Amy and Larry’s intimate Rosemary Beach elopement cast against the backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico was filled with unexpected twists, tons of laughter, and heartwarming moments. As a Florida elopement photographer, I am privileged to help couples brainstorm and give life to their elopement vision and watch that same vision come to life on their elopement day. A+L’s day was no different and I’m here to walk you through the entire process from planning their elopement to capturing their last photo on their elopement day!
Amy reached out to me a few months before their November elopement after finding me on Pinterest. For their elopement, they wanted to escape the brutal South Dakota cold and take their family on an adventure. A+L met 30 years ago in college. While they went their separate ways living out their lives, they always managed to find their way back to each other. During our consult call, Amy told me that their love story is best told by Larry. Larry recounted that they had just met in college and only really knew of each other. While it took 30 years for them to finally become a couple, the first 25 years were a matter of timing. As their paths kept crossing, it was never the right time. Eventually they crossed paths again at one fateful event that soon after turned into an Instagram message from Amy that sealed their fate.
After a year and a half of dating, they took a trip to Telluride together. While they were on their trip, Larry knew that this was the perfect time to propose to Amy. He carried the ring for a week, but couldn’t find the right time (almost symbolic of their relationship). Finally, on the second to last day, he couldn’t wait anymore. Larry found a secluded spot surrounded by evergreen and the most spectacular view and got down on one knee in the San Juan mountains. The best part was that – as a public speaker – Larry had crafted a thoughtful speech, but as he was staring up at Amy, the only words he could get out were “just marry me”.
From the moment that Amy and Larry got on our first call, their energy was infectious. Leaving every planning call with them felt like a breath of fresh air. I might have fallen a little in love with A+L and I’m not mad about it.
There were a few things very important to them for their elopement: privacy, views, and a sunset ceremony. They wanted to capture their love and the blending of their families. While A+L knew most of the details surrounding their elopement vision (i.e., private first look, beach ceremony, catered dinner with family), a few elements were missing. That’s where I come in, friends.
With a little over an hour between first look and the ceremony, A+L needed to have an adventure of their own! After brainstorming some ideas, A+L decided that they wanted to head to a wine bar. Rosemary Beach has a number of wine bars, but views were important for these two so finding a wine bar with a view took some skill.
Once the elopement day was envisioned, it was time to put it all together. A+L opted for a four-hour timeline which looked a little something like this:
2:30 PM First Look at AirBnB
2:45 PM Travel to Downtown Rosemary Beach
3:00 PM Drinks at The Pearl
4:15 PM Travel back to AirBnB
4:30 PM Ceremony on the Beach
5:00 PM Portraits
6:00 PM Dinner with Family
The day was clear and bright with cool weather that only a fall day in November could have. As I arrived at A+L’s beach rental, I was warmly welcomed by Larry. Engulfed by a hug, I knew these were my people. It didn’t take long for me to feel like a part of the Young family.
As Amy finished getting ready, Larry and I headed to the third-floor walkway to prep him for their first look. This moment was huge for both A+L and they wanted it to be perfect.
After coaching A+L on the first look processional, they each took their spots – Amy at the bottom of the stairs hidden behind an alcove, and Larry facing away from us on the exterior walkway. I put myself to the side to capture the moment and give them plenty of space for intimacy. Once they were ready, Amy would walk through the door and place her hand on Larry’s shoulder. It only took seconds of Larry seeing Amy for the first time for tears to well in his eyes. These are the moments that make this job so, so, so good.
Once we headed downtown, we knew that our original plans would need a pivot. On this very day, Rosemary Beach was hosting a wine festival that managed to block all beach views. As we made our way to The Pearl, A+L were given tons of congratulations and words of excitement. Once we were inside The Pearl, we settled on a backroom for a cocktail. The vibe was cut short by a busboy telling us that we couldn’t take photos inside without written permission from the marketing manager. After calling the marketing manager with no avail, we pivoted again and for the better. A+L rolled with the punches and decided to shake things up by heading to Fonville Press, a bright and airy modern beach bar and market. Craft cocktails and a cozy atmosphere? Yes, please!
A+L cozied up on a corner of the bar, ordered a white wine and a 30A Ricky, and enjoyed each other’s company as they geared up for exchanging vows. There was a funky bathroom wallpapered in bright pink flamingos that I wanted to get A+L in front of before we left. Because nothing says Florida like sneaking into a bathroom filled with bright wallpaper and tropical birds.
Now, let’s talk about the real magic – the private beach ceremony. Amy and Larry, surrounded by their kids, exchanged vows against the backdrop of a breathtaking Gulf of Mexico sunset. You could feel the love that everyone shared in this moment. They celebrated with a first dance surrounded by their kids and blasting Forever Young.
As the day turned into night, A+L shared a private moment on the beach as I headed back to the house to capture their kids hanging out. While their parents savored the moment, the kids shotgunned celebratory beers to ring in the evening.
As the night quickly set in, Amy and Larry, with their children by their side, enjoyed the most gorgeous candle-lit dinner on the back porch. Packing up my camera gear, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for being part of Amy and Larry’s day. In her inquiry form, Amy had described her and Larry as “a laid-back couple that loves to have fun doing anything or nothing at all.” It wasn’t until I got to spend the day with them that I realized they will find fun and laughter in every moment together – even getting kicked out of a wine bar. Their love story taught me that love should be celebrated even when life throws you curve balls. Here’s to Amy and Larry, a couple who knows how to turn every twist into a magical moment. #ForeverYoung
Looking for someone to guide you and bring your Rosemary beach elopement vision to life? Then explore these elopement packages and let’s see how we can work together!
Hey there! I’m Anna, your Rosemary Beach elopement photographer, planner + native Florida guide! I’m based in Florida, where the water is always close and the vibes are chill and tropical. Florida is so much more than long stretches of sandy beaches, and I l o v e showing rad folks like you just what makes this place special. In fact, I geek out over discovering what makes every place special when I’m planning elopements. From choosing the perfect location to figuring out those pesky permits to ensuring every detail aligns with your vision, I’ve got you covered. There’s a lot to consider ahead of your elopement and I’m here to guide you through those dos and don’ts. Tell me what you want your day to feel like, and I’ll take the wheel. I legit can’t wait to start researching and planning to create exactly what you want.