Newlyweds stand on dock at Lowndes Grove

Caroline and Russel’s Lowndes Grove wedding was elegant, glamorous, and had a wonderful feeling of family and community. The bride, Caroline, grew up in the low country and the groom, Russell, attended the Citadel Military College of South Carolina which is within walking distance of this gorgeous waterfront venue.

Lowndes Grove Dock with herron stting on railing

Lowndes Grove Property

Lowndes Grove consists of a grand lawn and historic house built circa 1786 that overlooks the Ashley River. Some of its unique features include mature oak trees, a spiral staircase, original sconces and chandeliers as well as period interior decorating.

I met up with the bride prior to her wedding day to capture bridal portraits at Lowndes Grove. We had so much fun moving throughout the floors and grounds of this remarkable property taking photos. You can see the period grand window treatments, palace rugs, and sideboards in the final images.

wedding dress hanging from chandelier inside Lowndes Grove House
bride standing next to period window treatment in Lowndes Grove House
Close up bridal portrait surrounded by veil
pearl and crystal earrings in blue ring box with flower petals surrounding them
Bridal Portrait on Spiral Staircase at Lowndes Grove Wedding
Bride standing outside of Lowndes Grove framed by arched window
bridal portrait in front of fireplace inside Lowndes Grove

Caroline gave off old Hollywood glam vibes with her long curl waved hair and bold red lipstick. Her satin dress hugged all of her curves and was completed with a large statement detachable bow train. Her look was perfected with a pair of bright red high heel shoes.

Closeup of bride looking down at her flowers
bridal portrait in Lowndes Grove portico

Russel and Caroline's Lowndes Grove wedding was held this fall on Labor Day, which is still pretty steamy weather in Charleston, SC. There was a threat of thunderstorm, but luckily the rain held off! Another bonus of having a wedding at Lowndes Grove is that there is a permanent clear tent attached to the house over a large patio. I love how the tent is included in the rental of the house as it helps calm nerves about any last-minute rain backup plans!

bride and groom stand together on lawn in front of Lowndes Grove Plantation House
Inside of clear tented outdoor wedding reception
Groom portrait outside at Lowndes Grove
Engagement ring sitting on top of blue hydrangeas
Bride holding train of dress while standing in front of curved arch entryway

Wedding Day Flow

On the wedding day, we used various locations on the property for photos. The bridal party got ready inside the home in multiple rooms. Then I photographed the bride and groom’s first look on the immense lawn in front of the house. Afterwards, the couple read personal vows to each other by the dock leading out to the Ashley River. We then returned for some energetic wedding party photos in front of the iconic house before the wedding ceremony.

Groom and Groomsmen joking around outside
Groom getting ready inside Lowndes Grove Historic House
wedding bouquet of white and red roses and blue thistle
bridesmaids in blue dresses pose with bride inside historic home
bridal party sitting down on couch and chair
Bride and groom have first look on Lowndes Grove lawn
pale blue vow books on floor with flowers
Bride and groom reading vow books on Lowndes Grove dock
newlyweds walk away from waterfront towards reception
Newlyweds nuzzle under wedding veil
Wedding party walks arm in arm in front of Lowndes Grove House
Newlyweds run through cheering tunnel of wedding party

Nod to Citadel

The ceremony was held on the side lawn facing the river. Beautiful blue and white vases held white flowers to mark the location. Other colors included in the wedding palette, were light and dark blue with pops of cherry red which gave a nod to the Citadel colors. Furthermore, to honor the groom’s Alma mater, eight Citadel cadets attended in full uniform. They performed a sword arch for the bride to enter the ceremony through. It was a super impressive entrance!

Citadel Hat with feathers
outside wedding ceremony overlooking Ashley River
Bride and Father enter ceremony under Citadel Sword Arch
Groom's reaction to seeing his bride walk down the aisle

After the ceremony, the newlyweds processed under the arch of swords. Following military tradition, the last two cadets dropped their swords and formed a cross to block the path of the couple. They only raised them to pass after the groom kissed his bride. Fun fact- it’s also military tradition to cut the wedding cake with a sword which is exactly what Russel did! Made me nervous when he licked the cake off of it!

bride and groom hold hands during outdoor wedding ceremony
Citadel Sword Arch Newlywed Exit
wooden tray of cocktails at wedding reception
newlyweds hold leashes of their dogs on wedding day
bride pulls in groom for kiss under arch
newlyweds kiss on dock overlooking wedding reception

Family is Everything

Family was very important to this couple. So much so, that they tested all wedding vendors for Covid, and temperature checked all guests to make sure all of their elderly guests would be safe. Caroline and Russel had an extensive family photo list. However, I was able to organize and take numerous family photos quickly since I had given the couple a family wish list questionnaire before their big day. I love doing this so that I am able to organize friend and family groupings to be the most fast and efficient on the big day. We all know couples want those special family photos, but they also can’t wait to celebrate with all of their out-of-town guests at their reception!

Newlyweds entrance into wedding reception
white couch with greeny wall behind it with neon saying"The Hendersons"
Tufted brown leather couch and two blue velvet chairs set up at wedding reception
Newlyweds first dance at wedding reception
closeup of place setting with gold silverware and blue and white china plate
newlyweds listen to wedding speeches at head table
newlyweds cut wedding cake with sword
groom licks wedding cake off of sword
newlyweds nuzzle on dock during sunset
newlyweds dance at wedding reception on checked floor
bride and groom dancing at wedding reception
newlyweds dip and kiss at sparkler send off

Lowndes Grove Wedding Vendors:

Photographer | Leigh Hayward Photography

Venue | Lowndes Grove

Wedding Planner | Lee Domikis @directmydaycharleston

Makeup/ Hair Artist | @silhouetteonsite @julia.laurenn

Florist | @coastalcreationsfloral

Rentals | @thefrencheclectic @snyderevents @eventworksrentals

Lighting/ DJ | bunndjchs

Entertainment | @otherbrotherentertainment

Videographer | @willwrightfilms

You might also like:

Caroline’s Bridal Portraits at Lowndes Grove

Kristen and Clayton’s Summer Wedding at The Gadsden House

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