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Romantic Charleston Elopement Inspiration at Middleton Place

This next lovely marks the end of a day filled with beauty, so you better bet it’s got grande finale written all over it. Capturing an array of exquisite moments, Lucy Cuneo has done it again. From the Bride’s elegantly windswept TEAM Hair & Makeup updo, to the super sweet sparkler sendoff, it’s all waiting for you in the masterly crafted gallery!

From Lucy Cuneo PhotographyBursts of Azalea pink and white magnolia dominate the scenic gardens of beautiful Middleton Place Plantation, Charleston’s most striking historical gardens. We follow Robert & Amberley on a scenic stroll down winding paths and among the ancient boughs, pausing just to celebrate each other. After a quick change they exit in front of the historic home, all smiles in a vintage Bentley. The wide brim hat a nod to the Southern traditions that inspired the shoot.

Photography: Lucy Cuneo Photography | Styling : Sophie Goodhew | Floral Design: Sweet Grass Events | Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Jewelry: Croghans | Hair & Makeup: Team Hair & Makeup | Bridal Boutique: Carine's Bridal Atelier | Event Styling Assistance: Richard Wheeler Designs | Hair Extensions: Team Bridal Extensions | Hat: Goorin Brothers | Models: The Block Agency | Plantation: Middleton Place | Tuxedo Rental: The Black Tux

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Charleston Engagement Inspiration Full of Southern Charm

This, my dears, is how you do a Southern e-sesh. One part sweetness, one part elegance, sprinkled with a whole lotta charm. And it so happens to be the second slice of goodness in our trio of pretty from Lucy Cuneo today. From the stunning setting of Lowndes Grove to that beauty of a top knot perfected by TEAM Hair & Makeup, it’s easy to lose yourself in this gallery.

From Lucy Cuneo PhotographyRobert & Amberley enjoy a private dinner at Historic Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston. After strolling among the live oaks, they share a glass of bubbles on the piazza overlooking the river at sunset. Reveling in one another’s company, they grab a quick dance to Sinatra before their private dining experience in the glass porch begins.

See the dreamy boudoir inspiration from this morning right here!

Photography: Lucy Cuneo Photography | Event Design: Richard Wheeler Designs | Event Styling: Sophie Goodhew | Floral Design: Sweetgrass Events | Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg | Dress: Valentino | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Jewelry: Croghans | Hair & Makeup: Team Hair & Makeup | Clothes: Ralph Lauren | Glassware: Williams Sonoma | Location: Lowndes Grove | Models: The Block Agency | Plates & Vase: Acquisitions

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Soft + Romantic Boudoir Session Inspiration

This breathtaking boudoir shoot has convinced me I need to do one myself; it’s simply stunning. We have a full day of gorgeous shoots by Lucy Cuneo ahead of us but first, I need some solid time soaking up this beauty, complete with TEAM Hair & Makeup’s wondrous work. I’m ready to take the plunge, but under two conditions; can Lucy recreate this magic for me and can my own sweet kitty join in as well?

From Lucy Cuneo PhotographyNestled in a private location in the historic district of Charleston, Amberley takes time to enjoy getting ready away from the bustle of her wedding weekend. Luxuriating among the fine linens she takes the time to contemplate her big day alongside her feline companion, Bandit.

Photography: Lucy Cuneo Photography | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Jewelry: Croghans | Hair & Makeup: Team Hair & Makeup | Venue: Private | Lace Coat: Ralph Lauren | Models: The Block Agency | Underwear: Victoria's Secret | Veil: BHLDN

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Elegant Lowndes Grove Plantation Wedding

If the charming South were my home, Lowndes Grove Plantation would most definitely have been a contender for our wedding venue. Beyond Virgil Bunao‘s breathtaking captures of this day, the beautiful Bride’s statement sums it up: When Dave and I drove into the gates, I started crying from excitement; we knew that this was the place we’d get married. See every bit of happy tear-inducing beauty in the gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Winter
Settings
Plantation
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride…The day after my fiance and I got engaged, I dove headfirst into the planning process. I saw a picture online that led me to call Lowndes Grove – not even 24 hours after our engagement, I had already booked our first (and only) venue tour. When Dave and I drove into the gates, I started crying from excitement; we knew that this was the place we’d get married. We fell in love with the timeless elegance of the house and the classically Charleston backdrop of the trees hanging over the Ashley River. Initially we planned to get married in front of the house, but due to rain, we got married on the side of the house in front of the river. Talk about blessing in disguise!

