Each time I start working on a Real Wedding feature I am completly smitten + surprised! It’s like unwrapping an awesome Christmas present — minus the mess of paper! Kim + Mark’s celebration at the King Plow Art Center definitely fall under the smitten catagory!
I’m a traditional girl at heart, but I think I could change my ways for Kim + Mark’s modern twists on classic style! I love how they took an iconic Southern detail like mason jars, and added a fun twist by having them displayed in a hanging installation. Totally unexpected, but completly gorgeous! And don’t even get me started on those glorious dangling glass globes of light and Kim’s short frock! Lots of love to Ms. Ali Harper for doing such a fabulous job capturing this romantic soirée!
How fun is the typography in this invitation? I could see Miss Nicole sending something like this out to her future guests.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I was not looking forward to going wedding dress shopping. Atypical of most ladies, I don’t like to be fussed over. My best friend Robin is my go-to for an honest opinion. She is also, in my eyes, an expert, having worked at Vera Wang in New York. Kelly’s Closet was our first stop. It was great! The sales consultant asked me to go through the racks and pick what I liked. I had always dreamed of an all lace dress, but I also liked the idea of a tea-length dress. I tried on a total of eight dresses and quickly narrowed it down to an all-lace strapless dress or the tea-length dupioni silk dress, both by the same designer. They were so different and both flattering. At the end of the day, it was the tea-length dress that felt just right. I felt very free, very pretty and I loved it. The feeling of my wedding was easy and light-hearted and I felt that the tea-length dress reflected that. We left Kelly’s Closet and canceled the rest of my wedding dress appointments for that day and went out to toast success with a glass of prosecco.
My wedding flowers may have been my absolute favorite thing, including the incorporation of the balsa wood flowers and the festival lights would be my favorite detail of our wedding. There is something about festival lights that make a space feel magical. I wanted them to be creative and organic. I wanted ranunculus and peonies. I wanted spray roses and tea roses, but no standard roses. I wanted them to be wild, but polished.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I love the idea of a beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception on a warm summer evening, but sometimes that is a little risky with the threat of rain. We opted for an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. With all of the flowers and the lights, I hoped to transform the rustic art gallery into a warm and festive Southern night. Details like the mason jars used in the hanging installations are so iconic of the South. The delicate fans and paper parasols evoked that playfulness and whimsy that I associate with the South. My sister-in-law, who is a resident Charlestonian, said that the night reminded her of an outdoor Charleston wedding, which was my goal.
I’m dying over this gorgeous installation! Such an innovative twist on the ever-amazing string twinkle lights!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: I love the look of beautiful sweets on display and wanted something different than a towering white cake. I fell in love with simplicity and uniqueness of a trio of freesia cakes in the Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes book. I adjusted the colors to my palette and opted for piped ribbon roses in place of fresh freesia. I subbed one of the cakes for the Robin’s Egg cake (also in Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes). The large one was almond cake with vanilla bean buttercream. One of the smaller ones was peanut butter and chocolate and the other was chocolate and mint. We added small baskets of French macarons in caramel and almond vanilla bean on the cake table, because they are some of my favorite sweet treats!
Kim is a girl after my own heart, she believes in love at first sight, even if she won’t admit it! Mark and I met at work. I liked him from the moment I saw him, and I don’t really believe in that sort of thing. He was moving on to another job and I was disappointed. I was quickly promoted to his position, though, and we were paired together for his last two weeks in order for him to train me. By the end of those two weeks we were dating and have been together ever since.
Describe the proposal. I returned to school last June for pre-dental hygiene and Mark was determined to take a vacation before I went back. He had mentioned in the past that he thought that proposing on vacation was the way to do it, so I was suspicious. I was on the lookout, but no signs were apparent. Little did I know that my mother and Mark had made multiple trips to the jeweler to have my ring made. On our second night in Mexico, Mark and I took a walk on the beach. Mark asked me to look at the sky because he bought me a star. He pointed out a star and said, “but it isn’t as sparkly as this star,” and in his hand was a diamond ring. He asked me to marry him and I was so excited, I don’t even remember saying yes. It was a perfect proposal and unexpected.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 115
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I wanted the sign of me in my dress to be a complete surprise to. It was the one thing that I wanted to be completely traditional.
Did you write your own vows? We did not write our own vows. I was convinced that I would get very nervous and my mind would go blank. Also, I can be shy and prefer to share my most intimate feelings in private.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The processional was the instrumental version of “In My Life” by the Beatles. When I walked down the aisle, they played “Forever” by Ben Harper and the recessional was “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. Our first dance was “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My biggest challenge was trying to accomplish my decor vision within my budget.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I am so happy that I splurged on my custom cake topper.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Dancing at my reception and looking around at all of my family and friends belting out Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’” I felt very loved and supported. It was great to see everyone having so much fun!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would suggest that when planning a wedding, the bride should take a lot of care in choosing her vendors. She should make sure that they share and appreciate her vision. Also, create a day that reflects you and your style. Try to relax and have fun.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? I am still working on getting into Dental Hygiene school, which may include moving. Mark and I would like to buy a house, but that most likely won’t happen anytime too soon. We rescued a wonderful dog this past week.
Ali Harper is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Directory!