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Wedding days fly by faster than ice melts on a Southern summer night (trust me!), and are filled with so many wonderful moments that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Reading through each interview, I’m always so amazed at how different and incredibly touching each couple’s favorites are. I tend to cry reading each one, but I haven’t cried in about a week. Well, that record came to an abrupt stop because Josh’s favorite memory just got me good! He said “In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me.” Swoon!

Now can we talk about Ms. Melody and her amazing style? Between the top knot and the fur stole, I think she took chic to another level, not to mention, made me question my haircut choice last week!

Hugs to the darling Courtney Dox for capturing such a pretty day!

She’s working it–what a beauty!

Describe your wedding flowers. This was one of my favorite meetings I had while planning my wedding. Josh actually didn’t attend, which I was thankful for, as he was a VERY involved groom! My planner, Ashley, and I had the opportunity to create some surprises for him with the wonderful Sara York Grimshaw of SYG Designs. Josh and I both loved the rustic look of The Cotton Dock, and Sara was able to create the romantic, rustic atmosphere I wanted with beautiful blue hydrangeas, white anemones, and pinecones.

Bookmarking the photo below for our annual favorites posts–that cotton!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We both decided early on that we wanted to do a first look. Josh was so nervous about messing up the vows and he knew that if he could just see me first, he would be able to say them mistake-free. It ended up being emotional for both of us, so it was nice to have some time to ourselves before the ceremony.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up outside of Charleston, and always wanted to get married at plantation. Boone Hall was a perfect location and had everything we were looking for–Southern charm, rustic appeal, and plenty of opportunities for us to create a wedding that was better than we could have dreamed.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? From Josh: We did not. I would have been even more of a mess if I had to memorize anything!

Getting married at a historic Charleston plantation definitely gave us the perfect backdrop for a fairy tale Southern wedding. We tried to incorporate several things we love about the South for our out-of-town guests to soak in. We had an oyster bar with freshly shucked oysters from various regions, boiled peanuts on our bar, and a Southern classic for our signature drink–Coca-Cola glass bottles with a runner of Jack Daniels on top. Josh also offered up his homemade jalapeño dill pickles to be served with our BBQ sliders, and we had hot spiced wine to help keep our guests warm by the fire!

Our favorite detail of the wedding would have to be the decor. We were stunned when we saw how the lighting, flowers, and furniture all came together. Each table was decorated with flickering candles, sparkling mercury glass, and gorgeous floral arrangements. Rustic Edison bulbs dangling from the ceiling gave the whole venue a totally different feel then when we saw it at first.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My MOH, Mallory Imlach, took charge of all of these items and it was a complete surprise to me! She gave me a new sixpence for good luck that I wore in my shoe. My blue item was a “bride” tank to wear en route to our honeymoon. My something old was so special–it was a photo of my parents on their wedding day that she tied to my bouquet. Along with their photo, she tied a little piece of her wedding dress to it. My something borrowed was her cuff bracelet she wore on her wedding day that had the saying “And she lived happily ever after” inside of it.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a beautiful three-tiered cake by the amazing Jim Smeal. He used our color palette of blues to create a stunning ombre ruffled cake with three large flowers to add a little more detail. I chose all the flavors, as Josh is not the dessert type–key lime coconut, chocolate kahlúa, and pecan praline. I would be lying if I said the thought of opening up our anniversary cake a little early hadn’t crossed my mind a time or two!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so lucky on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, when we bumped into each other at a local pub. Introductions were made by a mutual friend and I instantly knew this guy was something. Ten days later, at the Carolina Cup horse race in Camden, SC, Josh made it “official” and we have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Josh always had a special place in his heart for fall. One beautiful day in October, we made plans to meet our long-time friends outside of Greenville at a farm that had a pumpkin patch. We started walking through the pumpkins, looking for the perfect one. Little did I know, a few steps away, Josh had arranged to have “M-A-R-R-Y-M-E-?” painted out on on a row of pumpkins. Just as he got down on one knee and I said yes, a hayride of people went by and joined in our excitement with cheers. It was perfect!
When did y’all get married? December 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. During a last minute trip to visit my matron of honor in Greenville, SC, she surprised me with a trip to look for dresses. We walked into The Poinsett Bride in downtown Greenville and I just had a good feeling. A few dresses later, I had found the dress! With the help of the amazing seamstress at The Poinsett Bride, she and I were able to customize a one-of-a-kind dress that I absolutely loved. We added thin spaghetti straps and deepened the back to give the dress a little more drama, while still being classy and elegant.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Honestly this was the last thing on my mind. All I cared about was the handsome guy standing at the end of the aisle! But, to make sure everyone heard lovely sounds, we had a guitarist and my cousin played her viola. Our first dance was picked out by Josh, “To Love Somebody” by The BeeGees/Michael Buble. When he played it for me for the first time, I just melted. It was perfect!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list! This is the hardest thing people don’t always tell you about. We decided early on that we wanted a smaller wedding, and after we had our lists from both sides of the family, the hard work began.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think one way we really saved so much was hiring a wedding coordinator. I know there is a cost for this service, but I also know without a doubt that we would have spent more without the help of Ashely Wenz, our incredible planner!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Cru Catering did all of the food and drinks at our wedding. It was fantastic! We wanted Southern-inspired food and drinks, and they really took that notion and ran with it. They were able to blend classic Southern dishes with some flair–like collard green wontons, pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw, and shrimp and grits that were to die for!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Melody: The moment I saw Josh for the first time is my most cherished memory. His face was just so priceless and the time we got to spend together, just the two of us, took all the nerves away. My second favorite moment was when my Daddy and my uncles serenaded me, barbershop quartet style, with a song they had written together all about me! It was a complete surprise and it was so sweet and unexpected–absolutely something I will never forget! Josh: My most memorable moment would have to be when I saw Melody coming down the aisle toward me. Even though it wasn’t the first time that I saw her in her wedding dress, it was the first time that everything sunk in for me. In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me. Even though we were surrounded by our family and friends, it was like it was the two of just us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to immediately agree to a lot of additions and extra things you want, but things add up. There were a few things in our planning process that we thought we couldn’t live without, but when the day finally comes, you will be surprised by how easily you forget about them. At the end of the day, its about being in the fellowship of your closest family and friends, and celebrating the commitment you just made to one another.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Right now, we are enjoying spending time with our two puppies, and in the future, we are planning on buying our first home and starting a family together.

