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After looking at their fair share of wedding venues (eight!), Dani and Andrew knew that Legare Waring House was the one for them. They were drawn to the pristine beauty of the plantation, and especially loved the Avenue of Oaks (how could you not?)! With this beautiful backdrop chosen, they worked with their planner and florist, Fox Events, to create wild and natural florals that were not only sweetly feminine, but also the perfect complement to the glamorous mix of metallic elements in their design. And how fun is it that their officiant was the same friend who introduced them on a blind date five and a half years prior?

Big SW hugs to Aaron & Jillian for sharing their sweet day with us!

I probably tried on close to 50 dresses from at least five bridal boutiques before I found THE ONE at Sarah Seven. I went with my sister-in-law and a close friend, and the minute I walked out of the dressing room, they both screamed, “THAT’S IT!”

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, there was no question whether or not we were going to do one! First look photos are my favorite pictures from weddings–they’re always so sweet.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend, who ended up officiating our wedding. I knew Andrew’s sister prior to meeting Andrew, but it wasn’t until a Christmas party when this mutual friend suggested to Andrew that he had to meet “this girl, Dani” that we were set up.

We each wrote our own vows, which was fun, but challenging! It’s hard to express those feelings in just a few sentences. We think our videographer’s favorite line from the vows was Andrew’s line: “The joy you have given me over the past five and a half years has saturated my soul, and I promise for the rest of my life to try with every fiber of my being to repay you.” He included it in both our trailer and full video!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? After Lauren Fox took us to eight wedding venues, we knew that Legare Waring House was the one for us. We couldn’t get over the pristine beauty of the venue–so stunning and green, and we ESPECIALLY loved the Avenue of Oaks!

Our wedding flowers were wild and natural, yet utterly feminine, and fit the outdoor plantation perfectly! The color scheme played nicely with the grays and natural wood elements of our wedding, while the mix of metallic elements added the perfect amount of glamour.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The florals were stunning and the food, superb. The band, Super Deluxe, nailed every song; we’ve received so many compliments about them! Cru Catering provided the best wedding food we’ve ever tried, period. Overall, we could not have asked for a more perfect day!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take care of all the big things first (find a wedding planner, book photographers, videographers, a band), and then take your time choosing all of the smaller details. But don’t procrastinate too much–the last thing you want is to be stressed about things close to your big day!

Tell us all about the proposal! Andrew’s sister was going to be in Chicago for a visit to see friends. Recognizing the opportunity, Andrew set the wheels in motion. He flew to St. Louis to ask my father for my hand in marriage, put the finishing touches on the ring, and invited family to Chicago for the weekend to (hopefully) celebrate. After planning an elaborate ruse revolving around a fake Cubs game, brunch, and a photographer, Andrew’s plan was thrown into chaos when I realized I needed to work most of the day on Friday, April 17. Panicked (even more than he already was), Andrew proposed in our apartment, just the two of us. He had arranged for a celebratory brunch at a restaurant, where the entire family was there to surprise me! Later that night, Andrew invited all of our closest friends/family over for the perfect engagement party.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We repurposed the “blessing over the wine,” which was read by my great uncle and his wife. It was a beautiful tribute to both of our heritages.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Wild Flour did the most beautiful-two layer cake. The larger bottom tier was vanilla cake with dulce de leche buttercream and salted caramel; the smaller top tier was vanilla cake with lemon curd, coconut buttercream, and toasted coconut.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It can be challenging to stay within a budget. It’s great to have wedding planners (like ours) who are there to help guide you to stay within your budget, and to advise you on areas where you can make cuts that won’t jeopardize the look you’re trying to accomplish!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just got back from a delayed honeymoon in Antigua, which was incredible! We look forward to enjoying time together before we add to our family in a few years :) We also look forward to celebrating with all of our friends with weddings around the corner!

Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography | Videographer: Dock House Digital | Planner and Florist: Fox Events | Venue: Legare Waring House | Wedding Cake: WildFlour Pastry | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events | Lighting: Innovative Event Services | Band: Super Deluxe | Paper Products: Studio R Design | Bride’s Gown: Sarah Seven | Bride’s Accessories: Katherine Jessica Collections | Hair and Makeup: Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Bride’s Shoes: “Lovely” Embellished Wedge Sandal by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Alana” in Sea Glass, Palest Pink, and Dusty Pink by BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Custom by Trunk Club | Men’s Bow Ties: The Tie Bar

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Charleston Wedding Videographer reply

    Yay for this feature! Stunning photos! We loved capturing this special day for two incredibly sweet people XoXo

  2. avatar Cyprus wedding photographer reply

    Wow these are really amazing shots! And the location is just perfect!

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There are a lot of fun things about working at Southern Weddings, so I don’t say this lightly: reading each couple’s story is one of the very best parts of our jobs. As the grand finale of our Most Memorable of 2014 series (see bridal style, bouquets, menswear, bridesmaids, moments, details, and sweets), here are some of the stories that found permanent places in our hearts this year.

Sally Ward and Patrick: “I grew up loving to climb trees, and I was especially fond of a great big magnolia tree that sat to the left of my childhood home, so I thought, how cool would it be if I picked leaves from THAT tree and made them the place cards at the wedding? I wanted every detail to hold meaning, and that house is so special–it made me so delighted to see a piece of my childhood with us on our wedding day.” (Gene Oh)

Abby and Cameron: “There were so many sweet moments I’ll never forget, like seeing Cameron tear up at the end of the aisle or the time with my immediate family the morning of the wedding. However, one of the funniest moments happened with my dad only minutes before we walked down the aisle. All of my bridesmaids had gone before me and my dad and I were waiting inside the farmhouse to go next. I stood up to peek out the window and snagged my dress on something on the floor! The whole bottom hem of my dress was hanging off. My dad looked at me to see how I was going to react and then we both just started laughing–what else can you do? He ended up cutting the hem off and we walked on out and down the aisle. We said we wouldn’t tell anyone (sorry, Dad), but it really helped me realize that not everything had to be perfect in order to have a perfect wedding day.” (Jess Barfield)

Alix and Dodd: “We met one lovely, crisp, fall evening–October 5, 2009 to be exact, at the historic Triad Theatre in New York City. We were individually invited by a mutual friend to an industry show. Dodd noticed me there, and after the show, he approached me and asked me to join the group next door. Once in the light, I immediately noticed the small red bicycle pin Dodd was wearing on his sport coat and said, “I like your pin,” to which Dodd responded, “You mean, my MOATCH.” “Your what?” “My moatch. My man brooch!” That made me laugh, and I knew that I had to talk to this guy some more. We left the group and began our first three-hour conversation at the bar, and in those moments, we knew the other was very special. Dodd took me home in a cab, 150 blocks out of his way. At my door step, he kissed me goodnight (it was absolutely the most perfect first kiss), and then took the train home. I walked calmly through my lobby and into the elevator. When when the doors shut, I threw my purse against the wall and yelled, “I’m in love!!” Thankfully, I was the sole passenger in this elevator!” (Kat Braman)

Laura and Mason: “I lost my mother to breast cancer about two and half years ago, so planning a wedding without her was definitely a challenge. She was such a talented organizer and planner! I tried to incorporate her memory into as many wedding decisions as possible. For example, I found the best picture of my mom and dad covered in birdseed as they left their own wedding reception, which made it easy for me to decide that we should have birdseed tossed during our exit as well. I was so thankful to have my incredible father, sisters, and fiancé, who all put in so many hours helping me plan!” (Paige Reaux)

Megan and Ryan: “My dad recently passed away, and he had always talked about looking forward to my wedding day. In place of a father-daughter dance, I chose eight men that knew my daddy and loved Jesus like daddy. I wrote them each a letter several weeks before the wedding, asking them to be a part of my day. In the letters, I wrote about things I remembered about them and how they influenced me while I was growing up. They all agreed, and I chose the song “I Loved Her First,” which was sung by my daddy’s favorite cousin. The men had asked if they could pray a blessing over me and Ryan, and so they laid their hands on us and prayed for us and our marriage. My daddy would’ve been so happy!” (Happy Everything Co.)

