After photographing countless weddings all along the Gulf Coast, we’ve created this guide to help couples plan a wedding from Bay St. Louis to Pascagoula and anywhere in between. We are not wedding planners, but have been a part of a lot of weddings and have seen what makes for the best (and most importantly - stress free) day.
Please share this with anyone you know that is soon-to-be or recently engaged!
Who are we?
We are Savanna + Dalton, or Savvy Snapshots Photo + Films! We started out taking photographs of the beautiful Gulf Coast and the nature it offers natives and tourists alike. After a friend hired us for our first wedding photography job, we decided to surprise them with a wedding video of their day to go along with photos. We have been a duo ever since, documenting weddings and events for clients.
More recently, we have worked on several television shows on Hulu (Love in Fairhope), HGTV (House Hunters, Home Town) and ITV (The First 48) as part of the camera and audio departments, and have realized that we love filming and capturing moments on camera.​​​​​​​
Wedding Planning: To start, pick a season. Unless there’s a specific reason you want a certain date, being open to a few dates over a few months will save you a lot of stress. The best venues (as well as photographers) are booked for prime dates months in advance.

The Best Wedding Venues along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Here are 5 of our favorite wedding venues in the area - they are in no particular order. They all have an option for a venue planner/day of coordinator that will relieve so much stress from your planning.

The University of Southern Mississippi - Gulf Park Campus
Under the beautiful oak trees in Long Beach, Mississippi is a perfect location for a ceremony. This venue is at the University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Park Campus and with a green front lawn, there is plenty of room for a ceremony with a beach view. Just a short walk away is a wooden pavilion for a more intimate reception with guests. The oak trees all around the campus are gorgeous for both photo and video.
The Jackson Pearl - Ocean Springs
This venue is perfect for couples wanting a more dramatic style for their photography. Originally a warehouse in downtown Ocean Springs, this location is now a unique, boutique loft wedding venue. Fully decorated with room for both an indoor ceremony and reception, along with a bar and room for catering, the Jackson Pearl is an all-in-one venue. There are even designated dressing rooms for both the bride and groom.
The Venue at Southern Oaks
Located in North Gulfport, Southern Oaks completes the checklist for dressing rooms, ceremony, reception, and even a Bridal suite. The suite can be added onto the venue rental and ceremonies can be held outdoors under the famous oak tree or inside the barn, if good luck rain comes. There are also plenty of locations for photos after the ceremony or for bridals beforehand, such as the beautiful chandelier hanging from the oak.

In the Woods, Hattiesburg
One of our most recent weddings was at this venue right outside of Hattiesburg in the middle of the woods (literally). In the fall season, the trees had lovely hues of red and yellow. The venue had both a large reception area in a barn and area for the ceremony that had an enclosed roof that helped with the rain, but still allowed for guests to enjoy the wooded view. There are dressing rooms for the bridal party and kitchen area for catering.
The Delisseline, Bay St Louis
Described as a grass lawn venue, this location has endless possibilities. There is plenty of room for a large outdoor ceremony with a reception under a clear pop-up tent. With 17 live oak trees, a 70 by 100-foot hard scape surface for reception, complete with all the electrical outlets needed for vendors and beautiful fountain for your ceremony, this venue is right down the street from central Bay St Louis and the beach.
When planning your wedding, take time to think about what you want for your ceremony. If your wedding is in the winter or during the rainy season, consider an indoor wedding. This may be a good idea for summer wedding as well since South Mississippi is known for brutal heat. For a spring or fall ceremony, you can select a venue with colorful foliage as a great backdrop.
Where to Take Wedding Pictures on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
The plus with all the venues mentioned above is that you don’t even need to leave the property for photos. There are a lot of locations on site for the photos of the family, wedding party, and you two!
If you need a few more ideas (or potentially ideas for an engagement session) our favorite spot is in Ocean Springs at the Twelve Oaks Nature Trail. There are an infinite amount of different backgrounds within the one location.
If you’re in Biloxi, the Vieux Marche is fantastic with historic buildings as the background, along with the city hall building. Fishbone Alley in Gulfport is covered in wall art and makes for another unique location depending on the color/theme for your outfits.
Our beach also makes for beautiful couple’s photos or a bridal session. With the waves crashing, palm trees swaying, and the best sunsets you can find, the beach runs all along the Gulf Coast and there are countless spots for great photos.

Wedding Day Timeline
To first look, or not to first look? That’s really up to you. Our requirements as photographers are to have at least 30 minutes of photo time with family, 30 minutes with the wedding party and 45 minutes with just you two. We can easily get the family photos done during the reception, but love to spend more time capturing your intimate photos of the day.

