There is nothing I love more than a good dose of Southern Charm. Especially when said charm involves a love story that originated on campus. Elizabeth Duncan Events planned a day imbued with significance as these Southern sweethearts wed at their college chapel. From the buried bottle of bourbon (to warn off rain!) to the Bride’s heirloom veil, Jodi Miller Photography snapped every whimsical moment, here!
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From the beautiful Bride… Andrew and I both attended Washington & Lee University. We met at his fraternity party my sophomore year, when we both happened to be playing “wingman” for our respective friends. I thought he was cute, but wrote him off as just another football player who seemed like a bit of a jerk! Three years later, we ran into each other at a friend’s party in Washington, DC. We started dating soon after, and seven years, five jobs, a law degree (for me), and a CFA (for Andrew) later, we got engaged at Andrew’s family home in Hilton Head, South Carolina! My friends still love to tease me about my complete change of heart!
Having attended many weddings over the years, Andrew and I had grown to love the easy sense of intimacy and warmth that comes with a destination wedding. Something about gathering a group of friends and family in an unfamiliar place encourages everyone to really relax and enjoy themselves. We considered venues literally all over the U.S., but it was Andrew who suggested Lee Chapel, on our college campus, which dates back to 1868. I initially wrote off the idea as “cheesy,” but I am so glad Andrew prevailed! Lee Chapel’s history and simple, understated elegance made it the perfect place to exchange our vows.
I wore my mother’s cathedral length lace veil, which my wedding dress designer had made for her thirty years earlier. My older sister, Katherine, wore it for her wedding the year before, and my younger sister, Sophie, will wear it someday as well. The veil has a small tear in it from where my late grandfather stepped on it at my parents’ wedding day- such a small detail imbued with so much meaning.
Our ceremony music perfectly epitomizes our desired merger of the traditional and the whimsical. My father and I walked down the aisle to the very traditional Prince of Denmark’s March, played on the organ. After we were married, Andrew and I recessed down the aisle to The W&L Swing, our football fight song, sung by W&L’s male a Capella group, Southern Comfort. Almost immediately, our guests started clapping in time with the music. It was a complete surprise and ended up being the perfect transition from the solemnity of the ceremony to the lightheartedness of the reception! I think everyone walked out of the chapel with a smile on their face!
While our ceremony was timeless and traditional, the reception can best be described as a marriage of rustic and elegant, or as Andrew jokingly dubbed it, “Custom Suits and Cowboy Boots.” The idyllic landscape of Goose Creek Highlands, with its incredible views and traditional hunter green horse barn, made it an ideal setting for the reception.
Coming from Memphis, I fully embraced Southern tradition in many aspects of the wedding, such as the traditional Southern station-style dinner reception, our flower girls’ embroidered lace dresses and our ring bearer’s Eton suit. In keeping with southern tradition, to ward off rain on our wedding day, we buried a bottle of Andrew’s favorite bourbon upside down at Goose Creek Highlands exactly one month before the wedding day. It worked! We had absolutely beautiful weather, and Andrew dug up the bottle at the reception and all the groomsmen took a swig in celebration.
We ended the celebration with a “late night snack” of Grippo’s potato chips and chili dogs to represent Andrew’s hometown of Cincinnati, and everyone sporting our quirky monogrammed sweat bands as the band serenaded us with Proud Mary, our very favorite song!
Photography: Jodi & Kurt Photography | Event Planning and Design: Elizabeth Duncan Events | Floral Design: Blue Ridge Floral | Wedding Dress: Pat Kerr | Cake: Caroline Dix | Invitations: Just Paper and Tea | Ceremony Venue: Lee Chapel, Washington & Lee University | Reception Venue: Goose Creek Highlands | Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Annie Griffin | Hair And Makeup: Serenity Spa | Band: The Adrian Duke Project | Groom's Attire: Hickey Freeman | Ceremony Music: Southern Comfort | Transportation: Lexington Limo Vans | Transportation: Quicks | Catering & Sweets Table: Full Circle Catering | Chalkboard Menu: Paper Tangent | Dessert: Sweet Things Ice Cream | Getaway Car: Private Owner | Groom's Attire Boutique: Everard's Clothing | Reception Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rentals: Festive Fare | Rentals: Blue Ridge AV & Lighting | Veil: Pat Kerr
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