Article Published in Wedding PR News 02/01/14
In doing wedding Photography in Clearwater Beach, its easy to see why it is one of the most popular areas for destination weddings. I will share some tips about wedding venues from Sand Key to the Sandpearl, and give some advice in choosing a Clearwater Beach photographer.
On the northern tip of Sand Key, sits Sand Key Beach. With 2 major resorts less than a half mile away, the Sheraton Sand Key and the Marriott Sand Key, this area of the beach is a convenient place for wedding Ceremonies. There are 8 places to choose from for the ceremony, with Walkway #8 being closes to the Sheraton Sand Key; however, as a Photographer, we like Walkway #1, because its closer to the corner of the beach, which has a reef of rocks that jet out into the ocean and along with Sand Key Bridge makes a great backgrounds for your Clearwater Beach Wedding. Sand Key Beach also has a lot of Sea Oates which add character to your pictures.
On the Clearwater Beach side of the Sand Key Bridge sits Shephards Beach Resort and the Holiday Inn right next to each other. Shephards has another reef of rocks which jets out into the ocean, as well as Sand Key Bridge which makes great backgrounds. The Holiday Inn, has a separate building for weddings called the Duval Ballroom, which literally sits right on the beach. With most beach venues in Pinellas Counties, the reception rooms have no view of the beach, however the Duval Ballroom, has the receptions on the 2nd floor and a balcony is right over the beach, great for cocktail hour. The parking is the most convenient that you will find on a beach venue, as you park right underneath the building, and being it is separated from the main hotel you don’t have to deal with tourists and guests of the hotel.
The Hyatt Regency Clearwater is one of two 5-star resorts on Clearwater Beach, and offers the best view for a ceremony, on the 16th Floor Sky Terrace. As you look toward the east you have a great view of the Intra-Coastal Waterway and the Clearwater Memorial Bridge and as you look on the west side is the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Beach. The hotel does not sit on the beach side of Gulf Blvd so you have to cross the street to get to the beach, however you have some great elegant areas indoors for pictures including a grand white marble stair case.
The closest resort to the pier is the Hilton Clearwater Beach, which has a couple very convenient outdoor covered decks, (Sandpiper Deck & Flamingo Deck) on the Boardwalk, which provides a great tropical atmosphere for a wedding reception, and makes it super convenient to just walk right out on the beach for sunset pictures.
Another five-star resort, very popular with destination weddings from Europe is The Sandpearl. If you want to be near the beach but don’t want to have your ceremony in the sand, the beautiful Courtyard at the Sandpearl is ideal, on the grass with a beautiful waterfall. They also have areas with green artificial turf for the cocktail hour or even dinner. From a Clearwater Beach Photographers view, we love having green grass or turf in the background, because it makes the colors pop in your pictures, gives greater contrast.
If you are on a budget, there are a couple of less expensive venues on the Intra-Coastal Waterway; the Clearwater Beach Recreation Center and Clearwater Sailing Center. If having your wedding at either of these two venues we highly recommend uplighting.
When having a beach weddings it’s extremely important to choose a photographer who is very experienced in overcoming the obstacles that a beach wedding can present, like lighting, sand, etc. Many photographers are not enthusiastic about beach weddings, because of the damage that sand can do to a camera, so it’s important to choose a photographer that is more concerned with getting the shot than with his equipment. We have a unique advantage, because we do videography and DJ services as well as photography, we get to work with other photographers, so we wanted to share some of the better photographers in Clearwater Beach. There are certainly other great photographers not on this list, but these are people who we know you will be happy with.
1. Photo Announce It Photography owned by Deanna, who is one of the hardest working photographers I know of. We recently shot a hot wedding on Sand Key Beach with her and she is great with a big bridal party, knows how to take control and gets things done, so that you have more time for more pictures.
2. K & K Photography, does a lot of great work on Clearwater Beach. We recently did a wedding at the Hilton Clearwater Beach, with Jeff, the owner, who literally carried a couch on the beach for unique pictures.
3. Stephen Dohring Photography. Stephen used to work with us until he branched out on his own 5 years ago. I call him “Greatness”, because he does some very unique and artistic shots, certainly thinks “out of the box”.
4. Celebrations of Tampa Bay, who has packages with Video, DJ, and Uplighting Services, have done all the Clearwater Beach Venues.
5. Andi Diamond Photography does some incredible work at Clearwater Beach Venues, has a great passion for photography.
6. Kristen Marie Photography owned by Kristen Jeffers who has a great work ethic and very friendly does a lot of Destination Weddings.
7. Limelight Photography. Michael and Rebecca and the team at Limelight do some very high-end weddings, very artistic work.
For more information on our Clearwater Beach Photographers