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I love it when a tradition starts with only the bride or groom’s family, but then a wedding turns it into something that all their loved ones can enjoy. For Colleen and Nicholas, that’s Kiawah Island. Though Nicholas’ family had been vacationing there for years, after bringing Colleen along while dating, it became the perfect place for these two to celebrate their marriage. It didn’t hurt that as soon as they drove up to the Ocean Course on a post-engagement vacation, they knew it was the exact place where they wanted to share their love of Kiawah Island and each other with their friends and family! A clear-top tent, an abundance of beautiful blooms by Fox Events, and plenty of sweet Southern sunshine later, and I’m sure all the guests in attendance will be itching to create their own traditions on the island, too!

Thanks to Tim Willoughby for capturing this beautiful day!

My dress was actually one of the first ones I tried on. I was so excited to try on wedding dresses, so my mom and I went to Saks right away, just for fun! We weren’t expecting that I would find my dress so quickly, but as soon as I put it on, I absolutely loved it. I went to a few other appointments just to make sure, but ended up coming back to the first one I loved!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We had a really hard time deciding if we wanted to do a first look, but we ended up doing one. We were so happy we did! It was really special to have our first moment together on our wedding day be for just the two of us (and our little yorkie, who made an appearance for some pictures). It gave us the opportunity to take a lot of our pictures before the reception so we could enjoy as much of the celebration as possible, and also made us much less nervous for the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we had one of our close mutual friends officiate our wedding, which added a special and personal touch to the ceremony.

Nick has been going to Kiawah with his family since he was a kid, and we all went there together a couple of times when we started dating. We were there on vacation a few weeks after we got engaged and decided to look at some venues. As soon as we drove up to the Ocean Course, we knew that’s where we wanted to get married! It was so much fun to be able to share one of our favorite places with all of our friends and family for the weekend.

The one thing I knew I wanted at our wedding was tons of flowers! We went with a neutral palette of white and light pink with some pops of blue and lots of greens. Our wedding planner also did all of our flowers–she and her team did an amazing job! When Nick and I walked into our tent for the first time, we were so happy with how beautiful it looked.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? All the dancing. Our wedding band, ATL Groove Factory, was absolutely amazing and had everyone on the dance floor the entire night! For our after-party, a good friend of ours from NYC who is a DJ kept the dancing going. We had so much fun with everyone!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I both went to Cornell, but somehow never met, even though we have a ton of mutual friends. After college, we were both living in New York, and I went to a 4th of July party in the Hamptons that ended up being at a house Nick and his friends were renting that summer. After we spent the day together, Nick asked me to go out again the next day in the city. After that, we were pretty much inseparable!
Tell us all about the proposal! A couple of summers ago, we were spending a week out on the North Fork of Long Island. We made a nice dinner to have outside at sunset, but I noticed Nick wasn’t eating anything. He said he needed to go inside and grab some balsamic vinegar to add to the food, but instead, he came back outside, got down on one knee, and proposed!!
When did y’all get married? October 10, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 190
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many little details, but one of the best were the two big swings we had on the edge of the dance floor. They looked beautiful and everyone had so much fun on them! I also loved the chandeliers that we hung from the top of the tent.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did. My twin sister let me borrow the sapphire and diamond earrings she wore for her wedding day, and I wore blue satin shoes to take care of my something borrowed and something blue. My mother and my mother-in-law both provided pieces of lace from their wedding dresses that were wrapped around my bouquet as something old, and I wore a bracelet Nick gave me the morning of our wedding as something new.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The most difficult part of getting married on Kiawah Island was figuring out transportation for all the guests, since there wasn’t one main hotel where the majority of guests were staying. Somehow, our wedding planner and our families managed to figure out where everyone was staying and get everyone to the wedding on time.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding planner, Lauren Fox. We knew planning our wedding in Kiawah from NYC would be a little more difficult, but Lauren made everything so much easier. I always say I would re-plan our wedding all over again because that’s how enjoyable Lauren made the whole process!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn, so we’re just enjoying married life in our new neighborhood. And we’re hoping to grow our family soon!

