In my younger days, I was quite the nomad traveling twice a year up and down the East Coast training racehorses.  While Malaika’s may have not lived out of a suitcase, her travel history had a similar theme as she hit all the major cities along the way pursuing her dream of a law degree.  Her journey began in Minnesota and along the way landed her in Dallas, Philly for undergrad, followed by 7 years in The Big Apple where she graduated and began her life as an overachieving successful attorney.   Restless for another adventure and after hearing good things about Charlotte, she had a “gut feeling” that something or someone was pulling her South to The Queen City.

Mark, on the other hand was basically a native as his family moved to the Charlotte when he was six years old.  It is so cool to see those who grow up in one place with friends who have been through little league, prom’s, the bar exam and through the excitement when you first meet “the one”.  It didn’t take Mark’s friends long to learn that he experienced “love at first sight” at a backyard barbecue “set-up” date with Malaika.  Mark boldly told her he was going to marry her on their second date to a Mary J. Blige concert: “Chemistry was crazy from the get-go, Neither one of us knew why…people swore it off as a phase, said we couldn’t see that, Now from top to bottom, they see that we did that (yes).

Mark made good on his promise and they exchanged vows June 23rd on the Grand Lawn of The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island.   Both Mark and Malaika wanted “non-traditional” documentary style wedding photographs that they could feel they’re wedding day when looking back at the photos.  After 20 years as a photographer, I am always still amazed how a 1/1000th of a second slice of time can show moments of pure happiness, emotion and love.   We had an amazing time getting to know everyone throughout the three days of festivities and wanted to say Thank You for making us feel like one of the family!


Malaika and Mark's Kiawah Island wedding at The Sanctuary

Kiawah Island wedding of Malaika and Mark at The Sanctuary on the Grand Lawn, fine-art bridal and family portraits by Reese Allen.



LOCATION |  The Sanctuary Kiawah Island

WEDDING COORDINATOR  |  Engaging Events- Cindy

BRIDES GOWN  |  Sabrina Dahan

GROOM’S TUXEDO  |  Rocky Chugani and Sapna Jiandani-Rocky’s Custom, Sherman Oaks, CA.


OFFICIANT  |  Pastor Terrence Autry

CEREMONY MUSIC  |  Christopher Teves Trio


CAKE  |  Jim Smeal

HARPIST  |  Kathleen Wilson

MUSIC  |  Natty Heavy-Nate Lopez

VIDEOGRAPHY  |  Paragon Filmworks-Matt Suchodolski

HAIR STYLIST  |  Curtis Strother

TRANSPORTATION  |  Charleston Style Limo