This Ritz Carlton Naples wedding illustrates everything that I miss about living in Florida.  For those of you who know me, you’re probably already laughing – miss Florida?  I know I’m pretty clear about my distaste for the sun, any weather condition over seventy degrees, sweating, and the outdoors in general.  How could I miss living in a state that provides all of those things?  For one, I miss the light.  I miss how the sun takes its’ sweet time wandering down towards the horizon, the sun set lasting for what seems like hours.  Here in the city, when the sun sets, it’s a rush to pure darkness.  In Florida, the light fades so slowly to sunset that there is ample time to take advantage of it for portraits.  Second, I miss the kindness of Floridians.  Not brisk, rushed, rude or curt, Floridians take the time to give you directions, walk you to the beach instead of just pointing, and when they ask “How’s your day?” you know they really mean it.

It was only fitting that I work with one of the kindest, sweetest Philadelphia coordinators at this Ritz Carlton Naples wedding.  Gina Sole was ever so lovely, referring Kelly and Jordan to me.  It was wonderful to travel with her back to the state that I lived in for eight years, revisiting beaches I’d shot on less than a decade ago.  It was also only appropriate, given the lovely setting, that the bride and groom were as sweet as Kelly and Jordan.  Delightful, funny, warm, and welcoming, Kelly and Jordan created a destination wedding for their guests that was intimate, inviting, and Florida-perfect.

Macro shot of engagement ring
Good light for the ring shot? No problem. The bride’s room overlooked the Gulf of Mexico, and the sun streaming through the patio doors was luscious.
Gold wedding rings for Jewish ceremony
During a Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom gives the bride a ring, which is usually a plain gold wedding band. This ring is then placed on the bride’s right index finger. Kelly and Jordan had two gorgeous, delicate gold bands for their wedding ceremony.
Jimmy Choo wedding shoes with gold heel
After a few very dark, wintery weeks back in New York, the Florida sun was so brilliant that it almost hurt my eyes. It was really nice to be able to work with dramatic light again!
Vera Wang wedding dress for a beach wedding
The bride put great care into the choosing of her Vera Wang wedding gown, and I think it was well worth it. The dress fit her like a glove, and was just perfect for the beachy setting.
Bride putting on earrings
The quiet moments before the ceremony, or before the bride sees the groom for the first time, are among my favorite moments on a wedding day. I love this image of Kelly putting on her earrings before heading out to see Jordan for their portraits together.
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding
The Ritz Carlton Naples is perfectly situated so that the sun sets right over the water. The entire grounds are phenomenal for photography, and the winter sun just cannot be beat.
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding on the beach
Sand in your lenses, sand in your cameras, sand all in your clothes, sand everywhere. Oh, the joys of a beach wedding! It’s all worth it, every last bit, for images like this!
Portraits at a Ritz Carlton Naples wedding
The bride and groom planned ample time for some portraits outdoors, just the two of them. It’s always wonderful when a timeline goes off without a hitch (thank you, Gina Sole!) so that we can really make the most of this time.
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding portrait
The Center Court and the Tea Garden are popular locations for wedding portraits, but I prefer to leave the popular spots and try to find portrait spots that are a bit unique. The first thing I look for is light, and the Ritz Carlton Naples had that in spades.
Bride at Naples Ritz Carlton wedding
If you ever get a chance to go to Naples, GO. The beaches are the perfect mix of white sand and blue ocean. I remember the first time I went to the Jersey Shore (no offense, Shore) and thought “This is not a beach.” The sand should feel like powder, and the water should be like a warm bath. Just like Naples.
Best beach wedding
The juxtaposition of light and shadow is my favorite thing. I love having time with the bride and groom before sunset to create images with dramatic light and deep, lengthening shadows.
Cream dinner jacket
I wish more grooms would wear gorgeous cream dinner jackets, don’t you?
Nighttime beach wedding
The ceremony was set for sundown, but due to circumstances beyond our control, things didn’t get started until after dark. No worries. Pop a pretty light under the chuppah, trust in your photographic skills, and don’t even break a sweat. (Well, maybe a little sweat. It was DARK!)
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding at night
The gorgeous directional light under the chuppah was the perfect contrast to the darkness of the scene. Kelly is so gorgeous, and I love this moment of the wind catching her veil and sweeping it across her face.
Nighttime wedding on the beach
The candles lining the path helped illuminate the ceremony. It was beautiful, intimate, and very, very romantic.
Nighttime wedding ceremony
Just gorgeous.
Center Court Ritz Carlton
After the ceremony on the beach, it was off to the Center Court for cocktail hour, into the Plaza Ballroom for dinner, and then out to the Beach House for dancing!
Wedding Reportage
With just over 100 guests, the entire day had a wonderfully intimate feel. I LOVE the flower girl and her little sister having a moment just before dinner!
Ritz Carlton Naples Beach House
The Beach House was a great spot for dancing and the after party!
Florida sunset wedding
There is nothing – NOTHING – like a Florida sunset.

Kelly and Jordan, thank you so much for bringing me all the way down to Naples to photograph your wedding.  It was warm, wonderful, and beautiful – just like you both.  I hope your honeymoon is equally warm and wonderful, and I can’t wait to share your images with you when you return!