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Bride Jillian shares her pefectly Southern, blue and white wedding at Legare Waring House!

Please meet today’s bride, Jillian! I’m not sure if it’s the season we’re in, the dreamy light blue and white color palette, or the gorgeous floral detailing, but her wedding to Edwin will have you feeling all the spring feels (even though it took place in October!). And for you classic brides out there, like myself, it’s hard not to swoon over Jillian’s perfectly preppy Oscar de la Renta gown.

And don’t even get me started on those magnolia leaf garlands… I could get lost in their Charleston wedding all day. Keep scrolling to read all about the sweet surprises her mama pulled off, how they chose their venue, and much more goodness!

Big SW hugs to Virgil Bunao for sharing and to the ladies of A Charleston Bride for pulling together the details!

What was Southern about your wedding? Our whole wedding really played on the overall theme of Charleston and the South. Since Edwin is from California, about half our guests traveled from out west and had never spent time in the South. We had a lot of fun giving them a taste of the South during our wedding weekend! Everything from our wedding paper to the menus at each of our events was focused around Southern imagery, flavors, florals, and more. However, my favorite Southern tradition that we included in our celebration was burying a bottle of bourbon. Edwin, my sister who was also my maid of honor, and I went to our wedding venue a month before our wedding date with a shovel and a bottle of bourbon. We buried the bourbon on a gorgeous sun-filled day along with little prayers for beautiful weather on our wedding day. Fast forward to October 28th. It was a picture perfect sunny morning but as the afternoon rolled in, so did the clouds. About an hour before our outdoor ceremony was supposed to start, the skies opened up to a complete downpour. We finished our wedding photos just in the nick of time and ran inside the house. As guests arrived, they were escorted into the Legare Waring House, although this was never part of the plan… One of the groomsman took over the piano and the waiters started serving trays of champagne while the bridesmaids and I danced upstairs and watched through the windows as the guests arrived. The best part is that the bottle of bourbon worked! Five minutes before our wedding ceremony was set to start, the sky grew quiet and all the rain stopped! Our planners wiped off the ceremony seats, fluffed the flowers, and everything went off without a hitch. The clouds slowly parted and we said our vows against a beautiful sunset! Everyone said the rain added such a fun and dramatic element to the evening and, to this day, I credit the buried bottle of bourbon for stopping the rain five minutes before show time! It was then a blast to dig up our good luck charm and drink straight from the muddy bottle with all our bridesmaids and groomsmen!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My mom pulled off so many special surprise details for our wedding, including the embroidery she had done on the inside of my wedding dress, the vintage earrings she gifted me to wear on our wedding day, and the embroidered hanky she gave me before our ceremony started. In addition, I’d say our wedding paper. I absolutely adore every piece of paper we designed for our wedding, from the save the dates to the invitations to the menu cards and everything else in between.

We did do a first look on our wedding day. We were married on October 28th, and our venue regulated that weddings start at 6pm before Daylight Savings. So, we had to do a first look in order to capture our photos in the light. I have to say, it wasn’t my first choice, but we loved the venue so much that it didn’t matter. The first time we saw each other was more meaningful than anything I could have dreamed up and I know that would have been the case with a first look or if we had first seen each other when I walked down the aisle.

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 198
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. It could be argued that I found my wedding dress by accident. We live in Charleston now, but at the time, we were still living in Los Angeles, so I researched when all the designers were holding their trunk shows in LA following bridal fashion week. Unfortunately, the LA trunk shows just so happened to take place on a weekend when my mom was already committed to be at a big Alabama football game and my sister was already set to be in Europe visiting friends. I still wanted to go because it was the only opportunity to shop that season before my wedding, so both my best friend from college and my cousin flew in for the day (both were bridesmaids in our wedding!). We had a beautiful champagne-filled lunch at The Polo Lounge and then headed to our three appointments. At each appointment, I told the bridal stylists that I had no plans of actually finding my wedding dress without my mom or sister, and that we were just there for fun and inspiration. Well, lo and behold, we walked into Oscar de la Renta and my dream dress was waiting for me. I honestly felt like it was designed with me in mind, it was that perfect! ODLR was so amazing and flew the dress back to Los Angeles in December so my mom and sister could see me try it on.

