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Congratulations to all the recently engaged couples! So you’re booking venues and pondering your dream gown, and soon it will be time to figure out what you’d like your favorite people to wear (or possibly reveal your wedding board on Pinterest that was marked “secret” for a couple of years). Check out my fun, stylish clients for a little inspiration. Pastels, brights, neutrals — it’s all here in the spectrum of wedding party attire.

Where to begin on the color wheel? Maybe the Pantone colors of the year! The color for 2015 is Marsala. My clients tend to be ahead of the curve, and the closest I find to Marsala is this lovely shade that Betsy’s bridesmaids wore in 2012. The real Marsala is less plum and more brown, but the rosiness of these dresses was a flattering hue for all the skin tones.

Long chiffon bridesmaids in a wine - marsala palette. © Carolina PhotosmithWedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-012Maura’s bridesmaids looked chic in short black dresses with varying necklines. Her bouquet was inspired by peacock feathers, like the dapper Brackish bow tie her husband wore.

2014’s Pantone color of the year was Radiant Orchid. Janice’s bridal party looked fantastic in this bold shade! I loved their khaki Tom’s wedges, too.

Stunning bride, gorgeous bridesmaids in radiant orchid with colorful bouquets at Magnolia Plantation. © Carolina PhotosmithVibrant bouquets for bridesmaids wearing orchid dresses, designed by MOD Events in Charleston. © Carolina Photosmith

ROYGBIV is my favorite color, so I loved Janice’s vivid bouquets. Kirstin and Rick also embraced color at their wedding, using all the colors in her glittery confetti Kate Spade kicks. Navy bridesmaids, vivid bouquets, colorful bouttonieres and plaid bow ties.


Kate and Dave’s autumn wedding featured neutral bridesmaids, dress blues for the groom and a velvety color pop of red roses.

Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith014Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith015Jackie’s blush bridesmaids were beautiful in their long gowns, and her blue hydrangeas coordinated with Tom’s navy seersucker suit. His groomsmen wore oh-so-Southern navy and white seersucker.

Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith012Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith013And while we’re on navy, one more of Rick and Kirstin’s crew on their warm wedding day. The groomsmen skipped jackets, and Rick look especially handsome in his gray pinstripes.

Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith007Amber chose a deep regal purple for her bevy of brunette bridesmaids. Jensen and his guys wore gray suits, black ties and Chuck Taylors.

Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith003Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith004Heather’s bridesmaids wore short gray dresses with various necklines, and Brian and the groomsmen wore classic black tuxes. So sharp!

Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith001Wedding-Party-Colors-Carolina-Photosmith002Ashley’s springy Lowndes Grove wedding included gray dresses.

Gray bridesmaids, pastel bouquets by OOH Events of Charleston. Lowndes Grove wedding photography by Carolina PhotosmithJamie’s girls kept it breezy in champagne shifts and nude heels with simple baby’s breath bouquets. JD and the guys wore black tuxes.

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-002Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-003Lily’s favorite girls wore gray lace dresses and carried succulent bouquets. John and the guys wore snappy socks and purple plaid ties for their fall garden wedding.

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-005Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-006Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-007Karen and Paul’s misty mountain wedding featured a mix of plums and grays with a green backdrop.

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-004Speaking of green, did you know Pantone’s color of 2013 was Emerald? Bailey was quite the trendsetter in her 2011 autumn wedding with the woodsy bouquets. And how awesome were her spotty emerald shoes?!

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-013Emerald bridesmaids with woodsy bouquets at Founders Hall. © Carolina PhotosmithPale greens are very popular for Charleston weddings. Sarah’s sister was her only attendant, and the sage and peach combo was lovely.

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-008Adrienne’s girls wore short sage dresses, and their coral and white bouquets coordinated with the groomsmen’s plaid ties, which also had the blue that inspired Steve’s tie choice.

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-001Blush and gray for Anna and Nathan’s wedding party. The pink and plum bouquets were beautiful!


Minty green was fresh and beachy for this Pawleys church wedding and DeBordieu reception.

Minty wedding party after a DeBordieu rain shower. © Carolina Photosmith

Lauren and Rob’s destination wedding at Hilton Head included seaside navy and white linen shirts with sea star bouttonieres.

Wedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-010Lighter blues are gorgeous, too. Especially with Kam’s coral roses.

