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What a wonderful September Sunday! It was such a pleasure to document a wedding day for a friend and former co-worker. Heather left her South Carolina home years ago in search of adventure on the left coast. She and Brian became friends in San Francisco, and after some When-Harry-Met-Sally years of figuring out whether they should venture beyond friendship, they wed in front of a happy group of people who are so glad they chose each other!

The weather, as is often the case in September, was a bit dicey, but we were thankful for a bit of sun during the couple’s first look photos. The clouds set in shortly afterward, and thanks to the catlike reflexes of MOD Events, plans for the outdoor ceremony were abandoned just before the showers started. The indoor space was cozy and accommodated all the guests with an even better view of the vow exchange. After the Rice Mill wedding, everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner followed by lots of fun on the dance floor. Congratulations, y’all!

ricemill_charlestonwedding001ricemill_charlestonwedding002ricemill_charlestonwedding003ricemill_charlestonwedding004ricemill_charlestonwedding005ricemill_charlestonwedding006ricemill_charlestonwedding007Giddy Charleston bride preps in carriage house prior to her Rice Mill wedding. © Carolina Photosmithricemill_charlestonwedding009ricemill_charlestonwedding010ricemill_charlestonwedding011ricemill_charlestonwedding012ricemill_charlestonwedding013ricemill_charlestonwedding014ricemill_charlestonwedding015ricemill_charlestonwedding016ricemill_charlestonwedding017ricemill_charlestonwedding018ricemill_charlestonwedding019ricemill_charlestonwedding020ricemill_charlestonwedding021ricemill_charlestonwedding022ricemill_charlestonwedding023ricemill_charlestonwedding024ricemill_charlestonwedding025ricemill_charlestonwedding026ricemill_charlestonwedding027ricemill_charlestonwedding028ricemill_charlestonwedding029ricemill_charlestonwedding030ricemill_charlestonwedding031ricemill_charlestonwedding032ricemill_charlestonwedding033ricemill_charlestonwedding034ricemill_charlestonwedding035ricemill_charlestonwedding036ricemill_charlestonwedding037ricemill_charlestonwedding038ricemill_charlestonwedding039ricemill_charlestonwedding040ricemill_charlestonwedding041ricemill_charlestonwedding042ricemill_charlestonwedding043ricemill_charlestonwedding044ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_001ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_002ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_004ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_005ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_006ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_008ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_007ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_003ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_009ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_010ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_011ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_012ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_013ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_014ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_015ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_016ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_017ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_019ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_018ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_020ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_021ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_022ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_023Classic wedding party at Historic Rice Mill in Charleston © Carolina PhotosmithNewlywed portraits on a misty night at Charlestonricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_024ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_034ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_025ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_026ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_027ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_028ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_029ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_030California newlyweds at their Charleston, SC reception. Waterfront wedding at Rice Mill. © Carolina Photosmithricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_031ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_032ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_033ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_035ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_036ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_037ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_038ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_039ricemill_charlestonwedding_carolinaphotosmith_040

Gown by Augusta Jones from Haute Bride in Los Gatos, CA
Shoes by Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid dresses by J. Crew
Tuxes by Kenneth Cole
Hair and makeup by Paper Dolls
Bouquets and ceremony florals by Charleston Flower Market
Tabletop floral arrangements by MOD Events
Event coordination by MOD Events
Catering by Good Food
Cakes by Sugar Bake Shop (and Coca Cola cake by Jestine’s)
Ceremony musician: Grayson Little
DJ: Nick Zareski, Lowcountry Entertainment

  • Alyssa Schroeder - I love the shot of her dress outside. The bricks and greenery are so fantastic for their portraits too! Beautiful wedding.ReplyCancel

  • JC Page - Gorgeous work – you really captured the love and joy of the day!!!ReplyCancel

These two. So much great energy! It’s laughable to admit I was a little wary when all my initial contact was through the bride’s mom, Julie, who was planning her LA-based daughter’s Charleston wedding from North Carolina. Thankfully, my fears of potential control issues immediately vanished when I met Amber and her mom for the bridal portrait session before their Confederate Home wedding. Genuine, gracious and full of laughs and happiness. Good genes obviously abound, but that was just the icing on the cake. What’s not to love about beautiful brunette bridesmaids in regal purple, the perfect outdoor setting in an incredibly historic nook on Broad Street, a charming and hilarious groom, the gaggle of cute young guests, an elegant dinner at McCrady’s and awesome dance moves? (Jensen is an LA-based musician, after all — check out his site.) I loved this day.

The Confederate Home is such an interesting venue. Built as a private home in the early 1800s that hosted a president and politicians, it later became the Carolina Hotel, the U.S. District Court, the meeting place for the Confederate Court during the Civil War, a home for widows and children after the war, and houses seniors today. If walls could talk! I’d love to work there again. The getting-ready space upstairs is spacious and window-filled, making it a great place to relax and prepare. The garden is a quiet hidden gem. That said, I recommend brides check in with St. Michael’s down the street to see what their bell schedule is. On this fine spring Sunday, the bells rang for the duration of Amber & Jensen’s 20-minute ceremony. But even though guests couldn’t hear every exchange, we could all feel the love. May the Fourth be with y’all!

