Captured & submitted by Dandelion Weddings + Co.



Emily and Joshua departed from their residence in Florida, Hilton Head bound to the Leamington Beach community to adjoin with Emily’s and Joshua’s family and friends to have their best Eat, Drink and be Married elopement!

I've been a wedding photographer for 19 years, and the simplicity of this three-day elopement was with a lack of a better term, "perfect beyond words".


A Spontaneous Approach

Emily and Joshua wanted a simple minimalist ceremony and reception. They hired every vendor for their upcoming event, but not a wedding planner. Wait! What? No wedding planner? Yes, you read that correctly- Emily and Joshua choose to have no wedding planner for their three-day event. Many wedding professionals and former Brides would most likely say her choice of not hiring a wedding planner would be a mistake taking on a spontaneous approach to her wedding, but as you read on you will see how her choice was absolutely spot on a fitting for their three day affair.


Couples Attire and Jewelry

Joshua choose Emily's stunning band in Louisiana at KP Jewlers, prior to their arrival to the popular Leamington Beach on Hilton Head Island prior to their nuptials. Her band was filled with sparkling diamonds to match her gorgeous engagement setting.

Emily had chosen a darker style band for Joshua with had beautiful detail and wood tones, which she had engraved inside the band their wedding date in Roman numerals that was purchased from Manly Bands. Emily purchased her very detailed gown from Lulu’s. It draped around her body like it was tailored to fit only her. The back her grown had a stunning embroidered design over a sheer backing up to her neckline. Emily chose to wear some beaded-jeweled sandals, needless to say she was beach bride ready and awaiting to walk down an aisle of sand to marry the man of her dreams with her own Father to officiate.



Preparation Day of Ceremony

Emily started their special day with first getting ready to marry the love of her life and best friend Joshua. She surrounded herself with her parents and other relatives and friends while she completed "getting ready preparations".

First, hair and makeup. Emily chose to wear her beautiful locks with a whimsical braided updo, and with a minimal amount of makeup to create a neutral look, not covering up her natural beauty. Afterwords, slipping into a breath taking, yet simple off white flowing gown with patterns of an embroidered look on the sheer backing.

Her Mother was there to button her daughter up and to assist in putting on her necklace. The stunning Emily then turned and gazed upon herself into the large bedroom wall mirror, her smile display so much happiness and excitement, with the acknowledgment that it was approaching time to see Joshua in his dabber all linen dress suit wearing a white collar button up beneath it with brown leather laced up dress shoes.

Emily then proceeded to put on her off white jeweled sandals on and made her way the stairs after giving her energetic young niece a hug, before proceeding to go downstairs to meet Joshua outside of the residence.

The patter and chatter of young nieces running through the house visiting with all of their favorite aunts and uncles, and the sounds of conversations and laughter from family members flowing through this beautiful large open plan home witch had upper open balconies. Some may refer this home as "lavish". The home which was nestled in the beautiful gated community of Leamington Beach, located in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Full of palm trees blowing in the breeze, a historic lighthouse, beautiful marsh lands, gardens with tropical florals, including a private beach and pavilion area.

Emily was picture perfect, she walked out the main door, and down the curved front stairs of the Leamington home to join Joshua who awaited below for their first look together.

Joshua stood in sheer anticipation while waiting to be instructed by us to now turn around so he could see his stunning soon to be bride- Emily. After Joshua turned around, the interaction between the couple, from looks, smiles and embraces were so genuinely exchanged. The exchanges were enough to melt one's heart. The love shared between the two was purely authentic, so genuine and ever so sweet and tender.

Afterwards, my second shooter and I did several captures of the First Look between the two along with the loving expressions which were exchanged between the duo.

Emily had previously chosen specific locations that she went over with me a week prior to their big day and informed us that she would like to have her and Joshua's portraits made before they headed to Leamington Beach for their ceremony. I carefully planned with Emily’s vision in mind what type of posing we may do at each location. After we started to capture the two, there was absolutely no posing needed. Emily and Joshua didn’t necessarily need any posing, their chemistry exchanged between them was all that was needed. Again, implementing Emily’s vision of being a laid back enjoyable day for the couple, family and friends.

Emily and Joshua traveled around the gated community in a gorgeous silver Mercades to each site Emily had hand picked throughout the Leamington Estate, with one vision in mind- it’s one beautiful day for a wedding!

They traveled in front of us leading the way to each location she had scouted out for their portraits. They drove around with top down and was immensely enjoying the light breeze while riding around in this eye turning Mercedes convertible. We followed behind them watching their loving glares, smiles and excitement as we traveled around the estate.

The conversation between me and my second shooter as we followed behind was how much truly we both was enjoying this moment for the two, and we were growing more and more excited about spending the rest of our day with them. The energy between the pair was intoxicating and addicting.

Emily and Joshua were having the time of their lives to each site. The looks and smiles exhibited between them both from stop to stop. It was such a pleasure to watch them in each moment.

Each photo that was taken of this incredible duo , there was not one time did either of us (my second shooter and I) had to mention the word "smile", the smiles and their body language was always present- and was continuously throughout their photography and wedding day.

As photographers, we both were in literal terms- “speechless photographers”. We just snapped away at merely the glares, stares and smiles as these two interacted together naturally. There was nothing to be directed. Emily and Joshua were the producers of their own love story and wedding day.

For us photographers it was so mesmerizing, just as mesmerizing as the couple themselves.Every capture, just as beautiful and loving as another. The true look of happiness and utter joy.

After their photos concluded, we all were off to Leamington Beach and Pavillion for their vows. It was truly a family affair.

Emily had the most influential men in her life, her Dad Officiating as his Navy pal witnessed while Joshua stood with a smile on his face, just waiting for the moment his own Father would walk Emily down the aisle.

After the couples first look together, and traveling to their “on the beach” location, where a decorated arch covered with draping and fresh blue and white florals. Their family and friends awaited for their arrival. Once the ceremony started you could tell, the only thing Joshua was waiting for was the moment he was to be instructed by her own Father and new Father-in-Law, "you may kiss the Bride".

Emily’s bouquet and florals were fresh and fragrant, you could actually get wisps of them on the breezy beach with a touch of sand and ocean. The jaw dropping florals were created by Flowers by Sue.


A Day of Celebrations, Family Fun + Golfing

No photographer required the day after the nuptials, just a lot of family fun and celebrational gatherings privately. The couple stayed within the estate and enjoyed a day of fun in the sun, spending the day golfing and doing other activities, and prepared for their reception.


The Reception

Emily and Joshua headed back to Leamington beach in that classic Mercades to meet all of their family and guests at the gorgeous Leamington Beach front pavilion, for some eats, drinks, entertainment and lots of dancing and laughing.

Emily and Joshua hired a local band and entertained their guests with live music, an open bar and catering from Hilton Heads One Hot Mama’s.

The couple and guests alike enjoyed a relaxing reception with love, music and the oceanfront breezes. Spending the day enjoying each other and celebrating the love between a very special couple.

At the end of the day, Emily had making what most would say was a big mistake out of not hiring a wedding planner, into one of the best weddings I have yet to photograph.

Emily never had a timeline; every aspect of this reception was intimate and spontaneous. Providing a stress-free reception. When browsing this beautiful gathering, every face showed happiness and joy for the newlyweds. Emily just allowed everything to flow in its place, and it was unmistakably a beautiful end of celebrations for the couple.