As we sat in their living room talking about the wedding, they told it was going to be unlike any other wedding I’d shot. There weren’t going to be any decorations, there wouldn’t be any flowers, there wouldn’t be a traditional wedding cake, and while they were going to see each other before the ceremony, they didn’t want a traditional First Look (a traditional First Look?? That’s funny!). So as I chatted with Nell, the bride’s mom, just a week before the wedding, she told me to think of this more like a family gathering. And to not just capture the day but enjoy myself too because I (and now Ben of course) am part of the family!
This time 9 years ago, I was living in Brussels, Belgium where I taught English 4 days a week and helped Butch and Nell with any projects they had or activities at the Arab church they were serving in. That semester, their daughter, Christen (Sissi to those close to her) was finishing up high school and her brother, Brandon, was just beginning high school. I barely knew any of them, yet there’s something about living in a different country with people who are from your own country. They taught me SO much in those short 5 months. Sissi and Brandon taught me a bit of what it was to be a MK (Missionary Kid). Which in turn prepared me to relate to and understand a bit more of my husband than I might not have otherwise as he’s a MK from Paraguay. Butch and Nell taught me not only about ministry and the Arab culture, but about trusting God in ways I’d never ventured to before. Mostly that He was, is, and always will be in the details.
So, as Ben and I packed up the car to head to the South Carolina coast, I trusted Him in what this unique wedding day would be like. I trusted Him to capture memories, to have fun, and to enjoy documenting my little sister’s wedding.
Sis and David…. wow. Thank you both for being SO real with who you are, with your love for one another, and for loving us and trusting us to capture your day. There’s no way I would have missed it, so the fact that I was able to have my camera in hand only made it that much more incredible. We love you so much and I for one can’t wait to see what your future holds as you keep walking into it together.
All my love,
Nell told me the sunrise would be worth getting up for.
And of course, she was right.
The morning began with a pancake breakfast at the house…
Where the ceremony would later take place on the back deck.
Miss Lydia has been a part of the family since they met her in Miami when Sis and Brandon were little.
This? This is Sophie who flew over from Brussels with her own crêpe pan and spatula. She spent 3 hours making them for all of us to enjoy later that evening!
Looks amazing, right? They were :-)
Sadly, this is the only picture of Ben and me from the day. But I love it.
This is Dori. She flew in from Shanghai for wedding week!
While the girls were still in PJs, the guys went to play golf. So glad Ben was able to go with them!
It was SO foggy all morning. But all of it cleared away about an hour before the ceremony!
These two amazing people with blowdryers and hairbrushes in their hands are Amy and Chris from Salon Naman in Rock Hill.
Sissi didn’t decide which shoes to wear until after she’d put the dress on. She landed on wearing the gold sandals on the far right :-)
And her dress? Her mom made it. MADE IT. And it’s GORGEOUS and flowy and beautiful and amazing!
Believe it or not, David had his hair done too.
Carline, the groom’s sister, did an incredible job with Sissi’s makeup.
David’s blowout happened on the back porch.
There was LOTS of laughter that day!
David’s family provided the frogmore stew for dinner so they came early to start cooking!
LOVED what Chris and Amy did with her hair!!
This is the face of a bride that loves her hair :-)
When her hair was finished, she helped Dori with hers!
As her mom was buttoning up her dress, she noticed a loose button. It helps to have the dress designer right there for last minute repairs!
Be still my heart. A little daddy/daughter love.
The second I saw these stairs, I knew I wanted this shot.
And then we wandered out on the island for a bit.
Ben captured this one while I was getting the one above.
Mine on the left, Ben’s on the right.
Gosh, you guys… could you BE any more gorgeous??
I wish I could shoot here ALL the time!
Dori, Sis, Caroline, Sophie, and Caroline… thanks for making this day SO much fun!
To complete the list of far away travelers, Joe came down from New York to stand with David.
Remember me saying this was more like a family gathering than a wedding? This was just before the ceremony…
everyone just hanging around, waiting for everyone to come outside, and Ben and I getting our settings before things began.
I LOVE the two views we were able to get.
And immediately, the kiss was followed with cheers and happy tears and lots of posts to Instagram and Facebook! Sissi owns and runs Social Shop Media so it made sense!
One thing I love about small weddings is being able to get a photo of everyone that was there.
Again… I could shoot here ALL the time!
Favorites, for sure!
Gah! Gorgeous! (and see what I mean about the flowy dress??)
Love still growing.
One of David’s cousins serving up some amazing shrimp and Joe’s delicious salad on the right!
Let me just say that everyone ate WELL that day!
An hour and a half after the ceremony, the clouds rolled back in. SO THANKFUL for the time we had with the sun!
Have I mentioned how much I love this family?
Miss Lydia! I think you have ALL of these girls beat with your amazing model face!
Um, y’all are adorable, Caroline.
This one? It’s my favorite picture from the day.
And this one is my second favorite.
This is the “unofficial wedding cake” that was to. die. for. Godiva chocolate. Need I say more?
There was LOTS of singing and dancing going on. And since we were as much guests as the photographers, I set my camera down for a bit and let Ben capture the moments :-)
Sophie explaining the art of crêpe making!
Nell and her daddy. Love.
I’ll end with this photo of Sis dancing with PopPop… because it shows how much love was abounding that day from everyone.