Hilton Head Island Micro Wedding
Addison + Morgan
There’s something extra special about getting to photograph a couple that you know get married, especially when it ends up being a micro wedding (super small intimate wedding). Check out William and Kayla’s Covid-19 backyard wedding for another example of an amazing micro wedding.
Luke and Addison go way, way back to Luke’s barista days at Starbucks in college (everything always seems so simple when you think back, right?), aka our early marriage days. Ah, young love. Addison and Morgan have us beat, though. They’ve been in love since they were YOUNG youngin’s. Like, middle school/high school crushes. Teenage love. Anyways, Addison and Morgan have been together for at least half of their lives by now. Holy cow.
Thankfully, Luke’s sass and sarcasm didn’t deter Addison from becoming buds with him, so they bonded over happy frappy hour woes and extensive, overly specific fast food coffee orders. Fast forward to fall 2018, where Luke has since left the Starbucks life, has a big boy job, and runs Agape on the side. Addison reached out about a surprise engagement (for Morgan, obviously, duh, whom we have yet to meet at this point, so we could still be all spy-like and photography them without her recognizing us).
He chartered a small boat to watch the sun set up in Lakeside Marblehead (that’s a quaint Lake Erie town near Sandusky for you non-Ohioans), and planned it all from there. Lakeside was a super sentimental place to Addison and Morgan due to family memories, and they’d been visiting every summer since they were young. We posed ourselves as an additional couple along for the ride to watch the sun set over the lake, too. Avoiding eye contact and making anything too obvious, we played our couple role and waited for the signal from Addison.
Luke had grown a beard and long hair since his last encounter with Morgan at Starbucks, so we were banking on the additional hair to keep her from making us. We really thought that it was going to be a bigger boat with more people on it, but when we arrived we were like, crap. We need a back story and try to not make it awkward because we’re the only other people on the boat. When the time came, we grabbed our cameras out of their hiding place and looked preoccupied at the back of the boat as Addison showed Morgan up to the front of the boat (which had a spectacular view, albeit it being a little chilly). They climbed up and we snuck photos through the tiny window compartment. He popped the question, the wind blowing through their hair was magnificent, we couldn’t feel our fingers, and the sunset was killer.
Oh, and she said yes (that would’ve been an awkward boat ride back, eh?). I mean, could you imagine if she said no? Like, we’re all stuck on this boat together, like, would they just sit on the opposite side of the boat? like for 30 minutes not looking at each other? And then they’d have to drive home together, the agony of just thinking about a situation like that haha.
Now what does this all have to do with their Hilton Head Island micro wedding? Absolutely nothing, we just like to tell the story about how we felt like undercover agents for a whole hour. We’d share the whole blog from their *sneaky* engagement session, but this was 2018 and we were lazy bloggers. Their sand dunes engagement session will have to suffice for now.
Now a lot of you may be asking ‘what’s a micro wedding?’, and we’re here to fill you in on the hype. Micro weddings are a newer trend, and are probably some of our favorite things to be a part of and capture. Not to be confused with an elopement, micro weddings consist of around 20 to 30 guests total, a shorter timeline, and still contain some of the same traditional structure of a wedding (or not, totally not a requirement! You do you). Micro weddings are great for couples that want a smaller guest count for their wedding, but still want the more traditional structure of a larger event.
Micro weddings are a great way to alleviate the pressure of a large event and pave the way for a more low-key and relaxed day. It also reduces the overall cost, so choosing a micro wedding is super budget friendly. If budget isn’t an issue, a micro wedding can pave the way to a more extravagant location, menu, etc. etc. Though you may make some angry when you chop a guest list, honestly, its your wedding day and you should go with your gut on what feels right for YOU, not for others. There are no requirements set in stone on how you should and shouldn’t plan out your wedding day.
Highly recommend a micro wedding, 10000/10. Looking back at our own day, we totally would’ve went the micro wedding route given the option now.
ANYWAYS, back to your regularly scheduled programming of Addison and Morgan’s micro wedding. Did we mention it was on a beach? Aw, yeah. Beach time. Addison’s family owns some property on Hilton Head Island, so they held their wedding in their backyard (aka the FREAKING BEACH). How cool (actually it was NOT cool by any means, try LITRALLY the hottest day of that year thus far hahaha we all were dying)? Along for the micro wedding ride was our friend Amanda over at Perreault Films, whom Addison and Morgan hired for videography. The Agape team set off on the 12 hour journey from Ohio to South Carolina a day or two before the wedding so we’d have time to rest and also enjoy the awesome beach weather. A not so fun thing happened leading up to the big day—Mikayla had some sort of food poisoning the night before the wedding. We have no idea how it happened, but we rolled with it, and she made it through the next day like a boss and will never eat at a certain dog themed restaurant ever again.
