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…

Matt’s Middleton Place Proposal to Becca

Becca & Matt are the most adorable couple ever!!!

When Matt called to ask if I would capture his surprise proposal to his girlfriend, Becca, I was super excited. He had already put so much thought into how he was going to propose, and had so many fantastic ideas. I could tell he was head-over heals in love. And I couldn’t wait to be a part of it!  We spent the next few weeks planning out every detail.

Matt knew how much Becca loved gardens and flowers. So he had chosen the Octagonal Garden at Middleton Place as the spot where he would ask her to marry him. Isn’t that awesome! I arrived at “the spot” a little early that morning to get in place. Right on cue, Matt led Becca around the corner and over to our pre-chosen location. Taking a knee in front of the girl of his dreams, he asked Becca to be his wife. She said YES!!!  🙂  I could hardly contain my emotions, as I witnessed the whole thing from inside my viewfinder.

Afterwards, we had so much fun, exploring the gorgeous grounds at Middleton Plantation, getting to know each other, and photographing a variety of authentic engagement photos for them to commemorate this special day! CONGRATULATIONS Matt & Becca!!!

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!

Nick & Nicole’s Secret Proposal at The Sanctuary

After weeks and weeks of planning every detail for Nick’s secret proposal, we had to call a last-minute audible!!!

Nick and I had worked so hard to come up with the perfect plan for him to ask his beautiful girlfriend, Nicole, to marry him. We had picked a pristine beach at the northern end of Kiawah Island as the backdrop. We had chosen the perfect time of day to catch that “golden hour” light before sunset. But all our plans fell apart minutes before our scheduled time when the skies opened up, pelting buckets of rain down from the sky!!!

Fortunately, Nick and Nicole’s parents had secretly flown in to surprise the couple after the proposal. Since his parents were staying at The Sanctuary, they quickly scouted out a secluded spot indoors and out of the rain. They even placed a trail of rose petals leading Nick to “the spot” where he would do his magic. It worked out PERFECTLY!!!

Arriving right on cue, Nicole said later that she could sense Nick was acting a little strange. But she wasn’t sure why? Then Nick hit his mark, turned to face the love of his life, and dropped to one knee. It was a truly magical moment. Nicole burst into a HUGE grin as she realized what was going on…and she couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the night!

Afterwar she said “Yes”, we were able to incorporate the beautiful hallways, archways, and grand staircase of the famous hotel into a fun authentic engagement shoot. I got some neat candids of Nick & Nicole’s parents surprising them and checking out Nicole’s AMAZING ring. And of course we captured a few nice family portraits to commemorate the occasion.

CONGRATULATIONS Nick & Nicole!!! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!

Richard Surprises Stephanie with Folly Beach Proposal

SHE SAID YES!!!

It was such an honor capturing Richard’s Surprise Proposal to Stephanie on Folly Beach last evening!

This amazing couple met at Southwest College, where Stephanie played hard to get at first. But before long, her and Richard became inseparable. They’ve been best friends ever since. After 5 years together, Richard FINALLY dropped to his knee at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and asked Stephanie to be his wife. 🙂

While making plans to vacation on Folly Beach together, Stephanie thought it would be fun to schedule a couple’s session. Since Richard had already bought the ring, and was trying to think of the perfect time to pop the question, he thought this could work in his favor. Together, he and I worked out a secret phrase so that half-way through their couple’s session, he would know it was time to do his magic. Richard’s brother had joined us under the ruse of “helping hold your phones and sunglasses”. Unknown to Stephanie, he was also secretly hiding the ring! At our pre-determined time of 8:00 PM, I distracted Stephanie by asking to photograph a couple shots of her by herself…giving Richard time to get the ring from David. Richard then took Stephanie’s hand and led her down the shoreline for a little privacy. Facing her with waves gently lapping at their feet, he opened his heart and asked her to marry him. It was SO AWESOME!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Richard & Stephanie! We wish you all the best as you begin this beautiful new stage in your journey together…

Tres Surprises Keri with a Secret Proposal

I owe a HUGE “Thank You” to Tres’ mom, who called to vet photographers in Charleston for her son, and decided we were worthy of this special event!

Tres and Keri met online and have been inseparable since. Tres has known for a while that Keri was “the one”. In fact, he’s had her engagement ring since August!!! He wanted to wait for the right moment, and to make sure Keri had a very special proposal. I would say he pulled that off in spades!

Tres is from Alabama. But he and Keri now live in Charlotte. This weekend, they planned a fun “get-away” for a few days in Port Royal, with a side-trip to historic Charleston. It’s been so much fun working with Tres the last couple months, secretly scheming about how to make his proposal absolutely perfect!

Arriving at White Point Garden early, I scouted our location under the avenue of oak trees, and placed two branches in an “X” formation so Tres knew the right spot. I took my position on the curb, hid my cameras under a towel, and pretended to be a tourist reading a map. Arriving right on cue, Tres led Keri to the beautiful location he had picked, dropped to his knee underneath the gorgeous cathedral of oaks, and asked Keri to be his wife!!! 🙂

Getting to know Tres & Keri afterwards, as we walked around historic downtown, was so much fun! We captured a ton of fun engagement photos for them. These were “authentic” engagement photos because they weren’t staged months later, but actually took place moments after she said YES!!!

Eventually it was time for this amazing couple to head off to the next part of Tres’ surprise…a fantastic dinner cruise around Charleston Harbor.

Please help me in saying CONGRATULATIONS to Tres & Keri!!! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together…

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…