5 Outfit Tips To Make Sure Your Engagement Session Looks Incredible

Your Engagement Session:

The most common question I get asked before an engagement session is “What should we wear?!”. While I can’t answer that for you specifically, here are 5 tips to keep in mind when you’re planning your engagement session outfits:

1.) Don’t Try To Match

Complimentary colors are your friend. I’d recommend avoiding white as well. You’re going to have a TON of pictures of you wearing white soon enough!

2.) Stick To A Maximum of Two Outfits

Purely for logistical reasons (there are very few public restrooms downtown) I’d recommend sticking with a single outfit, but if you decide to go with two, most of my clients go with one casual outfit and one more formal.

3.) Be Bold, Just Not Super Trendy

Imagine looking back 10 years and realizing that you did your engagement session decked out in Ed Hardy gear? Didn’t really age well did it?

Your engagement session should absolutely be about you and what you and your partner are all about, so don’t be afraid of bold colors or a crazy jacket lining just be aware that these photos will be around for a long time!

4.) Make Sure You’re Comfortable

High heels are great, but if you can’t walk down the block in them without your feet hurting it might be a good idea to change shoes (or at least bring a spare pair of shoes to walk in!). You don’t want to be constantly thinking about your feet by halfway through the session.

5.) Empty Your Pockets

You don’t want to have your phone, keys or wallet poking through your pants during the session. A small backpack or purse will hold everything you need and make it super easy to set down when you’re shooting. In a pinch we can carry anything you need in our camera bag.

It’s all about you.

In the end though, don’t listen to me, your engagement session is all about you so if it makes you happy, go for it!

 


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4 Reasons To Do A First Look (And 1 Big Reason Not To)

The First Look

To first look, or not to first look? That is the question asked by dozens of my clients every year. One of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in the wedding industry over the past 10 years is the number of clients opting for a first look. While it’s purely a personal decision, here are 4 reasons why you should consider a first look, and 1 big reason why you may not want to:

1.) It clears away the pre-wedding jitters

Seeing your partner before the wedding ALWAYS clears away the nerves. Every bride I’ve worked with who’s done a first look has told me how much better they feel after doing a first look. The getting ready process can be a little hectic, but no one likes waiting around for a big event to happen.

2.) It’s a special moment for just you and your partner

Your wedding day is a group activity. From getting ready to the ceremony and into the reception, all eyes are on you and your partner. You don’t get many opportunities to just be together without a hoard of well-wishers surrounding you. Your first look is just a moment that’s all about you, your partner and the love you share, without all of the pomp and circumstance.

3.) You have the opportunity to get a makeup touch up if you get really emotional

I cried like a baby when I saw my wife walking down the aisle. Luckily though I wasn’t the one wearing makeup.

If you’re worried that crying might mess up your makeup, a first look gives you the opportunity to let all of your emotions out without worrying that you’re going to mess up your photos later. Just be sure to ask your makeup artist to stay until the first look is complete.

4.) It can give you way more time with your guests

Traditionally, one of the biggest hurdles wedding photographers face is how to knock out as many of the family and bridal party photos as possible without the bride and groom seeing each other. Once you eliminate that hurdle, you’re free to do family photos, bridal party photos and the majority of the portraits of you and your fiance prior to the ceremony. That way you can enjoy more of your cocktail hour and spent more time with your family and guests!

…And one big reason you might not want to:

It’s tradition for a groom not to see the bride until their walking down the aisle! A first look isn’t for everyone so weigh your options prior to the big day and discuss things with your photographer and wedding planner.

In the end it’s purely a personal decision, your wedding will be awesome no matter what you do!

 

Josh and Andrea’s Boone Hall Plantation Wedding at the Cotton Dock

Boone Hall Plantation is so incredible in the spring that I had a really hard time picking the favorites for this blog post so I MAY have gone a little overboard. I’ll let you decide that though.

This was an absolutely incredible wedding. Andrea and Josh were amazing to work with and the decor was absolutely spot on. This was definitely one of the highlights of 2018 and certainly one of the best Boone Hall Plantation weddings that we did in 2018.

 


Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Hair and Makeup: Ash & Co.

Catering: Hamby Catering

Rentals: Snyder Events

If you have any questions at all Contact Us today or follow us on Instagram for stay up to date with our work

VenueBoone Hall

Planning: Rachael Stewart

Dress: Francesca Miranda



If you have any questions at all Contact Us today or follow us on Instagram for stay up to date with our work!


 

Taylor and Brett’s Waterfront Wedding at Harborside East in Charleston, SC

This was a wedding that proves good things come to those that wait. Taylor REALLY wanted a sunset shot, but when both her bridal session and their engagement session failed to produce so much as a hint of color in the sky, it all came down to her wedding day.

Heavily in their favor though was the fact that Taylor and Brett selected one of the best locations in Charleston to view the sunset. Harborside East is perfectly positioned to catch the sun setting just behind the Ravenel Bridge, but mother nature had to cooperate first.

