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We never tire of seeing a Charleston wedding around these parts–few places better embody the charm and history the South is beloved for. Considering Isabelle and Brent both work for the iconic Southern menswear brand, Billy Reid, I have no doubt that the magic of the South is something they hold dear, making Charleston the perfect place for their classic fall destination wedding! They met soon after Isabelle joined the Billy Reid team, and a few years plus a New York City proposal later, they teamed up with our Blue Ribbon Vendor A Charleston Bride to plan their celebration. Unsurprisingly, their wedding was full of gorgeous fashion (a love-at-first-sight Monique Lhuillier and perfect red lip for Isabelle and a Billy Reid tux for Brent), but it was also packed to the brim with memories these two and their loved ones will cherish for a lifetime. The dances at their reception were especially meaningful–don’t miss the songs they chose and why they were so very special!

Thank you so much to Ashley Seawell for sharing this stunning day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It was the first dress that I tried on! I wish that I had a juicier tale about the hunt for my dress, but in all honesty, it happened very easily for me. I knew from the second that we zipped up my dress that it was the one. Of course, I convinced myself that I needed to try a variety of other dresses before committing, but in the end, I selected the very first one.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment for me on our wedding day was when I was walking down the aisle at the church towards Brent. I was completely overwhelmed by everything around me. I was so grateful to have my father walking me down the aisle, and I can’t put into words how overjoyed I was to see all of the familiar faces of friends and family as I made my procession in. Most notably, I will never forget the look on Brent’s face as I walked down the aisle and the feeling that I felt. It was so incredibly special. I am pretty sure that I did not stop shaking for the entire ceremony. The moment was so overwhelmingly wonderful!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I am Episcopalian, so Brent and I decided that we wanted to get married in the church. Charleston has so many gorgeous churches to offer, but ultimately, we chose Grace Episcopal Church. We fell in love with the clergy and staff at Grace, and the church itself is absolutely breathtaking! For the reception, we chose the William Aiken House. We wanted a space that allowed guests to be both inside and outside. Everyone needs a little A/C break every now and then, especially during a wedding in the South in September! Once we toured the space, it just felt right. The William Aiken House has these amazing piazzas overlooking the elegant pergola in the courtyard. It was the perfect setting.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One of my favorite details was the lanterns hanging in the trees at the William Aiken House. The William Aiken House has these beautiful old magnolia trees in the courtyard, so I knew that I wanted to incorporate lanterns in some way. It was breathtaking to look out and see the flicker of the lanterns floating in the trees throughout the evening.

Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding bouquet was a gorgeous, loose, hand-tied mix of ivory garden roses, bells of Ireland, veronica, and Italian ruscus (among others). I wanted all of my florals to feel very organic, natural, and earthy. All of our floral arrangements incorporated a lot of greenery. For the arrangements at the reception, we incorporated nude and blush tones and a pop of aubergine, which tied back to my bridesmaids’ dresses. We also incorporated gorgeous fruit accents and chocolate artichokes into our reception arrangements, which I absolutely loved! The arrangements were lush and flowing with greenery, fruit, and flowers.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Three cakes are better than one, in my opinion, so we decided to have a trio of cakes! Two of the cakes were hummingbird cake with cream cheese icing, while the center cake was almond cake with almond icing. All three cakes were adorned with olive leaves for a simple and elegant look that tied back to the greenery in our florals.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Brent and I chose “Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops for our first dance. We wanted a more upbeat song to set the tempo for the evening. Our band was special for many reasons. The K-JAMS hail from Dothan, Alabama, which is my hometown. Not only are they incredible musicians, but they are also dear friends. They don’t typically perform at weddings, so we were incredibly appreciative to have them play and help us celebrate! For Brent’s dance with his mother, they chose “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. It was such a special moment, and you could feel their love for one another. Both were grinning from ear to ear, and I can’t even count the number of times they twirled. It had to be close to 30 times! For my dance with my father, we chose “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys were a longtime favorite for us both, and it was the perfect song. My dance with my dad was unforgettable. My father passed away shortly after our wedding, and words cannot express how special that moment was for us. I will never forget it. I feel so lucky to have experienced that moment with him, and it’s a memory that I will treasure forever.

