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I was recently asked if Brandon and I have any anniversary traditions. At first, I said no, but then I remembered how much we love to reminisce about our wedding day each year! We talk about how much fun we had, and often share anecdotes the other might not remember. Like Sarah and Steven, we did not do a first look, and I also remember the exact moment the church doors opened. Sarah said, and I couldn’t agree more, that “I still get butterflies when I think about it. That memory will carry us through a lifetime of ups and downs.” I’m sure that was only the beginning, and that their intimate reception Coosaw Point RiverClub was filled with even more memories to be shared for years to come!

Thanks to Rach Loves Troy for sharing this sweet day with us!

I found my dress at a small boutique in Charleston with my bridesmaids, aunt, and mother. I tried on so many dresses, but none of them felt like me. Then, I put on this interesting two-piece dress, and that was it–game over. It was beautiful! The fitted underlay was stunning under the detailed overlay, giving the dress a very romantic feel while still showing off my figure.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It sounds so cliché, but everything really was perfect! Seeing everything finally come together was amazing. I think the flowers were our favorite detail–they were above and beyond beautiful, and really added a romantic feel to our bohemian-inspired wedding.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We went back and forth on this decision! Part of us wanted that private moment to enjoy each other and take it all in, but the other part of us wanted that grand moment when the doors opened and we could see each other for the first time in front of friends and family. We decided that it was too special not to have the big moment in front of those gorgeous wooden church doors! We could not have been happier with our decision to stay traditional.

We chose the historic St. Peter’s Catholic Church in beautiful downtown Beaufort for its Southern character and charm. The newly restored church is just breathtaking and has a very intimate feel, which was important for our small wedding! Our reception was held at the Coosaw Point RiverClub. We love this venue and the incredible views it offers. We knew the second we got engaged that the RiverClub was where we wanted to celebrate our big day!

For the reception, I went with a fun, fitted gown with a deep v-neck and ruffled straps. It was perfect for dancing the night away!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Thankfully, our venue was fully furnished and gorgeous, and the colors tied in so well with our color scheme that we didn’t need to do much! We kept everything very simple, not wanting to overwhelm the venue with too much detail. Flowers and greenery were really our only decorations.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was “Nothing Can Change This Love” by Sam Cooke. We went through so many different options for our first dance and would settle on one for a month or so until something else came along. We knew we didn’t want a really popular song–we wanted it to feel like ours. We came across this 1963 song by Sam Cooke and thought it was perfect–upbeat but slow enough to dance to, and everything we wanted to say to each other. The song I danced with my dad to was “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, which was the same song my sisters danced to with him, so I thought it would be sweet to finish off the tradition! Steven danced with his mother to “Days like This” by Van Morrison. When his mother sent me this song, I melted! I really could not have picked a sweeter song for them.


Our cake was incredible–I must have eaten four or five pieces! It was a simple, whipped buttercream, three-tiered cake with a combination of chocolate and strawberry shortcake layers. It was nice to be able to give our guests a choice for their dessert that night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the summer of 2010 and talked a little, but it wasn’t until a few months later that we reconnected on Facebook. After a cheesy exchange online, he asked for my number. I was starting my first year at college and he was in his second year at another university. The following year, he transferred to the same school as me, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Steven planned a trip for our four-year anniversary to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina. We planned to visit tons of waterfalls and had the maps to all of them ready to go, but somehow, we spent most of the day riding up and down the mountain, getting lost! It was getting late when we stumbled across a beautiful waterfall in a secluded part of the mountain, which is where Steven asked me to be his wife! It was incredible!
When did y’all get married? June 4, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 80
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? In preparation for our big day, we went to a premarital counseling course. During the all-day session, we learned about each other’s love languages, talked about when we would want children, how we want to handle finances, etc. It was great to see that we were on the same page in so many of the important aspects of marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Definitely the financial stress of planning a wedding. We tried really hard to be realistic about the cost of things, but weddings aren’t cheap! We would come to terms with the price of one thing only to be hit in the face with the price of another. Steven was amazing and just kept reassuring me that it would all be worth it. Don’t tell him I said this, but he was right!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Ashley Rhodes, our wedding planner! She planned both of my sisters’ weddings and it was really amazing to have her there to help marry off the last Gresham girl. There really are no words great enough for the job she did!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Easy–when the church doors opened and we finally got to see each other. I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything, I still get butterflies when I think about it. That memory will carry us through a lifetime of ups and downs.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After almost six years together, we are excited about starting a family together!