Confederate Home wedding by Carolina Photosmithamberjensen007Confederate home wedding in the courtyard © Carolina Photosmithamberjensen002amberjensen003xamberjensen005amberjensen006amberjensen009amberjensen010amberjensen011amberjensen012amberjensen013amberjensen014amberjensen015amberjensen016amberjensen017amberjensen018amberjensen019amberjensen020mccradys_charlestonwedding003amberjensen021Confederate Home garden wedding in historic Charleston © Carolina PhotosmithCharleston bride on balcony at Confederate Home © Carolina PhotosmithAmber, a beautiful bride, and her gorgeous mom, before Confederate Home garden weddingDestination wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. Bridal portrait over cobblestone street. © Carolina PhotosmithCharleston wedding at charming and historic Confederate Home © Carolina PhotosmithEager bride and maid of honor share giddy grasp as wedding processional begins in garden of Confederate Home on Broad StreetPretty maids all in a row. Brunette bridesmaids, that is. © Carolina PhotosmithBirdOutdoor wedding ceremony at bells chime over Broad Street in Charleston. © Carolina PhotosmithBride takes time to smell the roses that the mothers gave them during garden wedding ceremony. © Carolina PhotosmithNewlywed kiss as LA couple seals the deal in Charleston destination wedding at Confederate Home in Charleston. © Carolina PhotosmithGive it up for Amber and Jensen Reed! Happy newlyweds recess after their Charleston garden wedding. © Carolina PhotosmithBeautiful bride hugs her handsome little brother after Charleston wedding. © Carolina PhotosmithCarolina Photosmith photographs gorgeous, relaxed newlyweds who are big on humor and fun.Wedding style for days. Chuck Taylors and sparkly wedge sandals for these newlyweds at their Confederate Home wedding in Charleston, SC. © Carolina PhotosmithThese newlyweds get awesome ab workouts with huge laughs on CharlestonTimeless, elegant wedding portraiture in historic Charleston by Carolina PhotosmithGorgeous newlyweds embrace on one of CharlestonGorgeous and goofy newlyweds are the best. © Carolina Photosmithmccradys_charlestonwedding001mccradys_charlestonwedding002mccradys_charlestonwedding014mccradys_charlestonwedding005Elegant McCradymccradys_charlestonwedding012newlyweds first dance at their elegant destination wedding at Charlestonfirst dances at elegant McCradymccradys_charlestonwedding006mccradys_charlestonwedding007mccradys_charlestonwedding008mccradys_charlestonwedding013mccradys_charlestonwedding009mccradys_charlestonwedding010mccradys_charlestonwedding011

Wedding Venue | Confederate Home
Hair and Makeup | Stella Nova
Florals | Mimi Nicole Events
Ceremony Music | Palmetto Strings
Event Coordination by Laura Morgan of Finger Snappin’ Events
Reception and Dinner | McCrady’s
Cake | The Cake Stand
DJ, Trolley, Photo Booth | Finger Snappin’ Entertainment
Bride’s Gown | Tomato in Los Angeles
Bridesmaid dresses | Donna Morgan at Nordstrom
Groom’s Tux | Vera Wang at Men’s Wearhouse
Accommodations | Mills House Hotel

If you enjoyed this midweek dose of wedded bliss, I hope you’ll recommend this blog post, have a look around my site and spread the word to your fun friends who may be planning a wedding. Thanks a bunch!


Ah, where to begin with this beautiful weekend with fun families? Abundant love and so much to love, which seems to be the case each time I head up the road to the quiet refuge of DeBordieu in Georgetown. (For any folks beyond the Carolinas, you should know that we mangle French names, and that “Debby-Doo” is not Scooby-Doo’s sister pup but a haven for golfers and birders on a serene stretch of the Atlantic.)

For this DeBordieu wedding, let’s start with the elegant bride. I doubt I’m the only one who thinks she could be a Ralph Lauren model with her radiant smile and relaxed grace, but she’s so laid-back, that’s probably the last thing on her mind. Then there’s Pat, whose grin, like his bride’s, lit up the room. Each time he hugged someone, it was a greeting befitting a long lost friend. And the way he looks at McNeill demonstrates adoration that makes everyone around them swoon.

