This was my first time traveling to Raleigh, NC for a wedding. Even though the golf club was a 3 hour drive for me, it’s always nice to visit a new location for a wedding and to get to know new wedding vendors. I met the bride and groom, Ornelie and Matt, doing engagement pictures for them here in Myrtle Beach. They loved the engagement pictures so they wanted me to travel to Raleigh for their wedding photography as well! When I arrived the bride was just finishing up her makeup in the upstairs room, and the groom was getting ready downstairs. For their first look they both wore a traditional African style wedding attire and met each other at the top of the clubhouse steps.
The bride loves pictures, she is into photography herself, so she planned plenty of time before the wedding ceremony. We started with pictures of the two of them on the golf course and under the wedding arch in their traditional African outfits. We had an overcast day, which actually worked out good, for doing pictures with the sun still so high. Next, she changed into another golden colored African style wedding dress. I was able to take a lot of great portraits of just her in the dress as well as the two of them together. Finally, the bride put on a traditional ball gown style wedding dress for the ceremony. I loved her long flowing veil. We were able to get some nice shots of it blowing in the wind, with a little help from her sister throwing it into the air.
The ceremony was in a beautiful location overlooking the golf course. There are some steps, leading up to the second floor of the clubhouse, that I was able to use for some overhead panoramas of the ceremony. It actually began to rain lightly near the end of the ceremony. Thankfully, the rain stopped soon after, and we were able to do more bridal party pictures. We even got some pictures of them racing down the golf course in the golf carts!
After some time eating dinner, I brought Ornelie and Matt out for sunset pictures. There can be beautiful sunset views of the sky from the hills on this golf course. With the overcast day, we never really got great colors in the sky. However, I was able to use my softbox and flash, to add some extra light to the pictures. Using soft, off camera light, can very much add drama and color to a picture. In a future blog post I will talk more about some of my new studio strobe style lighting.
The reception and dancing were held in the upstairs room of the River Ridge Golf Clubhouse. This would be a little small for a large group, however with larger groups they move them to the outdoor pavilion area. The DJ was a little unusual and kept asking over and over if anyone else wanted to give a speech even when no one else did! Finally, he let everyone start dancing and I had time to get some fun party pictures. The bride and groom actually changed back into their previous outfits to finish out the evening. Ornelie knew I had a long drive, even though I would have stayed if they had needed me too, she didn’t want to make me stay until the end of the reception. I still stayed long enough to get dancing, the garter and bouquet toss, and cake cutting pictures. So I got everything I needed before beginning the drive back. I hope I can get back to the River Ridge Golf Club for more weddings in the future. If you are interested in having a wedding there please let me know!