Photographer: Tim Willoughby | Videographer: Hart to Heart | Planner and Florist: Fox Events | Venue and Caterer: The Ocean Course | Wedding Cake Baker: Jim Smeal | Rentals: Snyder Events and Ooh! Events | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band: ATL Groove Factory | Paper Products: Studio R Design | Bride’s Gown: “Cora” by Austin Scarlett | Bride’s Jewelry: Zoe Chicco | Hair Stylist: Charlotte Belk, Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Makeup Artist: Pamela Lesch | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale in Navy Blue | Menswear: J. Crew

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar elaine reply

    Where is her reception dress from?!? Amazing!

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My favorite details from many of the weddings we share are not just details. Many aren’t even things you’d notice by looking at the lovely photos–rather, they’re the special pieces of each wedding that make them personal to our darling couples. Katie and Win are no exception! Their magical Blackberry Farm wedding boasts stunning mountain views and perfectly classic blooms, but on top of that, they were married on Katie’s parents’ anniversary, and The Georgia Boy Choir, the same angelic voices that sang at Win’s parents’ wedding, were part of the ceremony. What a sweet way to honor both families and the unity that their marriage will create! Even their venue choice stemmed from a decision to honor their love story–they have memories at Blackberry Farm from holidays, to weekends spent hiking, and most importantly, their engagement!

Heavens, we’re happy A Bryan Photo was on hand to capture all the beauty that unfolded!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Although I did not have a particular wedding dress style in mind, I knew I wanted it to be traditional and timeless. The dress I selected was a French peony lace column gown with a full and softly fluted round hem. I loved it for its simplicity and the beauty of the lace and buttons down the back.

The flowers we chose were rich in texture and natural colors that blended into the already spectacular setting. The bouquets were everything we had imagined and more; they were the perfect balance of simple elegance with a little farm flair! My bouquet was made up of white peonies, one of my favorite spring flowers, accented with natural greenery from muted lavender and olive leaves. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a smaller version of mine with white peonies, white garden roses, muted lavender twigs, and olive leaves. The groom and groomsmen wore white garden rose boutonnieres.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Win and I felt it would be more authentic and romantic to have our first look when I walked down the aisle with my dad. We did not mind having our guests be a part of the emotion shared when we saw one another for the first time.

The Georgia Boy Choir surprised guests during our ceremony on the front lawn at Blackberry Farm. They also sang at Win’s parents’ wedding in 1986. It was such a special nod to the Rollins family to have them as part of our wedding. Their angelic voices rang through the mountains in celebration of our marriage!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with Reverend Allen, our high school chaplain, multiple times for premarital counseling as we planned for the big day. These sessions were a reminder of the merging of two families that was about to occur and what that meant for us moving forward. We discussed values, differing opinions, various stages of love, family planning, and more. Win and I will strive to live by the tools of honor, communication, trust, and love that he instilled upon us. It also made our wedding ceremony very special, since Rev. Allen knew us so well!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We rode from our wedding ceremony to the reception at The Barn in a horse-drawn carriage that was decorated with garlands of greenery and white roses. This was our first moment alone as newlyweds and it gave us an opportunity to reflect, relax, and enjoy the moment.