The morning didn’t look good. When we started shooting at the girls getting ready location a few miles away in Old Town Mount Pleasant it was absolutely pouring with rain. To the point where I kind of gave up hope of getting any real color. But Charleston is known for it’s weather that can change in an instant.

And change it did. While  the guests were enjoying dinner, we all trudged through the mud and muck from the earlier rain storm, through a construction zone, to the absolutely perfect location to watch the sky absolutely explode with color. We got the full spectrum too as the orange of the day faded into reds then pinks and finally the cool blue of twilight.

I’ll be honest, normally I wouldn’t ask my clients to walk through the mud, but Taylor kept urging us on because she HAD to have a sunset shot and I’m so glad that she did! This is why Harborside East is one of the premier locations in Charleston, SC for an amazing sunset over the water!


Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Venue: Harborside East

Ceremony Location:  St. Luke’s Chapel

Planning: Lowcountry Weddings by Jessica

Hair & Makeup: Carolyne Simms

Dress: Justin Alexander

Bridal Shop: Bridal House of Charleston

Shoes: Alex Marie

Florist: Pretty Petals of Charleston

Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals

Suit: Men’s Warehouse

Ring Designer: Tacori

Jeweler: Polly’s Jewelry

Catering: Jim N Nicks

Cake: Cakes by Kasarda

Band: Emerald Empire Band

Transportation: Lowcountry Trolly


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Amanda and Phil’s Romantic Boone Hall Wedding

……….A romantic Boone Hall wedding is always a treat to shoot – everywhere you turn is a beautiful scene, an ancient oak tree, or a bursting sunset. This is the second time I’ve shot a wedding at Boone hall that’s held the ceremony under the avenue of oak trees, and I think it’s my new favorite spot!

……….The day began with a private first look between the historic gates of the mansion at Boone Hall. Nestled quietly beneath the live oaks and Spanish moss, Amanda and Phil then tied the knot in an intimate ceremony surrounded by family and close friends. With thunder rumbling in the distance and the occasional lightning bolt illuminating the dark skies we headed off to take some portraits during golden hour. Everyone was constantly checking the radar and hoping we weren’t going to get rained out but luckily for all of us we were graced with no rain and an INSANE sunset. Coupled with a super high tide at the cotton dock, the reflections on the water were unlike anything I’ve shot before at this location.

……….The neutral color palette allowed the beauty of the location to shine through at Boone Hall – a pop of color from burgundy dahlias and blush roses was all that was needed to showcase the lush green surroundings while guests to nibbled, mingled, and enjoyed the sights, all while having a refreshing drink under the shade of the oaks.

……….Thanks to all of the vendors who helped make this Boone Hall wedding possible!


Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Venue: Boone Hall Plantation

Planning: Peper Events

Florist: Frampton’s Flowers

Hair & Makeup: Wild Ivory Beauty

Officiant: Richard Burton


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Sarah and Alex’s Elegant Wickliffe House Wedding in Charleston, SC

Sarah and Alex’s summertime Wickliffe House wedding was an elegant affair that oozed Southern style and charm.

The day started with the guys and girls getting ready at separate private homes down the road from one another – the guys sipped whiskey while the girls were in hair and makeup. After a private first look between the columns at Cannon Park while the sun was shining and a light breeze picked up Sarah’s veil – we took some (read: a lot) of portraits in the beautiful mottled light of the park.

The ceremony was held at St. Luke’s chapel in downtown Charleston, and after the ceremony the guests were able to make a short, shaded walk to the ceremony reception, which sits just across the street: The Wickliffe House. Arguably one of my favorite venues – a grand, historic mansion with a sprawling double-height porch and a manicured lawn out front (and a spiral staircase, to boot!) – the Wickliffe House made an ideal location to host this beautiful wedding. The reception was full of personal touches from Sarah and Alex – the desserts were handmade specially by them, and they sipped champagne from heirloom glasses passed down to them.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this special Wickliffe House Wedding happen!


Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Reception Venue: The Wickliffe House

Ceremony Venue: St. Luke’s Chapel


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Tissiana and John’s Sunrise Wedding at Pretty Place Chapel

………. Tissiana and John’s wedding at Pretty Place Chapel in Cleveland, SC was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever had the privilege of shooting.

………. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a morning person, so when Tissiana told me that we needed to arrive at 5:30am I wasn’t completely sold on the whole thing. That was until I saw the venue.

………. I’ve heard a lot about Pretty Place Chapel from friends and other photographers who live in the Greenville, SC area so I knew that it was going to be pretty, but I honestly didn’t think it was going to be as gorgeous as it was. With a perfect view out over the Upstate of South Carolina and into North Carolina, the sunrise was about as good as I’ve ever seen (although admittedly I haven’t seen THAT many given my aversion to the wee small hours of the morning).

