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With its big wraparound porch and brightly colored interior, Katie and Brett knew the William Aiken House would be the perfect venue to show their friends and family how beautiful Charleston historic houses can be. After nine years of living in downtown Charleston, I’d say these two could take us on quite the gorgeous tour! Katie and Brett complemented the classic Southern details of the home with the perfect neutral color palette of gold and taupe neutrals, plus a subtle pop of coral brought in with the bridesmaids’ dresses and florals. I especially love the floating floral installation that accented the gazebo ceremony backdrop!

Hugs to Dana Cubbage for sharing K + B’s big day!

My dress, Babs by Hayley Paige, was the first one I tried on at the first store I went to! A few weeks after Brett proposed, I went to try on dresses with some of my bridesmaids and absolutely loved the first dress. I tried on about twelve more, just to see, but I knew that Babs would be the one. I immediately called my mom and begged her to come to Charleston the next week to see it, so she happily drove down from Richmond!

Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet included peonies, roses, and ranunculus, and was tied with an ivory ribbon. The boutonnieres were coral ranunculus with a touch of greenery, and Brett’s had a white flower in it as well. Each one was tied with twine. The bridesmaid bouquets were mostly white and ivory with a touch of color and greenery, finished with an ivory ribbon. The centerpieces were ivory, coral, and blush flowers in gold vases. We also attached greenery to the lounge chandeliers and tent poles.

We did decide to do a first look, as most of our married friends and our photographer recommended it. I had my doubts, as I wasn’t sure I wanted Brett to see me before the ceremony, but on the day of, I was thrilled we decided to do it. I was extremely nervous and it helped to be able to see Brett and calm my nerves. It was also nice to get the bridal party pictures finished so that after the ceremony, we could just enjoy our reception!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’ve lived in Charleston for nine years now and have always lived downtown! It has a special place in my heart and I have walked past the William Aiken House tons of times. Once in college, I even said that I would love to get married there someday. After we toured a few other venues, we decided it was the best spot for our wedding. It had plenty of space, and we could do the ceremony and reception at the same venue, which was important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The house itself is so Southern! It has a big wraparound porch and panel doors, and the interior is full of bright colors and antiques. It really reminded us and our guests how beautiful Charleston historic houses can be. We also had shrimp and grits with fried green tomatoes as one of our food stations!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a four-tiered lace cake with a ribbon on the third tier that matched the sash on my dress. It even had a real peony flower, just like the flower on my sash! The first and last layers were hummingbird, the second layer was red velvet, and the third layer was carrot cake, all finished with cream cheese frosting.

For our first dance, Brett suggested “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones, and when he played it for me, I knew that it was the one. Her voice is stunning and we both love the song! For the father/daughter dance, I let my dad choose the song, and he picked “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart–I’m the youngest!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brett and I met at a mutual friend’s party when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore at the College of Charleston. We were good friends for almost a year and then started dating at then end of summer 2003. We graduated in 2005 and 2006 respectively and then moved to Greenville before moving back to Charleston in 2009–we missed it so much! We were together for nine years before we got engaged!
Tell us all about the proposal! Brett proposed the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend in 2013. He had asked about going to dinner at a new jazz club, The Mezz, earlier in the week, which I was excited about. On that Thursday, I was feeling tired, so I emailed Brett at work to suggest that we go over the weekend instead. Brett insisted that we go that night, because we had company coming in for the weekend. I have to admit, when he said this, I though, “Hmm, he’s never insistent on dinner plans…could this be the night??” Once that popped into my head, I finished work and went to get my nails done, just in case! :) When I got home, Brett asked me to come up to our rooftop patio for a pre-dinner drink. It was a gorgeous night and he started talking about how long we’d been together. We could even see my college dorm from where we were, and we laughed about the memories from that time in our life. After saying a lot of very sweet things, Brett got down on one knee and proposed!! I immediately said yes and was so happy! Afterwards, we called our friends and family and enjoyed a lovely dinner at The Mezz.
When did y’all get married? March 22, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? I borrowed the pearl necklace I wore from my mom (it was originally my great grandmother’s, and my sister also wore it at her wedding). My something blue was the blue “I Do” undergarment I wore. My something olds were my pearl bracelet and earrings, and my something new was my dress, of course!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, I chose “Canon in D” by Pachelbel, because I think the song is so joyful and beautiful! Walking back up the aisle, we chose “The Wedding March” by Felix Mendelssohn. We had a string trio play the songs at both the ceremony and the cocktail hour.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the hardest thing about planning a wedding is picking out each little detail and then just hoping it all fits together! Hiring a wedding planner was the best decision we made.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The groomsmen bought suits from Jos. A. Bank during the buy three, get one free sale, so they were heavily discounted, which was especially great considering we needed ten of them! We also ordered ties from TieBar.com, which were beautiful silk ties for only $15!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our band! They made the reception so much fun, it almost felt like a concert!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We made a fun sign with our wedding hashtag on it. Not very traditional, but it allowed us to see everyone’s pictures so easily!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was walking out the door towards the aisle and seeing all my friends and family smiling back at me. My heart was pounding–I was so nervous, but so excited. I can still picture everyones’ faces, including Brett’s!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are hoping to buy a house in the near future, as we’ve been in our two-bedroom condo for almost five years. We are most looking forward to spending the holidays with each other–we have been together for nine years and have never seen each other on Thanksgiving or Christmas! I am now glad we kept holidays separate, because it gives us a lot to look forward to and we will be able to create our own memories and traditions together, as a married couple.

Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings /Videographer: KLC Video Productions / Planner: Alexandra Caldwell Fisher / Venue: The William Aiken House / Florist: Tiger Lily / Cake Baker: Ashley Bakery / Caterer: Fish / Rentals: Snyder and Event Works / Lighting: Innovative Event Services / Band: The Dickens Band / Bride’s Gown: “Babs” by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: White on Daniel Island / Paper Products: MerryMint Designs / Bride’s Hair Clip: Stella Nova / Hair Stylist: Shayla Battle of Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Make-up / Makeup Artist: Kristen Brown of Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Make-up / Bride’s Shoes: “Veny Wedge Pump” by Vince Camuto / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Zoe” in Terracotta Silk Shantung by Lula Kate / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Banks / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / String Trio: Classical Charleston / Calligrapher: Paige Tanenbaum / Save The Dates: Wedding Paper Divas

Dana Cubbage and A. Caldwell Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Such a stunning venue–perfect for this downtown Charleston couple!

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My Virginia roots give me a soft spot for pretty Old Dominion weddings. When I realized that Kristen and Patrick’s peony-filled wedding day took place less than an hour from my hometown, I knew I was going to love it, and I was right! Spring in Northern Virginia is positively dreamy, and they took advantage of the season to the fullest with a romantic, outdoor ceremony, followed by an elegant reception. I love the way they brought family into so many aspects of the day, especially the deeply personal way Kristen’s uncle officiated the ceremony, the engagement ring Kristen wears that has been in Patrick’s family for over 100 years, and even the groom’s cake that Patrick’s relatives drove down to Virginia from Ohio!

Thank you to Rachel May for sharing Kristen and Patrick’s wedding with us!

How Patrick and I met is quite different than most couples. The story of us meeting began before we were even born! Patrick’s mom and my father were high school sweethearts. Although they never married, they remained friends, and my father was still very close to her family members. A few summers ago, Patrick’s uncle invited me to a happy hour to hang out with him and his nephews at a local restaurant. It didn’t take long, after a round of hangman and a drink, I knew there was something special between Patrick and I.

