Marisa and Nathan’s wedding is one I’ve been looking forward to for over a year, since she and I sat down to catch up after MUCH too long! We were suitemates way back in the day at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and I was thrilled to hear all about her finding her soul mate. Marisa and Nathan’s engagement session was amazing, and I knew the wedding day would be awesome as well. As I expected, this Island House wedding did not disappoint! The Island House on John’s Island in Charleston, SC is perfect, with its quirky vintage charm and stunning views over the Stono River. This combination of traditional Lowcountry looks with the mid-century edge matches Marisa and Nathan perfectly! This is definitely one of my favorite weddings to date!
My second shooter and I arrived early, as always, and took advantage of that time to photograph Marisa’s details while she and the bridal party continued getting ready. I love always giving myself extra time on a wedding day to capture the small details that a bride and groom have pored over in planning their wedding!
Marisa’s dress, veil, and earrings from Gown Boutique of Charleston were stunning, and I couldn’t get enough of them!
When we came back into the room where the bridal party was getting ready, one of Marisa’s best friends, Melanie, had a very special surprise for her. Melanie is from New Zealand, and has known Marisa for over 20 years…they were penpals in elementary school! Marisa had previously been in Melanie’s wedding, and had fallen in love with New Zealand, so Melanie brought a piece of NZ back for the wedding day in the form of a traditional Maori pounamu. Real quick lesson here: Pounamu is known as the God Stone of the Maori people, and is kind of held in similar status to diamonds in Western culture. It is essentially green stone, but only found on the West Coast of the South Island of NZ. Maori who wish to give a gift of pounamu will always seek out New Zealand pounamu and once you decide to gift pounamu, you do not just go pick the first one you see. Each carving/shape has its own meaning, and Melanie spent over 4 months searching for Marisa’s. When she found it, she took it to a kaumatua (Maori chief) who blessed it and allowed her to leave NZ with it, and also gave her an aboriginal blessing to sing. The tears began immediately, and continued as each member of the bridal party and myself took turns blessing Marisa and Nathan, their marriage, and their future together.
It was a little difficult to get everyone past their tears and continue getting ready (makeup touch-ups were a must), but luckily some Beyonce on the bluetooth speaker helped the girls all get going again!
Marisa and Nathan chose to do a First Look, and THANK GOODNESS!! Bless her heart, she was a nervous wreck all morning, but the first thing she said to me after the First Look was, “everyone needs to do this. I could not have seen him for the first time as I was walking down the aisle in front of everyone! I feel so much better and that was awesome.” I seriously need to write a blog post soon about how great a First Look is!
It’s pretty hilarious when the groom ends up wearing bright red lipstick after a few intimate moments!
Since the First Look was done before the ceremony, we had time to go ahead and do some bride and groom portraits as well as bridal party group photos, which saves a TON of time between the ceremony and the reception!
I love this huge field of wildflowers at the Island House! As you can see, the ceremony was gorgeous, and after taking a quick break for formal family portraits, it was time for the reception! The food, decor, flowers, music, dancing, gorgeous sunset over the Stono River, and so many other elements came together for an amazingly fun reception! The bride and groom opted against a formal exit, and instead invited the bridal party to continue the fun in Downtown Charleston, with Party Bus Charleston as their chauffeur. Enjoy the rest of their images!
Planner: Fabulous Fête
Flowers: Pretty Petals
Gown and Accessories: Gown Boutique of Charleston
Officiant: Charleston Wedding Rev
Caterer: Cafe Catering and Events
Cake: Gala Desserts
Beverages: Squeeze Bar
Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair and Makeup