Middleton Place Engagement Session|Charleston, SC|Melanie+Ryan

Charleston is one of my favorite places, and I couldn’t have been more excited when Melanie told me that’s where she wanted to do her engagement session. I’d had visions of beach picnics and strolls along Rainbow Row in my head for a year when she suggested Middleton Place Plantation, and it ended up being more gorgeous and meaningful than I could have imagined!

Melanie and Ryan met through friends at Clemson, where they both studied civil engineering. One of their first dates was at Middleton Place when Melanie got free passes to all the plantations through her work. It’s an 18th century rice plantation that is also home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens, and must have made for a pretty cool date.


I took the ring shot early in this session because we ran into Melanie’s favorite flowers, hydrangeas.

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My favorite flower is Spanish moss {it was in my wedding bouquet so I’ll allow it}. It was a windy day, and the moss blowing in the trees made this place all the more romantic. Which brings me to the proposal story.


Melanie was studying abroad in Europe. She met up with Ryan in GREECE. He’d just gotten off the long flight and was acting a little strange at dinner. Jet lag, right?

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Even when she saw the rose petals in the hotel room, she thought he was just being sweet. The proposal was a huge surprise, but definitely a welcome one, and Melanie and Ryan have now been engaged for two years! They’re currently in Punta Cana for their wedding in just a couple of days. What a well-traveled relationship!

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Melanie and Ryan have moved around a good bit, both living and traveling, and I love that they have all those experiences together and that they will always be there for each other no matter where they go! Even just walking around the plantation they never let go of each other and it was super sweet.

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We reached the stables and I asked if they had a favorite farm animal. There was one in particular, a heritage water buffalo, that they definitely did not care for, but they finally settled on the peacock. And how could they not? Melanie made a good attempt at persuading it to fan its feathers, but it was content to sit on the ground.


Don’t they just look royal with those flawless outfits and the grand plantation house in the background? Each part of the grounds seemed to be more beautiful than the next, and I can’t wait to go back and learn more of the history of the place.

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Melanie and Ryan, thanks for choosing such an awesome place for your engagement session and for telling me your story! I enjoyed being a part of your engagement so close to your wedding day and seeing your excitement and love for each other! You are a beautiful couple and I know you must be having the best time in the Dominican Republic this week. Congrats to you both! I wish you the best and hope to work with you again, wherever you might be!