There is something about a fluffy, ruffled, layer-infused dress that speaks to my heart and this dress is indeed speaking to it, maybe even singing to it. Now add to that a pitch-perfect South Carolina wedding, complete with uber romantic flowers and a lovely fabric draped tent and well…this is what they call seventh heaven. Nate Henderson of Open Light Studio completed this pretty equation with his AH-MAZ-ING photography skills and lucky us, there’s even more to pore through in the gallery.

see more of this Southern soiree here!

Sam and I had only been dating for a few months when he took me to Spring Island to meet his Dad and Step-mom for the first time. It was on a bike ride across the island that we came upon a wedding event being set up and Sam said, “Wow, wouldn’t this be the perfect place to get married.” Thinking back it was that weekend that I started to fall in love with my husband and knew that if we were ever going to be married Spring Island would be an amazing location for the event. After the engagement it took some time to convince my parents that sweet home Chicago is great, but that our hearts were set on a May wedding on Spring Island.

Spring Island, South Carolina, with its beautiful outdoor chapel shaded by stately live oaks was a perfect spot for the ceremony and the tabby ruins of the former plantation was an elegant backdrop for the cocktail hour. We wanted our wedding to feel effortless yet elegant and romantic. I spent an unmentionable number of hours reading blogs, magazines and books searching for the perfect details to incorporate into our wedding weekend. One very special wedding detail came from Sam’s sister Jennifer Judd McGee, who designed all of the artwork for our save-the-dates and wedding invitations. Jen’s artwork was then transformed by Sarah Parrot of Parrot Design Studio into the most beautiful printed, and letter pressed invitations. I know when a bride looks at her budget, personalized letterpress invitations aren’t at the top of the list, but for me this was the first impression our guests got of Spring Island and our wedding. They are something I will cherish forever. Other important details included the dress, food and photography. My dress was designed by Justin Alexander and I just fell in love with the elegance of the fitted bodice and flowing silk organza of the skirt. My mother and sister will tell you that after traveling with the dress from Boston, it was a labor of love getting it ironed to wedding perfection. I kept my jewelry simple, a sapphire and diamond necklace which once belonged to Sam’s grandmother (also my something blue), plus a pearl and rhinestone bracelet and hairpins both of which I found on Etsy (which is such a great site for one of a kind wedding accessories). My bridesmaids and I fell in love with the dresses and necklaces from J.Crew; the light blue/grey was the perfect neutral palette for the soft colors of the floral bouquets. Sam and the groomsmen wore custom grey suits by Peter Millar with peach ties from Brooks Brothers.

I cannot say enough about the club on Spring Island, Sean Dempsey the club manager kept wedding planning fun and light hearted, I don’t think the words ‘we can’t do that’ are in his vocabulary. Every detail from the moment our guests arrived was perfectly executed. And lastly photography, Nate Henderson of Open Light Studio was one of my favorite wedding guests. He kept the day fun and relaxing, and the result was just breathtaking. Sam and I were very fortunate to have lots of help from our wonderful families and friends in planning this long distance wedding, especially Lee and Annie Judd, who were indispensable for all things Spring Island.

Photography: Nate Henderson of Open Light Studio / Venue: Spring Island Club, Sean Dempsey – Club Manager & Tony Gates, Executive Chef / Invitation Artwork: Jennifer Judd McGee / Invitation Printing and Paper Design: Sarah Parrot from Parrot Design Studio / Florals: Branches / Wedding Cake: Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery / Vendor & Day-of Coordination: Amanda Rose Weddings / Band: Heart Beat of Soul / Hair & Make up: David & Kathy Watson of Lime Lite Salon / Tent and Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander / Bridesmaids: J.Crew