If you are planning an secret wedding then this article on South Florida elopement photography is a great read.
Packed with useful information let this blog post on South Florida Elopement Photography be your guide to planning a truly memorable elopement.
If you are thinking about eloping to Florida you should know that tying the knot in South Florida is a great idea. I have been producing South Florida Elopement Photography for over fifteen years, and in those years, I have learned a few things about South Florida Elopements and weddings. Now I’m based in South East Florida, however I have photographed Elopements all over the state. If you are interested in tying the knot in cities such as, Miami, South Beach, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Naples, Sarasota, Marco Island, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Palm Beach, Jupiter or even the Florida Keys, Not only can help you with your elopement photography, I also work with the best wedding and elopement planners in Florida, so I could help you there as well.
Why elope in South Florida?
In case you haven’t heard, “Florida” especially South Florida, is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the world. Couples planning an elopement here can get married on the beach, and then enjoy the best vacation of their lives all in this amazing state! Florida has a wide range of wedding ceremony locations ranging from beaches, to lush picturesque gardens, to golf clubs, and historical sites. Most of the hotels, museums, country or golf clubs offer wedding and elopement packages. Once you have exchanged vows you could enjoy all that the beautiful state of Florida has to offer. You could spend time enjoying Disney World or take a drive over the scenic Overseas Highway which travels from Miami, over the Atlantic Ocean 165 miles to wonderful Key West. How about getting married on the beach, then taking an amazing cruise out of one of the three South Florida cruise ports.
BELOW: This photo was taken at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. It’s one of the best places to tie the knot and get great pictures! Check out these links to see more about this wonderful venue. Boca Resort Website. Click here to view Samantha and Arryn’s Boca Resort wedding. Here is a sepia photo taken at the Boca Beach Club. To see an entire collection of images from the Boca Raton Resort and Club click here.
In addition to all the great hotels, wedding or elopement venues you have access to in Florida, you also have unlimited dining options. Of course the Cuban Cuisine here is delicious, but Florida also offers the best seafood as well, “Caught fresh in the Caribbean waters off the Florida coast nothing could be tastier. We also have the best alligator bites and let’s not forget the Key Lime Pie.
In my more than fifteen years photographing elopements and weddings here in South Florida, I have taken pictures at all the top venues. These venues range from high class luxury hotels, to rustic picturesque venues and unique gardens. There are also many garden type museum locations as well. Having all these wonderful venues around will insure you get the best South Florida elopement photography results.
About South Florida Elopement photography and elopement packages.
Because Florida is such a popular place for elopements, many event companies and event planners offer elopement packages. These packages include everything from flowers and décor to music, you can even have a live guitarist or violinist play during your, on the beach ceremony. Many of these elopement packages include a photographer was well. Because I am an established wedding photographer, I would most likely “not” be included in these, all inclusive elopement packages. If you are planning a Florida elopement and the photography is very important, I would advise you to hire the photography part separate from the inclusive package. Here is the reason why. Established wedding and event photographers usually get hired 6 months to a year in advance. The elopement planners that offer these packages have working relationships with their photographers. The talented photographers who shoot weddings are not usually willing to tie themselves up for a 3-6 hour elopement package when they can book a full 8-12 hour 50 -500 guest wedding.
This doesn’t mean that an independent wedding photographer, like myself won’t be available on your elopement day. It just means that many of the highly skilled wedding photographers won’t tie themselves up with an elopement planner who creates all inclusive packages. The photographer who is included in an all inclusive elopement package may be perfectly acceptable. They may be a wedding photographer who has a working relationship with a planner, with the understanding that they won’t often be available. Then again, most established photographers would rather build a relationship with the couple so that the images taken convey the personality of the bride and groom. If you are really interested in having fine, creative wedding photos, I would suggest you reach out to established wedding photographers who also happen to photograph elopements. Of course I would love to hear from you about photographing your elopement. If I’m not available I’m happy to refer you to another talented photographer.
Still unsure about having a Florida elopement?
If you are still unsure about a Florida Elopement, here are some things to keep in mind regarding elopements and Florida elopement photography. Having an elopement ceremony in Florida doesn’t mean that you can’t have a wonderful party filled with friends and family. Many couples who have eloped still have a party at their home location. The benefit to this scenario is that the ceremony and the time the couple gets to spend together is on a more personal level. The bride and groom can enjoy their time together, get married, honeymoon in Florida or on a cruise boat sailing the Caribbean, and then have a laid back wonderful no pressure party in their home town. By doing this the couple will save a ton of money and still have a memorable wedding with awesome pictures.