When I met with Melissa (and everyone else) at A Charleston Bride, it was like she reached into my brain and put my thoughts into words, and then into something tangible. With a January wedding, I knew I wanted to focus on muted, soft hues. Gray is my favorite color, so I wanted to keep with a somewhat dusky theme – there’s something beautiful in the haze. I went with a smoky lavender to emphasize the gray tones throughout, and my bridesmaid dresses were “stone” – they tend to appear different colors based on the light (sometimes brown, sometimes gray, sometimes mauve – as you may be able to see in pictures). For the bouquet, I wanted something “different” – nothing showy, but definitely a unique quirk to it… which is where the air plant came in. I love how funky it is – and the muted tones of its leaves, of course. My dress is one that I almost refused to try on… I’ve known the owners of the bridal salon (Formally Yours in Lilburn, GA) for several years, and they suggested I try it “just for fun” – clearly they knew me, as I fell in love with it. I love the delicacy of the lace but the subtle pop of the gold underlayer. I’m really attracted to neutrals, because I love that they don’t call attention to themselves – they blend in yet can easily stand alone. I didn’t want the dresses, the flowers, the linens, or any other material aspect to be the focal point – they were merely vehicles to highlight our love for one another, for our family, and for the celebration of our marriage (emphasis on celebration!). So many of Virgil’s photographs capture this atmosphere – I really tear up every time I look at the pictures from that night!

Dave and I met at church, and we had two of our pastors officiating- each were able to incorporate a personal story about us into the ceremony. For the reception, we wanted the dance floor as the main focus – we easily spent half the night dancing. Our band (East Coast Party Band) was amazing – they really emphasized the “party” atmosphere that we were going for.

You know how people say that they really wished they could have done more at their wedding? I’ve heard both brides and grooms say, “I wish I ate/drank/danced more…” Dave and I have no regrets about that night. We ate, we drank, we danced, we celebrated – there’s not one thing that I look back and say, “man, I wish I got to do that.” The night was absolutely magical, and there’s nothing more that we could wish for!

Photography: Virgil Bunao | Videography: John Olson, Friend Of Groom | Event Planning: Melissa Barton, A Charleston Bride | Floral Design: Jonie LaRosee, A Charleston Bride | Wedding Dress: Essence Of Australia | Cake: Fish Restaurant | Invitations: Blue Glass Design | Ceremony Venue: Lowndes Grove | Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Wtoo | Caterer: Fish Restaurant | Makeup: Ash & Co. | Hair: Ash & Co. | Groom's Attire: Berlin's Formal Wear | Groomsmen's Attire: Berlin's Formal Wear | Ceremony Music: Jason Ridge, Groomsman | Bridal Boutique: Formally Yours | Flower Girl Dresses: David's Bridal | Reception Music: East Coast Party Band | Veil: The Westwood Collection

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Rustic Chic Litchfield Plantation Wedding

You would never know by looking at these photographs that a hurricane passed through this couple’s reception. You wouldn’t know it because the look on their faces isn’t of fear or frustration. It’s joy. Pure, unabashed joy. And with a style that is as whimsical as it is chic, with fun, spunky DIY details for days, I think we would all feel a little bit joyful to be a part of a wedding like this. With photos by Gracie Blue Photography LLC, there is more here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Plantation

From The Groom… I met Rosie the first week of College – I had just returned from Alaska, she had just moved home from New Zealand. Apparently, after several attempts at school we had both simultaneously moved from the opposite corners of the world to the same small mountain college in North Carolina. We hit it off as friends, and the more I got to know her, the more I was amazed at how cool she was: equestrian, tall-ship sailor, international traveler, wildland fire fighter- there was nothing she couldn’t tackle. At the end of the term, I headed up to Alaska for the summer work, and Rosie decided to come too. We fell in love that summer under the midnight sun, picking vegetables on the farm, chasing moose under the wildfire’s smoke, backpacking in Denali. Numerous adventures and 4 years later, I asked her to marry me on a sunrise hike to the top of a mountain not far from where we first met.

Rosie comes from a horse farm background and I work in agriculture, so our rustic-chic theme at a historic rice plantation fit in perfectly. We like to think that the theme of the wedding is a combination of Old South romance and New South chic – the haunted plantation house playing host to a BBQ food truck says it all.

From The Bride… Unlike most girls, I had never really pictured my wedding dress, so I started the process with basically no idea of what I wanted or what I was doing. I spent a combination of what seemed like hours on the internet and hours traversing bridal shops with my mom and maid of honor. After several trips to puffed-sleeves-and-sequins-land and several glasses of free champagne, I of course ended up picking the first dress that I had fallen in love with on Etsy.