Photographer: Courtney Dox Photography / Planner: Ashely Wenz of Boutique Planning / Venue: Boone Hall Plantation / Florist: SYG Designs / Wedding Cake: Jim Smeal / Caterer: Cru Catering / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band or DJ: Nu South Playas / Bride’s Gown: “Gobi” by Watters / Bridal Salon: The Poinsett Bride / Paper Products: Spencer Syfrig / Hair and Makeup: MiKel Rumsey / Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Gardenia” by Watters / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Their most memorable moments are so incredibly sweet! Also can’t get enough of their style–the bow ties, the hairstyle change, her dress…I love it all!

  2. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Oh my word, I LOVE this wedding!! Everything is absolute perfection and the bride is soo beautiful~! I love how she changed her hair to party at the reception afterwards too! :)

  3. avatar Julie reply

    May I ask, is there any way to find out what kind of wedding dress this is? I absolutely love it and am having a hard time choosing one… Thank you!

  4. avatar jessica reply

    This wedding is BEAUTIFUL! I love your take on a guest signing book/board. Where did you get this from?!

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The way Mike proposed to Christie is similar to my dream proposal — simple, heartfelt and a little nod to how far they’ve come. I just adore that Christie was lucky enough to be able to wear the ring that was a part of Mike’s family for generations. How special is it know knowing that the ring on your finger was also a part of many love stories before yours? In my opinion, their gorgeous blue wedding was just the icing on top of the cake! We love these images from Tracy Timmester — especially how she makes biscuits look so buttery and delicious, even on a computer screen.

Check out more of Christie + Mike’s wedding in their video by Thomas Bowen right here!

Raise your hand if you love Christie’s bouquet ribbons! I adore the colors and textures. It matches perfectly with her flowers!

There was no question about who I wanted to do my wedding flowers. Holly Chapple is an amazing artist and I am so blessed to call her a friend. It is so important to let your vendors have the creative license to do what they do best: design. I asked Holly for pretty, soft, romantic flowers and let her take it from there. What we ended up with was so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. They were lush and romantic with tons of hydrangeas, cabbage roses, and delphinium.

I wanted finding my dress to be a really special day, so I decided to only take my sister and my mother with me. We found the dress at the same shop (Betsy Robinson’s) where my sister found her dress. I fell in love with how elegant it was and the detailing on the flower. Before we were done, I had to add one signature touch – the ivory satin ribbon tied into a bow in the back made the dress perfectly me!

