A friend of the bride called her romance with this lovely bloke “epic” and if that’s the case, they had just about the most perfect wedding they could have had… because it was definitely epic. With blooms & decor by Tiger Lily Weddings, of course it was going to be perfect, but add to that Evan Laettner Photography and a couple who just don’t stop when it comes to gorgeous, and my friend, we have reached epic. There is a full gallery just waiting for you, so click here for that!

One of my bridesmaids called Richard my “epic romance” due to the crazy international nature of our relationship. It’s a fair assessment! We met in London in 2006…two weeks before I moved back to Charlotte, NC and five months before Richard returned to Sydney, Australia. Exchanging contact information doesn’t always mean you’ll keep in touch, but the wonders of the Internet helped to bridge the 10,000 miles and 14-hour time difference. We met up again for a group tour of Egypt and Jordan in 2008 – and had our first kiss on a beach by the Red Sea. Six months later I took a chance and moved to Sydney.

In 2011, after three years, three passport visas, and at least three more international trips together, Richard proposed on a beach in Far North Queensland, Australia. My family were visiting us at the time, but I had no idea that Richard had asked my father’s permission the day before while snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. Of course I said yes!

We decided to have our wedding in the USA so that my 95-year-old grandmother could attend. Charleston was an easy choice for me – my dad’s extended family used to spend a week each summer at the Isle of Palms, and I jumped at the chance to share this gorgeous area with my Aussie friends and soon-to-be family. It’s not easy to plan a wedding in 11 months from the other side of the world, but my parents were incredibly helpful (as was our wedding coordinator, Lindsey Shanks at Tiger Lily). I knew I wanted something elegant but not too formal, with lots of Southern charm, and Richard liked the idea of a relaxed, outdoor wedding. Lowndes Grove proved to be the perfect venue. The food was a delicious lowcountry buffet by Fish Restaurant. Tiger Lily provided the beautiful blue hydrangeas and white roses (my favorites). The wedding favors were little sweetgrass baskets made by Lillie Howard, with Cadbury Caramello Koalas from Australia. Richard and I danced to “My Baby Just Cares for Me”, and my dad and I waltzed to “Edelweiss” from the Sound of Music. Our guestbook was a world atlas – it seemed appropriate.

The ceremony was a traditional Presbyterian service, lovely and intimate. Our officiant was a former minister at both my childhood church and my grandmother’s church. The soloist was my good friend from college and, after graduation, the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, where we met the violinist in the string trio. My bridesmaids were my best friends from high school; my maid of honor was my little sister, who also did the artwork for our invitations and programs. Richard’s groomsmen were his old schoolmates who flew in from Seattle and Sydney to be there for him.

In the end, of course, the best part of the whole day was being surrounded by so many of the people we love. I was so glad to see my family again, and we were honored by the number of Australians who made the long journey to celebrate with us. My grandmother read us a poem she wrote for the occasion (I was touched, but couldn’t stop smiling long enough to tear up). Almost everyone ended up on the dance floor eventually thanks to the talents of DJ Wade – I think I spent most of the evening there, as did the youngest wedding guests. I’m quoting several of my friends when I say it was really a great wedding!

Photography: Evan Laettner Photographer / Floral & Event Design: Tiger Lily Weddings / Rental & Lighting: Event DRS and Snyder Rental / Hair: Ash and Co. Bridal Hair / Venue & Catering: Lowndes Grove / DJ: DJ Wade of Other Brother Entertainment

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