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Charleston wedding + family photographer here! Welcome to my blog, a journal where I share all-the-pretty details, stories, and even a few tips. Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm Jen.

Isle of Palms Tropical Surprise Birthday Party

Aug 11, 2021

When Alyssa with Stunning and Brilliant Events reached out about this Tropical Isle of Palms surprise Birthday party, I couldn’t resist saying yes to photograph all the pretty!  In the same way that I love proposal photography, there’s just something about a classic surprise birthday party!  Mary Ellen’s family went all out in planning for her 70th Birthday!  Needless to say, she was indeed surprised!

The Suprise Birthday Party Setting: A beach house on Isle of Palms

A beach house on Isle of Palms was the perfect backdrop for Mary Ellen’s Tropical surprise Birthday party!  Hawaii has always been a very special place and the family decided on a tropical islands theme for the inspiration of the party.  I loved the gorgeous tropical florals, designed by Tupelo Honey, that ran the length of their dinner table.  They were the first thing Mary Ellen saw as she walked back to the pool side deck overlooking the ocean view from the beach house.  As she walked to the backyard, Holy City Strings was also set up playing in the background!  Stunning and Brilliant Events also had a huge balloon arch installation from Boom Balloon over giant marquee letters that read “Happy 70th!”

The rain didn’t take away from the moment of it all!

The tables were set under the porch which perfectly protected the Birthday girl and her guests from the rain.  We were able to take family portraits in just the right time before it really started raining.  Mary Ellen’s five children and their children (from all over the country!) were all able to attend this sweet celebration.  Photographing each family was so special to me!

Cue the Entertainment: A Hula Dancer followed by Fire Dancers!

The surprises didn’t end with the gorgeous table and decor and Mary Ellen was already so, so surprised!  The next surprise was a Hula dancer performing various Polynesian dances!!  She even brought handmaid Hawaiian Leis for the birthday girl!  For the last dance, the children were invited to dance along with her!  The final surprise for the evening were the Fire Dancers!!  They started with small flames and finished the evening with huge bars that spun in the air!

It was an unforgettable evening and I loved capturing every moment of this tropical surprise birthday party at Isle of Palms!


Creative Team:

Location: Private Residence, Isle of Palms, SC || Planning: Alyssa, Stunning and Brilliant Events || Florals: Tupelo Honey Flower Shop || Cake: The Tenacious Tart || Catering: Indigenous Cuisine ||  Balloon Arch: Boom Balloon || Marquee Letters: Alpha Lit || Strings: Holy City Strings || Rentals: EventWorks Rentals || Fire Performers: The Stardust Pixxies || Hula Dancer: Fine, Charleston Polynesian Dancers || Transportation: Marquee Limo


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Love is all you need.  Love, and a great Rosé.
CHARLESTON, SC Wedding, Branding, & Family Photographer

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