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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

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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

Black + Gold William Aiken House Wedding

I’m shamelessly obsessed with all things stripes, so you better believe this celebration just shot to the top of my real wedding love list. Dressed in modern black and white moments with elegantly styled greenery plus blooms by Tiger Lily Florist, it’s a day designed by A.Caldwell Events with personal moments (like a paper airplane exit) woven in along the way. See it all through Aaron And Jillian Photography’s lens right here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Vintage

From Aaron And Jillian Photography… Aaron and I love Katherine + Bill so much and their William Aiken House wedding was one of our favorites to date for so many reasons! It was classic, elegant, thoughtful, personal, timeless, and SO MUCH fun! Katherine’s gracious, affectionate and easy going personality make you want to instantly be her best friend, and Bill’s approachable nature, kindness and love for Katherine made their wedding one of the sweetest events we’ve ever had the privilege of photographing.

Katherine’s mom helped her get into her dress while her two bridesmaids, new mother-in-law and four honorary attendants stood by with teary eyes and excited smiles as she literally became a bride before their eyes. It was such a beautiful moment and Katherine, in all her class and poise, waited patiently while we got Bill into place for their first look. It was the perfect day, from beginning to end and A. Caldwell Events designed a gorgeous backdrop for their wedding guests to enjoy!

From the clear tent to the gorgeous lounge furniture, custom linens, string lights, chandeliers, magnolia table runners on long banquet style tables, tall floating candles and gold chiavari chairs, they really didn’t miss a beat. Once dinner was over and the guests came back downstairs for dancing, their DJ, Bryan Mahanes, rocked it out with some of my favorite songs! Did I mention he was actually spinning records?!

You could tell none of the guests wanted to leave when the night was over…but alas, all great things must come to an end, and Katherine + Bill had such a fun and meaningful send off. Since Bill is a commercial pilot for Delta, Katherine folded 100 paper airplanes for guests to fly over them as they ran through their tunnel of guests for their sendoff. How we love personal touches! Enjoy some of our favorite images from their wedding day!

Photography: Aaron And Jillian Photography | Videography: Siegel Films | Event Design: A.Caldwell Events | Event Planning: A. Caldwell Events | Floral Design: Tiger Lily Florist | Lighting: Innovative Event Services | DJ: Dj Bryan Majanes | Groom's Attire: Sid Mashburn | Ceremony Music: Nickolai Duo | Bar Service: Patrick Properties | Bridal Hair & Makeup: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Makeup | Bride's Earrings: Kendra Scott | Bride's Sandals: Giuseppe Zanotti | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: J Crew | Cake Design: Patrick Properties | Draping: A.Caldwell Events | Dress Designer: Robert Bullock | Historic Home In Downtown Charleston: The William Aiken House | Rentals: Eventworks | Specialty Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens | Vintage Rentals: 428 Main Vintage Rentals | Wedding Dress Shop: La Raines Bridal Boutique – Atlanta, Georgia | Wedding Rings: Neckers Jewelers – DeWitt, Iowa

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Traditional Southern Wedding at Lowndes Grove Plantation

A joyous day overflowing with pretty is always a winner in our book. Especially when said day includes crazy talented vendors like Amy Arrington Photography and Hart to Heart Media. Graced with gorgeous details and golden light, this Lowndes Grove Plantation affair is timeless and traditional, and it’s all waiting for you in the gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Fall

From the beautiful Bride… The stunning architecture of the church and the riverfront setting of the gorgeous Lowndes Grove property really set the tone for the event. I chose creamy tones of ivory, champagne, peach and blush, as a reflection of my simple, traditional style, and to really let the beauty of our venues shine. We got lucky with a clear, sunny October day and a show-stopping sunset as dinner was being served.

Some of my favorite details were the ones we added to pay homage to our alma mater, where we also happened to meet as graduate students: UNC. We had Carolina Blue touches sprinkled throughout, and a few golden ram figurines (in honor of our beloved mascot) were on site to pay tribute.

Our church ceremony was traditional, but personal at the same time. I was a bundle of nerves getting ready to walk down the aisle, but I felt immediately calmed when I made it to the altar and Jeff took my hands. I still had a little stage fright, but I knew I would be fine as long as I had him beside me. I hope I will always remember that feeling. Although we said standard Methodist vows, our pastor did a great job of incorporating details about our personalities and life together into his service.

The cocktail hour was inside the Lowndes Grove house so that our guests could enjoy the historic character of the home while sipping champagne and nibbling on a southern-style, Lowcountry spread, which included bite-size chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits, and a full raw bar. The string trio played just inside the sunroom as we greeted our arriving guests individually at the front door and welcomed them inside.

