Sarah + Chad’s Greenville SC Wedding

Sarah and Chad’s  Greenville SC wedding was the perfect mix of them: bright and vibrant, caring and attuned to others, fun yet serious. Sarah and her bridesmaids danced in the bridal suite to her wedding day playlist while Chad adjusted his pinstripe suit and visited with family and friends. She was a pop of color with her red lipstick, giving air-kisses to all, and he listened closely to the marriage advice given by his 10 year old soon-to-be nephew. During their wedding ceremony, they served their friends and family communion, symbolizing Jesus’ sacrifice and service to us. He beamed at her after they were pronounced husband and wife, and she held him as they swayed to music only they heard.  It was such a pleasure to get to know this couple, who, like my own husband and I, took their time in life finding one another…and their love and their connection is made all the more sweet because of the wait.

Introducing Sarah + Chad, Just Married!

Sarah’s dress from Bravura Bridal Salon was the perfect amounts of sparkle and lace. It was beautiful to photograph, and I just love this verse that’s engraved on the beams of their church.

Weddings are such a special time to incorporate meaningful heirlooms to honor beloved family members. Sarah wore her late Grandmother’s ring and carried the “something blue” handkerchief that her Grandfather purchased from the commissary during WWII and gave to her Grandmother. I love these special details. I also love just how delicate and timeless Sarah’s engagement ring and wedding band are. Just beautiful! (Good job, Chad!!)

All of the ladies’ wedding day jewelry was custom designed. I’m a girl who loves a bit of sparkle, and these iridescent colors were PERFECT with all of the color that Sarah chose for her bridesmaids’ dresses.

Barrett’s Flowers in Taylors SC created bouquets and boutonnieres that were full of sunshine and bright colors. I loved them! Sarah also incorporated more sweet memories of her Grandmother into her bouquet, but having Barrett’s tuck her Grandmother’s sparkly earrings into the flowers.

“Getting Ready” photos have become one of my favorite times to be artistic during the wedding day. I love the way the light and shadows highlight the anticipation and energy as a woman transforms into a bride It’s a beautiful thing to capture.

There’s something about the veil that makes it all real and complete. (And if a bride ever asks me “Should I wear my veil??” the answer is always, always YES!!! I looooove a veil!)

So this image may not be technically “perfect,” but I love it so much anyway. THIS is Sarah. She is confident and joyous, and she was READY to get married!!

A little hallway dancing with her sweet flower girl and ring bearer. How cute are they??

Chad describes becoming smitten with Sarah on their first date: “When I first met Sarah, I was confronted with a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, and caring woman. Long flowing locks and bright eyes looked across the table as we talked for hours…closing down the PF Chang’s where we dined. Everything clicked right away and it felt as if I was reuniting with a long lost companion.”

I think this sequence with Sarah and her Dad is just so cute! Because Sarah and Chad live out of state, her parents were responsible for lots of the wedding planning. Her Dad was so sweet and involved and helpful. He also [reluctantly] admits that he got really good at saying “How much do I write the check for?” and “Whatever you want, dear.” 😉

Sarah knew exactly what she wanted when it came to her bridesmaids’ dresses: COLOR! This group of ladies was so fun and vibrant, and their dresses and flowers were the perfect fit. I cannot get over how beautifully their colors pop on camera! I love that Sarah was bold and unapologetic in her choices for their wedding. Taking design risks pays off big time!

Now let’s be clear: the bold design and fashion sense doesn’t end with the girls! Chad and his groomsmen were super sharp in their gray suits and purple accents, and I seriously love Chad’s pinstripes and pops of red.

Chad and some of his Groomsmen. My favorite is totally the middle image of nephew Jackson, who was very serious when I asked if he had any marriage advice for Chad. I would love to know what was being said here!

Chad and his beautiful Moms. I love these looks of pride on their faces.

Sweet, sweet, sweet Mama’s love.

When Sarah was describing Chad to me, she said that she mosts loves his “patience, kindness, and thoughtfulness and strong sense of caring for those around him.”  I love how these portraits reflect that peace abut him.

I always ask my second photographer to go on into the sanctuary to capture the bride and her dad coming into the church, and that’s because *I* want to stick around for those final sweet moments between the bride and her dad.

Sarah grew up in the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, and her parents also got married here! I loved the beautiful architecture and bold stained glass windows.

Another of my favorite times on a couple’s wedding is what I call “Glow Time.” If a couple doesn’t do a First Look before their ceremony, those few minutes after they walk up the aisle are the FIRST time of the day that they are together without being in front of the whole church. These moments are when they can get lost in their own little world and let it sink in that they’re actually, finally married! I ask all of my couples to carve out a few minutes just for them to celebrate in their own way. The next few images are from Sarah and Chad’s Glow Time, and I just love how in tune to each other they are.

Although every couple celebrates their Glow Time a little differently, it’s nearly universal for them to take a peek at their hands and new bling!

