What could be more romantic than a sunset wedding on the beach? Well, do not forget the main ingredient for this magic – the sun, slowly setting over the ocean! As any experienced Tampa wedding photographer will tell you – capture these moments in your wedding pictures and you will cherish your wedding album for years to come. Guess what? Turns out there aren’t that many places in United States that offer this unique opportunity. In fact, aside from California and Washington state, West Florida is the only place where sunsets take place over the water! As a result, Tampa Bay area beaches have become top choice for romantic wedding ceremonies among local brides as well as a major target for destination weddings nationally. And what else makes Tampa Bay beaches unique? Well, the perfect weather of course! Tampa wedding photographers get to shoot the most beautiful weddings on the beach all year round!
There are many hotels and resorts in the area which are considered prime venues for sunset weddings: TradeWinds, Don Cesar, Grand Plaza, Sirata – just to name a few. Regardless of the venue, your wedding coordinator will help you plan the ceremony and reception so that opportunity for sunset pictures is not missed. On the day of the wedding it will be your wedding photographer’s responsibility to keep an eye on the weather and make adjustments to the time line as needed.
But beware! Due to the curving shore line, even some locations in Tampa Bay area do not provide the view of the setting sun! You have to contact an experienced wedding photographer to make sure that you book the venue in the right spot. Most Tampa wedding photographers know that Clearwater and St. Petersburg beaches, for example, are probably the most sunset-friendly spots. Siesta Key, as beautiful and renowned as it is, on the other hand, would require some extra planning by an experienced photographer, as most of it is facing South and the best place for sunset photos would be a short car ride away.
Of course no one sunset is ever perfect. Sometimes light clouds cover up the entire horizon just minutes before the sun disappears. But don’t feel that you’re missing out. On the contrary, some of the most colorful and dramatic shots I’ve ever taken were made under this kind of conditions – with no direct sun. An experienced Tampa wedding photographer has few tricks up his sleeve to make the most out of each and every sunset! Please see one of my previous posts, where I shared few examples of sunset wedding photography.
After the sun is gone, as other photographers pack their gear and couples leave the beach I always try to keep my bride and groom for another 15-20 minutes or so. I love shooting after the sunset! There is not much light left, but it is absolutely amazing – soft and caressing, it feels as if it comes from everywhere. And, as the hotels on the beach begin to turn on their lights, they create incredible backdrop for very creative twilight photography.
And even if it so happened that your reception venue is not on the beach, or if your wedding day time line doesn’t quite align with the sun’s schedule – you can still manage to shoot some spectacular sunset pictures! Ask your wedding photographer for pre-wedding photo shoot, an engagement or day-after (also known as “trash the dress”) session. An experienced Tampa wedding photographer would welcome such idea and be happy offer you few tips on which locations would be the best!