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…

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…

 

Lea & Frank are ENGAGED!!!

Frank has been a fantastic friend, a fabulous neighbor (4 doors down from us), and a fun colleague (he’s an awesome wedding videographer that I frequently get the privilege of working with). Yesterday, it was my distinct honor to help Frank capture this secret proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Lea!!!

May 8th has special meaning to Frank & Lea. It’s Lea’s son’s birthday. It’s Mother’s Day. And it’s the day Frank’s beloved father passed away. Knowing how special this day already was in their lives, Frank wanted to make it even MORE meaningful to the two of them! So we came up with a mischievous ruse together…

Frank told Lea that he booked me to photograph a special “Mother & Son” photo shoot for her on Mother’s Day. We even had Cami print out a fake gift certificate for him to put in her Mother’s Day card. When I met up with them at the picturesque Stono River Park that morning, I pretended to follow along, photographing a variety of portraits of just Josiah and his mom as we walked along the path.

Arriving at the entrance to the boardwalk, I told Leah “Hey, we should get a few shots of you and Frank while we’re here!” This was Frank’s cue to lead her out onto the boardwalk, overlooking the peaceful marsh. When he got to the middle, he pretended to tie his shoe, and then surprised her with a beautiful diamond ring! Lea’s expression speaks for itself!!!  🙂

CONGRATULATIONS Lea & Frank! We wish you all the best as you begin this new journey together!!!

Lucas Surprises Callie with a Secret Proposal

I got a call over a month ago from Jamey who was interested in booking a family photo session…with a twist! Jamey and her family were going to be vacationing on Isle of Palms. She wanted me to photograph their family portraits on the beach. At the same time, her oldest son, Lucas, was going to be proposing to his longtime girlfriend. She wanted to know if that could even be done, and how we might work it out so that Callie didn’t suspect anything. After sharing some ideas with Jamie, and talking it over with Lucas, a doubly-devious plan was hatched! 🙂

Lucas invited Callie to join his family on their beach vacation. Jamie booked the family portrait session with me, and told everyone (including Callie) what day and time they were all expected to be dressed and ready for photos. Arriving for the shoot that afternoon, I rang the bell at their beautiful beach house, and went inside to meet everyone. As introductions were being made, Jamey explained that she wasn’t ready yet and to go ahead and start with a few couple’s photo of Lucas & Callie. Callie & Lucas had just bought a house together, and had talked about getting a few photos of them made during the family session that they could hang in their new home. So this all seemed totally natural to Callie.

After photographing a nice variety of couple’s shots for them, I suggested some casual candids of them holding hands and walking down the beach. We picked a spot where they would turn around. This was Lucas’ cue. He and I had pre-arranged which side he would walk on, which way he would turn, and how to drop to one knee at the turning point to completely catch Callie off guard.

It worked like MAGIC!!! Lucas did a fabulous job of hitting his mark. Callie was completely surprised by the whole thing!  And I just fired away, catching every moment of the excitement!  After she said “YES”, Callie & Lucas came back down the beach towards me. At this point, Luca’s parents and his younger brother, who were all hiding back at the boardwalk, came running out to join them and congratulate them!

We still had plenty of light left to photograph a variety of family portraits. And we capped off the session with some gorgeous shots of Lucas & Callie (with a sparkly new diamond on her finger) in the dramatic setting sun. BUT WAIT!!! The surprise wasn’t over yet!

After we got back to the beach house, Lucas told Callie she should go ahead and call her parents to let them know the good news. Little did Callie know, her parents had secretly arrived in town the day before. While I was out photographing the “couples photos”, Jamey called them to say the coast was clear. They then snuck into the house while we were doing the family photos, and hid upstairs. When Callie face-timed her Mom, she answered and pretended she didn’t have a clue. Thinking her parents were miles away in Georgia, Callie excitedly began sharing the “big news” of how Lucas had asked her to marry him.  While she was mid-sentence, Callie’s parents magically appeared on the staircase coming down towards her!!! The look of utter disbelief on her face was simply priceless!

What an AMAZING honor it was to capture Lucas’ Surprise Proposal to Callie!!!  Congratulations to Jamey and Lucas for pulling off a massive DOUBLE surprise!  And CONGRATULATIONS to Callie & Lucas!!! They are an absolutely adorable couple! We wish them all the happiness in the world as they begin this new journey together…

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…

Ben & Kyle’s Wedding Upstairs at Rue de Jean

It was such an honor for me to photograph Ben’s surprise proposal to Kyle last summer: https://chrisandcami.com/ben-kyles-secret-garden-proposal/. So imagine my excitement when they called to ask if I would photograph their wedding?!? 🙂

When the Big Day finally arrived, I met Ben at Hampton Park, where Kyle would be dropped off for their First Look. It was a truly magical moment! After which the three of us stepped across the street and into some of the old historic alleys and charming streets that Charleston is so known for. When we got back, their wedding entourage with family and friends had arrived for some fun “portraits in the park”. We all had a great time and came away with a variety of great photos!

Then it was off to Rue de Jean, where Ben & Kyle had rented out the upstairs ballroom for their wedding and reception. It’s a beautiful venue with rustic wooden beams, old brick walls, and great character! There was a heart-felt ceremony, led by Kyle’s good friend, Troy. Then Kyle, Ben, and I snuck down to the alley behind the restaurant for a few more photos while the room was flipped. The reception started with great conversations, delicious food, and joyous laughter. A fun introduction, a touching first dance, a great cake-cutting, and hilarious toasts kicked things up another notch. But the energy and excitement of the dancing took the level through the roof! It was an awesome party as everyone celebrated Ben & Kyle’s love for each other.

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

Daisy & Anthony’s Beaufort Wedding

Anthony’s mom, Christine, is an amazing photographer! We’ve been friends with her and Tony for quite a while, especially since they love to travel as much as we do. It was an INCREDIBLE honor when they asked us to photograph their son’s wedding!!!

Daisy and Anthony picked a gorgeous fall day to tie the knot in beautiful Beaufort, South Carolina! Preparations for the day began at a historic Air B&B. Daisy was absolutely STUNNING in her fairy-tale wedding gown! And Anthony was quite dapper in his suit and bowtie!!! I especially loved the heartfelt emotions as Daisy shared a private first look with her Dad and then with Anthony.

Next it was off to the eclectic Old Bay Marketplace Loft & Rooftop for the ceremony and reception. Aside from a brief sprinkle right as the processional began, the weather turned out fantastic! They were able to have their ceremony outside on the rooftop as planned, with the reception following indoors. But of course in between the two, we couldn’t resist running across the street for some really cool sunset photos along the waterfront first!!! 🙂

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

Hunter & Sydney’s Surprise Proposal at White Point Garden

She was so surprised that she dropped her phone!!!

I had so much fun photographing Hunter’s surprise proposal to his beautiful girlfriend, Sydney! Hunter works on the nuclear subs in the Navy, and may be getting stationed in California soon. He and Sydney have been together for a year now, and are a match made in heaven! He knew in his heart this was the girl of his dreams. So he wanted to promise her his undying love before shipping out.

Hunter & Sydney had their first date at White Point Garden. So he and I arranged for him to propose in that beautiful park, underneath a giant oak tree, near the bench where they had their first kiss. It was a magical moment! And she was so surprised that she dropped her phone!!! 🙂

CONGRATULATIONS Hunter & Sydney! We wish you all the best as you begin your new journey together!!!