Another hallmark of my approach to weddings is capturing “real moments and true emotions.” I will always, always get that smiling-at-the-camera Christmas card shot, but I love to give folks a space to laugh and giggle and snuggle in ways that are fun and relaxed. This shot of Sarah and Chad’s wedding party is such a fun moment!

These colors and sweet family/friends are just gorgeous!!

I crack up every time I see this photo. 🙂 I love all the variety of expressions in the background!!

 

It warms my heart to see the way that in-love couples look at each other.

“I feel that I am my most balanced and best self [with him]. I don’t change to be what he wants as he accepts me for who I am, flaws and all!….I am always ‘home’ with him.” –Sarah

“Sarah has all the perfect attributes and we fit together in such a beautiful way….I’ve never felt so loved nor felt so much love for another.” –Chad

I always have a “super-favorite” from every wedding, I think this is it from Sarah and Chad’s!

Sarah and Chad’s reception was at Thornblade Country Club, and the ballroom was filled with so many loved ones, many who had traveled long distances to help celebrate.

The Boomers from East Coast Entertainment kept the dance floor hopping for this Greenville SC wedding reception. Live bands are so fun!

Paul Hoke from Heirloom Entertainment was the MC for the evening, and he brought several special touches that I just loved.  One was special introductions as each of the wedding party were introduced. It was neat for guests to get to know more about these important members of the wedding day. Another was retelling Sarah and Chad’s love story, seen below.

My favorite part of the reception, something that Heirloom Entertainment arranged, was for Sarah and Chad to have a “last Last Dance.” After the band played their final song, Megan from Thornblade guided the guests downstairs to line up for the rose petal exit. Sarah and Chad (and of course me and my camera) stayed in the ballroom so they could have one final dance on their wedding day…a few minutes alone in a day that is hectic and hurried yet all about them…some time to reflect on their day, in their reception space, and soak in the last moments of this incredible day that was filled with amazing moments.

Sarah and Chad, I am so glad to know you through your wedding. Watching you love each other and love your friends and family so well was a beautiful thing. I wish you a lifetime of love and joy together.

–Amy

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Emily + Franklin | North Greenville University Engagement Portraits

Emily + Franklin met while they were students at North Greenville University, so it was only natural that we would photograph their engagement portraits on the campus that means so much to them. Their love for each other is strong, but their love for the Lord is even stronger. Our very first stop during the portrait session was in the Prayer Chapel at NGU, where Franklin prayed over their relationship. It was so special to him leading their relationship in this way. These two have such a relaxed, sweet, fun spirit about them, and you can just tell that they are the perfect fit. Emily is my cousin, and I am so happy that she has found such a wonderful guy for her. Patient, kind, respectful, and full of smiles for one another…Franklin + Emily were so easy to photograph, and I can’t wait for their wedding TODAY!!

Introducing….Emily + Franklin’s Engagement Portraits

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So much happy! I just love these two!

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I love what this image says about their relationship. Safety, comfort, and just being at home in each other’s arms.

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How cute are they???

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When I photograph couples, I love to play some silly games to get them to loosen up, to create some fun memories, and to capture real expressions. It also gives me a chance to step back and just let them be in the moment, like this shot…

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We stuck around North Greenville’s campus until the sun began to set over the NC mountains in the background. I’m SO glad that we waited–these next few shots are some of my favorites!

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Love love LOVE. We don’t just play silly games during portrait sessions…I also like to ask my couples questions that get them to dig deep and think about their relationship. This real emotion is the result. No fake smiles, no “act like you love each other” commands…these are true moments, y’all.

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(I can’t decide…color or B&W. What do you think??)

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There’s always a point during a portrait session where I make a fool of myself when I see something special on my side of the lens. Pretty sure (because they told me) that Emily and Franklin didn’t know where I was going with this shot…but I’m glad they trusted my vision, even if they didn’t know what that vision was!

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Emily and Franklin, your love is something special. I’m so touched that you wanted me to capture your story through my photographs. My prayer for your wedding day and every day that follows is to see the best in each other, to laugh so deeply that your eyes crinkle up 😉 , and to always lift up the other in prayer. Thank you, truly, for choosing me as your photographer!

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LaRhonda’s Bridal Portraits at Lindsey Plantation, Taylors SC

I met LaRhonda and her mother at Lindsey Plantation in Taylors, SC, to photograph her bridal portraits on a sunny late-summer day. The only thing shining brighter than the hot September sun was LaRhonda herself. This South Carolinian-turned-Texan simply glowed! She glowed when she put on her bridal gown, and she glowed when she saw the wide-open pastures and mountain views, but her light glowed the brightest when she talked to me about her soon-to-be husband Josh. After spending the afternoon learning about these two lovebirds (their new last name is actually Sparrow…), I have no doubts that these two are the real deal when it comes to love and adventure and lots of silly fun.

