We have been anticipating this South Carolina Lowcountry wedding for almost 2 years, and let us tell you, it exceeded ALL of our expectations. David & Sarah are so near to our hearts because we had the great honor of participating in their love story from proposal, to engagement and finally, to wedding day. Coming full circle with these two is the epitome of a bittersweet situation. While there is great joy that we got to capture their dream, destination wedding on beautiful Callawassie Island, SC, there is a large part of us that is still quite sad that we are saying ‘goodbye’ to them. David & Sarah are one of the most caring and most welcoming couples that we’ve ever had and from the planning of the surprise proposal in September of 2016 to the very end of their wedding night where we were encouraged (and even yelled at) to set our cameras down and just enjoy the night with them, we have always felt like family to them. It’s truly hard to put into words just how we feel about David & Sarah and being their wedding photographers, but if we had to sum it up into three words it would be these: (immensely) joyful, (immensely) blessed, (immensely) honored.
We joined David & Sarah at the Callawassie Island Clubhouse just after noon on Saturday and it was obvious that the threat of rain had everyone a little nervous. They had prayed and prayed for this day to be clear and told by the venue staff that the island was a “little spot of sunshine,” avoiding most storms even though it could be raining 2 miles away. As the girls finished up getting ready and began to slip into their dresses, the rain began. Knowing we had plenty of time before the ceremony, we continued to prepare for their day and kept a continuous stream of prayers going.
And well, it just might have worked… 🙂
Sarah, you are breathtaking.
David & Sarah chose to exchange letters to one another before their first look and we’re so glad they did. Although they had the letters exchanged about an hour before they read them, they actually ended up reading each others letters at the EXACT same time, unplanned by us. Looking back at these photos makes these moments even more powerful, emotional and raw.
Just before we were supposed to start portrait time, it began to rain. And rain. And rain. It rained so much that Sarah & David were beginning to worry that they may have to make some tough decisions on whether or not they would forego the outdoor ceremony that they had dreamed of and move everything inside, out of the elements. Thanks to the graceful and composed staff at Callawassie Island, they reassured Sarah that they didn’t have to decide until closer to the ceremony so we all prayed that the rain would stop just in time for the staff to wipe down the chairs and for guests to arrive.
While we waited for the rain to decide if it was going to play nice, we took advantage of the time and location and did a few portraits on the front porch. Unfavorable weather or not, the clubhouse front porch was a great alternative location for portraits.
Like something out of a movie, the rain decided to stop just 40 minutes before the ceremony start time; giving us just enough time to jump in cars and head to the first look spot so that Sarah & David could have the first look they had dreamed about for over a year.
The location of David & Sarah’s first look was at Callawassie Island’s historic Sugar Mill Ruins. The former mill is the only known example of a sugar processing facility that was built out of tabby; a construction technique that combines oyster shells, sand and lime to form cement. Callawassie Island is certainly packed with history, but the Sugar Mill Ruins is one of the most unique aspects of the island, by far.
This beautiful pier is South Carolina Lowcountry wedding goals.
The next two photos are two examples of why you should hire a husband & wife team for your wedding photography. These photos were taken at the exact same time; one was taken by Chelsea and the other by Michael. Two completely different perspectives, two completely different creative eyes, capturing the same moment in time.
It’s time to get these two married!
After the ceremony, we hopped on the COOLEST 1950s bus from Lowcountry Valet that David & Sarah used as a shuttle for their guests.
Do people in South Carolina get bored of Spanish moss? Because I don’t know that we could ever get sick of locations like THIS.
While we’ve had many bridal parties take shots and cheers together, we haven’t had a bridal party pop champagne quite like this.
Note: no photographer gear was harmed in the making of this memory.
Goodness, Sarah – you are absolutely stunning!
And doesn’t David look like he could easily be a J.Crew model if the whole physician’s assistant thing doesn’t work out?
Now it’s time to party at the reception!
Once the storm clouds cleared, we knew that we would end up with a perfect view of the glowy sunset that David & Sarah had dreamed of capturing when they booked Callawassie Island for their wedding. These two were even willing to leave their dinner behind in order to get these golden hour portraits! Talk about a photographer’s dream couple right here.
Have you heard the Southern folklore tradition about burying a bottle of bourbon to keep the rain away on your wedding day? Well, if you haven’t heard of it yet, all our Southern brides and grooms may want to take note! According to Southern Living, if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride & groom are to be married, it won’t rain on your wedding day. According to many believers, it must be completely full and buried upside down for maximum weather persuasion. Well, although it rained the morning of David & Sarah’s wedding, we know it stopped JUST in time for the ceremony, so we may or may not be encouraging our brides & grooms to uphold this Southern tradition, just in case!
David & Sarah, there are not enough words to describe what an honor it was to photograph your beautiful wedding. Congratulations and many, many blessings to you two as you begin your life together as husband & wife! We love you!
Michael & Chelsea
Venue: Callawassie Island
Photography: Rowlands Photography
Coordination: Callawassie Island
Hair & MUA: Beauty by Kateryna
Bridal Gown: Essense of Australia
Groom’s Suit: Joseph Abboud
Groomsmen: Calvin Klein
DJ: Hilton Head Entertainment
Catering: Callawassie Island
Cake: Ashley’s Bakery
Retro Bus: Lowcountry Valet
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