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Just like a wedding means the coming together of two families, planning a wedding can mean bringing together two, or more, different sets of opinions and priorities. It can certainly be a challenge, but with a focus on the true meaning of the day, a little bit of grace, and a willingness to compromise, everyone involved can pitch in to create something magical and memorable. Bolling and Moultrie worked together with Bolling’s sweet mama and the talented folks at Ooh! Events for their Charleston wedding, and from the custom invites designed by Moultrie’s cousin, to the sweetgrass-esque cake inspired by the wedding’s locale, everyone’s vision for the day came together beautifully!

Thanks so much to Britt Croft for sharing this Bolling and Moultrie’s special day with us!

Moultrie and I have actually known each other since we were little. He has a HUGE family and one of his cousins has always been a best friend of mine. Growing up, she would invite me to places with her family, like summers at the beach, and Moultrie would be there too.I developed a huge crush on him in middle school and let him know one bold afternoon over AOL Instant Messenger. He let me down gently, admitting later that he couldn’t imagine getting teased for dating “Bolling Ball!” Through the years, our circle of friends always tended to overlap somewhat, so we kept in touch. It wasn’t until the summer before senior year of college that we finally connected. I am a very private person, and my most favorite person in the world (my dad) passed away that summer. I didn’t tell a soul about what had happened, not even my closest friends. We had just pulled up to the church and stepped out of the car for the funeral when I saw Moultrie pulling up in his car. That’s absolutely the moment I fell head over heels for him, and I’ve loved him every minute ever since!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! After hearing that I wasn’t quite sure about wearing a veil, my godmother generously gave me her veil to use as my something borrowed. For my something blue, I used the same garter my mom and my aunt used in their weddings. For my something new, Moultrie surprised me with a beautiful gold necklace that he asked I wear on our big day.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We very much debated over this. We had been in friends’ weddings when they did a first look, amd not only did the pictures turn out great, it freed up a ton of time for them to enjoy more of the reception. But, Moultrie was pretty adamant on the fact that he wanted to be completely surprised when I walked down the aisle. In the end, seeing his reaction was priceless and we loved that it was something we were able to share with all of our guests.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Thinking about everyone staring at us during the ceremony already gave me plenty of anxiety, so we decided to stick to the easy, repeat-after-me vows.

The venue fit our criteria perfectly. It was outside, by the water, and most importantly, it required the least number of decisions! So much was included, which made for a much less stressful planning season.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Choosing Dunes West as a venue really helped us out with this. Not having to rent a tent, linens, or chairs truly made the whole day more affordable. The price is VERY competitive for the space and the team is so kind and accommodating. I’d choose them again in a heartbeat!

Our first dance was a no-brainer. We had chosen a band for our reception and were worried they wouldn’t be able to play our song, but the Right to Party band nailed it with their rendition of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.”

Tell us all about the proposal! Moultrie’s biggest wish was that I be surprised when the time came for him to propose. He figured out the perfect way for me to not suspect a thing: propose without any fluff or fancy stuff! Moultrie and a few of our friends were already out at the beach one Friday afternoon, and the plan was for me to meet up with them once I was off of work. When I got there, Moultrie was ready for me to head out with him to try and surf before the sunset. Not understanding why he was so eager to go RIGHT then, I followed him out to the water and bent down to get my leash on. It was really tangled and I asked Moultrie what the deal was. He headed on over and got down on one knee to help me out. I still didn’t’ think anything of it, but then he started telling me how much he loved me. I was still wondering what the heck was going on when he pulled out a ring! I didn’t snap back to reality until I heard one of our friends screaming in the background! Obviously, I said yes and here we are now!
When did y’all get married? April 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 150
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our handmade invites from Moultrie’s cousin and the logo he made along with it. We tried to use the logo throughout the wedding to tie everything together.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Merging all parties’ opinions into one. My mom, Moultrie, and I are all VERY strong-willed individuals. My mom did a great job of dividing up the decisions equally. For instance, Moultrie very much wanted his cousin to design our wedding invitations, but my mom prefers traditional designs. They compromised and my mom to chose the wording, while Half & Half designed the suite. In the end, we really worked well together and consistently reminded each other that we were all on the same team, trying to create lasting memories through the wedding.
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? BRITTANY CROFT! Oh my goodness there are not enough sweet words in the dictionary to describe our photographer. Not only is her maiden name “Bowling,” so I knew we were meant to be, but she just got us. Y’all this woman is talented, but she doesn’t let that go to her head. She is so grounded and family-oriented and just a great human being. She works so hard and got us our pictures back in record time. She helped make our wedding experience perfect!

Photographer: Britt Croft Photography / Planner and Florist: Ooh! Events / Venue and Catering: Dunes West Golf and River Club / Cake Baker: Ashley Bakery / Band: Right to Party of East Coast Entertainment / Invitations: The Half & Half / Bride’s Gown: Christos / Bride’s Earrings: Sara Gabriel / Bridesmaid Earrings: Currie Jewelry / Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls / Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Bridgette,” “Lulu,” “Wren,” and “Harlow” by Jenny Yoo / Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Calligraphy: Giovanna Alvino Calligraphy / Transportation: Lowcountry Valet

East Coast Entertainment is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Shelby reply

    What a gorgeous venue! I’ve never heard of that one but definitely my type of place!


  2. avatar Maureen reply

    I love the bride’s gorgeous wedges! Classic and comfortable – the perfect combo. :)

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Having worked with her professional photographer sister and brother-in-law, not to mention being the youngest of three girls, Gracey is no stranger to the wedding world. However, when it came to the details of her and Richard’s big day, Gracey gave her mama a bit of trouble when trying to narrow down exactly what they wanted. From one indecisive gal to another, I completely empathize with how tough those decisions can be! I love that Gracey and Richard ultimately chose to focus on making their wedding day a reflection of who they are as a couple, perfectly balanced with the desire for their wedding to be fun and unforgettable for their guests. And, Gracey’s advice for those planning a wedding is spot on! “Remember what the wedding is about: two people becoming one. Don’t lose sight of the marriage to follow that one day.”

Big SW hugs to Cassidy Dawn for sharing this sweet day with us!

Having worked in the wedding industry for years with my professional photographer sister and brother-in-law, we saw the value of doing a first look. We wanted that intimate moment to be able to see each before all eyes were on us. It was such an amazing moment. Our photographer sat us down on a bench in front of our venue with our eyes closed, told us to hold hands, and then to open our eyes on the count of three. We love these photos of our first look because of how it all went down–Richard misunderstood and thought we were to just hold hands (eyes still closed), so on the count of three, I opened my eyes as Richard just grabbed my hand! The moment was followed by quite a few laughs, and I said, “Richard, you can open your eyes.” His response and face when he saw me makes my heart melt to this day–hearing your soon-to-be husband gush over how pretty you look the moment he first sees you on your wedding day is something you will NEVER forget.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Ready to plan her last daughter’s wedding (I am the baby of three girls), my mom was just as excited as I was to start the search for the perfect wedding dress. I knew I wanted something beautiful and dreamy, but I also wanted something different than the dresses I had ever seen or worn before for styled shoots. My mom and I decided to stop by a local bridal boutique (Loretta’s Bridal) just to start getting an idea of what type of dress I would be interested in. An hour before we got to the store, a special shipment of dresses had arrived (a day early) for a weekend showcase they were hosting. I tried on dress after beautiful dress, but they didn’t quite have what I was looking for. Then, the owner, brought out the dress–a gorgeous strapless, blush Casablanca style. It was far more traditional than what I thought I would be drawn to, but I think the fact that it was blush, rather than white, is what hooked me in the end. We ordered it that day!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My poor mother was so patient with me! I had a hard time narrowing down exactly what I wanted–it was so important to me that each and every aspect truly reflected who Richard and I are as a couple, while also balancing our desire for our wedding to be a fun and unforgettable for our guests. I don’t know what I would have done without my sweet mom there to help plan and guide me through the process. She’s just the best.

It was important to us to focus on the marriage that followed the wedding. We chose to work with a Christian counselor and go through premarital counseling to help prepare us for the changes ahead. This was a really great decision, if you ask me–it’s so important to set your relationship up for success!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Our vows were very special to us. We wanted to make sure they were centered on what we feel our life calling and vision is: loving God and loving people. Though it’s hard to choose one line as a favorite, I think “I promise to create with you a home in which the peace of God is known, and the needs of others are recognized” sums up our hearts’ desire for our marriage.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We adored ALL of the vendors for our wedding, but the most special would have to be our pastor from Florida who married us. He has been my family’s pastor for over 20 years, married all of my sisters, and is now mine and Richard’s pastor!

Travel and great food are two common threads in the history of our relationship. We knew we wanted a destination wedding and narrowed it down to Charleston, South Carolina. The Vendue fit our needs perfectly–it was the perfect embodiment of my artistic side (The Vendue is Charleston’s only art hotel), our love for mixing natural elements with industrial elements (we loved our open rooftop ceremony in the middle of a beautiful city), and of course, there was AMAZING food. We were so happy that we could have both the ceremony and reception in the same location, since all of our guest were traveling from out of town, but loved having a change of scenery by doing the ceremony on the open rooftop, dinner at the beautiful in-house restaurant (The Drawing Room), and heading back upstairs to the rooftop for dancing.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Being in Charleston, it was a no-brainer to include some Southern Lowcountry fare. Chef Jon of The Drawing Room (The Vendue’s in-house restaurant) is brilliant! Not only did he make the entire meal gluten and dairy-free, he also made us the perfect spin on Lowcountry surf and turf that included our favorite foods (grits were a must!). My family is from Kentucky originally, so blackberry bourbon lemonade with cardamom was our Southern signature cocktail. Rather than driving away in a limo or car, we opted for something a little more “Charleston,” and left the wedding in a rickshaw!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After several years of working and traveling non-stop to build a family-owned startup, I realized I was ready for more in life. After talking to a few of my friends, I decided to join eHarmony. I filled out my profile with the parameters being focused more on the character and Godly leadership I was looking for in a husband, and less on matters like location. In the meantime, Richard also had long work hours and traveled often, and when he decided he was ready to add something more to his life, but wasn’t finding what he was looking for in his area, he signed up as well and then contacted me. Over the next week or so, we messaged back and forth before Richard took a step of faith and asked for a phone date. Though I’m not much of a “phone person,” I accepted on St. Patrick’s Day 2013. That phone call lasted 6 hours; we both quickly realized this was something worth pursuing. After three months of talking nearly non-stop, we finally met face-to-face. Richard drove 21 hours just to meet me. The moment we saw each other, we hugged and instantly knew this was it. It just felt right. That weekend, we officially started the journey of long distance dating, taking turns visiting each other for the next year. Finally, in March 2014, Richard made the big move to be with me.
Tell us all about the proposal! Years before we met, I had a favorite blue vintage bicycle that I took time to restore. Unfortunately, my bike was stolen and I never replaced it. Knowing he wanted to propose, Richard realized my upcoming birthday was the perfect stage to set up a proposal. For the six weeks leading up to my birthday, he tracked down and restored a bike that looked identical to my long-lost vintage one. He told me to be at his house early on the morning before my birthday for a day of birthday surprises. When he gave me the bike, I was so surprised and felt so loved that I was completely oblivious that this was just the beginning! We rode our bikes downtown, where we stopped at a small park for a picnic lunch. Before lunch, Richard wanted to walk around the park. We found a small gazebo, and while we were looking around, Richard asked, “Gracey, how long have we been going out?” I answered with a rough estimate. Richard replied, “How about we make that forever?” I turned around to see him down on one knee with a ring in hand, and he asked me to marry him. I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy as I shook my head yes! Did I mention, he had someone in the bushes taking pictures? Extra points for that! The rest of the day was filled with all of my favorite things. I’d say it was a birthday for the books.
When did y’all get married? March 17, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 45
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Being gluten-free and not really loving cake, we wanted to do something a little bit different. We went with a crepe bar, complete with gluten-free crepes, a variety of berries, bacon, chocolate, goat cheese, and, of course, Nutella! Our guests loved getting to mix up yummy concoctions.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs here and there by prioritizing what would truly make our wedding unforgettable and feel like us. Venue, food, music, and hair and makeup were important things for us. The key for us when cutting costs came down to a few things: we were married on a Tuesday (MEGA SAVINGS not having it on a weekend), and we used tables, chairs, and plates that the venue owned, rather than renting them.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember what the wedding is about: two people becoming one. Don’t lose sight of the marriage to follow that one day, and make the day as much a reflection of who you are as a couple as possible. Yes, it’s important that your guests have a good time, but they are there because they love you and support you–the more your wedding reflects who you are, the more fun they will have.

