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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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Our Wedding Day | Cocktail Hour & Reception Hope & Hayden


Last week, I shared the first 3 blog posts from our wedding day: The Details, Getting Ready and First Look. Earlier this week I shared our Ceremony & Portraits…and now it’s time for the RECEPTION!!! This is going to be the longest post of them all…because it contains SO many of my favorite memories from our wedding. And all of the FUN!!!

For our reception, we really wanted to focus on as much time dancing with our favorite people as we could. We didn’t want a ton of speeches or events like the bouquet toss…we just wanted quality time with our people and our favorite band: Midnight City! So, we built our entire timeline around this idea. After our ceremony, we did one hour of portraits while our guests enjoyed cocktail hour. Photos of every detail below…including our BACON BAR and signature drinks that I absolutely adored!! Oh, and our “pour your own shot” seating chart…one of our details I was MOST excited for! It all came together beautifully! This was largely because of my amazing planning team, Social Graces Events, and the team at Hewitt Oaks for bringing our vision to life!

Then, we got introduced to our reception! We chose to do an open air, sailcloth tent and prayed for amazing weather…and we got it! We are still so thankful. My dad gave a short welcome speech and Aunt Sarah gave a blessing, then we opened up the food stations. We chose to do stations because we loved the idea of our guests having tons of options to choose from, and we based the stations on all of our favorite types of food: pizza, pasta, bacon and Southern comfort food! Haha!! I remember when they brought me my huge plate of food and I was SO excited. At one point I asked for extra mashed potatoes, and the Hewitt Oaks team brought me an entire dinner plate of mashed potatoes covered in bacon and cheese. I was in heaven! Hahaha!

After dinner, we had two toasts: my dad and Hayden’s dad (who was also the best man). I will never forget them both, and am so thankful we have them on video! From there, we cut the cake, did our first dance and parent dances…then we opened up the dance floor!!! One of my favorite memories is my dance with my dad. The song he chose was a surprise to me…and he had our wedding band learn it so they could perform it vs. playing it pre-recorded. The song was “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw and it was just the absolute sweetest.

Then it was PARTY TIME!!! I changed into a short reception dress (which felt AMAZING after 8 hours in a long train!) and we danced the night away! We had so many options for our guests like a gelato bar, cigar lounge and various lounge areas throughout the property…but I loved that there were ALWAYS people on the dance floor 🙂 Hayden and I were determined to spend as much time together on the dance floor as possible, and we did a dang good job!!!

I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking…and you still have the AFTER PARTY post to look forward to tomorrow!!!

And another shout out to our full, amazing vendor team:

Planner | Social Graces Events

Venue, Florals, Catering, Rental Production | Hewitt Oaks

Photography | Lauren Fair

Videography | Mark Yeattes

Rentals | Amazing Events

Hair and Makeup | The Beauty Tribe

Invitation Suite | Empress Stationery

Band | The Midnight City Band

Wedding Cake | Sugar Whisk

Transportation | Old Savannah Tours

Wedding Dress | Berta at Anjolique Bridal

Jewelry | SJ Bailey Co.

Bridesmaid Pajamas | Bon Viviann

Bridal Robe | Pallas Couture

Groom Suit | Silver Lining Clothiers

Engagement Ring | Heidi Gibson Designs

Wedding Bans | Olive Ave.

Welcome Party & Accommodations | The Alida Hotel

I loved this Piaggio as a fun way to display our signature drinks! A strawberry martini for me, and an old fashioned for Hayden 🙂

Boone had to make an appearance on the straw tags!!

Everyone headed from the ceremony to cocktail hour!

One of our food displays that I was MOST excited for was our bacon bar…including a clothesline of million dollar bacon!!! The culinary team at Hewitt Oaks even made Hayden and I homemade gluten free biscuits so that we could enjoy every bite of food at our wedding. It was above and beyond!

Another one of my favorite details, our “yearbook” themed photo booth – it had the real writing that I drew on Hayden’s photo in our elementary school yearbook! Hahaha!! Flames and all. I’ll never live it down.

Getting to greet our guests when we finished portraits was SO fun! I loved that we had time to attend a bit of our cocktail hour.

This was one of the details I was MOST excited for at our reception, and Hewitt Oaks executed it beautifully! They built this from scratch. Absolutely unreal. Each shot glass had the guests name and table number, then they got to pour their own shot (we had all of our favorites) and take the glass as a favor!

This detail was Hayden’s idea…and I absolutely adored it. We have a “memory box” of special keepsakes from our entire relationship, and we displayed 10 of those keepsakes with story cards for our guests to stop and read at the reception. Things like handwritten notes that we left each other while dating, ticket stubs from our date nights, gifts from our first Christmas…and so many others!

I will NEVER forget our cake and the garden-themed display. The cake was lemon blueberry and I swear I can still taste it!!! It was unreal.

I’ve mentioned our band a few times, and with good reason! Hayden and I have spent so many date nights seeing The Midnight City band play throughout Charleston and Savannah. Having them play our wedding day was a dream come true!! This is the lead singer, Brian!

My reaction to seeing our reception tent for the first time!!!

Lining up for introductions!!!

I absolutely love this one!

Snuck away for a handful of sunset portraits after dinner!

Lil caffeine, lil make-up touch-up HAHA

*Hope sprints to the dance floor the moment she’s allowed to*


Morgan and Erika assisted me with the outfit change and we had a mini dance party on the way back HAHAHA

Hayden and his two brothers…one of my absolute favorite pictures from our whole wedding! So special!

The AFTER PARTY post coming TOMORROW!!! 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, you may also love:

Our DELICIOUS Wedding Food Tasting At Hewitt Oaks

Our Wedding Weekend | The Rehearsal

Hayden & Hope | Our Engagement Photos


hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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