Bailey and Brent’s wedding day was the epitome of Charleston weddings and truly had it all: romantic portraits on a charming cobblestone lane, a sentimental church ceremony in the heart of historic downtown, and a tented reception complete with coastal breezes and palm trees overlooking the harbor. The day was a perfect balance of classic southern charm, and playful touches and colors that gave the wedding a whimsical, romantic flair. Their blue and white design palette was complimented by pastel-toned bridesmaid gowns which were a favorite feature of the day!

When planning a Charleston wedding, one of the toughest decisions comes into play when choosing a location. The options are virtually limitless: historic homes, art museums, halls, waterfront locations, beaches, and rolling acres of oak trees. There is so much beauty to be had, and it’s never an easy talk to narrow it all down. For Bailey and Brent, they truly had the best of both worlds by beginning their day in downtown before bringing the party to the coast. Bailey is a true southern girl at heart, and the locations we chose to use throughout her wedding day compliment her style and bubbly personality – every stop along the way was full of life, color and southern charm!

Kicking off the morning in the heart of historic downtown Charleston

When planning a wedding in Charleston, my best advice to couples wanting an amazing space for their wedding morning is to take advantage of the abundant rental properties throughout downtown! Opting for a rental property rather than a hotel room or smaller bridal suite has the advantage of offering so much more space for your party, and a variety of locations for your photographer to use. The Society Street home that Bailey and her bridesmaids spent their morning in featured a beautiful southern-style porch for group portraits, beautiful light for details and a charming bedroom for Bailey to step into her gown. It also happened to be steps away from their church, so getting between locations was a literal walk in the park.

Going to the chapel – for a first look!

As a photographer who’s seen more than ten years of weddings, trends, and planning choices, I can confidently say I’m the biggest fan of a first look! The reasons to love a first look are virtually limitless, and they can truly be as sentimental and emotional as seeing one another down the aisle (oftentimes, even more so if you ask me)! Bailey and Brent opted for a private first look moment on the steps of Trinity United Methodist Church, just feet away from the alter where they’d say their vows later that afternoon. The columns created a classic, grand surrounding for their first look, with the added benefit of offering privacy from the bustling downtown crowds – and the perfect vantage point for Bailey’s bridesmaids and mothers to watch from afar!

After taking the time to just soak it all in and catch up after a busy morning, we captured some classic portraits on the steps that fit Bailey’s vision and felt so sentimental and timeless!

Charming portraits in the heart of historic downtown

Nothing quite says ‘Charleston wedding’ like portraits amongst the charming homes and cobblestone lanes of downtown, surrounded by window boxes, sprawling greenery, and pops of color. After Bailey and Brent’s first look, we made sure to set aside some time to wander around downtown with their wedding party. It made for a fun, stress-free break before the ceremony and excitement of the reception, and I truly can’t recommend sneaking away with your new spouse for a few minutes to simply soak it all in and realize “this is really happening!” before the day flies by!

Whenever a wedding party has this much fun choosing mis-matched looks with to compliment every person, it’s so fun seeing everyone together! Bailey gave her bridesmaids full freedom to choose dresses they loved in pastel hues, romantic patterns and playful textures, and the rainbow of colors looked absolutely stunning next to the Brent and his groomsmen’s navy and black tuxedos. Perfect proof that formal never, ever has to mean boring!

A family-focused, sentimental church ceremony

Choosing where to host your ceremony and wedding vows is, in my opinion, one of the most personal choices you can make when planning your wedding. Your ceremony should be a true reflection of who you are as a couple, and what’s most important to you; for Bailey and Brent, they valued the reference of a classic church ceremony and honoring their families at the beginning of their marriage. Trinity United was the perfect choice to accommodate their guest list, and even reflected Bailey’s wedding color palette with its white and blue hues. After the ceremony was over and Bailey and Brent exited the church to a shower to flower petals, they invited all guests to collect on the steps for a group photo to remember all who witnessed their vows, before everyone boarded a fleet of candy-colored vintage buses for the trip to the coast.

A coastal, ultra-romantic tented reception along the coast

As a lover of the little personalized details that truly speak to who my couples are, I’m always so excited to see how a reception design comes together on the day. Bailey and Brent chose to mix garden-inspired details with classic coastal hues for the perfect soiree along the water. It’s hard to even choose a favorite detail between their escort display and abundant potted greenery at the tent entrance, custom barware that included their sweet frenchies (Bonnie & Clyde!!) in the day, or beautifully set tables with custom-designed menus at each setting. Guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the front lawn before heading into the tent for an epic evening of dining and dancing as day turned to night! For couples looking for a gorgeous tented reception with water views and epic sunsets, Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant has so much to offer and has tons of Charleston charm to wow your guests!

Cheers to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, and their beautiful spring wedding day! You two are the embodiment of joy and laughter, and I hope you’ll carry these memories with you for the rest of your lives.

A very special thank you to all of the vendors who made this day possible:

Photography: Haley Foster Photography

Planning: Ashley, Hill & Co

Floral: Creech’s Floral

Hair: Amy Loope

Makeup: Cheryl Quinn

Bus Transportation: Lowcountry Valet

Getaway Car: Whipdash

Rentals: Curated Events

Escort Display: J. Lily Design

Menu Design: Kate Eliza Creative

Band: Right to Party

A colorful spring affair: Bailey + Brent

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