I always love weddings at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. It’s located about 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach, across from the Huntington Beach State Park. My family portrait clients are always asking me about the origins of the Atalaya Castle. I end up talking about the sculptures in Brookgreen Gardens and I’m surprised how many people have never heard of it. It’s a really beautiful area and one of the nicest things to visit when in Myrtle Beach.
Hilleri and Tom had their wedding at the Holliday Cottage area in Brookgreen Gardens. I always love the upstairs area in the Cottage, there is a lot of great window light for hanging the dress and for pictures of the bride. I started with taking a few landscape shots around the Holliday Cottage and the ceremony area. As well as dress, flower and jewelry detail pictures. The bride had some cute custom vans that she wore for the ceremony. They also had some really pretty bouquets that I incorporated into the ring detail shots.
Tom, the groom, was quite an interesting character. He had a mohawk, long beard, and even a Scottish Kilt for the ceremony. He was a very sweet guy and was emotional for everything. He teared up for the vows, during the toasts and for the first dance. I always love capturing some real emotions for the wedding pictures. That is why I always try to take close up pictures of the bride and groom’s faces during the vows and dancing.
The couple had their ceremony by the iron gates near the Holliday Cottage. This is a beautiful spot, the only issue was the bride and groom were in a bright spot of sun during the entire ceremony. There is usually good shade here, but with the earlier time of day, the sun was poking right through the trees. It was extremely hot, so they were worn out after the ceremony. I tried to quickly get done the family pictures as well as some romantic pictures in the gardens, but I think I still just about killed the two of them. Thankfully, I knew we would be near the Conway Riverwalk at sunset, so I could take them out for more pictures later.
Reception at 104 Laurel Street in Conway
This wedding was unusual in that they didn’t have the reception right there in Brookgreen. Because it was the middle of summer, they knew it would be too hot for an outdoor reception. Everyone traveled over to the 104 Laurel Street event venue near the Riverwalk in Conway. This is a pretty, rustic looking venue I’ve been too a number of times now. While I would have loved to do sunset pictures in Brookgreen Gardens, the Conway Riverwalk is a beautiful area as well.
While everyone was eating dinner, I pulled Hilleri and Tom out for some pictures about 30 minutes before sunset on the Riverwalk. It is so much cooler that time of the day, after relaxing for a while, they had so much more fun with the pictures. When we were down by the docks on the river, a party boat playing music went by. Tom and Hilleri started dancing and everyone was cheering for them, it ended up being a lot of fun.
One other thing to note, the cake topper had a hilarious surprise on the back. I didn’t even notice it until someone mentioned it! Later, on the Riverwalk docks, we recreated the cake topper in real life, giving a little peek under the Kilt. They had dancing on a cloud and sparkler fountains from Broadway Jake during their first dance. Wedding planning and decorations was by Gigi Noelle Events. If you are planning a wedding at Brookgreen Gardens or 104 Laurel please let me know, I would be happy to help!