greenville bride

Revel Wedding | Tori and Michael

Just like their engagement session in July, Tori and Michael’s wedding day was the perfect temperature with no clouds in the sky.  Their families and friends gathered at Revel on a Monday afternoon in April to see them become husband and wife. 

I knew when I first met with Tori and Michael that some of the details of their wedding would be a little different from what I’ve seen before, and all the details were so unique and well-coordinated when I saw them in person. They had a yellow and gray color scheme; the bridesmaids wore gray maxi skirts and the groomsmen wore yellow suspenders and bow ties, all with black Converses.  Tori’s long-sleeved lace and tulle gown was straight out of a fairy tale wedding, with a cotton crown she made herself and yellow Converses to match Michael’s—the same ones they wore with their black and white outfits at their engagement session. Instead of bouquets, Tori and her bridesmaids carried lanterns with cotton and string lights inside.  The tables had cotton centerpieces and their favorite yellow candies.  For the reception, they picked out breakfast food, because “who doesn’t love breakfast food?”  As a couple who met during Governor’s School and graduated from Clemson, they had all of their rings present for their detail shots.  Their “guest log” was cut from an actual log where all their guests could sign.

You could see that Tori and Michael were so happy for this day to finally be here.  They were so smiley for their portraits, which makes it easy for me!  It’s been so much fun to be part of their engagement and their wedding day over the past year or so. 

 

Venue: Revel

Photographer: Christine Scott Photography

Dress: Carolina Bride and Groom (sleeves added by The Perfect Fit)

Caterer: Chef 360

Everything else was made possible by family and friends.

Bleckley Inn Wedding | Katrina and McKenzie

The one snow day we had in Greenville all winter just so happened to land on the day McKenzie wanted to propose to Katrina.  The exciting night out he’d planned for the proposal quickly turned into a night in, so he had to think of a new plan quickly.  He put on “Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton and asked Katrina for a slow dance in the living room.  When the song finished, he told her that it was a good time to celebrate.  When Katrina asked what they were celebrating, McKenzie said, “our engagement,” and got down on one knee with this gorgeous vintage-looking engagement ring. 

Katrina and McKenzie’s intimate wedding was on a perfect April day at the Bleckley Inn in Anderson.  They made each other laugh during the ceremony and they had me laughing so much during their bride and groom portraits!  We took some photos out in the courtyard and some others in this little alleyway with flowers and string lights.  Katrina wore a gown with lace sleeves and an off-the-shoulder V-neckline, like a gown out of a 50s movie.  She also had these princess-looking shoes and the garter her mother wore on her own wedding day.  Many of the items they used were handmade, including their engraved tree-like ring box, McKenzie’s feather bow tie, and the succulent décor at the reception.  Katrina and her mom made and designed the decor themselves and set it up with the help of some of their family and friends. All three of their rings are so unique—McKenzie’s wedding band is made from meteorite! 

Thank you Katrina and McKenzie for letting me be part of this beautiful day!

 

Venue: The Bleckley Inn

Dress, Veil, and Shoes: David’s Bridal

Florals: Wedding Flowers for Rent

Catering: The Bleckley Inn

Officiant: Upstate Wedding Officiant

Decor: designed and created by Katrina and her mother

Invitations: Shutterfly

Cake: Publix Bakery

Arbor and Curtains: Event Rentals

Topper: Adore Your Door Decor

Wedding Favors: Classic Cactus

Succulents: Succulent Cuttings 4 U

Acrylic signs: Sweet NC Collective

Welcome sign: Timeless Accessory Inc

Suspenders: Dochriste

Bowties: Glamour Wedding Shop

Event Rentals: Arbor & Arbor Curtains

Ring Box: Trees 2 Art

Choosing Your Married Name

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It’s actually a pretty big decision and I don’t know why I’ve never read a blog post on it. I never heard anyone talk about this, and I never thought to talk with anyone about it, maybe because everyone has such different views on marriage in general and what different name change options would say about you.  Even when you Google “name change after marriage,” the whole first page is about the process of changing your name and not what to change it to. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have benefitted from reading something like this.


I initially didn’t like the idea of changing my name. This is what I had been called my whole life. I didn’t want to be called something else just because I made the decision to get married. Changing my name would mean having to update everything from my driver’s license to my Amazon shipping information to my paperwork at my job. I really didn’t want to go through all those processes, in addition to having to update pretty much everyone I knew.  The reason I did change my name was because I wanted our eventual family to all be under one name. “The Gows” wouldn’t include me if my last name was Scott or Scott-Gow. People wouldn’t know to associate me with Dan or our future children.  So I eventually decided that I wanted to be a Gow, but what would come between Christine and Gow? 

For other people, there are several factors to consider. I know professors who didn’t change their names so they can still be tied to different works they’ve published. Other professors might marry another professor in the same department and not want to be confused with each other. Some use a hyphenated name. One of my professors made her husband’s last name her middle name instead of the other way around. Some people change their name, but still choose to be known professionally as the name everyone knows. Carrie Underwood, for example, is not known to the public as Carrie Fisher, partially because so many people know her as Carrie Underwood, and partially because she could be confused with Princess Leia.

