Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, is still one of my favorite wedding locations. The staff is excellent, and everything is always well organized. Sunsets are also beautiful in front of the clubhouse and out of the golf course itself. Kiely and Carson, the bride and groom, had some of the best smiles I’ve had with a wedding couple. In almost every picture, especially when they looked at each other, they had big natural smiles and looked very happy. This always makes it easy to get great photos.
Detail shots and getting ready pictures before the ceremony
This wedding had a small wedding party with only two bridesmaids and two groomsmen. I like smaller groups. It seems like those weddings are always more relaxed. Kiely didn’t want any pictures before putting on her dress, so I started with portraits of the groomsmen and details shots of the location. I liked some of the photos with the groom helping his father with his tie and of the best man fixing the groom’s tie. After the bride was dressed, I did my typical portraits of her standing in the doorway light and then out on the private patio beside the clubhouse. Even though she had her veil on, I took pictures of her mom touching the veil and pulling it over her shoulders. These turned out especially beautiful with the soft light on the patio.
Wedding ceremony overlooking the Pawleys Plantation golf course
The ceremony was held on the lawn behind the clubhouse, with a great view of the lake and golf course. The cute ring bearer forgot to hold up his “ring security” flag until he was almost down the aisle, so I barely got a shot of it. I loved some of the first-look pictures with the huge smile on the groom’s face and the bride getting emotional walking down the aisle with her father. They had big smiles during the ceremony, especially when giving their vows.
After the ceremony, family and wedding party pictures
After the ceremony, we went to the shady area near the lake and did all the family pictures. It was a little early in the afternoon, so the sun was pretty harsh. I’m happy Pawleys Plantation has a lot of lovely trees to give some shade. I still have to be careful with the spots of bright sunlight that make it through the tree branches. It helps using my powerful dual Godox AD200 flash to give some fill light and balance out subjects in the shade from the bright background.
Even though the sun was bright and it was sweltering, the wedding party went out on the golf course and took some fun pictures. It can still look very nice, even in the bright sun, if you place the sun behind the subjects and use some fill light from a flash to balance the light. Finally, we took wedding party pictures in front of the clubhouse by the front door columns.
The first dance, reception, and fun photo booth pictures
Because it was still a couple of hours before sunset, we decided to wait until later in the evening for the bride and groom pictures. They went inside and did the first dances, ate dinner, and then the cake cutting. I also set up my photo booth for this wedding. There were a lot of kids at this wedding, and they loved going in the photo booth over and over again. The adults were having a great time with it as well. I got some new props recently, including an Infinity Gauntlet, that everyone enjoyed. The stones even light up on the glove! Even the little kids enjoyed looking at their pictures on the nearby iPad after taking them in the photo booth. I’ve got a nice photo booth setup now, and I recommend adding it if you think it is appropriate for your wedding. Everyone always has a great time taking fun pictures.
Beautiful sunset pictures with the bride and groom
Finally, for the essential part of any wedding, we did the portraits of the bride and groom. We went out at the ideal sunset time to get the beautiful soft light coming through the trees in front of the clubhouse. Again, I used some fill flash from my studio lights to highlight the bride and groom against the bright background. Pawleys Plantation always provides me a golf cart to take the couple out on the golf course for pictures. Since the bride didn’t have high heels that would damage the greens, we could walk out and get some beautiful shots of them by the lake and fountain.
Next, we went further out on the golf course to one of my favorite spots by an old oak tree. I loved the composition of some of these pictures. I try to follow the rule of thirds when appropriate, although I don’t worry about this if a picture looks better with the subject in the center. This was an excellent opportunity to have the bride and groom on the left side of the image, with the sunset and reflection in the water balancing them out on the right. Finally, we went out to the beautiful golf course area overlooking the marsh on Pawleys Island. I always bring my 35mm lens when we go out there. There isn’t much room to back away from the couple in this location. Even with the wide-angle lens, I loved one picture of them kissing with the full moon in the background. I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you are having a wedding at Pawleys Plantation and need a photographer, please let me know!