Simple attire, bare feet and ocean air sounds like the perfect way to exchange vows. Let’s just all agree, beach elopements are THE best way to elope. Primarily because of the simplicity of it. Not only does the beach offer gorgeous views for both your ceremony and mini reception, but you are sure to have a variety of amazing photo opportunities. Let Alexandra and Alex’s beach elopement story be the encourage you need to have your wedding day at the beach!
WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING?
Intimate, beachy, romantic, and relaxed
He drove me out to this lake we would always go to when we first started dating and started saying all these sweet things to me on the drive there and we were both crying by the time we got there. It was really rainy and he had me get out of the car with an umbrella and we walked up to a spot under a picnic shelter just the two of us where he got down on one knee and proposed with absolutely nobody in sight. He hates that it was a rainy gloomy day and just around home but I think it was absolutely perfect and really special. Right after, we went to brunch together just the two of us before telling anybody else.
An intimate sunset beach ceremony that’s simple but romantic
THE PLANNING PROCESS
We went back and forth on what we should do. We knew we wanted to get married on the beach and being from Iowa, it would be a destination wedding for us. We didn’t know whether we wanted to have a bigger wedding of like 75-100 people and invite everyone we thought we should down to Florida or to have a tiny ceremony down there and have a bigger reception back home. After some thinking of what our budget could handle, what was important to us, and what we truly wanted for ourselves, we decided to just invite the 20-25 people that were most important to us for the whole thing down in Florida. Once we made that decision, I did a lot more focused searching online and quickly realized even on a smaller scale it would be a lot of logistics and planning that I didn’t want to deal with myself. When I came upon Elope Tampa Bay it sounded too good to be true, but the photos on the website and packages were amazing so I reached out. The communication was the best of anyone I talked to. You guys thought of things I wouldn’t have thought of and made life so much easier and made our ceremony what we wanted. We also separately planned a reception at the Hotel Zamora for after the beach ceremony. We had a weather scare the day of and had to move our ceremony up an hour to try and avoid storms. ETB was amazing dealing with this and helping us make the decision. I was super stressed about it and upset we were going to lose our sunset pictures/ceremony but you guys still made it beautiful and really made the best of the situation.
YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES
My dress was the Minerva by Rebecca Ingram from Schaffer’s Bridal in West Des Moines, Iowa. I went dress shopping with my mom the next weekend after we got engaged and this was our first stop. I tried it on and loved it but it was so soon that I thought we should go to lunch and our next appointment just to be safe. We went to the other bridal shop and I was comparing everything to that dress, so we went back later that afternoon and I put it on again and that was it. My shoes for the reception were Badgley Mischka and funny enough the style was called Tampa. I loved them as soon as I saw them and thought the name was just meant to be. His suit was a Ted Baker suit from Von Maur. We wanted a navy suit and really wanted a certain shade of navy. We saw this suit and loved the color and it fit him really well.
Our first look. Seeing each other that first time was so special. Also, walking down by the beach once the ceremony was over and professional pictures were done. We had just a few minutes by ourselves down by the water around sunset and it was probably one of the best moments of the night.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES
Don’t freak out about things you can’t control and take it all in because the day will fly by. Also make sure to make time for just the two of you!
Officiant: Pastor Chris Thomas
Photographer: Sabrina Hendley
Videographer: Imagery Wedding Films
Venue: Pass-A-Grille Beach
Floral: Wonderland Florist
H&M: Lasting Luxe