One of the things that I absolutely love about being a photographer is the connections that form!! Mario first reached out to me earlier this year to surprise his girlfriend, Marissa, with a portrait session. Imagine my surprise when that portrait session turned into one of the sweetest surprise proposals I have ever seen. Mario and Marissa gushed at how amazing it would be to come back to Charleston from NJ to have their wedding. I told them that if they decided to, to give me a call. Surprise again when they did just that!!!
Marissa and I chatted on the phone and she explained that their wedding would be intimate with their closest family in attendance. Connecting old traditions with new ones. As I walked into Lashes and Lace on the morning of their wedding, I got very excited! Marissa was surrounded by all the amazing ladies in her life. Her mom, Mario’s mom, Grandma, Aunt, sisters, and nieces. I watched as Marissa made sure that everyone was taken care of. Helping her nieces get plates of food, and giving her approval of Grandma’s amazing look.
As we arrived to Chalmers Street for their first look, I saw Mario again for the first time since he proposed. I am pretty sure he looked just as nervous as he did on that day in front of the house with blue shutters that he got down on one knee in front of. Marissa and Mario stood back to back and read letters to each other. I watched as Marissa wiped tears as she listened to Mario read his letter. Every bit of this day was filled with love and emotion.
Now when I say this day was portrait heavy, I mean these two set aside about 2 hours of portrait time. We took their vintage Rolls Royce provided by Lowcountry Valet, who I love, all around downtown. We went back to the house that Mario proposed to Marissa at, down to St Michael’s Alley for some Italian countryside vibes and swung by the American theater all before heading to the avenue of oaks at Boone Hall Plantation. Mario and Marissa’s wedding day was a photographer’s dream! But more than the amazing portraits, I loved that they have an appreciation for capturing as much of their day as we could.
When it was time for their ceremony on the cotton dock, it was clear that they had thought about all of their family! They gave their mom and dad’s roses during part of the ceremony. They had their sisters join them at the alter to stand with them. Mario and Marissa made sure that their wedding day revolved around their sweet family!
My absolute favorite part came during their intimate family dining style reception. Mario and Marissa made an announcement when it was time for first dances that they would like for Marissa’s grandparents to share the dance for their 50th wedding anniversary. And just then their wedding song started to play!! Y’all, how am I supposed to work when I am sobbing like a baby. This moment was so tender and sweet, I couldn’t hold back the tears.
I finally pulled myself together just in time to watch the Cannoli Queen (Marissa’s sister) and the Dessert Queen (Sweet Lulu’s) have a cannoli demonstration inside of the sweet lulu’s caravan. The next time I am near New Jersey, I am making it a point to Mannino’s Cannoli Express!!! Because they were the absolute best cannolis I have ever tried!!
Marissa and Mario, your hearts and love for everyone around you are why I felt beyond honored to capture these sweet moments for you! You made sure that everyone felt included and honored at your wedding. I feel blessed to know you both! Your family treated me like family!! And you two have a love that I hope more people are able to find in their lifetime!! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this incredibly special day!!! And I promise that I will make it to New Jersey one day, please keep a seat at the dinner table open for me! I love y’all! And I hope you cherish these moments frozen in time for years and years to come!
Thank you to the incredible vendor team!!
Planner| Ooh! Events and Out Of Hand
Venue| Boone Hall Plantation
Video| Wandering Hues Videography
Rentals| Ooh! Events and Out Of Hand
Catering| Salthouse Catering
Dessert & Bar| Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, Cocktail Caravan & Pedal Pub
Entertainment| Bob Williams Duo
Hair & makeup | Lashes and Lace Bridal Hair and Makeup
Artist | Wed on Canvas
Florist| Out of the Garden
Transportation | Lowcountry Valet
Hotel | Hotel Bella Grace
Car Florals | Wimberly Fair Designs
Car Sign | J Lily Designs
Dress | Wedding Belles Boutique