View Posts By:




Why a Southern Wedding Will Always Be Chic

One look at these photos and I could have told you that this wedding was all Southern. All grace. All style. All timeless Southern charm rooted in family and real, authentic beauty. The photos – captured perfectly by Timwill Photography – tell so much of the story. But the details, with florals crafted by Gathering Events and coordination by Events La Fete, bring a sense of Southern Chic that will forever be fall-in-loveable. Click here to see all of the pretty.

From the Bride…Ralph and I met for the first time thirteen years ago during the first month of our freshman year at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Our first and only encounter in college was a brief lunch together with a mutual friend who introduced us.  During lunch, I must have mentioned to Ralph that I was thinking of jointing the equestrian team.  Not knowing my last name, “Equestrian” was the key-word he used to add me to his phone contacts list.  Ten years later while out with friends, I made eye contact with a handsome man across the room who then approached me and said “Hello, Frances the equestrian!” After my initial shock (I did not recognize him at all!) and his explanation of how we knew each other, we spent the rest of the night dancing and catching up on the past decade. After dating for two years, the first of which was long distance between Charlotte and Raleigh, Ralph proposed in the kitchen of our house with a beautiful cushion cut diamond ring that he had custom designed.

Ralph and I knew that we wanted an outdoor Spring wedding and searched several venues and towns for the perfect garden setting. We decided on Charleston, South Carolina, for its beautiful southern charm and history and its accessibility for out-of town guests. We chose the Governor Thomas Bennett House as our ceremony and reception venue after seeing its gorgeous gardens and close proximity to hotels and attractions on the Charleston peninsula. Our vision for the overall feel of the wedding was classic, clean, and timeless.

The design details gave our wedding a slightly nautical feel, with a navy and white color palate, striped bridesmaid dresses, and a sailcloth tent. One of my favorite unifying elements of the wedding was our custom monogram by One&Only Paper that made its appearance on everything from the wedding invitations and envelope seals, to cocktail stirrers and favor boxes. Other details, such as the dessert table covered in raspberry linzertortes, bieberli, and hazelnut chocolate, were a nod to Ralph’s Swiss roots.

We began our wedding celebration with a welcome party for friends and family aboard my family’s Hatteras motoryacht, the Liberty.  The boat was docked on the Ashley River and was decorated with Swiss flags, including pennants from Uri, Ralph’s family’s home canton. The festivities continued with a fishing trip for Ralph and the groomsmen and a bridal luncheon at 82 Queen for the women in the wedding. The rehearsal dinner was held the next night in the Planter’s Suite of The Mills House. It began with cocktails on the balcony overlooking Meeting Street and concluded with speeches from family and friends and a Peninsula Grill coconut cake for dessert.

We were fortunate to have a crisp, sunny Spring day for our wedding. The open-air ceremony was held on the semi-circular front lawn of the Governor Thomas Bennett House. My father walked me down the aisle and all of our siblings gave scripture reading and prayers. Directly following the  ceremony, our guests enjoyed cocktails in the back garden, including the Goombay Smash made from Bahamian rum we brought back on out most recent trip.

The reception was held under a sailcloth tent on the side lawn of the house and included Charleston-themed tapas stations, floral wreathes and runners, a six-piece band, and an oversized dance floor that was packed the entire night. After all of the bridesmaids tied the enormous Spanish-style bustle for the many layers of my wedding gown, Ralph and I made our reception entrance and danced the Shag to our first song. Following the cake cutting and a bit of mingling, I changed in to a shorter version of my gown to dance the rest of the night. The send-off was a parade of Swiss, American, North Carolina, and South Carolina flags waived by our guests.  Immediately after the reception, we continued the night with an after-reception cocktail party at The Mills House.

Vault CTA

Vault CTA



Photography: Tim Will Fine Art Weddings and Portraits | Wedding Planner: Events by La Fete | Floral Design: Gathering Floral + Event Design | Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah | Invitations: one and only paper | Rings: Bailey's Fine Jewelry | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Kate McDonald Bridal | Catering: Cru Catering | Band: EastCoast Entertainment | Tuxes: Indochino | Ceremony Music: Palmetto Strings | Bridal Jewelry: Gabrielle Jewelry | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Hair and Make-Up: Meg Workman for Hair by Charlotte | Rentals: Event DRS | Wedding Cake & Desserts: Ashley Bakery

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
They Planned a Dream Elopement Close To Home

Gone are the days of courthouse ceremonies serving as the only option for eloping couples. Instead, loves like Jessica & Patrick are choosing to elope with style, curating a beautiful wedding day made for two. They hired their vendor dream team, including Aaron And Jillian Photography behind the lens and you can also find this day in the latest issue of Charleston Weddings…don’t miss our special SMP-curated section!

Al Fresco

Find More in Charleston Weddings’ Latest Issue!

From Aaron And Jillian Photography… Elopements have gone from courthouse ceremonies to GORGEOUS styled ceremonies, beautiful two tiered wedding cakes, over the top florals and lots of time for the bride and groom to spend as just the two of them together on their wedding day! We first “met” Jess when she started following us on Instagram! We were instantly fans of her and Patrick when we saw that he took her to Paris to propose and even hired a photographer to capture the moment when he dropped to his knee! We crossed our fingers that just maybe that “Instagram follow” would materialize into them hiring us as their wedding photographers…and well, dreams do come true, people! A couple weeks later, there was an e-mail in our inbox from Jess!!! So fast forward to a couple weeks ago, we met Jess & Patrick for their wedding day and spent 4 glorious hours with the two of them…and I’d like to take a moment to give a little pat on the back to the Pure Luxe Bride gals!! They helped Jess & Patrick come up with one of the pretties designs for their elopement at The Legare Waring House! I think we all went home that day with smiles plastered over our faces and an even deeper love for what we do in the wedding industry! 

