This one is for all the beach lovin’ romantics who like to sport silk garments and suede loafers, but can take it to the dancefloor like Swayze and Baby from Dirty Dancing. Lovebirds Aileen and Joe have gifted us all with a lively, fresh gallery of inspiration that will have you wanting to gather in a beachside cottage with your favorite tunes, your fabulous friends and the finest wood fired pizza you can get your hands on.
After meeting online two years ago, Joe and Aileen began to envision a future together with ease and excitement. Aileen’s kind smile and natural warmth made it easy to build a loving relationship with Joe’s six year old daughter, Eva. Today this trio is like the three musketeers, always ready to conquer the next playful and spontaneous adventure as a family.
On a sunny September afternoon we met Aileen at “Camp Huron,” a rustic 1930’s beach cabin situated on the Folly River. In this cozy cottage, Aileen popped champagne and received all the love and well wishes from her closest girlfriends. After reading a letter from her soon-to-be hubby, she slipped into her silk Modern Trousseau wedding gown and her freshwater pearl drop earrings. Everyone swooned and celebrated this beautiful bride when she emerged: her dress wrapped perfectly around her silhouette and spilled out into a wispy train behind her. Between Aileen’s radiant smile and her billowing gown, you could see that she was truly swept away by love.
We arrived at the Regatta Inn on Folly Beach, a waterfront venue with a serene west-facing view of the Sunset Cay Marina. With vibrant, green floral arrangements by Festoon Florals and natural bohemian decor, the space was inviting and elegant. Bell shaped bamboo chandeliers were suspended from the ceiling accompanied by a floral centerpiece with whimsical ferns and delicate, white flowers. Welton’s Fine Foods set up a seaside pizza station, pumping out incredible squash focaccia and perfectly charred pizza crusts from their seafoam green pizza oven. Between the wafting smell of wood fired pizza and the salty sea breeze, everyone was delighted to be there.
After admiring the charming details of the venue and signing their names on a map of Folly Beach, the guests took their seats on the lawn by the river. The arbor was a vivacious spectacle of textured and wild botanicals — the eucalyptus, ferns and snapdragons played perfectly against the shimmering coastal backdrop. Joe stood at the front, dignified and styled in his velvet loafers and black bow tie. Seeing his beautiful bride for the first time, adorned in her stunning gown with her proud parents by her side, Joe grinned from ear to ear. The two met at the arbor and exchanged their loving vows. After shedding a few tears and vowing to a lifetime of love, the happy couple shared a kiss and paraded down the aisle.
The buzzing wedding party enjoyed their cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while relaxing into the playful, down-to-earth atmosphere. Little girls in flower crowns and little boys in bow ties were in heaven sipping on Shirley Temples and snacking on artisan pizza. A few kids tried out the red and white quadricycle surrey bike, laughing hysterically while making their rounds on the grassy field. The adults lounged on green velvet arm chairs and white rattan couches while watching the sun’s slow descent into the Folly River.
To kick off the reception the Andy Masker Band serenaded everyone with an amazing cover of the couple’s first dance song, “Into The Mystic.” The couple dipped, twirled, laughed and cried as they danced to one of their favorite songs. Next, Aileen took to the floor with her dad, with Joe and little Eva joining in behind them, sharing this sweet father-daughter moment together.
Once everyone was sufficiently fueled up on pizza and cake, there was some serious business to get to on the dance floor. With the Andy Masker Band laying down the beat and Aileen and Joe leading the charge, the wedding party broke out into an ecstatic dancing fit. Joe showed off his break dancing skills and Aileen didn’t miss a beat while playing a wooden tambourine signed “Be Elite, Move Your Feet!” The groom’s best friends commandeered the hora dance and hoisted Aileen and Joe up in the air in two rattan chairs. Still maintaining her elegance, Aileen sat back with her legs crossed, and enjoyed the bird’s eye view of her wild wedding.
Amidst glow sticks circulating the dance floor and Eva and her little cousins being tossed around by rambunctious, dancing adults, the band eventually played the last song of the night. The guests began to gather outside the wedding tent, with their sparklers illuminating their smiling faces. With Eva sitting front row on the surrey bike, and Joe and Aileen steering behind her, the couple peddled off into the mystic for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Cristaldi.
Check out a few of our favorites from this wedding day below!
xox Kai & Tim
If you’re planning a wedding in Charleston, SC (or worldwide) and looking for a husband & wife wedding photographer duo, get in touch!
Photography: Kai & Tim ; Kailee DiMeglio Photography
Charleston Wedding Photographers
Venue: Regatta Inn
Wedding Planner: White Pearl Ventures
Hair & Makeup: Coastal Glam
Music: Andy Masker Band
Caterer: Welton’s Fine Foods
Cake: Tenacious Tart
Dress: Modern Trousseau
Dress Alterations: Kira Elizabeth Design Studio