You don’t have to give up luxury by Eloping to South Florida. However, you will save a lot of money. The money you save can be spent on the best elopement photographer (ahem) I know a great one! You can also get married in the gown of your dreams. You also won’t be paying to feed 50-500 wedding guests, or buying flowers to decorate every guest table.
Because you are eloping, you could get married in any of the top South Florida luxury hotels or venues. Many of these hotels will cater to couples who have decided to elope.
Elopements can also include more than just the two of you. I have photographed many elopements in which a few close friends or family members have attended. Sharing your elopement with a few special people who get to witness you saying your vows will add to the emotion of your very wedding adventure.
Elopement tips to make your South Florida elopement photography more fun.
Having photographed so many South Florida elopements I have learned a few things that will make your elopement special. Here are a few special tips that you can incorporate into your elopement. By following some of these useful tips you will enjoy the best South Florida elopement photography ever.
Write your own ceremony vows. For couples getting married nothing could be more memorable that exchanging your personal ceremony vows in a picturesque setting. Standing on a beautiful South Florida beach or facing each other in a lush garden with a gentle breeze will result in awesome pictures and a memorable experience. I would also recommend writing your vows on an artistic or meaningful piece of stationery. This will give your photographer, “hopefully me” another photographic opportunity as well as create a wedding keepsake for you to cherish forever.
BELOW: The Harbor Beach Marriott is one of the few venues that is so close to the Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal that couples can have an elopement ceremony on the beach while watching the cruise ships set sail. As a South Florida elopement photographer I get to work at this venue a lot. Here are some links to other pictures from this Broward County luxury venue. Pictures taken at the Marriott Harbor Beach.
Here are more pictures from the Harbor Beach Marriott.
Have a rain plan.
Because South Florida is located in a tropical location rain does happen from time to time. I have photographed several weddings and elopements in the rain. I have also taken some of my favorite couple pictures during the rain. It’s a great idea the check the weather forecast and if there is a chance of rain during your ceremony bring some artsy and fashionable umbrellas or if possible tie the knot the next day. Remember in South Florida it could rain in Boca Raton and be bright in sunny in Delray beach just 5 miles away. It could also rain for only 10 minutes. Event planners often use a weather app to check if there is rain moving in your direction.
BELOW: Another great fantastic venue for a Miami Beach elopement is a venue called the Palms Hotel. Because the Palms is located in Miami Beach it’s one of the most popular places for a high end elopement. The surrounding area is loaded with fine dining, shopping, art deco buildings and much more. In addition the Palms offers elopement packages. You an visit their website here.
Here are links to other pictures I have taken at The Palms Hotel. Bride & Groom at The Palms Beach
This sepia picture was taken at the end of a wild wedding day – Sparkler Send-off at The Palms Hotel
Take pictures in several beautiful locations.
Because there are so many beautiful and unique places for pictures here in South Florida I always recommend taking pictures in several locations. For example, if you are in South Beach you could take pictures on the famous Lincoln Road, then get married in the beach, or if you are a fan of Fort Lauderdale beach you could visit the Bonnet House for pictures, then marry on the beach across from one of the luxury hotels on Fort Lauderdale beach Blvd. Check out my list favorite picture spots in South Florida, you will find that this area is a treasure trove of awesome locations.
Change into different outfits.
During many of engagement shoots I photograph, the couple takes pictures wearing two different outfits. Often it’s one casual and one that is more formal. By doing this a couple will get pictures with several different looks. This is less common at weddings but at a less formal elopement anything goes. Heck, couples can tie the know is swimsuits, wetsuits, and underwater with SCUBA gear if you are into that.
Have your photographer set up a first look.
First looks between the bride and groom are very popular at weddings. When the groom sees his bride for the first time in her bridal dress it’s a great and memorable photo opportunity. I find that people love the pictures taken before, during and just after the first look. It’s a highly emotional time for many couples. As an elopement photographer I’m skilled at setting up the first look and then taking photo-journalistic type pictures as the bride and groom enjoy their moment together.
Bring some fun props.
After your elopement you may want to announce your marriage to the world. Usually this is done on social media. By posting creative professional pictures that include signs and props, you can share your elopement online in a way that is guaranteed to get attention. If you visit the website Etsy you can find a some very unique elopement signs and props. Another way to get this best South Florida elopement photography is to have fun with props and signs this while taking awesome pictures.
BELOW: I was in a meeting with a bride and groom on a Tuesday at 3PM when I received a call from a Groom. His message was, I need you to photograph my wedding ceremony tomorrow. I asked where is the ceremony? His answer was, “The Bahamas ” So I drove home, packed up my camera gear, Three Cameras, Lenses, Flashes, Batteries and Chargers. By 6:00PM I was at the airport and I landed in the Bahamas around 9:00PM. I shot this photo at The Ocean Club before their beautiful ceremony. Here is another picture of the same bride. Bride at The Ocean Club.
