the dresses and skits with such grace. The whole experience was so fulfilling to me as a wedding photographer, I nearly forgot about the sand everywhere. For the first time in a long time, the ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the day. Not the details, or the venue, or all the things that we tend to get caught up on when it comes to weddings, but the actual wedding itself. Nathan and Bethany were focused on becoming a unit; a new family as he joined her and her four children. Their ceremony was held in the round, and I may have shed a few happy tears as their rings were passed from hand to hand, with each special friend or family member sending warm wishes and blessings for a successful marriage.
So, here are my favorite photos from my destination beach wedding on the shore of Oak Island, NC, photographed with a mix of film and digital. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end to see my favorite shot from the day.