In late summer of last year we were graced with the opportunity to travel and collaborate with a team of incredible vendors, or ‘friendors’ as we like to call them. Charleston was calling our name and we had to answer. So, with a carefully planned itinerary, models scouted from South Carolina, and a car full of design elements we trekked up to Charleston, with a team of our favorite people for a styled shoot! So, in other words, a dream come true.
As a destination wedding planner, traveling to other cities is part of what we do, and such an exciting aspect! Outside of planning weddings, collaborating on styled shoots is an important part of being a wedding planner. Especially when it comes to destination styled shoots. The Charleston market is one we adore and we love working in this historic, charming city. For a change of pace, we wanted to dedicate this post to sharing some behind the scenes details that led us to the finished product.
Upon arrival we fell in love with our Airbnb. The double-decker porch was reason enough to freak out and run up the front steps like girls seeing their cabin at summer camp for the first time. The team settled in which was not hard to do. This quiet Charleston street felt like home away from home. We spent the afternoon scouting locations for our shoot the following day, walking around downtown, exploring Rainbow Row, and enjoying the salty air blowing off the ocean. To celebrate our arrival, we went out to Home Team BBQ and chatted giddily about tomorrow’s endeavors.
The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and shoot day is HERE! Did we mention the sun was shining? Because it was hot that day. We powered through it, but us Georgians are not quite used to the sticky South Caroline heat. Our models arrived, Paula and Ron Rallis, and we finally got to meet them after months of email communication. These two were lovely and Ron kept us laughing all day long. Paula being a creative herself was such a help working through the heat to get the shots we needed. Paula is a true renaissance woman. She’s a private pilot, graduate student at Harvard, pro blogger, fashion guru, owner of her own home decor store, and also helps Ron flip and design homes. We could go on forever honestly. We are so thankful these two dedicated their Monday to model for us.
Margaret of Margaret Snider Artistry went to work, making the models look flawless as always. Margaret’s work reflects all of the passion she has for making people look and feel beautiful. We get so excited when we work with her on creative projects because we just hand over the reins and know she’ll craft up the perfect look every time. For Paula’s hair, she whipped up a sleek yet laid back up-do. Paula was officially ready to stroll the streets of downtown Charleston and explore Magnolia Plantation. And so were we!
At this point in the day our team split up. One half heading to Magnolia Plantation to begin setting up the tablescape. Head planner, Danielle, has a huge heart for design, so the tablescape setup is always a major focus for our styled shoots. The other half of our team ventured downtown to get some shots of Paula and Ron at Rainbow Row. Let us just say, these two are the cutest. We had these two posing with their lips touching, but not kissing, and Ron kept cracking jokes in Paula’s ear and this was the result. We love this shot of genuine laughter and joy.
Carrie Joy of Carrie Joy Photography followed Paula and Ron up and down the historic cobblestone streets. Crossing back and forth from sidewalk to sidewalk to get the best lighting. When we scouted locations the day before it had been while the sun was setting and now the lighting was totally different. This was unexpected but Carrie Joy, as always, is amazing at thinking on her feet and we’re convinced it’s impossible for her to capture anything less than perfection. After finishing up downtown, we piled in the car and headed to Magnolia Plantation to meet the other ladies who were slaving away in the heat to perfect the tablescape.
Head planner, Danielle, and floral designer, Megan Dunlap, arranged blooms and tweaked the placement of the tabletop elements until the design was an exact reflection of their vision. The rest of our team stood by with lighters and hands to re-light candles after the wind blew or pick off little pieces of Spanish moss falling onto the Oatmeal Velluto linen. We’re not going to lie, this tablescape gave us some trouble. It was setup under a gorgeous old oak tree covered in Spanish moss in the middle of a field. We actually had to move the table several times because of how much the light was changing and shifting through the tree branches. But, we finally got this setup just how we wanted and it was so worth it!
After moving on from the design shots, it was back to the models . . . and onto a crazy gorgeous floral installation by Megan. Megan and Danielle both longed for a floral installation on this historic gazebo at Magnolia Plantation and so it was born! This stunning color palette really stood out against the green all around us. Paula and Ron held each other in front of the gazebo for some couples portraits. Our team swooped in every now and again to swat away mosquitoes, which were in full swarm at this point in the day, or adjust the Royal gown by Sarah Seven. Paula and Ron stuck with us through the heat and we are so grateful! Even when we tossed handfuls of dried flowers at them for the staged recessional. 🙂
So, we wrapped up with the models, hugged goodbye and couldn’t thank them enough. Our team packed up the cars and headed back to the Airbnb to finish shooting some detailed shots of the bouquet, cake, cocktails, and stationery. During styled shoots, if there are any details we don’t absolutely have to shoot at the venue, sometimes we’ll take them elsewhere. Because of the South Carolina heat, we were all so grateful that Danielle had thought ahead about splitting up the day like this. When we arrived back at the house we all sat in the AC for a minute and relaxed. But, the sun was starting to set. We headed up to the second story porch to continue working.
When we think summertime we think mojitos. And what could be more delicious than a watermelon mojito? And some added rhubarb to get that gorgeous color?! Christine, one of Detailed I Do’s associate planners, is a cocktail connoisseur. She is our go-to gal when it comes to cocktail recipes and styling. What you see below is her handy work. Our team worked quickly to shoot all the details we could before the sun went down. As the heat dissipated and the sky filled with vibrant sunset hues, we were finally done! This day was truly one for the books. And it could not have happened without each of these uber talented vendors. We all headed out for a night on the town at Taco Boy to celebrate with some much needed margaritas.
The next day we continued to shoot detailed shots and explore Charleston to soak up all the southern charm we could before heading back home. One of the special things about this trip is that Megan and her husband, Adam, brought their sweet 14 year-old rescue chihuahua, Ralphie. Ralphie was our mascot: accompanying us on walks to breakfast in the morning and honestly wherever we could bring him! He was the best thing to come home to after our long days of shooting, always smiling happily and ready to snuggle.
Ralphie had been begun battling cancer that month, so we all wanted to do a special photo-op dedicated to him. Megan made a flower collar for him and he strutted proudly on the Charleston sidewalk. He was so proud of his mama’s floral work, look at that face! Ralphie had a blast getting to be right by his parents’ sides and this Charleston trip was his adventure too!
To us, being a destination wedding planner means having the drive to step outside your comfort zone and collect knowledge and experience about different cities through travel. This styled shoot was an important step in gaining knowledge of Charleston as a destination city for our couples. Not to mention a fun trip with a group of gals (plus Adam and Ralphie) whom we love to collaborate and adventure with. We hope you enjoyed a look behind the scenes and here’s to many more styled shoot adventures!
Photography: Carrie Joy Photography
HMUA: Margaret Snider Artistry
Linens: Nuage Designs
Rentals: Ruth’s House
Flatware: Tablemade Co.
Stationery: The Impressionist
Venue: Magnolia Plantation
Ring: Susie Saltzman