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Intimate Charleston Wedding

Whenever you have Richard Israel photographing your wedding day, you know your images aren’t just going to be pictures — they’ll be heirlooms. How else could you refer to these stunning shots from Erin and Adam’s Charleston wedding? Their big day was planned from across the globe and happened only 9 days after the bride returned from a two-year-long Peace Corps stint, which goes to show that in the world of weddings, no planning task is insurmountable!

green white bouquets

From the bride, Erin: How in the world this relationship and wedding fell into place is beyond me. Let’s call it a miracle. Adam and I met many years ago at a party, laughed for hours, and then promptly disappeared from each others’ lives only to re-meet at a party several years later. Skip forward 3 months to when Adam finally asked me out on the same day that I found out I was leaving for two years to be a Peace Corps Volunteer across the globe. During the next 26 long months, we made many huge phone card and plane ticket purchases, but we made it! Nine days after my plane landed on American soil after I finished my Peace Corps stint (and I got a much needed haircut), we got married in a picture-perfect ceremony. It’s crazy, I know.


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bride getting ready

groom before weddingbride getting ready

bride and groom sitting

lace bunting decor

The planning of the wedding was a bit chaotic and messy. It was all done on the phone or by email since I was in a different country. At first, we were planning a 200-guest wedding to culminate with a bowling alley reception. Then our schedules changed, and we scrapped that idea (thankfully, as my only mental breakdown moment occurred when I thought of 200 people staring at me for hours… too much pressure!) to something more manageable – an invite list of 28 guests.


vintage first look

groom before weddinggreen yellow bouquets

newlyweds first look

intimate charleston wedding

bride and groom holding hands

We combined professional bouquets and boutonnieres with grocery store bought flowers for the tables which were arranged by my sister, cousin and friend the morning of the wedding. Our save-the-dates and invitations were graciously designed and printed by Adam’s sister, Emily.I did my own hair and makeup and somehow didn’t end up looking like a hot mess by the end of the day. The cupcakes, on the other hand, did look a little like a hot mess. Don’t try to transport melting cupcakes in the heat of a Charleston summer!


green yellow wedding bouquets

wedding reception setup

wedding reception setup

ceremony bridal processional

bw ceremony shot

I sent a picture of a table decoration that I loved to my mom, and she shopped for and planned everything with the help of my sister. My mom made my headpiece and belt based on a BHLDN one that wasn’t the right color. My mom also planned the menu and cooked everything for our guests (supplemented with a few sides from grocery stores). Without patient and helpful friends and family members, we could never have pulled off this wedding.


vintage style postcards

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vintage bridal party pictures

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corn chowder favors

The wedding ceremony itself was a hilarious mess. Rings were forgotten (but sorted in the nick of time). No one told Adam, the officiant, and groomsmen that the wedding started, so they had to be fetched from the cabin by the photographer while the bridesmaids waited at the front of the ceremony. Adam put my ring on the wrong hand, but I was too nervous to notice. Our officiant was our friend Ben who made the ceremony so personal and funny. Our friend Jon played classical guitar during the ceremony (including music from The Princess Bride). Adam and I served communion to our guests during the ceremony, which I thought was a special thing to share with them. Afterward, we all enjoyed a homemade dinner together. After all the work planning this wedding from different countries, it somehow went off without a hitch. Adam and I ended our wedding day with grateful hearts to have spent the day celebrating with our closest family and friends.


bride and groom rings

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nighttime sparkler getaway


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Location: Charleston, SC / Wedding Photographer: Richard Israel / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Bride’s Shoes: Zara / Bride’s Headband and Belt: Made by Bride’s Mother / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anthropologie / Flowers: Charleston Flower Market / Venue: Toogoodoo Bluff Compound / Wedding Music: Jonathan Crissman / Wedding Invitations: Every Little Thing Studio

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