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Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

Some couples are together from the first day they meet, but for Maggie and Kevin, their relationship needed time to bloom…as did they, considering they met when they were just five and six years old! After their families moved apart, Maggie and Kevin spoke sporadically over the years until college, when a bold text message from Maggie gave Kevin the confidence boost he needed to take a chance on his childhood friend. They’ve been together ever since that fateful message; however, since their families were no longer from the same town, they had to make the big decision of where to say “I do.” After creating memories there in college and on their first vacation together, Maggie and Kevin chose to celebrate their marriage in the beautiful city of Charleston. Both families traveled to witness their wedding at The Governor Thomas Bennet House, and many even planned extended vacations after–something Maggie had hoped for when inviting their guests to share the culture and history of a place so special to her and Kevin!

Big SW hugs to Magnolia Photography for sharing such a sweet day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! YES! My somethings borrowed were the stunning diamond earrings and gold and diamond bracelet from my mother-in-law, Mary. She ended up gifting me the bracelet after the wedding! My something old was lace from my mother’s wedding dress, wrapped around my bouquet. My something new was my new monogram inside my wedding dress! I used to have four initials, so it was exciting to finally be able to monogram something. My something blue was the Swarovski crystals that were sewn into the dress around the monogram in little clusters. My mom picked up these crystals at the Swarovski Museum in Austria during a whirlwind tour of Europe we went on together the summer before I started eighth grade. This trip really meant a lot to both my mom and me, so it was a real gift when she thought of incorporating these as my something blue.

I would describe my flowers as very organic, whimsical, romantic, lush, and soft-looking in shades of coral, ivory, and gold, with yellow, orange, and peach accents. All of the arrangements were full of some of my favorite flowers, including ranunculus, poppies, peonies, lily of the valley, sweet pea, garden roses, and tulips. My bouquet included lace from my mother’s wedding dress, and wrapped around the base were my late grandfather’s wedding ring and a ring we found of my late grandmother’s. We had a floral chandelier and a floral garland going up the staircase. We also had a wreath and floral garlands draping the signage and bars. Little posies dressed the cocktail bars and gorgeous centerpieces in mercury glass and hobnail vases adorned the tables.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. Kevin was very opposed to the idea and wanted to stick with tradition and see me for the first time at our ceremony. I was happy with this choice. Since we weren’t getting married at our church, I thought it was nice to stick with this tradition, and I couldn’t wait to see Kevin’s face!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had different friends and close family members read selections from “From Now We Are Six” by A.A. Milne, “In One Another’s Souls” by Rumi, and “Adam Bede” by George Eliot during the ceremony. Also, a very dear family friend of my parents and a good friend to us married us. It is something that we hold very close to our hearts.

