Richard Israel

A Story of the Perfect Imperfect Wedding

A Story of the Perfectly Imperfect Wedding

On the morning of October 3rd, 2015 setup began for a beautiful Kiawah Island wedding—a year in the making, the perfect wedding, the wedding our bride Molly had dreamt of since she was a little girl.

October 3rd was also the date of an extratropical storm that triggered high precipitation, causing catastrophic historic flash flooding across South Carolina.

I was preparing to make the trip down to Charleston to create a Super8 wedding video, a nostalgic film style popularized in the 1960s. When I left Charlotte, it was raining pretty hard and by the time I neared Charleston, it was a torrential and constant gully washer. Shortly after arriving in Charleston, I received a call from Margaret, the wedding planner. “The wedding’s been called off due to flooding,” she explained. Disappointed, I turned around and headed back to Charlotte. But just before getting into the city, another call came through. “We’re going to have another shot at the wedding on Sunday. There’s a three-hour window during low tide when we can pull it off. It’s up to you. If you don’t feel comfortable, we fully understand”. 

The thought of potentially putting myself into a very dangerous situation to shoot a Super8 film sounded wonderful.

At this point, the bride and groom had a choice to make. They knew their dream wedding, the most important day of their lives, wasn’t going to happen as planned. Most couples would’ve had a meltdown—the year of planning, the money put in, everything was washed away. Simply stepping out from under cover for just a few seconds left you soaked to the skin. 

But Molly and Paul decided to embrace the day, focusing on the most important element of their wedding, saying their vows and celebrating with those they loved most. Of course, there were sacrifices—there was no fancy dinner for guests (kudos to the incredible Kiawah staff who put together huge bowls of salads and soup with ingredients purchased from Piggly Wiggly). But then, some things worked out as planned—like the band braving the storm to play. Everyone had an incredible time, the best of times, perhaps because of, rather than despite of, their perfectly imperfect day. 

Enjoy Molly & Paul’s wedding day as seen through the lens of my vintage Super8 camera. 

Kudos to:

Kiawah Island


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