What made you choose your venue? I grew up going to Sea Island to visit my grandparents, so I wanted to find the history, romance, and charm of Sea Island somewhere special in Charleston. From the time I was a little girl, I always said I wanted to get married under a live oak tree. I knew right away that our venue was the one. The live oak tree we got married under was hauntingly beautiful and everything I ever envisioned. We now call Charleston home and absolutely adore the fact that we will always hold the city near and dear as the place we tied the knot.

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? My favorite part of wedding planning was, without a doubt, planning with my mom. We had so much fun together throughout the whole process and I really leaned on her to help me make some of the tougher decisions. My mom and I were on the same page the whole time and she is 100% the person to credit (along with our amazing planners!) for making my vision come to life!

What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Believe it or not but the hardest part about planning our wedding was getting a venue in Charleston! Deep down, I really knew that Legare Waring House was the venue for us but I called and toured multiple other spots too. On all the tours, I was the only bride-to-be with a connection to Charleston and family in Charleston. Charleston has become such a popular wedding destination that it was a challenge to get a Saturday wedding date that wasn’t in the dead of summer. In fact, we only secured our October date, which was 17 months after we got engaged, because a couple had a hold on the day but decided to call off their engagement. I really couldn’t believe it!

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We served the most beautiful, elegant, and delicious wedding cake I’ve ever seen or tasted. We went for different flavors with each tier of the cake. I always gravitate toward fruity flavors over chocolatey flavors, so our wedding cake was coconut, orange, and lemon blueberry flavored! In addition, my grandmother was from Mississippi and was a tremendous Southern cook. My favorite dish she made was an ice cream banana parfait dessert. Our amazing caterers took my grandmother’s recipe and put a modern twist on it, creating “Grandma Peggy’s Chocolate Banana Parfait Pushpops.” They were delicious!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. One fortunate summer, our two best friends (who are now engaged to be married!) introduced us at a party and, from that moment on, we lived out a quintessential summer of love up and down the Southern California coast before falling in love and choosing to be together for 8 years and counting.

