We decided to see each other before the wedding for a few reasons, but the biggest was logistical. Our ceremony and reception were at the same location and it wouldn't make sense for us to leave our guests for an hour while we had a little photo shoot.
The dock on the property next to my parents' is where we decided to go. I left the house as the bridesmaids were getting ready to meet us for bridal party pictures. My dad drove me over there and left me with the photographers with a big hug. Carson's back was already turned to me, and all I had to do was walk the long dock to see him.
My heel got stuck in one of the slats and I ALMOST needed assistance, but managed to wrestle it out of there (wish I had a picture of that). It was lightly raining as I walked, just tiny little droplets that I don't even remember, but you can see them in the background of some of these pictures. Our photographers had decided to leave us alone as we saw each other for the first time and talked, which was kind of neat and kind of like being on display, since we were at the end of a long dock and all we could hear was "Snap, snap snap" from the cameras.
After a little while, we got into their rented car and drove to Huspah Plantation about 10 minutes down the road. It's a beautiful place, full of Lowcountry charm, where our church had a fall festival every year growing up, so I remember hayrides down the dusty roads.
This series of pictures is one of my favorites. I have a large print of one of these, but I want to get an even bigger one and hang it up somewhere.
We came across this plane and took pictures with it, which has confused quite a few people. No, we cannot fly planes (our school has an aviation program, so I guess since we met there I could say that these pictures were in testament to that, but in reality, it just made for unique pictures).
When I saw this picture of a donkey, when we got our pictures back, I thought it was from something else. But then I saw this picture from my mother-in-law and realized that at some point, I'd interacted with this cartoonish character. Isn't he cute?
I love this picture. As it was being taken, the horse was actually dangerously close to my flowers and aaaalmost took a bite. In the same pen, there was also a random blind horse that quite a few people talk about when they talk about the wedding. Haha.
My bridesmaids, who know me so well (and who were likely bored), took pictures of what they were doing. They had my camera and used it throughout the day.
Their dresses were from Target, their necklaces were bridesmaids gifts from Charlotte Russe, and they chose their own silver shoes.
The flower girls' hairflowers and dresses were made by my mom, the dresses smocked by a family friend.
The property not only had a donkey and horses, but a strange assortment of dogs. All shapes and sizes, all quite dirty, they followed us around and tried to jump on my dress. My mom bought a big bag of dog treats and commissioned my friend Katherine to bribe the dogs away from us. Eric, one of our photographers, and Emily, my bridesmaid, also helped in the nearly impossible task.
Then we took family pictures.
This is my immediate family. I have a younger sister and a younger brother. This is the only family picture we have, because it began raining, so we all panicked and found shelter, and by the time things had calmed down, my parents had left to figure things out at the house. So no pictures of the two families combined or anything.
And this is Carson's immediate family. He has one younger brother, who's married and at the time had a 10 month old and one on the way. These were taken in an airplane hangar, so that we were saved from impending rain. More on that in a sec.
Carson's extended family is from Washington and Oregon. We thought that it would be just his parents and brother who could come out, but his mom's three sisters and three of his cousins made the trip as well.
As I said before, it rained on our wedding day. This is one of Carson's favorite pictures, because it's pretty cool. Also because for some reason he's doing the "Live long and prosper" thing with his hands.
This is what happened in between the two families' photos:
I'd been calm all day, but this was the point where I nearly lost it. My veil was crooked so my mom went to fix it and instead, my hair and veil fell. The dogs were jumping, and someone back at the house had made the executive decision to move the wedding indoors: to the living room. I had been adamant about NOT having a wedding in the living room for several reasons (we had 200 guests so that was a big one) so I was upset. My parents left to go deal with that situation and get people out of there.
Then we all left to head out to the ceremony.
We had Carson's little digital camera and took this. One of my favorites.
By the time we got back to the house, the rain had stopped, the people had left the living room, and the furniture was cleared out of there, except for the couch which had been pushed to the wall.
Next came the ceremony...