Describe your wedding flowers. BEAUTIFUL! For our wedding, we wanted very romantic, full and lush flowers. Our florist, Morgan from Petals and Hedges, made my vision come true! The colors that I chose for our flowers were varying shades of pink and corals and cream. We incorporated Juliet roses, ranunculus, poppies, coral charm peonies, sweet peas, and hydrangeas, which were accented with dusty miller to create our bouquets, centerpieces and ceremony pieces.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Patrick and I chose to not have a first look. I think first looks capture some of the best photos, but we are very traditional, so we opted to forgo the first look. I wanted Patrick to see me for the first time when I was coming down the aisle.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we did not write our own vows. My uncle married us. He delivered the most heartfelt ceremony and made it extremely personal. He was even able to make me feel as if my grandmother, his mother, was still with us and watching over us as we said our vows.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a bracelet from my mother. My something blue was my dear friend’s late grandmother’s handkerchief. My something old was my engagement ring–my ring was my husband’s late grandmother’s ring, which has been in the family for over 100 years. I will someday pass it down to our future child or grandchild. My something new was my wedding day earrings and necklace that my mother bought for me.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Gosh! I have so many favorite details but I would have to say one of our favorites were my flowers. I had several meetings with Petals and Hedges conveying my ideas and how I wanted them to look and feel. I had been collecting mercury glass vases/votives for about a year and Morgan was able to incorporate all of my pieces. I was very happy that she completely understood and delivered my vision. A second favorite of mine would most likely be the donut truck we hired to surprise our guests for a late night snack during the dance party! Mama’s Donut Bites was a huge hit with our guests.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a groom’s cake. My father-in-law is from Ohio, so my husband is a HUGE Ohio State Buckeyes fan. Patrick’s aunt and cousin personally drove the groom’s cake all the way from Ohio. The cake was from my husband’s family’s favorite bakery, Resch’s Bakery in Columbus. To make the cake especially for Patrick, Patrick’s mother called the bakery to ask if they could add sprinkles to the batter to make the cake a funfetti cake. The cake was decorated with buckeyes and his alma mater, the University of South Florida.

Tell us all about the proposal! The story of the proposal is quite funny! Patrick originally planned to propose the day after Christmas. But, my uncle surprised everyone with a Christmas Eve proposal to his girlfriend! Patrick let a few weeks pass (so that he wasn’t stealing anyone’s thunder) and on MLK weekend, he decided it was time, so he popped out of bed early to make breakfast. I thought it was odd, but I continued to sleep and enjoy my lazy Sunday morning. An hour or so later, I heard him coming up the stairs. After asking what all that noise was about, he walked into the room with a tray of homemade eggs benedict to eat and mimosas for us to drink. As I started to eat my breakfast, he asked me to butter him an english muffin (he’s not an eggs benedict fan). As I lifted the top of the butter dish, there was my beautiful engagement ring!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Oh boy! Where do I begin about finding my wedding dress…what an adventure that was. Patrick and I had a 15 month engagement, so around the one-year mark, I decided to go to a sample sale in Alexandria, Virginia to browse wedding gowns. While my mom and I were at the bridal shop, I tried on a bunch of wedding gowns and eventually, I settled on my first gown. Yes, I said first gown. I was never 100% about the dress–every day, I fretted over my dress decision and if I made the right choice. After trying the dress on again, at my first fitting, I had a meltdown. I literally was on the floor of the dress shop floor crying–crying because it wasn’t my dress and crying because I had made a mistake and felt horrible for my mother (I should have been on one of those bridal shows on TV! Oh my goodness, if those dressing room walls could talk!). After a few glasses of wine, my mom, maid of honor and I ran to another local bridal shop, as a last hope of finding “the one.” The shop was closing within the hour, so I picked out a few, ran into the dressing room and started trying them on. I tried on two, with no luck. I began to panic and then I tried on one last one. My facial expression completely changed. I was smiling and I was COMFORTABLE–it was everything my first dress wasn’t. So all in all, I ended up with a dress that I loved, but I sure had a lot of bumps along the way!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose to have Mark 10: 6-9 and Colossians 3:12-17 read at our wedding ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. While the guests were seated, Patrick and I chose the harpist to play ” In the Garden.” I selected this song because it reminded me of my Grandmother, “MawMaw,” and I thought it was a perfect fit for getting married in the garden at Whitehall. We also selected a song to be played in between are two readings. We chose “For the Beauty of the Earth,” which also has sentimental meaning to me because every Christmas when I was growing up, my uncle and I would watch Little Women. I loved the wedding scene where they danced at the wedding while singing “For the Beauty of the Earth.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. DELICIOUS! I’ve been getting my birthday cakes from Edible Incredibles, in Reston, Virginia for years, so it was a no-brainer where I would get my wedding cake from! We had a four-tiered cake of lemon with buttercream filling and vanilla with a raspberry filling, topped with buttercream! The design of the cake was simple–it was a pink ombre cake with a pink bottom layer that gradually became ivory on top. Our florist had cascading sweet peas and poppies strategically placed over the tiers.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My biggest challenge was stressing over small things. I really tried to relax and enjoy the planning journey, but it was extremely difficult for me. I finally relaxed when I saw Patrick waiting for me at the end of the aisle and I knew that everything would be perfect and wonderful.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We had so many wonderful vendors, but Rachel May had to be one of the best decisions that we made. Right from the beginning, Rachel and I connected at Starbucks, where we first met. I left that meeting knowing I had found the right fit for my wedding photographer and I couldn’t wait to work with her. People always say that your wedding will be a blur, and they were right. It’s wonderful to relive that wonderful night through Rachel’s pictures.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Other than marrying Patrick, I would have to say my uncle performing our wedding service. It meant so much to both of us to have someone we know perform our wedding ceremony. We wanted someone that knew us and who had watched our relationship blossom. My uncle was able to incorporate funny little things about both Patrick and I, but also deliver a message about what a marriage is all about.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice to new brides is to enjoy the journey of planning this wonderful day! I found myself getting so caught up in the minutia, that I forgot to enjoy little moments along the way!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Patrick and I are looking forward to settling into our new home. We closed on our townhouse in Ashburn, Virginia two weeks after the wedding. We can’t wait to make our house into our home!