Tell us all about the proposal! Edwin gave me the surprise of my life when he proposed to me outside the Santa Monica apartment I shared with my best friend (yes, the one who introduced us!). Edwin and I had spent a beautiful, sunny day in Malibu. Edwin knew I never wanted anything showy for a proposal, though, so he waited until we got back to Santa Monica to pop the question. My roommate was home at our apartment when we returned from Malibu but she was supposed to leave shortly for a dinner date. Edwin was planning to propose to me in my apartment. However, my roommate’s plans kept getting pushed later into the night, so Edwin panicked and claimed he was suddenly starving. Reluctantly, I went along with him to get a bite. Edwin opened the car door for me and, as I sat down in the car, he got down on one knee and said the sweetest, most loving, and supportive things I could ever imagine. He then pulled out a beautiful round cut diamond ring. To this day, I wish I remembered everything he said so I could hear it in my head over and over again! We ran inside and shared the news with my best friend, called our families, popped multiple bottles of champagne and headed to a dinner Edwin planned at the intimate restaurant Giorgio Baldi. Our friends who introduced us came and met us after dinner for more champagne and for a night of dancing. It was everything and more!
When did y’all get married? October 28th, 2017f
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? This might sound silly, but the most meaningful part of our ceremony was holding hands while saying our vows and “I do.” We both wanted a very traditional wedding so we opted for traditional wedding vows. The readings during our ceremony were done by my uncle, who is also my god father, and Edwin’s sister, who was also a bridesmaid.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. When the band introduced Edwin and me into our wedding reception tent, they played “Going to the Chapel” by the Dixie Cups, which is just about the happiest wedding song I can think of. Our first dance song was an easy pick. We both love classics so there was no other song choice than “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding. My dad and I did our father daughter dance to “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison. All my memories of childhood have Van Morrison playing in the background, so that was one of the easiest decisions we made during the whole wedding planning process. Edwin and his mother danced to “Mother and Child Reunion” by Paul Simon because Edwin was raised on Paul Simon. Every song was chosen because it was the music that defined the relationship! I knew I wanted to be super traditional for many aspects of our ceremony, so when I walked down the aisle with my dad, we walked to Cannon D. However, we knew we wanted the celebration to begin the moment we said “I do!” so we walked back up the aisle as a newly married couple to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. It set the tone for the whole night to come!
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? What an impossible question! There are so many! First and foremost, the moment I saw Edwin at our first look was a moment I’ll never forgot. I’ve never seen him look so handsome and I will always cherish my memory of the way he looked at me. Another memorable moment was when my sister helped me into my wedding dress and shoes. It still brings happy tears to my eyes. As I mentioned, I kept my wedding dress a surprise so the moment I put it on and stepped into a room full of my beautiful bridesmaids was also incredibly special and memorable. I also loved seeing my dad for the first time on my wedding day. He came upstairs to see me in my dress and to take photos; it was so lovely and meaningful. During our wedding week, my dad was everything and more that a girl could ask for.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Yes, the dance floor! My, what a party! Our band brought the house down so much so that one guest exclaimed that he felt like he was at a concert instead of a wedding! The dance floor was packed all the way up until the last possible moment. I know I’m biased, but it was the best party I’ve ever been to! Our recipe for keeping the dance floor so full of life was to avoid modern music (except for about three songs) or tacky 80’s songs and to keep it strictly to the classics that every generation loves. Our set list was full of Van Morrison, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, and the Rolling Stones.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao | Videographer: East West Production | Planner: Lindsey Boyce of A Charleston Bride | Venue: Legare Waring House | Florist: Out of the Garden | Wedding Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal | Caterer: Cru Catering | Drape: The Social Spool | Linens: Pressed Fine Linens | Rentals: Snyder Events, Ooh! Events, and Skyline Tent Company | Restroom Trailer: Nature’s Calling | Lighting: Av Connection | Band: The Atlanta Showstoppers | Monogram Pillows, Napkins, and Bride’s Wedding Bouquet Ribbon: Number Four Eleven | Escort Card Boards: TEC | Paper Products: Studio R Design | Bride’s Gown: Oscar de la Renta | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Saks Fifth Avenue | Hair Stylist: Ash & Co. | Makeup Artist: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Styled by Cynthia Cook Brides | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Welcome bags: A Signature Welcome

marissa Written with love by Marissa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Neza Reisner reply

    Awesome wedding!

  2. avatar Week Recap, Vol. 46 reply

    […] is Jillian‘s Charleston wedding?! Loved seeing all of their beautiful details over on Southern Weddings. 3. I also am loving Jenn‘s shoot at this adorable Austin spot (bookmarking it for my trip in […]

  3. avatar Weekend Notes – Lauren Nelson reply

    […] Jillian’s wedding was absolutely gorgeous!! – Southern Weddings  […]

  4. avatar craig williams reply

    Love these details and photography so beautiful

  5. avatar Kyla Shattuck reply

    This wedding sounds like an absolute dream! Those design details are so swoon-worthy, and their joy is so apparent! :)

  6. avatar Janecia reply

    This wedding is gorgeous. Such a fan of the mixed bridesmaid’s dresses. So dreamy!

  7. avatar NST Pictures – Artistic Wedding Videos reply

    This Southern wedding is everything! Being amidst nature, the theme, the blue motif and of course, the attention to detail!