Like any little girl, I had always dreamed of finding my wedding dress and what it would be like. I was scrolling through Instagram one night when I stumbled upon Monique Lhuillier’s (one of my favorite designers) Spring 2016 line. I saw the Ella dress and instantly fell in love! I took a screenshot and sent it to my mom, saying “This is THE dress!” I was very serious! The next day, she called Maddison Row in Charleston, South Carolina, which carried Monique. We asked when the dress would be available, and Lindsey informed us that it wouldn’t be there until October…but, she had an idea! She decided to call Monique Lhuillier’s people to see if she could intercept the dress from photo shoots between LA and Milan. She got the good news that she could, but that she could only have it for a few hours! When I heard this news, I was so excited, and my mom and I planned a trip down to Charleston to try on the model-sized dress. We got to Maddison Row and were able to spend three hours with the dress. I tried it on and instantly fell in love. Even though it wouldn’t zip up all the way, I could envision the dress in my mind perfectly. Just to be sure, I asked Lindsey, “If I had come in as a normal appointment and told you my style, what dresses would you put me in?” She pulled four other dresses, some that I liked and some I hated. Then, I tried on Ella one last time. I started to cry when I saw myself in the mirror–it was romantic, whimsical, and fun all at the same time.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had our ceremony and reception at the Governor Thomas Bennett House in Charleston. I first saw the house online and made it a must-see on my list of places to go while venue hunting. When I saw it online, it reminded me of a Southern plantation in the middle of the city. Driving up to the house, I was hesitant, but hopeful. After taking one step into the front gate, I gasped. It was gorgeous. The gardens were lush and full of blooming azaleas. There was a huge live oak tree, the planter boxes were bursting with flowers, and ivy covered the bottom piazza. The fountain was flowing and I could instantly envision bistro lights and cornhole in the “secret garden” area. When we went inside, I started to tear up. I was in love and could picture us getting married here! We toured four other venues, but none made my heart skip a beat like the Governor Thomas Bennett House. The next trip to Charleston, we brought Kevin, and he instantly fell in love with the venue as well! Charleston has a very special place in my heart. I was a graphic design intern for Charleston Magazine during the summer between my junior and senior year of college. I used to walk the Battery and ride my bike around South of Broad and dream of having someone that I could share this romantic and beautiful city with. I had a bit of a rough year my junior year in college, so when I moved to Charleston, I really found myself as a person, and since then, the city of Charleston has always had a very special place in my heart. Charleston is also where Kevin and I went on our first vacation together and was always a fun, long weekend getaway destination for us! Our families live all over the country, so anywhere we were getting married, people would have to travel. We wanted to share this special place with the people we loved.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The venue, hands down. Our favorite detail of our wedding was being able to share Charleston and the Governor Thomas Bennett House with our family and friends, especially my 83-year-old grandmother from Washington state! The house was truly everything we could have wanted and more! Most of my family comes from the Northwest and most of Kevin’s is from the Northeast. Having everyone cross state lines to come see our favorite place and share in its culture and history is something amazing, and then having them LOVE it was incredible! A lot of folks planned extended vacations after our wedding, which is exactly what I had hoped for.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a lemon cake with a raspberry filling and Italian buttercream icing. The small desserts by Cru were: Grand Marnier strawberry shortcake with macerated strawberries and vanilla bean whipped cream, mini biscuits served in mini mason jars, layered with dark and milk chocolate mousse with fresh berries, and mini bourbon pecan pies with vanilla bean meringue.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kevin and I first met in 1996 when we were five and six, and both living in Cary, North Carolina (yes, there are pictures!). We were friendly as kids, but by no means were we best friends. Kevin’s family moved to Newtown, Connecticut, but our families kept in touch through the years, and we finally saw each other again when Kevin’s family moved back to North Carolina in 2006. When he came back to visit for the first time that summer, we got together and went to the movies with his older brother. On the ride home, a song by The Fray came on the radio and I turned the channel and said “Oh, that song brings up bad memories.” Kevin remembers thinking to himself in the backseat, “I don’t want her to have any bad memories.” He didn’t tell me this until we started dating. We kept in touch through high school and college. I had heard through the family grapevine that Kevin was back in school at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina, and when he came back, I tried many times to get together with him. Kevin was a little to nervous to see me and would always have something come up when we had plans to get together. I finally decided enough was enough and texted him, “Kevin, how have we not hung out yet?” We literally haven’t stopped talking to each other or being around each other since that text I sent to him. He always says he was so happy I was forward and took a chance on him.
Tell us all about the proposal! Kevin took me to one of my favorite places to go in North Carolina during the fall, the Biltmore Estate. It was the perfect fall day, and we toured the house and saw some of the new rooms–one of my favorite things to do! I noticed Kev seemed a little distracted, but I didn’t think much of it. We wanted to walk a little, so we went through the gardens, which were gorgeous. I was walking ahead of him when he said “Hey Maggie!” and I turned around to see him standing under a big oak tree. I walked back over and he got down on one knee, struggling to get the ring out of his back pocket, and asked me to marry him! I said “YES, a million times over, yes!” I was so excited and happy that it was intimate and a moment for just the two of us to remember.
When did y’all get married? April, 16 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to an acoustic version of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, sung live at our wedding. This has been our song ever since we heard it, and it still is! My walking down the aisle song was “Bright” by Echosmith, which always reminds me of our love story when I hear it, and how Kevin can always brighten up my darkest day with his jokes or laugh. Our father/daughter dance was to Billy Joel’s “Lullabye.” I actually didn’t know this, but my dad had this song picked out for years to be our dance song. The mother/son dance was to Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock.” This has been Kevin and his mom’s song since Kevin was a little boy. Their dance was incredible and joyous! The song we cut our cake to was “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, which was just a classic song to both of us, as well as one of Kevin’s grandma’s favorites.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We have amazing role models and examples to look to–my parents have been married for 36 years and Kevin’s have been married for 30 years. Whenever we would get off track while planning the wedding, we would turn to these trusting couples for advice.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Ben Keys from Wed on Canvas was the vendor from our wedding that I think separated it from the rest. My mom surprised me by having him there after I saw his work on Instagram. What was really surprising and great about Ben was how in love and surprised all of the guests were with his work. They were able to see him paint us getting married and exchanging our vows through the whole ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. They were so impressed by this!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? In June, we moved to Boston! I am starting a letterpress and design business and we hope to be traveling soon. We look forward to ALL of the memories together: the laughs, the cries, the fights, and the make ups…that’s the best part about marriage!

