I don’t think there is anything more authentically “southern” then a Lowndes Grove Wedding in Charleston, SC. Lowndes Grove was built in 1786 and has a very, very rich history. It’s now owned and rented out by a property company in Charleston, SC as a premiere wedding venue. When Britni’s mom called me (who is a very talented professional portrait photographer) and asked if I was available and could travel to Charleston for her daughters wedding, I was thrilled! I have been to the house before for a shoot but Britni’s wedding was the first and it’s something I had been looking forward to for quite some time. I met Monni, briefly, before the wedding (at a photography convention in New Orleans) but this would be the first time I met either Britni or Orry.
I arrived in Charleston, SC on Friday evening and met up with everyone at their rehearsal dinner which was held at the Historic Rice Mill Building. This incredible facility is set on the Ashley River just down from the Charleston Yacht Club. With the sun setting over the Horizon, there are gorgeous sailboats as far as the eye could see in one direction and a tall bridge on the other. The Rice Mill was built in 1861 and is a beautiful location for any wedding related event. When Britni & Orry arrived, it was great to actually meet them in person and chat a bit about their wedding. Both of them have traveled extensively and almost everyone in the wedding was coming from out of town. It was really lovely to have this time to talk with them, their family and friends and learn where many of them traveled in from. A professional comedian from Los Angeles, Michigan, New York, Tel Aviv, etc. As the night went on I witnessed one of the top 3 toasts/roasts I have personally seen – all done with candy bar wrappers (“she went out one evening looking for a little whatchamacalit”) and, well, I’ll leave it at that.
The next day we headed over to Lowndes Grove were everyone was getting their hair & makeup done. I lost count but I think at some point there were 3 hairdressers/makeup artists in the brides room working on the ladies. Despite the buzz of activity, the day had a distinctly relaxed feel to it with everyone chatting and enjoying their time together. Once the guys arrived, we setup a time for Britni and Orry to see each other before the ceremony without anyone else around. Lowndes Grove has an amazing “foyer” area at the front of the house that was perfect for this moment. As they were having a Jewish wedding ceremony, the went from this into the signing of the Ketubah (Jewish wedding contract).
The wedding ceremony took place under the willow trees in front of the Ashley river. Britni & Orry had a gorgeous wooden Chuppah built on site and the guests had seats in the shade on the lawn just on the other side of the Lowndes Grove patio. You could not have asked for a more perfect location, couple or day for their wedding. After the ceremony was over, he got a chance to photograph some incredible wedding portraits around the grounds. One of my favorites was taken as they were walking back to the house along a very, very long pier (showing the house and guests in the background).
The wedding reception which was held outside Lowndes Grove under a tent frame wrapped with light bulbs, farm style long tables, wonderfully themed table decorations and candles hanging from the trees with white satin ribbon. It had taken most of the day to setup and I can honestly say all the work was totally worth it. So many great ideas from the centerpieces to the seating charts (written on windows). After the dinner and toasts were over, the DJ got the party started and before you know it, the dance floor was swarming with everyone dancing and there were even a few pushups and piggy back rides. As the night ended Britni & Orry boarded a trolley with their guests under a shower of wedding sparklers.
I’d like to give my sincerest thank you to Britni, Orry and their families for making me feel like a part of their own family. I hope you enjoy the photos from their wedding and I look forward to that 10 year reunion party! 🙂