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Eloping on beaches of Socal

I was recently in Laguna Beach and saw a beautiful couple eloping. The scenery was perfect. The temperature was also perfect. They looked incredible.

But they broke one cardinal rule.

They chose to elope at 3 pm.

Now, you’re probably like “Emily. What’s the problem?” 3 pm is great. And if you were indoors…you would be absolutely right. But when you’re on the beach with the mid-day sun blinding you and there is nowhere to take cover or grab shade-it’s going to make for some tough photos.

This got me thinking. I wonder how many couples are out there who aren’t considering choosing specific times or maybe hadn’t thought about a few things before they elope on the California beach.

So…I wrote a blog entry. Interested? Of course you are. 🙂

First things first.

We have SO many beautiful beaches in Southern California and California that are stunning. I always pinch myself that I get to live a place that packed with beauty that just happens to be in my backyard. If you’re coming from out of town, chat with your photographer and ask them questions like,

“Does this specific beach require a permit to photograph on location?”

There are beaches that definitely require you to have a state park permit. Understandably, rangers can be ruthless. Unfortunately, not every photographer leaves their location the same as how they found it. Due to over crowding and negative impacts on the environment, it is a way to keep things from getting out of hand. If you are caught without a permit, they can site you and your group. (This means fees and an abrupt ending to your adventure). It would be a big damper on your special day, so make sure you look into this a few months before.

Now that you know to get that permit, your next question should be…

“What time does it tend to get more busy with beach goers?”

This goes without say. The beach is gonna get busy when the sun comes out. Summer time? Forget about it.

Now, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to making it look like you were the ONLY people on the beach within miles. However, if you really want to have a private experience why not make it an early morning elopement? This last summer, I had a couple come from Kansas who were EARLY risers. Corey and Bonnie wanted an elopement…and they wanted the beach. We went to my local beach and showed up before the sun was even a thought. As it began it’s sleepy rise, there were a meager few beach goers out for a walk/A(singular) surfer and the couple enjoyed an incredibly private morning between themselves and two of their very best friends. (This particular beach didn’t require any permit either 😉

Next up….what time of year are you considering? Kaity and Ralph made their way out to the California coast from Utah in the spring and were game for everything from walking in the sand to sitting in the ocean waves. You heard that right..(SITTING right in the water). The water wasn’t too cool and it made for some EPIC photos. Now, had they made their way here in Winter… I can’t say it wouldn’t be as warm. We live a sunny state of mind 11 out 12 months of the year however, it does get chilly in cooler months. Consider a month like Sept In California when the kids are back to school and everyone is now home from Summer vacations. Local airbnbs are also going to be less busy in the off season.

You have your permit. You know what time of year is best. You know your location.

Finally. Timing.

Lastly, circling back around to the original thought of actual TIMING of day. Listen, can you elope at 3 in the afternoon? Yes. Yes, you can. But let me tell you…it’s gonna be BRIGHT. This is the time of day where the sun is directly overhead. There is nowhere to hide. Shadows on faces aren’t very forgiving and addition to the discomfort of the actual heat…you’re going to be SQUINTING in the majority of your photos.

I absolutely can photograph your day in this time of day. In fact, I encourage you when you’re considering your photographer (whoever that may be), to ask for photos of ALL times of day. Your photographer needs to be able to photograph you with confidence in all lighting scenarios.

That being said….I am going to do everything in my power to encourage you to shoot near golden hour or sunrise for the BEST, most gorgeous, delicious, even light. The light that makes you both look like angels. That’s the light you want. Trust me. TRUST me.

Personally, I LOVE a sunset elopement. While you plan for the time of day, (whether it’s sunrise or sunset) make sure you take the time of year into consideration. Fall sunset is WAY earlier than Spring and Summer sunset. While you’re at it, take into consideration HOW quickly the sun will set and plan for at least an hour before to make the most of those golden shots.

See what I mean? Angelic.

So, some things to think about.

Does your location need a permit? How busy is it at what time of the year you’re considering? What time of day are you thinking? And..are you willing to trash your clothes for epic water photos? (Just do it. Trust me).

I’m happy to guide you on all of this as you begin your planning! DM me for more info and when you’re considering your beach elopement.

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