Sarah and Andy: “This past November, we went with a group on a mission trip to Argentina. By the time I returned home, we realized that being together was God’s plan for us. In January, Andy came to Charleston and we decided to marry. At our ages, we didn’t want to waste any more time apart. We set the date for March 15 and then proceeded to surprise a lot of people who had no idea we’d even been seeing each other! It was hilarious!” (Aaron and Jillian)

Blaine and Brian: “We met at the Liberty Tavern in Arlington, Virginia in the spring of 2007. It was the hip new place in Arlington, and Blaine was working as a bartender/cocktail waitress. It took me a little while, but after several chats at the bar, some casual flirting, and some help from my best friend’s wife, I worked up the guts to ask her out and she said yes. Our first ‘real’ date was at Old Ebbitt’s Grille in Washington D.C. The dress she wore on that date was woven into different fabrics at our wedding (her wedding dress, handkerchiefs for her wedding party, my suit, pocket squares for the groomsmen, the fabric flowers for each guest). It was a symbol of beginnings.” (Abby Caldwell)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Sadly, yesterday marked the unofficial the end of summer (pack up your white pants and bring out your monogrammed scarf!), but the good news is that Tate and Davis’ cheerful wedding will make summer feel a little bit longer! While Tate and Davis only lived in Charleston for a year, their time spent on the Charleston Harbor made the Historic Rice Mill the perfect venue for a sweet celebration with their family and friends. I’d have to agree with Tate on her favorite element of their wedding–she loved their family-style meal because it reminded her of her favorite holiday, Thanksgiving! I know our own Kristin would be tickled, since she also had a Thanksgiving-inspired wedding day meal!

Big thank you’s and a pumpkin spiced latte to Aaron and Jillian Photography for sharing this wedding with us!

People fail to warn you how crazy stressful dress shopping can be! Trying on ill-fitting sample dresses to find the perfect one that makes your body look bangin’, fits your price range, is timeless, AND wins the approval of your family is super challenging. I wanted something a little different, but still classic, that wouldn’t dwarf my petite figure. My Wentworth Street gown by Carol Hannah was exactly that. I even got a discount because I asked to buy the sample.

While we are always so smitten with the father/daughter moments at weddings, I love this sweet father/son moment too!

We did a first look because I am not superstitious and I loved the opportunity for more photos. I think waiting to see each other until you walk down the aisle can be a little more stressful than it needs to be. Seeing each other beforehand ensured that we both stayed present during the ceremony.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Davis and I love Charleston! It is a wonderfully romantic city and holds a special place in our hearts. We lived in Charleston from 2011 to 2012 and spent our weekends and afternoons on the boat in Charleston Harbor. The Rice Mill, being right by the marina, was a perfect fit!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we did design our own ceremony that was performed by my father. My favorite part of our vows was: “Do you pledge to help each other to develop your hearts and minds, cultivating compassion, generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiasm, concentration, and wisdom as you age and undergo the various ups and downs of life, and to transform them into the path of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity?”

