Tips for a Great Charleston Destination Wedding…

Since we haven’t posted in a while, we thought we’d keep it simple with a list of our favorite tips to keep in mind on your wedding day! These tips apply not only to Charleston weddings, but also to vow renewals and elopements. Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 2.32.11 PM

There are always some special tips when going to another city for your special day.

1.  Best time to get married… In Charleston, the time of day depends on the time of year.  In the summer, an early sunrise wedding or a late day sunset wedding.  The light is nice for photographs and it is cooler.  The fall and spring are wonderful times because the weather is moderate and the sun is shining.
2.  In season flowers work nice.  Many Brides like white flowers however colors really add to the photographs and seem to be the in thing.  If you look at the magazines, colors are great and really add a pop of color to your photos.
3.  It is important to consider what you wear for the location and the photographs.  Whether it is on the beach or in the park.  The standard white dress seems to be just a start.  There are so many dresses and colors, keep an open mind.
4.  Hotels and wedding locations need to be booked early especially in the spring and fall.  There are literally thousands of weddings each year in Charleston.
5.  A beach wedding can be tricky.  It is important to check the time of day with the tide charts.  Often times at high tide, there is no beach for photos, so you end up on the board walk or in the dunes for your photos.
6.  Rain in Charleston – Rain is not unusual for Charleston.  A forecast can include rain but often times it blows over before the event.  It is rare it is a day of rain.  Call Vann and discuss the event and the rain outlook.  We have had very few events rained out.  We can often times adjust the time of the event around the weather.

** Really anything goes with dresses, colors, and the different things added to your day.  It is your day and make it what you want.


Renew your wedding vows while having an anniversary in Charleston

We perform vow renewals in Charleson all year long. What a better place to surprise a spouse with a vow renewal? 

On one recent occasion, the husband made all the arrangements as he was planning a 15 year anniversary for he and his wife. He had booked a room at a local hotel, a carriage ride, and set me up to meet he and his wife. The plan was for them to have the carriage pick them up at their hotel and enjoy an hour long ride through the historic city. The carriage stopped at the park. I was to walk up to the bride with my photographer and hand a bouquet of flowers to the bride and reveal the surprise.  

Vow renewals are a wonderful opportunity to stop and give your marriage a reboot and a romantic city like Charleston is just the place.   Contact to arrange yours today. Two Guys and a Wedding


Weddings and the stress that comes with it

Weddings can be a stressful time considering you are the center point in a major event in your life. There are two parts to the wedding. The act of making certain promises to one another, exchanging rings, and being joined together spiritually. The other side of the wedding is the event that surrounds the first.

Let’s talk about the event. Weddings have and always will evolve with the latest trends. The trend towards the destination is growing. The destination wedding typically results in smaller numbers of guests but trying to do it form another town adds to the stress. Hiring a coordinator is a simple solution but will add to the cost. Perhaps the first thing to do is determine your budget. Then divide the components of the event into categories, price out the categories and see how it all adds up. It is rare that the process of deciding on your priorities doesn’t come into play. Break down all the numbers and see how your budget lines up with the reality of how much you have to spend. This can be a good exercise for the bride and groom as it is the same process you will go through countless times in your future. Truthful and direct conversations should surround the process until you have a final budget and a plan. Another bit of advice, don’t talk about the wedding when you are tired, angry, or worried. Keep your eye in the main event.

A word about meeting expectation of others while planning your wedding. If you think you will meet everyone’s expectations,you are only going to be disappointed. It’s your wedding, not theirs. Sometimes a parent will be in the midst of trying to relive their wedding and innocently or intentionally placing expectations on your wedding. This may even involve the preverbal guilt trip. Don’t play this game as it will take away from the real meaning of the event. The buzz word here is boundaries. Make them and guard them with a stern kindness.

Staying focused on the real reason you and your fiancé are doing this is because you are willing to publicly make a lifelong commitment to each other. This timeless institution is the base for an orderly society predestined by our creator. Even if you don’t consider yourself religious, the union of two people likely exists by a spiritual bond between you. The ceremony simply offers an opportunity to declare this in front of friends and family. There is something special about declaring your love for and commitment to one another in front of God and other human being that makes the whole thing more real.

