Sunset ceremony facing the clubhouse at Pine Lakes Country Club

Intimate Beach House wedding

Shannon and Lawrence had a lot of changes to their wedding schedule this year because of Covid-19. I first did bridal portraits for Shannon at Pine Lakes Country Club, back in February, before we had any idea how difficult things would get. You can check them out on my blog here. Their wedding at Pine Lakes was supposed to take place back in April, of course this is when all the Covid social distancing restrictions were at their strictest. They decided to go ahead and get married with a very private beach house ceremony. I actually photographed this small ceremony for them and the pictures turned out beautiful.

Making plans for the wedding at Pine Lakes Country Club

Even though the private beach house wedding turned out great, Shannon and Lawrence still wanted to have their big ceremony at Pine Lakes Country Club, with a large wedding party and all their friends and family. They decided to move the wedding to the fall of this year and hope that everything would work out. After a couple of date changes, they finally settled on October 24th for the wedding.

They were worried because many venues, like Pine Lakes, have restrictions on dancing inside. They do allow for an outdoor tent with a dance floor underneath. I told them I’ve shot many weddings with dancing under a tent and they always turn out great. I just recommended hanging as many lights around the tent as possible. I also have plenty of off camera lighting so I can make a dance floor look great under any situation.

When I arrived at Pine Lakes I started with some pictures of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready. The bride also wanted to do a first look with her father. He had not been present at the previous beach house wedding. We did this in the little garden area behind the clubhouse and it turned out beautiful.

They planned to have the wedding ceremony about 30 minutes before sunset. This is a beautiful time to do the ceremony, it just doesn’t leave any time for pictures before dark! I started to get very worried because I realized we were going to be so short on time. I suggested that Shannon and Lawrence go ahead and do a first look, so we could get most of their pictures done before the ceremony. I was really glad we did. I had time to get some beautiful portraits of them and the wedding party in the little garden, while the sun was still bright enough to filter through the trees and give some lovely background bokeh.

Sunset ceremony facing the clubhouse

Most ceremonies at Pine Lakes Country Club face the little garden area behind the clubhouse. This is what I would normally recommend to a bride and groom. The trees can give some shade from the harsh sunlight earlier in the day. Shannon and Lawrence decided to have the ceremony on the steps, with all of their wedding guests facing the back of the clubhouse. Because of the early October sunset time, the sun was actually setting below the trees as the ceremony went on. This gave me an opportunity for some beautiful and unique ceremony pictures with the soft light from sunset.

After the ceremony we only had about 10 minutes before the sun would completely set. As quickly as I could get them together, I took the bride, groom and wedding party out for pictures in front of the fountain. It was actually after sunset by the time we took some of the pictures, but there was still enough light, I just had to raise my iso a good bit. I actually like the background glow from the warm lights inside the clubhouse, it being so late in the evening.

After introductions and dinner everyone went out to the tent for dancing. The weather was great and everyone had a great time dancing outside. At the end of the evening, they left with a beautiful sparkler exit. I always try to get a bride and groom to stop about half way through the sparklers for a dip back for a kiss. I hope you enjoy the pictures below, if you are planning a wedding at Pine Lakes Country Club please let me know. I would be glad to help you out.

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