As the sun was setting, we moved our guests to the dinner and dancing area on the banks of the Ashley River. Fried green tomatoes, she crab soup, bacon macaroni and cheese, crab cakes, and filet mignon fueled our guests for the dance marathon that was to come later. Our friends were so eager to bust a move that they hit the dance floor before dinner was even over and caused our coordinator to have to shift the timeline of the toasts to later in the evening to accommodate their (and our) enthusiasm.

As everyone says, it goes by so fast. We wanted the wedding to be a reflection of our personalities, and our love for each other and for our family and friends. The whole weekend was a blur of activity and emotion, but there are certain things that I hope will stick in my memory forever, and thankfully we have wonderful photographs to look back on. Amy and Brandon captured the day exactly how I want to remember it: full of joy.

Photography: Amy Arrington Photography | Videography: Hart To Heart Media | Floral Design: Out Of The Garden | Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group | Ceremony Venue: Trinity United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Catering : Fish Restaurant Via Patrick Properties Hospitality Group | Makeup: Kelly Campbell | Hair: Paper Dolls | Hair: Sherri Rodriguez | DJ: Lucas Wade Of EPIC Charleston | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Officiant: Reverend Daniel Flessas | Transportation: Julian's Transport | Bridal Boutique: Traditions By Anna | Ceremony Director: Helen Robbins | Chandelier Rentals: Technical Event Company | Cornhole Boards: Victory Tailgate (Custom Painted By Bride) | Custom Matches: ForYourParty.com | Event Coordination: Ooh! Events | Flowergirl Dress: Olivia Kate Couture | Garter: Florrie Mitton | Getaway Car: ACW Limo | Getting Ready Robes: Silk And More | Getting Ready Venue: Embassy Suites Charleston | Going Away Dress: David's Bridal | Groomsmen Gifts: Aesthetic Wood | Groomsmen's Accessories: Alfred Sung | Invitations, Menus And Programs: Minted | Photo Booth: Coast Photobooth | Rehearsal Dinner: 82 Queen | Rentals: Ooh! Events | String Musicians: Charleston Virtuosi | Tableware Rentals: Polished! | Tent & Linen Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals | Trolleys: Lowcountry Loop

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Rehearsal Dinner Venues
William Aiken House
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Cinematography
Hart to Heart Media
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Charming Southern Wedding Elegance in Charleston

Charm is Charleston’s middle name, and today loves, a whole lotta of it is being delivered to our screens. It’s the kind of magic that happens when Tec Petaja hosts a one-on-one workshop with Ashley Cox behind the lens. Not to mention, the incredibly talented Jacin Fitzgerald Events and our dear friend Abby Capalbo behind every gorgeously crafted and styled bit. Make sure you take time to savor this one, it’s a beaut.

From Ashley Cox PhotographyThese pictures were taken during my one-on-one workshop with Tec Petaja, in the lovely city of Charleston, South Carolina. Jacin Fitzgerald and Abby Capalbo did an incredible job styling this shoot so perfectly and every detail and outfit was absolutely stunning. It was a magical day with such wonderful and talented people!

Photography: Ashley Cox Photography | Workshop: Tec Petaja Workshops | Floral & Event Design: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Event Design: Abby Capalbo | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Wedding Dress: The Dress Theory | Top & Tulle Skirt: Kate McDonald Bridal | Jewelry: Heidi Gibson | Tux: The Black Tux

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Modern + Elegant French Wedding Inspirtation

A South Carolina shoot with a French influence? I have officially found my form of paradise right here. With a color palette that I want to fill my life with and a dress that has left me awestruck, this wedding photo shoot by Olivia Griffin stole my heart. Oliver Hooper Events created a masterpiece and if you can’t tell by my babbling, I’ve fallen fully in love. See all this beauty in one pretty place right here!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Hotel

From Photographer Olivia GriffinThe location of the shoot was the main inspiration. This hotel was recently purchased and completely redone. It’s located on the rolling hills of the top left corner of South Carolina; it has a beautiful landscape. The new owners preserved the French styled architecture while also adding modern touches to tie everything together. The stylist went with a classic/traditional look to let the surroundings speak for itself. I hope that these images inspire your readers and get them excited about spring!

Photography: Olivia Griffin | Floral Design: Julie Dodds | Cake: Buttercream Bake House | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Jewelry: Ex Voto Vintage | Hair And Makeup: Katie Cotton | Calligrapher: Rachel Knowlton Calligraphy | Venue: Hotel Domestique | Bridal Boutique: The Poinsett Bride | Bridesmaids Dress: Bella Bridesmaids | China: Shops Of Provence | Desserts: Rick Erwin Dining Group | Menswear: Rush Wilson Limited | Rentals: Professional Party Rentals | Stylist: Oliver Hooper Events