November 6, 2019
Man, oh man, this Charleston wedding WAS A DREAM!
You know that little saying, everything happens for a reason? Yeah, I am a firm believer in that. If I had not decided to take a job offer at a little boutique in Clifton VA, I would have NEVER made the sweet friends I have now, nor would I have ever met Erika! Erika used to work for the little cupcake store, Cupcaked, in Clifton. Feel like you’ve heard that before? That’s because you totally have! Another one of my brides worked there too! Remember Vicky + Sean? They even got engaged there! That little cupcake shop had brought me more joy and more friends than I could ever repay it for.
I knew the moment Erika got engaged, this was going to be epic! She reached out to me almost immediately and I knew I was going to be there, no matter what! Once she explained to me that she was wanting to get married in on Kiawah Island I WAS OBSESSED. She knew right away what her color scheme was, what her girls were going to wear, how her tables were going to be, and ALL of the details she was going to have. Seriously THE IDEAL COUPLE. Not only was she so in love, and so excited to get married, she thoroughly cared about what the day was going to be like for them and their guests, and how it was going to photograph!
Fast forward a year, and holy moly it just gets better. As we made our drive to this Charleston wedding, I fell in love pretty instantaneously. The Spanish moss and knobby oaks that lined the roadway, and the kind nature of the people you meet is enough to make you want to pack up and move immediately. I was actually drooling as we made our way into Kiawah. Not only do you get the beach, and a tropical feel, everything is also sweet and southern! AND THE SWEET TEA, oh Lord. That right there was it for me haha!
Anyway, enough about the drive – lets talk about this wedding, shall we?! First off, Kiawah Island is absolute perfection. Erika got ready in her fabulous Airbnb on the island, while Wes got ready at Haberdash in Charleston. Erika’s airbnb was literal goals, with its plunge pool over looking the marsh, and its two story loft and open floor plan. Lashes and Lace came in and did stellar hair and make up on all of the girls while they sipped mimosas and carried on about their memories with Erika. Jay and Mack Films were an absolute dream team to work with – they’re a husband and wife team all the way from San Diego, and their energy-driven work made photographing next to them so much fun!
Not only did Erika think of every detail possible, she even thought to get me flowers to play with and a MRS BOX! If there is one thing I have fallen in love with this year, its Mrs Boxes. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with one! She handed me a bag of all of her details – including Manolo Blahnik heels, and gorgeous silk ribbon! I was head over heels and I hadn’t even started yet!
Once it was time for Erika to get in her dress, we ushered all of the girls to get ready elsewhere so we could surprise them with the finished look. Her Pronovias gown was made for her. Not only did it fit her like a dream, but it meshed with her personality and style effortlessly. Her lace sleeves and off-the-shoulder neckline brought out a VERY Kate Middleton vibe, and her Cathedral lace veil was the icing on the cake. Her girls had no idea what the dress looked like, and were absolutely in awe the moment they saw her!
I spent the better part of Friday scoping out a premium Spanish moss filled spot for the first look and portraits, and I found the perfect location! We held the first look at Night Heron Park, where the sunlight glistened beautifully through those knobby oak branches. Wes was practically speechless when he turned around! After the first look we completed all of the family portraits and some of the bridal party right then and there! We then ventured over to The Sanctuary where we did a very regal bridal party portrait on the massive staircase inside.
After that, it was time to make our way to the ceremony! Mingo Point made a perfect backdrop to this Charleston wedding! It was a completely open air concept, surrounded by palms and marshland. The ceremony took place out on a peninsula in the marsh, with little personal touches through out. Erika and Wes are huge Vikings fans like me, so it was only natural for them to include a Norwegian hand-fasting ceremony during their vows! And, they shared their first walk as Mr. + Mrs. as guests tossed rose petals in the air (THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER!) I love how extra these two are!
Their unique open-air reception was absolutely stunning! During cocktail hour, the guests shucked their own oysters as they were shoveled off the fire, or had them shucked for them by one of the staff! Erika and Wes joined in on the fun after a few more portraits around the venue. It was so cool to see my couple in there, laughing and carrying on, as they ate oysters with friends and family!
Next to the cocktail space, the reception area was decorated beautifully! Wimberly Fair did an impeccable job with the huge hydrangea arrangements along the massive reclaimed wood head table! Not only that, but Erika’s bouquet was literal perfection, and it lasted ALL night! The guests found their seat by the perfectly hand-lettered gold oysters that also doubled as their favors. The rest of the night, everyone took to the dance floor, singing at the top of their lungs, as The Andy Masker Band played all of the oldies! And to top it off, they ended the night by walking through the sea of sparklers in a way that made them feel just like royalty!
This wedding was one that I only ever dreamed of photographing when I first started, and to say dreams do come true is an understatement. Thank you so much for letting me share your Charleston wedding with you, and congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Kesner!
Charleston Wedding Vendors:
Venue | Mingo Point
Planner | Lee, Direct my Day
Officiant | Tyler Tracy
Catering | Mingo Point. Kiawah Island Resort
Florist | Wimberly Fair
Videographer | Jay + Mack Films
Live band + DJ | The Andy Masker Band
HMU | Lashes + Lace Charleston
Dress | Ellie’s Bridal, Pronovias Bridal
Harpist | Kim Perkins
Shoes | Manolo Blahnik
Suits | Men’s Warehouse
Socks | Happy Socks
Cake | Wildflour Pastry
Rings | Nupen Jewelers, Fairfax
Want more of this gorgeous couple? Check out their Salamander Resort Engagement here!