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I imagine that a thunderstorm-filled wedding morning or a melting cake would be pretty upsetting for many couples, but for today’s Charleston bride and groom, these things were just part of the beautiful story that made up their May 31 wedding day. Thanks to their talented planner, Callie of Ooh! Events, Dotty and Matt knew they didn’t need to stress about a thing. Instead, they focused completely on enjoying their sweet, traditional ceremony, hosting their 300 guests at their classic tented reception, and soaking in every second of becoming husband and wife!

Thank you so much to Shannon Michele for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

My mom and I spent a few weekends visiting bridal boutiques around Charleston, finding some lovely gowns, but nothing that just felt right. Finally, at Jean’s Bridal in Mount Pleasant, I tried on a Paloma Blanca sample. It fit like a glove, was the perfect princess dress without a single bit of embellishment, and it had pockets–I knew I had found my dress. The color is called “natural,” which tends more towards an ivory shade, and to say I adore it would be an understatement. We ordered it along with a coordinating veil, and when it came in, all it needed was a bustle. Talk about meant to be!

I walked down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, and we walked back up the aisle to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. All of the songs we selected for the ceremony were very traditional and were gorgeously played by the Chamber Players.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Literally all morning and day long, we had torrential downpours, flooding, and thunderstorms. This was a little unnerving for us, having an entirely outdoor wedding (tented, but with this rain, we would have all been soaked). I knew that Callie would take care of it, no matter what the solution ended up being. Right around the time we were supposed to take photos, the rain let up. The photos with the grayish sky are gorgeous, and the cooler temperature was an amazing side effect. The rain letting up at the same time I finally saw Matt was my most memorable moment.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Shrimp and grits, an obvious Southern delicacy, was one of our stations, but we also spiced things up with a fajita station. My husband was a Sigma Nu at the University of South Carolina, and at all of their weddings, they take over the stage to sing a Hank Williams, Jr. song. Fraternity men singing Hank Williams, Jr.? What’s more Southern than that! Probably our favorite Southern detail from our wedding was our guest book. We opted for an 8-foot joggling board painted in Charleston Green for our guests to sign with metallic markers. It turned out better than I could have ever hoped!

Our wedding cake was a four-tiered, square, white cake with alternating layers of lemon and raspberry filling. It was iced in ivory buttercream and adorned with white gum paste magnolias…initially. In hindsight, buttercream outside on May 31 was not the best decision, and luckily, my wedding planner, Callie, came to the rescue and adorned the cake with some additional fresh flowers to hold it together long enough for us to have our cake cutting!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had East Coast Party Band (a fabulous beach music band) provide our reception music, so we knew we wanted our first dance to be a shag song. We decided on “How Sweet it is (To Be Loved by You).” My father and I danced to “My Girl,” which held special significance to us because he used to sing it to me quite frequently when I was a little girl (I am one of five, the youngest, and the only girl).

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our mutual friend (and my maid of honor) introduced us. She had known Matt for several years, and she and I had been friends for about a year. We finally ended up single long enough for her to introduce us, and she jumped at the opportunity. We officially met (after she had already shared his life story with me) at Party at the Point, an outdoor summer concert series, which is held at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina.
Tell us all about the proposal! Matt planned a trip for us to Savannah last October, the weekend after I had a work conference. I was completely exhausted, but excited for what I assumed would be our proposal weekend (we had never had a weekend getaway before this one that didn’t involve a tent and hiking too far). I planned every outfit I packed so that I would look perfect for the main event. After a while, I convinced myself that it actually wasn’t happening, and I texted my mom to let her know that we were still having a great time. After dinner, I changed into a t-shirt and athletic shorts and piled my hair on top of my head (since I knew that this wasn’t the proposal weekend after all), and we enjoyed wine on the balcony and admired the view of Savannah across the river. There was a wedding party wrapping up in the courtyard below, and I told Matt that it was a good thing the bride and groom were already gone, because no one looked like they were having much fun. Matt then assured me that our wedding would be a blast (of course it would be!), and I agreed, without diverting my gaze from the wedding guests below. And then, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye–my love was folding his long, lanky self down on one knee, and he asked me to spend my life with him! He didn’t hire those wedding guests, but it couldn’t have played out any more perfectly if he had.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Just over 300
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did, and there wasn’t a question in my mind that we would. I am emotional, so I didn’t know how I would react upon seeing him for the first time, and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t bawling walking down the aisle in front of 300 of our family and friends. I am so glad that we did a first look–it was such a special moment for us, and I will cherish the photos of those few minutes forever.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old and borrowed was a brooch that belonged to my grandmother, that my mother loaned me for my wedding day. I attached it to my bouquet, and it meant so much to have a part of her with me. My something new was my dress and shoes, and my something blue was my light blue toenail polish (Essie’s Meet the Parents)!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Honestly, the biggest challenge was finding a location. Charleston is a destination wedding location, and since we didn’t want to wait a full year (or longer) to get married, it proved to be a bit difficult to find a venue. Luckily, we were able to secure a spring date in Charleston with just enough time to plan.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The best thing that I did when planning the wedding was once I made a decision, I stuck with it. I didn’t second guess anything that I had chosen, and I absolutely stayed off of Pinterest once I had met with Lisa at Ooh! Events. She and Callie understood my vision and style, and I trusted them completely. So that’s my biggest piece of advice: stay off of Pinterest and other wedding websites once you have your plans in motion! You chose each detail for a reason; cherish it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Once we returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica, we got straight to work! Our first project as a married couple was laying new sod in the front yard, and we have just recently wrapped up laying a 700+ foot flagstone patio as well. Next up for us is a pergola and some patio furniture! We are loving married life, and I honestly couldn’t have chosen a better man to spend my life with.