Both Mike and I felt strongly that we wanted the first time we saw each other to be when I was walking down the aisle toward him; that moment is so powerful and special. I am so happy we stuck to our guns on not seeing each other before the ceremony. Our guests got to share in the genuine emotion of the moment we saw each other. When I got to the end of the aisle, we were both all smiles.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We love the beauty and tradition of the Catholic ceremony so we used the traditional vows. Our absolute favorite part is where we promised “to love and honor each other all the days of our life.” We really try and live that vow every day.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Sirach 26, 1-4. 13-16 This has been one of my favorite Bible passages my whole life. It sums up who I hope to be as a woman and as a wife. Philippians 4, 4-9 — This reading reminded us that God is at the center of our lives and should be at the center of our marriage. The Gospel was Matthew 22, 35-40 — My absolute favorite reading. When it all comes down to it, all we need to remember is to love God with our whole hearts, minds and souls – and try and love each other in that same way. It’s simple and profound.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most important aspect of our wedding was that Mike and I wanted our guests to walk away from our wedding feeling like they were treated to the best Southern hospitality and are surrounded by lots of love! I knew that I wanted to focus on making sure our guests had the best experience for our wedding weekend. We chose a location that would be great for our big families and vendors who we loved as artists and people. That Southern hospitality began with our welcome bags. We included a personal note in each bag and stuffed them with two family favorites, candied pecans and Grandma’s lemon pudding pound cake, both baked from scratch in my mother’s kitchen! When guests arrived at cocktail hour, they were treated to our “Southern Charmer” cocktail (a champagne mint julep) and shrimp and grit fritters. Dinner included a candied pecan salad with goat cheese and red wine-braised short ribs with home-style mashed potatoes and cornbread. The late night Biscuit Bar was perfect for all of our guests who had literally been on the dance floor for hours. Our personalized signs helped guests load up fresh biscuits with all their fixings. I also wanted to honor all the special women in my life in some way, so I wore a little memento for them on the wedding day. My engagement ring was an heirloom from women in Mike’s family, I wore my great-grandmother’s earrings, carried a handkerchief hand-embroidered by my grandmother, my pearl necklace and bracelet were gifts from my mother, and my sorority badge was pinned to the inside of my dress.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The amazing organist at my church agreed to learn the Wedding Processional from the Sound of Music AND he brought in a trumpeter to make it extra special for my entrance. There was not a dry eye in the church! That movie was very special to my grandmother and me. We used to watch it together all the time when I was a little girl and it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear how regal and beautiful the song is. Our first dance was set to “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban. The song talks about everything we want in our marriage – to honor each other’s families and to spend a lifetime together making incredible memories. My father-daughter dance was extra special. My dad and I danced to Josh Turner’s “I’ll Be There.” The lyrics of that song perfectly express what every parent hopes to be for their child, and what my dad and mom have meant to me over all these years. Mike and his mother’s song was “Young at Heart” by Frank Sinatra which perfectly captured their playful and fun relationship!

Whoa. How delicious does C + M’s biscuit bar look? We’re not surprised that it was a total hit and C + M’s favorite detail of the wedding.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Mike and my brother Kevin have been friends for years, but I never got a chance to meet Mike. I remember when I finally did run into him at a golf course, I spent almost a half hour joking around with him and thinking how funny he was! My brother ended up setting us up on a date, and after that, Mike and I were pretty much inseparable. (You know you have a great guy when your baby brother gives it a thumbs up!) Mike is funny, kind, and makes me so happy, so of course I was thrilled when he decided to propose!
Describe the proposal. On our first date, Mike invited me over to his house and cooked me an amazing meal. Over the hours that we spent talking, I started to realize just how kind, funny and sweet he was — not to mention a fabulous cook! For the proposal, he recreated that first date and then we took a walk around the neighborhood. He got down on one knee right at the spot where we had shared our first kiss and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. He gave me a beautiful ring that has been a part of his family for generations. I am so honored to wear that ring and to be a part of such an incredible family!
In what month did you get married? March
How many guests attended your wedding? 171
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: The wedding cake was absolutely delicious! We went with two flavors, Viviacious Vanilla and Caramelicious. Most guests had a slice of each because it was so yummy!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Mike and I have so many special people we wanted to share our wedding day with, so keeping the guest count down without leaving out important friends was our biggest struggle. We decided to remove a few design elements in order to make sure that we could accommodate all of those people in our budget. In the end, we were so honored to have so many of our friends and family travel in from all over the country to be with us on our wedding day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We were in the $25,000-$50,000 range.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The band! We had the BEST TIME EVER dancing at the wedding thanks to Snackbar Jones. The energy they brought to our celebration made all the difference in the world I really don’t think I have ever seen a dance floor that packed for every song of the night. Our guests left raving about how awesome the music was.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We had the most amazing toasts at our wedding. Mike’s brother, my sister, and my dad were sweet and so funny! My dad had saved a Father’s Day gift from my childhood – I gave him a book of coupons good for a hug, a kiss, and a silly dance. At the end of his speech, he ripped out the coupon for the silly dance and traded it in for our father-daughter dance. I will never forget that moment!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The best advice I can give is to hire a wedding planner! I have no idea what I would have done without the support of the planning team. My family was able to spend time with me and Mike instead of having to run around to check on the details and put out fires. Consider your planning team an insurance plan for one of the most important expenses and days of your life!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are having so much fun settling into our new home together and getting used to calling each other husband and wife! We can’t wait to start a big family and are so excited for all the fun milestones to come.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    From the bouquet ribbons to the biscuit bar, this wedding is a dream!

  2. avatar Christie & Mike’s Wedding Featured on Southern Weddings » Timmester Photography reply

    […] lovebirds.  And clearly, Southern Weddings agreed!  Check out the full Southern Weddings feature HERE or see a few snippets of it below.  You can also see Christie & Mike’s full wedding blog […]

  3. avatar » Love List reply

    […] {These bouquets are my definition of perfect. From the flowers to that incredible ribbon, I’m quite in love! By Timmester Photography via Southern Weddings} […]

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    […] my gosh, a biscuit bar? This could not be a better way to represent our southern […]

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