Hire a talented musician to play during your ceremony.
South Florida is a mecca of musical talent. I have photographed many weddings and events with the most sweet-sounding collection of violin, guitar, keyboard, saxophone, and flute and harpists in the area. As a photographer, I love taking pictures of couples getting married on the beach as a talented musician plays in the background.
Add video to your elopement.
One of the best ways to share you experience is with video. Because we offer both photography and videography we shoot video at almost every wedding and elopement we cover. Often couples will tell me that they are planning a casual “Just married” party back in their home town. The video is often used as additional entertainment for the just married party.
BELOW: One of my favorite places to take wedding and elopement pictures is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This is by far the most beautiful picture place in Miami, if not all of South Florida. I can spend hours shooting at all the picturesque photo spots Vizcaya has to offer. Check out this picture Bride and her Girls at Vizcaya.
I hope you found this article helpful. Because the nature of South Florida elopements changes all the time. Because new trends emerge and styles evolve I’ll keep updating this article. If you are reading this and planning an elopement I would love to chat. Feel free to give me a call at (561) 737-5561
UPDATED June,26,2020. – Because elopements are often very casual and consist of a very few guests having some extra fun is very common. After the ceremony we took a few posed pictures and then the couple decided to go for some fun ocean play pictures in the warm Boca Raton ocean. Unlike most large South Florida weddings, elopements in South Florida are casual and jumping into the ocean with the bridal gown is more common at an elopement. This one took place at a Boca Raton hotel which was located on the hotel’s private beach. The couple was laid back and casual. Since this was such a small elopement I had plenty of time to take all the needed pictures including bride alone, groom alone, lot’s of fun bride and groom beach pictures and pictures with the few friends and family who attended. In total there were one nine guests who attended. The ceremony happened in the morning and by the early afternoon we were finished. After the couple got married they packed their bags and headed to the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale to start their ten day cruise about the Royal Caribbean, Majesty of the Seas. After the returned I get to speak with them. The reported that they had an amazing time and enjoyed creating memories that will last a lifetime. As their South Florida elopement photographer, I’m thrilled that I got to be there to photograph their special day.
BELOW: This couple just eloped at the Eau Hotel in Palm Beach. If you are looking for a great luxury hotel for you elopement ceremony then you have got to check out the Eau in Palm Beach. This is the perfect venue for a South Florida elopement. From the second you walk inside the front door you will know this is one of the most elegant hotels in town. When you enter into the lobby you are greeted by an high key elegant living room type setting. Just beyond the lobby is a open room with a fireplace accented by a beautiful chandelier. This Palm Beach venue has the feel of a small quaint hotel, but it’s capable of handling large 700 person events. The huge ballrooms are tucked away off of one of the very pretty walkways. This picture was taken on the patio behind the hotel. The back part of this hotel features a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition the hotel is perfectly landscaped, finding places to take romantic elopement pictures in easy. As a South Florida elopement photographer, I have found that I never have enough time to take pictures at all the great photo places I would like to when working here. So if you decide to marry at the Eau Palm Beach, make sure you allow extra time so that you photographer can take awesome pictures. The main picture on this article was taken at the Eau. Here are some additional pictures from this picturesque elopement venue. Bride and groom being silly at the Eau Hotel, Palm Beach Once you walk into the front lobby if you make a right down the walkway you will come to the place where this small wedding picture was made. Because there are fewer guests involved in elopements and small weddings, spending extra time to get the perfect shot is much easier. Capturing this photo took some extra time and a lot of kissing. I don’t think the couple minded holding their kiss while I worked with the flower girl to get the perfect laugh. Bridal elopement picture taken in a mirror at Angle. Angle is the small restaurant located inside the Eau. It’s the perfect setting for an elopement dinner or a small wedding. The inside of Angle has lot’s of mirrored walls with works well if you are looking to get an artsy photo. If you want to see more pictures from the Eau check out this blog post which is filled with wedding and elopement pictures from this awesome venue. Wedding pictures from the Eau Palm Beach
ABOUT THIS PHOTO: If you think this image looks a bit unique it should. I shot this with a specially modified camera designed to take infrared pictures. Infrared photography results in images that have a very interesting look. Outdoor pictures taken in Infrared look like they were shot in a winter wonderland. It’s more difficult to take infrared pictures and it takes extra time as well. However, because elopements don’t consist of the large guest counts which you would find at a wedding, it’s much easier to find the extra time required to take some infrared elopement pictures.