………. Following the ceremony, I was extremely glad that my clients trust me to the extent that they do because despite John not being the biggest fan of heights, he stepped over the railing to the edge of the cliff and got some beautiful portraits! In my defense though, Tissiana had more to do with than than me so you can’t blame me entirely.

………. From there it was a short drive back to the Highland Lake Inn for breakfast, a quick cake cutting and then portraits with their family and friends before we had to hit the road back to Charleston.

………. Really looking forward to having the opportunity to shoot here again!


Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Vendors

Ceremony: Pretty Place Chapel

Reception: Highland Lake Inn


Pretty Place Chapel Wedding - Greenville SC Wedding - Nicholas Gore WeddingsPretty Place Chapel Wedding - Greenville SC Wedding - Nicholas Gore Weddings Read More

Baley and Elliott’s Alhambra Hall Wedding in Charleston, SC

……….Baley and Elliott’s Alhambra Hall wedding was the perfect balance of fun and elegance.

……….The day began at a relaxed pace with the girls getting ready while sipping mimosas. After loading into the car and heading to the ceremony venue around the corner – St. Andrews Historic Church – we headed straight into the couple’s first look. In the lush, shaded courtyard on the parish grounds, Baley and Elliott saw each other for the first time and exchanged meaningful letters afterwards (one of my favorite wedding day traditions.)

……….After the ceremony, cocktail hour began at Alhambra Hall for the guests while we headed out to take some portraits! Baley and Elliott were down for anything – they even climbed into a bush of weeds for one shot! We began at the Pitt St. Bridge, a place that holds special meaning to the Bride. The sky was beautiful and the weather was perfect for casual, romantic shots by the water. Sunset came and we kept on shooting – I even shot a couple rolls of film on my old Mamiya RZ67 film camera for a couple of poses (getting that film processed will be a whole other story!). Their adorable French bull dog made an appearance for some photos during cocktail hour – she’s a natural on camera.

……….Their reception included an (aggressive) tambourine solo to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, a choreographed performance of the dance from Napoleon Dynamite, and a late-night delivery of 300 tacos from Taco Bell and a stack of Papa John’s pizzas. That last one in particular made me think that these two are the type of people I could definitely be friends with!

……….Thanks to all of the vendors who helped make this Alhambra Hall wedding day so much fun!


Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Ceremony Venue: St. Andrews Historic Church Mount Pleasant

Reception Venue: Alhambra Hall

Planning: Yoj Events

Florist: Frampton’s Flowers

Hair & Makeup: Paper Dolls

Rentals: Eventworks

Transportation: Charleston Style Limo

Catering + Bar: Sandlapper

Cake: ABCD

Entertainment: Midnight City

Tuxedo Rental: Charleston Tuxedo 


 

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10 Reasons Why You Should Have A Charleston, SC Wedding

…………Charleston, SC is the number one city in America AGAIN! For the 6th time in a row, Travel & Leisure has ranked Charleston the number one city in America which, let’s be honest, is pretty fantastic. Charleston is not only a great place to live and work, but we think it’s also the number one place in America to get married! Here’s a list of 10 reasons why a Charleston, SC wedding is the best in the country!

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Paige and John’s Springtime Wedding at William Aiken House in Charleston, South Carolina

………..A William Aiken House wedding is one of my favorite things: a grand historic home surrounded by the hustle and bustle of King St that is host to many great locations to shoot (and party!). Even though this wedding was nearly 3 years ago, I’m still completely in love with it! It’s always incredible to have clients that trust me to make them look amazing and who are up for anything!

…………Travelling in classic Charleston style by vintage trolley (and leaving in a rickshaw), Paige and John oozed elegance from start to finish (even with a broken dress strap on the dance floor!) – the guys got ready and relaxed with some drinks beforehand at The Thoroughbred Club bar at the Charleston Place Hotel and the girls prepared for the day in the stately red-toned ready-room at the William Aiken House.

…………Paige and John’s elegant wedding was ideally suited to this venue – rich tones of red, yellow, and gold paired wonderfully with the couple’s neutral palette – black tuxedos, a hint of blush pink, and cream roses. The ceremony, held at St. Mary of the Annunciation (i.e. that Church with the best frescoes in town), was followed by plenty of portraiture and a glamorous reception.

…………Thanks to all of the vendors that helped make this William Aiken House wedding as amazing as it was! This really was a dream team wedding. From the fantastic planning by Janet from JVM Events to the videography, flowers and hair and makeup, I’d work with this team again any day of the week!

Remember to click the read more link at the bottom of the page for more photos!


Vendors

Reception Venue: William Aiken House

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary of the Annunciation

Planning: JVM Events

Florist: Charleston Blooms

Hair & Makeup: Lashes and Lace

Lighting: Charleston Uplighting

Rentals: Snyder Events and Snyder Lounge

Transportation: Absolutely Charleston

Catering + Bar + Cake: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group

Entertainment: Paul Matthews Entertainment

Getaway Transportation: Charleston Rickshaw

Videographer: Chap Films


Click through to see more photos!

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