Google+ Preppy Charleston Wedding by Virgil Bunao - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

I have very unfortunately not been to Charleston yet, but weddings like these that strike such a lovely balance between preppy, coastal, elegant, and feminine have me wanting to plan a road trip ASAP. Cameron and Evan have grace and style for days, and the details they chose for their wedding–from Cameron’s gently cascading orchid bouquet to the groom and groomsmen’s white dinner jackets–reflect that perfectly. They also happen to have one of the most fun modes of exit transportation I can think of, and a wonderful attitude when things didn’t go quite right (see their most memorable moment). They were married, and that was the important thing!

Thank you so much to Virgil for sharing Cameron and Evan’s beautiful wedding with us!

In the fall of 2009, I picked up my life in Washington DC and took a leap of faith by moving to Montgomery, Alabama to work on a political campaign. I remembered a friend from college, Jason, was living in Montgomery, so I called and let him know I was moving. He introduced me to his then-girlfriend and now wife, Alice, and she and I quickly became best friends. Right before Christmas that year, Alice, Jason and I went out in Montgomery and ran into Evan, who was a good friend of Alice’s from high school. Alice always says the rest was history because once she introduced us, it was like she wasn’t even there! We hit it off that night and Evan asked me out on a date the following week. We have been inseparable ever since.

Cameron’s bridesmaids sure were lucky gals–Lilly Pulitzer cocktail dresses and monogrammed bouquet wraps? That’s a style any Southern bridesmaid is sure to love wearing!

Describe your wedding flowers. Our florist, Harriet Gilmore, is so talented and made my dream of an orchid bouquet a reality. One of my favorite parts of our wedding was the bouquet she created for me! My bridesmaids carried bouquets of roses and hydrangeas.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? I felt strongly about Evan seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time when the doors of the church opened up and I walked down the aisle, so we did not do a first look. We had a close encounter by the church right before the ceremony, but luckily, our wedding party was helpful in making sure we didn’t accidentally see each other. The only person that saw my wedding dress before the day of our wedding was my mom. It was fun to see everyone’s reaction!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 and Colossians 3:12-17

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed a pearl bracelet from my Aunt Fran and I wore my dad’s sapphire pinky ring on my right hand as my old and blue item. The pearl earrings Evan gave to me as a gift on our wedding day and my hot pink bedazzled Kate Spade shoes were my something new.

Our wedding planner, Harriet, had a vision for the wedding decor and flowers and made sure everything came together perfectly. Also, hiring Virgil as our photographer was the best decision I made throughout the wedding planning process. He was perfect and made me feel so comfortable. I couldn’t be happier with our pictures.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a traditional tiered pound cake with buttercream, decorated with hydrangeas to fill the spaces between the layers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The food! One of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte, NC is called Cowfish, so “sushi/burger fusion” was our inspiration. We had sliders, fresh seafood, and sushi with pink nori wrappers, since pink was one of our wedding colors. We also incorporated traditional Southern foods like low country egg rolls, mini tomato pies and sweet potato biscuits with fried chicken as a late night passing. As a nod to Evan and all our friends that traveled from Alabama, we served a popular drink from the Alabama coast called a Bushwhacker with Auburn flags in them. Evan is a huge Auburn fan.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I wanted our wedding to be traditional, but fun. Part of that for me was not seeing each other from Friday night until the ceremony. Evan stayed at our house with my brother the night before our wedding and I stayed at the Wentworth Mansion nearby, which was special to us because it was the building where my Grandfather’s company was for years before it was renovated to become a hotel. We left the reception on a sailboat, which I thought that was very romantic and unique! To me, being Southern is a state of mind, so I’d like to think all aspects of our wedding were Southern!

Tell us all about the proposal! After a fun-filled week of celebrating friends’ birthdays, we planned to cook dinner in on a Thursday night. Evan acted totally normal that day and nothing seemed off. I went to the gym late that afternoon, and when I got to Evan’s house, he was standing at the front door waiting for me. When I walked in, Evan got down on one knee, said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and proposed. I, of course, said “yes!” and noticed Evan had flowers and champagne in the dining room. We sipped champagne and called our parents and a few friends before going to dinner at our favorite local restaurant, which was where we went on our first date.
When did y’all get married? August 18, 2012
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Before Evan and I got engaged, we were already planning to go home to Charleston with my parents during the first weekend of February. Thankfully, Evan timed the proposal well, so my mom and I quickly began wedding planning that weekend. I went to a few bridal boutiques in Charleston and found two dresses that I loved. I knew I wanted something fun and different, and I loved the girls at Maddison Row, so by the end of the day, I knew the dress I had chosen there was the one.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Prince of Denmark’s March” by Clarke and Evan and I walked back up the aisle to “Rondeau” by Mouret. I loved the music played during our ceremony because the organist at the French Huguenot church, George, is so wonderful! Our first dance song was to “Stand by Me” by Otis Redding. The first dance song was never anything we gave a ton of thought to. We picked a song and decided to wing it!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning long distance was difficult, especially because of our short engagement. Also, I was pretty indecisive at times. There were things I felt strongly about that I made sure were exactly how I wanted them to be and there were lots of things I didn’t feel strongly about. I was very trusting of my vendors and it worked out well!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I have so many! I loved getting ready with my bridesmaids the day of the wedding. We listed to fun oldies music, danced and drank champagne. I would say one of the most special moments of the day for me was walking down the stairs in my dress to see my dad for the first time. Most of our friends and family say the most memorable moment of our wedding was one of the groomsmen getting on stage with the band singing “Funky Cold Medina.” Lastly, one of our favorite funny moments was after the sailboat docked and dropped us off at the Ashley Marina. We were standing in the parking lot of a gas station trying to flag a cab for about 45 minutes because our rickshaw ride didn’t show up. Evan and I couldn’t stop laughing.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would say decide on a few things that are important to you as a bride and make them your own. And don’t let the process of planning a wedding get in the way of your overall happiness! I let the stress of the planning get to me at times and its not worth it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Evan started practicing law right after we got back from our honeymoon. We bought our first home together in December, so I have been busy decorating! As cliche as it sounds, I am just looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my best friend! Every day with Evan is an adventure. Whether its a road trip or a cooking dinner, it’s always fun.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao | Videographer: Josh Ambrite | Planner and Florist: Harriet Gilmore | Ceremony Venue: The French Huguenot Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Carolina Yacht Club | Rentals: Snyder | Band: NTranze | Bride’s Gown: Legends by Ramona Kevesa | Hair Stylist: Beth at Allure Salon | Makeup Artist: Joanna Robbs | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade and Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lilly Pulitzer | Men’s Attire: Berlin’s

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Joyce reply

    I love the orchid bouquet. So white airy and bridal.

  2. avatar Barbara reply

    Would you be able to tell me where you found your bouquet wraps? They are lovely as is your entire wedding.

  3. avatar Sally reply

    Beautiful images Virgil! I could not love that dress more.

  4. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    LOVE the Lilly bridesmaids dresses! So perfect.

  5. avatar Dana reply

    the wedding party looks awesome; love those lilly dresses!

  6. avatar Gretel reply

    Love the Lilly dresses and monogrammed bouquets. Where did you get both please?!

  7. avatar Marisa reply

    YAY – I recognized the French Huguenot Church immediately! Several of my ancestors are on those plaques on the walls. We go there when we are in Charleston every summer. It’s a lovely wedding venue. Also, I LOVE those Lilly Pulitzer bridesmaid dresses…have to drop a hint to my sister :)

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