There is something about a Southern wedding that draws you in with all five senses. They drip with romance, and when you throw in Urban Poppy’s florals you get something like this – whose beauty could be straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. The couple at the center of the big day, captured by Our Labor of Love by Heidi, is not just beautiful and so much fun, but they are so sweetly in love that you can feel it radiating through your screen.
From the stunning bride… When Sam proposed to me using our at-home karaoke machine, surprising me with his rendition of “Try a Little Tenderness,” I burst into tears and erupted into laughter. Which is, I think, the best way to describe our relationship—slightly offbeat, fun AND funny, but very much in tune. We wanted a wedding that would celebrate those qualities—while also being laid-back and low key.
For the ceremony and reception we chose Belfair, a private golf community just over the bridge from Hilton Head Island in Bluffton, South Carolina. With its historic oaks, scenic bluffs, and moss-shaded streets, we knew it would be the perfect location for an outdoor spring wedding. Florist Anissa Manzo of Urban Poppy created soft, colorful arrangements to balance the well-groomed golf course environment, and added touches of nautical whimsy to the bridal party bouquets and aisle markers—a theme established in our invitation suite from Callie Burnette of Calliespondence.
Music and food were among our biggest priorities, so we let the region’s delicacies inform the menu and the local sounds inspire our music. Our guests feasted on fresh oysters and a “Lowcountry Boil” from the Bluffton Oyster Company for our rehearsal dinner, and ended the night in song with karaoke. For the wedding, we wanted our guests to mix, mingle, and dance all night, so we opted for a Southern-style reception, with food stations and open seating. The Belfair catering was incredible—shrimp and grits, fried chicken, she-crab soup, Charleston red rice—and Signe’s bakery created the most delightful key lime almond cake.
Sam and I love college a cappella music, so he sought out The College of Charleston’s Chucktown Trippintones, who sang me down the aisle to an incredible arrangement of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” For our reception music, we were lucky enough to gather an ensemble of touring Southern rock musicians that played a custom set list. The whole wedding weekend felt like one giant party, and we loved it.
My one “D.I.Y.” project was creating a photo guest book with pictures of Sam and I with our guests—to be signed like a yearbook. I also gathered and framed wedding photos of our immediate family members for a wedding photo table inside the reception. My late grandmother collected bottles, so we used some of her treasured antiques to hold tiny blooms around the frames.
I was very emotional on the big day, and I give enormous credit to our photographer, Heidi Geldhauser from Our Labor of Love, for capturing all of my very genuine feelings in those moments. I wanted the day to unfold organically—for her to focus on the moments that captured the entire wedding day, without forcing us into staged shots that weren’t authentic to us and our friends. She was creative and artistic and helped us keep the focus on the fun of our actual day, and we couldn’t have been happier.
Photography: Our Labor of Love by Heidi | Floral Design: Urban Poppy | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Cake: Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe | Stationery: Calliespondence | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Belfair | Makeup: Jill Liebel | Hair: Salon 1050e | Groom's Suit: H. Freeman & Son, Inc. for Hunt Club Clothiers | Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A. Bank | Ceremony Music: Chucktown Trippintones | Venue: Belfair | Reception Music: The Last Waltz Ensemble