LaRhonda requested for her bridal portraits to be fairly natural and unposed, and I feel like her quirkiness, her effervescence, and her love for Josh shines through in these photos. Now that the Sparrows are officially Mr. and Mrs., I am excited to reveal these Bridal Portraits!

Introducing, the brand-new Mrs. Sparrow…

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THIS. This is LaRhonda, pretty much always!

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Lindsey Plantation has an amazing variety of spots for portraits, but the sun setting over the pasture can’t be beat.

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Heeyyyyyy! This sassy girl was so much fun. I cannot wait to begin working on her and Josh’s wedding day images. If you haven’t already “liked” Amy Clifton Keely Photography on facebook, please hit the button below so you can keep up with The Sparrows’ Sneak Peeks as I post them!

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LaRhonda, lady, you are incredible! I’m so happy to know you and to have played a small part in telling yours and Josh’s love story. Y’all are amazing!!

Friends, I love reading your comments, and I have no doubt that LaRhonda would as well. 🙂 Feel free to show us some love with a comment!

Coming Soon…The Liner Twins!! | Greenville SC Maternity Photographer

Back in middle school and high school, long before my photography career, I had quite the successful stint as a babysitter. I read the “Babysitters Club” books, I made up my own tote bag of books and games to take with me, and every weekend was filled with jobs caring for little ones from my neighborhood and church. One day, a mama from around the corner called me and asked if I could babysit her daughter, Morgan. She said, “She’s two and a half and a ball of fire!” I said “yes” to the babysitting job, and that sweet, brave, happy girl became like family to me; I was at their house regularly until I went away to college.

Now, Morgan is all grown up, but she’s still a ball of fire, still sweet, still brave, and still one of the happiest, kindest people you will ever meet. She and her husband Robert are expecting miracle twins, and I LOVED the opportunity to photograph these mountain-lovers’ maternity portraits at Bald Rock in Greenville SC. Truly, these precious babies–one boy, one girl–have been prayed over, wished for, dreamed of, waited on, hoped for for years. They will be so incredibly loved; they already are.

Coming Soon…The Liner Twins!

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Love, love LOVE this one!

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Can’t decide…color or b&w. What’s your favorite?? Either way, I love this sweet shot!

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Morgan, my sweet friend, you are a beautiful, glowing Mama!

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Morgan looks just like her mama in this shot!!

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I’m envious of anyone who has a good non-smiling face, because well, my own just doesn’t look this classic and fierce. 😉

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Spring is [finally] in the air! Morgan and Robert were trusting enough to follow me down the mountain into a parking lot for this last set of photos. I’m so glad they did!!

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And then this happened…..so much happy!

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Morgan, Robert, and your sweet families: I am so happy to have just a small part in celebrating your joy over these two precious little lives. I hope these photos will always bring you happy memories of fulfilled prayers and dreams that came true.

To view Morgan and Robert’s complete proofs, CLICK HERE. Password is Morgan’s maiden name.

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The French Family’s Christmas Lifestyle Portraits | Greenville SC Documentary Photography

I love when families choose a lifestyle portrait session to document their real family moments. There is something so beautiful about a family playing and relaxing together in their own home. It reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s quote “Remember the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” The French Family has just moved into a new home in Greenville SC, and they wanted to me to document this new phase in their life. During our lifestyle session, they snuggled on the couch by their ginormous Christmas tree, decorated the kids’ tree together and reminisced over their sweet hand-made ornaments, jumped on the bed in their Christmas jammies, and played outside on a sunny winter day. This family truly savors their time together, and they really seem to “get” that life is made up of these sweet little moments. It was a pleasure capturing them just being them, and I have waaaaay too many favorites for you to see!

Introducing…The French Family, Greenville SC Lifestyle Family Portraits 

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A friend and I were just talking about how dreary it is after all the Christmas decorations come down. These sweet photos of little M and J decorating their kids-sized tree will have us all wishing again for the magic of the holidays!

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Miss J’s excitement over hanging an ornament is just too cute!

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One of my many favorites from their session: cute Mr. M hanging his ornaments just so.

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Another few favorites…

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One of the family’s favorite things to do together is pile in the bed for jumping, stories, and giggles. These photos were too fun to capture!

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Like I said…too many favorites! I saved this set from outdoors for last….I think you’ll see why. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

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Those lashes!!

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Sometimes, the instant I push my shutter to freeze a moment, I just know that I’ve captured something special. This portrait of J and her daddy was one of those times.

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To the Frenches: I can’t thank you enough for letting me capture this little slice of your life. I hope that these portraits will remind of this new phase in your family’s life and this sweet season of excitement and wonder. I also hope that it will give you lots of photos to help make your new house a home!

To view the family’s complete gallery, CLICK HERE. If you know the family, you can contact mom for the password!

As always, you can scroll over a photo to “Pin It” to Pinterest, click “like” below to link this to your Facebook page, and leave a comment to show us some love!

Many thanks!

–Amy