Ocean Reef Club wedding on a perfect day.
Bride and Groom Portrait taken at their Ocean Reef Club Wedding

Ocean Reef Club wedding on a perfect day.

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Taylor and Robert had an amazing Ocean Reef Club wedding.  After their ceremony on “The Point”, the guest were treated to a night of great music, awesome food and a wild party!

Taylor and Robert had the ultimate Ocean Reef Club wedding and I must say I’m thrilled that I had the opportunity to photograph this amazing Florida Keys wedding.   If you are not familiar with the Ocean Reef Club, let me introduce you to this somewhat secluded luxury location.  If you are recently engaged and looking for a place to tie the knot then this could be your dream wedding venue. 

Black and White wedding picture taken at the Ocean Reef Club.
Doesn’t this picture look unique? It’s a black and white photo that was taken at the Ocean Reef Club using a special infrared camera. Infrared is a very unique alternative photography method that results in photos that have a look of their own. Pictures taken in infrared tend to look like they were taken during winter.

 

The Ocean Reef Club is located in a secluded part of Key Largo.  It’s approximately four miles long and includes a wonderful golf course, a marina, tennis, several restaurants that range from casual to fine dining options.  Members and their guests can hang out at The Club for days, there is really no reason to leave, unless you would like to take a boat to one of the Florida Keys fine restaurants on the water.   In addition to golf, tennis, and fine dining, the Ocean Reef Club has almost unlimited water activities.  Love SCUBA diving or snorkeling?  Check out The Dive Shop at Ocean Reef, (Link)   Fishing, sure there is fishing. (Link)  There is also Buccaneer Island with its lovely beach.    The Travelers to the Ocean Reef Club can arrive several different ways.  First you could drive, getting to the Ocean Reef Club is easy, If you are coming from Miami you can US 1 to Card Sound Road straight to County Road then turn left which will take you to the Ocean Reef Club’s front gate.  Or if you are in Key Largo just take County Road North to the club.  Of course I you are in a rush to arrive and don’t want to waste time driving, you could always fly into their private airport.   Landing at the Ocean Reef Club

Bride and her bridesmaids at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida.
Mimosas and sunshine kicked off Taylor and Robert’s Ocean Reef Club wedding. After this picture was taken Taylor’s father got to see her in her bridal gown!
The groom posing with his dog posing at The Ocean Reef Club.
Robert hanging with Nox before the wedding ceremony.  In case you are wondering Nox is a Brittany

Taylor and Robert met during a family vacation in the Bahamas.   Taylor’s father and Robert’s uncle were very good friends who decided to plan a vacation together in the Bahamas. Who would have known that sparks would fly when Taylor and Robert met during that Bahamas vacation.    After eight years of dating, Robert planned to ask Taylor to become his wife.

Groom and the guys photo taken at the Ocean Reef Club, in Key Largo.
This photo of Robert and the groomsmen was taken just before everyone left for the ceremony.
Bridal portrait taken with in her gown showing the fine gown detail
Taylor looking awesome in her bridal gown.   Having the girls from Society Cleaners helping to style the bridal gown was a huge help.  Thank you girls!

Taylor and Robert had known each other for a long time.  They met before Taylor started college and dated through their college years.  Several years after they finished college, Robert surprised Taylor with a ring and marriage proposal in Medina, Ohio over Christmas vacation.  Taylor who was visiting her family, was told that she had to attend a family gathering for the purpose of having a family photo taken.  While she was alone waiting for the other family members to arrive, Robert appeared and proposed under the gazebo.  First she was surprised that Robert arrived, then even more thrilled when he proposed.

 Here the brides father is kissing the brides cheek while mom gives the camera a big smile.
Taylor’s father is great to photograph, his timing in front if the camera is impeccable. Taylor mom always looks great and has the best smiles ever.
Family wedding photos taken at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo
The bridal suite had a balcony that was perfect for portrait photography.

For Taylor, deciding to get married at The Ocean Reef Club was a no brainer.  The Ocean Reef Club is not just a beautiful wedding location.  The residents who live and vacation there consider the Ocean Reef Club their home away from home.   Many people who have a first or second home at Ocean Reef Club would never consider having a wedding any place else.   Taylor’s sister Lauren had planned her Ocean Reef Club wedding for October 2017.  Then Hurricane Irma hit and devastated the Ocean Reef Club.  It was a huge problem.  Lauren’s wedding planner Andi jumped into action and found a new wedding venue.   Lauren had a beautiful wedding at Vizcaya and Andi their planner did a great job pulling everything together at the last minute. You can check out Lauren’s wedding here: Lauren and Aaron’s Vizcaya Wedding  Taylor wasn’t taking any chances with the weather when she decided on her April 13th wedding date.

