Let’s put a little pep in your step this Monday morning with this sweet as can be beach wedding by Sam Stroud Photography. Filled with the prettiest purples and gorgeous blue hues, it will have you dreaming of sandals and sun in no time at all. So grab your cup (or two) of coffee, settle in with the full gallery of images and start your week with an SMP recommended full dose of pretty.

Click here to see the entire image gallery!

From the Bride… When Drew and I started planning our interfaith destination wedding, I had this vision of a relaxed beach house, a fun and laid back place where our families and friends would be comfortable spending lot of time together. We live in Arizona now, but since we are both originally from the East Coast (I’m from New York and He’s from New Jersey), we wanted to choose a location that was within driving distance from most of our guests and had a good chance of being warm in May.  Just a few google searches later, I stumbled on Sandbridge Beach, a beautiful and sleepy beach town about 15 miles away from downtown Virginia Beach.  We rented a gorgeous 11 bedroom house right on the beach for us to stay with our bridal party for the long weekend, and decided to hold our ceremony out back by the ocean and the reception right at the house.

While planning our wedding from across the country, I got used to the feeling of not having a lot of control over the many variables that went into our day. I wasn’t able to do a lot of the things that most brides look forward to; We didn’t get a chance to taste our food, smell our flowers, visit our venue, meet our photographer, or listen to our ceremony violinist or the DJ for our reception (we did manage to talk regularly with our officiant via skype). To make things harder, not a single guest lived within 100 miles so word of mouth was pretty much out of the question. Needless to say, a lot of our choices were based on blind faith, gut feelings, and a friendly voice on the other end of our phone calls.

On our wedding day, the weather was warm and the sun had broken through the thunderstorms that had been forecasted all week.  Somehow, all of the somewhat disconnected planning and preparations we had made from 3,000 miles away came together perfectly.  Our Officiant, Lev, specializes in interfaith marriages and did a truly amazing job of bringing our two very different families together. We started with an intimate gathering to sign our Ketubah with only our bridal party and immediate families present and this is where we had our first look.  I know a lot of brides feel like they would miss out on something if they saw their groom before they walked down the aisle, but this was one of the most meaningful and emotional moments of our entire day.  After the Ketubah, I felt like all of my stress and worries about the day were gone and I made my barefoot way to the beach to join our guests for our ceremony.

After our ceremony, the rest of the day and night was filled with delicious food and specially brewed beer and margarita’s, barefoot dancing with so many people that we spilled off the dance floor and onto the sand, and lots of memories with our 85 closest friends and family that we thankfully have beautiful pictures and video of to help us remember. It was a day that could only be described as magical by the people who were there.

Wedding Photography: Sam Stroud Photography / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Siebert Realty / Officiant: Lev Baesh / Videography: Blue Diamond Studio / Catering: Cuisine & Company / Hair & Makeup: Brooke Primas of Enchanting Hair and Makeup Artistry / Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals / Wedding Cake: The Lady of Cakes / Ceremony Music: Peggy Watson / Reception Music: Tidewater DJ’s / Floral Design: DIY + Fifty Flowers (Flowers) / Wedding Dress: Casablanca via Lillian Lottie Couture / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jasmine / Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse