Image by KT Merry
As a wedding photographer, people always asked me if I had already planned out my whole wedding before we were engaged. I could confidently tell them “no, I really didn’t.” When Jamie got engaged and I truly began thinking and talking to Jamie about where we wanted to get married, no spots in Raleigh came to mind. I wanted to get married somewhere that I didn’t consider “my office” and that would be particularly special to us. I grew up and lived in Charleston for a brief time and the water and beach have always been a special place to both Jamie and I. When I texted him one day telling him “It would be a dream to be married in Charleston” and he responded with “I will marry you anywhere” I knew we could make it happen.
We began researching wedding venues in Charleston and through a friend’s recommendation, we found River Oaks Charleston. From their website, it perfectly matched the vision in our minds – beautiful mossy oaks, the river, outdoor space and a design process that allowed us to create something from scratch. At the time we found River Oaks, I was traveling out of the country so Jamie called Marianne Caldwell one night to get some information about their venue and services. He called me after their conversation and told me that “this was the place we were going to get married.” My mom and I soon after drove to Charleston to look at the venue and talk more thoroughly with Marianne about their wedding planning process. It was the only venue we looked at but I knew so confidently that was where I wanted to marry Jamie.
The more we thought about it, the more we really fell in love with the idea of a destination wedding. We wanted our guests to enjoy our wedding, as well as take advantage of lovely Charleston and make a weekend out of it. It was more time that our family got to spend together and we felt celebrated all weekend long!
Jamie and I were certain that we didn’t want to be just another a couple rolling through their wedding venue. We wanted to cultivate real relationships with the people that we would be working so closely with on our most important day. Marianne and her team at River Oaks were just that.
Images by Nancy Ray Photography