Google+ William Aiken House Wedding by Sara Bee Photography - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Bride Shelby shares her classic, formal affair at The William Aiken House!

I’m always excited to introduce y’all to our brides, but when one is named after the movie character I’ve probably quoted the most over my lifetime (can I get a ‘pink is my signature color!’?), I’m bound to use too many exclamation points! Please meet today’s bride, Shelby! Yes, y’all, she is named after one of our favorite Southern belles from the movie “Steel Magnolias” and her Charleston wedding to Alex is sure to have you reaching for your pearls.

With her Savannah roots and current residence in Texas, she and Alex created a wedding that was an amalgamation of Southern styles and traditions. “The Southern hostess in me had to greet our guests with a true Southern cocktail,” she says. “We chose a mint julep — in a monogrammed cup, of course!” But that, friends, was just the beginning: keep reading to hear how our Shelby made her namesake proud with so many sweet Southern details. Spoiler alert: there was no armadillo cake, but there was a classic, all-white one, so we’ll call that a fair trade!

Thanks for sharing, Sara Bee!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We had assigned seats next to one another in Art History class, and the rest was history.
Tell us all about the proposal! Alex proposed on Christmas morning at my grandmother’s lake house. It is a special place for my family and it means a lot that the lake now has special significance for Alex too.

I kept telling the bridal consultants I wanted “more.” I was determined to find a dress with a big impact that was classic and interesting.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The William Aiken House is so stunning! We really liked that the space felt very private even though it is located in the heart of Charleston. I fell in love with the striking white pergola against the green boxwood, I had already picked dark green and white as my wedding colors so it just fit so perfectly! I also appreciated the versatility the venue had to offer.

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Did you write your own vows? We did not write our own vows. I think the most memorable part of the ceremony was when my veil flew off as I walked down the aisle. Everyone laughed and it lightened the mood in the best way possible!

I walked down the aisle to “Meditation” from the opera, Thais. A family friend recommended it and I loved it because it was beautiful and unique. Our first dance song was “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison. It fit really well since I am from the region where Tupelo honey is produced. We tied it all together with our party favor which was a small jar of Savannah Bee Company Tupelo honey. We incorporated the mini jars into the tablescape. Each jar had a note tied to it that said “Love is sweet, Thank you for making our day complete.” This was one of my favorite details!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We kept the cake design pretty simple. Also we cut back on the flowers on the tables and the place settings. No one remembers what the fork they used looked like, just if what they ate off of it was good. We also didn’t have a videographer.

After the ceremony, our guests nibbled on a seafood display of oysters and shrimp cocktail, and passed canapés included tomato pie bites, fried green tomatoes with BBQ on top, and bacon-wrapped scallops. After a traditional plated dinner, Alex and I had our first dance to “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison, and then invited our guests to join us as soul band Liquid Pleasure got everyone up and dancing on the rocking chair-lined dance floor.

When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did do a first look. I wanted to share as much of the day with Alex as possible. It also worked better with our timeline so we could spend more time with our guests as well.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? We served wedding cake. We had lemon cake with lemon mascarpone buttercream frosting and the other flavor was white cake with raspberries and chocolate buttercream frosting. We had it passed and displayed so that we could start the dancing earlier instead of waiting for it to be served.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I loved carrying themes throughout the wedding, like the Tupelo honey as our first dance song and takeaway gift. And including the monogram from the invitation throughout the evening in the program, koozies, drink stirrers, and cocktail napkins. I also provided lounge-type seating around the dance floor with rocking chairs and a sofa so that those who did not want to dance could still be a part of the fun! They were all full all night.
What was Southern about your wedding? Since I am from Savannah, Alex is from Maryland, and we live in Texas, our wedding was an amalgamation of Southern styles and traditions. The Southern hostess in me had to greet our guests with a true Southern cocktail – a mint julep, in a monogrammed cup of course! Our monogram from the invitation was carried throughout the event. For my something old and borrowed, I wore my mother’s pearl earrings. Alex wore a monogrammed tux shirt and Lucchese cowboy boots with his white dinner jacket. All the groomsmen had matching green Vineyard Vines bow ties and showed plenty of high school pride. The bridesmaids donned crisp white button-downs and forest green shantung ball skirts. The ceremony took place under the shade of a beautiful magnolia tree, which was extra special to me since I am named after Shelby from the movie “Steel Magnolia.”
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I loved bringing all of my own ideas to fruition.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Making so many decisions.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? I honestly don’t think I can pick just one! The best advice we got was to pause right after the ceremony, before walking back down the aisle and just look at all your guests. That was a very special moment for Alex and me.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. No one will know the details that are missing! I also found it really helpful to go back and look at my original ideas; it helped me keep it all tied together.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? None of it would have been possible without all the hard work of amazing vendors. Especially with a destination wedding, having wonderful vendors that you can trust and rely on was such a blessing!

Photographer: Sara Bee Photography | Planner: Sweetgrass Social | Venue: The William Aiken House | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Caterer and Wedding Cake: PPHG Catering | Rentals and Lighting: Snyder Event Rentals and EventWorks | Band: Liquid Pleasure | Favors: Savannah Bee Company | Paper Products: Stamped Paper Co. | Bride’s Gown: “Huntington” by Monique Lhuillier | Bridal Salon: Warren Barron Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Dior | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Short Sleeve Shirt and “Dahlia Skirt” by LulaKate from Bella Bridesmaids | Groom’s Attire: Custom tuxedo jacket by Paul Stuart | Groomsmen Bow Ties: “Big Catch Bow Tie” by Vineyard Vines

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Happy Room reply

    Bravo to all of our vendor friends for bringing this lovely vision to life and thanks SW for featuring!…

  2. avatar Geoff reply

    What an incredible wedding dress. I’ve yet to see a groom wear a white jacket though and it contrasts so well with his groomsmen.

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