Light blue bridesmaids and coral roses at Wideawake Plantation. © Carolina PhotosmithAnd this blurple-ish hue was so fun mixed with colorful florals.

Blue bridesmaids with colorful bouquets on veranda of Magnolia Plantation house. © Carolina Photosmith

Claire and Miles had a great-looking smaller wedding party: navy with lime and plaid ties for the guys.

Navy bridesmaids amid lush greens at Magnolia Plantation. © Carolina PhotosmithWedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-015One more take on navy, the deeper almost-black kind. The guys paired dark ties with light suits, and Erica’s girls looked great — love that her sis, the maid-of-honor, wore the ruffled neckline.

True navy bridesmaids on the beach. © Carolina PhotosmithWedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-018Finally, we can circle back to marsalas and malbecs (even though Sarah and Arthur’s signature cocktail as Hurricane Sandy blew by was a Dark and Stormy.) Can your event designer summon coordinating skies? I haven’t seen that shade before or since.

Marsala bridesmaids as Hurricane Sandy blew past SC. © Carolina PhotosmithWedding-Party-Attire-Carolina-Photosmith-020While we’re on the beverage theme, I’ll call this sangria! Beautiful on all skin tones, and it really pops against island foliage. The straps are nice, too — very feminine and easier to dance in.

Sangria bridemaids in a lush maritime forest at Seabrook Island. © Carolina PhotosmithMills House wedding party © Carolina PhotosmithSo, cheers as you work out your color story. There’s plenty more well-dressed wedding parties on various hard drives in my office, but you get the idea. What are you pondering? I’d love to see some sequins (even a skirt with simple shell), some prints or something bold with stripes. Who knows what 2015 will bring? I hope you’ll recommend this post to anyone dreaming up a colorful wedding, and you can drop me a note by clicking to the right of my Jeep below.




Another banner year, full of happy couples, wonderful families and moments galore ranging from the poignant to surprising, tender to hilarious. It’s pretty great to be entrusted to document such significant days. Thank you!

Thanks for choosing me to do this and for allowing me to frolic outdoors soaking up Lowcountry splendor. Thanks to all the wedding industry people who make it so beautiful, festive and organized. I’m grateful for the strong community of photographers for insight, inspiration and support and to the fun and talented people who assisted me on some of the wedding days.

Choosing highlights from a whole year is an overwhelming process! This assortment is lacking in rhyme and reason, but I suppose the common thread is that these photos evoke feelings and a sense of place for me. While it’s wonderful to have Pinteresting weddings and shoot feature-worthy events, my primary goal is to deliver timeless photos that will transport my clients and their families back to all the emotions experienced on their special days. It’s such a privilege to tag along to photograph proposals, engaged couples and wedding festivities, whether it’s above the Atlantic, in a historic church or garden or steps from the sand when a mini monsoon dictates the shift from destination beach wedding to Plan B. I love Lowcountry South Carolina and the backdrops and beauty, but it’s really about the people and the merging of families. Here’s to a stellar 2015!

2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0012014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0022014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0062014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0112014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0102014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith016Wadmalaw Island engagement session. Expanding the family tree. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0222014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0432014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0522014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith033Timeless Historic Charleston bridal portrait on cobblestone street © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith032Confederate Home is a wonderful historic wedding venue on CharlestonGorgeous and goofy newlyweds are the best. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0312014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith029Lowndes Grove wedding at dusk. © Carolina PhotosmithElegant dip kiss to seal the deal at Magnolia Plantation wedding © Carolina PhotosmithLowndes Grove bridal portrait. Staircase like a nautilus. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith026Breathtaking wedding bouquet by Charleston Flower Market. Garden roses and lace. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0272014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0412014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0232014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith030Charleston wedding favorites © Carolina Photosmith 2014Ducking into some shade for Charleston beach wedding portrait © Carolina PhotosmithBride and her mom share a high ten. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0502014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0052014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0662014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0652014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0382014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith037Charleston wedding venue, Island House, on the Stono River. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0582014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0642014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith063Flower girls love to twirl! Especially on a colorful bridge at Magnolia Plantation. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0212014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0172014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0182014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0202014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith019

