Ever since Tessa rocked her bridal portraits at the USC Horseshoe, I’ve been looking forward to their Stone River wedding.  The ceremony was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Columbia.  This church has one of my favorite courtyards!  There’s a huge tree that provides shade to the courtyard so no matter how hot it gets, at least you have a little refuge from the sun under it’s branches.  The stone archways are a great architectural feature too!  I started the day with Tessa and her girls at their spacious suite at the Columbia Marriott hotel.

Lacy dress detail and wedding hankerchief...

Two makeup artists from Pout did a great job and they were super efficient too.  It’s always amazing when a wedding party runs ahead of schedule getting ready!

Bridal makeup by pout at columbia marriott hotel

Tessa got these great bridesmaids robes from etsy and necklaces for each of the ladies from modcloth.

Bridesmaids robes columbia sc
Family wedding portraits at hotel

Tessa and her Mom couldn’t help but tear-up a little as her adorable niece tried on the bride’s shoes.  She was so proud of herself!

I love the way the long veil helps make a soft, romantic portrait of Tessa before we head out the door to the church.

Bridal veil portrait

I thought as we introduce the groom, I could share the amazing story of how this bride and groom met!  As Tessa tells it-

My long time friend (and bridesmaid) Taylor was visiting me in NYC. At that point, I had only been living in NYC for a short time, so it was a weekend full of having fun getting lost and laughing hysterically trying to navigate around the city. Saturday night we had an amazing dinner on the rooftop of Eaterly in NYC’s Flatiron District. I remember eating caprese salads with beautiful summer tomatoes and drinking pink champage– toasting to how fabulous and sophisticated we (thought we) were 🙂 I was expecting to have a great night with a great friend…little did I know, that I would meet the love of my life and things would change forever.

After dinner we headed to the East Villiage and landed outside of a Bar– Boulton & Watt. Taylor and I were chatting when a group of guys walked towards us. One of them (Kellen) asked– “Is there anything going on around here?” We looked at each other, laughed and replied “This is NYC, I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”

The rest of the night went by in a flash. Kellen was hosting a group of friends and showing them around town for a bachelor party. They didn’t stick around for long, but we did have a chance to chat for a while and exchange numbers.

My time in NYC had its ups and downs, but that was a magical night that changed everything. I remember watching Kellen as he walked away and crossed the street moving further away from me… At that moment, as Carrie Bradshaw would say…I couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever see him again.

But it was meant to be!  They dated, he proposed over a game of tennis (how cute) and, now, back to the big day!

Waiting for the ceremony to start at st joseph's catholic church in columbia
Ceremony at St Joseph's catholic church
bridal party in teal in the church courtyard

Here’s that heavenly piece of shade in the courtyard I mentioned.  Thanks goodness, because it was “famously hot!”

Bride and groom by stone church
first dance at stone river
parents dances at stone river

There were so many cute kids at this reception!

reception kids at stone river columbia
stone river reception

Congratulations Tessa & Kellen!

Other Vendors-
Wedding Dress Boutique– Anya Bridal
Wedding Dress Designer– Allure
Bridesmaid’s Dresses– Sash Bridesmaid Boutique
Catering– Seawells
Flowers– The Blossom Shop
Groom’s Suit– Granger Owings
Transportation– First Class Limo Service
DJ– Jason with Partytime DJs
Cake– Publix