Paulina & Ben’s Greek Orthodox Wedding

Two weeks before the Covid-19 “shutdown”, I had the pleasure of photographing Sommer & Frank’s wedding. Several years before that, I had the privilege of photographing Sommer’s sister’s wedding, when Sarah & Trent got married. Now…3 years later…after the pandemic bans on public gatherings have been lifted…it was my GREAT PLEASURE to photograph Frank’s sister’s wedding!  Paulina & Ben tied the knot on a beautiful blue-sky afternoon at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity!!!

If you haven’t already, check out the beautiful story of their Secret Proposal here:  https://chrisandcami.com/ben-proposes-to-paulina-at-the-holiday-festival-of-lights/.

When the big day arrived, I met up with Paulina and the girls on the top floor of the Harbour Club at Westedge, where they were all getting ready.  The atmosphere was fun and festive.  And Paulina looked stunning!  I absolutely LOVED the pride and joy in her Dad’s eyes when he came in for that “First Look” with his little girl!

Meanwhile, my good friend Robbin caught up with Ben and the guys, who were all getting ready at the Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Waterfront. I think one of the most special moments of the day was when the trolley was taking Ben the guys over to the church, and he had them stop so he could come up, lean his head on the outside of the door, hold Paulina’s hand, and tell her how much he was looking forward to marrying her!

Once everyone was at the church, a beautiful, warm, candlelit sanctuary welcomed friends and family from far and wide. The ceremony was FILLED with so many special moments…from Paulina and Ben’s brothers laying out the aisle runner, to Ben’s mom singing a soulful rendition of Ave Maria…from Paulina’s Dad singing in the choir, to her godfather being the Koumbaros and assisting with the Exchanging of Rings and The Crowning ceremony. Father Ari led a touching heartfelt ceremony. And Ms. Cleo did an amazing job of keeping everyone on schedule. It truly was a special ceremony I’ll never forget!

A highlight for me personally was getting to spend a few minutes in a private session with Paulina & Ben at Brittlebank Park on our way to the reception.  The vibrant orange glow from the final rays of sunshine, and the transitioning sky as “blue hour” set in, provided a dynamic backdrop for a few dramatic portraits of the gorgeous couple!

Then it was on to the reception back at the Harbour Club at Westedge.  Robbin had already covered the cocktail hour.  So once Paulina and Ben had gotten a few minutes to catch their breath (while he changed into a suit and she put her hair up), it was time for the Main Event!!!  After an enthusiastic welcome for the wedding party, Paulina & Ben’s first dance as husband and wife, and some touching toasts, DJ David kicked things into high gear!  I always love the energy and enthusiasm of Greek dancing.  And WOW…did this group know how to do it right?!?  Everyone had a BLAST, while Robbin and I captured all the excitement of the evening!

Many thanks to Ashleigh with Everything After the Ring for the beautiful florals, and for keeping everyone organized throughout the day.

CONGRATULATIONS Ben & Paulina!!!  You are so perfect for each other!  We wish you all the best as you begin this new chapter in your lives…

Morgan & Ryan’s Engagement Session at Hampton Park

I met Morgan’s parents at a fun event I was photographing for the Aucoin Family. When they asked me to photograph their daughter’s wedding, I was absolutely DELIGHTED!!!

With an unseasonably gorgeous 70-degree day yesterday, we headed out for a fun engagement shoot at Hampton Park. But not just your average engagement shoot, I was so excited when they brought their new baby boy, Wyatt to join us! The light was amazing. Wyatt was adorable. And we all had an amazing time exploring the park and capturing a wide variety of images to preserve this special time in their lives!

CONGRATULATIONS Morgan & Ryan! I can’t wait to be there for you guys at your wedding in just a few short months. 🙂

James & Sadaf’s Surprise Proposal at White Point Garden

James and Sadaf have been together for almost exactly one year. When James called me several weeks ago, I could just hear it in his voice…he KNEW Sadaf was the right girl for him!!!

Together we came up with a beautiful plan to surprise Sadaf during their weekend get-away to visit Charleston. Thinking they were meeting a guide at White Point Garden to take them on a short historic walking tour, Sadaf was totally unaware of the secret plan James had in store for her!