Photographer: Rach Loves Troy Photography | Planner: Ashley Rhodes Event Designs | Ceremony Venue: St. Peter’s Historic Church | Reception Venue: Coosaw Point RiverClub | Florist: Creative Floral | Cake Baker: AMC Confections | Caterer: Southern Graces | Rentals: Amazing Rentals | DJ: Epic Charleston | Paper Products: Murrs Printing | Bride’s Gown: “Ti Adora” by Alvina Valenta | Hair and Makeup: Orchid Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Mark Fisher | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Cate Lyon | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    Many girls can probably say that their dog is one of their very best friends, but I imagine few can say their dog was also their matchmaker! Sure enough, it was Jennifer’s beloved golden, Maverick, who was responsible for her and Kerby’s meet-cute–y’all won’t want to miss the story below. Five years and a move to Charleston later, Jennifer and Kerby escaped to the idyllic Palmetto Bluff with their family and friends for their gorgeous spring wedding weekend. Along with dreamy floral crowns, fun pops of pattern, and details that nodded to their love story, Jennifer and Kerby’s celebration wouldn’t have been complete without Maverick in tow!

    Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this lovely day with us!

    Kerby and I met five years ago in Washington, D.C. through my golden retriever, Maverick. I got Maverick when I graduated from college, and for many years, he was my rock during uncertain times of figuring out the next chapter in life. Little did I know, he’d also be the one to introduce me to my best friend and husband. I was going to a backyard birthday party for one of my mutual friends and brought Mav with so he could enjoy the festivities. After an hour or so, I spotted a cute boy rolling around on the ground with my dog. Naturally, I approached him and asked, “How do you know Maverick?” Kerby looked up and said, “I hung out with him the past two weekends while his owner was out of town. We’re best friends. Who are YOU?” And the rest is history.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My family and I grew up going to Hilton Head Island every summer, and it has always been a special place for me. Kerby grew up by the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina, so we figured somewhere near the water would be best for us. A friend of mine used to live in Bluffton, right outside of Hilton Head, and recommended that we look at Palmetto Bluff. We were swept off our feet from the first visit. The charm, natural beauty, and relaxed atmosphere–in addition to the convenience of Palmetto Bluff’s town square and cottages–could not be beat. We ended up moving to Charleston a month after our wedding, so we will be frequenting Palmetto Bluff for the rest of our lives!

    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Kerby and I initially disagreed on a first look. He wanted the classic, tearjerker scene of seeing his bride for the first time while standing in front of his family and friends. I knew I would be anxious the day of the wedding and wanted to see him before the ceremony so I could ease my nerves. After I explained that if we got pictures out of the way before the wedding, we could party longer afterward, Kerby quickly acquiesced.

    We decided to write our own vows so we could feel like the ceremony was personalized to us. We decided on each writing “a few paragraphs,” and had my maid of honor read both ahead of time to make sure they worked well together. As I struggled to get through mine, Kerby held my hand and kept whispering to me to breathe. When I finished, he automatically went in to kiss me to make me feel better. Halfway there, he realized that wasn’t part of the plan and asked our minister, “Can we do that?” It got a good chuckle from the crowd.

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had a bar set up at the entrance of our ceremony serving Moscow mules and Dark and Stormys in copper mugs. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable and start the evening off on the right foot. It was a celebration, after all! We also made sure that Maverick was a part of every aspect of the wedding. Not only did he need to be celebrated for introducing us, but his presence helped us feel relaxed and at ease. His ears flapped in the wind as the bridesmaids did a motorboat cruise to the bridal luncheon at Marshside Mama’s. He rode in the golf cart with us to the rehearsal dinner, where he got in the way of corn hole and snuck pieces of barbecue. He walked down the aisle with my maid of honor and danced the night away with us under the tent. Palmetto Bluff allowed him to be the VIP he deserved to be!

    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Look for ways to personalize your wedding. Think about who you are as a couple, what you like to do together, and what’s most important to you, and try and incorporate that into everything you decide. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is what ends up standing out to your guests and building that lasting memory in your mind.

    Our flowers were GORGEOUS! Em Creative Floral did a wonderful job of combining neutrals with pops of coral, pinks, and reds. My favorite part was the baby’s breath crowns that were made for my bridesmaids. They looked like angels floating down the aisle.

