Charleston Elopement | You might not know our story. Everyone has their own, but through this bumpy road called life, how from opposite sides of the country (literally California to South Carolina), this small-town girl met a very rural country boy, and that was it.
Less than two weeks after we officially had our feet on the ground in Charleston, I was asked on a lunch date! We ate at this beautiful waterfront seafood restaurant where I had the most gorgeous view, and the view of the waterfront was nice as well (wink-wink). He ordered seafood, I’m allergic to most. He ordered Pepsi, I had a glass of chardonnay. We laughed at our opposite likes, and our food tastes maybe different, but our life stories we very much the same. We talked, and talked, and talked. When lunch was over, he walked me back to my car, a friendly hug, and I was on my way. You always wonder if the other person feels the same as you, but I had to give it time. I texted him a thank you for a wonderful lunch and next thing I knew, we had a second date planned for the very next day.
He picked up me from our hotel (remember we had just moved here and we’re still waiting for Paul and Rachel’s house build to complete), and he played tour guide showing me all over Charleston. We ended up walking a pier where he had fished a lot when he was younger, and I loved listening to all his stories. We had lunch and he took me back to my hotel, where we ended up sitting in his truck in the parking lot talking for hours and hours. Next thing I knew it was dark outside and a rain storm had begun. Where had the time gone? All I knew was I had a very special man sitting beside me and I was very excited to see where this would go.
Fast forward 670 days, Andy planned us a really nice long weekend excursion to Hilton Head, staying at a oceanfront hotel, and a couples massages. After dinner of our second night there, we took a night walk along the beach. It was super low tied so he rolled his pants up and I held my dress, and we splashed around kicking water at each other (I’m a big kid and will always start something), until my life completely stopped in an instant. I turned back around and Andy was on one knee, ring box in hand, asking me to marry him.
What had made this moment so extra special is the thought he had put into it. When we had been dating for only a month, I invited him to be my guest to a family wedding in Florida, so we made it a weekend trip. After the rehearsal dinner, we took a night walk on the beach, and then and there is when he had first told me he loved me. He knew I had wanted our proposal captured, possibly Rachel hidden somewhere behind a tree ready to jump out when the big moment happened, but instead made it the most romantic moment of our lives. On the beach, in the dark of night, absolutely no one around, to only the sound of waves and the sand beneath our toes. Talk about my perfect love story.
We never wanted a big wedding, something very intimate with just family and close friends, then COVID hit and all wedding plans were put on hold, but knowing me, I still wanted an engagement session. Plans were being made, outfits bought, I had an amazing photographer booked (thank you Rachel), and locations chosen. Behind the scenes there was a lot of life stuff going on, we had recently bought a house and were in the midst of a remodel, COVID was rocking the boat of business, and I had two herniated discs in my back making day to day life so difficult. One night, a few weeks before our engagement session, I asked Andy out of the blue… “Want to turn our engagement session into our elopement?” Instantaneously, he said “Absolutely!” That’s how it happened.
I ordered the most STUNNING bouquet, to this day have ever seen anything so gorgeous in my entire life from Fresh Weddings & Events. My girls from Lashes and Lace came over and did my hair and makeup, making me feel so beautiful! Then it was time. We went downtown Charleston for this historic look, Hampton Park for the fall colors that were hanging on by a thread, to the famous marsh areas the Low Country is known for (new to this Californian!), and ended on Kiawah Beach for sunset. The skies were slightly overcast, but allowed for the radiating colors from the sunset to pour through. Barefoot with the sand beneath my toes, just as the sun dipped behind the oceans waterline and the darkness began, we shared our I Do’s to forever (thank you, Paul for officiating). From nearly day one of our relationship, the beach has played a very special roll in our lives, so getting married there was the best way for us to start our forever. 12-12-2020 was our day one. We are now The Garvin’s!
My something borrowed was the necklace and belt Rachel wore for her wedding.
One of my absolute favorite photos! (below)
If we could build a house right here, we would! We want this as our backyard view.
The most perfect Charleston elopement ever! Thank you to everyone who helped bring this to life!
Want to see more Charleston engagement sessions? Check these out!
Seabrook Island Engagement Session | Katie & Ryan
Downtown Charleston & Custom House Engagement Session | Courtney & Justin
Charleston Anniversary Session | Ian & Kelly
Rainbow Row Anniversary Session | Tyler & Taylor
Charleston & Folly Beach Engagement Session | Briana & Matt
Charleston Waterfront Park Proposal | Davis & Avery
Downtown Charleston Engagement Session | Rawan & Omar
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MEET LAURA & RACHEL
Together, we have worked in the wedding industry for over a decade, and make up one incredibly unique mother-daughter fine art wedding photography team. We have documented weddings from the breathtaking West Coast, to the historic East, and have had our work published internationally both in print and online. Our wanderlust hearts have taken us all over the country, capturing love stories, and visiting quaint hometown coffee shops along the way, and even though we've spent most of our lives in a nautical California town, we now call South Carolina home, expanding to the low country of Charleston. We are photographers, directors, curators, and most of all, storytellers for your wedding.
And WE can't wait to get to know you!