Today’s couple, Cristina and Drew, created a wedding weekend that truly reflected them through celebrating what they love most in a place that had become “home” for them. And after going to weddings as a young couple, creating their own special day proved to be their favorite thing about wedding planning! Dress shopping, though, was a close runner-up for Cristina. She said, “I loved my experience with Betty Bridal Atelier – my fittings and visits to Charleston were always so fun and a great way to enjoy the planning process!” Of course, I’m smitten with her dress, but I also can’t help but love how they were able to honor both of their parents by hosting their ceremony and reception at the club where Drew’s family have been members for years on Cristina’s parent’s wedding anniversary weekend.
Get scrolling for more sweet moments and planning advice from today’s bride!
Thanks for sharing, Olivia Leigh Photographie!
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I started my search for my dress fairly early because I knew it would take me awhile. I ended up with a total of 12 separate appointments between boutiques in Charlotte, New York, and Charleston before I was finally ready to commit to my dress! I ended up getting it at Betty Bridal Atelier in Charleston. I learned from my visits to New York that I loved Oscar de la Renta – the classic yet modern and structured look was what I gravitated towards. However, I did not love the idea of going up to New York for fittings in the months right before our wedding. Betty Bridal was a new boutique at the time, and the three-hour drive from Charlotte was a lot more manageable. I went with my mom, and knew I had found the perfect dress when I tried on the Daphne. It’s classic yet modern, with a gorgeous obi in the back that bustles into a beautiful bow detail for a second look.
Did you decide to do a first look? We did – mostly to ensure we could fit adequate photo time into the day. We also had a logistical issue with the club (their golf course was undergoing a renovation), so we needed to be creative with the location of our photos! Our amazing photographer, Olivia, commandeered some golf carts to get us and our bridal party out to an area in the middle of the course for photos – it was beautiful and serene and would definitely have not been possible to fit that in if we were rushing during a cocktail hour.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We chose to have our ceremony and reception at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte where Drew’s family have been members for years. After I moved to Charlotte, we often joined them for brunch or dinners at the club, and I have always loved their gorgeous ballroom. It was especially meaningful to host all of our out-of-town family and friends at a venue that was “home” for us.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, I walked down the aisle to “Ave Maria,” which I have always loved as such a beautiful and romantic song. After traditional music throughout the ceremony, our recessional was “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles, which was so fun played by the string quartet and perfect as we left our ceremony hand-in-hand as husband and wife. Our first dance was Ellie Goulding’s “How Long Will I Love You” – we love her and loved the song as a testament to our love being forever.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used Myers Park’s white lawn chairs for the ceremony and patio furniture for the cocktail hour instead of renting new pieces. We also forewent draping the ceiling of our ceremony tent, since guests would only be using the tent for a max of an hour and they would most likely be looking at us at the front and not up at the ceiling :)
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? Creating our welcome boxes for out of town guests that featured our favorite snacks set a great tone for the weekend. I also loved the beautiful pillows from Number Four Eleven that we had made for our lounge area that are now in our master bedroom (and luckily no one spilled wine on them :) In lieu of favors, we provided gold flats for the ladies to change into for dancing that I assembled with hair ties color-coordinated by size. They were a hit, since they provided both a reprieve from heels and the ability to put their hair up on the sweaty dance floor!
Tell us your love story in one sentence. We were introduced by mutual friend when we were living in DC.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were engaged the third weekend in January in 2016 and Drew’s plans almost got sidelined by a very uncommon snow storm in Charlotte that caused the jeweler to be closed almost all week when he needed to pick up the ring! We both worked from home on Friday and I could tell something was up. Once the roads had cleared a bit, I went to an afternoon barre class and came home to my beloved cat, Penny, wearing a new collar that had the ring on it! We had champagne in our apartment and then went to his parents’ house who had family and friends over for cake and champagne to toast to our engagement.
When did y’all get married? June 3, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 195
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? We chose to do traditional vows. We also asked a couple who is a dear family friend to do our two readings – they read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (which was also read at my parents’ wedding, the same weekend 32 years prior!) and 1 John 4: 7-12.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We served a cake with alternating tiers of almond and red velvet. I love almond and am pretty traditional, so that was “my flavor” and Drew’s favorite cake flavor of all time is red velvet (he loves any vehicle for cream cheese frosting).
What was Southern about your wedding? Most of our food was Southern – we had stations that featured shrimp and grits, fried chicken, a biscuit bar, and pimento cheese tarts. Our reception was soft seating and stations as opposed to a seated dinner which is more common in the South than the Northeast (where I am originally from!).
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Getting to create a weekend and celebration that reflected me and my husband. After going to countless weddings as a young couple, it was fun to get to create our day! I also loved dress shopping and my experience with Betty Bridal – my fittings and visits to Charleston were always so fun and a great way to enjoy the planning process. Drew went with me on one trip (not to the actual fitting appointment!) and we had a great weekend together in Charleston to re-connect and enjoy time together out of town and away from all the focus on wedding planning.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Making decisions! I am someone who takes a long time to make a decision about anything, so with the amount of decisions needed when planning a wedding, I felt like I agonized over every little detail to ensure they all fit together perfectly.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first dance – we did a choreographed dance and ended up needing to modify it about 10 minutes prior to our reception starting since it included a lift that Drew did not feel comfortable doing after seeing the bow detail on the back of my dress. We quickly modified and practiced while our guests were in cocktail hour, and then executed perfectly! Going to dance lessons in the months leading up to the day was such a fun time for us, so it was great getting to finally show off our work to our friends and family.
Photographer: Olivia Leigh Photographie | Videographer: Seaglass Studios | Planner: Favor Me Events | Venue and Caterer: Myers Park Country Club | Florist: New Creations Flower Company | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Wow Factor Cakes | Tent, draping, chair, and linen rentals: Party Reflections | Furniture and tent chandelier rentals: Old South Vintage Rentals | Lighting: Wink Lighting | Band or DJ:
Sol Fusion (ECE) | Favors: Rescue Flats | Pillows: Number Four Eleven | Paper Products: Elisabeth Rose Social Stationery | Bride’s Gown and Veil: “Daphne” by Oscar de la Renta | Bridal Salon: Betty Bridal Atelier | Bride’s Earrings: J.Crew | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lindsay Regan Thorne of Be Pretty | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen Accessories: High Cotton | Getting Ready Attire: Plum Pretty Sugar | First Dance Choreography: First Dance Charlotte
ECE is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!