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Behind the Scenes of Justin & Mary’s Walk Through A Wedding | Charleston, SC

Have you ever wondered how things happen?  I’m usually one that will talk with someone to hear about all the amazing things they’ve had the chance to do and just look at them in wonder because that would never happen to me.  But what I’ve realized is that this introvert sitting her typing this blog post needs to step out of her comfort zone more often if she wants to MAKE things happen!

A lot of “just making things happen” requires talking with people and then asking questions… and then offering to help!  You may not feel like you have the “right” gifts and talents for a certain thing, but what you do probably have are hands and feet and the willingness to lend your time and energy to help others; to own their cause as your own and help them succeed.

So while I was at the Pursuit 31 Conference a couple of months ago, I was talking with my friend Caroline who said she was going to be flying down to Charleston in November to help Justin & Mary with their workshop called A Walk Through A Wedding.  I have to admit, at first, it was all for selfish reasons that I kept asking questions… I looooove Charleston.  I also adore Justin & Mary and their hearts for helping other photographers succeed (in business and in personal life).  I also love getting to hang out with photographer friends that live around the country and I only get to see a couple times a year!

After asking Caroline a few more questions, I went to Mary and asked if they would need anymore help.  Ben would be in NYC that week and we had a wedding in Charleston that weekend anyway, so why not??  I still can’t believe that I put myself out there like that, but she was so kind and said, “Sure!  Come on!”

The night before the workshop, Caroline, myself, and our Charleston native, Caroline met Justin & Mary at Poogan’s Porch for dinner.  We talked about good southern food, save the world movies, and what the next day would look like.  Basically, Caroline, Anna (who was meeting us after dinner) and I would be setting up the food, props and creating flower pieces for the styled shoot that would happen after lunch.  We were excited but also nervous… that’s a lot of responsibility!

But we were up for it!  The next morning, Caroline, Anna and I drove to the Old Wide Awake Plantation and I’m pretty sure our jaws dropped to the floor when we drove up the drive.  It’s a GORGEOUS southern plantation with wrap around porches on both floors of the house and scenery to die for.  It was perfect!

We helped Justin & Mary unload their car with all the things they’d brought with them and rented once they had gotten to Charleston.  They gave us a bit of direction and we set off to setting up a dinner table, dessert table and getting things together while they prepared for the teaching portion that morning. JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-101 As Mary unloaded the suitcase full of beautiful antique plates and brass pieces, my mind was racing because I’d never done anything like this before… taken someone else’s vision and made it come to life.  But Anna and Caroline were amazing to figure all of this out with! JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-102 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-103 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-104

And I was pretty excited about how it all turned out! You’ll be super proud of me for resisting those macarons too… All of them made it from their box onto the table instead of into my mouth!

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JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-105 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-106 Caroline and Anna were the beautiful bridesmaids for the afternoon and John and Christen had given up their day to come model as the bride and groom.  I loved getting to chat with them that morning and hear about their baby girl.  They were so encouraging about baby Catherine and what our lives would look like once she arrives!  Not to mention they are a GORGEOUS couple!  And that dress she has on??  Oh my heavens.  Just wait until you see the whole thing! JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-107 I’ve been able to learn from Justin & Mary several times over the last couple of years, but to stand back and watch them teach was such a joy.  They not only love what they do but they genuinely love the people that come to learn.  They are patient and kind and don’t roll their eyes at ANY question that’s put out there. JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-108 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-109 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-110 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-111

Plus, I love watching other husband and wife teams work together!

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The only two men at the plantation that day… they were both so great and took everything (and all the estrogen) in stride!

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This was just a quick shot as Christen went downstairs to go outside… and I’m so in love with it…

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All of these dresses from Bridals by Jodi were gorgeous!

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Quick side note… that bouquet in the photo below?  Christen, the bride, MADE IT!  Caroline, Anna and I were doing our best to make one but when Christen came down to see if she could help with anything, she said she liked to put together flower arrangements and we took her up on it.  We figured anything would be better than what we were coming up with.  And oh my goodness, it was stunning!!!

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After some group pointers, everyone split up to shoot different aspects of the day… details, bride & groom, and wedding party.

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I love these girls!

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There was even a bit of spanish moss… so yes, this girl was super happy!

JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-134 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-135 JustinMary-WalkThrough-Charleston-136 Please head over to Justin & Mary’s blog to see photos from their perspective of the day (and some more photos from when the sun went down!).  And you can sign up for one of their 2015 Walk Through A Wedding workshops!  I’ve only “attended” this one, but from what I’ve heard, it’s 1000% worth the time, effort and investment to be there the entire day and glean all that you can. J&M, thank you both so much for letting Anna, Caroline and I come help you for the day!  We had a blast and are so thankful for you both!

Mary Marantz - November 20, 2014 - 12:08 pm

Ahhhhh you are AMAZING!!! You gals totally BLEW me away with what you came up with for the tables & this Walk Through NEVER would have happened with out you! So, SO grateful for you & your giving heart!

xoxoxoxoox
m

melissa - November 20, 2014 - 4:20 pm

I have a photography question, and this is in general with wedding photos (not pointed to you), but I’m curious if this came up on the details aspect from the workshop. I’ve noticed that with doing photographs before the wedding (but after the first look) that the bride/groom photographs are then without the wedding rings. Would it be better for the couples to go ahead and wear their wedding rings for the photos (even before the ceremony)? What is current ‘protocol’ on that?

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