Sand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Wedding

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When someone trusts you enough to fly you to another place to capture their wedding day…well there are very few honors greater. At first it was friends who asked me to go, which I understood, but others quickly followed. Clients whom had connections from this friend or that bride were willing to take me along with them to their dream wedding day and it just boggled my mind! However, it did allow me access to a new level of intimacy with my clients & their loved ones. Not only did I blend in with the wedding (like a ninja!), but I got to become this adopted family member for a short while. Then I got married and Daniel joined the team, now there were 2 of us to travel. One was a big enough expense but 2? I didn’t think it likely that we’d get to travel for weddings together. I’ve been delightfully proven wrong! Daniel is now my destination travel companion and it’s brought a new level of joy to my heart and business!

Our last destination wedding of the year brought us to St. Thomas for Kristin & Nate’s wedding at the Sand Dollar Estate. This is the first time that someone has booked us for a destination wedding where we’ve had no connection to the client. Kristin was researching her venue and found the photographs that I had taken of Amanda & Art’s gorgeous wedding  in the Virgin Islands. We connected instantly over a hot cup of coffee in Starbucks and talked and talked about her vision for the day. I knew this was going to be something special. Over the next year I received beautiful little messages from Kristin & Nate wishing us congrats on our own marriage, checking in to see how my dad was doing, and just a general care for our well being. Just a couple weeks before their wedding Kristin made the drive all the way up to Statesville from South Carolina just so we could chat face to face. Before we knew it, hours had passed and we parted with a hug and immense excitement for their wedding day!

Daniel and I arrived in St. Thomas with out a hitch and proceeded to take it all in (having an extra person to travel with really makes everything WAY easier!). The next day arrived with a beautiful tropical breeze and the smell of salt on the air. We made the  journey up winding St. Thomas roads to the Sand Dollar Villa where Kristin, Nate, and 15 of their closest family & friends were preparing for the big event. The moment arrived and everyone broke into smiles as Kristin walked down the stairs to marry Nate. It was finally here, all the plans, all the travel, all of it lead to this moment and it was totally worth every bit to see the look on their faces when they were introduced as husband and wife!

I just adore these two and they celebrated their love in the best possible way, with good food, a bottle of champagne, and a kayaking adventure in their wedding attire! Talk about AMAZING! We spent the rest of our time documenting true joy! The joy of two becoming one, the joy of friends and family all spending quality time together, the joy of a setting that words can’t justly describe. Thank you Kristin & Nate for not only hiring us, but trusting us with so much, for loving on us through planning your own wedding, and for want to stay connected with us from here out. We love you guys and cannot wait to see you in just a little over a week!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Sand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Sand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Sand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Sand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographySand Dollar Villa St. Thomas Virgin Island Destination Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

  • Tell me about the planning process of your wedding:

    Venue: searching VRBO for a place on the beach large enough for both families led us to Sand Dollar Estate.
    Colors: Joy the owner of Get Fitted Boutique in Landrum, SC chose the color coral. Nate chose his navy to stand out from the groomsmen.
    Unique/Special: So much…
    First — the clothing change into Nate’s tuxedo – a replica of the James Bond Skyfall tuxedo — and Kristin’s sparkling dress which was the culmination of quite a search for the perfect dress!
    Second — in lieu of a traditional wedding with DJ, cake, separate locations for the ceremony and reception, flowers (other than those from bouquets and boutonnières) and rehearsal dinner… instead we opted to rent two neighboring villas on a private St. Thomas beach large enough to lodge both our immediate families and our wedding party for an entire week!

    We didn’t cut out everything, though, as we decided to have an awesome catered beef tenderloin wedding dinner, and we flew in the best wedding photographer team in the USA — Mabyn Ludke Henderson and Daniel Henderson!

    Last but certainly not least on the special/unique aspect is that Kristin prayed about finding a dress at a thrift store and the very next day she found one in her size and correct height with the original tags still attached for $75 and no tax.

  • What was the hardest part when planning your wedding?

    The combination of the last minute change of location (beach vs. deck), miscommunication of what was needed from everyone for organization, last minute change of a pre-wedding family activity, and waiting until the last minute to get things done…
  • What was the most memorable moment of your day?

    Obviously other than the exchanging of vows, there are:
    Memorable (Uh Oh): when the champagne bottle specifically for photos blew the top off right as Nate loosened the wire cage.

    Memorable (Surprising): Our iguana guest

    Memorable (Enchanting): the entire reception with the lights, sky, mountain across the bay, music, toasts, sunset and the awesome reception attire we chose.

  • What was the funniest moment of your day?

    Funny (we can laugh about it now): Mabyn’s “there’s a spider on me” dance.
  • If you had to do it all over again is there anything you’d do differently?

    Pretty much all the things from the “hardest part” question.
  • Any advice to future brides & grooms?

    Spend your budget on that which will be memorable as opposed to simply following the norm — for example our answer in question 1 about the venue…

    As Kristin did, look for photos taken at your venue (and others) that you like and would want to have your own twist on.

    Finally don’t skimp on the photographer, hair or makeup — it is through amazing photos that you will view your special day together lovingly in the years to come…

  • What was your biggest fear when looking for a wedding photographer?

    Ending up with a photographer who would not capture the essence of our amazing day but rather just take snapshots.

    Nate was concerned about ending up with a photographer who holds so tightly to all the rights that it is years before you can even make your own pictures to download, hang or send photos as gifts without the costs skyrocketing.

  • Did it come true? If not, what happened instead?

    Absolutely NOT! Thank God for Mabyn Ludke Photography! Mabyn and Daniel captured the atmosphere, beauty and emotion of our day and venue impeccably! There was even a shot that Daniel took of Mabyn taking one of the photos Kristin had planned that turned into a special image — a behind the scenes shot of sorts that depicts how hard they work and go above and beyond to make memories last!

    We hope they incorporate this aspect for future couples’ shoots so they too can look back and remember the process as well as the images!

  • What, specifically, was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?

    Mabyn and Daniel were open to creating the shots we envisioned, actually shared the day and joy with us as part of the event as opposed to outside observers capturing images. In sharing in it they could preserve the moments in their art and medium!

    And it must be said that Mabyn was there for Kristin with calming words, advice and action to keep things on track beyond just the photography!

  • If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say?

    This day and each moment of it comes a single time… you want artists not just people with cameras! That’s what you’ll get with Mabyn and Daniel and they will capture memories, feeling, emotions and moments in time — not just images.
  • What was your favorite photo that Mabyn Ludke Photography captured?

    Nate: the champagne spray photo and the behind the scenes photo Daniel captured.

    Kristin: the “you may now kiss the bride” photo

    Keep in mind that the pictures in sequence and together all tell a story and depict an amazing day so it is difficult to pick — they are all awesome…

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Kristin & Nate get married in St. Thomas at the Sand Dollar Estate