Legare Waring House Wedding in Charleston, SC | DestinationWedding Photographer |Tara and Morgan
This blog is long overdue. To be honest, it was overwhelming to write a blog about one of my favorite people on the planet, and her new groom who has also become one of my favorite people. Not to mention, this is probably one of my favorite weddings I’ve ever shot, and the length of this post was slightly intimidating.
But before I get into all the amazingness that was this wedding, I want to recap how Tara and Morgan came to be. Tara and Morgan met while Tara was meeting her friend Claire for wing night at Murphy’s Irish Saloon in Philly. Claire invited her friend Ben and he brought his roommate Morgan. When Claire and Tara walked in, Ben and Morgan already had a table. Tara thought Morgan was cute so she sat down next to him. All four of them talked and laughed the whole night and Tara left thinking how that was the hardest she had laughed in a long time.
Soon after, Tara asked Morgan if he wanted to grab dinner at the East Falls Tap Room. She showed up after a ballet class in a leotard and sweatpants and Morgan wore a nice sweater. That’s when Tara realized it was a date. Morgan was nervous through the date and Tara could tell, but she thought it was sweet. At the end of the date Morgan asked her to drive to the top of the East Falls parking garage and right before they got to the top he asked her to park and get out of the car. Tara got out and Morgan told her to close her eyes and give him her hands, she was hesitant but she did it, even when he joked, “This is where I come to kill people, haha” ….She still kept her eyes closed for some reason. He lead her around to the very top level of the garage and told her to open her eyes. You could see ALL of Philadelphia all lit up at night! Knowing that Tara loved the Philly skyline Morgan had planned this out for her, it was the perfect ending to the night.
As if this already isn’t the cutest story ever, Morgan and Tara took a trip to Europe and on the second night in Paris had dinner in the Eiffel Tower. After a great dinner they decided to walk around the tower to see the views of Paris. It was sunset and they decided to make a short film entry like they had been doing at all the famous locations they went to so far on the trip. Morgan surprised her during the video by proposing and getting down on one knee, all while filming in his other hand! Tara was so surprised she started to cry and couldn’t actually remember saying yes so they had to watch the video to make sure. A proposal on the Eiffel Tower at sunset was more than Tara ever dreamed of. It was definitely the highlight of the trip…even though they did see Platform 9 3/4 a few days later in London 😉
For their wedding, they were surrounded by 100 of their family and friends in Charleston, SC at Legare Waring House. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much this made every one of my photography dreams come true. From the Spanish moss on the oak trees, to the beautiful avenue where they’d have their ceremony to the amazing colors of the wedding party to Tara’s amazing Madeline Gardner gown, I was full of joy from the beginning to the end of this day.
Tara and her bridesmaids got ready upstairs in the bridal suite at Legare Waring House, while Morgan got ready with his party downstairs. Tara was all smiles all morning, and was helped into her dress by her Mom and sister, Faith. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room during this moment, and Tara’s mom especially had a hard time keeping it together. The tears fell even harder when we went outside to do Tara’s first look with her dad by the lagoon. It was the first time Tara was seeing her dad in his military uniform since she was in high school and just walking up to him and seeing the back of him had tears streaming down Tara’s, mine, her mom’s, and her sister’s faces. Her dad turned around and they shared one of the sweetest father daughter first looks I’ve ever been a witness too.
As if my heart already wasn’t about to explode, it was then time for Tara and Morgan’s first look. They started out at the “wedding tree” on opposite sides where they read letters from each other in private. The tree trunk is so huge that they were each able to stand on one side of it without seeing each other at all.
Once they read the letters, it was time for their first look, and Morgan threw his hand up to his face when he turned around and saw Tara for the first time. I was far away, but if I had to guess, some tears were shed as well as the BIGGEST SMILES IN THE WORLD.
After they twirled, hugged, kissed, cried, and smiles their hearts out, it was time for the dreamiest portraits I could ever imagine. The entire property is a huge park with oak trees and an avenue of oaks everywhere. We embraced it all, and then went down to the front gates where I took some of my favorite wedding portraits in my career.