Easily lost in the planning and coordinating your wedding is the moment the two of you will stand before each other and say your vows and promises. This IS what it is all about! Stay focused on that moment. That is the larger story. Whether or not your grandmother approves of the color of your bridesmaids dresses is a small story. Remember, when it’s all over, it will be the two of you creating a new pattern in your lives called marriage.

Most of all, it is a celebration, your celebration, don’t loos sight of this simple fact. Nobody ever liked the child that cried at their birthday party because someone was not acting right. Enjoy each other, enjoy yourself.

Who we are, why we do it the way we do…..

Eight years ago, I was invited by a friend of mine who is a wedding officiant to come with him to an elopement on the beach and photograph the ceremony. I borrowed a camera from a friend and suddenly became a professional photographer. I got paid for taking pictures. That was about 10,000 wedding photos ago. Eventually, I bought my own camera and my officiant buddy and I formed a company and called it Two Guys and a Wedding. Silly name, played off of a moving company franchise. We were both single, die hard bachelors at the time. I eventually started officiating myself.

The other guy turned into a girl two years ago when I met and married my wife and new photographer. We enjoy working weddings together and have found we make a good team when it comes to serving a bride and groom on their big day. The photography has greatly improved and a woman’s touch at a wedding is a must.

We considered it a ministry. I usually suggest a Christian ceremony to my couples. Marriage is hard. Why not invite the creator of the universe to be a part of it. Often times when a couple comes to Charleston to elope or have a grand destination wedding they need among other things, an officiant. Someone to make the marriage legal and conduct the ceremony. Preachers don’t typically travel or the couple just wants a civil ceremony, that’s where we fill a need.

It did not take me long as an officiant to realize I didn’t like marrying strangers. In an early wedding on the beach with about 70 people, I stood there as the bride walked down to her place in the sand in front of her soon to be husband. She was a beautiful young bride; could have been one of my daughters, and I barely knew her name! I introduced myself to her then and there and decided I would never marry a stranger again. It was awkward for us both.

Since then, I raised my fee to cover the time it takes to meet a couple prior to the wedding. We may loose some customers because we cost more than the other guy, but that is ok considering the alternative. I have found a simple meeting prior to the wedding day is a great time to get to know each other, go over the ceremony, and perhaps share some wisdom with the couple that would be of use to them one day. It makes it more meaningful for us all.

The ceremony is the focal point of the whole day, if but for the few moments it takes to get through it. I encourage couples to take the opportunity to say something to one another from the heart. Some take me up on that. Some are too shy. We married one couple that were not interested in the least, in being the center of attention. We married them at sunrise, everybody else was sleeping. I married a big tough police officer once, he stood there in tears as he told his bride in front of his friends a family, how much he loved his woman. A tough guy with a heart. My kind of man. There are many stories to be told about weddings we have been a part of. Each one is a privilege to be a part of. Where else can you have an opportunity to be a part of someone’s best day? What else can be more gratifying than to be a part of a new family being formed.

So…..we serve with gratitude in hopes that our part in your wedding helps make it a little less stressful and a little more special.



Vow Renewal in Charleston SC

Vow renewal ceremonies are a great way to reaffirm the promises you made to the one you love and Charleston sets the scene better than any place on the east coast.

We at Two Guys and a Wedding, have officiated many renewals. The most popular one is where the husband plans an anniversary trip to Charleston and surprises his bride with a ceremony. It usually starts out with a planned meeting in one of our many parks and ends up with a happy wife. Recently, a husband talked his wife into a nice lunch in the historic district. Before lunch they were to go to The Battery, a popular strolling place with beautiful views of Charleston Harbor from a grove of sprawling live oak trees. I brought along a photographer to record me greeting the bride with a bouquet of flowers and explaining why we were all there. The look on her face and the tear in her eye said it all.

