We’ve got quite the double dose of Southern style for you here today! Not only do we get a peek into the colorful engagement shoot for these two cuties but we get to dive wholeheartedly into their classic “I do’s” at the stunning Cloister on Sea Island later today. Amy Arrington captured both special sessions and we’re oh so grateful she did! To kick start our special day, let’s love on this sweet e-shoot among the Spanish moss right this way…
From the Bride-to-be… Charles and I met about 10 years before we started dating. We met while we were at University of Southern California (Go Trojans!) when I decided to join the golf club, and he was the President recruiting new members. We had a lot of friends in common but just never connected in more than a friendly way during our years at college. Fast forward to 2012, I found myself back in LA and realized that Charles and I only lived eight blocks from each other in Manhattan Beach. We started hanging out as friends after realizing that we had so much in common, including our love of airplanes in particular. We started dating in May 2013, and just eight months later, I got offered my dream job in New York. Needless to say, we traveled long distance for the next three years, flying back and forth between LA and New York, and only missed a handful of weekends together. It was tough, but he was definitely worth the red eye trips back to New York! Because of my job, we got to travel a lot and had some amazing experiences together. We went to Norway in January and saw the Northern Lights, flew to Ireland to play golf for Charles’ birthday, and hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu for my birthday. We’ve had some amazing adventures!
We knew that we wanted to have our engagement pictures in Sea Island, Georgia because that is where we would get married. Charles grew up going to Sea Island with his family, and they always spent important holidays there together. Charles’ parents actually went to Sea Island on their honeymoon, and while riding around the beach on bikes picked out houses they wanted to own (as we all do in amazing places in the world.) Mr. Ralston ended up buying one of the houses they saw a few years later and they have it to this day.
A year into dating, Charles brought me to Sea Island to spend Easter with his family. I remember immediately falling in love with the Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks; it seemed to be the perfect combination of romance and Southern heritage. There are some beautiful golf courses down as well, and because we are both golfers, it was never hard for his parents to get us out to the island for a weekend. Sea Island is such a special place that has a lot of Ralston family history associated with it. It’s not just a beautiful place, but a place that has a lot of deep rooted meaning with our family.
We had pictures taken on the Avenue of the Oaks, a beautiful long drive on the way into The Lodge, part of The Cloister. The Lodge has ruins from the colonial era that we used as a really beautiful backdrop. We then went and took pictures at a secret driveway on the island (I can’t tell the location though!!) and at Charles’ house. The engagement scene was really wonderful because working with Amy and Brandon was so easy. They have the kindest of hearts and are just a joy to be around. They put you at ease the second you start talking to them, and you barely notice when they start snapping away! Our session was during the 4th of July weekend, and it was of course SO hot and humid the day of our photos (like any good Southern summer day). It rained in the morning but the silver lining to that was that we had a beautiful rainbow over the ocean when we took pictures at Charles’ house.
Photography: Amy Arrington Photography