Danielle and Ian tied the knot during their Opal Sands Resort wedding in Clearwater, Florida. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, both their ceremony and reception had views for miles upon miles of the glimmering water and a soft pastel yellow sunset.
Let me just start off by saying, Dani’s excitement for her wedding day is absolutely captivating. The way her smile beamed when she looked at Ian and literally jumping up and down during newlywed portraits as she hugged him was beautiful. Ian of course was just as excited, in his own way, and so happy to see her happy. It was clear as day that they just get one another and are the perfect match.
While Danielle’s pup Jetta was not at the wedding, he is really the marker for how their relationship began. A few years back when Danielle’s roommate approached her about caring for a family friend’s pup, Danielle would have never though that puppy sitting would lead to finding the man she would marry one day. Agreeing to take care of Jetta while the family moved, Danielle was introduced to Ian who brought Jetta over. Ian would visit Jetta, and inadvertently Danielle, often which they both looked forward too. From his comical relief to the flow of their conversations, Ian soon asked Danielle out. As crazy as his, now their, pup Jetta can be, he clearly knew how to make a match!
Ian’s romantic side came out when he was ready to propose to Danielle. He wanted to make things special for her where he could since they had so little time together from Ian working 24 hour shifts as a firefighter and Danielle working 12 hour shifts as a nurse. Arriving home at 8 AM from one of those long 12 hour shifts, Danielle was completely surprised when Ian told her she had a few minutes to pack her bags before whisking her away on a romantic weekend at, you guessed it, Opal Sands Resort! Relaxing at the beach and playing in the water, they enjoyed having time along together without all the chaos of their busy days. As the day wound down, they headed back up to their room’s balcony for a better view of the sunset from above. Bringing Danielle in close, Ian told her how much he loved her and asked for her hand in marriage. It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend, and Danielle of course said, “yes!”
Their wedding day started off with getting ready photos of the both of them. Switching between tears of joy to the largest smile of excitement, Danielle took in all of the emotions of what was to come. One of my favorite moments before the ceremony, Danielle’s mom asked for a special picture alone with her daughter. Sitting side by side with Danielle’s dress in the background, you could see the tears well up in both of their eyes. Laughter soon took over as mom realized she had just given Danielle the biggest kiss on her cheek after having just applied makeup. It was a sweet moment that I was so thankful to have been a part of.
Ian and his groomsmen and groomsmaids were cheersing in their respective room just down the hall when we walked in. Grabbing his suit, we had him finish getting ready before heading down to a first look with his wife to be.
A large winding stairway anchored in the middle of the resort was the perfect spot for their first look. The grandeur of both the architecture and the moment was such a beautiful fit. As Danielle came down, their family and friends had the privilege to watch such a special moment. Turning to one another, Ian’s smile lit up as Danielle grabbed him for the biggest hug. Holding her in his arms, the two had a moment together before we headed over to the nearby sitting area for family and wedding party portraits.
Their ceremony site had the most captivating view overlooking the water. Two pillars with floral bouquets flanked where they would soon be standing. Guests filtered in, the wedding party lined up, and soon the music came on to signal the start of a forever vow. I must say that their nieces stole the show (just a little bit) when everyone grabbed their phones out to take pictures of the sweet little flower girls. Ian’s father was the acting officiant, which was just that much more sentimental to the moment.
After saying their “I do’s” and sharing a first kiss, we were off to the beach for newlywed portraits. The sunset was beyond amazing – soft and pastel, yellow at the bottom with a bright blue at the top, I could just not get over how perfect everything came together for my couple. Danielle and Ian love my panoramic shots, which of course I just love too, so we incorporated many large landscapes into their portraits.
Taking place upstairs in the hotel, with another fabulous view of the water, their reception was filled with emotional toasts, a first dance, and of course time with their loved ones who had come to celebrate.
Wishing these two an amazing journey through life together!
Venue: Opal Sands Resort
Makeup & Hair: Style Hair and Makeup
Floral: Belle Fleur Studio
Cake: Chantilly Cakes
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates, Inc.
Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas
Dress Shop: Rene Elle Coutoure Bridal Gowns
Dress Designer: Allure Bridals
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc.
Ring Shop: Kiefer Jewelers
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids