Ashley and Matt fell in love in the Southern Weddings hometown of Chapel Hill, but for their May wedding, they chose the special place where both of their families have vacationed for years: Charleston. To match the old Southern elegance of Lowndes Grove Plantation, Ashley and Matt loved filling their wedding with meaningful, classic details, their favorite being a custom crest that combined the coats of arms of both of their families. Just like their crest, their wedding joined their families together in the loveliest way!
Thanks so much to Ellis Photo Studio for sharing Ashley and Matt’s wedding with us!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil from my mom–she had the most gorgeous veil with scalloped lace edges, that we layered over a cathedral-length raw satin-trimmed veil. The lace on my mom’s veil nearly matched the lace on my dress perfectly, and having a piece of her at the altar with me meant the world. For blue, since Matt and I are both Tar Heels, you could say that we are always bleeding blue! Everything else was new–the dress, my shoes, and my earrings, but the best new thing was my new husband that I was on the arm of walking back up the aisle!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, and it was one of our favorite parts of our day! Matt and I wanted to have a chance to see each other and have a moment to ourselves to really relish in our wedding day together. It gave us a chance to share our last single moment together; not to mention, keep us from kissing right when I got to the end of the aisle!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows, but I wrote the whole ceremony. It felt so amazing to come up with everything from beginning to end, and it was something I truly enjoyed. We got to interject how we felt about each other, while still keeping it traditional.
We wanted to keep our flowers simple and elegant with lots of white, some pops of blush, and greenery. I’m a big believer in a clean aesthetic and didn’t want any over-the-top colors jumping out. My bridesmaids carried graceful stems of white phalaenopsis orchids, and my bouquet was made up of several flowers, including peonies and gardenias. Gardenia is my mom’s signature scent, and every time I smell it, it makes me think of her! For the tables, we had a mixture of high and low arrangements, echoing a French aesthetic, with a mixtures of herbs in navy cachepots and love knots painted in white, complemented by sweeping orchids.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We worked with a graphic designer in my dad’s office who created a custom family crest for us. It united the Travis and Peterson coats of arms into a gorgeous detail that graved everything from the top of the cotton printed napkin menu, to the stamp on the invitations, to the custom pillows on the couches in the lounge area.
They say that you learn a lot about each other while planning a wedding, and one thing we learned was that we don’t like any of the same cake flavors except the traditional ones! We each kept vetoing each other’s options until we landed on chocolate and vanilla, but hey, who doesn’t love a traditional cake? We ended up going with a white cake layered with chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries, covered in buttercream. We kept the design very simple with swiss dots and rosette swirls throughout the layers.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Matt and I have known of each other since we were in elementary school, but it wasn’t until high school that we became friends. Matt left for UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of 2005, and we talked every now and then, just to keep up with one another. When I got to Chapel Hill the following fall, he invited me to one of his fraternity’s parties the first week I was there. We started dating the following spring and haven’t looked back since!
Tell us all about the proposal! I’m the hardest person in the world to surprise, but somehow, this man pulled it off! We were out skiing for a long weekend in Park City, Utah at Deer Valley. We got in Thursday night, and my birthday was on Saturday. My mom mentioned that we should get some professional pictures done while we were there, and on Saturday morning on our first chairlift up for the day, Matt mentioned that we should get pictures taken at the top of the mountain before skiing down. Once we were at the summit, we realized the photographer was a little trek over. Matt took off quickly, and my first thought was “That is so out of character that he’s not waiting for me!” I figured he must really want to take these pictures and get to skiing. I caught up and we began our photo shoot, when the photographer told Matt to kneel on one knee and for me lean over and hug him from behind. We took that shot and I straightened back up, but then Matt paused and swiveled around. I didn’t think anything of it, but as he unzipped his jacket, I knew! He told me how much he loved me and how he couldn’t imagine his life without me, and he asked me to marry him! I immediately said YES!
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Charleston is our home away from home. Both of our families have been vacationing there for years, so it was a natural choice for our wedding. About a month after getting engaged, we started researching places in Charleston that included what we wanted: outside, in Charleston proper, and available for spring. The minute we saw Lowndes Grove, we knew this was it!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had both of Matt’s sisters do a reading, and my brother, Chase, led everyone in the Lord’s Prayer. Maggie, Matt’s younger sister, read Ruth 1:16-17 and Matt’s older sister, Jessica, read an anonymous love poem.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We were very traditional in our processionals and used a lot of the music that my parents had used in their wedding. A string quartet brought everything to life and gave a romantic feel to the opening of the ceremony. Matt and I decided on Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” for our first dance. We both love to dance and wanted something we could move around to!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My aunt is a master seamstress and helped to sew things like our custom pillows and the cake table skirt.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it! You’re only going to get to do this once, so soak up everything and be present throughout the process. Surround yourself with a great team and have fun with it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Being married has been nothing short of amazing and we are just having fun with this crazy life. We have been watching our wedding video on repeat, so hopefully that doesn’t die down anytime soon!
Photographer: Ellis Photo Studio / Videographer: KLC Video Productions / Planner: Lizz Akerman of Southern Protocol / Venue, Catering, and Cake: Lowndes Grove Plantation / Florist: Charleston Stems / Rentals: Snyder Events and EventWorks / Lighting: AV Connections / Band: Groovetown of East Coast Entertainment / Paper Products: Ancesserie / Bride’s Gown: “BO53″ by CB Couture” / Bridal Salon: Lily Rose Bridal / Hair Stylist: Hunter Johnson of Updo Charleston / Makeup Artist: Pamela Lesch Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor / Menswear: Berlin’s