Photographer: Shannon Michele Photography / Planning and Rentals: Ooh! Events / Venue: The Pavilion at Patriots Point / Florist: Out of the Garden / Cake Baker: Publix / Caterer: Relish Distinctive Catering / Paper Products: Open House Charleston / Bride’s Gown: “4165” by Paloma Blanca / Bride’s Veil: Paloma Blanca / Bride’s Hair Accessory: J. Crew / Hair and Makeup: Candice Lukasak-Herriott / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Arabella,” “Kylie,” and “Heidi” in Silk Chiffon by J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Photo Booth: Shutterbooth / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Charleston Chamber Players / Joggling Board: The Joggle Factory

Ooh! Events is a delightful member of the Southern Weddings sponsor family!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Linley Stokes reply

    Her bouquet is perfect!! Love the Greek Key backdrop, too!

  2. avatar Megan Chandler reply

    So stunning!

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Y’all I just want to hug Millie Holloman for sending over such an adorable wedding! Sigrid + Bart dreamed up a pink wedding full of fun details, all of which were beautifully shot by Rachel Barker of MHP. (I think the Southern Weddings office needs one of those polka dot balloons, don’t you?) I love that S + B’s wedding was the collective effort of her family. From building the dance floor to baking the cakes, each detail was handcrafted with love and looks spectacular at the bride’s family’s home, where Sigrid + Bart exchanged vows and then partied ’til the cows came home.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had been wedding dress shopping a few times and was going to a sample sale at Priscilla of Boston in Coral Gables, hoping to find the dress for a deal. I couldn’t help but try on the regular priced dresses, and of course, the only dress I could imagine myself wearing was hanging right there on the rack. Once I put it on, I was done! We went back the next day with my dad, my aunt, my sisters and my grandmother’s belt to order my dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Describe your wedding flowers: My uncle did floral design for a long time and he ordered and created all of the flowers we used at our wedding. I wanted flowers that reminded me of my mom’s garden growing up. They were so beautiful, with big, fat pink peonies and garden roses. The peonies were flown in from Israel because they weren’t in season. I really loved Bart’s boutonnière, a simple pink garden rose with dusty miller.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Our dear friend wrote and performed our ceremony, so it was very personal and sweet.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? After we were pronounced husband and wife, we kissed and “Love Train” started blaring. We led everyone over to the reception area with our big balloons. That moment was pure happiness.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was a testament to the collective talents of our family. Everything about our wedding was homespun. Every decoration was made or painted by hand by someone in my family. My dad, uncles, brothers-in-law and cousins built and painted the dance floor, did all the lighting and built the bar. My uncle did all the flowers and my mom’s cousin made the arrangement on the gazebo we were married under. Almost every single thing was cooked, baked, crafted, painted, built, and set up by a family member. My great aunt made the sausage bread we served at the cocktail hour, my mom’s cousin painted the chair hangings and the chalk boards, and my cousin painted the lids that of the mason jars we used for our signature drink. My aunt had been collecting vintage china and silverware for a year for her vision of the table, where we also used my mom’s collection of pretty vintage linens. There were touches of burlap and gingham to shout out to Bart’s country roots, combined with so many vintage details that my mom would have loved.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: My cousin, Mary has her own baking business in Rhode Island, and she came down early to bake all of our desserts. There were three cakes, each one more beautiful and delicious than the last. Our flavors were chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream, vanilla with fresh strawberries and whipped icing and coconut lemon cupcakes. Goodness, they were so delicious my mouth is watering remembering them! My cousin, Missy, made the silhouette cake toppers.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Bart came into my life when I felt like nothing good could ever happen again. My mom had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer about six months before, and things were getting really hard. Bart came around and somehow started to make life seem more livable. He has since brightened my life in so many ways, and helped me get through some unbearable darkness. I feel pretty lucky to be married to a man who, even on his worst days, is too good to be true.
Describe the proposal. Bart came to my work to bring me lunch and casually said I should start looking at plane tickets to go home. (We were living in San Diego at the time.) I was kind of confused and turned around to ask him what the heck he was talking about and found him on one knee with a gorgeous ring. He said, “Well you are probably going to want to get home to your family to start planning our wedding.”
In what month did you get married? February.
How many guests attended your wedding? 100
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Oh my, every detail was our favorite — the giant polka dot balloons, the chandelier in the tree, Bart’s boots, the roses on the dance floor, the “bartinis,” the mismatched china, the Italian string lights, the ice cream truck!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Hands down, THE PHOTOGRAPHER.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Jenny J Cook reply

