How sweet is it that these two South Carolina sweethearts have known each other since they were in diapers? Seriously. Their parents were friends long before they were born. I love their adorable story almost as much as I love their amazing wedding. From the Kiawah Island venue to the fabulous florals (and design) from Engaging Events, LLC. to the sweet as can be trio of flower girls. I know I’ve said it before – but it’s true. This wedding, seen through the lens of Patricia Lyons Photography, is perfect. Not-a-cloud-in-the-sky, wish-we-were-there, perfect. Click here for more.

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Ben and I have known each other for our entire lives; we were first introduced by our parents when we were infants as they had known one another since before we were born. Annapolis – much like Charleston –is a small town, so every once in a while we would see each other out and about.  We ended up attending the same high school by matter of chance and started dating just before Ben graduated. We dated through college at the College of Charleston, even though that meant lots of long distance since we are two years apart in age.

Early on in our relationship we both knew we wanted to spend our lives together, and that was confirmed by our commitment to put up with a cumulative four years of long-distance dating. Marriage was something we talked about frequently.  In March of 2009, after seven years of dating, Ben planned a fun weekend trip to Charleston for my birthday.  On the second day of what seemed like a normal weekend escape, he surprised me with a private cooking class at our favorite Charleston restaurant, Cypress. We made all of our favorite dishes and then Ben popped the question while we enjoyed our lunch.

We had talked for a long time about getting married at the Sanctuary. Our love of Charleston and my family’s house on Kiawah Island made it an easy decision. We knew right away that we wanted our guests to experience all of our favorite attributes of Charleston when they attended our wedding, so that was our inspiration for the trees and Spanish moss. The selection of wedding colors happened naturally as we tried to re-create some Charleston at the Sanctuary. We also knew that we wanted a formal wedding, so black as a third background color tied in nicely.

We originally wanted to do a unity candle, but we knew that would be risky with the wind near the ocean. We decided to do a sand and rock ceremony instead and ended up being so glad we did. The different sized rocks in our glass hurricane vessels represented the different aspects of our life, and they were sized according to their priority and the sand was what tied all of the aspects of our lives together.

At our reception, we used Charleston street names to name the tables.  The 30 or so street names that we used each had some sort of meaning or relevance to us.  Our table was Bull Street since that’s where Ben’s house was and where many of our fondest memories were created.

It was the happiest day of our lives, but the moment we both remember most was when I got to the end of the aisle and looked up and saw Ben. I got teary for one second but then Ben and I made eye contact and I was able to pull it back together. We laughed and smiled at each other through the entire ceremony.  We’ll also never forget the toasts that our families gave us at the reception as they were equally heartfelt and amusing.  Our last dance of the night was the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” which our band must have played for ten minutes straight!  About half way through the song all of our guests formed an enormous train that fully encircled Ben and I.  It was the most euphoric ending to our ceremony that we could have ever wished for.

Photographer: Patricia Lyons Photography / Videographer: Artistic Eye Productions / Floral Designer: Judy Johnston of Engaging Events, LLC. / Event Planning & Design: Cindy Zingerella of Engaging Events, LLC. / Invitation Designer: Studio R Designs / Cake & Desserts: Elaine’s Events Cakes of Distinction / Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Lula Kate / Ceremony Location: The Grand Lawn at The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island / Reception Location: Grand Oaks Ballrooms at The Sanctuary Resort

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