Beach wedding photography by Carolina Photosmith of Mount Pleasant, SC2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0152014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0132014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith012Newlyweds kiss on red bridge at Magnolia Plantation, an historic wedding venue in Charleston. © Carolina PhotosmithMike and Janice tied the knot before a portrait by this twisted vine at Magnolia Plantation in Charleston. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0442014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0092014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith062Will you marry me? Helicopter proposal over Folly Beach, SC. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0572014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0542014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0512014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0042014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0072014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0422014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith024Bridesmaids toast happy newlyweds at Lowndes Grove wedding in Charleston, SC. © Carolina Photosmith2014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0032014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith0252014-Best-Wedding-Photography-Carolina-Photosmith014The sun may have set on 2014, but this year is shaping up to be just as great. I appreciate everyone who has shared themselves with me and who has shared my work with others. I’m gearing up for a busy first half of the year with weddings from St. Simons Island, Georgia, to Kennebunkport, Maine. I still have some prime cool weather dates available, so spread the word if you have friends on the verge of tying the knot. Drop me a note or check out more wedding photography. Cheers!



It was such a treat to head to Wadmalaw one chilly golden afternoon to photograph Bubba and Heather, roaming on a favorite family spread with their fave furry friend. We zipped around on the golf cart to hit all their favorite locations as the sun sank lower. I didn’t have to worry about Heather trekking through some brush in her silk blouse — she grew up doing woodsy stuff with her brothers and even had success on a deer hunt the night before.

I never thought I’d meet a guy who has more toys than my husband, but Bubba sure does. (Although, if toys to garage square footage is a thing, I think Pearsall may still hold the title for suburban space.) Bubba races dirt bikes and figured after some Christmasy pics with Heather and Burnie that it might be time to show me some tricks. Such a fun and laid-back afternoon soaking up the golden island glow. Can’t wait to document their wedding day at this wonderful place in a few months!

Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-PhotosmithWadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith001Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith003Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith002Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith006Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith005Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith007Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith008Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith009Golden light and grasses at outdoorsy Wadmalaw Island engagement session © Carolina PhotosmithWadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith011Engaged couple perches over pluff mud at their Wadmalaw Island engagement session © Carolina PhotosmithTall pines and family trees. Wadmalaw Island engagement © Carolina PhotosmithTall pines and family trees. Wadmalaw Island engagement © Carolina PhotosmithWadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith016Time to expand the family tree. Engagement photography on Wadmalaw Island near Charleston. © Carolina PhotosmithLow tide at Wadmalaw Island engagement © Carolina PhotosmithWadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith020Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith021Engaged couple and their Boxer beside pond on Wadmalaw Island. © Carolina PhotosmithWadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith023Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith024Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith025Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith026Dirt bike tricks with Boxer after engagement photos on Wadmalaw Island © Carolina PhotosmithBubba and his fave Boxer love tricks on the dirt bike at Wadmalaw property. © Carolina PhotosmithWadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-Photosmith029Wadmalaw-Island-Engagement-Carolina-PhotosmithKnow anyone expanding their family tree? Please share this post with your engaged friends and encourage them to reach out as they search for a photographer — I’d love to learn about their favorite place in the Lowcountry, too. Check out more engagement photos and wedding photography while you’re here. Thanks, and enjoy the last few days of 2014!



Talk about serendipity! I had been wanting to fly over Charleston in a helicopter for well over a year. This random wish was a result of reading about award-winning combat photographer Stacy Pearsall offering a course to do just this. Throw in my fondness for Gray Malin’s colorful aerial shots of seascapes around the world, my preference for window seats and my love of the Lowcountry’s green marsh mazes, and I knew I had to make it happen. I asked some friends if they wanted to come along and share the fun and expense, but no one would bite. I even suggested a tour to my hubby as a nifty birthday gift idea, but he was worried about my safety.  (This, from a man who welds in our garage.) So when Forrest at Lowcountry Helicopters contacted me about shooting two surprise proposals with him a couple of weeks ago, I was giddy. When he filled me in on the details of the highly orchestrated second ride, I was even more fired up!