Don’t miss Isabelle and Brent’s highlights film by Cinema 843 below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our meeting was serendipitous. I had recently accepted a new job with menswear designer Billy Reid in Alabama, and I was in the process of moving from Manhattan, where I had lived for two years. Brent, who also worked for Billy Reid, had just been relocated with the company to New York City a few weeks prior. Before my move down South, my boss suggested that I help out in Billy Reid’s New York store to familiarize myself with the brand. I vividly remember seeing Brent walk into the store on the morning that we first met. Unbeknownst to me, on the same day of our meeting, Brent passed a note to another Billy Reid colleague that read, “I’m going to marry her.” Our coworker had a good laugh, said “yeah right,” and crumpled up the note. It took two days for Brent to ask me out, and the rest was history.
Tell us all about the proposal! After being together for two years, Brent made plans to propose. I was on a work trip in Manhattan for men’s market, which always fell over Brent’s birthday, so we had to plan his birthday celebrations accordingly. For this particular trip, I planned to fly out of NYC on Thursday afternoon so I could arrive home just in time to take the birthday boy out on his actual birthday. Little did I know, I was about to fall into the most carefully crafted plan. On Wednesday afternoon, I received an email from my boss, asking if I could extend my trip to attend a client dinner on Thursday evening. After a few hours of apologies to Brent and several guilt trips later, Brent and I finally determined that it was best if I extended my trip and attended the dinner. I felt rotten! My boss then asked if I could select a restaurant and set up reservations. I immediately picked one of my favorites, Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel, which Brent anticipated that I would do. Thursday arrived, and I was on my way to the dinner. While in a cab, I received a text from my boss that our table wasn’t ready, so he was taking our clients to grab a drink nearby. I was instructed to find the bellhop, who would take me to meet my party. Once I arrived, I found the bellhop and followed his lead as we crossed the street toward Gramercy Park. As he was unlocking the gate to the park, I became very confused, and I was almost ready to turn around. That’s when he swung open the gate, and I was greeted by Brent, who had been waiting for me in the park. He proposed at sunset in my favorite park in New York. We celebrated with a dinner at Maialino and then spent the weekend in the city.
When did y’all get married? September 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175 guests
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For my borrowed item, I wore a “traveling garter” that has been passed from bride to bride among my girlfriends. Our traveling garter conveniently also has blue incorporated! For my old item, I wore my mother’s diamond earrings, and I considered my wedding dress my something new.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographer, Ashley Seawell, and videography team, Cinema 843, were so amazing at documenting our day, and we are so appreciative of their work. We are so thankful for all of the beautiful photographs and video footage that allow us to not only relive our wedding day all over again, but also allow us to remember our loved ones and the moments that matter. At one point during the planning process, I questioned whether it would be worth having a videographer. Looking back, I can honestly say that this is one detail that I am so happy that I did not pass up. My biggest piece of advice for future brides and grooms would be to make sure that you incorporate both photography and videography into your wedding day. You won’t regret it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We recently moved to Atlanta, so we are looking forward to enjoying married life in our new home with our kitty, Jack! We are excited to settle into our loft on the Westside, which has some of the best restaurants in Atlanta within walking distance. We are both big foodies, so we are excited to try out all of the new places (without worrying about the pesky wedding diet)!

Photographer: Ashley Seawell Photography | Videographer: Cinema 843 | Planner and Florist: Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride | Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: William Aiken House | Caterer and Wedding Cakes: Fish Restaurant | Rentals: Snyder Rental, Nuage Designs, La Tavola Linen, Polished!, and Ooh! Events | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band: The KJAMS | Paper Products: Sweet Magnolia Paper | Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN | Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair and Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Groom’s Attire: Billy Reid | Groomsmen Attire: Charleston Tuxedo

A Charleston Bride is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa

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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Weaving meaningful details into your wedding day can tell the story of your relationship, pay tribute to your family and heritage, and help make guests feel welcome and loved. One of my favorite things to learn about is why you choose the details that are infused into your wedding decor. From a bright, coral door with a welcoming sentiment to pretty pineapple place settings, this year we had the privilege of sharing some of the loveliest details.

Enjoy a few of our favorites from 2016!

