Romantic Plantation Wedding in South Carolina
April 7, 2015
Drawing inspiration from their favorite things, these long-distance lawyers wed in the old South surrounded by sparkling chandeliers and Spanish moss. Their Big Day was a marriage of antique classic with a glamorous ballroom affair. From the choir singing ceremony to the meaningful vows in a midst of ancient oak trees, every detail Posh Petals And Pearls planned Erin Rene Photography captured, here!
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From the beautiful Bride... Bryan and I were introduced by a mutual friend while we were in law school -- he was at University of South Carolina and I was at University of Alabama. When we ran into each other at an Alabama football game, we just "knew," as hokey as it sounds, and were inseparable after that. We were long distance for the first few years, but so smitten that it didn't even seem difficult to balance our relationship while we each finished law school. We went through everything together, from graduation to the bar exam and braving the recession to working the "real world," and we were best friends and so in love the entire time. He was my favorite part of those years. By the time he proposed, we had been dating for six years. I was so excited that he couldn't surprise me, even though he desperately wanted to. On the intended "big day," we were out on the boat in Bluffton, S.C., near where we had our wedding, and the sun was setting. It was perfect. He was waiting for the right moment when the boat motor gave out. A friendly passer-by had to tow us in. He tried to recover by taking me to a romantic dinner, but the restaurant was closed. The next restaurant was closed as well. He was so despondent that we finally bought some ground beef for hamburgers and headed back to the house. It took him a few days to recover before he could give proposing a second shot, and it was worth the wait!

Our relationship was Old South born, and Lowcountry raised. South Carolina is my home and my family has grown up on the May River in Bluffton, S.C. for generations. Bryan and I fell in love on our weekends there, skipping class for one more day on the water, dreaming of who we would be together, and watching sunsets through chandeliers of Spanish moss. We are the happiest there, and we couldn't imagine a better setting than a historic home on our favorite tidal waters. There's something about that part of the world that feels like a holy place, its own kind of sanctuary, and we could not decorate a room to be more beautiful than the landscape itself. Our guests were traveling from all over, some from other countries, and we wanted our wedding to not only welcome them with the famed hospitality of the South, but also to surround them with the romantic landscape that we love so much.

Our wedding was inspired by who we are as a couple and the things that we love the most. Our style is very antique classic with a touch of glamour, so it only seemed appropriate to host a formal affair in a ballroom of ancient oak trees and sweet, salty air. We love the romance of the South Carolina low country and the white glove elegance of history, so we used the fragrant, natural beauty of the coastline as a backdrop, and amplified it with the contrast of formal, heirloom items, like crystal chandeliers, crisp white linens, and family silver. For us, it was everything beautiful, all in one place.

Our wedding was full of special touches, but our favorite was our ceremony music, the choir from the Second Euhaw Baptist Church in neighboring Ridgeland, SC. A dear friend of my mother's raised her voice in that choir every Sunday until she passed, shortly after agreeing that the choir would sing in our wedding. In her honor, her church family rallied their choir to our wedding and sang with a zeal that will continue to bless our marriage for years to come. They sang our guests to their seats, then went into the house, and as we walked down the front steps for the first time as husband and wife, they burst through the doors behind us, clapping and singing. The chorus of their joyful music carried us the rest of the way down the aisle in the most spirited, exalted soundtrack of worship we had ever heard. As Bryan would later say, "Once they started singing, everything else was just window dressing."

My most vivid memory is Bryan's face as we exchanged vows. Everything had been so busy and exciting, but as I walked down the aisle, all the wedding planning and nerves fell away, leaving me with only overwhelming love and appreciation. I wondered for an instant if he would be too nervous or preoccupied to feel it too, and at that very moment, a light breeze swelled off the marsh, blowing my veil to the side, and I saw him clearly. His face beamed with emotion, brimming with joy, adoration, gratitude, pride, and love, and I knew we were feeling the exact same thing at the exact same time. I remember watching his lip quiver and how hard he worked to keep the tears welled in his eyes from slipping onto his cheeks, and I remember dancing the fine line between surrendering myself completely to the emotions, but not too much, lest I melt into a blubbering pile of happy tears right there on the plantation steps. I remember seeing in his face that we were completely together in that moment, living the day we had dreamed of for so long, saying out loud the words we had whispered to each other so many times, in a gorgeous setting tailor made for us, with everyone that loved us looking on. For those few minutes, the world slowed and the only emotion we felt was our love for each other. Our photographer was so incredibly talented that she caught too many precious moments to count, but my favorites are from those few minutes during the ceremony, kissing Daddy goodbye and committing myself to my husband. Our photographer was seriously the best decision we made for our wedding.

Bryan wanted our first look to happen during the ceremony. Because we were outside, we had to fabricate a "first look," since we didn't have any doors to hide behind. We agreed that after the procession of wedding party, he would turn his back to the wedding, facing the officiant, until I got to the beginning of the aisle, when he would turn back around to watch me walk to him. After the last bridesmaid, Bryan turned around and listened to the bagpipes that preceded me come down the aisle playing "Highland Cathedral." He listened to their keening, majestic music get closer and closer, anticipating the reveal, until his father tapped his shoulder to turn around as I walked toward him on Daddy's arm, in full bridal glory. We had planned every other detail of the wedding so much that we had seen it all in advance, but that moment was left a surprise.

Think Sound of Music's "A Few of My Favorite Things," translate it into your relationship, and make it a wedding. Here's what I mean: There was so much pressure to develop a grand, cohesive vision that it was really overwhelming. After agonizing over a few things, we ended up deciding that our theme, our "vision," would be "Britton and Bryan's favorite things": crystal chandeliers, oak trees, clear top tents, Spanish moss, tuxedos, pearls, marsh grass, etc. It started out as a joke, but ended up being exactly what we needed to filter the decisions -- when asked to make a selection, we didn't think about how trying to make it look like this or that or what others would think. Instead, we would just pick what we liked the best, generally, in life. We were the common thread for all our selections -- it was all stuff that made us happy, and that made it all work.