But Luke had a great experience at that restaurant and would 1000% eat there again. Hi, it’s Luke talking in the third person hijacking a blog written by Mikayla, we ate the same exact dish Mikayla, the dish didn’t get me sick so obviously it wasn’t the dish’s fault. You were too weak for the sea. Ya didn’t have your sea legs on and you can’t hate on the Salty Dog. Okay, back to your Mikayla written blog.
Addison and Morgan’s micro wedding day started in their family’s beach home, obviously full of their closest loved ones. The sun was in full force and it made for the best light spots around the house and in the shade outside. The sky was a super saturated shade of blue that us Ohioans hadn’t seen for quite some time. This was our first beach wedding, and scorching heat aside, it rocked. It’s not often we have beautiful 360° views because #Ohio, and it felt like such a treat. The ocean, the beach, the breeze, and the palm trees. Every guest had a hand in helping set up everything for the big day. The groomsmen were building the arch on the beach and setting up benches for the ceremony (even Addison was out there at one point), guests were prepping stuff in the kitchen, and others were styling the tables out on the patio. Team work makes the dream work at micro weddings.
Addison and Morgan shared their first look and read their hand written letters to each other, shared a happy cry, and we set out to take some more awesome portraits. A micro wedding can lend itself to a more relaxed schedule, even if it’s not 7 or 8 hours long, so the day went super smoothly and everyone was chill and keeping cool, literally, in the AC.
Everyone wandered out to the ceremony site on the beach, barefoot, and you know what happens next. They did the dang thing.
But something happened that we weren’t expecting to happen. We did tell you that it was super freaking hot with no wind. Our videographer was like 2 seconds away from fully fainting. Like a ninja we swooped in and got her water and shade without anyone else knowing. It was a scary moment, but she still captured that ceremony because of back-up cameras and killed it. So if you’re going to have a beach wedding, get some shade so you don’t literally die.
So Addison and Morgan were married, and now was the time to celebrate. We all headed back up to the house (and the AC and shade thank goooooooodness, sweet relief, ‘cause we were all sweaty hot messes). Next up on the micro wedding schedule was dinner and toasts. So many nice things were said by friends and fam, and lots of throwback stories were told (that’s what happens when you’re high school sweethearts; lots of great quality relationship dirt from your teenage years).
Addison and Morgan had their first dance just as the sun was setting, and it overlooked the beach they had just gotten married on. They danced with their loved ones, and then we snuck out to the beach one last time for those #sunsetpics. It’s always nice to get away for a little quiet, alone time when you’re just married and its your wedding day, whether than be on a normal wedding day, micro wedding day, or even an elopement. It helps you marinate in that newness of marriage and appreciate all that went down that day (not to mention that if you’re an introvert, you get a breather from people).
When we got back, chaos ensued (but the good, fun kind). Groomsmen started jumping into the pool, people danced and ate cake, and we got to hang with the awesome guests and Addison and Morgan’s families. Then, it was time for a fun sparkler celebration. Sparkler celebrations are typically super scary and stressful for photographers because large groups of people and fire don’t mix very well and no one follows directions well (not to mention always fearing for our long, luscious locks, and with Luke having a giant beard and being well over 6 feet tall…terrifying), but this micro wedding sparkler celebration went down with absolutely no problem and we were pumped. The humidity of Hilton Head Island held the sparkler smoke in the air for a long time and it was such a fun, joy-filled atmosphere.
We said our goodbyes to Addison, Morgan, and co. and ended this micro wedding day with a large dose of delicious ice cream, sweaty and tired, but also full of contentment (oh, and sand, lots of sand).
Micro weddings are a lot of fun. When you have a large gathering of over 100 people, you don’t get to have a lot of intimate moments with your guests. We’ve seen weddings with over 200 people where the couple only visits a guest for only less than 1-3 minutes and as a guest, that kind of sucks not being able to spend as much time with you. When you have 10 to 30 people, you get to have continuous long lasting conversations and memories created throughout the day. Not only that, we get to connect with your guests on a more personal level and therefore, better tell your story. I bet Addison and Morgan wouldn’t trade that day for anything.
If you’re even considering a micro wedding but are getting push back from family members or friends, remember that the day is about you and your significant other, and surround yourself with people who love you.
Planning your own micro wedding, or any other way of getting married? Or just in need of some rad photographers to grab some ‘za with? We shoot everything from elopements to pizza. Shoot us a message and talk to our cats (aka the office administrators) for more information! Now booking for 2021 and the beginning of 2022.