  8. avatar My Bridal Brunch at Cannon Green reply

    […] loves! After last week’s big wedding reveal post about our wedding being featured by Southern Weddings, I’m so excited to share more about our wedding weekend with a post dedicated to my bridal […]

  9. avatar A Look at our Wedding Ceremony and Reception Spaces reply

    […] same venue, the breathtaking Legare Waring House. I shared more about how we picked our venue in this feature but, today, I wanted to give y’all a glimpse at what the ceremony, cocktail hour, and […]

  10. avatar March Favorites reply

    […] the only girl out there who has been planning her wedding for her entire life. At least I hope not. Jillian’s wedding was recently featured on Southern Weddings and is one of the most picturesqu… And can we please talk about her dress??? Jillian also has the cutest style. You can check out her […]

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For Maggie and Jim, Charleston was the perfect place to celebrate yet another milestone in their story. Not only did they fall in love in the Holy City, they also felt that it embodied all of the qualities of the South that they hoped to share with their guests. With the help of their planner, Blue Ribbon Vendor A Charleston Bride, Maggie and Jim planned an elegant day that was filled with classic white florals and beautiful, neutral details that somehow made the Gadsden House even more lovely than it already is!

Big SW hugs to Ashley Seawell for sending along this chic, Southern day!

I found my dress after a 14-hour work day with one of my closest friends, totally on a whim. My dress ended up being the first one I tried on. After trying on about 50 more dresses over the next month or so, I went back and bought the first one. I loved how different it was.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A Charleston Bride. Without their patience and knowledge of all things wedding, we would have been so lost. My planner (Lindsey) and the ladies of A Charleston Bride are worth their weight in gold! I did not have to worry about a thing the day of the wedding.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was a pocket bible that has been passed down in my family at each wedding ceremony for 100 years. My something borrowed was a diamond tennis bracelet my father had given to my mother, and my something new was a gold bracelet my mother-in-law gave me while getting ready for the wedding. My something blue was an undergarment!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Carrying my grandmother’s bible. My grandmother is 103 years old and was unable to make the trip to Charleston for the wedding. Carrying the Bible that she carried and that my mother carried meant the world to me.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We had originally planned to do a first look, but decided about one month before the wedding not to do one. It seemed so special to have the first time my husband saw me on our wedding day be when I walked down the aisle to meet him.

Charleston, South Carolina has a lot of meaning to both of us. Charleston is where we dated and where we fell in love. It has all of the qualities that embody the South. It is about great food and drinks, and beautiful, kind people. We tried to pull little pieces of the South into all aspects of our wedding.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t worry about the small stuff. It does not matter if you get the perfect napkins or fabric, or even the perfect dress. The only thing that matters is that you have your closest friends and family there to celebrate the best day of your life with you. Because your wedding day is just that…the BEST day of your life.

Our wedding cake was my favorite part of the whole wedding (aside from winning the best groom). We had a local bakery make a three-tier wedding cake with three different flavors. The first layer was a coconut cake, the second was strawberry with fresh strawberries in the filling, and the top tier was pistachio. It was the best tasting wedding cake I have had, and you could really feel the baker’s passion for baking.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jim and I met at a friend’s beach house on New Year’s Eve. I was newly single and in medical school, and Jim was in law school about two hours away. I decided that there was no better way to start a new year fresh than to spend New Year’s with a fun group of people I had never met. They had all known each other for years and I felt slightly awkward and out of place…until I met Jim. Jim is the kind of guy who makes everyone feel at home, and the sparks started flying almost immediately. We spent the remainder of the night stargazing on the dock over the creek.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was living in Dallas doing an OB/GYN residency and Jim was living in Columbia for medical school (yes, you read that correctly, he went to both). Seeing each other could be quite difficult with two very demanding schedules. One weekend in January when Jim came out to Dallas to visit, he brought a diamond along with him! I had planned a big dinner with a group of residents and friends at a great Mexican restaurant, and Jim was supposed to get in around 8. While waiting for the plane to leave, the conveyor belt ran into the gas tank on Jim’s plane and everyone was asked to evacuate. Jim was told there were no more flights out for the night and that his only option was to be put in a cab to catch a flight out of a nearby city (100 miles away). Jim got in a cab with two strangers and rode to Charlotte, North Carolina–he was a man on a mission! He ultimately got into Dallas around midnight, long after dinner was over. Jim casually said, “Let’s go up on the roof and have a drink and take the puppy.” We tried to go on the roof, but it was locked because it was after midnight. Instead, we decided to take the dog on a walk. I was in yoga pants and bedroom slippers when Jim got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I immediately started crying and dropped the dog’s leash in my excitement, and she took off running down the street! After I got myself together and said YES, we went and found the puppy sitting patiently outside of the dog park gate. It was the most special proposal for us.
When did y’all get married? May 21, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I grew up in South Carolina eating boiled peanuts like they were an entrée! We had several little buckets of boiled peanuts on the bar top. We also had several Southern touches on our menu. Cru Catering does a perfect job of making special little Southern dishes. We had little ham biscuits and pimento cheese spreads, as well as fried oysters served on a seashell.
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 are currently living apart finishing up our training. We look forward to being able to travel as a couple, and eventually settle down in the South to grow some roots and start a family.