The groom ready and waiting for the First Look between the bride and groom.
Once Taylor was ready we traveled by van to a special location for the “First Look”.  With Robert’s back to Taylor, all Robert had to do was turnaround to see his bride.  For more on First Looks click this link: Article on the “First Look”
Groom's face during the bride and groom first look at the Ocean Reef Club.
Robert seeing Taylor in her gown for the first time!
Ocean Reef Club Wedding Pictures.
If you are planning an Ocean Reef Club wedding it’s helps to build plenty of extra time into your wedding day timeline.  There are so many picturesque photo spots you will need some extra time to travel to some of these different locations.

 

The day before the wedding, Taylor and Robert held their wedding rehearsal at the Chapel at Ocean Reef.   The chapel is located on the Ocean Reef Club property, is a beautiful house of worship that is located on a small rolling hill in the center of town.  I have photographed several weddings inside the Chapel on the Reef and it’s very pretty inside.  After the rehearsal, while everyone was still inside the chapel, Taylor and Robert’s parents were treated to an unexpected surprise Catholic ceremony.  After the ceremony all the guests were treated to a festive welcome dinner on the beach.

Beautiful photography location at the Ocean Reef Club.
This  photo was taken at a special location by the golf course.
Bride and Groom wedding pictures taken at the Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo.
Just a few steps away from where we took the first look pictures I found this other location. As an experience photographer I have found that one of the keys to getting great photos is the lighting. In my people photography I almost always turn the people so that the lighting on their faces is soft and even. I also throw in some additional face lighting by using either a reflector or electronic flash.
Wedding picture taken at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida

On the wedding day morning, Robert and Taylor got ready in separate locations, Taylor and her girls got ready in one of the condos in the Ocean Reef Club’s hotel.  Robert and his guys got ready at his house located a short drive away.   While both were getting ready for their big day, they separately exchanged gifts.  Taylor couldn’t hide her emotions when she opened a card that included an ownership title making her shared owner of Nox.   Opening that card was the first time Taylor cried tears of joy on her wedding day.  By the way, if you are wondering what breed of dog Nox is, he’s a Brittany

In addition to wonderful cards and other meaningful tidbits, Taylor and Robert also exchanged very nice Rolex watches as well.

Wedding ring photography
Taylor and Roberts had awesome wedding rings. One of my favorite aspects of wedding photography is photographing wedding rings and the small detail photos. When I shoot a wedding I bring a special macro lens just for photographing wedding rings and small items.
Wedding Flowers and Decor at an Ocean Reef Club Wedding.
The wonderful flowers and decor for Taylor and Robert’s wedding was created by Parrish of London

The most popular place for Ocean Reef Club wedding ceremonies is at a spot called “The Point.”   The Point is a small isthmus that jets out into Atlantic Ocean providing amazing ocean views on three sides.  I have photographed a lot of weddings in the Florida Keys and I must say, The Point is the most beautiful place for a wedding ceremony.   Looking straight out to the east the view from the point is open ocean, If you look North, your view is of the ocean and a beach lined cove that looks very inviting.  If you turn your view to the South, the stunning view is of blue ocean and some very picturesque mangrove trees that grow out of the Atlantic Ocean forming unique shapes.  All of the wedding ceremonies I have shot at The Ocean Reef Club have been at sunset.  Having a sunset wedding ceremony on The Point means everyone gets treated to an incredible sunset.   

Bride and her father walking down the aisle to start their wedding in The Point.
Weddings that take place at The Point on the Ocean Reef Club property are truly special. Everything was perfect when Taylor and her father started their walk down the aisle.
During the walk down the aisle, the brides father and the director of catering, Christian Sarquis fist bump.
As Taylor and her father start their walk down the aisle, Taylor’s father and the Ocean Reef Club’s Director of Catering kick off journey with the traditional “Fist Bump”. In case you are not familiar with this tradition here is a video to explain.   Everything you always wanted to know about the “Fist Bump”

 

This Ocean Reef Club Wedding started at the perfect time and at the perfect place, The Point.
Nothing could have been more perfect as Taylor and her father walked down the aisle on The Point.

For Taylor and her family, getting married at The Point had a special meaning.  When her grandfather passed away, his ashes were scattered off  The Point.  Taylor mentioned to me, during the wedding ceremony she felt her grandfather watching over.  As a wedding photographer who has photographed ceremonies all over the Florida Keys, I must say Robert and Taylor’s ceremony was one of the most beautiful.

Ocean Reef Club wedding ceremony taking place on The Point.
As Taylor and Robert exchanged vows they faced each which made for a fantastic photo!
Bride enjoying an emotional moment during her Ocean Reef Club wedding.
Taylor’s emotional face as Robert repeats his wedding vows.

Because the Ocean Reef Club has so many visitors, and since many of the wedding guests would arrive several days early, Taylor and Robert wanted their wedding guests to meet and become acquainted before the wedding.  After brainstorming some ideas they decided to make special rubber blue bracelets that their guests could wear during their stay at the resort.  This way all the wedding guests could easily recognize who was a wedding guest.  By the day of the wedding most of the guests knew each other.

Bride and Groom's first kiss as a married couple at their Ocean Reef Club wedding.
Taylor and Robert’s fist kiss as a married couple. I also LOVE Lauren’s expression!