Leading his gorgeous girlfriend to a spot under the avenue of oaks, James dropped to one knee and asked her to be his wife. It was such an incredible moment that I could feel all the other tourists around me collectively holding their breath as soon as they realized what was going on. When Sadaf said “YES” and gave him that big hug, everyone burst out in enthusiastic applause!!!

I got to know James and Sadaf a little bit that afternoon, as we spent some time together wandering the historic downtown streets, creating some magical engagement photos for them.  And I can truly say, they are absolutely perfect for each other.  CONGRATULATIONS James & Sadaf! We wish you all the best as you begin this new chapter in your lives together…

Becca & Matt’s Wentworth Mansion Wedding

When Matt hired me to photograph his Surprise Proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Becca, back in August, I felt a real connection to this AMAZING couple:  https://chrisandcami.com/matts-middleton-place-proposal-to-becca/.  So you can imagine how excited I was when they called to ask if I would photograph their wedding!!! 🙂

“True Love” is what comes to mind when I think of Becca & Matt. The way he looks at her, the way she holds his hand, the way they know what each other is thinking without saying a single word…it’s like a fairy tale! In keeping with their love for each other, Becca & Matt wanted to get married as soon as possible. So they proposed having me photograph a small elopement, just an intimate ceremony with the two of them and their parents. Then later next summer, they would have me photograph the big reception with all their friends and family!

This weekend Becca & Matt tied the knot at the old historic Wentworth Mansion. The 21-room tribute to Charleston’s gilded age exudes the glamour and grandeur of the Holy City. Italian crystal chandeliers, hand-carved marble fireplaces, and Tiffany stained glass create a setting of gracious hospitality, further enhanced by luxurious amenities and thoughtful guest experiences – all just a short stroll from the city’s world-class dining and shopping.

The touching ceremony was led by Becca’s cousin, Kerrie. Warm sunlight danced through the iconic trees as Becca and her father made their way down the giant staircase. Surrounded by the love of their parents, Becca & Matt exchanged their vows on the grand lawn under a brilliant blue sky.

After signing their license, it was time to “play”. So the three of us set about capturing a variety of creative images, paying homage to the timelessness of the incredible setting, and preserving the beauty of this amazing couple on the happiest day of their lives!  Eventually the sun dipped below the horizon, and the happy couple joined their parents across the way at the Circa 1886 Restaurant for dinner.

CONGRATULATIONS Becca & Matt!!! We wish you all the happiness in the world as you begin this new chapter in your lives…

Branden & Kendelle’s Surprise Proposal on Kiawah Island

When Julia told me Branden & Kendelle’s story, and explained that he was going to propose to her beautiful daughter the day before Thanksgiving, I knew right away that Cami and I needed to delay our travel plans by a day so that we could capture this moment!!!

Julia and I concocted the ruse that she hired me to photograph family portraits during their visit to Kiawah Island. We all met up at The Ocean Course.  I loved the colorful outfits they had all chosen.  And we had a blast, capturing a variety of shots, including their Christmas Card photo. Then towards the end of the shoot, I suggested some candid “walking on the beach” photos of each couple. When it was Branden & Kendelle’s turn, he took her hand, led her down the beach for a little privacy, dropped to his knee, and ask her to be his wife. It was SUCH a special moment!!!

Afterwards, everyone congratulated the newly engaged couple with hugs and high-fives. The others went inside for drinks at the Ryder Cup Bar while Branden & Kendelle did some engagement photos with me before meeting up with them in the Atlantic Room for dinner. As soon as the rest of the gang left, the overcast skies cracked open a sliver of light at the horizon, allowing the AMAZING sunset to shine through for the amazing couple!

CONGRATULATIONS Branden & Kendelle!  You have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together…

Loesch Family at Rainbow Row

13 years ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Erik & Julia’s beautiful destination wedding in St. Thomas. Earlier this week, I got to photograph some fun family portraits for them near Rainbow Row in the old historic area of downtown Charleston. It makes my heart full to see them with their two adorable girls, a loving home, and a happy ever-after…

Stith Family at Hampton Park

What a beautiful fall evening for a family portrait session!!!

A while back, I had photographed headshots for the law firm where Melanie works. So I was particularly delighted when she contacted me about also photographing some updated family portraits. She and Anthony hadn’t had a “real” family portrait done since the kids were little. So it was about time! They have such a beautiful family, with three amazing kids. We all had a blast, catching up and creating some memorable images for them just before the holiday season “rush” begins!

We settled on Hampton Park, with its beautiful trees and natural surroundings, as the backdrop for our photo session. I love exploring this old historic park with wonderful clients like the Stiths. It was their first time here…but I don’t think it’ll be their last! 🙂

Alex & Hannah’s Surprise Proposal at White Point Garden

Alex’s heartfelt email arrived on my desktop back in July: “I’m looking to propose to my girlfriend on the evening of either 11/11/22 or 11/12/22 and would love to have the surprise proposal photographed.”. (I owe my good friend and amazing photographer, Michael Cyra, a HUGE Thank You for recommending us to him!)

This contact sparked a wonderful series of emails and phone conversations with Alex, in which we concocted a secret plan of action. Alex & Hannah were going to be visiting Charleston that weekend. We decided that after a fun tour of The Aquarium, he was going to let her know he had arranged for a private walking tour around historic Downtown Charleston for the two of them. And they had to meet their “tour guide” under a certain tree at White Point Garden.

When the big day arrived, I got to the park ahead of schedule, and set up my spot. Due to the wind (remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole that had passed through days before), Alex and I had to call an audible. We needed to reverse their positions so that Hannah’s hair wouldn’t be blowing in her face! 🙂 Alex handled the change of directions with confidence and discretion…expertly guiding Hannah to a beautiful spot on the lawn, underneath the avenue of oaks that line the edge of the park.

Dropping to his knee, Alex delivered a beautiful speech, and asked Hannah to be his wife. SHE SAID YES!!! The park was filled with tons of tourists, who all noticed what was going on, and broke out in applause afterwards! It was such a special moment.

Following their surprise proposal, Alex, Hannah, and I enjoyed a wonderful stroll through the park, into the surrounding old historic district, ending up along The Battery for some dramatic shots with the sun setting in the distance over the Ashley River!

CONGRATULATIONS Alex & Hannah!!! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together…

Lindsey & Brock’s Fairytale Wedding

When Lindsey & Brock described their hopes and dreams for the wedding they were planning at their parent’s pine tree farm out in the middle of the country, I had NO IDEA what a beautiful “fairytale wedding” it would turn out to be!

Lindsey tells a funny story about how she and Brock met! They both attended the same gym for 2 years.  But they never spoke to each other during that time. After she move to a different gym and started dating on Tinder, she noticed he was on there too. Back when she was at the other gym, she had heard he had a girlfriend. So she messaged him to say “why are you on a dating app when you have a girlfriend?”. To her surprise, Brock let her know they had broken up a while back. And pretty soon Lindsey & Brock became an item!!! 🙂

Last weekend the Big Day finally arrived! Entering the property down a long avenue of oak trees, a beautiful arbor had been constructed on the front lawn where the wedding would take place. The giant work shed had been transformed into a gathering area for cocktails. And the massive oak tree over by the lake had been beautifully decorated for the reception. There was even a white tent, a stage, and a dance floor set up for the band to kick things up a notch when the time came!

As she walked down the white aisle runner, Lindsey was absolutely STUNNING in her elegant wedding gown! The light danced and shimmered off her cathedral length veil. Smartly dressed in a classic gray 3-piece suit, Brock couldn’t keep his eyes off of her! Surrounded by their closest friends and family, Lindsey & Brock exchanged their heartfelt vows under beautiful blue skies, shaded by the canopy of trees overhead.

After family photos and couples portraits, Lindsey & Brock joined everyone for a few cocktails before heading over to the oak tree by the lake where their reception awaited. As dusk turned to dark, the silent oak came alive with thousands of twinkling lights strung among the branches. It truly was a magical experience to be together, enjoying their first dance as husband and wife, embraced by the outstretched arms of this gentle giant above!

After a delicious meal with warm company, The Significant Others helped everyone shake off the evening chill. Their foot-stomping, arm-pumping, classic rock and pop tunes had everyone on the dance floor all night long!!!  But eventually it was time to send Ken & Barbie…er…I mean Brock & Lindsey off.  And what a send-off it was!!!  Between the bright red classic Buick “escape vehicle”, the fancy fireworks lining the avenue of oaks, and everyone cheering them off…it certainly was a night to remember.