Photographer: Ashley Seawell Photography | Planner: Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride | Ceremony Venue: French Huguenot Church of Charleston | Reception Venue: Gadsden House | Florist: Charleston Stems | Wedding Cake: Twenty Six Divine | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events | Lighting: IES Productions | DJ: Natty Heavy | Paper Products: Sweet Magnolia Paper | Bride’s Gown: Rosa Clara | Bride’s Jewelry: Maddison Row | Hair Stylist: Lindsey of Blushing Brides | Makeup Artist: Megan Grant via Bobbi Brown | Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Natalie Deayala | Men’s Attire: Berlin’s

A Charleston Bride is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and Rosa Clara is a wonderful Southern Weddings sponsor!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    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 see a LOT of Charleston weddings around here (not surprising considering it’s one of the loveliest destinations in the South!). That means that when we’re choosing real weddings to feature each year in print, we have to be extra selective–otherwise, it would be all too easy for half the weddings we shared to be Charleston celebrations! When Stephanie and Johnston’s wedding photos landed in our inbox though, we knew we had a gem that our readers would love as much as we did. Stephanie and Johnston teamed up with A Charleston Bride with a meaningful goal in mind: to make their wedding feel as though it was a fabulous party at their home. Every detail was completely true to their classic style, and the reception even incorporated some of Stephanie’s beloved blue and white china. A few of my favorite personal touches were the ones that paid special tribute to how important their families are to them, from the boxwood family photo display, to the lace from her mother’s wedding dress Stephanie wrapped around her bouquet, to the custom crest they included as a nod to the new family they were starting on their wedding day!

    We’re so thrilled Olivia Griffin shared this day with us for V9! We got to celebrate with both Olivia and Stephanie in person at our issue launch party, which was such a treat!

    Tell us about your wedding flowers. How did you choose them? What did you love about them? We wanted to incorporate lots of whites, ivories, and natural greens. I started to share some ideas with Lindsey on Pinterest and she and I brainstormed for months to get the combinations just right. She helped me see past just the appeal of the colors, but to think about the feeling and texture that certain varieties can have. She also made sure to create an overall design plan that was lush and full without being too over the top. My bouquet included tulips, peonies, and hyacinths. The construction was a modern take on the traditional with block groupings instead of the flowers being mixed evenly throughout. The bouquet was wrapped with lace from my mother’s wedding dress that she had kept preserved all these years!

    We were married in Charleston, South Carolina at the end of February, and luckily, it felt like spring! Charleston is a special destination for us as a couple. We have traveled there together several times, and we love all of the restaurants, shopping, and the history of the town. I had always envisioned getting married outside by the water and Johnston and I wanted a destination wedding. Lowndes Grove gave us the Southern feel we were looking for, was right next to the water, was a large white plantation, and was also in a city we love! Being that we both wanted a black-tie affair and wanted the sun to be setting when we said “I do,” we spoke with our photographer and videographer to see what time of day would be best for our ceremony.

    Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. We had a gospel choir sing guests into the ceremony, where they were greeted with a glass of champagne. We decided to have our ceremony facing the Ashley River on the backside of the property, instead of on the grand front lawn, to make the atmosphere feel more intimate. It was such a beautiful and peaceful backdrop. I also had a trumpet player for my entrance into the ceremony with my father. It was a really special way to come into the space, and made me think of all the weddings I had watched when I was a little girl.
    What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? Johnston: The first look and Stephanie walking down the aisle. Stephanie: Walking down the aisle and saying “I do!” During the ceremony itself, when my dad and I started walking down the aisle toward Johnston, I was overwhelmed with all the love felt. Seeing people we have known our whole lives who traveled to witness Johnston and me get married was a feeling I will never forget.

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved dresses and getting dressed up for events! Given my extreme love of fashion, shopping, and clothes, I knew that my wedding dress had to be the most stunning, gorgeous, timeless dress I had ever seen. I wasn’t even looking for dresses (since I was not engaged at this point) when I came across a picture of the Oscar de la Renta “Caroline” dress. I immediately called Oscar de la Renta in New York and inquired about the dress. They informed me that this dress was not in stores yet but would be by the spring (perfect timing on the engagement). I called the only store in Atlanta that would be carrying this dress and made sure they called me the day it arrived. We got engaged, and the timing was perfect because three days later, the dress was in! My mom and I went to see it and I tried it on and that was it! I knew instantly this was the dress I had always dreamed I’d wear when I walked down the aisle! The lady at the store told me that this was the last dress that Oscar himself created for his bridal collection before he passed away! I have such a love and passion for fashion that this dress exceeded my wildest dreams of any wedding dress I’ve ever seen!

    We had a large focal point of a live greenery wall, where I gathered wedding pictures from Johnston’s and my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents. This meant so much to us because our families are extremely important to us and we are fortunate to have parents who are still as in love as they were when they were married over 35 years ago!

    Our cocktail hour was perfect, and since we did a first look, we got to spend as much time as possible with our family, friends, and guests. We had the band play during the entire cocktail hour and had amazing hors d’oeuvres passed, which we had spent so much time picking out. We wanted each guest to feel welcome from the second they stepped off of the trolley and entered our wedding evening. Each guest was greeted with a glass of champagne to toast to the evening to come. Once the ceremony was finished, everyone went inside the house. We had a greenery-covered bar and blue and white ceramic lamps in the entry to greet everyone. They then walked into the main house and saw our cake on display under the spiral staircase, and smaller separated rooms they could walk in for chef-attended short ribs and oysters on ice. We also had a focal wall, in greenery of course, and hung our family wedding photos underneath our guest book.

    The wedding exuded the same design and style of our house, which everyone remarked upon. People said they felt like they were at a party at our home (albeit a slightly larger house with a view of the water). We incorporated as many personal items from our home as we could carry in all of our trips up to Charleston. The blue and white china and monogrammed pillows are back in our home today, and seeing them on a daily basis reminds us of the wonderful wedding day!

    Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Walking into the wedding process, I had a good idea of things I was naturally attracted to and liked. Once Lindsey and I got started on what elements we wanted to bring in, she and the ACB team asked a lot of questions about us as a couple, our family, our style, and our interests. Somehow, all of that came into the design and we loved it all even more than clippings or pictures we had seen before. Inspiration was the soft palette of natural ivories and greens with accents of gold and dark charcoal. I wanted to incorporate a black and white dance floor, large focal bars, crystal chandeliers, and lots of boxwood and flowers. Once we got started, we incorporated blue and white china, which I collect, and it really finished out the design. There was a little something to discover everywhere.