Colorful aerial view of downtown Charleston along the Battery and White Point Gardens. © Carolina Photosmith



Get this: Andrew was returning to Charleston on leave from being stationed in Arizona. He wanted to propose to Ashley on a helicopter and colluded with his family to put a bug in her ear that he’d always wanted to ride on a helicopter. Per his plan, she arranged a tour over Charleston as a surprise to her returning soldier. Keep reading below for the full story.

helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith003helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith004helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith005helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith006A quick wave through the glass to Ashley’s office, California Dreaming.


As we were flying around taking in the scenery, we approached Folly Beach. Assembled on the sand below were a group of Ashley’s friends with a banner announcing Andrew’s intentions. She was gobsmacked and tearful and so happy! After some weeping and wondering how he managed to surprise her instead, we landed at the airport and she was getting her thoughts together. As the couple exited the aircraft, they were surprised (again!) by family approaching them to share in the celebration. How awesome is that? Sure cuts down all those phone calls you need to make to share the great news. And it definitely made for a special homecoming.


One last surprise: some of their family members were waiting at the airport to celebrate with them!

helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith036helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith037helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith038helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith039helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith040helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith041helicopter_proposal_Charleston_CarolinaPhotosmith042Head in the clouds back on the ground after Charleston helicopter proposal. © Carolina Photosmith

None of this spectacular scheming would have come together without our stealthy, skilled and personable pilot, Forrest. And selfishly, my only concern about the possibility of feeling ill was a non-issue. It was a smooth ride even without a door on my side (the open air prevented me from having to deal with glare from shooting through it). I happily cruised about under the guise of snapping scenic shots until I turned to capture the proposal. It was such a privilege to witness Andrew’s proposal, Ashley’s tears and the diamond that belonged to a grandmother being gifted to a happy girl. Enjoy the ride, y’all!

Autumn marsh smiles at helicopter riders over Charleston, SC. © Carolina PhotosmithI can’t wait to fly around some more. It’s such a great way to see the textures and colors of watery Charleston. I’ll be going back — next time with lots of puffy clouds, cotton candy skies at dusk and when the marsh grass turns a fresh lime green as summer approaches. Marshes make me smile. I hope you’ll share this post and recommend Carolina Photosmith if you or your friends need engagement or wedding photography in 2015. Cheers!


  • Nancy - Gobsmacked indeed. Fantastic!! And lucky you, Jen!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Puig - Love these marsh shots and views of Charleston Jen!! Check out your photos from time to time…Awesome.Linda PuigReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you, Linda! It was such a wonderful afternoon to cruise over Charleston and hear the proposal over headsets.ReplyCancel

  • Evan Guthrie - Great photos.ReplyCancel

  • Tanya - Wow. So beautiful. What a wonderfully romantic gesture. Great photos too!ReplyCancel

  • Albert Palmer - Wow – what a way to pop the question! Beautiful work CarolinaReplyCancel

  • Alyssa - Aww… I love this! So many emotions captured to cherish. What a beautiful view too! This must have been such a fun experience.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - So darn cute!ReplyCancel

  • Heather J - Amazing! Looks like Ashley has a real romantic on her hands!ReplyCancel

  • Aaron - A wonderful unique experience – and you completely made the most of it! Those landscapes are stunning! Beautiful photography and perfect processing – a job well doneReplyCancel

  • rahul khona - amazing story, really well documented!ReplyCancel

  • Anton Chia - Wow so amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Cassandra Crooze - That is a once-in-a-lifetime photography assignment! Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

It’s that time of year again! If you happen to be shopping or soaking up merriment in historic Charleston during the month of December, make sure you print out a free parking voucher and take it along each time you need to park your sleigh. The number of participating garages seems smaller this year, so be sure heed Santa’s advice, and check that list twice! Voucher is good for up to two hours of free time, so put that extra change toward a cuppa joe, share it with a stranger or drop it in a Salvation Army bucket.

When I was downtown yesterday, I thought I would make a quick loop in search of festive decor. Surprisingly, I didn’t find much, but I did catch St. Philip’s in the fog, a few wreaths and some jaunty red rooftops. Enjoy!

Church street as fog lifts © Carolina PhotosmithMagnolia wreaths on Charleston005003001One. Singular Sensation. Or Charleston address. © Carolina Photosmith

Be sure to keep me in mind for wedding photography, engagement sessions, and fun outdoor portraits. Thanks, and happy 70-degree December!