Southern wedding at the historic Tanglewood Plantation

This wedding was the first I’ve photographed at Tanglewood Plantation in Lynchburg, SC. This historic venue is about 1 1/2 hours inland from my home in Myrtle Beach. This two-story plantation house was built in the 1830s and centered on 25 acres of land surrounded by mossy live oaks and other ancient trees. The large columns and porches make an excellent photo backdrop. The house has a lovely upstairs area for the bride to get ready in and a separate cottage for the groom that used to be an old schoolhouse. 

Pictures before the ceremony with the bridesmaids and groomsmen

When I first arrived, I checked in with the bride, Emily, who was getting her hair and makeup done by Beautifully Wed Salon. I started with pictures of the dresses hanging in the doorway and detail and ring shots. I also attached my little Insta360 Go3 camera to my shirt for some behind-the-scenes video while I worked.

Next, I checked in with Jordan and his groomsmen. After a few pictures of helping with ties and boutonnieres, I took the guys under the trees in front of the plantation house for some groomsmen pictures. The mid-day sun was intense and unusually hot for April, so having all the shade from the trees was nice. 

After taking some pictures with the guys, I hid them away in the old schoolhouse and took Emily and the bridesmaids out for photos in their robes. I got some cute pictures of them posing on the front porch steps. Emily put on her dress and veil privately with his mother. Their bedroom had full-length mirrors, and I loved some of the pictures I captured. 

I’m directing people often, but I always keep my eye open to catch a candid moment, such as the little ringbearer helping his mom tie a bow or the grandmother looking out the window at the ceremony lawn. After some cute first-look pictures with the bridesmaids, it was time for the ceremony to begin.

Wedding ceremony under the trees in front of Tanglewood Plantation

The plantation has a large lawn for the ceremony that gives some soft shade from the afternoon sun. It was a short ceremony, but I had enough time to get some wide-angle shots from the back of the guests and nice pictures of putting on the rings and tying a rope together. I love mirrorless cameras because it’s so easy to hold them overhead and take shots using the back screen. It’s a nice trick for wedding party pictures during the ceremony without being blocked by all the seated guests. 

After the ceremony, we took family pictures in front of the wedding arch and more photos of the wedding party. I was waiting for the sunset to take the romantic portraits with Emily and Jordan, so they went directly to the introductions and dances under the reception tent.

Sunset pictures with the bride and groom

Earlier in the day, I wanted to take pictures of Emily standing in the doorway of the plantation house. I knew these would be beautiful, but guests were starting to arrive. I was glad I remembered to do these during the sunset pictures because the way her dress flowed out behind her in the light of the open doors was beautiful. 

When walking around the property earlier in the day, I noticed a section of flowers that I knew I could use for bride and groom portraits. I placed them behind these flowers and shot through them to frame their portraits. I always love the look of flowers or greenery going out of focus in the foreground or surrounding a picture. 

This wedding ended early, and after the shoe game and an anniversary dance, everyone left the dance floor. Since I had some extra time, I pulled out my drone and captured beautiful pictures of the property with the sun setting over the trees. I always like drone pictures because they give a unique overview of a wedding venue you can’t get from the ground. Emily and Jordan did a sparkler exit and ended the evening at dusk. This wedding was one three that weekend, so I was happy to have an early end to the night. I hope you enjoy these pictures. If you are planning a wedding at Tanglewood Plantation, please let me know. I would be happy to give more thoughts and suggestions on the venue.

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