Here’s a little confession, y’all: Emily and I Instagram-stalked the preparation of today’s beautiful wedding for weeks last year! After seeing sneak peeks of the meaningful details Beth Ann and Wesley were incorporating into their celebration, set against the stunning backdrop of Wesley’s family summer home, we were overjoyed when Jacin of Lovely Little Details sent it our way. This wedding is drop dead gorgeous, no doubt about that, but what we love most are the ways they nodded to their love story (the monarch butterfly release, in honor of the butterflies Beth Ann claims she first got around Wesley!) and to the life they want to create together (like the ceremony doors that they hope to include in a future home). When your story stretches all the way back to childhood, like Beth Ann and Wesley’s does, there’s certainly plenty to be inspired by!
From Jacin: This wedding took place at the groom’s family’s private plantation in Georgetown, South Carolina. The plantation was actually used in a movie, and is an idyllic location right on the water, but far enough down a beaten path road that you might not even know it was there. We even had baby alligators in the pond next to cocktail hour–having someone come to relocate the alligators to another watering hole is something I never thought my job description would entail!
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We were married during Memorial Day weekend at Wesley’s family’s second home, Whitehall Plantation. The home overlooks Winyah Bay in Georgetown, South Carolina. The wedding took place at 6:00 P.M., and was black tie optional. he weather could not have been more perfect. The evening was in the high 70’s and there was a light breeze. We chose the family summer house because it has always been a special place for Wesley, and we spent many happy times there during our dating life. It was also where Wesley proposed. We buried a bourbon bottle exactly one month before the wedding, and the groom and groomsmen dug it up and did shots the day of the wedding. We will swear by this Southern tradition forever, since our weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I went shopping in Atlanta with my sister, my mother, and my fiancé’s mother. My dress was one of two that I quickly narrowed the selection down to, but the one I picked was so comfortable and felt so light that I knew it was the one. The designer was Anna Maier, and the detail I loved the most was the blush-hued slip that complemented my skin tone.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? We chose Amsale dresses in champagne chiffon. I let each of the bridesmaid pick the style they liked the best.
What did the groom and groomsmen wear? They wore off-white dinner jackets with traditional tux pants and black cummerbunds and bow ties–a very traditional, Southern look.
The flowers were loose, indigenous blooms that featured the season. There were lots of lush peonies, ranunculus, Queen Anne’s lace, garden roses, viburnum, poppies, scabiosa, anemones, and clematis in shades of blush and cream with pops of hot pink, paired with blueberry branches from a local farm down the street. Our planner, Jacin, traded jars of her homemade jam in exchange for being allowed to go to the farm and clip branches to include in all of our arrangements and boutonnieres.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: There are so many to choose from, but the old doors that we bought and used for my father to walk me through as we entered the ceremony were so special. We hope to one day to use them in our home in some way. My other favorite detail was the wine that Wesley and I made on a trip in Italy the summer before the wedding. We had the wine labels designed to match our invitation and served it at the wedding.
The ceremony was special for several reasons (besides marrying the love of my life). The groom’s first cousin partnered in the officiating, which was very special. My sister and maid of honor surprised us with a box of beautiful monarch butterflies that we opened during the ceremony, and we included a wedding prayer that had been read at my parents’ wedding 29 years ago. We concluded the ceremony with a surprise for the audience of a Southern choir bursting into the song “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.”
From Jacin: The bride and groom’s families have been friends forever, and their love started at an early age. The bride cites she felt butterflies for the first time and knew he was the one, so we brought this detail in through a surprise butterfly release at the end of the ceremony.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: I was absolutely blown away by the dinner tent. The custom made floor was unbelievable. Also, I am a big fan of bourbon whiskey, so Beth Ann planned a bourbon bar at the wedding. It was a huge hit with everyone, and I loved it. It had a dark wooden bar with various fine bourbons to sample and boxes of cigars to smoke. It had the feel of an old-timey lounge.
What was your reception like? A fairy tale! Stations were set up so that at each corner, guests had another surprise in store for them. The grounds were surrounded by the most beautiful live oaks, which are such a signature element of the Lowcountry. Each was up-lit and many chandeliers were hung from the trees. An incredible circular bar was built around the base of one of the biggest oaks on the grounds, which served as the center for the dance floor. A bourbon and cigar bar and a photo booth were also set up in different areas.