Jess & Patrick’s wedding day just made you re-think a big wedding, we’re not surprised! We LOVED spending the day with this sweet couple and know that at the end of the day, they had zero regrets about their decision to elope together here in Charleston…and hopefully these photos will allow their friends and family to feel as if they were right there with them, through the whole experience! Thank you for choosing us, Jess & Patrick and we hope these photos will always serve as a reminder of your perfect elopement!

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: Aaron And Jillian Photography | Floral Design: Miele Events | Wedding Dress: Theia | Cake: Sablee | Bride's Shoes: Harriet Wilde | Hair + Makeup: Paper Dolls | Calligraphy: Jillian Cramer | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Venue: Legare Waring House | Bridal Boutique: Alexia's Bridal | Bride's Earrings: Marchesa | Bride's Ring: Diamonds Direct | Cake Knife + Server: Billy Ella | Coordination + Design: Pure Luxe Bride | Gold + Glass Card Holder: BHLDN | Groom's Custom Cuff Links: Blue Nile | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Hair Accessories: The Wild Rose Accessories | Leather Notebook: Rustico | Rentals: Snyder | Silk Ribbon: Silk & Willow

Inspiration for the Fashion-Forward Bride

If you’ve never considered wearing a cape on your wedding day, this photo shoot is all the inspiration you’ll ever need. Photographed by Almond Leaf Studios and designed and planned in the hands of Emily Claire Events, it’s a fashion heavy, floral loving slice of pretty guaranteed to find a place on your Pinterest boards. Find even more to love inside The Vault.

From Emily, the planner and designer… We knew that we wanted our inspiration to be the chic Atlanta bride, so we included a mix of classic yet slightly modern details. Fashion is front and center here with the bride wearing a gorgeous Caroline Hayden gown, Oscar de la Renta earrings, and Christian Louboutin heels. We loved how structural the gown was and how the cape gently flowed across the staircase at the venue. If that cape doesn’t make you feel like a queen on your wedding day, then we don’t know what will! 

Ivory satin linens, ghost chairs, and silver details set the stage for the fabulous tones in the flowers to shine through. Peonies, carnations, roses, and ranunculus play together beautifully as they cascade across the table. Every brides favorite shade of blush, peach, and ivory can be seen making an appearance!

Vault CTA

Vault CTA



Photography: Almond Leaf Studios | Event Design: Emily Claire Events | Event Planning: Emily Claire Events | Floral Design: Philosophy Flowers | Wedding Dress: Caroline Hayden | Cake: Sweet Peeps Bakery | Stationery: Flourish Calligraphy | Ceremony Venue: Swan House | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Hair + Makeup: Beauty Asylum | Groom's Attire: Generation Tux | Chair Rentals: Sweet Seats | Earrings: Oscar De La Renta | Models: Kristin and Cody | Tabletop Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A fun-filled weekend + a breathtaking wedding? Sign us up.

You know what I love? A vacation wedding. The sort of fun-filled weekend meets breathtaking “I do’s” that happen at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village. Think one part awesome nuptials, one part kayaking, boating and dolphin watching and one part relaxing spa. It’s the perfect way to celebrate with your nearest and dearest all weekend (or week!) long. Scroll to get your fun on.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village isn’t just the perfect place to say “I do,” it also happens to be a whole lot of FUN. From the sunset tours to the boat rentals to the day trips to Sanibel Island, your itinerary will be jam packed with amazing activities that are enjoyable for every single one of your loved ones.  Just imagine a fab welcome dinner coordinated by The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village’s talented staff followed by a sunset tour OR a day-of morning spent golfing in the always amazing Florida weather OR a day-after brunch followed by a trip to the Imaginarium Museum OR all of the above. Not to mention the three resort pools, luxurious spa + salon, plus a planned expansion of the resort, which will add 35,000 square feet of space (that’s 50,000 square feet!) that can accommodate 400+ guests… all by February of 2018. We call that awesome, loves.

Whether you’re planning a small affair for 20 of your nearest and dearest or a more elaborate “I do” for 200 of your loved ones, contact The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village today to begin that journey to the wedding of a lifetime. You (and your guests!) will never enjoy a wedding more.


Select The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village and receive special rewards and bonus Starpoints® which can be used immediately towards honeymoon nights.

  • Earn up to 100,000 bonus Starpoints®*
  • Overnight guestroom or suite accommodations for bridal couple on wedding night
  • Sparkling toast during the wedding reception
  • Valid on weddings reserved this year and hosted by December 31, 2017

Contact a Wedding Specialist or request more information online.

*Client is eligible for a Starpoint® signing bonus equal to one Starpoint for every one US dollar ($1) of contracted food and beverage and room rental fees, maximum 100,000 Starpoints.

Sunsational Savings! Book three (3) night, get the fourth (4th) night free + a $100 resort credit per stay! Click here for more info.