It's been a hot second since I shared a blog here with you guys, and there's no better way to start back up again then with Sally & Josh's gorgeous Charleston wedding. When we think of laughter and sharing your day with your sweet friends, we think of Sally and Josh. We photograph weddings of all kinds, and I think it's safe to say their wedding was truly such a celebration of who they were as a couple and who they are together. Buckle up, friends, because this wedding has so many sweet and emotional moments that'll have you reaching for the tissues!
Sally, in fact, is possibly one of the most joy-filled brides we ever met. Earlier in 2017, we traveled down to the College of Charleston to capture her bridal session - and she was just radiant. Imagine how much more she glowed on her wedding day!
Thoughtfulness was written all over her day. Literally - she's an artist herself with a knack for calligraphy and painting. When some extra time opened up in the getting ready hours, she wrote some beautiful, personal notes to give to her parents.
Now, meet Josh. Her perfect compliment - the one who knew just how to make Sally laugh the hardest, the most romantic ways to sweep her off her feet. Before their first look, he waited patiently with paper in hand as she walked her way to him.
Their first looks was one of the most sincere we've photographed. With the letters written and read aloud to each other, they made sweet promises in private, away from family and friends. For both of them, it ended up being their favorite part of their day. "I really wasn't nervous the whole weekend up until the point that I was going to see Josh," Sally shared. "Turns out I had nothing to worry about. We were able to read our written vows to each other and really reflect on the meaning of the day before everything got going. We both were hesitant to do a first look as it's not traditional, but we both are so happy that it is something we decided to do in the end. It calmed my nerves and it allowed us to have one-on-one time together before we mingled with our guests for the rest of the evening."
Taking the time the reflect together before the ceremony is the sweetest- seeing how far you've come from those first moments together is emotional and oh so special.
Sometimes, it's purely a moment of confidence and faith that bring the best couples together. "We met at our mutual friend's engagement party in Charleston a few years ago. Josh's first pick up line was, "Sally, you got a man in your life?" I think we both were pretty smitten from the start (how could I not be with his gorgeous smile?!). Needless to say, we became fast friends and eventually started dating, and the rest is history!"
The moments before a ceremony are always special, no matter who the bride chooses to share them with. But with Sally and her father, they were especially sweet. Together, right before they took their first steps, they started to hear a cardinal sing- perched on a branch right over them. "Cardinals have been known to be a sign that an angel is present," Sally shared with me, "My dad and I were touched by that moment since we three of my grandparents and my uncle in heaven. We saw it as a moment that they were letting us know that they were there to help us celebrate Josh and I's union. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it!"
Today, Cardinals still play a large role in their life- a family of cardinals live together in Josh & Sally's backyard. "The papa cardinal usually makes an appearance once a week to sing to us. It has been a very reassuring and touching year to say the least!"
Let's talk about the proposal! In the moments of the ceremony, in the middle of "I do", it often is a parallel to the moment 'yes' was first said - when the question is popped and the promise is made. So sweet. Once again, Sally tells the story perfectly-
"I was closing on my first home on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 and was really focused on making sure everything went through on time. Josh took a couple days off work and helped me pack up my little one bedroom apartment downtown. After the closing that afternoon we drove over in the U-haul van to go unload everything. It was drizzling rain so I tried running inside when Josh quickly grabbed me and got down on one knee. I thought he was joking until he started pouring his heart out. After the first wave of disbelief turned to shock I immediately went into the ugliest cry and could barely breathe and forgot to answer long enough to make him a little nervous. It was an easy question, but I was so emotional at the time he had to ask me at least three times (haha!). Moments later, three of my best friends and my dad popped out to surprise me! They had been filming and taking photos the whole time. Josh planned a party with all of our other family and friends that evening at the new house. It was so sweet!! I couldn't believe how well hidden he kept everything that was going on and how well executed it all was. it was a wonderful day."
Y'all, that moment they walk back down the aisle - that never gets old.
Sally and Josh were lucky enough to be surrounded by dear friends. You can always tell the touch people have on each other's lives when you see how their bridal parties rally around them and lift them up during their day. Full of laughter and joy, their friends were constantly encouraging the couple and celebrating their together story.
When asked Sally about why they choose to get married at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, she had nothing but good to say. "From the beautiful gardens where the ceremony would be held, to the old riverfront plantation house; it had everything we were looking for, the perfect southern flair. The lawn where the ceremony would be held overlooks a pond, flowers and the bridge Sally and her father would cross. We could immediately tell it would be beautiful... it needed almost no extra decorations and we just felt right about it. The staff at Magnolia played a huge part in that decision too. They were incredibly kind and helpful from the start, which made our entire wedding process that much more enjoyable."
What a joy to be a part of Sally & Josh's day! Thank you, friends, for choosing us to be your photographers- you are the perfect match!
Special thanks to Ashley Mixon and Jill Billard who helped coordinate their wedding
venue: Magnolia Plantation + Gardens
videographers: Hampton Road Studios
officiant: Rob Sturdy
florist: Branch Design Studios
catering: Salthouse Catering
baked goods: Madison Morton
reception band: The Headliners
ceremony band: Dallas Baker
tuxes: Mens Wearhouse
bridal gown: Modern Trousseau
calligraphy: Sally Bunting