Beach Wedding Photo Tips

Beach Wedding Photo Tips

When you're planning a beach wedding you want stunning photos that take advantage of the scenery. For most people that means sunset shots with waves crashing, and fun photos of friends and family enjoying the sunshine. The photographers we recommend have got you covered on those shots and they are ready and go the extra mile to create artistic artwork like the photographs shown below.

To make the most of your big day on the beach, check out these 10 beach wedding photography ideas and make a list of the photos that you’re drawn to. Just be sure that your photographer has ample time to create what you want without rushing your day.

1. Pick an Epic Beach Wedding Location

Obviously, this is where you begin. The world is a beach and life is beautiful from the Seychelles to the Hawaiian Islands. We love this list, and this drop dead gorgeous beach on the island of Maui. Choose a place that is close to your heart even if it’s far away from home, and revel in the adventure!

Makena, Maui, beach wedding drone photography by Angela Nelson
Photographed by Angela Nelson, Maui wedding photographer

2. Come Ready to Embrace the Wind

If you want a photo without a hair out of place, you’ll need to get it before you hit the beach. Even the tightest bun won’t hold up against the constant ocean breezes, so embrace the weather and let the wind take you. Long veils can be spectacular in the wind and require lots of pins or combs to make them secure. Do a dry run on a windy day to ensure your veil doesn’t end up going for a swim without you.

Beach wedding photo of couple on motorbike photographed by Marla Manes, Seattle wedding photographer
Photographed by Marla Manes Photography, Washington elopement photographer

3. Have Fun with your Footprints

Walking in the sand leaves a wonderful impression and gives your photographer a chance to catch you on the move. Whether the photo is taken from above or from the ground, your footprints will make a statement about your new path together.

Photographed by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography - South Africa photographers

4. Look for Reflections on the Sand

Shallow water reflects the clouds and sunset like nothing else. To get photos like the one below you will need a sunny or partly cloudy day and a very thin cover of water which is usually easy to find near the tidal line.

Photographed by Aralani Photography - Portland, Oregon photographers

5. Use the Waves as your Backdrop

Waves crashing on rocks or against a sea wall make for dramatic photography. Be sure you don’t get too close, assign someone to watch for logs that may wash ashore and be prepared to get wet if the waves surprise you. 

Beach wedding bridesmaids in surf, photographed by Kevin Heslin, Costa Rica wedding photographer
Photographed by Kevin Heslin, Costa Rica wedding photographer

6. Take Advantage of Rocks for Perfect Portraits

Rocky outcroppings can make wonderful places to pose for photos of the two of you or your whole group. Ask your photographer to scout the beach for an excellent option and forget the classic shots of the bridal party all in row.

Photographed by David and Sherry Photography - Ontario, Canada photographers

7. Create a Focal Point for Your Ceremony

If you’re getting married on the sand, bring all eyes to your ceremony with a beautiful arbor and aisle of bright flowers that stand out against the white of the sand. And if you want to wear high heels we suggest laying down a walkway like the one pictured below which will keep sand out of your shoes and stop you from falling.

Photographed by Citlalli Rico Photography - Riviera Maya, Mexico photographers

8. Host Your Dinner by the Sea

Setting up your tables oceanside will ensure that photos from your reception make the most of the waterfront scenery. Plus the sound of the surf will lull your guests into blissful relaxation as they talk and dance the night away.

Photographed by Stephanie Cristalli Photography - Seattle, Washington photographers

9. Hire a Drone Photographer

Everything looks different when you have a bird’s eye view. Nowadays many top photographers own drones and get incredible shots like the one below. You don’t need to lay on the sand or get in the water to get epic beach wedding photos, but you may have fun if you decide to.

Photographed by Julien Laurent-Georges - France photographers

10. Go Wild and Get Wet!

And if you do want to go all in, do a day after session and snuggle up in the waves and dive in the water. Lots of artists have underwater cameras that will allow them to capture photos on land and in the sea. 

Photographed by Callaway Gable - Los Angeles, California photographers

For more on beach weddings read our post on the 8 Best Things About Beach Weddings, and get ready to make a splash at your big event!