Alyssa and Bill were planning their wedding in the backyard of a generous relative for an intimate affair before deciding they wanted to throw an exciting celebratory bash on the beach. They opted to invite their closest family and friends for a weekend away at the gorgeous beachfront Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida. Everyone kept a close eye on the weather forecast as they were calling for a heavy rain storm at some point during the trip, but luckily the skies remained clear and the sunshine kept us nice and toasty.
Their friends and family were some of the most upbeat and positive people I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. Since quite a bit of the group traveled down from Pittsburgh as well, I was stopped left and right by guests asking what part of Pennsylvania I was from – always leading to a conversation about how much we all love the areas of Pittsburgh we live in. (There are a lot of happy people in the ‘Burgh!)
After their ceremony on the beach, with plenty of beach-goers watching from afar, guests headed to cocktails on the lawn, surrounded by palm trees and the sound of waves crashing along the beach as the sun crept behind the hotel. Once the sun had officially set, at the sound of a bell, everyone was ushered into reception where they danced the night away.
Inspired by Alyssa and Bill’s decision to do exactly what they want, how they want it, for their big day – I opted to take a train to and from Amelia Island from Pittsburgh rather than a plane, with the goal of enjoying the scenery and seeing the east coast from a different angle. I’ve always planned to take a train across the country at some point and this seemed like a great opportunity to take a step closer to that goal. It was quite an experience – the stories I have from those train rides, the things I observed, could fill a book! It’s easy for me to say that travel by train may be my new favorite thing.