Sand Key Beach Engagement Photo Session | Clearwater Beach, FL

Ryan and Alex’s engagement photo shoot just so happened to take place on the coldest day of the year. It was so windy, and the crisp air so cold, just not what one would expect of Florida weather. I’m sure you’ll agree when you see the photos below, their cute intimacy shined through as they cuddled and tried to keep each other warm.

Despite the uncommonly cold weather, they didn’t want to end the session early. They continued holding on to each other as we kept getting closer to the beach to take more photos. I couldn’t help but hear their low whimpering cries due to the cold, but their smiles remained. They behaved like models and I thought it turned out great.

Ryan and Alex first met as co-workers at the Salt Rock Tavern near Tampa, Florida. They were both servers, and although they knew of each other, they were never formally introduced. One time, they were “somewhat forced to work together on this large party,” fiance Ryan reminisces, “Our teamwork and communication seemed effortless. By the end of the night, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to see her again, outside of work, to get to know her on [a deeper level].”

As they were working together, they had plenty of time to get to know each other. “We went on 6 dates before the first kiss,” Ryan shares, “Somehow, we both knew there was no need to rush things, as we felt there was something to become of what had blossomed only a short time ago.”

After being together for nearly three years, Ryan started noticing that “calling her my girlfriend was not doing justice to the deep feelings I have for her. There was no need to put anything on hold any longer, so the ring shopping began and one month after the purchase it was made official.”

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Mutual Admiration Draws Them Closer
“She makes me a better person, while pushing and supporting me to reach my goals,” Ryan shares, “I love how gentle and kind she is. She is both confident and humble. We share a curiosity for life, knowing there is so much more we have to look forward to. Also, her laugh and her cuddle gets me every time.”

Alex feels that she truly been blessed to find a partner like Ryan. “It’s hard not to be cliché but Ryan is truly one of a kind,” she explains, “As I have been visiting his hometown for the past couple years with him, I realize how important his family is to him. A man who shows his utmost interest in his family and their well-being, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

“He is the most genuine guy I have ever met. He has dedication, drive, and most importantly, kindness. He definitely keeps me in line every day!”

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The Proposal
“We traveled to Jacksonville Beach and Amelia Island for my birthday in June,” Ryan relates, “I had picked up the ring nearly a month back and had been waiting, planning, and trying to figure out how best to make this happen.”

“In the end, there wasn’t any planning or preparation that could suffice [for] my expectations of how this should all pan out, so I made the leap strictly on spontaneity. It was the day after my birthday and we were having dinner near the beach at sunset.”

“As dusk drew near, I asked her to walk the beach with me. I couldn’t wait a second longer, so with no plan or script rehearsed, I grabbed her, got on one knee, and asked her if she would spend the rest of her life with me. She claims to have had no idea it was coming, but I’m sure she knew how badly I wanted to make the commitment to spend the rest of our days with one another.”

Alex explains why she didn’t see it coming, “I was completely shocked! I was also speechless! I didn’t suspect a thing! After all it was his birthday weekend and I didn’t expect him to ask me [on] this same weekend. Needless to say, it was a perfect moment, even though he [said he] was extremely nervous that whole day.”

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Wedding Plans
“We love the outdoors and the quiet of the country life…anything in nature seems to fit our personalities,” the happy couple shares. Living in Florida, they both love the beach. Alex exclaims, the beach is “our place. I also love photos of beaches with rocks, trees, or anything…next to the water.” So can we expect their wedding to be on the beach just like their engagement photo shoot? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

“We are on the last leg of the race with only the fine tuning of the wedding day itinerary and RSVP responses,” Ryan explains, “We have now been focused on the bachelor and bachelorette parties, [as well as] honeymoon planning.” Alex continues, “I want to be sure most everything is planned a good month before, since I will be starting nursing school in January.”

The engaged couple is most looking forward to “sharing such a special moment with all our closest friends and family. Don’t forget about the cake!”

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Spending Time Together
“We love to go to the beach, play tennis, go for bike rides, [or] cuddle up to a movie with some take-out from one of our usual favorites,” Ryan laughs, “We love to travel to Florida hotspots, to my home state of Minnesota, and [go] on cruises to the Caribbean.”

“Being raised in Florida,” Alex shares, “I had taken [the beaches] for granted. However Ryan, being from Minnesota, would always want to go, and he changed my perspective [on] them. Ever since, we have been to at least a dozen beaches throughout Florida. We enjoy catching the latest movie out on RedBox and being able to relax at home. And within the last year we have both been improving our tennis game and try to play a couple times a week.”

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Looking Back on the Photo Shoot
“[With] average wind speeds of 25 mph and a temperature of 52 degrees, freezing cold for Florida standards, we couldn’t pick a more difficult day to make this happen,” Ryan shares, “But we fought through it with a smile and made the best of it. It was certainly a day we will remember for a long time to come!”

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What to Look In A Wedding Photographer
“We wanted the photography experience to feel fun, relaxed, and exciting, without constraints and stress,” Alex relates, “[When searching for a photographer], we needed someone who felt comfortable conducting the crowd of people, unafraid to tell us where we needed to stand, where to look, how to fix ourselves for the best possible poses, [and] someone capable of taking candid photos to capture each true moment.”

“We were sold by the enthusiasm and confidence delivered in Marilyn’s personality,” Alex continues, “and [the] proof [lies in the] stunning final product!”

Florida and Colorado wedding photography and cinematic wedding video:
Castorina Photography and Films is a St. Petersburg Florida and Steamboat Springs Colorado, on location studio. Our wedding photography and cinematography clients enjoy a relaxed environment where they can be themselves as we do our best to relieve any stress from the wedding day. We have also serviced clients in Cancun Mexico, Venice, Rome, Tuscany and other areas of Italy, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Steamboat Springs, Keystone, Silverthorne Colorado and many other locations in the United States.

Service information:
Castorina Photography and Films offers on location photography and cinematic wedding films for wedding, portrait, family, engagement, and Bridal sessions.