For Kari Edwards and Matt Cummons, May 24 will go down as one of the best days of their lives.
May 25 might qualify as one of the worst.
One day after their wedding at the Shore House at the Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort, Edwards and her new husband learned that their photographer's car had been broken into outside a hotel in Bluffton. Much of his equipment was stolen -- including memory cards with about half of the photos from the wedding.
Nearly all of the photos from their reception are missing, Edwards said Wednesday.
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College sweethearts from the University of South Carolina, Edwards and Cummons, a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, had been looking forward to the day for months.
Cummons had been in training at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., as the couple planned their wedding on Hilton Head. An Aiken native, Edwards had vacationed on the island many times, and her parents plan to retire there.
"I spent so many family vacations there," she said. "There was a lot of love, family and memories there. It just kind of felt like home."
Edwards and Cummons were married Sunday afternoon, and their reception ended at the Omni around 10 p.m. When the photographer arrived at his hotel in Bluffton, he took about half of his equipment inside, including half of the wedding photos, Edwards said.
When he awoke the next morning, he found the back window to his car shattered and thousands of dollars worth of equipment gone. Attempts Wednesday to reach the Bluffton Police Department for comment were unsuccessful.
The photographer is also from Aiken and often shoots photos for Edwards' family, including her senior portrait in high school and her engagement to Cummons.
Now, many of the moments she cherished at her wedding -- photos of the newlywed couple on the beach at dusk, the Marines' Arch of Sabres tradition, and Edwards coaxing her unyielding brother to a dance -- are gone.
"It was the hardest six months of our lives," she said. "We were looking forward to the wedding to have a blast and celebrate our marriage. There were a lot of pretty priceless memories there."
Edwards has offered a reward for the return of the memory card and has taken to social media to reach the person who has her wedding photos.
"I'm very hopeful they will have at least enough compassion to do the right thing and return the memory card," she said. "I'd be absolutely thrilled if they returned (the photographer's) equipment."
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.
- Photo of Marine, bride praying before wedding goes viral, May 26, 2015