    Love all the adorable details + color scheme!

  2. avatar Theheadlessmannequin reply

    I love everything about this wedding from that beautiful silhouette cake topper to the burlap tied around the chairs and the cute bow ties!

  3. avatar Kristin Hubbard reply

    I love the color scheme of this wedding. All of the letters hanging around the wedding is also a really wonderful detail!

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One of my favorite things to see is when couples like Rebecca + Colin take design elements that are meaningful and incorporate it into their big day. The scrolled iron gates characteristic of Charleston made an appearance on the couple’s invitation suite and the rest of the wedding was filled with that Southern town charm. Among the lush white flowers and greenery, elegant details set the scene. (For instance, that gorgeous tent?!) I’m the biggest fan of textured cakes and Rebecca + Colin’s sweet treat complete with their monogram has become one of my favorites. Biggest thanks to Virgil Bunao for sharing this wedding with us!

From the bride:

When Colin and I were debating where to get married, we decided pretty quickly on Charleston. Since we met in New York and are each from different states (Texas and South Carolina), we knew our family and friends would be traveling from all over the country for our wedding. For this very reason, we wanted somewhere easy to get to, easy to get around and most importantly, somewhere fun and unique that would be like a mini vacation for our guests. Charleston is all of these things and when you add in the fabulous lowcountry cuisine, stunning waterfront views and the historical beauty and charm – you get the perfect location for a wedding celebration!

Our Save the Date and Invitation, which mimicked the scrolled iron gates so popular in Charleston, really set the tone for our wedding – simple and elegant with a Southern feel. When it came to the colors of the wedding, I knew that I wanted to use a deep plum, my favorite color for fall, which we highlighted with shades of green, ivory and champagne and lots of mercury glass accents! The day of the wedding was luckily just as beautiful as when we visited the year before. Throughout the evening, guests dined on local favorites such as shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and fresh seafood. The lounge area under the tent created the perfect place to rest your feet after boogying down on the dance floor and the hanging lanterns in the trees cast a magical glow on the celebration. We ended the night with a showering of lavender and a getaway on a Charleston rickshaw. Our wedding day was perfect and far exceeded our expectations. Thanks to all of our fabulous vendors for helping to create such a memorable day!

Photographer: Virgil Bunao // Hair & Makeup: Allure Salon // Paper Products: Bella Figura // Transportation: Charleston Rickshaw // Wedding Coordinator: Luke Wilson Special Events // Venue: The William Aiken House // Florist: Timeless Designs // Caterer: Fish // Wedding Cake Baker: Elaine’s Events // Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta via Stardust Celebrations, Dallas, TX // Bridesmaids’ dresses: J. Crew // Band: Loose Chain // Ceremony Music: Palmetto Strings

Love this wedding? We think you might enjoy these:
Taylor + Stephen’s fab pink and purple wedding here and here
Emily + Brian’s gorgeous blue wedding here and here

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    Totally agree with you about incorporating personal elements into their big day! This is very sweet!

  2. avatar lisa reply

    Love the Brides Shoes!! Do we know where she got them from?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Lisa! We don’t have the exact source for Rebecca’s shoes, but they remind me of Aruna Seth’s: Best of luck!

    • avatar Rebecca reply

      Hi Lisa!
      My shoes are from Neiman Marcus…they are Vera Wang Lavender Label. They are so comfortable! Hope this helps :)

  3. avatar Nichole reply

    I’m getting married at the William Aiken House next spring! So nice to see such a lovely wedding that took place there to draw inspiration from :)

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  5. avatar Dianne Thompson reply

    In the photo with the shoes of the bridesmaids and bride- I love the middle bridesmaid’s shoes. Where can I find them? Thanks!

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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