Okay, I have to say, this is one of my favorite shoots that I’ve done so far! These Topsail Island bridal portraits turned out amazing, and the shoot was so much fun to do! This sunrise session was actually a styled shoot with one of my best friends, Daniella! A couple of weeks before, she kindly volunteered to model for me, and I was quick to take her up on that offer! Sometimes it is just so much fun to have a styled shoot, just to test out your creativity!
Styling the Bridal Portraits
This session was very DIY. Often styled shoots are big events with a ton of wedding vendors involved. There is so much value in that, as you get to network with other creatives in the industry. However, this time, I decided to just keep it simple and fun! We ordered the dress from Lulu’s, which has such a great variety of dresses for brides, bridesmaids, and guests! (For brides, Lulu’s dresses are typically better for elopement or beach weddings, as they are typically a simpler silhouette. Their prices range from $75-$378 at the time of writing.)
We got ring from Daniella’s mother, and we did her hair and make-up ourselves! I was most nervous about arranging the flowers, but it was easy! The flowers in the bouquet came from Publix, which is just off the island. I found three different florals to combine: lilies, baby’s breath, and some greenery. Then I went over to the office supply section to find tape. They didn’t have floral tape, so I bought freezer tape and it worked very nicely. I would have loved some ribbon, but I couldn’t find any there, so we made sure to keep Daniella’s hands covering the tape as best we could.
Tips for Beach Bridal Portraits
Now this was a styled shoot, but if you are wanting to have bridal beach portraits, I would recommend putting a bit more preparation into the day. For example, I would recommend hiring someone to do your hair and make-up unless you are very good at it yourself. One other option would be to bring a friend who is excellent at hair and make-up, but usually a professional is best.
I also would recommend contacting your florist ask asking them to make a copy of your bouquet. That way your bouquet in these images will match your wedding day portraits. Plan to reach out to them at least a few weeks in advance to make sure they have time to make your bouquet, especially in busy season! If you want beach bridals but your wedding florist is in another city, just keep the stems wrapped in wet paper towels and placed inside a grocery bag to maintain moisture.
When to Have a Topsail Island Bridal Session
If you want bridal portraits at a North Carolina beach such as Topsail Island, I recommend having the session at sunrise. This is for a couple of reasons. First, the sun rises behind the beach as the beaches fast east. Second, the beaches are less crowded at sunrise. We had a few people stop to say hello and congratulations at sunrise, but it wasn’t too bad. I also recommend a weekday, if possible, to reduce the crowds.
If you choose sunrise, please book a place to stay the night before! You don’t want to be driving in from Raleigh or Charlotte (or even Wilmington for that matter). It is best to have a good night’s sleep before a photoshoot. Here is a nearby hotel you can get ready at for a one-night stay. For even more fun, though, see if you can rent a house for the week or weekend to make a fun trip out of it!
So book the vendors, pour the coffee, and get ready for a fun and unforgettable morning celebrating this sweet engagement season of life!
Are you more of a mountain person? Check out an elopement styled-shoot in Shenandoah National Park!