As Alex stood and waited in the gazebo, his face was filled with anticipation. The anticipation of seeing his future wife, Haley approaching, and the vows they were about to take, the rest of us waited with our own anticipation. For me, it’s the anticipation of a groom seeing his bride for the first time. It’s hands down always my favorite part of the day. And being that I had already seen just how breathtakingly beautiful Haley looked, I had a feeling this moment was not going to disappoint. So when the officiant told Alex he could turn around, I watched as his eyes filled with tears, his mouth turned up into a huge smile, and emotions overtook him, as Haley, escorted by her mom and dad, moved closer to him one step at a time. And in turn, I smiled too. Hands down, the BEST moment of the day.

Haley and Alex traveled with their parents and siblings down to Charleston from Pennsylvania for an intimate elopement at White Point Gardens. When I first talked with Haley on the phone about her elopement and she described the day for me, I was completely sold on wanting to photograph it for them. The reason? She told me that after the ceremony she wanted a whole block of time for me to take just her and Alex around the city to photograph just the two of them. Basically a wedding photographer’s dream. On a typical wedding day there’s generally about a half hour to forty minutes (sometimes less) in the timeline to capture just the bride and groom. So to have a full hour and a half to wander around downtown and be there to soak in their first moments as Mr. and Mrs.? Like I said, a DREAM!
But it wasn’t the extended portrait time that ended up making the day a dream. It was so much more than that. It was the relaxed vibe of the ladies getting ready in their gorgeous Airbnb. It was the little details like Haley’s custom cuff links with her handwriting on them for Alex. It was the CUTEST little pup, Ruby, and her adorable floral leash and collar that they included in the day. It was parents who were so clearly beaming with pride at not only the people their son and daughter had become, but also the people they had chosen to spend their time with. And it was the way Haley and Alex looked at each other.
Haley and Alex, there are those days that I just pinch myself that this is what I get to do. And your wedding day was one of those. I truly believe that you were supposed to stumble onto my instagram page Haley, and I was supposed to be the one behind the camera. I mean it when I say these are some of my favorite wedding images I have taken. There’s something magic about them, and I think the magic is the two of you. I can’t wait to follow along with your journey on instagram and watch the two of you grow together, for Alex to become a doctor, and of course for Haley to make sure the two of y’all kill every single Halloween together from here on out. And if you ever find yourselves back in Charleston one day, you know who to call. I’ll be here!! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Rios!! You deserve every bit of happiness this world has to offer!

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