Two Featured Weddings – Balcony and Patio ceremonies at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach

I had a very busy May this year with 4 weddings at The Ocean Club in the Grande Dunes. I already featured the first of my May weddings in a blog post here. I talked about some new flash equipment and my photo booth, so please check it out. I don’t have time to make a blog post about every wedding, so I picked out two more of my May Ocean Club weddings to feature together! The first ceremony was held on the balcony overlooking the ocean and the second ceremony was on the patio by the palm trees and pool.

Laci and Justin’s wedding on the Ocean Club balcony

Click here to skip down to Jess and Adam’s Wedding

This wedding was held on an unusually hot day for the month of May. Thankfully, down by the ocean, you almost always get a nice breeze. I started out with my usual pictures of all the dresses hanging in the beautiful windows upstairs in the clubhouse. I also got a lot of detail shots of the tables and decorations. I especially liked the “Anchored in Love” favors that were laying on all the tables.

First look in front of the clubhouse

Laci and Justin choose to do a first look. Because it was so hot, we decided to just do it right outside the main doors of the clubhouse. I usually recommend doing the first look here or on the greenery covered walkway down to the beach. Both spots are very pretty and work great. We also did some family and bridal party pictures in the shade by the front door columns before the ceremony.

Ceremony on the Ocean Club balcony

For ceremonies on the balcony, it’s always difficult to see the ocean in the background. The clubhouse gives some great shade during the ceremony, but the background is still in the bright sun, so it gets washed out and overexposed. To help compensate for this, I now setup my very powerful dual Godox AD-200 flashes to give some fill light to the bride and groom. This helps to brighten everyone up so they won’t be as dark against the bright background. It also works great for family pictures on the balcony after the ceremony.

One other trick I use is HDR exposures. For example, the one panorama below, is made from 24 total images. I hold the camera vertically and shoot a panorama, stopping at about 8 different spots, and at each stop I shoot 3 images at different exposures. In Lightroom, these can all be combined together to get a super wide angle view, while also capturing detail in the highlight and shadows. Because everyone moves a little in each shot it did require some cleaning up in Photoshop after I was done.

I hope you enjoy these pictures, remember to keep scrolling for another wedding right after these.

Jess and Adam – Ceremony on the patio by the palm trees and pool at the Ocean Club

For this second featured wedding, we had another hot and windy day at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach. I started out getting some great shots with Wing Wong of Salon and Spa 18 doing the bride’s hair. I also got to work with Luminous Event Films for the first time, he was great to work with as well. It’s always nice when the photographer and videographer can get along really well. Broadway Jake was the DJ, Croissants Bistro and Bakery made the cake, and Flowers in the Forest did the beautiful bouquets and flowers. I have all these fantastic vendors and more on my favorite vendors list, if you are looking for wedding vendors in Myrtle Beach this is a great place to start.

First look on the beach walkway

We again did a first look for Jess and Adam at this wedding. She really wanted to be under the greenery on the beach walkway, so we did it there. This is a really pretty spot and the first look pictures turned out great, even though the heat is a little stifling in this area. Jess and Adam held their ceremony on the patio beside the Ocean Club near the palm trees. The only problem, with the location of the summer sun, part of the ceremony guests were in the sun and part in the shade. The bride and groom were also in the bright sun during the ceremony. This is definitely not ideal for pictures, but I’ve dealt with harsh sun and shade so many times I know how to make it look pretty good. Most times of the year, or a little later in the evening, this area is completely in the shade.

Sunset pictures on a windy day at the beach

After the ceremony, the sun was dropping behind the clubhouse, so we were able to get some fun pictures of the bridal party down on the beach. Then, we let the bridal party leave, and I just took pictures with the bride and groom. Because of the wind, the grooms hair was getting a little crazy. The bride has already told me that she will let me know some selections she wants touched up. To get an idea of the touch-ups I can do, look at the picture below where the bride and groom are laying by the sea oats and dunes. The grooms hair was the same in both, the first one is just without touch-ups, the second is after Photoshop touch-ups. While I can’t do this to every picture I take, I’m always happy to do it to some selected images from the bride and groom.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below, if anyone is having their own wedding at the Grande Dunes Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach, please let me know!

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