Great Clients Make the World Go ‘Round: A Bridal Portrait Story

About five months ago, I got a call from the sister of a previous client.  She shared that she got engaged and wanted to make sure that we were available to shoot her wedding before she booked the venue.  How cool!  She said that we were her first call and she could not imagine getting married without Gary and I capturing the wedding events.  My heart was warmed and we were thrilled to book the date for her.

We would shoot a bridal portrait as well as her wedding day.  For her portrait, she wanted lowcountry with stately oaks and water but not the same location as her sister (which was Boone Hall Plantation).  So I did some research and was able to secure a new venue that required getting special permission.  We got it all scheduled and were good to go.

Fast forward to this past Saturday the day of her bridal portrait session.  The weather forecast was typical Charleston with 20-40% change of rain.  I was not worried… the forecast area is huge.  I thought we’d be fine.

She was coming in town just for the portrait with her sister and mom.  Hair, make-up, and flowers were all booked.  No chance to make a last minute change.

Things were fine all morning, but as we approached the afternoon start time the clouds were darkening.  She is already at hair & make-up.  We drive to the venue to scout it out.  As we drive closer it starts to rain.  The closer we get the harder it rains.  Upon our arrival it is raining hard.  We check the weather radar on our phone and it should pass before our start time in an hour but it was going to be a mess.  It is 15 minuted before start time and the rain clouds had moved on but as we walked the venue the ground was soaked.

When Morgan arrived, we greeted her as she sat in the car with a worried sick look on her face.  I smiled and said, “It’s gonna be fine.  We have sheets to put on the ground and umbrellas if needed.  The worst thing that ‘could’ happen is that her dress may need to be cleaned before the wedding, but we would do our best to make sure that would not be necessary.”

We shot for two hours in multiple locations around the venue.  It was a team effort… but when it was all a wrap, I knew we had her perfect bridal portrait.  As she was preparing to head home, I asked her to promise me that she would not look at her dress when she took it off, but just hang it up and look at it the next morning.

I told you this story so because of the text I got the next day from Morgan… (with her permission, of course) …



Now I can’t share her portrait yet because her wedding is three months away and we must keep it under lock and key until that day. But what a great day! Being a Charleston wedding photographer, it is experiences like this that bring me so much joy.




Fellows + Beckner Rock Their Intimate Wedding

Terry and Jennifer dated many, many years ago before fate brought them together again while they were both stationed in Afghanistan. They quickly rekindled their love, and decided upon their arrival back in the states that they would never lose each other again.

They celebrated an intimate ceremony in the Summerall Chapel at The Citadel, and it couldn’t have been a more perfect reflection of them as a couple; happy, fun-loving and retro-chic with a little edge! Their closest friends and family gathered around them to witness true serendipity. After their ceremony, we captured some very romantic moments of the newlyweds in Hampton park, Brittlebank Park and near the Revenel Bridge. They probably had one of the most breath-taking sunsets I have ever seen! It was the perfect bon voyage for their dinner cruise with Spiritline Cruises.

For more photos of Charleston weddings, please visit

Charleston wedding photography by Rick Dean Photography serving Charleston, SC and beyond.

Bride and Groom ready for their big day!

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Wedding Ceremony

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Husband and wife!

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Kissing in the sunset!

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

Fellows + Beckner Wedding ©Rick Dean Photography

The Pampered Palate: Art on a Plate


pampered-pallette1Grit Cakes, Pork Belly BLT, Fried Green Tomatoes, Boiled Peanuts & Shrimp and Grits Station.

Ginger Marinated Chicken Satays, Spring Rolls, Grilled Pear & Blue Cheese Salad & Seared Rare Tuna Display.

Goat Cheese Filo Tarts, Mediterranean Beef Skewers, Herb Roasted Lamb Lollipops & Pork Loin. So many yummy menu items and combinations…

I though planning the menu for my wedding reception would be easy. As a wedding photographer, I have attended ALOT of weddings and have seen ALOT of “wedding food”. I thought I knew what I wanted and more importantly, what I didn’t want.

OK, so I was wrong. Planning a menu is not easy! Since I had never been married before I could not act on past experience. I had never planned a meal for 80 guests. HELP!!!

I knew I wanted to include a few Low Country items for family and friends “from the North” to experience and enjoy. Vegetarian options were a must due to several friends who are at some stage of vegetarianism. Several passed “heavy” hors d’oeuvres were a necessity to help absorb the extensive open bar!!!

The best advise I received from married friends: Find a caterer who offers a boutique service where you are able to meet with the chef, discuss your likes & dislikes and create a menu that is specific to you. The caterer should offer an array of “ethnic” food items, not just Low Country cuisine. Work with a caterer that allows and encourages couples to mix & match items from all of their “set” menus or let the chef re-create from a favorite family recipe.

May I suggest The Pampered Palate. As they state on their website:

At The Pampered Palate we understand the importance of creating the most delicious and memorable experience to celebrate your new beginning with all of your closest friends and family. As every couple is unique, so is every wedding, and we pride ourselves in creating customized menus to enhance your experience. Whether it is a plated and served dinner, heavy hors d’ oeuvres, reception or buffet style dinner The Pampered Palate will help you create a menu sure to leave a lasting impression. 

The Pampered Palate is a family owned business located in Charleston, SC. They have provided personal chef and catering services since 2005. Executive Chef Merrit Brady graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales Culinary University in 2003. Prior to opening The Pampered Palate, Chef Merrit held the position of executive sous chef at 82 Queen and McCrady’s, two of Charleston’s top rated restaurants.

Working side by side with Chef Merrit is fellow Johnson & Wales graduate, wife & co-owner, Chef Catherine Brady. She brings extensive “front of the house” experience to The Pampered Palate, most notably as the General Restaurant Manager for 5 years at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, which is a Forbes 5 Star, and AAA Five Diamond property. Chef Catherine will use her experience and expertise to insure your reception runs smoothly without a hitch.

With The Pampered Palate, you can relax knowing the owners of your caterer are on site, hands-on utilizing their combined 40 years of hospitality industry experience to prepare beautiful, engaging, delicious food.

Last month, The Pampered Palate provided a tasting menu for the quarterly gathering of Charleston Wedding Photographers group. Enjoy the images below that were taken at the event. And YES, the food was as good as it looked!!!

pampered-pallette2Shrimp Ceviche: Avocado, Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Sweet Chili Vinaigrette

pampered-pallette3Southern Pork Empanadas: Hickory Smoked Pork, Buttermilk Biscuits, Pickled Relish

pampered-pallette4BBQ Tuna Tartare: Mango, Avocado Mousse, Wonton Chip

pampered-pallette1Grit Cakes: Pan Fried, Cream Cheese, Tomato Jam, Chive Oil

pampered-pallette5Pimento Cheese Dip: Assorted Cracker Selection, Carrots, Celery, Pita Bread

pampered-pallette6Flat Bread: Wild Mushroom, Truffle Alfredo, Chives, Fresh Mozzarella, Evoo

pampered-pallette7Korean Pork Ribs: Kim Chee Slaw

pampered-pallette8 Korean Pork Ribs: Kim Chee Slaw


Chef Catherine adding the finishing touch of Sweet Chili Vinaigrette to the Shrimp Ceviche.


Personal Chef & Catering Manager Catherine Brady and Executive Chef Merrit Brady: Hand-on Owners, Johnson & Wales graduates, Husband & Wife.