We suggest a "First Look" if you wish to share intimate moments with your future spouse while your makeup is still fresh, and your hair is styled. While you may shed a tear or two, this pre-ceremony moment offers a scheduled opportunity to revel in excitement with your partner before the whirlwind of celebration and never-ending family photoshoot ensues.
The venues and planners will help you with the official timeline for the day, but an ideal outdoor summer wedding timeline goes something like this:
1pm: hair and makeup
5pm: ceremony
5:30-6pm: reception/cocktail hour
6-8pm: dinner, grand entrance, first dance
8:30pm+: party
* keep in mind that during the winter months, this timeline may fall back a few hours to adjust for the earlier sunset.*

This timeline is so simple because it is based on trusting your vendors to do what they’ve agreed to do. If you’re doing a lot of the setup and decoration yourselves, the timeline gets a little more complicated. One thing we love about having the venues above is that if there’s a problem - there’s a pretty good chance you won’t even hear about it. You’re free to just enjoy your day!
A big advantage is that you can also get ready on site at many of these venues. The less transportation, the easier the day will run.
This one is easy: Misty Hopkins or Coastal Wedding Services
We have worked with both of them for multiple weddings and look forward to every time we get to hear them officiate a wedding. They make the process of designing your perfect ceremony very easy.
There are a few great people in the area for flowers and decor. A few vendors we love are Bent Tree Bluff Designs and Sadie Jane’s Famous Wreaths and Gifts.
If you are planning to have first dances and celebrate with family and friends, we definitely recommend having a DJ. Forget the speaker and Spotify playlist queued on your phone,
DJ Jim Horn is a favorite of ours. He is professional and helps with the timeline for speeches, first dances and grand entrance/exit.
Believe me when I say, we have tried tons of wedding cakes. And we have a few vendors that put some icing on the cake!
With great flavor and freshness, we love taste testing Lacey Cakes and Dolce Bakery time and time again.
The Dress and Bridal Party Attire
There are several tuxedo and bridal attire rentals on the coast.
We are most familiar with Bridal and Formal Boutique, House of Tux in Gulfport, MS. With years of experience for all types of events, they can help you find the perfect dress and assist in rentals for the rest of the bridal party.
Having an experienced coordinator for your day means so much less stress for you and your partner. Say Yes Weddings and Events is one of our favorites to work with. They meet with clients and get to know them before helping them make the best timeline for their day. Planners deal with all the heavy lifting and work with the rest of your vendors to make sure everything is in top shape before your wedding day even starts.
If you’re planning to have a night-long celebration with your guests, a drink service or bartender should be on your list. We’ve worked alongside Mr. Cali Rob, who makes a mean drink for your guests. A newly popular option is to have a mobile bar service such as Kombi Keg Gulf Coast, where beverages are on tap.
Treat your guests to some delicious eats with a catering service at your reception. We’ve worked with Full of Grace Catering and Annie’s Creations. We can’t wait to work with them again to try some more appetizing food.

Photography & Videography
Who could forget our favorite part of wedding planning? Finding the right photographer or videographer to capture your day is extremely important!
Taking a look at a photographer’s portfolio is the first step, so you can find out if their style matches the vision you have for the day. We pride ourselves in creating a natural and classic look for our editing, but some venues call for a change in color or theme. We like to work closely with all of our couples to ensure they get the style of photos that complements their day.
Videography is also equally important. We’ve heard of couples leaving out this part of their experience and many tend to wish they could go back in time to get a wedding film of their day. Photos can show the still moments in time from family photos to the first look, but with videography, you can relive each highlight of your day from a new perspective.
There are so many options for videos, including: a film with your favorite song, custom vow recordings or voiceovers with the bridal party. You can also take a look at the style of wedding films you like to have an idea in mind.
Digital Photo Booth?
A little newer to the scene, digital photo booths are a fun alternative to a guest book or just a fun way to celebrate with guests. We love bringing along our photo booth as it gives guests something fun to do while we take photos with the couple and family after the ceremony.
With props and a digital photo sent directly to guests after using it, this photo booth is perfect for receptions and parties, and works great as an add-on to our photography and videography packages.

That’s all, Y’all! (Not really)
We could go on for days about all things wedding planning, as this is just the beginning.
No matter where you are in your wedding planning journey, we hope this resource helped you get some inspiration for planning your perfect day. If you find it useful or know of someone starting their wedding planning journey, feel free to share with them!

~ Happy Wedding Planning. Cheers!
Dalton & Savanna
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