After deciding what your last name will be, you have to decide what you want your middle name to be. For some people, it’s an easy choice if they don’t like their middle or last name, or if it’s a name that they don’t want to be associated with anymore. I like my middle name and I didn’t like the idea of completely replacing my family name.  Plus, I had Christine Scott Photography going for me, but it would be weird if Scott wasn’t part of my name anymore.  I don’t think I really knew what I wanted my middle name to be until over a month after I was married.

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This brings me to the legal process of name changes, which can vary by state.  In South Carolina, you can change your middle and last name to reflect your spouse’s name after becoming legally married.  Based on those rules, my options were Christine Laureana Scott, Christine Scott Gow, or Christine Laureana Gow (side note: Laureana is pronounced Laurie-Anna and it was my great-grandma’s name).   Somehow, I got away with making “Laureana Scott” my legal middle name without anyone questioning me. I don’t know what my plan would have been if I’d been told that wasn’t allowed or if I didn’t have enough space on the form.


Here’s where it gets complicated: if you don’t go by your first name, you will need a court order to legally change your name to the one everyone calls you.  This applies to people who go by their middle names, their last names, a nickname, or just another name they’ve chosen for themselves.  According to the South Carolina Legislature’s website, “A person who desires to change his name may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit, setting forth the reason for the change, his age, his place of residence and birth, and the name by which he desires to be known,” as well as a series of background checks and an affidavit.

If monograms or initials are important to you, that’s something you’ll want to think about before making a legal name change. Remember the Big Bang Theory episode where they name their teams “Perpetual Motion Squad” and “Army Ants,” not realizing what the acronyms would be on their shirts?  Or what if your initials don’t spell anything, but your monogram does?  As for initials, I always thought “Christine S” sounded weird, maybe because it was rare for me to need to be distinguished from another Christine, so “Christine S Gow” sounded weird to me too. The only times I see “Christine L Gow” are in places like my bank account.  My signature is “Christine L Gow” because that’s what my credit card says and my signature is on the back.  On a side note, Dan and I recently realized that the “G” looks different in our signatures. His G looks like the one on the General Mills logo and mine looks like the one on the Goody hair accessories logo.

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There are online services that will automate the process for you. I considered this since the DMV here wasn’t open when I wasn’t at work, but I read some negative reviews about the online services and decided I didn’t want to risk my legal name getting messed up.  I read that you’re supposed to go to the social security office before the DMV, so that’s what I did once I had a day off work.  I believe I was required to bring two forms of ID, which can include your driver’s license, your passport, your social security card, and your birth certificate.  I got there right when it opened and there was already a huge line across the front of the building.  I had some photography work to do, so I brought that with me in anticipation of a long wait.  The wait at the social security office was actually longer than the wait at the DMV, but I was able to sit down right away at the social security office.

I hope this has provided some insight to you as you get ready for this big change!

The Pines at Sheltowee Wedding: Samantha and Tim

Samantha and Tim's wedding was one of those days that you'd picture if you imagined a peaceful summer wedding in the south.  They were married at the Pines at Sheltowee, under the shade of the trees with the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky right behind them.  

The barn was elegantly rustic on the inside with big windows everywhere to let in plenty of natural light for Samantha's bridal portraits.  Her gown had a beautiful lacy train and she carried a bouquet in a pastel pink and blue palette, while her bridesmaids carried baby's breath.  The reception hall, where Samantha's family served food they made themselves, was decorated with hints of blush.  The clouds rolled in during the wedding ceremony, keeping the sun off of everyone on this 90-degree day.  The rain held off until after the ceremony and it only began sprinkling towards the very end of the bridal party photos.  Luckily, the sun was back out during the golden hour, and you know how I love the way golden hour sun lights up hair like Samantha’s.

Their dog, Tux, walked down the aisle with Tim’s parents and sat quietly for the ceremony and some pictures.  Since Tim is a herpetologist (someone who studies reptiles), his brother and best man mentioned during his speech that he was only allowed to have one room in the new house for critters.  It only made sense for their getaway car to have drawings of some of the many animals he’s worked with. 

I had always imagined that Kentucky would kind of look like West Virginia, where I first started to be conscious of taking “good” pictures of the mountains that would show people who weren’t there exactly how beautiful something could be.  After many years of learning to take better pictures, combining a backdrop like that with the joy of a wedding makes me so happy.  Samantha and Tim’s wedding perfectly combined those two and more.  Here are some of my favorites from this gorgeous Kentucky day!

Venue:  The Pines at Sheltowee

Photographer:  Christine Scott Photography

Dress:  Bridal and Formal, Inc.

Florist:  The Master’s Bouquet

Cake: Root-A-Bakers

Music: Jessika Brust

Tuxes (not including the dog): Men’s Wearhouse