Montage Palmetto Bluff | Martin & Kelly
Montage Palmetto Bluff | Martin & Kelly

This past weekend, Sandi and I flew down to South Carolina to photograph a wedding on the 20k acre riverside property known as the Montage Palmetto Bluff, just 26 miles outside of Savannah, GA. We spent 3 days down on the absolutely beautiful property photographing the story of two very special people, Martin, and Kelly. It was basically a 3-day event that turned out to be everything the two of them had dreamt throughout the entire planning process. The weather was in the mid 60’s, far from the 35-degree temps we left back in NJ, and I honestly don’t think that things could have gone any smoother than they did.

The story of how Sandi and I ended up down in SC for our last wedding of the year is a pretty simple, yet interesting one. We had met Martin and Kelly at a wedding that we shot a couple years ago down in Florida. They were both in the wedding, Martin actually being the marriage officiant for his good friends. During the few days that we spent in Florida we got to know Martin and Kelly pretty good, really enjoying their company. There’s a story that involves a grilled cheese sandwich that may or may not have saved my life, which basically led to Martin and I staying in touch over the past couple of years. Once Martin proposed to Kelly, he immediately reached out and we started the planning process of getting Sandi and I down to the Montage Palmetto Bluff to photograph the wedding. Martin, who actually works for the Montage, made sure that we were treated like family throughout the entire trip.

The first day was spent walking part of the property with a canopy of overhanging Spanish moss that is a dream to shoot if you aren’t used to seeing it like us Jersey folks. We spent some time just hanging out and capturing some photos of the two of them. Just a few hours later the weekend festivities would be getting kicked off, so the four of us simply took advantage of some downtime before the evening’s events got started. Two hours later we found ourselves hopping on a boat to take us over to an island like getaway where we would all enjoy an incredible dinner party. Everyone that had traveled down for the wedding was taken by boat to where the party was held on the water with a live band and plenty of good food to go around.

The second day started early with a trip with all the guys to the no-property gun range as a way of having some fun while the girls began prepping for the wedding. Once we wrapped things up at the gun range, it was time to get down to business. There was a big day ahead of us still and I could feel the pressure and anxiety starting to kick in. Sandi and I put a lot of pressure on ourselves, as we do with every wedding, but this was one that we both felt we needed to step things up a notch. We wanted to be creative while still capturing all the emotions of the day in a very documentary shooting style. Once back to the hotel later that night as we uploaded all the images, we were pretty happy with how things went and the job we did.

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story, but it truly was the perfect way to end our most special year as wedding photographers. It was an emotional day for everyone, as you’ll see in the photos, but it really was an extremely special trip for us. This was a wedding that we had briefly spoke of two years earlier and hoped that we would be there to not only photograph it but be part of it. As we sat back and looked around, it was really surreal to see how everything ended up playing. We couldn’t be happier for these two and couldn’t be more thankful that they flew us down to capture their story that you can see a short preview of below. Thank you for everything and we hope to see you both again very soon!


This is very similar to the wedding I have planned for my Leica Akademie workshop coming up in January that is just a few miles away in Savannah. Here is the link if you’re interested in seeing how I shoot a wedding like this from beginning to end where nothing is off limits and you’ll be pushed outside of your comfort zone as much as possible. Any New Jersey or Philadelphia wedding photographers looking for a good way to get the 2019 season started, head down to Savannah with me and enjoy some warmer weather for a few days!


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Jay Cassario


Rangefinder Magazine Feature 


  • what an incredibly talented photographer you are!

  • Jo and John

    Fantastic photos of our son and lovely daughter-in-law

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