The beautiful South Carolina light in this wedding, as seen through Andrew Celbuka’s lens, is enough to make your heart skip a beat or two. I won’t even touch on the rustic yet beautifully elegant wedding on hand, because I truly have been rendered speechless by the loving details from Ooh! Events, all of which can be seen right here.
From the stunning bride… I was in Dallas looking for a place to live because had I had just been promoted. There were a couple of girlfriends still living in Dallas from the first time that I lived there so my friend, Sarah, came to pick me up at my hotel to take me out. Once I got into the car she told me that we were going to meet up with one of her good guy friends from college. She just kept repeating that he was such a great guy and that his mother raised him right. At the time I wasn’t really interested in meeting anyone because I wanted to focus on my new job!
At some point in the evening Sarah had to excuse herself from the table to go to the ladies room. Roughly an hour later Sarah walked back up to the table because she ran into a few friends. Sarah said she knew she would have one of two situations going on when she finally returned to the table. 1. I would be so irritated with her for leaving me with this guy for so long or 2. that Lee and I would have not skipped a beat in the conversation which is exactly what happened.
My family planned a trip to Dallas/Oklahoma for the weekend. The men were to go with Lee to his family’s ranch in Oklahoma for a weekend of whitetail deer hunting and the women were to stay in Dallas for a fun filled weekend. Lee and I both wanted my sister and aunt to see the ranch because at that time we had decided on getting married at the ranch. So on Friday we drove up to Standing Rock Ranch after lunch to spend the night. (Little did I know that before all of this took place Lee had already driven from Dallas to Alabama to ask for permission from my aunt and uncle.)
When we got to the ranch Lee drove us around to see the property and then we picked up my uncle and cousin from the deer stands. Dinner was made and soon after Lee said he had to go prep a location for hunting the next morning. I had never known Lee to prep but I just let it go. Throughout the rest of the night Lee kept trying to convince me to go hunting with him the following morning, but I continued to be stubborn because I didn’t want to leave my sister or aunt.
The next morning, before dawn, I got up and asked my aunt and sister if they wanted join us. They politely said that they would sleep in and that I should go with him. So off I went, no shower, no makeup and my hair on top of my head! First, we dropped off my uncle at a deer blind and the next my cousin. When we were pulling away from the last drop off Lee was so nervous that he backed into a tree. That then caused me to spill HIS coffee all over me. I was clearly not happy! He said that we were going to work on my long distance shooting from the hill top. Again, this was something completely out of the norm but I thought that this might be something he just never told me about. When we pulled up I noticed that the bench had moved from one side to another and Lee quickly said that one of the trees would have blocked my view if were sitting in that spot. Looking through some binoculars Lee said he spotted a big buck. I jumped out of the truck, sat on the left side of the bench, and started searching in the field below with my binoculars. After multiple sweeps of the grounds I started getting even more irritated with Lee because I couldn’t find the deer. He said that his better binoculars were in his bag so getting onto his knees next to me he started going through his bag. The next thing I knew he said “hey” and when I looked over at him he was holding a box. At that point it was all tears and excitement. (My sister and aunt were watching us from the barn through binoculars!)
Lee of course couldn’t stop there. The night before, when he was “prepping” the hunting location, he was actually setting up trail cameras “SpyPoint Trail Camera” on the trees next to the bench where he proposed. He set one to take pictures and one to video. So not only do we have the memory but we have a visual of the memory!
We were initially going to get married at his family’s ranch in Oklahoma but after research we came to the conclusion that it would be too expensive. When that decision was made Lee and I were going to Charleston for one of my closest friend’s baby showers. So before we left Lee initiated the idea of getting married in Charleston, which he knew was my dream! Being the planner that I am we contacted Lisa at Ooh! Events to help us focus in on a couple of venues to look at while we were in town. Without question I immediately knew we would look at Boone Hall because that plantation was a big part of why I fell in love with Charleston and wanted to go to school there.
We toured four venues in one day but there was no turning back when Lee saw the avenue of oaks with the Spanish moss. The only problem was that the plantation was booked until Fall 2014. What happened next was definitely the craziest thing I could have ever done let along consider.
Prior to Lee and I arriving in Charleston Lisa from Ooh! Events told me about a wedding cancellation at plantation but it was 2.5 months away. There was no way logistically that we could make it work…or so we thought!
After we found out that our family and the minister that I required to be the officiant could attend we jumped on the opportunity.
E. I wanted my wedding day to speak to both of our personalities. It was to be a day of rustic charm with sophisticated elegance. Incorporating and making hunting beautiful was the trickiest part because it can quickly turn into very tacky and redneck. So I asked myself what about hunting is elegant? Fur, feathers and antlers were what I came up with and that’s what we put into it. From the Turkey feather bowtie and my matching belt to the feathers on the flower girls skirt we got such a great feminine touch. The antlers on the center pieces and mantle, excluding the bigger mount on the mantle, were all from Lee’s family ranch in OK. We had an axis deer pillow made for the ring bearer which turned out beautiful even though it wasn’t used. A big detail was using Lee’s dog, Dixie as a big piece. She was the customized stamp for the invites and the same picture was used for the grooms cake. Dixie is a Boykin Spaniel which is the state dog of South Carolina, AND she is from South Carolina. Ooh! Events had such great rentals to helped add elegance inside the venue with two small sitting areas along with masculine pieces to add to the dock outside. We also added a boiled peanut bar outside because Lee has a big obsession with them. The napkins were a last minute detail that might be one of my favorites. For the guest book we wanted something that we were going to use and not put into a drawer to collect dust. So we had people burn their names into a wine crate that had been made into a storage ottoman.
Lee lost his mother roughly 2 years ago and I lost both of my parents by the age of 13. There were two very special moments that were just ours, Lee and I. At the ceremony we had two candles made with two wicks. They were already lite at the ceremony before everything got started. Each candle was placed into a hurricane with dirt from each parents grave. So, after everyone had walked to the reception site Lee and I both got to blow out the candles. It was our way of having our parents there! Then later in the evening, when Lee and I were about to leave in the get-a-way car we poured the dirt into the water off the dock. So we left a piece of “us” there.
Another special memory was the segment of the wedding where I was given away. Since both of my parents have passed I wanted to give credit to both of their families for raising me. My grandfather stood at the end of the 3rd aisle and waited for me while my uncle (mom’s side) walked me down to him. At that point my grandfather took over walking me but my aunt and uncle followed behind. So I was given away by both sides of my family.
One more…..the minister. This man was the same person to perform both of my parents funerals. My family and I had lost touch with him over the years, but I had always told my aunt that I wanted him to be the officiant at my wedding. So upon engagement I searched him out on the internet. After a trip to meet with him, Lee and I were blessed with his acceptance to be the officiant at our wedding. Having him there was my way of tying it all together, my parents and my husband. It meant more to me than most of the other things at the wedding.
Photographer: Andrew Cebulka | Dress: Amsale | Cake: Elaine's Cakes | Catering: Cru Catering | DJ: D+M Productions | Bar Service: Squeeze On Site | Headpiece: Magar Hatworks | Planning: Ooh! Events | Plantation: Cotton Dock