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Taryn + Michael’s wedding day was so special.  They traveled from Kentucky to say “I do!” at Boone Hall Plantation and it was an amazing day from start to finish.  They all started their day out at Wild Dunes Resort, where everyone was staying.  They had amazing ocean front villas at the Boardwalk Inn and it honestly felt like we were on vacation shooting out there!  As Taryn and her bridesmaids got their hair + makeup done, I got to work styling all of Taryn’s gorgeous bridal details… and they are some of my favorite detail shots to date.  Before we knew it, Taryn was stepping into her beautiful lace gown and we headed downtown for their First Look.

After sharing a sweet First Look, we spent some time in downtown Charleston shooting bride + groom portraits… then we headed out to Boone Hall to meet up with their bridal party + family.  Everyone was in such great spirits and it was such a fun + relaxed day.  Taryn + Mike said “I do!” in an intimate ceremony under the oaks and then spent the rest of the evening celebrating with their closest family and friends.  It was amazing to see them surrounded by so much love + laughter all day long.  They share a very special love and they are lucky to have so much support from their family + friends.  At the end of the night, Taryn + Michael exited through a tunnel of sparklers… a beautiful ending to an amazing day.  Here are some of my favorites from Taryn + Mike’s romantic spring wedding at Boone Hall…

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Catherine + Will’s wedding day was so incredibly special… it’s clients like them and days like this that remind me how truly lucky I am.  It is still surreal to me that people trust me to document such an important day in their life.  What an incredible honor.  So thank you, Catherine + Will, for allowing me to be there with you on your beautiful wedding day and to create such beautiful portraits of you two during this amazing time in your lives!

We started the day at the bridal suite at Magnolia, where Catherine had her hair + makeup done by Carrie of Paper Dolls… my fave!!!  Catherine was absolutely glowing as she stepped into her beaded flowy gown… it was the perfect choice for this intimate plantation wedding.  After sharing a sweet First Look with Will, we spent some time doing portraits around Magnolia Plantation, then met up with their officiant for their ceremony.  It was just the sweetest ceremony and after they said “I do!”, they toasted to a life of love + happiness together and shared some strawberry cake under the oaks.  Our time together went so quickly, but it’s a day I’ll always remember.  Congratulations you guys!!  And thank you for choosing me to document this amazing day for you!!

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Mother Nature sure didn’t make things easy for us on Gabrielle + Cole’s wedding day!  Storms threatened the area ALL DAY LONG and there were at least 3-4 heavy downpours throughout the day.  Gabrielle, Cole, and their families handled it with such grace… we made the best of it and I am thrilled with what we captured!!

After a pretty strong storm swept through the area, Gabrielle + Cole shared their first look on the porch of the clubhouse.  It’s always my favorite part of the day and I could immediately see the relief flow through them once they saw each other.  We quickly jumped in the car and went over to Spring Island where we stumbled upon the most beautiful field of wild flowers.  Gabrielle + Cole didn’t skip a beat when I asked them if they’d be willing to stand in the middle of it… ants, mud, and all.  Rain continued to sprinkle as we headed back to the clubhouse, but by the time their bridal party joined us for photos, it was dry again!  THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE!!

Storms threatened the area the rest of the afternoon, but we waited it out and their ceremony was GORGEOUS!!  The floral arch, the flowers down the aisle, and a fun petal toss at the end… my flower-loving heart was in heaven!  After the ceremony, we jumped in the car again to get some photos on the water… and while we were shooting, the skies opened!  Gabrielle + Cole had the BEST attitude and rolled with it.  I love love love the photo of them on the dock in the rain.  So romantic!!

The rest of the night was a blur.  Lots of dancing, lots of laughter, so much love.  At the end of the night, Gabrielle + Cole exited through a tunnel of confetti.  It was an absolutely amazing day that I’m so honored to have been a part of.  Here are some of my favorites from their beautiful spring wedding at Callawassie Island…

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Mary Fran + Ford’s wedding day was pure perfection.  From the moment we arrived at their suite at The Restoration downtown, everyone was so kind + welcoming… I absolutely loved getting to know Mary Fran, her mom + her bridesmaids.  They are an amazing group of women, that’s for sure!  The morning flew by and everyone was so relaxed… it’s exactly what I wish for all of my couples.  After Mary Fran slipped into her gorgeous beaded gown, we headed downtown to meet up with Ford for their First Look.  And oh my goodness… HIS REACTION!!  It was so raw, so beautiful… I was practically in tears behind the camera.

