Charleston weddings will always have a special place in my heart. And Bette & Blake’s Kiawah Island wedding, near Charleston, is one that I’ll never forget. I also have to say, I am always incredibly honored when another photographer, and a talented one at that, asks me to shoot their wedding. It thrills me!
When I walked into Bette & Blake’s rehearsal dinner, I thought I was already at a wedding! Filled with great food, epic scenery, friendly faces, and the funniest, most unique toasts I have ever heard which included handing out make-believe trophies. Not to mention, probably the best live performance of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” I have ever heard. Pretty sure I got the chills and maybe even teared up a little bit. Maybe. After the rehearsal dinner, a dance party ensued and good times were had. I kept thinking, “how are they going to top this tomorrow?”
Man oh man, did they top that or what?
On the morning of the wedding, I watched Bette spend quiet time by the window in the spa writing a thoughtful note to Blake. You could tell she put heart into it. And in return she received an equally thoughtful gift from Blake; a gold bracelet inscribed with some of Bette’s favorite Mumford & Sons lyrics. (I heart you too, Mumford & Sons.) I watched as Bette shared tears with her bridesmaids, or as she preferred to call them the “house party”, and then walk down the aisle for Blake to see her for the very first time. The look of pure joy on his face was just priceless. I could almost see him as a little boy in that moment, without ever having known him as a child. Her father could barely hold it together either, and I am a sucker for a man who cries.
The way Bette & Blake held each other during their first dance was also endearing to see. You could see it in her fingers and knuckles how tightly she held on to him. Followed by this, I watched her father hold her face in his hands, while the “house party” cheered them on enthusiastically. The cake was cut & a champagne toast was had under a trellis covered in cascading florals. Then, the ultimate dance party ensued. A memorable weekend indeed.
I would like to thank my husband Alin, for always lightening my load at weddings and being the best lighting guy around. And lastly, but definitely not least, my brother Ed of Zomei Film Stories. This guy. Hands down my favorite wedding cinematographer. And I’m not just saying that because he’s family. I am just so dang proud of him. You HAVE to see his video for Bette & Blake’s Wedding Day. I promise it will not disappoint.
Videographer: Zomei Film Stories
Event Designer/Coordinator: Ellen Robinson of WED
Makeup & Hair: Sasanqua Spa
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Maddison Row
Bridal Veil: Mother’s veil restored by Maddison Row
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Kiawah Fine Jewelry
Bride’s Wedding Band: Croghan’s Jewel Box
Groom’s Wedding Band: Ann Ladson
Bracelet: Ann Ladson (gift from groom)
Bride’s Shoes: Tsubo
Matron of Honor Dress: Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids
Bridemaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu & variety of eBay finds
Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic
Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Groomsmen’s Suits: A Variety of mixed suits
Wedding Cake/Dessert: Sugar Bakeshop
Stationery: Studio R Design
Caterer: The River Course
Wedding Flowers: Sara York Grimshaw
Officiant: Jimmy Morrow (Groom’s Best Friend)
Ceremony Musicians: The Loyales with Charleston Virtuosi
Rehearsal Dinner Band: Green Levels
Rehearsal After Party Band: The Rivertown Band
Wedding Reception Band: The Loyales
Wedding Reception Afterparty: Tony Mele a.k.a “DJ BirdFlu” & DJ JeffET
Transportation: Absolutely Charleston