Dacie and Dennis’ bright coral door (photo by Sarah & Ben)

Amanda and Andrew’s green and gold reception (photo by Aaron & Jillian)

Lindsay and Ty’s pretty peach-filled centerpieces (photo by Dana Cubbage)

Elizabeth and Tripp’s innovative backyard bar (photo by Ashley Upchurch)

Alicia and Ian’s feminine, Tex-Mex inspired tabletop (photo by Archetype)

Katie and Scott’s sweetly striped tablecloths (photo by Jodi and Kurt)

Nicole and Martin’s festive signage (photo by Danielle Nichol)

Catye and Trey’s watercolor seat assignment installation (photo by Mustard Seed)

Kristen and Rick’s perfect pineapple place settings (photo by Jennings King)

Chandler and David’s preppy lounge area (photo by Virgil Bunao)

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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We love keeping up with gals who are in the midst of wedding planning through our Southern Bride Bloggers page, and were excited to chat a little more in depth with one of them today, because Jessica, is our Southern Bride of Spring! She and Brian are tying the knot in just a few weeks, and she generously took some time out of last minute preparations to fill us in on a few of the details they have planned for their sweet, Southern celebration. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we did!

Hi! What’s your name?
Jessica Firestone
What’s your fiancé’s name?
Brian Hubacher

Sarah Morrel Photography

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Brian and I met at freshman orientation at NC State University. The moment he smiled at me and said “hello,” I knew I was in trouble. That being said, anyone who knows me well knows that I am stubborn and fiercely independent, which led to me refusing his advances for the entirety of freshman year. We maintained a friendship, and after he transferred to Miami University in Ohio, it eventually turned into a relationship, which then turned into love. I’ve known for a long time that he was the one I wanted to spend my life with, which made living in different states especially hard. After years of dating long distance, Brian ended up at law school in Raleigh, which means we are finally in the same city. We are loving every minute of it!
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
I knew an engagement was coming soon, but the actual proposal was a total surprise! Brian’s sister, Nicole, was coming for what I thought was a girls weekend. Little did I know, it was her responsibility to make sure my nails were perfect and I got to the right place at the right time. With a convincing story about a party for a family friend, Nicole successfully got me to Lake Johnson, one of my favorite spots in Raleigh. When Nicole directed me towards the dock, I saw Brian standing in the middle of strands of lights and photos of us from years of our relationship. I was totally caught off guard and even asked Brian if it was really happening! After a wonderful speech, he was down on one knee and I was the happiest girl in the world. He also had arranged to have a bunch of my best friends hiding in the clubhouse to celebrate with us afterwards. It was absolutely perfect!

Let’s see the ring!

Sarah Morrel Photography

When’s the big day?
May 8, 2016. We’re counting down the days!
Where might you two be tying the knot?
The Sutherland in Wake Forest, North Carolina
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
Selecting our venue was without a doubt the easiest part of planning the wedding! I’d done a lot of research at the beginning, with dreams of plantations and oaks in my mind. Knowing we didn’t want to get married too far from home, when we saw The Sutherland, we knew it was everything we’d hoped for.
The ceremony will take place in a garden off the side of the main house. I love that location because when I come down the aisle, I’ll get to come through a door and down the porch. I didn’t think I’d care much for a big entrance, but now, I wouldn’t have it any other way! The reception will take place in a beautiful pavilion behind the main house. Some of my favorite things about The Sutherland are the foliage and flowers. When we visited the venue for the first time, the weather was perfect and everything was in full bloom–at that point, we agreed that we couldn’t imagine our big day anywhere else.

Tell us a little bit about the wedding you’re planning: style, theme, feel, colors?
Soft, romantic, and, of course, Southern! For flowers and bridesmaid dresses, we went with light, pastel hues of pink and purple to add to the overall romantic feel. Bouquets and other floral arrangements will include lots of peonies, hydrangeas, and roses. Both of our extended families are from the North, so we wanted to make sure that while they are at the wedding, they get a taste of the Southern life we’ve both fallen in love with.
How have you involved your “community” (friends, family, etc.) in the wedding planning process?
Involving friends and family as much as we’d like has been a challenge, because both Brian’s family and mine aren’t currently in North Carolina, and a lot of our wedding party is also out of state. With that said, it has made the time we do get to celebrate together that much sweeter. Skype and Pinterest have been amazing for making me feel like my family and bridesmaids are connected, and showers have been a really special time of having the women in my life join in this exciting time.

