Mary Webb and Ken contacted me about their upcoming wedding after seeing this post from a fabulous Clemson wedding last year. They were also planning their nuptials at Clemson’s beautiful Madren Center next to the Walker Golf Course, and I was super stoked to have another wedding lined up at one of my favorite venues.
Well, I don’t know if y’all are aware (ha), but we have kind of been dealing with an unprecedented event in our lives with the global pandemic known as Covid-19. Wedding after wedding got canceled, postponed, and rescheduled as venues closed down and social distancing guidelines were put into place. Just a few weeks into April, Mary Webb and Ken had to make the very tough decision to move their Clemson wedding, with a MUCH smaller guest list, to their hometown of Kingstree, 3.5 hours away from their original venue.
The logistics got switched and arranged over many phone calls in the following weeks, and there were certainly plenty of nerves. The day couldn’t have possibly been more beautiful, though.
Have you ever had your life plans be uprooted by sudden changes outside of your control, and over months or years of struggle and stress, realize that God had a bigger, better plan all along? This was that situation. From local vendors coming to the rescue last minute, to the portrait location falling in their laps, the entire day was perfect!
I love little details like Mary Webb’s mother’s wedding gown sleeve being incorporated into the bridal gown. You can see a peek of the sleeve in her detail photos!
I. LOVE. a first look. It allowed us to do all of the family and wedding party photos before the ceremony, which was especially important in the case of this smaller, socially distanced wedding. Since the reception was pared down as much as possible, we would not have had time to do group photos afterwards AND allow everyone to remain comfortable while waiting for the wedding party announcements, so this was especially perfect!
Another reason I loved this particular first look was the surprise Mary Webb arranged for Ken. To transport the wedding party over to the portrait location, she got their Baptist church bus — which was the spot Ken first asked her to be his girlfriend back when she was in middle school! His reaction was PRICELESS.
Oh yeah, and it was HOT. No surprise there (I mean, it is South Carolina), but it was “let’s fan each other off, beg for water, and cool off in our car a/c between portraits” hot. MAJOR kudos to Staci and Leigh of Cotton Rouge & Co who not only drove down from Greenville but also performed some sort of magic that kept everyone looking amazing despite the heat! It was worth every single sweaty moment, though, and I can’t even find the words to express how awesome it is when the wedding party remains enthusiastic and positive.
Speaking of prioritizing portraits, here’s a great example of why it’s so worth it to take photos both before the ceremony and after. The light was AMAZING by 6:45, and gave a totally different look from the photos taken at 4pm (even in black and white).
One of the parts that stood out to me about Mary Webb and Ken’s wedding was how they kept their faith at the center. Timeless old hymns were played while folks were being seated, and even the send-off floral confetti was wrapped carefully in sheet music of their favorite hymn. I have to say, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is an especially perfect hymn for their wedding story and a wonderful blessing to begin a long and happy marriage.