Photographer: Rachel May Photography | Planner: Ashlee Virginia Events | Ceremony and Reception Venue and Lighting: Historic Whitehall Manor | Florist: Petals and Hedges | Wedding Cake Baker: Edible Encredible | Caterer: Celebrations Catering | Rentals: Select Event Group | DJ: Chris Laich | Ceremony Music: Kate Rogers | Donuts: Mama’s Donut Bites | Photobooth: Shutterbooth | Bride’s Gown: Ellis Bridal | Paper Products and Table Numbers: Paper Source | Wedding Invitations: The Dandelion Patch | Bride’s Veil: Freca Designs | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Claudine Fay | Bride’s Shoes: Arturo Chiang | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style “450095” by Monique Lhuillier | Men’s Attire: Custom Indochino Suits | Monogrammed Napkins: The Knot | Dancing Flip Flops: Old Navy | Frames: Homegoods | Candles and Votives: Candles4less | Bride’s Wedding Band: Hunt Country Jewelers | Guestbook: delovelyArts Etsy Shop

lisa Written with love by Lisa
16 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel May reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Patrick & Kristen’s wedding! It’s an honor to have my work featured on SW!!!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    love how pretty the pink flowers look with the blue bridesmaid dresses!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    What cute monogramed bags!!

  4. avatar Laura reply

    I love that song from Little Women!

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  6. avatar Brannon reply

    As one of Kristen’s bridesmaids some night say I’m biased, but I’ve been in/attended 8 weddings so far this year and it was by far the most beautiful and heartfelt. Not only are Rachel’s photographs gorgeous, she was an amazing presence that day. She calmed the brides nerves, managed rowdy groomsmen and even helped find lost bouttonieres. She is a gem!

  7. avatar athena reply

    Love all the details of this wedding! Where did the Bride find those precious bags for the bridesmaids?

  8. avatar Published | Southern Weddings – Rachel May – Wedding Photographer – Engagement Photography – Charlottesville VIrginia reply

    […] I am beyond words with excitement to share that Patrick & Kristen’s wedding is featured on Southern Weddings’ blog!! […]

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    […] It is always an exciting day here at OFD when one of our clients gets recognized for their outstanding work. Today is no exception with Rachel May Photography’s feature in Southern Weddings! […]

  10. avatar Mandi Engram reply

    I love those shoes! What brand are they?

  11. avatar Leann Moore reply

    Rachel May is a wonderful photographer and so humble. Her work is soft and feminine and you absolutely can’t go wrong hiring her. I’m looking forward to working with her soon.

  12. avatar For the Love of Peonies reply

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  13. avatar Stephanie reply

    Where can I buy those shoes?

  14. avatar rachel reply

    Where did you get the silver sandals? I’m looking everywhere for my bridesmaids! Thank you.

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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