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Bluffton SC Bridal Portraits // Colleton River Plantation Club

My cousin Meryl has always been like a big sister to me. How lucky am I to say that I was born with a best friend? We’re so close that I was actually due to be born on her 3rd birthday, but decided to make my mom suffer an extra week before I was ready to pop out. The day I was born, my forever best friend came to the hospital and met me for the first time. We’ve been making memories together ever since.

From day one, she has annoyed the ever-loving-crap out of me….

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Attempted to steal my faint spotlight whenever possible…

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Including the time that she and I we were flower girls for my parents wedding and she stepped on the train of my dress as we were walking down the aisle forcing me to breakout in waterworks…


She taught me the “Two bits, four bits” cheer and that singing the FSU chant was never allowed in Nana’s house (she’d learned that lesson the hard way)…


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She helped me figure out that in our family your Halloween costume always has to top your costume from the year before…


When we were young, she and a group of her friends were jumping off of our Papaw’s old houseboat into the lake. I was too scared to jump so she pushed me anyway. That might have sounded awful, but after that push I wasn’t scared to jump anymore. Thanks for being my “pusher,” Meryl…


And when I told her that I was going to be a wedding photographer she said, “how can I help?” She’s been the most amazing and thoughtful second shooter I could have ever imagined…



And mostly, she has been there for 90% of anything that I’ve ever asked of her… the other 10% of the time that she couldn’t be there for me she was doing something for someone else… like throwing a baby shower, helping friends move, babysitting, or being a bridesmaid in 5,000 different weddings. She’s always on the move, always doing what she can to be there for everyone she loves, and being a “pusher” when she feels her voice of encouragement is needed…


We’ve played dress-up ever since I can remember, fantasizing about the day that she or I would walk down the aisle. After watching every Disney movie ever made a thousand times, we knew that we were never going to be true “princesses”, but both enjoyed dressing like them, pretending to be them, and dreaming of our Happily Ever After.


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She was always “the bride” way back when and she finally got to live out her dream with the most amazing groom this past weekend. As they soak up the sun on their honeymoon this week, I think back at how beautiful her day was. Highlights I’ll never forget include her almost sister in law taking song requests in the dressing room and Meryl blurting out (as if she had been thinking about this for a gazillion years) “Just play Regulators by Nate Dogg…”, which ultimately turned into a pre-ceremony dance party with all the bridesmaids. Then there was the incredibly thoughtful gift she gave me, my mom, and her mom… along with the site of Chris watching Meryl walk down the aisle with sweet tears rolling down his cheeks… the ring warming ceremony she asked all of her guests and attendants to be a part of… watching Chris spin Meryl around on the dancefloor during their first dance while her dress floated like a cloud… me going around to ask some special men in Meryl’s life if they would step in for a few short seconds on the dancefloor in memory of her dad in order for Meryl to have a father-daughter dance… the sheer joy on her face as each of her special guys was individually announced to share a dance with her while “little miss magic” played in the background… finally getting to dance the “wobble” at a wedding that we weren’t working at and completely losing our minds like it was 1997 when Backstreet Boys came on… All of those moments I never want to forget and feel so privileged to have been a part of and witnessed.

Meryl and I had a discussion early on in her engagement that I wanted to be completely present with her on her wedding day as her Maid of Honor, which meant that I would hang back on anything photography related during the wedding. She found a great photography team (Dianne Personett Photography). Although Dianne and her husband were hired to photograph the wedding, Meryl and I made a special trip to Colleton River about a month before her wedding to photograph her bridal portraits. It felt like we were 5 years old again, playing dress up. Thank you so much, Meryl, for allowing me to be a part of your wedding experience. Like I said when I asked you to be my Matron of Honor… You are the sun on a cloudy day, my favorite laugh in a room full of people, and the most encouraging woman I’ve ever met. Chris is so lucky to have found a wife as wonderful as you!



VENUE | Colleton River Plantation Club at the Dye Clubhouse

DRESS | Roz La Kelin Diamond Collection ‘Zsa Zsa’ gown : style 5767T … purchased at Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery

VEIL | Roz La Kelin for Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery... monogramming from Etsy

FLOWERS | Carolina Roses

HAIR | Eva Rudolph of Salon Utopia in Cornelius, NC

ENGAGEMENT RING | Diamonds Direct of Southpark

EARRINGS | The Lily Rose

BRACELET | Charming Charlie

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