SC Botanical Gardens Wedding|Clemson, SC|Michael+Bronwyn

Hurricane Matthew messed up a lot of big plans, from weddings to babies. People had to evacuate and didn’t know when they would be able to return or whether their homes would still be standing when they did. The scariness of the storm made it all the more inspiring when people came together to make good things happen anyway. Michael and Bronwyn had spent many months planning a stunning Patriot’s Point wedding with a rehearsal dinner on a boat and lots of friends and family, but the week before the big day they realized none of that was going to happen. They, along with Kaitlin Beckwith of Captured by Kaitlin Rose, evacuated to the Upstate as their dads scrambled to re-plan the entire wedding in Clemson. Can you believe they got it done in TWO DAYS??! They booked Kaitlin as their new photographer, and she booked me as a second shooter. They chose the SC Botanical Gardens for the ceremony and Occasions at Wedgefield for the reception, and persuaded the University Inn, which was closed for renovations, to open up its rooms for the wedding party and family to stay there since every hotel in the Upstate was booked solid! Everything ended up being beautiful, and I was honored to assist Kaitlin!

After we entered the hotel room and met Bronwyn, Kaitlin and I immediately whispered to each other, “look at that dress!” It was beautiful, as were the flowers–white roses and orange dahlias for the perfectly sunny day in Clemson. Bronwyn was handling her brand new wedding with such grace as she watched TV in the hotel room with her girls and had her makeup done by Desiree of Palmetto Pout.

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The groomsmen donned gray suits and sandy ties and bravely overcame the issue of losing their dress shoes in all the craziness. Michael’s dad, Herb, was incredibly helpful, just as he was in the {second} planning of the wedding, and happily gave his shoes to his son.

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I went with the men to the Botanical Gardens for portraits, and Michael told me that a bench there was dedicated to his late uncle. What a special detail even at an unexpected wedding venue! Another fun fact: Michael’s voice sounds just like Schmidt’s from New Girl.

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It was only my second time at the SC Botanical Gardens, but I definitely want to go back! They are so pretty, and the day could not have been more beautiful. Ruth Hawley styled and decorated last-minute and did a really lovely job. Plus she’s so sweet! See those little vases of orange and white stuff on the table under the pergola? It’s glass. They did a UNITY GLASS ceremony! They mixed their colors together and it’s going to be melted into a bowl! Best unity idea I’ve seen yet!

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Michael and Bronwyn had a very sweet ceremony, and though it was more intimate than they had originally planned since it was out of town, so many friends and family made it there and there were more guests than seats!

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Everyone moved to Occasions at Wedgefield in Central, SC for the reception, where they had decorated with more beige and gold details. Simple but elegant at its best! They brought along the wooden anchor they had planned to display at their boat rehearsal dinner and–my favorite–had a Bible available for guests to underline verses for the newlyweds! They will most definitely treasure it forever. The food was delicious and the staff were so kind–a perfect fit for Michael and Bronwyn. These two were so attentive to their guests, and their was so much laughter in every interaction. Don’t miss Bronwyn’s face during the first dance! SO sweet!

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It was genuinely such a blessing to work with these two! They were so quirky, fun, and kind, and unbelievably poised considering the circumstances! We took them out for portraits in the breezy evening and it ended up being the perfect time for them to spend together. Kaitlin encouraged Michael to whisper something “dirty” in Bronwyn’s ear, and I froze. Bronwyn seemed like a quiet girl and I was terrified that this was going to be way too awkward for her. Michael started whispering and there was silence. After a moment Bronwyn said, “mhmm…what else?” in her most seductive voice and we all just broke down laughing as Michael covered her mouth lest she say anything too risqué. Adorable!

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Michael and Bronwyn, thanks for welcoming me into your impromptu Clemson wedding! I am so impressed with you and your family and inspired by your love that doesn’t care if you’re in the lowcountry or the upstate. Congratulations on getting married despite the storm!

Kaitlin, thanks for trusting me to be your second shooter during your crazy week! It was great working with you! And many thanks to the Botanical Gardens, Occasions at Wedgefield, the University Inn, and everyone else who was so understanding and accommodating!