Some of Jessica’s lovely inspiration! Top: both Peaches & Mint via Wedding Chicks, bottom: Rebecca Arthurs via Style Me Pretty, Leah Vis via Colin Cowie Weddings

Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
With a 13-month engagement, you’d better believe our vision for the day has changed a bit from what it was at the beginning! As we’ve gotten closer and closer to the day, we’ve wanted softer and more romantic touches than when we started. The one thing that hasn’t changed at all is our overall focus for the day: we have always wanted our love for Jesus to be evident on May 8th, and having a longer engagement has enabled us to find unique ways of making sure that comes through.
What wedding-related decision have you been the most indecisive on?
Definitely the guest list–deciding who we wouldn’t be able to invite was one of the hardest parts of planning. I always envisioned a small wedding, but marrying into a family with 60+ person Christmases put a quick end to that! Fortunately, I couldn’t be more excited about each person we’ve invited. What a blessing to have so many loved ones to share in this exciting day!
Which part of your wedding have you been most intentional about planning?
That’s an easy one. Above anything else, we want our wedding and our marriage to point towards Christ. The bottom line is, our marriage is not just about us–it is about leveraging our relationship to demonstrate the love of God. We strongly believe that our wedding should reflect that. The second aspect we’ve been most intentional about is making the wedding personal and incorporating elements that mean a lot to us. I’ve planned things like wearing my grandmother’s sapphire ring down the aisle, placing family wedding photos on display, and a few other surprises that my groom doesn’t even know about yet!

A few of our favorite family photo displays! Top: Emily March Photography via Southern Weddings, Virgil Bunao via Southern Weddings

How has the budgeting been? What’s your best budgeting tip?
Budgeting hasn’t been too bad, surprisingly! I created my own budget tracker to input all of my expenses for the big day, which really helped me to visualize where money was being allocated. Before we even started planning, Brian and I sat down and figured out what our splurges would be and where we would be ok cutting back (a tip we found in the Southern Weddings Planner!). Having that conversation right at the beginning of our engagement was key in making sure we had exactly what we really wanted without going overboard.
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I have! Dress shopping was so much fun! I went twice–once with my mom and matron of honor and the second time with my three best friends from high school (all of whom are in the wedding as well). I didn’t tear up when I first said yes to the dress, but at my last fitting, when it really started to fit well, my mom and I shared in some happy tears as we imagined me walking down the aisle to Brian. I won’t give too much away about the dress, but it’s an Essense of Australia gown and I purchased it from Lana Addison in downtown Cary, North Carolina. The girls there are absolutely wonderful and the bridal salon itself is lovely. Especially for brides looking to find beautiful dresses without emptying their savings accounts, I highly recommend this sweet boutique.
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Walking back up the aisle with my HUSBAND! I can’t wait for those first moments of realizing that Brian is finally my family and I am his wife! The first thing we’re doing as a married couple will be washing each other’s feet, like Jesus did with his disciples to put His perfect, selfless love on display. We will be doing the same as a demonstration of our desire to serve one another like Christ. We’re both excited to set the tone for the rest of our lives together right after the ceremony.

Jo + JT by Brandon Chesbro, Gabrielle + Dustin by Feather and Twine

What are you most looking forward to about marriage?
The things I am most looking forward to are in the mundane…things like Saturday mornings with cups of coffee and time spent snuggling up on the couch, or getting to spend long road trips together driving home to our families for the holidays. It is times like those that will make some of the sweetest memories, but I also look forward to opportunities where we are stretched and challenged, that cause us to come out on the other side looking more like Christ and loving one another better than before.
Where do you hope to be on your fiftieth anniversary?
On our 50th anniversary, I hope we are reminiscing on the beautiful marriage God has blessed us with, while holding hands on our front porch. Our individual dreams and aspirations are big, but together, there is no greater prayer than to live our lives and use our marriage to bring glory to God and to love each other well. I hope we never get tired of kisses goodnight, holding hands in the grocery store, and laughing together until we cry.
Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
Enjoy as much of your engagement as you can! There are going to be ups and downs, no matter how hard you try to make it perfect, but most things aren’t worth losing sleep over. Let challenges bring you and your fiancé closer together and always look for chances to laugh and celebrate with your family and friends. Most importantly, remember that your engagement leads to something greater, so don’t get so caught up in planning your centerpieces that you forget to prepare for the lifetime ahead of you with the person you love most.

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Jessica! Y’all help us wish her well in her last few weeks of wedding planning! :)

lisa Written with love by Lisa

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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