In addition to providing their wedding guests with rubber wedding bracelets, Taylor and Robert planned several get-togethers to help their wedding guest mingle.  These events were spread out over several days.  These included taking some guest out to dinner at some of the Florida Keys, on the water restaurants.  Taylor’s family owns a boat named “Time to Burn” which is a reference to her fathers family business of making firefighter turnout gear. Both Lauren and Taylor work with their father in the business.   Aside from taking their boat out and touring the Key Largo area, Taylor and Robert kept their wedding guests busy with a wide range of other pre-wedding activities and events. Because there is so much to do at the Ocean Reef Club the resorts tag line is , “A unique way of life.”  

Ocean Reef Club wedding photo taken at The Point
The wedding ceremony ended at the perfect time of day. Photographers refer to this time as “The Golden Hour” It’s the best time to take people pictures.

 

I asked Taylor if she would like to share some advice to brides planning their weddings.  Taylor quoted  Desmond Tutu  who once wisely said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he means by this, is that when something in life that seems daunting or overwhelming, and even impossible anyone can stay positive and focused by gradually taking on each task one little bit at a time.

Ocean Reef Club wedding picture taken on The Point.
Wedding picture taken at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida

 

The ceremony at “The Point” was beautiful, just look at these pictures!    There is a specific time of the day that photographers refer to as “The golden hour.”  It’s the last hour before the setting sun hits to horizon.  This is the time when the light from the sun is at its best. At this time, the lighting is soft, there is a sunset to photograph, and angle is perfect for taking bride and groom pictures.  As it turned out the ceremony ended just as the golden hour began. 

Bride and Groom enjoying a moment by the Ocean Reef Club swimming pool.
This is one of my favorite places at the Ocean Reef Club.  The reflection from the pool water is just amazing.

 

About the photography, Taylor and Robert’s wedding planner,“Andi Dyal” created a wedding timeline that gave a generous amount of time for all the posed pictures as well as bride and groom pictures.  This was very helpful because the Ocean Reef Club is such a large property with a wide range of picturesque locations.  In addition, plenty of time was included to take the getting ready pictures.  Read my article on wedding timelines.   A large shuttle was provided to bring the bride and groom along with our wedding photography and video crew to several different locations.  Robert met us at a pre-arranged location for the first look.  Once Taylor and Robert saw each other, we spent some time taking more pictures.  Taylor was feeling a bit overwhelmed before the first look but once she saw Robert the overwhelm went away and she was ready to proceed. At a set time, we met up with Taylor and Robert’s families and the wedding party for the posed pictures.  After we finished the posed pictures it was time to get ready for this ceremony.   

Ocean Reef Club wedding picture taken with the light from a beautiful setting sun.
When shooting on the the Ocean Reef Club’s “The Point” during the golden hour the light is perfect if you are shooting toward the east. If you point the lens to the west, you get this great sunset or at least a wonderful looking sky.
Ballroom photo taken at an Ocean Reef Club wedding.
Check out this awesome looking ballroom. The florist Parish of London Did a fantastic job with the flowers.
Wedding photography at The Ocean Reef Club.
The table flowers included a mix of topiaries and lower flowers. The flowers mixed with the candles made for a creative and romantic atmosphere.
Wedding reception decor at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.
Wedding reception decor at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo.
Wedding picture taken at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida
Wedding picture taken at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida
Wedding picture taken at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida

Parent dances at the Ocean Reef Club.

The maid of honor's toast.
Lauren and the best man gave great wedding toasts that touched everyone hearts while including an element of fun and laughter.
Brides father toasting pictures at The Ocean Reef Club.
The toast given by the brides father was very entertaining and meaningful.

The ballroom was decorated with beautiful topiaries and awesome lighting.  As expected the party raged on and on and on.  I had a blast photographing this awesome Ocean Reef Club wedding!

Wild reception party pictures at a Ocean Reef Club wedding.
The party raged on and on. Fueled by the music of Private Stock Band  the dancing and fun continued until the end of the evening.. The pictures used in this  photo collage are a very small sampling of the party pictures I shot during the reception.

Photographing weddings at the Ocean Reef Club is always a treat.  Every time I work here I always produce unique images.  Here are some more wedding pictures I have taken at the Ocean Reef Club.  Liz and Eamon’s Ocean Reef Club Wedding

This picture is from one of the first weddings I shot at The Ocean Reef Club.  Bride at the Ocean Reef Club.     This picture was taken inside the coral walkway at by the offices. Bride and Groom at the Ocean Reef Club.   

Check out this black and white infrared photo.  Artistic wedding picture taken at The Ocean Reef Club.      Here is a picture taken at the Fishing Village.

In addition to wedding photography, Taylor and Robert also hired us to shoot their wedding video.  Here is the highlight video link.Taylor and Robert’s wedding video

A Sparkler sendoff ended a fantastic wedding day at the Ocean Reef Club.
This fantastic wedding day ended with a dramatic sparkler sendoff.

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