What was the design inspiration for your reception? From Jacin: We had guests start with the ceremony on one side of the plantation, then slowly move around to each next portion of the night, delighting guests with the details that remained cohesive, but still brought the element of surprise. Dinner was held in a custom built 50′ x 150′ tent, which we built to mimic a dining room. From hardwood floors that were placed plank by plank just days before the wedding, to draping from ceiling to floor in a sheer ivory silk, allowing the lighting and mossy oaks to be seen from inside, but masking the dance area until it was time, to driftwood logs we had holes cut to fit wine bottle candles at the entrance (the bride and groom made their own wine in Italy the summer before, and the wine bottles were a nod to that), the tent was one of my favorite places. 470 guests can be a daunting head count, but the overall response we heard was that they felt like they were in a dining room with their closest friends–mission accomplished!
From Jacin: We wanted to play on the natural setting of the plantation, with nods to the Spanish moss and beach grass, and with a few pops of blue from the ocean. We brought in those accents subtly, from individually painted invitations depicting the plantation view, to a canoe beer bar during cocktail hour, to oyster and mussel shells at each place setting for salt and pepper cellars, to driftwood place cards with names hand lettered individually. The first time I visited the venue with the couple, I noticed a blueberry farm down the street. I kept that farm in my mind through the entire process, and called them a month or so before the wedding to see if we could come by and clip some greenery to use in the floral arrangements. I loved how the blue/green leaves looked with the blush pink peonies and delicate clematis, and the greenery was the perfect accent to pull the florals together. I actually ended up trading a few jars of homemade jam with the blueberry farm owner in exchange for the greenery–it was quite the barter!
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? We are so excited to begin our life together. We’ve been through every stage of our growing up years together in some way or another, and to continue this journey as a couple makes me feel so blessed to be spending the rest of my life with my best friend.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We are childhood friends turned high school sweethearts. We continued our relationship through our years at Clemson University. Both of our families are very good friends, and have traveled together a lot. Our first kiss was during a game of truth or dare when we were just kids, and our families were on a cruise together.
Tell us about the proposal! It was June 7, 2013. Beth Ann and I were scheduled to go to Puerto Rico with her family the next day. I had picked up the ring two days before, and it was burning a hole in my pocket–I knew I could not keep the secret for very long. I wanted to be able to celebrate our engagement with our families, but unfortunately, there was a tropical storm over the coast of South Carolina, and the weather was terrible. Even though it was bad, I asked Beth Ann if she wanted to go have lunch with me at Whitehall (the future venue for our wedding). Although she was reluctant at first, she agreed. As soon as we got there, there was a break in the weather, and the day turned beautiful. Before we could even eat, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. It was the perfect moment when she said yes (although it took her a minute or two to because she was crying). We then called our close friends and family to tell them we had gotten engaged. Later that night, we celebrated with everyone at a local restaurant.
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, intimate in all its grandeur, and unexpected (thanks to with surprises that my parents had in store)
How many guests attended your wedding? 478
What were some of the highlights of the reception? Edwin McCain was great, but the band, Sol Fusion, was equally impressive. Their music was awesome and they were so patient with our wedding party, because we all got on the stage with them for the last half of their time. They just kept on playing and singing–it was epic. We broke the stage!
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? We had a table set up with photographs of both sets of grandfathers, who had passed away. We also hung both of our mothers’ wedding gowns on a display for everyone to see.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: We got so many compliments but one of our close friends said this: “The night was absolutely spectacular! With all its extravagance and magic, which was amazing, at its heart, it was a simple wedding with a simple message of love!”
Photography: Tec Petaja / Planning, Design, and Florals: Lovely Little Details / Paper Products Design: Momental Designs / Paper Products Printing: Southern Fried Paper / Calligraphy: Traci Green / Catering: Cru Catering / Videographer: Shaking Hands / Photo Booth: Michael Newton / Officiants: Tim Surratt, Christin Norman / Cake Baker: Myra Ranta of Incredible Edibles / Cocktail Hour and Reception Musicians: Sol Fusion / String Quartet: Classical Charleston / Gospel Choir: Voices of Deliverance / Logistics: Dovetail / Tent, Flooring, and Rentals: Snyder Events / Lighting: Production Design Associates / Linens: La Tavola / Hair and Makeup: Team Hair & Makeup / Valet: Shoreline Valet / Trolley: Sunway Charters / Limo and Shuttle: Carolina Limo / Restrooms: Nature’s Calling Inc. / Draping: Duvall Events / Driftwood Arch and Driftwood Wine Bottle Candleholders: Lee Arthur / Antique Doors: Ted Watts / Venue: Whitehall Plantation / Bride’s Gown: Anna Maier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Jewelry: Yael Designs / Bridesmaid Dresses: Various styles in Champagne by Amsale / Wedding Dinner Wine: Made by the bride and her family at Castello Monterinaldi with winemaker Fabrizio Benedetti
Lovely Little Details is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!