The proof is in the pudding, folks: blind dates are sooo worth it. Just ask these two cuties, who met on a blind date with friends (after TWO YEARS of hounding!) and knew after just one “official” date that this.was.it. So when it came time to say their “I do’s,” they enlisted the help of Engaging Events for a botanical inspired celebration, aka, one of the prettiest weddings you will ever lay your eyes upon. Start soaking in every moment captured by Shannon Michele in THE VAULT.
From the Bride… We were set up by two of our friends, Erika and Dana. (I introduced them to each other in college and now they are engaged!) They tried to set us up for about two years, but neither of us liked blind dates so we kept refusing. In early 2013, I told Erika I was ready to meet Matt (after a string of blind dates). The four of us met to grab drinks and dinner and unfortunately for introverted Matt, we are some of the loudest and extroverted people you’ll ever meet, so he really didn’t get a word in edgewise. At the end of the night, he plucked up the courage to ask me out on a solo date where we might be able to get to know each other a little better and I agreed. During the solo date we both admitted we knew that we were on a date with our future spouse.
On our wedding day, I felt overwhelmingly calm and excited throughout the entire day. I knew that everything had been so meticulously planned that I could relax and enjoy the day and take in every special detail. We started the day off getting ready with our friends and proceeded to take a trolley ride to St. Luke’s Chapel. I slipped into my dress with the help of my mother and maids of honor (my two best friends since childhood). I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the First Look, but both of us agree, it was the best choice for us. It took so much pressure off the day and gave us a special few moments together alone to truly soak in the commitment we were about to make.
Everything from the music, flowers, and programs were so beautiful and meaningful. We wrote our own vows (using ancient Celtic vows as our inspiration) and my younger brother officiated the ceremony. I still have friends and family remark on how beautiful, special and sentimental the ceremony was. Matt and I drove off to the reception in my grandfather’s 1951 Thunderbird. The weather and light made for the most beautiful pictures with our friends. The decorations were so beautiful! I really felt like it was a true representation of Matt and myself. Guests enjoyed walking from the rooms to the decks taking in all the gorgeous flowers and wedding day pictures belonging to our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. The food was incredible! Having stations throughout the reception really helped provide movement and allowed the guests to explore. Matt and I spent most of the night dancing to the amazing band and enjoying our guests company.
My father gave a toast before the cutting of the cake. It was at that moment that the reality of the day hit me. Here I was marrying my best friend in the same place as my parents in the city where I was born. As my father talked to the crowd I could tell how impressed he was by the wedding and reception and humbled by the beauty and thoughtfulness of the day we worked so hard to accomplish. We ended the night with our last dance to one of our favorite songs, “Sweet Disposition,” and exited as our guest threw a shower of dried lavender to send us off. It’s hard to put all of my thoughts and feelings towards the day into a few paragraphs; we relished every single moment and detail and would do it all over again and again.
As I was born in Charleston and it was a frequent vacation spot for our family and friends, I really wanted to honor the history and personality of the city as well as my family’s history and personality with the city. Charleston herself inspired the colors and motif I chose. Our colors were soft peach, lavender, sage, and cotton. For the motif I wanted a combination of rustic and modern. I imagined an old fashioned post card for our save the dates. I wanted the invitation to feel whimsical, rustic and botanical. For the program to be a modern representation of us as a couple, honoring our family and friends. I wanted the ceremony to be soft and sweet, and the reception to encourage our guests to appreciate the landscape and have fun. The food was inspired by the character of the city. All of this and more was accomplished. From the locations to the collateral, to the decorations, to the band, everything in my original vision was achieved.
Advice for Future Brides? If you have Cindy and the Engaging Events team behind you, ENJOY EVERY MOMENT! Honestly it is so easy to get overwhelmed and focused on all the unimportant minutia of the day. Remember why you are getting married. Think of how important and special it is for your friends and family. You want to look back on your day with the fondest of memories. So as hard as it might seem, relax. Enjoy yourself. Take in every special moment and try to capture it forever. My wedding WAS the best day of my life. It was fun, meaningful, sentimental, exciting, and beautiful. I only hope everyone has the chance to feel that way on their wedding day.
Photography: Shannon Michele Photography | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Elaine's Events | Stationery: Dodeline Design | Ceremony Venue: St. Luke's Chapel | Reception Venue: Good Food Catering | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Hair + Makeup: Vanity Salon | Band: Charleston Groove Factory | Ceremony Music: Clelia Reardon | Transportation: Absolutely Charleston | Transportation: Charleston Style Limo | Catering + Beverage Services: Good Food Catering | Event Planning, Floral Design + Event Design: Engaging Events, LLC | Linen Rentals: BBJ | Rentals: Total Table | Rentals: Eventworks | Rentals: Snyder