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columbia, sc wedding: claire + chris

Claire and Chris were married in July at The Millstone at Adam’s Pond in Columbia. It’s a gorgeous historic home dating back to the 1700s that’s overlooking a pond–which made for an idyllic southern setting for a gorgeous southern wedding. The sky was bright blue and with the temperature hovering around 100 degrees, it was hot. Very hot. And humid, as it can be only in the South. A quick passing shoer just before the ceremony cooled things off just a bit and, according to the old wives’ tale, should bring good luck to the couple.

Not that they will need luck. Not based on the love I saw in their eyes as they exchanged quick glances.   With the way Claire melted when she looked at Chris and the strong yet loving way he held her and the support they have from the family and friends surrounding them that day, I have no doubt that they will share a long, happy life together.

All my best to the happy couple. And my sincerest, heartfelt thanks to my dear friend, mentor and photographer extraordinaire GREGG MARTIN (Gregg Martin Photographic Design) for asking me to photograph this wedding with him. I am truly honored and blessed by your friendship.

I saw this display at the salon where Claire was getting ready. LOVE it!
While Claire was “getting her hair did” with her girls… this is what Chris and his boys were doing… And then, as if in the blink of an eye, it was time to head to Millstone to finish getting ready…
Claire getting the final touches to her makeup – 

A beautiful gown…for a beautiful bride…

Seriously, Claire. You’re beautiful. 
Chris and the guys enjoyed some celebratory libations and a few hands of poker before dressing… A sharp dressed man… Claire and Chris chose to do a “first look” before the ceremony and it was one of the most touching I’ve witnessed. Chris was nervously pacing as he waited for Claire. He dabbed at his brow as beads of sweat formed, partially due to the heat and partially due to his nervous anticipation of seeing his bride for the first time. Emotions got the best of both of them once Claire reached him.
Love this….it’s a favorite….
It was a very emotional time or them. If you’re a bride and groom and you don’t do a first look, you’re really missing out on some special “alone time” — what better way to express all the things you’re feeling on your wedding day?
After Claire and Chris were able to compose themselves, it was time for some fun portraits of the bride, the couple and then the bridal party.

I love this one of Claire. It’s so….southern.

Speaking of gorgeousness — I loved Claire’s bouquet.

I just love this. If you haven’t noticed, it’s one of my favorite shots to get. They’re so sweet together. Claire’s girls each had a bouquet made up of different ivory flowers – I love that, especially in combination with the deep plum gowns. So elegant. I don’t think it was intentional but I couldn’t help noticing that the iron work all over the estate had heart shapes in it. Maybe it’s because I’m such a girly-girl. Or maybe it’s because I’m such a hopeless romantic. Whatever it is, I couldn’t resist using it as a frame for some of the portraits. The entire bridal party (well, minus the little ones, though they’re big fans too) graduated from the University of South Carolina and are diehard Gamecock fans…except one. The lone Clemson fan. So, when they decided to salute the chickens Gamecocks during the group photo, he made sure to “salute” them as well!

Caughtcha! Claire sneaking a peek at the guests arriving just before the ceremony.
Claire’s father passed away but was surely there in spirit, watching over his little girl. Her mother had the honor of walking her down the aisle and giving her away. What a glorious site for a wedding. Millstone is such a gorgeous estate. Claire and Chris opted for a sand ceremony instead of a unity candle.
You may now kiss the bride! And he did. He laid one on her! ♥ Sweetest picture in – well, like the history of EVER. This moment between grandfather and granddaughter melts my heart. Some details from the ceremony and reception…

Gorgeous flowers lined the aisles…

These gargoyle-like plant stands were everywhere. Loved them with the ferns!

Pretty flowers on the tables… Chris actually proposed to Claire at Disneyworld. At Cinderella’s Castle, in fact. So they had Cinderalla carriages, glass slippers and other memorabilia displayed throughout the “cake room”. This one made a perfect ring holder. 
Claire had a violist playing during the cocktail hour…

Some of the succulent fruit at the fondue station…It tasted as good as it looks!

Their gorgeous cake….

The first dance for the new Mr. and Mrs. … 

It’s easy to see how much she adores Chris!
After their first dance, it was time to let loose. This crowd did not disappoint!
In fact, the bridal party and their other friends were wide open all night. They hit the dance floor and didn’t stop celebrating until after Chris and Claire left. More USC hoopin’ and hollerin’!  It started raining pouring down rain right before the grand sparkler exit…..but that didn’t stop this crowd. They just moved the exit — car included — under the tent.

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