After some portrait time downtown, we headed over to the church for group photos before the ceremony.  Mary Fran + Ford said “I do!” in front of their friends + family in a beautiful ceremony officiated by a family friend, which was such a special touch.  Everyone made their way across the river to the country club, where the party got into full swing.  Since Mary Fran is a pro golfer and Ford plays golf as well, they decided to tee off together in their wedding attire to get the party started.  SO FUN!!  Mary Fran’s dad hired a Frank Sinatra impersonator to entertain everyone during cocktail hour and their band was INCREDIBLE.  The dance floor was packed all night and at the end of the night, they exited through a tunnel of sparklers.  It was an amazing day and I’m so excited to share it with you all.  Here are some of my favorites from Mary Fran + Ford’s gorgeous black tie wedding at the Country Club of Charleston…

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When Gabrielle told me that she wanted to do a pre-wedding portrait session in downtown Charleston with her fiance Cole, I was so excited.  I had already photographed their engagement session out at Folly Beach last April, so I knew how much fun we’d have together downtown… and I was right!!  Gabrielle + Cole looked amazing for their downtown portrait session and it was an honor to document this exciting time in their lives.  Now that they are officially married, I can finally share these photos with the world… so enjoy some of my favorites of Gabrielle + Cole’s downtown Charleston engagement session…

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Springtime at Boone Hall is simply magical.  The trees are full of fresh life, the gardens are in full bloom… it’s my favorite.  Taylor + Phil chose Boone Hall for their beautiful wedding day and Mother Nature did not disappoint.  On what was, quite possibly, the most perfect day EVER, these two shared their vows and committed themselves to a life full of love and laughter together.

Their day started with a sweet First Look under the oaks… it’s always my favorite part of the day when the groom turns around and sees his beautiful bride for the first time.  It NEVER gets old!!  Even after 10 years of dating, Phil was completely speechless when he saw Taylor in her gown.  It was such a sweet moment!!  Before long, their bridal party joined us for group photos and the day was officially under way.  I loved watching them, surrounded by the friends + family, so happy + so supported.  Taylor + Phil said “I do!” in a beautiful ceremony in front of the iron gates, then spent the evening celebrating with all of their closest family + friends.  The dance floor was PACKED all night and I just loved documenting such a fun evening!  At the end of the night, Taylor + Phil exited through a tunnel of sparklers… the perfect end to a day that was 10 years i the making.  Here are some of my favorites from Taylor + Phil’s romantic spring wedding at Boone Hall…

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From the very first time I met Ashley + Garrett, I knew it was a match made in heaven.  Clients that love Senor Tequila, a super divey Mexican joint here in Charleston, as much as I do?  Ummm YESSSS!!  But seriously… I just LOVE these two.  They are so much fun to be around and the way they interact with each other is so beautiful to watch.  They adore each other and it’s so very clear.  I absolutely cannot wait for their big day next spring… I already know it’s going to be amazing!!  Until then, please enjoy some of my favorite images from Ashley + Garrett’s downtown Charleston engagement session…

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I met up with Katelyn + Jonathan in early April for their engagement session in downtown Charleston.  Since they will be getting married on Kiawah this fall, they wanted to take full advantage of everything historic Charleston has to offer.  I had so much fun exploring the residential areas South of Broad with them and it made me even more excited for their big day this November.  Here are some of my favorite images from Katelyn + Jonathan’s downtown Charleston engagement session…

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I recently got an email from a panicked bride.  She had hired a videographer for her wedding day months in advance, but she hadn’t heard from him in a while.  Since they were only a month out from their big day, she decided to reach out to him via email and the emails were returned to her as undeliverable.  After some digging, she found out that the videographer had passed away months ago and she had no idea!  No one had contacted her and now, a month out from her wedding day, she was scrambling to find a replacement.  I felt horrible for her, but I was also kind of angry because this situation should NEVER happen!  This is exactly why vendors need to have a contingency plan in place.

I know, I know… it’s a morbid topic.  But as a small business owner, you have to think about these things!!  Our clients are trusting us with something sacred – their wedding day – and they are relying on us, as professionals, to show and up do the job we were hired to do.  If, God forbid, something were to happen to you – what would happen to your clients and your business?  Would anyone know what to do on your behalf?

