Blue Ridge Mountain Wedding Photos at Table Rock Lodge and Pretty Place Chapel
Marissa + Ben
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a little jealous of Ben and Marissa’s lives ever since I first chatted with them. Both are traveling physical therapists, which in complete honesty is a job I never even knew existed. Basically they travel all over the country working different contracts every 6 months or so. In my mind at least, that seems like a rock star lifestyle…minus the trashed hotel rooms. They get to choose more-or-less where they end up and have chosen some amazing places to enjoy together. I remember them describing their recent time in Jackson WY, a place I fell in love with in just 2 weeks when I traveled to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone last Summer…I can only imagine what they were able to experience during their extended time there.
But what does this have to do with their wedding? Well, it is all about choice, and these two know how to make good choices. They chose to have their wedding here, out of all places. And while I have photographed a lot of mountain weddings out here recently, it still boggles my mind how this area is becoming a real wedding destination. With all the places they could have chosen, with all the places they have experienced together, they chose here, the blue ridge mountains for their wedding – that’s wild to me. But that is what the purpose of a wedding is – experience. At least that’s what I believe about them. It is the first major experience shared by a couple when they start their new lives together. So why not make it a good one…a memorable, adventurous celebration in a beautiful mountain location? For a couple that is used to making unique memories together, I’m sure they felt the same way. And they went all-out on this one.
Marissa and Ben chose three of my favorite mountain wedding locations here in the Upstate of South Carolina: The Table Rock Lodge, Pretty Place Chapel, and a quick stop at Hotel Domestique before their dinner reservations. With all three of these locations being nearly an hour away from each other, you may be wondering how they fit it all into one day. Well…they didn’t – this was actually a 2-day wedding. 2 day weddings sound exhausting, but to me, splitting things up over 2 days has a huge benefit – more time for photos. Weddings can be insanely fast-paced, but good wedding photography takes time, a luxury I rarely have during a wedding day. Since Marissa and Ben were technically having a destination wedding in the mountains here, they were in a unique position to split the events up into two days to make it easier on everyone. And I was in the unique position of being able to take my time and experiment with wedding photography in a mountain/lodge setting in some of my favorite places. That made me one happy wedding photographer.
So day 1 was the preparation and the ceremony, held at Pretty Place Chapel (with a quick stopover at Hotel Domestique around sunset). Day 2 was all about the reception, held at my local favorite: Table Rock State Park Lodge. This was made possible because everyone stayed the weekend in the cabins at Table Rock…and since I live fairly close to the area, I was able to make the trip out over two days pretty easily. Win-win.
After everyone was finished getting ready, thanks to the cabins at Table Rock State Park, it was time to head over to Pretty Place Chapel for the ceremony. I photograph here very often it seems, and this chapel has a unique set of challenges and rewards when it comes to wedding photography. It is difficult to photograph properly because of the lighting challenges, but the reward is stunning Blue Ridge Mountain views during the wedding. And since we were scrambling to get to the reception right after, we were able to explore the area a bit for their wedding photos.
Hotel Domestique Wedding Photos
I couldn’t resist following them to their dinner reservations after the first night, at Hotel Domestique in Traveler’s Rest SC. I didn’t stay long, but when you have a mountain destination wedding in SC, this hotel is the perfect backdrop for wedding photography, especially around sunset. The dinner isn’t bad either.
Reception at Table Rock State Park Lodge
For day 2, we were back where we started – Table Rock Lodge. The Lodge is a favorite of mine for the beautiful views and the fact that it’s a rare chance to photograph a wedding inside a state park. But Marissa and Ben took it a step further by setting it up and decorating it beautifully for their wedding reception. And since this was a separate day, I actually had time to photograph the wedding details – something I don’t always have the luxury of doing due to the rushed pace I usually see at weddings. This was the perfect way to cap off their celebration here – Friends, family, dancing, and craft beer. Oh yeah, and these incredible mountain views…The perfect backdrop for an adventurous couple’s wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of SC.
That’s a wrap! Two days of love, celebration, and mountain views. Two days spent with a couple that were clearly put on this Earth for each other. Two days with people that renew your belief that life is all about choice and experiences…and how the right person will always make life feel like an adventure. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Want to view some of my other mountain wedding photography in these locations? Check the links below: