Reeds Stone Harbor Wedding Photographer: Amanda & Mike

A Stone Harbor beach wedding with a romantic atmosphere, two CrossFit athletes, beautiful personal details and deep family connections…
During our first meeting, when I asked Amanda what kind of look she was going for, she said soft, beachy and romantic.  While it might be a little counterintuitive; mist, fog and wind were perfect for that soft, romantic look.  Amanda shared about the details that she was working on– from adorable starfish place cards to sweet, hand-painted signs that she created herself– everything came together beautifully!  Amanda shared that her father had passed and  that her mom would be walking her down the aisle, but I was totally blown away by the unconditional love that Amanda, her mother and sister share.
Mike proposed to Amanda several miles down the beach in Cape May.  This is where they sealed the deal, exchanging vows on the 95th street beach in Stone Harbor and celebrating at the Reeds at Shelter Haven.  I hope that their passion and strength comes across in these photos as well as the sweet, natural feel of their day.    Here are a few of my favorite images…
Amanda’s mom rented a beach house for everyone to get ready in.  It was so nice to have that space for everyone and really kept everything geographically close as well as close-knit and served as a home-base for family members during this destination wedding.  Visually speaking, it streamlined that beachy look from start to finish, which will look amazing in their album ;).
Sisters!  This hug seems to take them back to the days of being “big sister-little sister” again.  Amanda and her sister were always close growing up, and still have a very deep bond.
Amanda wrapped this locket around her wedding bouquet so that her father could be with her during her walk down the aisle.  Amanda’s mom is her role model and one of her best friends– she cheers Amanda on, challenges her and has always expressed how proud she is of her.  Amanda’s mom lost her own father when she was a child, so she understands what Amanda has been through.
Amanda & Mike’s first look… I don’t think it could have been more perfect!  I love how excited she is and how happy he is.  He has the brightest smile and was absolutely head over heels in awe of his gorgeous bride.
Crossfit is a hobby that Mike & Amanda share.  They work out together, and encourage each other through tough physical challenges and are in excellent shape.  I knew I wanted to capture that, and was thrilled to hear that they were totally up for a little run on the beach (in their wedding attire haha).  It captured that level of fitness and showed their energy and passion.  It’s one of my favorite images of them!
The pastel colors and soft, lightweight materials worn by the bridal party really enhanced the light, romantic beach look  for the bridal party.  The mist, ocean spray and fog also really softened the light and scenery… you can’t even see where the ocean ends and the sky begins!  The pastel florals were sweet and bridesmaids barefoot sandals (more of foot jewelry with bare feet)!  Florals (from bouquets to cake etc) were all done by the extremely talented Lauren from Savannah’s Garden.
Amanda’s mother pulled her girls aside to share some touching words, right before they walked down the aisle (Michelle as maid of honor and Amanda as the bride).  It has been just the three of them since Amanda’s father passed and this was the last time with just the three of them.   She said their final act as a family of three would be welcoming Mike into the family and committing to all love him unconditionally.   She reminded her children that there will always be difficulties in life and that family will be one constant thing that they can lean on.
Bob Marley’s “One Love” began to play; it was played in memory of Amanda’s father, who used to play it during their summer pool parties and barbeques—some of their favorite family memories.  Since her father was not able to walk her down the aisle.  Her and her mom held hands tightly and leaned on each other as they walked together.
Saying the vows and putting on those rings was such an incredible moment– Amanda said she’s never felt more secure or confident in her life, that’s a very good sign. 😉
I told you that she thought of everything!  She had brushes for everyone to brush the sand from their feet before walking to the reception a few blocks away at the Reeds.
One of the reasons they were drawn to the Reeds is because of it’s proximity to the bay, and the view from cocktail hour.  The venue is modern yet timeless, clean, bright and was the perfect beachy atmosphere for her guests.   Here Amanda & Michael and their guests enjoyed cocktails, hors devours, a posh patio and breathtaking view of Stone Harbor.
There were so many amazing moments throughout the day, that it was really difficult to choose, but the two last images that I will share here are really what the end of the night was all about– fun, friends and each other.  The first photo is an image of all of their CrossFit friends.  Not only was this group full of energy and ready to party, but they also knew both Amanda and Mike so well and were excited to celebrate.
They took some time out at the end of the night to be alone and soak it all in, their day was amazing, more than they could have ever dreamed of and now they were Mr & Mrs!   I love how you can see the mist that was hanging in the air all day in this shot, it isn’t rain, but just thick, beachy air and a perfect end to a perfect day. 🙂

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