Merchant’s Hall Wedding | Xouchee + Amy | Downtown Charleston, SC

“Booking Leigh Hayward Photography, LLC was the BEST investment my husband and I made for our wedding day!!! She is just simply incredible and I would HIGHLY recommend her!! I cannot thank her enough for all of the effort, love, and patience she poured into our wedding day and for capturing it beautifully! We got married during the COVID 19 pandemic and Leigh was amazing at communicating with us and working with us during this crazy time. Our timeline and details were changing up to the day before with all of the chaos going on, but she helped us get through that and kept us on track on the day of. Due to the pandemic, our guest count reduced significantly and our wedding ended up just being our wedding party and parents. We are SO grateful for Leigh’s AMAZING job with capturing all of our special moments from the day especially because we were able to share those pictures with our loved ones who were not able to make it to our wedding. Not only did she take the most beautiful pictures, but she put together a video of our wedding day with our favorite pictures. This was such a nice thing for us to share with our friends and family who could not make it and for us to watch back and reminisce about the day. I cannot say enough about her as a wedding vendor and I’m confident that anyone who has booked her feels the same way!” – Amy Moua

Newlywed couple posing in front of door, close up of bouquet downtown Charleston, SC

How It All Began

High school sweethearts seal the deal in a wedding at Merchant’s Hall venue located in the heart of historic downtown Charleston! Amy & Xouchee’s love story began in middle school!! How sweet is that!! They started out as locker buddies at the age of 11, became close friends around 15, and then fell in love at 17! Over the years,their love has endured long distance and a cross country move to South Carolina. The sweethearts have been together for a decade
now and have built a wonderful life in Charleston. In fact, they just bought their first home together! Nowadays, they spend their time working on home improvement projects (so many trips to Lowe’s), beach walks, and Wednesday
date nights.

The Proposal

Amy knew the moment her and Xouchee became friends that he was special. He always went above and beyond to make sure she felt loved and cared for, even before they officially started dating. The surprise proposal came right before they were about to go home to Wisconsin for Christmas last year. They had planned to have their own personal celebration before they started the craziness of holiday traveling.  They went for a nice dinner downtown and afterwards decided to walk around and enjoy the Christmas lights.  This is when Xouchee proposed under the glowing lights of the big Christmas tree in Marion Square. Amy was super impressed that Xouchee was able to surprise her! She absolutely adored the stunning ring he had picked out for her. Furthermore, the timing made for such a special holiday season home sharing the good news with their loved ones.

Leigh Hayward Photography captures a couple's first look before wedding in downtown Charleston, SC

newlywed photos in downtown Charleston, SC in front of white door

Newlyweds dancing and walking down street in downtown Charleston, SC. Tall green cypress trees in the background

Historic Downtown Charleston Bridal Portrait Session

Before the big day, Amy met with me for a bridal portrait session. It’s a popular bridal tradition in the South. I just adore the one on one time I got to have with her! And what bride doesn’t want to wear her dress twice! It was also a perfect time for Amy’s hair and makeup trial. Amy was very smart and booked her venue as our portrait location. It was a good move as it was an overcast and rainy day too! If you haven’t visited Merchant’s Hall near the historic market in downtown Charleston you should. It’s a real show stopper with muiltople crystal chandliers, original wood colums, and exposed brick walls. When the rain took a break, we took to the street to get some bridal portraits with a historic downtown Charleston Wedding vibe as well. You can catch a sneak peek of our Bridal Portrait Session here. 

bridal portraits at Charleston's Merchant Hall Wedding Venue

Charleston Wedding Day

Merchant’s Hall was a perfect choice of  wedding venue for giving out of town guests a little taste of historic downtown Charleston. Some other Charleston elements were sprinkled throughout the decor and food.  For example, gilded oyster shells were used for the table place settings and sea shell tea light candles were wedding favors! The decor was simple but elegant with hues of blush, gold, ivory, and greenery. Guests were spoiled with donuts for dessert, a favorite of the groom who has a big sweet tooth! Overall, this highly anticipated union was a perfect fusion of two people from very different cultural/religious backgrounds coming together. Because of COVID their celebration was smaller than expected, looked different, but it was definitely all theirs! 

Wedding dress hanging and bridal details

bejewled bridal purse

Wedding Invite to Merchant's Hall Wedding with illustration on the building and bride getting ready with help of bridesmaids

Bride sitting at Merchant's Hall, mom helping bride get ready for Historic Downtown Charleston Wedding

close up of jewelled bridal shoes and perfume bottle sitting on wedding dress

close up of engagement ring and bridesmaids in pink dresses with bride in downtown Charleston, SC

bridal and groom portraits in Historic Downtown Charleston Wedding

Close up of Groom buttoning his dark green suit jacket at Merchant's Hall Wedding

Groom in green suit getting ready for wedding at Merchant's Hall

Groomsmen and groom posing in front of brick wall inside Historic Downtown Charleston Wedding at Merchant's Hall

bridal party looking at each other, groomsmen standing on stairs in downtown Charleston, SC

Bridesmaids and flower girls cozy up to bride in front of Dock Street Theater

Bridemaids cozy up to bride in front of Historic Downtown Charleston Dock Street Theater

Wedding Party posing on City Hall in Historic Downtown Charleston on broad street


Wedding Party posing in Washington Square Charleston, SC groomsmen in suspenders and bowties and bridesmaids in blush pink dresses

Wedding party walking in Historic Downtown Charleston at Merchant's Hall

Charleston Newlyweds posing in Washington Square Park

Panoramic shot of wedding reception set up in Merchant's Hall Wedding Venue

close up of Merchant's Hall Chandelier and place setting party favors

Merchant's Hall gold wedding chairs with reserved signs


Newlywed's First Kiss and walk down the aisle at Charleston's historic Merchant's Hall Wedding

Newlywed couple toasting with champagne at their Merchant's Hall Wedding

Cheers to a happily ever after for Mr. & Mrs. Moua!

Thanks to the Vendor Team that made this dream day come true:

Ring Designer: @demetrejewelers     Dress: @elegant.occasions      Bridesmaids Dresses: @davidsbridal     Makeup/ Hair Artist: @silhouetteonsite @micki_hairartistry

Florist: @wholefoodscharleston    Groomsmen and Groom Attire: @menswearhouse     Wedding Planner / Coordinator: @patrickandco_events      Catering: @eventsbygoodfood

Ceremony Music/ DJ:@weddingmusiccharleston   Linens & Event Rentals: @snyderevents       Reception Venue & Bar Service: @merchantshallchs  Donuts: @bkedshop

Click Here to View another Historic Downtown Charleston Wedding


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About Leigh

Leigh Hayward

Leigh Hayward

Charleston Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Hi, I’m Leigh! I’m an engagement and wedding photographer based in Charleston, SC. I’ve been serving ALL love and couples since 2006. I adamantly believe everyone deserves their love story to be told beautifully! 

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