It was hard not to incorporate the “blackberry” theme into everything, but we decided to go for it when it came to the desserts. Our five-tiered round Italian cream cake was filled with cream cheese and alternating layers of blackberry buttercream, and was displayed on a wooden platter made from a wine barrel. Win loves milk and cookies, so instead of a groom’s cake, I surprised him with his favorite thumbprint cookies with blackberry colored icing. They were served in the tent along with small glasses of milk before our sparkler send-off.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Blackberry Farm holds so many memories for us, from holidays to weekends spent hiking, fly fishing, sitting by the fire with family, enjoying fabulous meals, and most importantly, toasting to our engagement with our families. This place is deeply rooted in love, laughter, and the start of our life together! It meant so much to have everyone at Blackberry Farm for such an important event in our lives.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy every minute! Take a step back from the details and remember that at the end of the day, this is about celebrating a commitment, dedication, and bond to the person you love. Do not forget to be gracious; everyone at your wedding has had a significant influence in your life and they have traveled to be a part of your wedding, so make them feel welcomed. And lastly, relax, have fun, and take every thing in, because it goes by too quickly!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Win and I met at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia and began dating in 10th grade, but we actually have pictures of us in the same class from preschool! After graduation, we began six years of long distance between the University of Georgia and the University of Virginia, and then from Atlanta to Houston, only seeing each other about once a month. Win told me that he knew I still loved him because I cried every time we said goodbye.
Tell us all about the proposal! Win had planned a trip to Italy in July 2013, but when I suddenly fell ill in June, we were forced to cancel it. To make up for it, Win surprised me with a fabulous getaway to Blackberry Farm during the holidays. This romantic retreat was just what the doctor had ordered, and more! There is nothing more festive than Blackberry Farm around the holidays and it is a perfect place to cozy up by the fire. Win and I enjoyed a relaxing day on the property, having picnic lunches down by the Yallerhammer Pavilion and playing endless rounds of Bananagrams by the roaring fire. On the evening of December 28, as we sipped our favorite Blackberry Bumpkin cocktails in The Barn, Win proposed! I was so elated that I still don’t remember a word he said, but I know I said “Yes!” Both of our families arrived at Blackberry the following morning to share in our engagement celebration.
When did y’all get married? April 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite details of the wedding were getting married on my parents’ wedding anniversary and having The Lovett School chaplain perform the ceremony. Win’s mom also drew a lovely sketch of The Barn at Blackberry Farm that we used for our rehearsal dinner invitations.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The first two vendors we booked, A Bryan Photo and ATL Groove Factory, were amazing!! Bryan and his team are not only incredibly talented, but so much fun, and they made us feel so at ease on our wedding day. ATL Groove Factory turned a magical evening into an unforgettable party for all of our family and friends! They were engaging, energetic, and had everyone on the dance floor for the entire night. The biggest compliment to us has been the number of our friends who have requested information about both of these vendors for their events.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Win and I are continuing to establish our new home in Houston, Texas, but hope to travel as much as possible over the next few years. Luckily, I am a travel advisor, so we are constantly dreaming of our next fabulous and memorable getaway together! One day, we hope to start a family of our own, but until then, we are enjoying our shared life together.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Blackberry Farm raises one of Italy’s oldest dog breeds, Lagotto Romagnolo, which are used on property to hunt truffles. The two new litters of curly-haired puppies enhanced everyone’s stay and definitely won a few hearts! Win and I still want to own a truffle dog and name him “Wally” in honor of Walland, Tennessee, home of Blackberry Farm!

Photographer: A Bryan Photo / Planner: No Regrets Events / Venue, Caterer, and Florist: Blackberry Farm / Cake Baker: Magpies Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals / Reception Band: ATL Groove Factory / Paper Products: Paces Papers / Bride’s Gown: Anna Maier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon / Veil: Tia Mazza Bridal / Hair Stylist: Ashley Schaumbug / Makeup Artist: Claire Balest / Bride’s Shoes: “Baxen” by Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Newberry” and “Lacey” in All Tomorrow’s Parties by Joanna August / Groom’s Attire: Miller Brothers Private Label / Groom’s Shoes: Baker Benjes / Monogram: Penned by Palmer / Calligraphy: Carol Gray Calligraphy / String Music: Special Notes Festival Strings / Choir: The Georgia Boy Choir / Rehearsal Band: Craig Duncan & Friends

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Erin Phillips reply

    Blackberry Farm is one of my most favorite places on earth! My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary there and I’ll never forget that experience, or the amazing meal we had in The Barn! It was fun to recall that experience while reading through this beautiful feature.

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