We chose our reading from The Irrational Season By Madeleine L’Engle because it very much represents our relationship and how we view our marriage commitment. “But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation. It takes a lifetime to learn another person. When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Dodeline Design created a custom monogram that incorporated our initials and elements of Davis’ family crest. It looks kind of like a harp, and no one could really figure it out, but I thought it was kind of cool. We were also THRILLED about our joggling board guest book that is covered with the sweetest notes and sentiments from our loved ones. Joggling boards are so Southern and SO Charleston. I love the cool history behind them. One of our artsy friends even painted our monogram on it and made it exceptionally special!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite element of our wedding was the family-style meal. Enjoying a meal with your closest friends and family is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It also reminds me of Thanksgiving (my all-time favorite holiday) because it is a time you can tell your friends and family how grateful you are for them. I also liked the “thank you haikus” we displayed at each place setting. It was super dorky, but after thinking about it, we knew that if we were to thank our friends and family in letters, we could end up writing pages! Keeping our thank you notes to short haikus allowed us to say what we wanted with just enough words.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had the most fabulous pink ombre cake! I love pink and anything ombre, so the cake was a delicious dream with three layers of red velvet, lemon, and dulce de leche cake. I was a little nervous that Davis wouldn’t like it because it was on the girly side, but he said “it tasted really good!”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Davis and I first met at a friend’s concert in 2006–Davis grew up with the band’s lead singer (who was later a a groomsman in our wedding). The band would let Davis ham it up on stage and play the tambourine, while my friends and I loved “front-rowing it” (i.e. dancing as close to the stage as possible), so we inevitably ran into each other. We both attended North Carolina State University and share a love for the Wolfpack, adventures, and of course, our friends.
Tell us all about the proposal! Davis began shopping for the engagement ring three years before he proposed. In the spring of 2013, right before our seven-year anniversary, we took a last-minute trip to New York City, where Davis proposed early on a Thursday morning in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Needless to say, my girlfriends knew exactly why I was calling so early, before they even picked up the phone!
When did y’all get married? June 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We had a challenging time keeping our guest list small, because we knew our budget couldn’t handle a large party. Our rule of thumb was that if we could write each guest a letter telling them exactly why we wanted them to attend our wedding, then they would be invited–that idea is where our letter-style invitation came from.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I saved a lot on my wedding dress by buying the sample. We also didn’t get a fancy getaway vehicle because we preferred spending money on things that our guests would enjoy. We kept the contents of the welcome bags to strictly “consumables” (snacks and waters), because the last thing people need is extra “stuff.” I fell in love with a vintage consignment wedding band at Croghan’s Jewelry Box in Charleston–Davis actually purchased my wedding band months before he bought my engagement ring.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? After interviewing four other Charleston wedding photographers, we hired Jill and Aaron after an eight-minute phone conversation. We clicked instantly! They asked the right questions and really seemed to care about our event. Every interaction with them was extremely positive and fun! I would hire them again in a heartbeat.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Davis says our first look. I’d say the moments after the ceremony taking photos on the dock and dancing to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” with all my best friends.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Always try to remember what is most important to you as a couple. The first thing Davis and I did when we got engaged was to make a list of the ten most important things we wanted in our wedding. When one of the 100+ random things that weren’t in the original budget came up, we could refer back to that list to help keep the budget under control. I would also recommend making a list of all the random things you want to do on the wedding day, because things move so quickly. Give the list to a trusted person who will be with you on the day of. For example, I planned to give my dad a gift and get a few father-daughter photos pre-wedding, but I never found the time to do it.

Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography / Videographer: Life in Rewind / Planner: Southern Protocol / Venue: Historic Rice Mill / Florist: Charleston Stems / Wedding Cake: Charleston Cakes / Caterer: Good Food Catering / Rentals: EventWorks / Band: Unkle Funkle / Paper Products: Dodeline Design / Bride’s Gown: “Wentworth Street” by Carol Hannah / Hair Stylist: Katherine Bailey / Makeup Artist: Stuart Laurence / Bride’s Shoes: “Gilda” by Kotur / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 418” by Wtoo / Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Weddings Feature » Aaron and Jillian Photography reply

    […] featured on the fabulous Southern Weddings website today!  Seriously, over the moon!  Check out their SW feature HERE and their full wedding post on our blog HERE!  It’s filled with gorgeous bright florals, […]

  2. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    Her dress fits her beautifully and I love how it gathers at her hip.

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