It had been nearly a year to the day since Jena and Mike reached out to me about capturing their Florida destination wedding in Marco Island when the actual date rolled around and the golden hour proved to be everything that we had daydreamed it to be. Saturday turned out to be a beautiful, sunshine-filled Florida day, complete with a soft salty breeze. The couple got ready and had their reception at the stunning palm-tree lined Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa. I had a chance to get the girls out on the lawn to have some fun in the sun right as Makenzie was capturing groom details from the balcony above - check out the behind the scenes of the Champagne pop! Only a half of the bottle was sacrificed for the photo.
Mike took advantage of the stunning view, getting ready on the balcony while taking in the view of the ocean.
Having a chance to enjoy cocktail hour and spend time with the guests that flew in from around the country was incredibly important to Jena and Mike, so we incorporated a first look into the timeline of their day. To make this moment extra special, we had the couple wait to exchange and read the letters they had written to each other until this moment. I directed them to stand with their backs to one another as they read their letters, building the anticipation; Mike was unable to resist planting a sweet kiss on his stunning bride the moment he laid eyes on her.
The ceremony was held at the United Church of Marco Island, where the couple shared vows in front of family and friends and then exited among ALL THE BUBBLES. Did I mention that we LOVE bubble exits? Day or night, bubbles add an element of fun and whimsy that immediately makes everyone smile!
My personal favorite part about having a first look, is that it opens the door for the opportunity for my team and I to take the couple portraits of the day in sporadic increments in various lighting conditions. Pulling my couples away at all of the right moments boosts the authenticity of the emotions of each experience, and Jena and Mike were certainly no exception. We captured portraits at both venues and then bolted with them towards one of the most vibrant sunsets I’ve seen this wedding season!
The formal party also got to enjoy the perks of a first look - we completed all of their portraits ahead of time, freeing them to attend the super tropical beachfront cocktail hour at the resort!
The reception was a soft and romantic pallet with neutral tones of pinks, champagne, and ivory, and Jena added a modern twist to her reception design by incorporating statement centerpieces and pink uplighting. The Publix cake had no chance against Mike, who devoured the cake cutting slice like it was his JOB. After the formal events, the couple partied the night away!
A HUGE thanks to the vendors that helped make this day so special!
Photographer: Sara Ozim Photography
Venue: Hilton Marco Island
Coordination: Celebrations by Sandy
Florals: Celebrations by Sandy
Gown: Maggie Soterro Designs
Tux: The Black Tux
Entertainment: MK Entertainment
Sara Ozim is a Florida and North Carolina destination and elopement photographer based out of Orlando, Florida, available for capturing couples madly in love worldwide. To inquire about availability, please visit the contact page or email directly at email@example.com.