So I travel quite a bit for weddings. I think I’ve elaborated on that in a previous post. This isn’t a bad thing at all; in fact, it’s the way I want it to be. Wedding photography can get monotonous if you stick to one place too long. Luckily for me, Caroline and Alex were game for a traveling wedding photographer.
And I was game for some wedding photography at the Old Wide Awake Plantation in Hollywood, South Carolina.
Caroline and Alex are definitely up there in top 3 favorite couples. I could totally see myself hanging out with or just chatting with them, especially since I’ve totally done that a few times. I called Caroline about a month ago, and what should’ve been about a 10–15 minute convo easily topped the hour mark. Easily. And no, it’s not just because I have the gift of gab and can talk an ear off — it was a two-way conversation!
Caroline and Alex met while in college, even though they weren’t attending the same university. Alex signed a contract with the army in high school and decided to go to the Citadel (military college in South Carolina) and Caroline chose to go to the College of Charleston. Through mutual friends , the two met and began dating.
Skip forward three years to Christmas of 2011. Alex and Caroline were in New York City and decided to go to see the world-renowned Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. I say THEY decided to go see it, but Alex had planned this visit as the day and location of his proposal; however, Caroline almost accidentally trampled all over the whole plan. The Southern belle couldn’t handle the freezing cold temperatures due to a condition known as wusswhencolditis, a condition found predominately in women who forget to bring extra layers to cold climates. After waiting for quite some time to get to the tree, Caroline tried begging and pleading her way back to their lodgings. But thanks to two friends that came with them to document the whole thing and to Alex putting on his cold weather poker face and being a MAN, his proposal happened just the way he planned.
Caroline had some good advice for me to share in her blog post: make your wedding your own. I know, I know, there’s other factors that sometimes sway judgement (e.g., daddy holds the wallet and momma doesn’t think that certain dress is the right one), but at the end of it all, it’s your wedding day. Take advice and listen to suggestions… and then create the wedding you want that reflects the two of you. And reflect the two of them their wedding did indeed — decorations were handmade by friends and family, the setting was perfect (if the venue’s good enough for Reese Witherspoon to be wed at, it’s perfect for that Southern charm feeling), and their wedding colors were blue and brown, which were my wedding colors, which makes those colors awesome and perfect immediately.
“That’s awesome how you snuck in the part about your own wedding colors being the same as theirs, Stephen!” “Thanks, Stephen!” *high fives himself*… … … Being a parent has turned me more lame than I was before… Moving on…
Finally, if you ever needed to hear from another bride why a “first look” would be a good idea, Caroline comes close to being the official spokesperson. Caroline says:
The first meeting might be the only thing that topped the reception. I am so so SO glad we decided to go ahead and see each other before the ceremony began. We were able to share a private moment alone with just one another [and] it was so special to me. It took of so much of the pressure… I was also a lot less nervous going down the aisle. [Alex’s] opinion was really the only one that really matter, and once that was out of the way, it was so much less stressful.
I couldn’t say it better. Yes, the pictures from a first look are 95% guaranteed to be the most genuine, emotion-filled photos. But being able to see one another before the ceremony frees up time later for enjoying the reception and lets you have a very special moment that ends with a special feeling — the feeling that you’re a team and in it together.
Now, down to what you’ve been waiting for — more dialogue!… JK, here’s the wedding photography — enjoy!
“Hey Stephen, I notice you don’t usually get shots of the groom getting ready. It’s part of the wedding photography for the bride, but not the groom? What’s with that?” asked the person I made up in my head to create a good segue. Awesome question, Grayson McMadeup! It can be, but usually this next photo just about sums up what guys do to “get ready.“
Now moving on…
As a last note, I have a vendor list that helped make this wedding (and my wedding photography) possible:
- Venue: Old Wide Awake Plantation, Hollywood, SC
- Dress: Bridals by Jodi, Charleston, SC
- Cake: Publix Bakery
- Caterer: Melvin’s BBQ, Charleston, SC
- Flowers, DJ, Bar, and Decorations: Family & Friends