    The wedding cake was a three-tier hexagon cake covered in ivory fondant with a gold-covered vintage lettered monogram on the middle layer and a few delicate white flowers placed at the top. It was simply stunning. The stand was polished silver and was a gift from a dear friend. The silver cake server and knife were heirloom pieces Johnston’s parents used at their wedding to cut their cake!

    How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at a mutual friend’s 30th birthday party. I had recently moved home to Atlanta from Florida, where I had lived since graduating from Alabama in 2007. One of my best friends convinced me to attend the party, as I had originally planned to stay home for the night because I was in a boot from a running injury. Johnston had been living in Atlanta since he graduated from Ole Miss in 2007. I lived a few doors down from Johnston’s cousin at Alabama, and thought I had recognized him, as they look very much alike. I introduced myself and there was an immediate connection. It is crazy to think about all the mutual friends we shared and all of the parties and weddings in college and after that we were both at and never once met. Johnston was in the background of a picture I found from a friend’s wedding four years before, which we attended with other dates! We realized that everything happens in God’s time and happens for a reason! We both knew immediately this was something special, and several months later, we were engaged!
    Describe the proposal: Johnston had arranged for both of our families and a few close friends to meet at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The weather was near perfect in mid-March, warm without being overwhelming. We walked through Piedmont Park and then into the main courtyard of the Botanical Gardens, where all of the tulips, one of my favorite flowers, were in full bloom! Johnston took a knee and I began crying and said “yes!” Having our families and best friends there cheering for us was such a special touch that Johnston organized. We then went to a wonderful dinner with everyone to celebrate!
    How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? With the advice from some friends, who were married a few months before us, we attended several sessions of marriage counseling. While we did not have any serious issues to discuss when we started going, we found it very helpful to talk through many of the matters the counselor said cause problems down the line in most marriages. We also met with the minister who married us for several premarital sessions as well. Spending time with him going over our backgrounds and views on marriage and our parents’ marriages was very special, and he made our ceremony incredibly personal from our discussions. When we were first engaged, my mom also gave me the Southern Weddings Planner! She knows I like to stay extremely organized, and this planner had amazing advice and tools to use while planning a perfect Southern wedding. With the ability to add our information into it, I brought this to every meeting and referred to it daily while planning the wedding and keeping myself organized in the process!
    How many guests attended your wedding? 165
    Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Mu grandparents, who have been married for 61 years!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? For now, we are readjusting to the real world and enjoying newlywed life: traveling for a few weddings, catching up with friends, and spending plenty of time with our dog, Oliver. We look forward to hosting dinner parties, redesigning rooms in our home, and possibly searching for a new house down the line. In the future, we plan to start a family and look forward to everything marriage has to offer.
    What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Never lose sight of what the day is really about. There are so many moving parts and you put a lot of pressure on yourselves, but remember that this is about the two of you and the decision you have made to spend your lives together. Enjoy the day and hire a great videographer so you can relive this day for the rest of your lives!

    Photographer: Olivia Griffin Photography | Videographer: Kickstand Studio | Planner, Designer, and Decor: Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride | Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation | Florals: Jonie LaRosse of A Charleston Bride | Caterer: Fish Restaurant | Wedding Cake: Patrick Properties | Bride’s Gown: “Caroline” by Oscar de la Renta | Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Style 450248 in Slate by Monique Lhuillier | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Ash and Co. | Groom’s Tuxedo: Sid Mashburn | Groom’s Shoes: Stubbs and Wooten | Groomsmen Fashion: The Black Tux | Paper Goods and Invitations: MADE Papier | Crest Design: Arabella June | Rentals: Snyder Rental, A Charleston Bride, Ooh! Events, and TEC Lighting Company | Linens: BBJ Linen | Reception Pillows: Number Four Eleven | Transportation: Absolutely Charleston | Bride and Groom Exit: Classic Boat Charleston | Lighting: IES Productions

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

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
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