An Elegant Middleton Place Plantation Elopement
My first trip to Charleston was last year for my amazing bachelorette weekend with all my best gal pals! While I was there I took photos (of course), posted photos (duh), and hashtaged them accordingly… AKA hashtaging every Charleston wedding thing possible, so then a couple could possibly find me, fall in love with my work, and then hire me.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would happen. The chances are slim to none…
But a few weeks later, I received an inquiry from Sara for her elopement to her fiance in Charleston, and it was a match made in heaven. (Or made on Instagram, either way!) From that first phone call to her wedding day, we have talked non stop! Everything from our love of Katelyn James to our pups, we became instant friends.
Not Your Typical Charleston Elopement
I have received so many questions about their elopement from friends and family because Sara and Tyler planned an elopement much different then the dictionary definition of elopement.
When Tyler and Sara got engaged they began planning a huge wedding filled with details, people, and everything in between, but the more planning they did, the more they realized how much a big wedding wasn’t for them. They then decided to elopement, and Charleston was the place they were going to do it! Overall, Sara and Tyler wanted a wedding day focused on the two of them and the start of their marriage to one another while adding details embodying people, places, and things that made them who they are, where they started, and loved ones who impacted their lives, their love, and now their marriage!
And, oh the details, their wedding day fell nothing short of thoughtful details. From Sara’s watercolor Toms with their love story to Tyler’s great grandmother’s china for the cake. Everything had a place, and everything was absolutely perfect!
Sara and Tyler’s Wedding Day
Now, how did this day unravel! We all got to Charleston on Tuesday, and from there we all started searching for the perfect spots for pictures. I was in Downtown Charleston finding all the perfect spots while Sara and Tyler were at Middleton Place Plantation! When Wednesday rolled around, I arrived to this beautiful AirBNB they were staying in, and I mean beautiful! Exposed brick, windows everywhere… it was a dream and the perfect location to begin their amazing wedding day!
As I photographed details, I also loved watching both Tyler and Sara get themselves mentally ready for the day ahead. Sara talking with the hair and makeup ladies because I like to think Sara doesn’t no a stranger haha, and Tyler just relaxing in the other room (with me talking his ear off haha)! When it came time to get dressed, this is when everything became real for the two of them. (Another question I get is, “How did Sara get dressed?” Well, she did most of it, I took pictures, and then I finished buttoning and hooking the rest!)
I have two favorite parts of the day. The first one was when Sara opened her gift from Tyler, you’ll see for yourself down below, but he gave her the most thoughtful and perfect gift (this was after opening the funny/”typical Tyler” gift)! And the next favorite part was at the ceremony…
Downtown Charleston, Taco Bell, Middleton Place… Oh My!
After the first look, we left to go take pictures in Downtown Charleston, and there is only one word to describe those portraits… HOT. I don’t even think hot does justice to the temperature it was outside, and the sun at 3 PM in the afternoon in Downtown Charleston was not helping. We found a few spots for portraits though, and then headed off to Middleton Place Plantation for their ceremony!
I lied I have three favorite parts of their day. Middleton Place has farm animals roam the property, but since we were arriving after closing time, that meant the animals (the sheep) would be put away for the night when we got there! Well, Sara paid for the sheep to be out a little bit longer, and my love for her grew even more!
Back to the ceremony, it was beautiful with so many passages, rituals, and hand written vows, they had the most amazing ceremony tailor made to them and their relationship. My third favorite part of their day was when the pastor pronounced them husband and wife, and then he said, “Introducing the new Mr. and Mrs. Payne!” For a long time Sara was going to keep her maiden name, but after lots of thought and consideration, she decided to take his last name and it meant the world to Tyler. It was the best moment to witness.
After that we went over to cut cake, dance their first dance, and then take some final bride and groom portraits! And because I guess the entire day was my favorite, I do have one last favorite part… I got to sign as a witness on their marriage license! I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor that is for me. So crazy and awesome!
Dear Sara and Tyler
Well, now that this is by far the longest blog post I have ever written, and the only person who is probably reading this is Sara… Tyler and Sara, thank you so much for giving me the honor of being your wedding photographer. I have loved getting to know the both of you, and I loved witnessing your wedding day. I wish you nothing but happiness, joy, and loads of Taco Bell for the rest of your life!
Have the best time on your honeymoon! 🙂