As you may know from a handful of Southern Weddings editorials over the years (like here and here), we have a soft spot in our office for classic Southern love stories. Our beautiful bride today, Calla, could say the same–and she has quite the Southern love story of her own to boot! After Calla and Thomas met in the hospital where they both worked, she followed him across state lines, and they got engaged at Boone Hall Plantation, where scenes from some of Calla’s favorite movies (The Notebook and Gone With the Wind!) have been filmed. There was no question that Calla and Thomas were going to honor their proposal story by tying the knot at this special place too, and with the help of Pure Luxe Bride, they planned an intimate celebration beneath Boone Hall’s Spanish moss-covered oaks.
We’re so glad Aaron and Jillian shared Calla and Thomas’ sweet Southern love story with us!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did a very non-traditional first look! We saw each other getting ready the day of our wedding. When it was time to get dressed, we separated, and Thomas met me in the courtyard to do our first look! I love looking at our pictures because you can feel the genuine happiness we felt when we turned around and looked at each other for the first time.
Thomas proposed to me at Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina at their annual oyster roast. I had never been to Boone Hall Plantation before, but the Avenue of Oaks immediately captivated me. I am obsessed with the movies “The Notebook” and “Gone With The Wind,” and Boone Hall just so happens to be the backdrop for some of the most incredible scenes in those movies. Toward the end of the day I was ready to go home when Thomas asked me to go shuck just a few more oysters. At the oyster-shucking table, he handed me an oyster and said, “Shuck this one!” I did not think a thing about it. I went to open it and WHAM, there was my ring! He asked me to marry him in front of everyone there, and of course, I said yes! I also knew right away that we had to get married at Boone Hall Plantation!
Did you write your own vows? We did not write our vows. We read our vows after our priest recited “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage” from the Book of Common Prayer.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Thomas and I both love classical music, and Thomas plays the violin. We hired the amazingly talented Micah Gangwer to perform solo violin before, during, and directly after our ceremony. We stuck with traditional classical music, and I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride.”
I found my wedding dress at London and Lace in Columbia, South Carolina. It was important to me to have a timeless, Southern wedding dress. I wanted the lace and I wanted the sparkle! I also wanted my dress to be conservative. I tried on several dresses during my first visit and nothing was for me. Later, I spoke with Lisa Kyzer, the owner, and she told me to come back, because she had another dress for me to try. It had a plunging neckline and was backless, which I worried wouldn’t be appropriate for a true Southern girl’s wedding, but I tried it on and fell in love! I was by myself, so I sent a selfie to my mom, who instantly approved!
I loved having Cru Catering as part of our wedding. We did not want a traditional sit-down dinner; we wanted to be able to mingle and speak with all of our guests on a personal level. Cru Catering provided a superb choice of heavy hor d’oeuvres that was just right!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Sablee in Charleston made our wedding cake, which was an almond cake with buttercream frosting and a fig-flavored center.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My personal favorite detail of our wedding was our chinois pots. Thomas’ family is originally from Taiwan, so I really wanted to include a touch of chinoiserie in our wedding. The white flowers and eucalyptus spilling over the blue and white porcelain was my favorite personal detail of the wedding.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Thomas and I met when he was in surgery residency and I was a nurse in the emergency department at a hospital in Tennessee. Several times, I worked assisting Thomas during traumas or with other patients who required emergent surgical intervention. I have to admit, I did find myself volunteering to be wherever Thomas was, hoping he would notice me. He asked for my number one day and we started texting. We fell in love really quickly. Unfortunately, a few months into dating, Thomas graduated from residency and was getting ready to move to South Carolina. I knew that once he started his new position, I would have to decide if I wanted to stay in Tennessee or move to South Carolina. The thought of moving was so scary to me, as I had never been too far away from my family before, so I was surprised that what scared me more was the thought of losing Thomas. I quit my job as a nurse in Tennessee and moved four hours down I-26 to South Carolina. The rest is history. That was over three years ago!
When did y’all get married? October 3, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 30
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had the epitome of a Southern wedding! Wedding ceremony and reception outside at a large Southern plantation, check! Thirty of our closest friends and family, check! Southern Lowcountry comfort food by Cru Catering, including roast, shrimp, and lobster rolls, check! Southern drinks including Coca-Cola, sweet tea, and a selection of fine wine/beer? Check!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of the day was standing at the altar and saying our vows to each other. I can play the moment over and over in my head. I loved the intimate feel of our wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just got back from our honeymoon in Bora Bora! We look forward to our first year of marriage and the adventures it will surely bring!
Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography | Planner: Pure Luxe Bride | Venue: Boone Hall Plantation | Florist: Miele Events | Wedding Cake: Sablee Patisserie | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Rental | Violinist: Micah Gangwer | Blue Chinois Pots: The Enchanted Home | Bride’s Gown: Style 3558 by Lazaro | Bride’s Ring: Buccellati | Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Groom’s Attire: Hickey Freeman | Velvet Sofa: 428 Main Vintage Rentals