The time was 6 o'clock and the skies opened up...just as the guests were being seated for the ceremony.
Inside the house, Angela was trying to decide whether or not to wait it out, or do the ceremony indoors. The decision was made, inside it would be.
Within minutes, chairs had been pushed aside, couches had been moved, and the balcony had been cleared.
Neil and Angela met at the hospital 4 years ago.
Don't worry, they weren't injured. Neil is a pharmacist and Angela is a nurse. Their relationship started as a friendship with the mutual respect of working long hours in a difficult environment.
My family has known Neil for years. He's one of my brother's best friends. I met Angela a year and a half ago, the day after she and Neil got engaged on a Boston dinner cruise. For the past two years, they've come up from North Carolina to join our family vacation at the beach in New Hampshire.
We were all instantly taken by Angela. It was as if we had known her for years. It was clear that she and Neil had so much love and respect for one another.
When they asked me a few months later to photograph their wedding, it was an instant yes.
Angela has four children from a previous marriage, all in their teen or tweens. During our beach vacation, Angela told us how Neil would sit with her three boys and help them with their homework, but also go outside and play basketball.
It was apparent throughout the weekend we spent in Charleston that Angela's children have grown to love Neil. Their interactions were caring and compassionate.
Neil made Angela a surprise scrapbook, with pictures, receipts, brochures, napkins, and more from all of their adventures together over the past few years. She was especially taken back by the page dedicated to their two dogs, Dex and Babe.
Neil helped Angela's son steam his shirt before the ceremony.
Angela's daughter wrote her a beautiful note that was full of love. She delivered it shortly before the ceremony, which made them both a little teary eyed.
Angela's kids Ryan, Jackson, Ethan, and Isabella walked her down the aisle, which wound up being up the stairs. It was such a sweet moment for all of them.
When Angela got to the top of the balcony, it turned out the groomsmen hadn't gotten the memo and were still in the bedroom, so it wound up being Neil walking out to Angela. It didn't make the moment any less magical though. Neil and Angela both lit up with joy when they saw each other.
The bridal party had to stand in front of a pool table rather than being surrounded by pine trees, but I think it made the ceremony even more intimate.
The guests looked along from below, with everyone getting a prime view of the ceremony.
Neil's friend officiated the wedding and did a wonderful job setting the mood. He creatively and humorously changed up his speech at the last minute to reflect the venue swap.
Neil and Angela wrote their own vows, which were both so beautiful. The love and respect that they have for one another was apparent throughout the weekend, but hearing them voice it was truly heartwarming.
The rain cleared up after the ceremony and we were able to walk over onto the island for some portraits. The tall trees created a rustic style with the ground covered in red pine needles.
The rest of the night was rain-free. After a delicious buffet style dinner, the dance party began.
The night was so much fun and full of love and energy.
I am so happy that Neil and Angela have found one another. Seeing a friend find true love is one of life's great pleasures, especially when the person they have found is so wonderful!
Congratulations to Neil and Angela! I am honored that I was able to be a part of their special day.