Bette + Blake // Kiawah Wedding

Charleston weddings will always have a special place in my heart. And Bette & Blake’s Kiawah Island wedding, near Charleston, is one that I’ll never forget. I also have to say, I am always incredibly honored when another photographer, and a talented one at that, asks me to shoot their wedding. It thrills me!

When I walked into Bette & Blake’s rehearsal dinner, I thought I was already at a wedding! Filled with great food, epic scenery, friendly faces, and the funniest, most unique toasts I have ever heard which included handing out make-believe trophies. Not to mention, probably the best live performance of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” I have ever heard. Pretty sure I got the chills and maybe even teared up a little bit. Maybe. After the rehearsal dinner, a dance party ensued and good times were had. I kept thinking, “how are they going to top this tomorrow?”

Man oh man, did they top that or what?

On the morning of the wedding, I watched Bette spend quiet time by the window in the spa writing a thoughtful note to Blake. You could tell she put heart into it. And in return she received an equally thoughtful gift from Blake; a gold bracelet inscribed with some of Bette’s favorite Mumford & Sons lyrics. (I heart you too, Mumford & Sons.) I watched as Bette shared tears with her bridesmaids, or as she preferred to call them the “house party”, and then walk down the aisle for Blake to see her for the very first time. The look of pure joy on his face was just priceless. I could almost see him as a little boy in that moment, without ever having known him as a child. Her father could barely hold it together either, and I am a sucker for a man who cries.

The way Bette & Blake held each other during their first dance was also endearing to see. You could see it in her fingers and knuckles how tightly she held on to him. Followed by this, I watched her father hold her face in his hands, while the “house party” cheered them on enthusiastically. The cake was cut & a champagne toast was had under a trellis covered in cascading florals. Then, the ultimate dance party ensued. A memorable weekend indeed.

I also personally want to thank Bryan Dale for coming out all the way from California to shoot this wedding with me. I’m honored to have had you by my side. I would also like to thank my husband Alin, for always lightening my load at weddings and being the best lighting guy around. And lastly, but definitely not least, my brother Ed of Zomei Film Stories. This guy. Hands down my favorite wedding cinematographer. And I’m not just saying that because he’s family. I am just so dang proud of him. You HAVE to see his video for Bette & Blake’s Wedding Day. I promise it will not disappoint.

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The Rehearsal Dinner & After Party
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The Wedding Day
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People Who Made this Day Magical
Second Photographer: Bryan Dale
Videographer: Zomei Film Stories
Event Designer/Coordinator: Ellen Robinson of WED
Makeup & Hair: Sasanqua Spa
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Maddison Row
Bridal Veil: Mother’s veil restored by Maddison Row
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Kiawah Fine Jewelry
Bride’s Wedding Band: Croghan’s Jewel Box
Groom’s Wedding Band: Ann Ladson
Earrings: Filigree
Bracelet: Ann Ladson (gift from groom)
Bride’s Shoes: Tsubo
Matron of Honor Dress: Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids
Bridemaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu & variety of eBay finds
Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic
Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Groomsmen’s Suits: A Variety of mixed suits
Wedding Cake/Dessert: Sugar Bakeshop
Stationery: Studio R Design
Caterer: The River Course
Wedding Flowers: Sara York Grimshaw
Officiant: Jimmy Morrow (Groom’s Best Friend)
Ceremony Musicians: The Loyales with Charleston Virtuosi
Rehearsal Dinner Band: Green Levels
Rehearsal After Party Band: The Rivertown Band
Wedding Reception Band: The Loyales
Wedding Reception Afterparty: Tony Mele a.k.a “DJ BirdFlu” & DJ JeffET
Transportation: Absolutely Charleston

Comments

  1. -

    I don’t want to correct you, but as a Canadian I am required by law to inform you that it was Leonard Cohen who wrote Hallelujah, lol. It’s just one of those songs that is covered by everyone, everywhere.

    The photos are freakin’ awe-inspiring. I can see why you like these people in this place, too. They seem to know how to have a fun time. The grandmother on the dance floor is always a favourite. And the kids. Can’t forget the kids.

