Wedding

Elopement Wedding Photographers in Charleston, SC

cheap wedding photographers, Charleston, SC

I often see the search term “cheap wedding photographers, Charleston, SC” come up on google. I don’t really fit this category. I don’t offer deals or discounts because I want to keep the high level of service and professionalism my clients expect after 15 years of photographing weddings in Charleston. 

But in 2018 I added an elopement package to my price list. For $900 I offer 1.5 hours of photography, an online gallery for viewing and ordering prints and the high-resolution files. That is a great deal! 

I love photographing intimate weddings because they are so comfortable and relaxed. Leah and George were married in February at Planters Inn in downtown Charleston, SC. With, only their parents and Georges brother in attendance. It was a sweet elopement, and I was honored to be a part of such a happy family memory. 

Leah and George are planning a bigger wedding party with friends back home in Massachusetts in a few months. 

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Wedding Day Timeline Advice

A Couple Exiting the Carolina Yacht Club

I can not stress enough that every wedding is unique and it should reflect your personality’s and your family traditions. I am not a cheerleader for a first look; I am a traditionalist. I love that classic chic-flick moment when the groom lights up as he sees the bride walking down the aisle for the first time. My heart skips a beat just thinking about it. However, there are plenty of advantages to a having a first look lighting and photography wise so would never discourage a first look if it fits your personalities. 

Assuming you are not doing a first look a good rule of thumb is to plan the ceremony two hours before sunset. That way you have plenty of time for family portraits and couples portraits following the ceremony. Your guest will get to enjoy the sunset during cocktail hour and just as the sun sets you will be starting your reception. When the lighting gets low guest will hit the dance floor!! 

Here is a sample wedding day timeline for a TRADITIONAL May wedding with a 7:30 sunset. 

2:30 Photographer arrives

3:30 Hair and makeup are complete bride steps into her wedding dress

4:00 Bride, bridesmaids, and brides family take portraits outdoors

4:00 The groom, groomsmen, and grooms family meet the second photographer at the ceremony site for portraits

4:45 The bride is tucked away in the church and groomsmen start escorting the guest to their seats 

5:30 Ceremony begins

6:00 Ceremony ends

6:15 Family portraits begin

6:30 Cocktail hour begins

6:30 Couples portraits begin

7:00 The family and the couple join cocktail hour

7:30 SUNSET

7:30 The reception begins with a first dance

8:00 Dinner is served 

9:00 Toast, cake cutting, father daughter and mother son dances

11:30 Exit


Here is a sample wedding day timeline for a May wedding with a FIRST LOOK and a 7:30 sunset. 

2:00 Photographer arrives

3:00 Hair and makeup are complete bride steps into her wedding dress

3:30 First Look with Bride and Groom

3:45 Bridal party portraits / Bride and groom portraits

4:15 Family Photos

4:45 The bride is tucked away in the church and groomsmen start escorting the guest to their seats 

5:30 Ceremony begins

6:00 Ceremony ends

6:30 Cocktail hour begins

7:15 Couples portraits at sunset

7:30 SUNSET

7:30 The reception begins with a first dance

8:00 Dinner is served 

9:00 Toast, cake cutting, father daughter and mother son dances

11:30 Exit

Candid Wedding Photographer

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What is a candid wedding photographer you might ask? My background is in photojournalism. I graduated from the College of Charleston with a BA in Mass Media. I worked for a daily newspaper for two years as a staff photographer before I opened Captured by Kate Photography LLC on Archdale Street in Downton Charleston, SC in 2004. Yes, I have been at it a long time, and I still love every wedding because they are filled with emotion and action (as well as fashion and design, but that's a bit off subject).

I also freelance for national newspapers. The New York Times is one of my biggest clients. I have been their Charleston stringer for 12 years.

Here are a few recent articles I photographed. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/29/business/a-vibrant-turnaround-for-a-neglected-charleston-neighborhood.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/03/style/tile-mosaic-design.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/25/jobs/garden-gun-magazine-office-design.html

I also have a marketing and editorial website www.katethorntonphotography.com

Back to candid wedding photography, I do direct you a bit. For couple shots before or after the wedding, I will put you in an ideal backdrop and ask you to hang out. I might also suggest you hold hands, walk along a scenic path, stop and kiss, wrap your arms around each other and talk. Yes, you will need a little prompting. But I’m also looking for the in-between, true moments when the wind takes the veil, or the groom is holding the brides' bouquet while she fluffs her dress. 

Group and family photos are not candid, but they do have sweet moments to look out for: the ring-bearer being silly, the grandmother congratulating the couple. I do speak up and direct the family photos quite a bit. The goal is to get them done as swiftly as possible. Think large groups. Smaller groups like the brides family or the bride and each of the bridesmaids can be photographed before the ceremony. 

The most important thing about candid photos is, they are timeless. You are going to enjoy looking at them for generations, and they will tell the real personalities of your family and friends. 

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