Beautiful spring wedding at Pawleys Plantation

It’s great to be back in the busy wedding season for 2024. I haven’t posted a wedding from Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club in a while, even though it’s one of my most frequent wedding locations in Pawleys Island. I thought it was time I added a new post, as there have been a lot of changes to the landscaping around the clubhouse, and I always love the beautiful pictures on the golf course. We had a gorgeous day with perfect weather for this April 5th wedding with Taylor & Austin. I knew they would be a fun couple. They were the featured image in my recent blog post, looking back at my favorite engagement pictures of 2023.

Getting ready pictures at the clubhouse

Taylor & Austin’s wedding was somewhat intimate, with fewer guests, which is typical of many destination weddings in Myrtle Beach. But they had what I consider the perfect-sized wedding party with five bridesmaids and the same number of groomsmen. This is a nice size for lots of fun pictures without things getting overwhelming and everything running a little behind schedule. Of course, I love pictures of huge wedding parties, but couples should remember to leave some extra time in the schedule if they choose this.

When I arrived, I started with pictures of the dress and details of the rings and jewelry. I always like to hang dresses in the light of the doorway, and I especially liked the picture of Taylor touching and looking at her hanging dress. We also got cute shots in the robes with the girls wearing custom sunglasses. My wife worked with me as a second shooter, so once the guys were ready, she took them out in front of the clubhouse for groomsmen’s pictures. I especially like some of the candid shots she got of the guys sitting around smoking cigars together.

Something I don’t mention often, which I assume people realize, but perhaps they don’t. For example, this blog post has about 150 pictures, but we took over 2500 pictures at this wedding. I’m just trying to pick a few of my favorites, but I deliver many more images to the couple. If you are a future bride or groom and want to see an entire wedding, hop on a Zoom call or meet with me, and I can show you a lot more.

Ceremony on the golf course

The sun was a little intense without a cloud in the sky, but we had nice, cool spring weather for the ceremony. The little flower girl didn’t make it down the aisle, but I got a cute shot of the maid of honor trying to encourage her to throw the pedals. You might have noticed something different with recent weddings at Pawleys Plantation. All the huge trees in the background are missing! They also cut down many old trees in front of the clubhouse. I loved some of those trees and don’t understand why they did this.

Finding shade for pictures before and after the ceremony is more difficult now. I found that if we went far enough over beside the lake, there were still enough trees to get shade. I’m just going to have to readjust my routine there for pictures. Remember that if you want to take photographs early in the day, there aren’t as many shade trees as there used to be, so you might have to deal with harsh sun. So, planning for pictures later in the day with the sun dropping lower in the sky is ideal.

After the ceremony, I took family portraits and the bridal party together. My wife and I had captured many pictures of the groups separately before the ceremony, so we just needed the all-together images after. I always love to take a shot of the groom dipping the bride with everyone cheering in the background. I also took just a few pictures with Taylor and Austin together. I knew we were coming out later for sunset pictures so they could briefly enjoy the cocktail hour with the guests.

Sunset pictures on the golf course and marsh

I love taking the bride and groom out for sunset pictures on the golf course and marsh in Pawleys Plantation. They have such a beautiful location overlooking the marsh on Pawleys Island. I typically start with a few pictures with the lake with the fountain as the backdrop for the bride and groom. I also have a little hill on the golf course I like to place the couple on, which gives a great view of the clubhouse and ceremony lawn in the background.

Annie at Pawleys Plantation always has a golf cart ready for me to take the couple out on the golf course. I like to stop at some old oak trees a little down the course for pictures in the sunset. We arrived a bit later than I preferred; the sun had already started to drop below the trees, so I didn’t get the intense sunlight filtering through the branches. However, looking at the pictures now, I can’t say which I prefer better. The warm glow is beautiful, and with the help of my off-camera flash, the bride and groom pop. Of course, as it gets into summer and fall, you get a lot more dense greenery, as you can see in this recent wedding, but at any time of the year, the trees and moss are still a great background.

Fun reception and sparkler exit

Everyone had a blast dancing at the reception. I have always loved working with DJ Wayne. We did the group dance floor picture, which he always does. It’s a great way to get everyone on the dance floor. It’s always nice for the bride and groom to get a picture with each table, but this can take a lot of time. One way to do table pictures quickly is to tell everyone we will complete it in a single song. They did a variation of this by putting some chairs on the dance floor, and each table had to run up for a quick, fun picture before going up to the buffet line. I thought this was a great idea.

After some dancing, Taylor and Austin wanted to do an early spark exit so some of the families with younger kids could head out for the evening. Then the rest came back in, and the party really got started. I hope you enjoy this latest wedding at Pawleys Plantation. If you are planning a wedding there, please let me know. I’ve done so many weddings there over the years that I can give you lots of tips and suggestions.

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