You know you’re looking at a good old fashioned Southern wedding when a.) the groom is decked out in a pastel patterned bow tie – from Southern Proper, natch – and b.) the ring bearer may be the cutest gentleman in attendance. (No, really, check out the little blond cutie-pie!) Leigh Webber was on-hand to document Mary Frances + Andy’s celebration at the historic Magnolia Plantation. The uber-pretty bride stunned in Anne Barge that complemented her groom’s ivory dinner jacket, while her bridesmaids wore sapphire blue Jenny Yoo frocks. Duvall Catering and Event Design handled both the understated florals + traditional Southern spread, and Cupcake provided the sweets. For more shots from this South Carolina wedding, take a peek at Leigh Webber’s own blog post here!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at a mutual friend’s wedding. Andy struck up a conversation with a witty one-liner and had me laughing from the start. I thought we really hit it off, but he didn’t ask for my phone number! Little did I know, he planned on getting it from another mutual friend. He called the following day and asked to take me to dinner. We were living about an hour-and-a-half apart, but being a true Southern gentleman, he insisted on picking me up and driving me to the restaurant, which was about 45 minutes away. It really made an impression, and it was at this restaurant that he proposed almost two years later.
Describe the proposal. Andy had moved to Charlottesville, Virginia for his residency program at UVA and we had been living apart for around two months. Given our hectic schedules, we had not seen in each in other in several weeks. It was Labor Day weekend and we were planning on spending the weekend together. That same week, I had accepted a job offer in Charlottesville and was very excited to finally be together in the same city. We planned a special dinner date to celebrate my new job and our exciting next step. Even given all of the excitement, the idea that Andy would propose never even crossed my mind. In fact, when asked by one of my best friends when it might happen, I told her it wasn’t even on his radar. As planned, Andy took me to the same restaurant where we had our first date. We had an amazing dinner and had the best time catching up. The restaurant had emptied out as we continued to catch up and order champagne to celebrate the good news of the week. At that point, Andy became very serious and placed a small box on the table as he began saying the most incredible things to me. It finally dawned on me at that moment that either he was proposing or this was a really cruel way to give me earrings! He got down on one knee as the piano player in the restaurant began playing “At Last” by Etta James. Needless to say, there were many tears and elated “yeses.” I found out later that he had driven six hours to my hometown in Asheville, North Carolina the weekend before to ask my father for my hand. The weekend kicked off with a bang and we were able to celebrate with all of our friends and family, including Andy’s parents, throughout the holiday weekend.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Exhilarating, elegant and ethereal.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We booked Voices of Deliverance, a Charleston gospel choir, to sing at the ceremony. Only a limited number of people knew about this detail and just after our ministers pronounced us husband and wife, the group came out from hiding and began singing “Oh Happy Day.” The reaction from the crowd was priceless as we danced down the aisle.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had just moved to Virginia for my new job and to be with Andy. My mom flew into town to help me get settled, and on the way from the airport we passed Bella Rosa, a bridal shop in Richmond. She insisted that we just pop in to see what they had. I had only been engaged less than two weeks so the idea of dress shopping was a bit overwhelming given all that was going on. Nevertheless, we went in. I thought I had in mind “the” dress, but at the last minute, I spotted an Anne Barge dress. As I put it on, a song very special to Andy and me began playing. The tears started all around and we knew we had a winner.
Describe your wedding flowers: Since we were married outside in a beautiful grove at the Magnolia Plantation, I didn’t want to detract from the gorgeous natural surroundings so picked very simple and organic arrangements. I chose ivory and yellow hydrangeas and tulips to accent the deep blue of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Describe your wedding cake: I am a cupcake addict. Every time I am in Charleston visiting my mother, a trip to Cupcake is on the agenda. Naturally, this seemed like the perfect cake option for the wedding. We had a tiered display of mini cupcakes and a giant cupcake for the cake cutting. I thought it was such a unique detail and very fitting for us.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The Monday before the wedding, the weather forecasters were predicting that a Category Five hurricane, fondly known as Hanna, was set to pass over Charleston at the exact time of our outdoor wedding ceremony. Being a family of planners and optimists, we stuck to our plan for the week and my father had a full blown weather tracking system going at his beach house. Vendors and guests were calling regularly to check the status of the wedding as there were several times we thought it was going to be called off. We were fortunate to have the incredible team at Duvall Catering & Event Design who were entirely committed to making the day happen as we had planned. The storm was downgraded to a tropical storm and ended up blowing through town on Friday. We had a slight change of plans with the rehearsal dinner since the bridges to the downtown area were closed and we couldn’t reach the original venue. Instead, we all piled in for a hurricane party – in cocktail attire, of course! – at the hotel where all of our guests were staying. The day of the wedding was gorgeous and the sun came out and dried up all the rain just in time for the outdoor ceremony. Needless to say, we were very grateful things went on as planned and that all of our guests could be with us to celebrate.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? As I arrived at the plantation, I saw a string of guests walking to the ceremony site, many of whom had traveled from several states away through the inclement weather to be there, and it hit me how incredible it was to have so many of the people that we loved there supporting us. It was at that moment that the emotion of the day overcame me.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? In addition to the traditional vows, Andy and I prepared our own vows for one another. He absolutely blew me away with his vows, which he had memorized start to finish. At the end of his vows, he recited a string of pledges. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd when he was done!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? In the course of one year, we moved to a new state, started new jobs, bought a house and got married. The “what’s next” is to enjoy each other and the present to the fullest. We are very much looking forward to many exciting trips, as we both love to travel. Eventually, we are also looking forward to starting a family once Andy finishes his residency training.
Congratulations, Mary Frances + Andy! Enjoy the here-and-now together!