The wedding party met us down by the front park gates and we flew threw these pictures as it was starting to rain! Luckily, the oak trees provide a lot of protection, so during this portion of the day since it wasn’t raining TOO hard, we weren’t getting too wet… however, a monsoon of rain was about to come!
When we were done with the wedding party pictures, the bridesmaids all piled into my trunk to head back to the main part of the park. It was now time for family formals which everyone was down to do in the rain. We had an army of umbrellas for the people who weren’t in the pictures, and I was out there getting completely soaked, smiling like a bafoon the whole time!!!
Tara and Morgan didn’t give a care in the world to the rain either, and were all smiles the whole time. When all the pictures were done, it was time for everyone to prepare for the ceremony. The ceremony was to be held under the avenue of oaks, and due to the immense shade the avenue casts, as well as the storm and some setbacks in the timeline trying to wait out the rain or find a pocket of dry weather, the ceremony started when it was completely dark out. The guests all covered themselves with umbrellas and I happily got soaked in the aisle along with the wedding party while Tara and Morgan exchanged personal vows, smiled as big as imaginable, and became husband and wife under a chandelier in an avenue of oaks in the pouring rain. It was the most perfect ceremony I’ve ever been a part of.
From there, everyone went under the tent and enjoyed a true southern Cocktail Hour complete with mac and cheese and biscuits. When the cocktail hour was over, the reception began under the tent and guests watched as Tara and Morgan shared the sweetest first dance to Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran. The lyrics were perfect for the night and the scene:
And should this be the last thing I see
I want you to know it’s enough for me
‘Cause all that you are is all that I’ll ever need
I’m so in love, so in love
So in love, so in love
Lumiere over me
Naturally, there was a beautiful chandelier above them as they danced. After this, Tara and her dad, and Morgan and his mom each shared the most emotional first dances of the night. I was a complete MESS when Morgan danced with his mom, as were MANY others in the room. What a special moment to witness. The last of the formalities was the toasts, in which Tara’s sister Faith gave hers and bawled as she talked about how much she loved Morgan and how he’s always been a part of the family. Morgan’s best man Addison gave his and had me crying for the millionth time that day as he talked about what amazing people they both her.
From there, the night was filled with dancing and so much joy my heart could have exploded from it. I was lucky enough to be both the photographer and a guest for this wedding, and had an amazing second shooter, Christina to take over when I was ready to hit the dance floor! I danced the night away with all my college friends and Scott, and towards the end of the night, drenched in sweat, Scott said to me “They just don’t make humans as great as Morgan and Tara. This is the best night ever.”
I can only hope our wedding is filled with just as many special moments.
Tara and Morgan, even though this blog post is hundreds of words, there are not enough that I could write to express how much I love you both. I know you have decades of an overflowing abundance of love and happiness awaiting you. I can’t wait to be there for many of the happy moments, loving you and sharing a friendship for as long as we live! I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!! CHEERS!!!!
Wedding Planner – Shea Colbert (Ooh Events)
Wedding Cake – Publix
Bride’s Dress Boutique – Bridals by Jodi
Bride’s Dress Designer – Morilee by Madeline Gardner
Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique – David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses Designer – David’s Bridal
Groom Attire – Men’s Warehouse
Groomsmens Attire – Men’s Warehouse
Florist – Out of the Garden (Ooh Events)
Band/DJ – David Fox (Bunn DJ Company)
Ceremony Music – Randal Sonner
Videographer – Anchor Films
Hair Artist – UpDosForIDos
Makeup Artist – UpDosForIDos
Stationery Design – Creative Cache
Catering – Mosaic Catering
Ceremony Venue – Legare Waring House
Reception Venue – Legare Waring House
Officiant – Claire Reardon
Lighting – Ooh Events
Linens – Ooh Events
Furniture Rentals – Ooh Events & Snyder Events