Trinity Presbyterian Church Wedding, Carmel Country Club Reception, Leah & Danner

Before every wedding I shoot, I obsessively check the weather. I’m sure my brides and grooms are doing the same, hoping for skies of the most perfect Carolina blue, but I get pretty next-level about the whole venture. I even have a special weather app—Dark Sky—that tells me precisely when rain will begin and end, to the minute. And this obsessiveness is why I knew, days before Leah and Danner were set to be married, that the weather might be a factor.

But it’s interesting. Just because I’m fastidious about checking the weather before weddings, that doesn’t mean a wedding day with a little rain bums me out. For one, I think the rain can be beautiful. The clouds can be beautiful. The light that filters through an overcast sky can work for a photographer in subtly gorgeous ways. And then there’s the lovely folklore that goes along with a rainy wedding day: cleansing, fertility, starting fresh.

Brides can get upset about rain, though, and that’s why I worried about how Leah would react to the news that her wedding day might come off damp. Turns out, I had nothing at all to stress about; Leah rolled with the whole thing like the rain was part of her plan all along.

For the first part of the day, we were high and dry. I captured beautiful photos of Leah and her bridesmaids at Leah’s family home in Charlotte. Just before leaving for Trinity Presbyterian Church, Leah gave her pup Gracie a kiss, and then we headed off. Our pre-ceremony pictures outside the church were wonderful. Toward the end of our session, just when guests were really starting to arrive in earnest, clouds began to roll in. Before I knew it, people were staggering past me with umbrellas turned inside-out. It was one of those summer squalls that hits, booms, dumps some water, and then moves on to drench some other part of the state. During the height of the storm, I remember seeing a couple of tuxedoed gentlemen standing at the front doors of the church. They would run out into the rain to escort arriving guests inside. It was very sweet.

I was just so happy that I had the chance to shoot so many of my photos outside. Not only did we get our pre-ceremony shots in, but I also braved the storm’s waning moments to snap some shots of the wedding party standing in the entry at the front of the church. Later, when we moved from Trinity to Carmel Country Club for the romantics, the weather had cleared, and everything was wet, dripping, and alive. Leah and Danner couldn’t have been cooler about the whole thing. We got some shots that I absolutely love.

And once we got inside, the reception was a blast. The band—The Voltage Brothers—was fantastic, and the food was delicious, everything from crab cakes to ham and biscuits to a raw seafood bar. At the end, just before Leah and Danner’s exit, they gathered their immediate family in the President's Room to express their love and their gratitude. I’m so immensely happy for these two beautiful people, and I’m overjoyed to have been a part of such a special day in their lives.

Ceremony Venue: Trinity Presbyterian Church

Reception Venue: Carmel Country Club

Videographer: Crown Alley Films

Bride’s gown: Anne Barge from White on Daniel Island in Charleston, SC

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Dessy After SixBella Bridesmaids Charlotte

Hair + Makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne of Be Pretty

Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Jos A. Bank

Invitations, programs & menu cards: Olive Paper

Floral Design: Karen Greenoe of Lily Greenthumbs

Catering/cake: Carmel Country Club

Band: The Voltage Brothers of East Coast Entertainment