Christine and Derrek had the most gorgeous summer wedding at the Lace House in Columbia, South Carolina. Christine is an artist (check her out here!) and her tastes and talent shined through in all of the colors and beautiful details. From the flowers to the hand painted favors to the custom wedding cake, everything was beautiful and personal. The Lace House and gardens were the perfect backdrop for this romantic summer wedding.
My role as a photographer changes drastically throughout the day. Sometimes I’m a fly on the wall, watching for the sweet candid moments between friends and family. At other times, I’m a director, arranging large groups of people for posed family shots. Sometimes I’m digging through my “Oh shit” bag for a bobby pin, band-aid, or sewing kit. Read on to follow me through an entire wedding day, or stick around for the gorgeous photos of Christine & Derrek’s wedding summer Lace House wedding.
Before we get started, I have a secret for you. Your wedding day can be whatever you want it to be. Couldn’t care less about detail photos? Tell me and I’ll adjust your timeline to focus on the things YOU care about most. Want to walk into the ceremony to the Jurassic Park theme? Do it. Weird wedding tradition you’ve never liked? You’re allowed to say no. Think about what feels true to you and build the day that you want to remember.
DETAILS AND GETTING READY
In preparation for every wedding, I ask you to set aside the important details you want to have photographed. A lot of the time this includes rings, shoes, invitations, cufflinks, etc. but it can also include your great grandfather’s pocket watch or your grandma’s pin. One of Christine’s bridesmaids brought the extra fabric that was hemmed off of her dress. It was a beautiful personal touch to add in to her detail photos.
Pre-ceremony is probably when I wear the most photographer hats. While you’re getting ready, I’ll pop in frequently to get candid photos of hair and make up, as well as the sweet moments with your friends and family. I do some of the composed detail shots I describe in the last paragraph, while also looking out for the “natural” details that make your day so unique.
When it’s time for the marriers to get dressed, I can direct you to the spot with the best natural lighting. I always let you know ahead of time that the person helping with buttons or zippers should be dressed in something they’re comfortable being photographed in. Most of the time, I will be with one of the marriers and my second shooter (in this case my dear friend Claudia) will be with the other.
Here’s another secret: you can do a first look with whoever you want! Most of the time when someone says first look, they mean the two marriers seeing each other for the first time. (PS, for my opinion on first looks, there’s a whole blog post here). I’ve also seen a first look with the wedding party or a parent. But really, feel free to do one with any of the most important people in your life.
As your photographer, my first step is to find a great location. I’ll put each partner into place and tell you exactly what is going to happen. I also let you know to take all the time you need! This is a big important moment, and I’m going to give you space to be fully present. After that, me and my second shooter will get into position to capture the moment from different angles and give you the green light!
The posed group photos require the most up front planning for me as your photographer. For example, with family photos I will get a full list from you of the important people you want photos with. Most importantly, I ask for everybody’s first names – it’s so much easier to get someone’s attention when I can call their name. I’m also looking for a space big enough for the full group, even lighting across everyone in the shot, making sure I can see everyone’s face, and a balanced composition (an even-ish number of people on each side of the couple). Then I take SO MANY shots of each grouping because people blink, yawn, get distracted, etc.
I use a lot of the same preparation for wedding parties, but the process is a little looser. I take a mix of formal posed shots and more relaxed group photos. With every wedding party I take photos of the entire group, each marrier’s side, and each attendant individually with the marrier. A lot of the time, I will work with one group while my second shooter works with the other.
The gardens at the Lace House were an absolutely perfect backdrop for Christine and Derrek’s newlywed portraits. The summer time greenery and light filtering through the trees made it absolutely magical. Clearly Christine and Derrek are beautiful humans and so much fun to be around. Their love for each other absolutely shined through their portraits.
The first photo I always take is the couple standing together looking right at the camera. I jokingly (not really) say it’s because it’s the photo your mom wants for the mantle and I don’t want her to be mad at me. After that, I get to be more creative with prompts and posing. My style isn’t super posed, but I definitely guide you – telling you where to stand, what to do with your hands, and making slight adjustments to make sure the shots are flattering. I never want anyone to look back and think “jeez that was awkward” and that really guides my prompts and posing. While I am directing and shooting, my second shooter is looking for creative angles and adding to the variety of your final gallery.
Christine and Derrek’s ceremony was absolutely stunning. The fountain, the flowers, the perfect trees. The ceremony was sweet and personal and an absolutely perfect celebration of their love.
Every wedding is different and every ceremony requires a bit of strategizing. For this wedding, the aisle was pretty long. It made sense for me to stand at the front of the aisle and my second shooter to stand at the back. This way Claudia could capture Christine’s grand entrance through the Lace House gates and I was able to focus on Derrek’s reaction. From then on, I like to stay out of the way so I don’t disrupt your guests’ enjoyment of the wedding! I mostly stick to the back and sides, capturing a mix of wide shots, details, and close up emotional captures.
The reception décor really showed off Christine’s artistic talents. She hand painted coasters for the favors! The cake was based on the splatters on Christine’s painting clothes. The bright flowers reflected her love of vibrant colors. The DJ kept the party going and the crowd dancing.
For the most part, I’m hanging back and just capturing the magic during a reception. I love dancing and you’ll probably see some of my very cool moves while I’m bopping around. A lot of the time I do tell my couples how to cut the cake. Another moment I’m pretty involved in is a sparkler exit. I set up special lighting (cameras hate the dark). I also give my couples some tips and remind them that they are flammable. That last bit is especially important if the bar has been popular during the reception.
I hope you enjoyed this look back at Christine and Derrek’s romantic summer wedding at the Lace House! It was truly the most special day and I loved every bit of it!
Shout out to the amazing vendors who helped make the day so special!
Venue: The Lace House
Second Shooter: Simply Claudia Portraits
Planner: Eventfully Chic by Parris
Live Painting: Easel Cathedral
Hair: Murphi Kirchner
Makeup: Studio B
Florist: Karen Hood
Videographer: Lake Murray Videography
Cake: Parkland Cakes
Catering: Blue Marlin
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