Melissa and Thomas both dedicate their lives to helping other people, when it came to planning their wedding, they were still in the habit of putting others first, especially family, and not following all of the standard timelines and checklists you find online. Some would gasp and say but the RULES say you need to book a venue a year in advance and a photography 9 months in advance and the DJ 8 months in advance and the "rules" go on. But for Melissa and Thomas, they both finally let others step in and help them create the most beautiful, homegrown wedding on Thomas's aunt and uncle's property on Lake Keowee, in just a few months. With a loving family on both sides they spent the week before the wedding prepping and visiting family and when I arrived on Saturday afternoon I was blown away. I had already been to the property and met their Aunt Grace who was so kind to let me walk around and scout things out, the property itself is gorgeous but when all of the details came together I was amazed, and so were Melissa and Thomas.
The got married under a home made arbor of fall foliage and surrounded by fresh fall flowers. The said their vows in front of family who traveled near and far and their own family Anthony and Ella, the two sweetest kids ever!
The family and friends then walked down a sweeping stone staircase towards the water where they set up a beautiful tent for a fantastic meal from Reeves Catering (they catered MY wedding reception, and their shrimp and grits are the best in Greenville!!) and some extremely energetic dancing.
One of my favorite parts before the end was something I was warned about, but I had no idea the intensity of this family tradition until I saw a group of men carrying Thomas to the lake for his family "baptism" where they throw him in without any spare clothes in site. (To keep this PG-13 we left those pictures for Bride and Groom only ) This tradition, I was told, has been one that has stuck in the family since the 70s! They obviously have it down pat because they are even nice enough to remove watches, iPhones and other electronics, but I feel like that was a lesson learned, I don't know ;-)
When we left we almost felt like kids who had to go home and rest for the SATs, we wanted so badly to stay and dance some more with this completely magnetic family. But I think I convinced them to adopt me as a South Carolina family so i'll be seeing them Christmas morning ;-)