The dress itself was a reproduction of a vintage design, custom made on the other side of the world, just for me – I sent in my specifications and it was an amazing deal. I was so surprised when it showed up in the mail – I couldn’t believe that it came packed in such a tiny box! After it arrived I actually ended up doing a bit of work on it myself by adding several layers before I had it professionally finished by a local tailor. It was beautiful and classic and southern and layered with three different types of lace, ruffles and fabrics, which added a bit of whimsy. Everyone who saw it ahead of time said ‘It’s just so you!’, so I knew I had made the right choice.

From The Bride and Groom… On the same day as the engagement, we were heading home to Tennessee, and trying to figure out what we wanted from a wedding location. Almost immediately, we both said, ‘Spanish moss!’ and agreed it was the one thing we had to have, and that is what led our search to Charleston. We actually took a long weekend to visit six or so plantations over four days and ended up not loving any of them.

On a fluke, we saw a photo of Litchfield Plantation and scheduled a last minute appointment. From the moment we saw the Oak Alley, we knew that it was perfect for us! We loved everything about it, from the beautiful old plantation house to the fact that it had two separate outdoor settings that we could use – an oak alley for the ceremony as well as a large yard for the reception. The fact that it was located in Pawley’s Island, where my family had been summering for generations, was just the icing on the cake!

One early detail that we agreed on was that if we were going to all the trouble to have a wedding, we wanted to make it an occasion for us to spend time with all of our family and friends. In keeping with this idea, we took up three beach houses in the area, so we could spend the week before the wedding all together. This way, by the time the wedding arrived, everyone already knew each other and it made for an even better party!

One of our other favorite details is that for all of the things we couldn’t do ourselves, we hired only local, owner-operators to cater, photograph, video and orchestrate the wedding.

This was a very DIY affair! All of the decor was DIY – we hand-etched the glasses, baked all the desserts, arranged all the flowers, Rosie made her own veil and her father even made the corn hole set. Everything from the boutonnieres to the vows, from the signs to the programs, we did it all! We are both very hands-on, and Rosie is a baker and an artist, so making all the decor, picking each song played and designing our own save the dates was a big part of the planning process. Of course, what ultimately made this all possible was the incredible group of family and friends who helped us every step of the way, and made sure that everything went off smoothly on the big day!

From The Groom… We chose to use several bright primary colors with a white and burlap background. I wanted bright sunflower yellow and cheerful red, and Rosie added soft blues, greens and pinks. It was a very natural, soft-wildflower-meadow color scheme. As a little girl, whenever anyone asked Rosie what her favorite color was, she would respond ‘all the colors!’, so it just made sense to not restrict ourselves to just one or two colors, but instead to create a natural and relaxed atmosphere.

Before the wedding I was standing in the stairwell as our planner cued the last bridesmaid, and just as she went out the door before me, I could hear our violinist playing. In that moment, alone in the doorway with the melody of a single violin playing me down the aisle, I suddenly realized that I couldn’t be happier that I had finally reached this moment. I thought, ‘I can’t believe this is it!’ and it is a moment I will certainly never forget!

Another unforgettable moment was when we looked out over the gathered crowd before we were presented as husband and wife and saw both our families, Southerners, Italians, Irish folks and all our friends eating BBQ and playing yard games together – it was perfect, just how we had been envisioning it for the last year.

A moment that cannot be overlooked, was when after the small hurricane that hit our wedding finally blew away and we were wondering where to start picking up the pieces, the rain cleared just long enough for our grand sparkler exit from the plantation house – that was another moment when the whole family was there, soaked to the bone but smiling and waving sparklers around us. The high spirits couldn’t be dampened by the weather. I twirled Rosie twice, overtaken with joy.

In regards to vendors, Gracie Blue (grblue.com) went far above and beyond what she had to. She did a great job organizing the pictures and moving along the pre-wedding preparations and when the storm hit, she packed up her equipment and helped us do damage control. Then when we were back inside, she unpacked her camera and took more pictures, which were all beautiful.

It couldn’t have happened without Lauren of Fox Events (afoxevent.com), who was professional, friendly and cool even under tough times. Despite challenging circumstances, she kept upbeat and positive the entire time and was a great source of support.

Our advice for future brides and grooms is that your wedding won’t be perfect. But if you plan it right, then you’ll be surrounded by the people who love you. At some point, you should make the conscious decision to let go of your expectations and just wrap yourself up in the wonderful happiness that is committing to your best friend for life, and ignore all the catering fails, drunk guests and inclement weather that derail your plans. You only get this moment once, and you definitely don’t want to miss it!

Photography: Gracie Blue Photography LLC | Event Planning: Fox Events | Wedding Venue: Litchfield Plantation | Food Truck: Hello My Name Is BBQ