I want to jump right through my computer screen and into today’s darling wedding! From the beautiful location, to the sentimental “somethings” Kelsey chose, to the cake that sounds like a slice of heaven, Kelsey and Zane took every opportunity to make sure their wedding day reflected their personalities and their amazing love story. I remember chatting with their photographer, Shalyn of Love, The Nelsons, in Austin over a year ago and hearing about how excited she was to fly to Charleston to capture this special wedding, and having read K and Z’s interview, I can completely see why. These two are sweeter than the Benne wafers they included in their guests’ welcome bags, and their wedding is overflowing with so much love for their family, friends, and most of all, each other!
My something old was very precious to me. My grandmother’s wedding dress is no longer in wearable condition, so my mom had a piece of each sleeve of the dress made into a handkerchief for my sister and I. In blue stitching, she added my Nana’s initials and wedding date, her initials and wedding date, and my initials and wedding date. I pinned it to the inside of my dress so that I would have it with me all day. My something new was my earrings (that I won in an amazing Southern Weddings giveaway!) and my wedding shoes. My something borroweds were the ribbon to tie a charm around my bouquet and perfume from one of my bridesmaids (though that wasn’t planned)! My something blue was the blue topaz ring that my parents had given me for graduating from the University of North Carolina.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had looked through tons of magazines and photos online, but I wanted my mom and sister by my side when I actually went shopping for THE dress. We planned a weekend for them to come out to Texas to shop with me, and I absolutely loved the experience! From all the weddings I went to as a little girl and all of those I saw on television (think Princess Di and The Sound of Music), I remember the gorgeous backs and trains that you saw as the bride walked down the aisle. On the second day of shopping, I found a dress that I couldn’t stop staring at. I had never seen anything like the back of this dress; it had a gorgeous V in the back that was covered with beautiful lace, buttons down the back, and a special ribbon. The ladies helped me add a veil, and for the first time, I didn’t see the mirror–I saw Zane at the end of the aisle. It felt so real and brought tears to my eyes.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we decided to do a first look and are so glad we did! We spoke to several recently married friends of ours, some who had done a first look and some who hadn’t. No one who had done a first look regretted it, but some of those who didn’t wished they had more photos of just the two of them. It was such an intimate moment for us and one I’ll never forget. We got to talk and hug and relax. Then we were ready to get married!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose to have three readings at our ceremony. One traditional Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, one reading that had special meaning to Zane, and one reading that had special meaning to me. Zane loved The Velveteen Rabbit as a child, and it has such a sweet message about the meaning of love, so we asked a close friend to read a passage from the book. I chose a reading called “Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love” by Edmund O’Neill. I love the message that it shares: that marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life, and that it is a promise that is worked on for a lifetime.
I loved walking down the aisle and seeing so many faces of people that I love, hearing my brother playing the guitar, feeling my dad holding on to me tightly, and then locking eyes with Zane and having this amazing feeling of warmth and happiness. By the end of it, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Zane and I always knew that we would be married in Charleston–it is the city where we fell in love. One of the only specific things Zane asked for was if we could be married in the chapel at his school, The Summerall Chapel. It is absolutely beautiful and has great significance to Citadel cadets. For our reception, we wanted our guests to experience the historic charm of downtown Charleston, but I am also a beach baby and had dreamed of being by the water. We found the perfect mix of both in the Historic Rice Mill!
My favorite Southern aspects of our wedding were the people and place. Charleston is so rich in history and Southern charm, and the hospitality and warmth from all of our friends and family was contagious. Even those who had just met became fast friends, swapped stories, and danced the shag! To make sure that everyone made the most of their visit, we gave them welcome bags filled with treats (Benne wafers, anyone?) and information about the area.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided to have a small wedding cake displayed for the formal cake cutting and then served sheet cake from the kitchen. Zane loves absolutely anything with Nutella on it, and we both love strawberries, so our display cake was a vanilla cake filled with Nutella and fresh strawberries. The cake that we served to our guests was made by my absolute favorite bakery back in Chapel Hill! Nantucket Grill has this amazing mile-high strawberry shortcake with whipped cream icing and fresh strawberries in each layer. It is so delicious! In college, my girlfriends and I would go have cake there for dinner. A dear family friend grabbed the cake on the way down to Charleston and kept it cool for us. Our guests loved it!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Zane and I are from the same hometown in South Carolina, but went to different schools. We met during high school on a spring break trip to Folly Beach. Some mutual friends knew each other, so both of our groups decided to meet up to hang out. Zane and I ended up being paired together on a team to play “Sardines” (like hide and seek, but once you find someone, you have to hide with them until only one team is left). Our hiding places were ridiculous and we kept each other laughing all night. After spring break ended, Zane and I continued to become really good friends. On May 28, 2007, I came home with my family from our beach house in North Carolina. Zane had been taking care of our two dogs for the week, and when we pulled into the driveway, there was writing on my car that said “Will you be my girlfriend?” I was so excited to say yes, and he brought over a movie to watch for our first date as a couple. Zane and I dated long distance all the way through college while I was in Chapel Hill attending UNC, and Zane was in Charleston at The Citadel. I quickly realized that this guy was my best friend and I could not imagine life without him. We were finally able to spend one semester of college together while studying abroad in Australia. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I couldn’t have imagined a better person to share it with!
Tell us all about the proposal! On August 3, 2012, we had planned a big date night out for Houston Restaurant Week. When I finished getting ready and came out of the bathroom, I stepped on a note on the floor. I looked up and saw a trail of notes leading out of my room around the apartment. Each note had a reason why Zane loves me written on it. The trail led me into the living room, where candles and flowers were set up. As I was reading the last note, Zane came around the corner and got down on one knee. Of course, I said yes, and barely waited for him to stand up before jumping and hugging him. I was on cloud nine!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 200
Did you write your own vows? We chose to recite traditional vows. We found it really romantic to be saying the same wedding vows that our parents and grandparents recited to each other to be joined in marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Now that we live in Texas, planning a wedding back in South Carolina was definitely challenging. I had to make the most out of the time I was back home by strategically planning appointments with vendors and describing the vision I had in my head effectively. Having a long engagement helped because it gave us the time to research venues and vendors before making decisions. I did a lot of looking around online to narrow things down before I actually met vendors in person in Charleston.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We absolutely love being married. I smile every time I say “husband!” We are planning to take a trip somewhere new each year as our anniversary present to each other. Even just around the states, we are excited to make those memories together. And we are most looking forward to our next big steps: buying a house and starting a family. No matter when or how things happen, I am so happy and proud to spend the rest of my life with Zane, and I know that it will be full of joy and laughter!
Photographer: Love, The Nelsons / Videographer: Chap Films / Planner: Southern Bells Events / Ceremony Venue: The Summerall Chapel / Reception Venue: Historic Rice Mill / Florist: Country and Lace / Wedding Cake: Ally & Eloise Bakeshop and Nantucket Grill / Caterer: Good Food Catering / Rentals: EventHaus Rentals / Band: Rubberband / Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Veil: Marry Go Round Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LaRoque / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Officiant: Pastor Greg V. Mason of Wedding Minister in Charleston / Bouquet Charm: Bip and Bop / Decorative Pillows: Two Peaches Design / Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Cake Forks: Eve Of Joy / Transportation: Limos For Less, LLC.