    Our wedding cake was a simple white cake with gorgeous, fresh flowers. In order to incorporate more flavors, we served cupcakes as well. One of my favorite pictures from that day is of me feeding Maverick a piece of the cake with Kerby looking on. He deserved to be a part of the wedding in every sense!

    Tell us all about the proposal! After dating for four years, I had an inkling that Kerby would pop the question sometime soon. My family has a tradition of going to Orlando every year for Braves spring training, and Kerby was coming along–his first trip to Disney World! I figured this was it. However, by the end of the trip, we only had one night left, and we were spending it on a drinking tour of the different countries at Epcot. I knew Kerby wouldn’t do it then (in public, at a theme park, after drinking, no chance!), but I had to check his pockets on the monorail anyway. Empty. We started with a beer at a pub in England, then walked over to Canada. Kerby steered me to the replica of Niagara Falls (romantic!) and dropped to one knee. I was so shocked and embarrassed that he was doing this in public at Disney World that I started pulling him to get up. Once I saw the ring, reality took over and I happily said yes! We were then able to celebrate with a few drinks in different countries (like champagne in France!) and fireworks with my parents. It was a dream proposal that I never would have planned.
    When did y’all get married? May 16, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 206
    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I have a simple, relaxed style and, for some reason, always pictured myself in a simple, sleeveless, trumpet gown. I began going to stores in D.C. with my girlfriends and thought I found the ONE. When I went to try it on for my mom at a high-end boutique in Atlanta, I realized I didn’t feel like myself in it. My mom and I drove to Kelly’s Closet and instantly felt at ease with the girls there. We were so inspired by all the flowy, unique, timeless gowns. I tried on every Jenny Packham dress they had and ultimately fell for the “Esme” because of its open back and gorgeous beading.
    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had an acoustic guitarist for the processionals and recessional. We love the casual and relaxed feel that only a single guitar can provide. The bridesmaids walked down to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and I walked down to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Our processional was to “Home” by Edward Sharpe. Our first dance was to Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.” We wanted a song that was completely different than most first dance choices. Neither of us are great dancers and we just wanted to go out and have fun. We never practiced, but had sung the song at the top of our lungs many times before. It helped that everyone in attendance knew every lyric and was able to sing along with the band! My dad and I danced to “Carolina Girl,” and Kerby and his mom danced to “Circle of Life,” which ended up with half our friends out on the dance floor, embracing in a swaying circle of Lion King enthusiasts.
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was a real treat to have our officiants be ministers from the church my family attended growing up. We were able to meet with them a few times in Atlanta before our wedding for marriage counseling sessions. It was comforting that we had already openly discussed many of the issues that we knew we could face throughout our lifetime of marriage.
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our wedding day, as everyone says, flew by way too quickly. What stood out to us were the moments that Perry, our photographer, pulled us aside to take pictures. She had us sit by the water to stop, breathe, and take in the moment.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to soaking up our new, more relaxed lifestyle in Charleston. We recently made an addition to our family with another golden retriever–this time, a blonde female we named Sully after Sullivan’s Island.

    Photographer: Perry Vaile | Videographer: Hart to Heart Media | Planner: Ashley Rhodes | Ceremony Venue and Caterer: Palmetto Bluff | Reception Venue: Private residence | Florist: Em Creative Floral | Band: The Atlanta Showstoppers | Paper Products: Low Country Paper Co. | Bride’s Gown: “Esme” by Jenny Packham | Bridal Salon: Kelly’s Closet | Hair Stylist: Alicia Stafford | Makeup Artist: Bride’s Side Beauty | Menswear: Bonobos

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    3 Comments
    1. avatar Perry Vaile reply

      I adored this wedding, thank you so, so much for featuring it and sharing their story! Hands down, this wedding day was one of my very favorites to capture – their ease with each other and their guests was so refreshing, and the trust they put into my as the photographer meant the world! It was also kind of amazing to see Maverick the entire day! haha! I even dedicated a folder in their wedding gallery to just Maverick images because we had so many! Best Dog, for sure!

    2. avatar Kate reply

      This wedding is absolutely stunning! Love all of the details including the beautiful calligraphy on the napkins and wedding ceremony program board! The photo of the groomsmen on the bikes might be one of my all time favorites though :)

    3. avatar Dana reply

      omg I love their meet-cute! Sweet dog

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