Photographer: Cassidy Dawn Photography / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Vendue / Florist: Branch Design Studio / DJ: DJ David Fox of Bunn DJ Company / Invitations: Paradise Papers / Bride’s Gown: Casablanca / Bridal Salon: Loretta’s Bridal / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Urban Outfitters / Hair and Makeup: Ash and Co. / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Wrap Front Maxi Dress” by ASOS / Groom’s Attire: “Lazio Blue Plain” by SuitSupply / Groomsmen Attire: “SlimFit Suit” in Navy by H&M / Transportation: Charleston Rickshaw

Bunn DJ Company is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Cassidy Dawn reply

    Thank you so much for the feature! Aren’t they just the best?! XOXO

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If you followed along with my wedding planning posts last year, you may remember how hard it was for Dave and I to choose our venue–much like today’s bride, Ashton, I grew up moving around, so the decision of where to tie the knot was a challenge for me! For Ashton and Aaron, however, the decision was a bit easier–Charleston was always a place that Ashton returned to for family trips, no matter where in the world she was living at the time. I love that she had that special place as a constant in her life, and once Aaron proposed on nearby Fripp Island, it became all the more meaningful, and the perfect place for their wedding! With the help of the talented ladies at A Charleston Bride, Ashton and Aaron planned their gorgeous, garden-inspired celebration at the William Aiken House–the coolest historic venue hidden in the heart of downtown. Enjoy this look at their lovely day!

Thank you kindly to Catherine Ann for sharing Ashton and Aaron’s wedding with us!

I’m a self-proclaimed shopaholic, so I thought that it was going to take me forever to find the perfect dress. I started my search a couple of months after we got engaged and started shopping at a boutique in Raleigh with just my mother. I thought it was going to be a preliminary shopping experience and tried on all kinds of dresses, but the last one I tried on was the one. It didn’t wow me on the hanger, but I put it on and liked it, and then about a minute into wearing it, I started crying because it just felt right. This is who I want to be when I walked down the aisle. From the floral appliqué on my veil to the champagne color of the Italian tulle, everything about my dress was perfect and effortlessly romantic.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Kind of. Aaron was adamant about not seeing me before the ceremony, but we both agreed that we wanted to have a quick, sweet moment together. We decided to do a “first look,” but he kept a blindfold on the entire time. I’m so glad we did this because we got to keep the element of surprise, while also being able to hug each other and calm our nerves. I did do a first look with my father, because I knew it would mean so much to him.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Matthew 19:6, Song of Solomon 3:4, Ruth 1:16-17, Peter 4:8, and Ephesians 4:2. We did shorter readings throughout the ceremony because each one had a different significance.

Charleston has been my one constant place in life, so I always knew that when I got married, it would be there. The William Aiken House was significant for several reasons. Apart from being beautiful, my family is from Aiken, South Carolina, and the town is named after William Aiken. Aaron works in the railroad industry and William Aiken created one of the first railroad companies in South Carolina. Also, I always wanted to get married outside, but have an admiration for the grandeur of old architecture after living in England. The William Aiken House was the perfect combination.

I wanted my wedding to look like an English garden with lots of rose gold and sage and champagne hues. Our wedding planner and florist did an amazing job coming up with the perfect arrangements. There were topiaries for some rich dark greens around the lounge area and the bouquets had pale pinks and lots of undone greenery, with a few burgundy flowers to break up all of the pastels. I didn’t want the flowers to look too “done” and perfect; I wanted them to look romantic, but not fussy.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? What was Southern about our wedding was the location, the families, the history, the pecan pie, the boiled peanuts (my favorite!), the bourbon tasting bar (also my favorite!), and the sense of hospitality.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I cut out a lot of the florals because as much as I love flowers, the venue was pretty enough that we could save some money on those. The florist was very good about helping me come up with options to cut costs, which was much appreciated. We also did stations instead of a sit-down meal to cut costs with table settings and serving.

For our first dance, Aaron and I danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” Aaron didn’t really care about the wedding details, but this was one thing he had an opinion about. We made a playlist of five songs that were contenders for our first dance and then we danced to all of them, and he got to decide which one he enjoyed dancing with me to the best!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Aaron and I met on New Year’s Eve at a bar in downtown Richmond, Virginia. I was in Richmond for law school and Aaron worked with with CSX in Richmond. Aaron was working night shifts when we first met, so our dates consisted of random, intermittent hang outs, often involving him stopping by in the morning (on his way home from work) to say hi and hang out while I got ready to go to class for the day. Our relationship progressed very quickly because the time we did get to spend together was so precious that we ended up opening up to each other more quickly than normal.
Tell us all about the proposal! I have moved around ever since I was little, so I never really had a constant hometown, but both of my parents are from Aiken, South Carolina and used to go to Fripp Island and Charleston for vacations. When they got married, they kept the tradition alive by scheduling week-long family vacations at Fripp Island every summer. Aaron knew how important Fripp was to me, and my family planned a beach week a year after he and I started dating. My family, our close family friends, and Aaron’s family all came to Fripp that week for vacation. One night, Aaron took me on a golf cart ride right before sunset, and then we went for a walk on the beach. He proposed to me amidst the big sand dunes. Everyone had a big celebration waiting for us when we got back to the house. My ring is so special–it was made with my mother’s diamond and Aaron helped design it himself.
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I am not a sweets person at all. I do, however, have a soft spot for pecan pie, so we had a pie station in addition to a cake. Aaron, on the other hand, has a sweet tooth big enough for both of us and then some. He was in charge of picking the cake, while I was in charge of decorating it. Since the cake was not something I really cared about, I wanted it to go with the decor and be simple and fun. I asked them to do a pale blush solid background with random pieces of gold leafing all over it.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I am very involved in the nonprofit sector, so we had three areas throughout the reception in honor of different charities that we donated to for the wedding, as well as little favors to help bring awareness to the different causes.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When Aaron and I got back to the hotel after the wedding and he couldn’t stop saying how happy he was that I was his wife. That was when we finally got to have a moment alone and just bask in the happiness and excitement that had been building all day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I moved down to Charlotte with our chocolate lab, Campbell, so the three of us are all together under the same roof! We are excited to explore our new city together and to make memories with our new little family.

Photographer: Catherine Ann Photography / Planner: A Charleston Bride / Venue: The William Aiken House / Florist: STEMS via A Charleston Bride / Caterer and Baker: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group / Rentals: Snyder Events / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Ceremony Music: Bob Williams Duo / Reception DJ: Natty Heavy / Paper Products: Studio R / Bride’s Gown: “Style 5867” by Liancarlo / Bridal Salon: Alexia’s Bridal / Bride’s Veil: “Style 9847” by Liancarlo / Hair Stylist: Kacie Faulling Pecora / Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Tadashi Shoji / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Bow Ties: Collared Greens

A Charleston Bride is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Edgar Vs. Surrey wedding videographer reply

    Beautiful wedding and very interesting story!

  2. avatar Elegant Southern Wedding at the William Aiken House | Ashton + Aaron reply

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  3. avatar Meg @ reply

    That memorable moment is perfection. Seriously tearing up just reading that. Congrats to the couple!

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