St. Thomas Wedding Photography

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5 Ways to Propose in the Virgin Islands!

Added on by sage hammond.
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Did you know it’s engagement season? Well, it is. It starts around Thanksgiving and lasts until about Valentine’s Day. I love engagement photos almost as much as I love wedding photos!!!

St. Thomas is the perfect location for engagement photos and better still the perfect place for a marriage proposal. I absolutely am in love with a surprise beach proposal while vacationing in the Caribbean.

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Now, if you’re thinking about “popping” the question on your next trip to the Virgin Islands, I have a few tips on how to go about asking. Really, it takes just a little planning and it is easier then you think.

First—email a professional photographer, you will want to capture this special moment and share it with everyone.

Second—decide how much of a surprise you would like it to be. Will you be able to tell her about the photo shoot without her getting suspicious?  I’ve had some guys arrange a couple’s photo session and she still has no idea or they plan a family photo session and it becomes a surprise proposal. If you don’t want to tell her about the photos, then you will have to find a way to get her dressed for the occasion and to the beach.

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Next—how to get her to the beach and keep it a secret. If you decide that you aren’t going to tell her about the shoot for the proposal here are my suggestions on getting the best photos for your surprise proposal:

1.     Make plans to visit the beach for a sunset walk on your way to your dinner reservations. This way you are both dressed for the occasion and it will sound natural and romantic.

2.     If you are traveling with your family or a group, arranging a family photo session is an awesome distraction and way to sneak it all in.

3.     Keeping things really simple and just plan a romantic picnic evening to watch the sunset together at the beach. Your photographer should be hiding out close by to capture you asking the big question. There are a lot of amazing locations on St. Thomas to pick from.

4.     I had one couple that planned their own photo shoot with a selfie-stick. They got dressed to take photos of themselves and I was there to get it all… it totally worked.

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Now, that you have a location and a plan to get her to the beach, how are you going to go about asking her the big question? I believe life is best when you keep things simple, so I recommend simply getting down on one knee. The trick will be to get her facing the camera she doesn’t know about. This is pretty easy if you are walking in the direction of the photographer. You can also stop and look out at the ocean together… then you can take one step back from the water, get down on one knee and she will turn from the water towards you and your sparkly ring, aaannnndddddd the camera. Boom!!!! Easy, magical, and a moment you will forever cherish & remember.

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If you feel like getting a little creative for your Virgin Islands beach proposal, here are a few ideas I’ve seen work well:

  1. Write in the sand “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” This can be written right in the sand or with sea glass or with rose petals.

  2. A wedding planner can design a little magical spot, maybe with a heart shaped of rose petals and an area with pillows and candles.

  3. A florist can design a large heart shaped out of rose petals.

  4. I’ve even seen a bottle with a note or a little treasure chest with a note placed along the beach work.

If you have a creative idea for a surprise beach proposal I would love to hear it.

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The best part about doing a surprise proposal on a St. Thomas beach is that it instantly turns into your first engagement session.  Send me an email and we will get started on planning your perfect surprise proposal.

Best Locations for a St. Thomas Wedding 2019

Added on by sage hammond.

The U.S. Virgin Islands has so many locations that are perfect for a destination wedding. If you are planning to get married on Saint Thomas in 2019 here are a few of the top venues to consider having your ceremony.

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Beach Weddings

Brewers Bay Beach was my favorite beach for the year of 2018. I fell in love with Brewers Beach for its open tranquil feeling: I like the large layout of this location with the mountains in the background. It has a beautiful tree line and old stone ruins that are picturesque.

Magens Bay Beach is the most popular beach on St. Thomas. It is also the largest, so you can normally find an area that works for your wedding without too many folks around. This location does require a permit for a wedding and an entrance fee.

Sapphire Beach is lovely not only for the beach area, but it has a long peninsula called Pretty Klip Point with one of the most epic backdrops. This beach was extremely crowded the last time I was here mid-day when there were a lot of cruise ships in port. It was easy to work around people but might be difficult if you have a large wedding setup midday.

Lindquist Beach is one of the prettiest beaches on St. Thomas. It's located on the east side of the island and has some of the clearest water and powdery white soft sand that you will ever see. This beach also requires a permit and an entrance fee.

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Resort Weddings

Secret Harbour Beach Resort has one of the perfect locations on the island for a wedding. The resort is set RIGHT ON THE BEACH, it's so close you don't need shoes. It also has the Sunset Grill Restaurant right there for your reception. Everything about this location is stress-free and relaxing, which is exactly what a beach wedding should be.

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort and Emerald Beach Resort are both open and offering in-house wedding services.

Villa Weddings

There are so many amazing villas and private houses listed on AIRBNB that offer the option to have a wedding on property. Some of the most popular locations are:

Villa Serenita

Sand Dollar Estate

Villa del Mar

Infinity Estate

Sea Star Villa

One Beach Road Villa

Caribbean Castaway Villa

The Beach H

Unique Venues

Villa Botanica is a unique venue located on Crown Mountain in a historic plantation estate with some of the most beautiful tropical gardens you will ever see. I believe that it can host some of the largest groups for a wedding reception on the island.

Churches, we have some beautiful historical churches, like St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, and the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas.

Boats—who doesn’t love being on the water or sailing into the sunset? There are so many charter boat options here for all budgets and occasions from a luxury motor yacht to an old fashioned sailboat you should definitely get out on our beautiful Virgin Islands waters. There are boats large enough to host your entire group for the wedding and reception or a welcome party or something smaller and more romantic for just the two of you.

I'm sure there are a ton of other venues that are perfect for an island wedding on Saint Thomas that I haven't listed. I’m also positive no matter where you have your destination wedding that it will be amazing and magical. Please feel free to comment below where you are planning your wedding.

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Tips for Better Wedding Photos #3

Added on by sage hammond.

Be on time:

Make sure you allow enough time for everything, so that you don't feel rushed and can simply enjoy yourself. Most weddings in the Virgin Islands are planned at sunset and it's so important to be on time for your wedding to make sure you get to see the sun setting. Since the V.I. is so close to the equator our sunset is very fast and it will make for better photos if you're there to enjoy it.

Delegate Tasks:

Everyone at your wedding is there because they love you, so without a doubt they would be more then happy to lend a hand and help in anyway. This can be as simple as someone being in charge of champagne while everyone is getting ready or carry your lipstick for touch ups, just so you don’t have to think about it.

Embrace the unexpected:

It's so important the day of your wedding to not let the little things bother you, like the flowers being the wrong color. Keep an open mind and go with the flow, you've done all you can at this point, and it's important to enjoy your wedding day.

Have fun:

I can't think of another reason that couples diced to get married in the U.S. Virgin Islands other then they would like to have a fun wedding! There really isn't a more relaxed way to get married then being barefoot on the beach, so plan on having the wedding of your dreams!