For a lot of people, the answer is no.  As small business owners, we are generally the only ones who really know the ins and outs of our business.  The account numbers, the passwords, the PINs, the workflow, the resources.  That is often not freely shared with others.  But it’s imperative that we, as small business owners, plan for the worst.  If we were incapacitated, we need to have a system in place so that our clients aren’t left high and dry.

Creating a contingency plan isn’t hard.  Simply open a Word document and start typing.  Here are some things you should have saved in this document:

  • A step-by-step list of what someone should do immediately if you are hurt, unconscious, or dead – this should include instructions for contacting your team members, emergency contacts, where to find important information and what needs to be done immediately upon your absence
  • A list of emergency vendor contacts including email + phone numbers
  • A secondary step-by-step list of what someone should do if your recovery isn’t going to be speedy… or if you die. This should include your long term contingency plan + all of the steps someone would need to take to cover your business long-term
  • Studio management system information including the website link to log in, your username + password
  • A short overview of how to navigate + understand the systems you use to operate your business
  • Cell phone PIN
  • Computer passwords
  • Email accounts + passwords
  • Where to find your timelines, contracts, questionnaires, etc.
  • Where to find your client contact information
  • Where to find the planners information
  • Google calendar login + password
  • Where to find important documents, whether online or hard copy
  • Bank account information including usernames, passwords + PINs
  • Retirement account information including account numbers, usernames + passwords
  • Business credit card accounts including username + passwords
  • Website + blog information, including your username + password
  • Hosting account + password
  • Domain registration account + password
  • Tax account information including your EIN, sales tax ID, etc.
  • Bookkeeper + accountant contact information including email + phone numbers
  • Paypal/Square login information
  • Online gallery login information
  • Online storage + cloud backup account information
  • Important team member contact information including email – for example, your private photo editor
  • How to access your archives for clients if needed

As you are writing all of this information out, write it in a way that is easy to understand.  Remember – whoever you put in charge of your contingency plan most likely doesn’t know the ins and outs of your business nor are they familiar with the systems you use to run your business.  You should be leaving them with easy-to-follow directions on what needs to be done and how to accomplish that as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Once you have written all of this out, be sure to send it to at least two people who can serve as executors of this contingency plan.  For me, it’s my sister + my mom.  I asked them to make sure they save this document in a safe place and, if anything ever happens to me, they need to follow the instructions I’ve prepared for them so that my clients aren’t left hanging.  They think it’s super morbid and even call it my “death doc”.  But seriously… even if I’m incapacitated, seriously injured, or critically ill, I need that peace of mind to know that I’ve taken every precaution I can to ensure that my business, my reputation, and my amazing clients are taken care of in my absence.

If you haven’t already done this, DO IT NOW!!!  This is such an important thing to have, especially when you have clients who are depending on you for such a major event in their life.  Don’t put it off.  It’s your responsibility as a small business owner to plan for the worst and make sure that you are prepared for any situation that may arise… including your death.

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I seriously have the best job in the entire world and my clients?  They are the best of the best!  Every weekend, I get to spend the day with two people who are madly in love with each other and documenting every moment is such an honor.  Sarah + Patrick’s wedding was no exception.  I absolutely ADORE these two, and their amazing families, and their fabulous friends.  Their wedding day was perfection and I’m so excited to share it with the world today!!

After getting ready downtown, Sarah + Patrick shared a beautiful First Look at Magnolia Plantation.  We spent some time together creating some of my very favorite portraits to date and before long, their bridal party arrived to join us for photos and everyone was in such good spirits.  Soon, Sarah + Patrick said “I do!” in a beautiful garden ceremony overlooking the iconic White Bridge while their handsome pup, Sully, stole the show.  It was pure perfection.  I loved all of their vintage details, which Sarah + her mom found during their many shopping trips prior to the wedding.  Their “Sip + Be Seated” display was a huge hit and I’m so impressed that they found all of those great champagne flutes together!!  So fun!!  Guests dined on traditional Lowcountry cuisine, then spent the night dancing up a storm!  At the end of the night, Sarah + Patrick exited through a tunnel of sparklers… the perfect ending to a fabulous day.  Here are some of my favorites from Sarah + Patrick’s beautiful garden-inspired wedding at Magnolia Plantation…

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