the blog


I'm Amanda and I am a Raleigh wedding photographer!  I serve excited and enthusiastic couples with an elegant and elevated wedding photography experience! This is where I share sneak peeks from my latest weddings, engagements, and sessions! Check out my Raleigh wedding photography blog to view my latest weddings, engagements, styled shoots, tips, venues, and more!

Trash the Dress Punta Cana

Kayla & Geoff

When you are friends with a person for nearly 20 years there are just some things you absolutely know without a doubt. My best friend from high school (and middle school, really) is daring, bold, unconventional, and unapologetic about who she is and what she wants. So – when she told me she was getting married in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, I wasn’t really surprised. In fact, I could hardly contain my excitement! Being the unconventional, daring, and somewhat salty gal she is I just had a hunch she would love to do a sunrise trash the dress session in Punta Cana – and oh man, this is amazing!

Wedding in Paradise

Kayla and Geoff chose the most beautiful beach and resort in Punta Cana for their wedding in May and I was fortunate enough to take a VACATION (whaaat?) to attend their wedding! We celebrated their marriage with quite the fun crowd of friends and family and I absolutely cried when she walked down the beach looking as beautiful as she did. I cried quite a bit but held it together because I know what kind of look I was going to get if I was caught sobbing.

I also cried when they read their vows – always gets me anyway. Kayla and Geoff were generous enough to let us in on all of the things they love about each other which honestly, just made everyone love them even more. Against the magnificent backdrop of the beach they said ‘I do’ and you know it – I cried again.

Trash the Dress?!

Now, did you really think this wedding photographer was going to pass up the chance to bring her camera to actual paradise and miss out on epic vacation and beach wedding shots? Pish posh – you knew I would and while at her bachelorette party in Nashville I threw out the idea of a sunrise trash the dress session while we were in Punta Cana. As you may be able to tell already, it was a FANTASTIC idea.

So we waited a couple days (because, recovery) and set our alarms for super early the day I was set to head home. The resort was so quiet and the beach was immaculate. The weather was warm and breezy and the sand was soft and perfect. We took adorable pictures on the beach swing and then made our way to the water. I was a little intimidated at first, this was a first for me too but once we were in the water it was a BLAST. Kayla and Geoff are naturals in front of the camera and I think she has been secretly perfecting her Mandy Moore model face her whole life.

The result was STUNNING and EPIC and I am SO thankful for so many things. From being able to attend the wedding to being able to spend quality time with Kayla and Geoff – I had an absolutely amazing time.

Tips for Sunrise Sessions

Before I left for the Dominican Republic I put an all call out for advice on photographing at sunrise, photographing at the beach, and trashing the dress. The advice I got was so great and I would love to pass some tips along!

  1. Head out earlier than you think! We got to the beach about 15 minutes before the scheduled time of sunrise and I was so happy with that lighting decision. There were low lying clouds on the horizon so we didn’t to be there super early but I was happy to maximize our time in good, soft light.
  2. Wear a bathing suit! I bravely got in the water with all my gear and wore a bathing suit of course, but I also made sure the bride wore one too. It was easier for her to get out of the dress after so we could rinse it off!

Want to Trash YOUR Dress?

Let’s do it! While I am a Raleigh Wedding Photographer, I LOVE to travel all around. If you are thinking of a local beach wedding or something more adventurous then you are in the right place! I would love to photograph your beach wedding or book a special sunrise session to trash the dress! Book your free wedding photography consultation today and we can do this thing!

May 24, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *