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…

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…

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!!!

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…

Angie & Andrew’s Beach Wedding on Hilton Head Island

It was an absolute pleasure photographing Angie & Andrew’s beautiful beach wedding on Hilton Head Island last week!

Ever since they started dating, Angie & Andrew have been vacationing together at Hilton Head Island. The place holds such fond memories for them! So why not get married here?!?

The couple rented a huge beach house and invited their closest family and friends to join them. The day of the wedding was gorgeous, with a nice breeze and beautiful blue skies! Angie was absolutely stunning in her antique beaded dress. Andrew was dashing in his stylish khaki & white. They were such a sweet couple to work with.  And you could just feel the love surrounding them! Indeed their entire group of friends and family were so open and welcoming, that I felt like part of the family. I ended up staying overtime, just hanging out and chatting with everyone while the young people laughed and splashed around in the pool to cool off!

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

Lea & Frank on The Carolina Girl Yacht

I love photographing all weddings. But it’s always EXTRA special to photograph a close friend’s wedding. Last week I had the pleasure of capturing the amazing wedding celebration of our long-time friend and neighbor, Frank, and his beautiful fiancé, Lea!

I met Frank many years ago at a wedding where he was the videographer and I was the photographer. His background in the TV industry has made him an incredible story-teller. Our shared passion for capturing the love between two people was the start of a wonderful friendship. Finding out he lived just 4 doors down from Cami and I made it even easier for us to grab coffee, go to lunch, or just stop by for a chat. Frank is an AMAZING guy…and we couldn’t be happier for him and Lea!

Although I haven’t known Lea nearly as long, it’s been such a blessing to watch their relationship grow and blossom. Lea has a kindness and gentleness about her that speaks volumes to her character. The way she treats Frank with love and respect, and the way she “gets” his corny jokes, lets me know know they are a match made in heaven.  🙂  Lea is also an amazing mother to her son Josiah!

Lea & Frank planned an intimate celebration on a gorgeous summer evening aboard The Carolina Girl Yacht. Arriving early, they shared a very special First Look in the picturesque park near the dock. After portraits with family and friends, we boarded the yacht for a fantastic cruise around Charleston Harbor. Close family and friends witnessed a touching ceremony…with a few funny movie quotes thrown in for good humor. The couple then shared their First Dance before sunset portraits on the bow. Afterwards, Frank & Lea joined guests in the main cabin for dinner. The delightful evening continued on the top deck with dancing and mingling as we enjoyed the gentle ocean breezes until the captain brought us back to the dock.

Many thanks to Camille, Sarah Beth, and Captain Trent for going above and beyond. And a special thanks to Captain Bob for making a guest-star appearance to make sure all was ship-shape before our departure!

It was an absolute honor to photograph Lea & Frank’s surprise proposal earlier this year: https://chrisandcami.com/lea-frank-are-engaged/. And it was an even deeper honor to be there for them to capture all these special moments of their wedding day!

Glenda & Larry’s Wedding at Taylor Ranch

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love always perseveres!

What an HONOR it was for Cami and I to photograph Glenda & Larry’s beautiful wedding! Glenda & Cami have been friends for close to 20 years. When Glenda moved away from Charleston for her new job, she had no idea what was in store for her! One day as she arrived for services at Biltmore Church, she met an amazing man named Larry. They soon fell in love. Larry proposed to Glenda in front of all their friends one morning during their small-group gathering before church!

Their wedding was held at Taylor Ranch in Fletcher, NC. It was a picture-perfect day with mild temperatures, and clear blue skies. Glenda was absolutely stunning in her elegant wedding gown, complete with adorable lace-toped tennis shoes. Larry was quite dashing in his embroidered guayaberas Sunday shirt with tan blazer. Led by their good friend Kelvin, the ceremony was heartfelt and spirit-led. A casual reception in the open-air pavilion, overlooking the lake, was the perfect place for everyone to relax and celebrate with the newlyweds!

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

Glenda & Larry’s Rehearsal Dinner

Glenda & Larry’s private room at The Season’s, located at The Highland Lake Inn & Resort, was filled with gales of laughter, tears of joy, stories of love, and sentiments of lives filled with blessings.

We were celebrating Glenda & Larry’s Rehearsal Dinner Party! Friends and family were gathered together to fellowship, and to bless the lives of this amazing couple as they prepared for their wedding day. A short rehearsal was followed by a delicious meal, then a time of sharing and showering Larry & Glenda with stories that exemplified their undying love, kindness, and faithfulness.

The evening closed with a GORGEOUS sunset as we all parted ways with great anticipation for the special day ahead!

Sally & Vincent’s “Carolina Girl” Vow Renewal

It’s been TEN YEARS since Sally & Vincent tied the knot. But at the time, they weren’t able to have a big wedding. So for their 10-year Anniversary, they decided to throw that beautiful “party of the century” wedding celebration they’d always imagined!!!  🙂

Sally & Vincent met and fell in love in Coney Island, NY. Her brother lived in Charleston.  So Sally kept coming down to the area for visits. Later on, Sally & Vincent moved to Connecticut.  But it wasn’t quite the right fit, and they still hated those cold winters. Eventually they took the plunge and moved to Mt. Pleasant.  Along the way, they started a family.  Their daughters, Vanessa and Scarlett, are absolutely adorable.  You can check out their engagement/family photos here:  https://chrisandcami.com/sally-vincent-folly-beach-engagement/).  Since moving to Charleston, Sally & Vincent have built their dream home…and have been here ever since!

To pull off this fabulous wedding celebration, these two lovebirds joined with the amazing team at The Carolina Girl Yacht (www.carolinagirlevents.com)!  Camille, Jessica, Captain T.J., and the rest of the crew helped them get every detail in place, and made sure everything ran smoothly throughout the event.

When the Big Day arrived, I met up with Sally and her girls at The White Room for their “getting ready” photos.  Sally was absolutely STUNNING in her elegant wedding gown!  Then it was off to The Carolina Girl to catch up with Vincent and his guys.  When the Party Buss arrived with the girls on it, Vincent was waiting in the picturesque park near the dock.  Knowing how long Sally & Vincent had waited for this moment, it was all I could do to hold back the tears and keep shooting while this amazing couple enjoyed their emotional First Look.  Next, we stepped up the pace with wedding party photos in the park before guests arrived.  Then it was off to The Carolina Girl for the rest of the evening!  From family and friends enjoying the scenic cruise around Charleston harbor, to their heartfelt vow renewal, to family portraits on the bow, to a delicious dinner, and finally the gleeful laughter reverberating off the water as everyone danced the night away…a FABULOUS time was had by all at Sally & Vincent’s Big Celebration.  That, my friends, is exactly how dreams come true!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Sally & Vincent!  You two are so perfect for each other.  We wish you all the best as you continue to love one another, love your wonderful girls, and live life to the fullest for MANY MORE anniversaries to come…

 

Historic Rice Mill with Z9

My friend Frank, of Francis West Studios, let me tag along on a fun wedding he was shooting at the Historic Rice Mill today.

He was the videographer for the event. So I helped out by running the secondary camera, getting drone footage, etc. But the fun part was, he let me bring the new Z9 to play with! Here are a couple dusk shots of this beautiful wedding venue taken with the new camera.

I still have a lot of subtle nuances to get used to…but this beast is really starting to feel at home in my hands! 🙂

Anna & Jimmy’s Wedding at Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Jimmy is an awesome bagpiper, and a respected member of law enforcement in Charleston. I’ve had the privilege of bumping into him many times over the years as he’s played his pipes for tons of weddings and events that I’ve photographed. It was a great honor that he and Anna asked me to photograph their wedding!!!

Jimmy & Anna have known each other for over 20 years. Like many of us in life, they were good friends that drifted apart and lost track of each other. But they found their way back to each other when they re-connected through Facebook in 2014. They have been inseparable ever since! They fell in love and were married at the courthouse in June of 2019. But with the pandemic of 2020, their big wedding celebration had to wait until last weekend!

With preparations starting off at the Indigo Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, the sun was out and spirits were high! Anna looked absolutely stunning in her wedding gown. And Jimmy was quite dapper in his bowtie. Guests were shuttled to Sacred Heart Catholic Church on an old restored 1960s buss, which was REALLY cool!!! A beautiful ceremony was led by Father Jack, or “Uncle Jack” as he preferred. Jimmy’s Uncle came all the way from New York to perform the ceremony! After the service and formal portraits in the church, Jimmy & Anna stopped at the Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park with me for some beautiful portraits before sunset. Then it was back to the Indigo Hotel for an awesome reception!!!

It was nice to see Sara Cavallon again, who coordinated everything at the church. I also enjoyed teaming up once more with my friend Robbin Knight as second-shooter. And Nicole with Direct My Days did an awesome job as their Day Of Coordinator. Also, many thanks to Carmella’s Bakery, Paper Dolls, Atlantic Executive Limousine, Lowcountry Valet, JW Wedding and Event, Blacktree Music Group, and all the other vendors and staff that helped make this day a huge success for Anna & Jimmy!

CONGRATULATIONS Anna & Jimmy! We wish you all the best as you continue loving life, loving each other, and loving this new journey you have begin…