The Smart and Kelley families are both so much fun and seem to really enjoy each other, which is awesome. Seriously, really fun — as in moments after the salad course was served, more than a hundred people crammed the dance floor to start the party at 8:15. Why wait until late-night to “Shout!?” The toasts were stellar — Mr. Smart, McNeill’s sister and the best man each had a turn at bringing everyone in the room to tender tears and hearty laughs. Gobs more dancing was interrupted only for the cake cutting — oh, and an errant fire alarm, which could easily be attributed to all the heat generated on the dance floor. The couple honeymooned in Europe before returning to Washington, DC, to start their lives as Mr. and Mrs. Kelley. Take a look at this magnificent day, where the rain stopped at the perfect times, and check out all the contributing vendors at the end of the post.


DC Newlyweds before their summer reception at the DeBordieu Golf Club in Georgetown, SC. © Carolina Photosmith002003004005006007008009010011013014015A joyous grandmother shares a moment with the bride-to-be as Mom looks on. Minty J. Crew bridesmaids share a laugh as they wait patiently for the Pawleys Island chapel doors to open.Pawleys Island stained glass and bridesmaid bouquet from Greenskeeper Florist © Carolina PhotosmithBride and her father take a deep breath before the chapel doors open for the wedding processional. © Carolina PhotosmithThe Waiting. Chapel doors to open soon for this Pawleys Island wedding. © Carolina Photosmith020021022023024025026027028029030031032033034Minty southern wedding party at DeBordieu Club after a summer rain shower © Carolina Photosmith035036038039040041042043044
Wedding reception moments from DeBordieu Club reception by Charleston photographer Carolina Photosmithgetsmart004getsmart005getsmart006getsmart007getsmart008getsmart009getsmart010getsmart011getsmart013getsmart028getsmart021getsmart014getsmart015getsmart016getsmart022getsmart025getsmart017Bridegetsmart024getsmart026getsmart027getsmart018getsmart023

Bravo, y’all! And heartfelt thanks for choosing me to document the weekend festivities. Even if you didn’t roll with my chosen hashtag of #GetSmart, I know that Patrick did just that, and it was my pleasure to witness it. Thanks also to my trusty sidekick for the day, Liz Duren; Kelly and the tireless DeBordieu staff and the wonderful vendors who made the day a pleasure for the guests and a breeze to photograph.

Church: Pawleys Island Community Church
Venue and Catering: DeBordieu Club
Gown designer: Janell Berte
Gown boutique: Katherine’s Bridal, Alexandria, Virginia
Hair: Stox & Co., Litchfield
Bridesmaid dresses: J. Crew
Guys’ suits: Kenneth Cole
Florist: Greenskeeper Florist
Cake: Incredible Edibles
DJ: DJ Scott & Company
Harpist: Becky Nissen
Transportation: Carolina Limousine
Videographer: Archer Films

If you enjoyed this post, I hope you’ll recommend it and leave a comment below, and please spread the word to friends and family members searching for a wedding photographer. Cheers!


Thanks to The Wedding Row for sharing some of the highlights from Mike and Maura’s magnificent wedding day on the Stono River. This couple is so much fun, and I loved their peacock palette with aqua and purple complimenting the large wedding party in black tuxes and elegant dresses. Click on the photo to see all the goodness from this featured riverside wedding. I look forward to documenting Kirstin & Rick’s Island House wedding this weekend and taking in another stunning sunset on the Stono.

Elegant wedding party at the Island House on Stono River near Charleston. © Carolina Photosmith




What a gorgeous day for a lush and colorful Magnolia Plantation wedding! Janice and Mike live in North Carolina and planned an outdoor ceremony beside Charleston’s Ashley River. Guests made their way from near and far (mostly far!) to celebrate the Nazers. I just love how tenderhearted Janice went from sweet tears to rocking dance moves in her stunning gown. (She found her perfect San Patrick dress at J. Majors in Charlotte.) What a bevy of beautiful bridesmaids – their dresses are from David’s Bridal, color is Wisteria; wedge sandals by Tom’s. And a huge shout-out to Kala and her crew at MOD Events, who did a fantastic job on the florals and flow of the day. Keeping with the lush and colorful theme, Mike and Janice just returned from their Hawaiian honeymoon. Dreamy, right?

What better way to start our day than by pulling over at a colorful roadside attraction where Timbo’s peanut-loving dog greets guests? (I’m pretty sure they don’t have these in Chicago.)
Radiant Orchid bridesmaids from Chicago are introduced to boiled peanuts. © Carolina Photosmithnazer002nazer003nazer004nazer005nazer006nazer007nazer008nazer009nazer010nazer011nazer012nazer013nazer014nazer015nazer016nazer017nazer018
Special thanks to Sol Basconcillo for helping me get great shots and bonus perspectives throughout the day!nazer019nazer020nazer021nazer022nazer023nazer024nazer025nazer026nazer027nazer028nazer029nazer030nazer031nazer032nazer033nazer034nazer035nazer036nazer037

If you love riverside weddings, sunlit mossy oaks or colorful flowers and bridesmaids who sport Pantone’s color of the year, I hope you’ll “like” this post and wish the Nazers well!