  2. -

    I have followed a few years now and I longs to every post you make. Although this time will get caught and moved so that it feels in your heart, you is such a talented person who can convey emotions in your photos and it’s a great gift!
    Thank you!
    May The Sun Always Shine On You!

  3. -

    Caroline you make such pretty things. I was excited to see this whole thing after seeing bits and pieces on google hang out. SO PERTY. I like the things you make that that camera thing.

  4. Sean Gilliland -

    I love that they partied just as hard after the rehearsal. These are so stunning Caroline. Beautiful work as always.

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Comments

  1. -

    oh my GOODNESS, caroline. i don’t even know where to start… i love the way you see things and the light you capture them in. the shot of the kids walking down the aisle, the couple in the car with such huge smiles, the ones of the bride looking over her shoulder, the city/waterscape portrait… toooo many favorites here! what a beautiful wedding … thank you for sharing!

  2. -

    So many great photos I don’t even know where to start! Fantastic compositions, great moments captured… just beautiful work all around. :)

  3. -

    Oh man Caroline. I just love how you see and capture the world. It’s this honest story telling that is so artistically done it slays me. So beautiful. Absolutely adore the image of the ring bearer looking at her veil.

  4. -

    You seriously blow my mind everytime. Love the way you shoot and approach every moment so perfectly, but keep it so real.

  5. -

    My dear friend, you’re not capable of producing anything less than stunning. Monica & Luciano must be so happy with these! My favourite has to be the shot of L at the beginning of the first look.

  6. -

    your candids of them together are so perfectly beautiful. the black and white of them in the back of the car is sublime.

  7. -

    I love every single frame. What a beautiful wedding, stunning couple, and amazing photography. Everything is just so perfect!

  8. -

    OMG, this is amazing. I liked all your shots and i think the photo which is bride-only with sky background is just fantastic.

  9. -

    I loved the different ideas of displaying photographs. I especially like the black and white picture, which is beautiful. Maybe I’ll use this this with my wedding photos!!

  10. -

    Very creative and different ideas of displaying photographs. I especially like the black and white picture, which is beautiful. Maybe I’ll use this this with my wedding photos!!

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Maura + Dan // Historic Pritzlaff Building //Milwaukee

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Vendors Who Made this Day Magical
Second Photographer: Josh Ohms
Event Designer/Coordinator: David Caruso of Dynamic Events
Church: St. Sebastian Church
Reception Venue: Historic Pritzlaff Building
Makeup & Hair: Carenza Salon
Wedding Flowers: Dahlia Blooms
Caterer: Miss Julia’s Bakeshop
Wedding Cake/Dessert: Miss Julia’s Bakeshop
Officiant: Fr. Nicholas Santos, SJ
Ceremony Musicians: Family members
Cocktail Hour Singer: Joe Wray
Band: High Society
Wedding Dress: Reem Acra
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Groom’s Suit: Harley’s
Stationery: Paper Envy
DIY (Chandeliers & Birch Dividers): David Caruso of Dynamic Events

Comments

  1. -

    beautiful capture, emotions, details, feel. I rarely comment or view on other wedding photographer’s sites but just wanted to tell you I love it!

  2. -

    You know what I love about this? Everything! But you know what I especially love about everything here? How freaking real it is. Such awesome moments, so many fantastic, genuine expressions of joy. Yes, yes, yes….this is awesome wedding photography. The backlit night shot is also pretty stellar. So…yeah…all of that. High five!

  3. -

    Love that walking up the aisle shot. Also great energy in the dance shots. Really creative motion blur, very brave, I love this style but always worry a couple would say “it’s blurry”!!

  4. -

    I want to nominate this wedding for some kind of “best use of a veil” award. Seriously stunning, with the light hitting it from behind in so many shots and that great one where it caught the wind. Beautiful work!

  5. -

    My favorite is the bride and her father walking down the aisle! You really captured the expressions of the couple throughout the day!

  6. -

    Lovely wedding photo’s. such a wonderful collection of black and white wedding photo’s the looks awesome.

  7. -

    Sorry Caroline I just realised my previous comment went to your next blog post Maria and Aleks. Just a quick note to say your photography is lovely and I particularly like the processing of the black & white images which many wedding photographers seem to not do terribly well IMHO. Thanks for sharing your inspiring work, Pervaiz

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