Cami and I would especially like to thank her cousins, Beth & Ken, for recommending us to Lindsey & Brock. It was such an honor being a part of this special day for this AMAZING couple!

To Lindsey & Brock…we wish you all the happiness in the world as you begin this new chapter in your lives!!!

Izzy & Stephen’s Surprise Proposal

It was such an honor being a part of Stephen’s Secret Proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Izzy, last night!

Stephen & Izzy have been together for 3 years now.  Although her family now lives in Florida, her dad is originally from Colombia, which explains her gorgeous Latin complexion.  His is lives in North Carolina.  The two of them met at a college in NC and have been dating ever since.  They live near Charlotte, where she works for a marketing agency, and he works for the Whitewater Center (like a Theme Park for outdoor enthusiasts).

When his company purchased the gorgeous Middleburg Plantation in Huger, Stephen knew EXACTLY where he wanted to propose!  So he called me and we came up with a plan.  Because his company has had surveyors, maintenance workers, photographers, influencers, and marketing teams out at the new property to get it ready for launch, he said it would be easy to pretend that I was out there to photograph the grounds for the company brochures.  We agreed on the perfect spot under the long avenue of amazing oak trees for me to photograph his surprise proposal.  And sure enough, it worked like a charm!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Stephen & Izzy!  We wish you all the happiness in the world as you begin your new journey together…

Lindsey & Brock’s Rehearsal Dinner Party

My heart is overflowing! This weekend was filled with palpable excitement, heartfelt tears of joy, and a fairytale story of true love!

It all started with Lindsey & Brock’s Wedding Rehearsal at Forsyth Park in Savannah, GA. After rehearsing their vows for the day ahead, we strolled through the park, capturing a few beautiful portraits of this amazing couple as the sun’s final rays of golden light sifted through the trees.

The ensuing Rehearsal Dinner Party at 700 Drayton Restaurant was the perfect cap to a delightful day together. Everyone was in high spirits with anticipation of the day to come. And there was a palpable buzz of excitement in the air, as everyone enjoyed a wonderful evening of fellowship and celebration for Lindsey & Brock.

With dreams of the big day ahead, here are a few favorite images from Lindsey & Brock’’s Wedding Rehearsal.  I can’t wait to share their amazing wedding photos as soon as they are done! Stay tuned!!!  🙂

Dannielle & Andrew at the Isle of Palms Exchange Club

I was so honored when my friend and amazing photographer, Kim, recommended me to Andrew’s parents (who are friends with her parents) when they were inquiring about a wedding photographer for their son and future daughter-in-law.

Shortly after we all connected, I felt like Dannielle, Andrew, and I were a perfect fit. Later, when Danielle wrote me this note, I KNEW we were going to have a great time working together: “My fiance, Andrew Wallace, and I have looked through your blog and website and love the photos you and your wife take. Quite impressive. We are so happy you are available on our wedding day!”

Although they were both born and raised in California, this amazing couple met each other while living and working in Washington D.C. I mean, what are the chances of THAT?!? They then relocated to Greensboro, where Dannielle is doing important research in the long term effects of tobacco use, and Andrew is specializing in infectious diseases. They spend quite a bit of time visiting Charleston, which is where Andrew’s parents live now. Luckily for me, this is how their wedding came to be held here at the picturesque Isle of Palms Exchange Club!  🙂

After getting to know them, and photographing their engagement photos, which you can find at: https://chrisandcami.com/danielle-andrew-are-engaged/, I could tell they were a match made in heaven!

Their wedding day was a beautiful affair, intimate and relaxed, surrounded by their closest friends and family! The ceremony was held on the dock, with dolphin peacefully swimming below us, seagulls floating effortlessly in the breeze above us, and Dannielle’s dad performing a heartfelt ceremony. The weather was absolutely perfect as well, culminating in a dramatic sunset, scattering vibrant colors across the sky behind the beautiful couple. A fun-filled reception followed on the deck of the Exchange Club.  A candle-light sit-down dinner was held inside, with a special menu picked by the couple to represent the meaningful places where they have lived.

Many thanks to Taylor at Experiencing Holy City for keeping everything on track and organized.  And a huge shout-out to all the other vendors for making this day so perfect!

CONGRATULATIONS Dannielle & Andrew!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together…