Photographer: Magnolia Photography | Planner: Winship Productions | Venue: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Kasarda | Caterer and Desserts: Cru Catering | Rentals: Pure Luxe Bride | Ceremony music: Charleston Virtuosi | DJ: Darby Events | Paper Products: Maggie DeMar of Honeysuckle Letterpress & Design Studio | Bride’s Gown: “Ella” by Monique Lhuillier | Bridal Salon: Maddison Row | Bride’s Accessories: Sara Gabriel | Hair Stylist: Reina Lawrence of Sola Salon Studios | Makeup Artist: Rebecca Walsh of Pink Dot Beauty Bar | Bride’s Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Coral Dune by Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Liles Clothing Studio | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Escort Card Table: 428 Main | Ribbons: Frou Frou Chic | Hat Box: Trousseau & Co. | Rings: Tacori from Diamonds Direct | Bow Ties: Brackish Bow Ties | Candles: Rewined Candles | Transportation: ACW Limo & Vintage Rolls-Royce | Cornhole Boards: Victory Tailgate | Live painting: Wed on Canvas

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Matt Selby reply

    Awesome styling! The dresses & bouquets look great :)

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I admit it: I’m a product junkie! However, even my love for trying beauty products has its limits, which is where tried and true favorites come in. It’s even better when said favorites are inexpensive and easy to snag at the drugstore! Since we had so much fun with our last Southern Style post, I’ve asked my darling colleagues to share their current favorite drugstore beauty buys. They’ve shared their go-tos below, as well as some extra details about their top picks!

I have the same theory about lashes as I do about hair: the bigger the better! Seriously, I would wear false lashes every day if I could, but for now I’ll stick to special occasions and our team shoots. Our friend Sam, from Lula Hair and Makeup recommended Ardell “Wispies” to me a few years back, and they instantly became my go-to lashes.

Chapstick | Anti-residue shampoo | Top coat | Nail polish remover wipes | Ardell “Wispies”

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my nail polish colors (pale pink or coral for the win!), so if I’m feeling adventurous about trying a new color, my go-to is NYC Longwearing Nail Polish. It dries quickly, is only 99 cents, and is the easiest way to try out a new color without investing in a $10 bottle of polish!Jess

Matte balm | Nail polish | Cleanser | Mascara

Dry shampoo is probably one of the greatest inventions out there for long and thick-haired girls like me. I love the Batiste line, and the cherry scent is one of my favorites!Amber

Dry shampoo | Nail polish

Since I am a bit militant about sunscreen and keeping my face in the shade, the only way for me to achieve a “sunkissed glow” is with bronzer. I’ve been using Neutrogena Healthy Blends for years, and it does the trick!Emily

Mascara | Neutrogena Healthy Blends | Dove bar soap

I never go out of town without these Say Yes to Cucumber wipes in my cosmetic bag (they’re perfect for traveling). I’ve also been known to reach from them after a long work day, when washing my face seems just too complicated.Kristin

Matte lip pen | Aveeno Daily Moisturizer | Yes To wipes | Mascara

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product is my secret weapon for long hair! It has 10 different functions, from protecting against split ends to adding shine. I especially love that since it’s a cream that’s applied as a spray, it doesn’t weigh my hair down.Lisa

Essie nail polish | Makeup remover wipes | ColorBurst Matte Balm | It’s a Ten

I love Burt’s Bees! I’ve been using this stuff for years, and putting a dab of the minty balm on my lips always makes me feel a little more fresh and put together, even though it’s colorless. I always have one in my bag and one at home!Nicole

Coral polish | Revlon lipstick | Cream eyeliner | Burts Bees | Grapefruit body wash

What’s your favorite drugstore staple?

marissa Written with love by Marissa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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I was recently asked if Brandon and I have any anniversary traditions. At first, I said no, but then I remembered how much we love to reminisce about our wedding day each year! We talk about how much fun we had, and often share anecdotes the other might not remember. Like Sarah and Steven, we did not do a first look, and I also remember the exact moment the church doors opened. Sarah said, and I couldn’t agree more, that “I still get butterflies when I think about it. That memory will carry us through a lifetime of ups and downs.” I’m sure that was only the beginning, and that their intimate reception Coosaw Point RiverClub was filled with even more memories to be shared for years to come!

