Ani and Stephen are two of my very good friends. They met in art school in North Carolina. Stephen moved to Utah and years later, they reunited, fell in love, bought a house, and decided to get married. I had the honor of photographing their beautiful wedding in Folly Beach, South Carolina, just outside Charleston. I'd never been to the south before and I sure liked it. I tried okra, collard greens, barbecue, boiled shrimp and peanuts, blue crab, and shrimp and grits. That last one was my favorite.
Ani likes to be careful with the earth and support local and independent artists. Throughout the planning process, she was careful not to buy unnecessary items for the wedding, supported independent artists by purchasing her beautiful handmade guest book on Etsy, had her feather hair piece custom made, and used her mother's recycled glass bottle collection for flowers and decoration. She and Stephen had their wedding rings custom made at local Salt Lake City jeweler, Charley Hafen Jewelry. Our friend Soozee designed the invitations and made the beautiful shell necklace that Ani wore with her wedding gown. The alter for the wedding ceremony was a big piece of driftwood found on the beach.
Ani and Stephen took part in what I call a First Look. The bride and groom meet before the wedding ceremony in a special, private meeting where they can really enjoy the moment. This allows the couple to get all of the family and couple formal photographs done before the ceremony. After the "I dos", they can get their party on! Every time I do a First Look with a couple, it's very touching. This time, it was especially moving because Stephen and Ani are dear friends. Ani was crying, I was crying, and even Stephen was crying.
It was truly a friend and family affair. I was the photographer, our friend, Soozee was the floral designer, and my husband, Todd was the officiate (you can become a reverend, rabbi, or priest on the internet). We all stayed in a beautiful beach house, right on the ocean and it was fantastic. Everyone should get married on a beach. Some of the friends:
This last one is me. My intern, Jenny, insisted I put it on here.
Flowers: Soozee Torreano
Cuttle Fish Guest Book: Grimm on Etsy
Feather Hair Piece: Patika Starr
Photography: Melissa Kelsey Photography (of course)
Recycled Glass Bottles: Ani's mom's collection
Rings: Charley Hafen Jewelry
Bride's Shell Necklace: Soozee Torreano
Dress: David's Bridal
Leather Flip Flops: Rainbow Sandals
Mermaid Panties: Victoria's Secret
Officiate: Todd Kelsey (my hubby). Oh, and he's retired. He doesn't do weddings anymore.