I couldn’t wait to finally photograph Valerie and Jesus’ south Florida beach wedding! Unfortaunelty, they had to postpone their wedding three times because of COVID. Additionally, a potential hurricane landfall threatened to create another postponement. Thankfully the weather turned out beautiful, although a little breezy.
This was a second marriage for both Valerie and Jesus, who met through work while living in two different states. They both have two daughters that they included in the wedding party, making their day even more special. Valerie’s girls were her Maids of Honor, and Jesus’ daughters were his Best Women.
The Hollywood Beach Marriott was the perfect venue for their south Florida beach wedding. The color palette Valerie and Jesus chose was coral, pink, and turquoise. The bouquets were custom-made out of seashells, tropical flowers, lace, and beads. The wooden triangle that served as the altar for their waterfront ceremony was also custom-made by Jesus.
Valerie’s a-lined gown with embroidered lace and gold sequins was so stunning on her! She embellished it with the perfect silver jeweled belt. Each daughter wore pale pink dresses and had their hair in braids with starfish hair accessories. After Valerie’s makeup was done and she looked in the mirror, she became quite emotional because she admitted she had never done makeup professionally before. I was so happy to capture her tears of joy so she’ll always have that memory to look back on.
Formal pictures were done shortly before ceremony time, and I have to admit that the 20 mph wind gusts were challenging at times, but I was still able to find the right spots for portraits on the beach. Since they did not want first look pictures, I was eager for photos of Jesus watching Valerie walk down the aisle. I discovered that it was not only Jesus who became emotional, but his oldest daughter did as well. I loved how father and daughter had similar facial expressions and tears in their eyes.
Guests at the ceremony burst with emotion as Valerie and Jesus recited their own self-written vows to one another. They also added a unique rock sculpture segment in their ceremony to symbolize their two families becoming one. There were six rocks on a table, and each of them took turns placing their rock through a rod to form a sculpture that would represent their blended family.
After the ceremony, they expressed that one of the photos they wanted was a photo of their entire wedding party of 50 holding signs that spelled out “FINALLY” and had their four previous wedding dates with lines drawn through them. It was a fun and humorous way to deal with their postponements, and they were planning to use this photo for their thank you cards. I shot Valerie and Jesus’ portraits just as the sun was setting and the ocean waves rolled. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting.
The reception was held at the Marriott’s outdoor patio restaurant, where cocktails and a buffet dinner were served. It was great to see the four girls dancing and having fun as if they had been sisters all along, their family foundation already firm and solid as a rock.