Thanks to Rach Loves Troy for sharing this sweet day with us!

I found my dress at a small boutique in Charleston with my bridesmaids, aunt, and mother. I tried on so many dresses, but none of them felt like me. Then, I put on this interesting two-piece dress, and that was it–game over. It was beautiful! The fitted underlay was stunning under the detailed overlay, giving the dress a very romantic feel while still showing off my figure.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It sounds so cliché, but everything really was perfect! Seeing everything finally come together was amazing. I think the flowers were our favorite detail–they were above and beyond beautiful, and really added a romantic feel to our bohemian-inspired wedding.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We went back and forth on this decision! Part of us wanted that private moment to enjoy each other and take it all in, but the other part of us wanted that grand moment when the doors opened and we could see each other for the first time in front of friends and family. We decided that it was too special not to have the big moment in front of those gorgeous wooden church doors! We could not have been happier with our decision to stay traditional.

We chose the historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church in beautiful downtown Beaufort for its Southern character and charm. The newly restored church is just breathtaking and has a very intimate feel, which was important for our small wedding! Our reception was held at the Coosaw Point RiverClub. We love this venue and the incredible views it offers. We knew the second we got engaged that the RiverClub was where we wanted to celebrate our big day!

For the reception, I went with a fun, fitted gown with a deep v-neck and ruffled straps. It was perfect for dancing the night away!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Thankfully, our venue was fully furnished and gorgeous, and the colors tied in so well with our color scheme that we didn’t need to do much! We kept everything very simple, not wanting to overwhelm the venue with too much detail. Flowers and greenery were really our only decorations.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was “Nothing Can Change This Love” by Sam Cooke. We went through so many different options for our first dance and would settle on one for a month or so until something else came along. We knew we didn’t want a really popular song–we wanted it to feel like ours. We came across this 1963 song by Sam Cooke and thought it was perfect–upbeat but slow enough to dance to, and everything we wanted to say to each other. The song I danced with my dad to was “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, which was the same song my sisters danced to with him, so I thought it would be sweet to finish off the tradition! Steven danced with his mother to “Days like This” by Van Morrison. When his mother sent me this song, I melted! I really could not have picked a sweeter song for them.

Our cake was incredible–I must have eaten four or five pieces! It was a simple, whipped buttercream, three-tiered cake with a combination of chocolate and strawberry shortcake layers. It was nice to be able to give our guests a choice for their dessert that night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the summer of 2010 and talked a little, but it wasn’t until a few months later that we reconnected on Facebook. After a cheesy exchange online, he asked for my number. I was starting my first year at college and he was in his second year at another university. The following year, he transferred to the same school as me, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Steven planned a trip for our four-year anniversary to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina. We planned to visit tons of waterfalls and had the maps to all of them ready to go, but somehow, we spent most of the day riding up and down the mountain, getting lost! It was getting late when we stumbled across a beautiful waterfall in a secluded part of the mountain, which is where Steven asked me to be his wife! It was incredible!
When did y’all get married? June 4, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 80
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? In preparation for our big day, we went to a premarital counseling course. During the all-day session, we learned about each other’s love languages, talked about when we would want children, how we want to handle finances, etc. It was great to see that we were on the same page in so many of the important aspects of marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Definitely the financial stress of planning a wedding. We tried really hard to be realistic about the cost of things, but weddings aren’t cheap! We would come to terms with the price of one thing only to be hit in the face with the price of another. Steven was amazing and just kept reassuring me that it would all be worth it. Don’t tell him I said this, but he was right!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Ashley Rhodes, our wedding planner! She planned both of my sisters’ weddings and it was really amazing to have her there to help marry off the last Gresham girl. There really are no words great enough for the job she did!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Easy–when the church doors opened and we finally got to see each other. I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything, I still get butterflies when I think about it. That memory will carry us through a lifetime of ups and downs.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After almost six years together, we are excited about starting a family together!

Photographer: Rach Loves Troy Photography | Planner: Ashley Rhodes Event Designs | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter’s Historic Church | Reception Venue: Coosaw Point RiverClub | Florist: Creative Floral | Cake Baker: AMC Confections | Caterer: Southern Graces | Rentals: Amazing Rentals | DJ: Epic Charleston | Paper Products: Murrs Printing | Bride’s Gown: “Ti Adora” by Alvina Valenta | Hair and Makeup: Orchid Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Mark Fisher | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Cate Lyon | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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