On another occasion, a family was having their annual week at the beach. The week happened to line up with the parents 50th wedding anniversary. So the kids and grand kids arranged a vow renewal on the beach. As the grandparents came over the sand dune, the youngest granddaughter greeted her grandmother with a bouquet. It was a sweet moment in the life of an officiant to be a part of something so special. The fact that is was a surprise made all the better.

A vow renewal is a great way to have a fresh start in a marriage or one of many of life’s challenges have lead you to the moment. My own brother was in the midst of challenging health problems. His wife had been by his side through it all and out of gratitude to her, we set it up. It was a great time for everyone in the family to get together and celebrate 38 years of marriage. So whatever the reason, and there doesn’t have to be one, a vow renewal in Charleston can be a very special time in any marriage.

A Charleston Elopement.

A good deal of the weddings we perform are elopements. An elopement is simply an intimate wedding with just the two of you. Perhaps the pressure of a large affair is too much. Too much money, attention, and stress can for some, spoil the moment. We recently married a couple at sunrise in downtown Charleston on The Battery. It was a beautiful spring morning in The Holy City. As the sun came up over Charleston Harbor a cruise ship was coming in, pelicans were skimming the water for breakfast, and the flowers around the park were in full bloom. It could not have been a more perfect setting for what was an intimate moment between two people.

We have married couples that were too shy to do it in front of a crowd of friends, too much in a hurry to wait for the grand affair. Whatever the reason, there are few ingredients we suggests.

Take the time to select a killer dress. This and a bouquet of flowers will make a bride feel special on her big day. No matter your age or size or shape, your new husband will forever remember the image of his bride on her wedding day. So, help him make it special. Men are visual creatures. Wow him without over doing it. Because you left all of your friends at home, they will demand photographs. Hire a photographer to capture the moment.

We have married people who would like to invite all their friends, but didn’t want to leave one out and invite the other. We have married couples that are just naturally rebellious and just want to get it done. We can assure you that more often than not, the sweetest ceremonies we witness are elopements. It is a chance to have a window to look into a relationship between two people so intense I feel invisible to them.

So get a South Carolina marriage license, a dress, and some flowers. Pick a date, book a room, and call us to officiate.

Two Guys and a Wedding, 843-513-2829

Charleston Wedding Officiant

Being a wedding officiant is one of those unlikely occupations. It is rare, extremely rare, that someone grows up aspiring to officiate weddings. I fell into it quite by default. A friend had been doing it for several years and asked me to take some photos at a wedding he was officiating. Eventually, he overbooked one day and I filled in for him. The rest is as they say, history.

That was six years and many wedding ago. Charleston SC is one of the most popular destination wedding locations in the country. Some say more popular than Las Vegas. Where else can you find literally hundreds of venues that offer a backdrop like Charleston. You can choose from one of the many parks to plantations. Charleston has embraced the wedding business by offering creative catering, well equipped event rentals, and some of the best restaurants in the country. An officiant is someone who is legally able to witness the signing of a marriage license. That takes care of the legal part of it, but it is so much more than that. Because it is a destination, most couples can’t bring their pastor with them or they have run away to Charleston to elope.

I could write a book about all of the people I have met along the way and the experiences we have shared. You see, on a wedding day, you get people at their best. After all, it is a celebration! More importantly, it is one of those turning point moments in a persons life that can impact their identity forever. A wedding, a marriage, is a big change in a life’s pattern. When one pattern ends, another must fill its place. A great deal of the weddings we perform are for those getting married for the second time. Usually there are children involved and a wedding ceremony is a great way to invite them into a new union between two people. Realize at the moment the ceremony is completed, a new family is formed. It is exciting to be a part of it.

There has been a recent trend in conducting vow renewal ceremonies. What better place to take a second honeymoon and renew your wedding vows? I have had many a man secretly contact me to set up a surprise vow renewal with their wife. What better way to add to your story of a trip to Charleston? One family set up a surprise for their parents. All were at the beach for a week and realized the parents were celebrating 50 years of marriage. Along with the children and grandchildren we surprised them on the beach late one day with a bouquet of flowers and conducted and photographed one of the sweetest ceremonies I have ever been a part of.