Jena and Kelly’s wedding at Rutledge Chapel on the University of South Carolina’s Horseshoe, followed by an amazing reception at 701 Whaley’s Marketplace, was the perfect way to begin 2017’s wedding season! This year was off to such a roaring start that I never even took a break over the winter; between finishing up my December weddings, going to WPPI in Las Vegas (can’t wait to share about this), and then MOVING, there was no rest in the off season, but I thank God that those things all took place when they did! God’s timing is always perfect, and just as our move was getting underway and we had found a new home, Wedding Season 2017 kicked off with the Rutledge Chapel & 701 Whaley wedding I’m sharing here!
Jena contacted me about a year ago about hers and Kelly’s wedding and, though we played a bit of phone tag, once we got on the phone, we couldn’t stop chatting! Their engagement session was a blast last fall (you can see it here if you don’t remember it), and as the wedding date approached and Jena updated me on their plans and vendors, I knew this was shaping up to be the kind of wedding day I wanted to be every part of!
For starters, while many couples tend to let the groom “off the hook” for most of the day, this couple made sure the guys got as much pampering and attention as the girls, which I think is wonderful! It’s great to start a marriage off with neither side feeling less important than the other! As soon as I stepped into Frank’s Gentleman’s Salon, I was a bit jealous, and couldn’t decide if I’d rather send my own husband here as a treat or if I kind of wanted to take part myself. They definitely know how to cater to the boys!
Just check out that dark wood, humidor, and collection of men’s grooming accoutrements, and tell me if you don’t think every guy deserves to feel like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, or Clark Gable once in a while!
After getting a quick tour of Frank’s, I ran to the Hilton to catch up with the girls and greet my second shooter while they the bridal party got ready. This is when I get to capture the pre-ceremony photos and little wedding day details that might go unnoticed if not documented, even though every aspect of a wedding is the result of endless hours of care and preparation!
Like every wedding, the day went by in a blur, with my second photographer and I capturing all of the action and keeping things on schedule with a detailed timeline (even when there’s planner or day-of-coordinator, your photographer should have a timeline — I’ll talk more about this in a later post)!
Enjoy the highlights from Jena and Kelly’s gorgeous wedding with art deco details, DIY decor (that hanging centerpiece Jena made was to DIE for!), and some of the best dancing, fun, and food I’ve ever had the honor of capturing!
We REALLY lucked out with gorgeous weather! The forecast had said it was going to rain all day long and be freezing cold, but it held off just long enough for us to photograph the wedding party (separately, since they opted out of a First Look) in the Horseshoe. USC’s Horseshoe next to Rutledge Chapel was really showing out for us, and since the very next day brought on a freeze that killed many of the blossoms, our timing could not have been more perfect! A few moments into bridal portraits, I FINALLY figured out who it was that Jena reminded me of: young Elizabeth Taylor! You see it, right? Her classic dress, hair, and makeup just cemented her as Liz in my mind! Kelly’s face when he saw Jena coming down the aisle was just priceless! That is pure joy if I ever saw it!
Rutledge Chapel is a unique space; it’s historic and uncluttered — there are no adornments other than the crystal chandelier, beautiful white surroundings, and the pipes from their huge organ — but it is the epitome of classic beauty, and proves to give interesting opportunities for photos! See if you can tell which of the photos above were shot from between bannister railings 😉
Also, check out this gorgeous hanging centerpiece at 701 Whaley in their Marketplace venue: Jena totally DIYed this! I was/am beyond impressed!
One of my favorite things to do during a wedding reception is grab the couple for a few couple’s portraits in the dark. It really adds drama and shows off the gorgeous ambience of their reception venue. Plus, with the ceremony and family formals a distant memory, the couple is MUCH more relaxed, and this proved to be the case for Jena and Kelly as well! I adore these last photos.
Jena and Kelly, THANK YOU for letting me be a part of your wedding story! Your engagements, your wedding, and all the planning in between were such a joy, and I wish you both all of the happiness in the world for your future!
Dress: Jo-Lin’s Bridal
Menswear: Britton’s of Columbia
Venue: 701 Whaley
Hair: Kim at Ashley’s Alley
Makeup: Jamie Tran of EyebrowJunkie
Catering: Travis Rayle
Band: Crystal Clear Band
Invitations: DPK Invites
Jewelers: Gibson’s Jewelers