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So many couples meet and fall in love in college, and y’all know how much we love it when a bride and groom find wedding inspiration from their love story! That said, some college colors can be, let’s say, less than fitting for an elegant celebration. I love Rosie and Dan’s sweet solution–these two shared so many special moments at Clemson (including their proposal–see below!), but instead of trying to make bright Clemson orange and purple work at the Legare Waring House, they chose softer shades of each color. The result? A lovely (and meaningful!) peach and lavender palette that was carried out through beautiful blooms by Branch Design Studio and captured to perfection by our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Courtney Dox!

Our wedding flowers were so beautiful! Our wedding colors were peach and lavender, to represent the Clemson orange and purple, in honor of where we met and got engaged. I wanted a mix of colors and textures, as well as flowers that meant something to me. Growing up, we always picked Queen Anne’s lace at my grandma’s house, so I wanted to include that, as well as peonies since we have a huge peony garden at our house. The fringe tulips added beautiful texture, and the garden roses added the peach color I was looking for. The centerpieces were in a mixture of mercury glass vases and clear bud vases. We had rod iron shepherd’s hooks with hanging cut glass vases as aisle markers, which we re-purposed after the ceremony on the bar tables. We had wine barrels at our altar with large tall arrangements on top mixed with smaller arrangements for height variation, which we also repurposed at the reception.

We had the ceremony under the row of oaks at Legare Waring House, which we fell in love with the moment we saw it. It was the first venue we saw that day, and when we left, we both said, “This is the one.” The oak trees were really what sold us, but the house was also so perfect. We loved the Southern decor inside and that our guests could be outside with us near the band, or go inside to get away from it if they wanted to. We also loved that the entire upstairs was the bridal suite–it was such a beautiful place to get ready. There were also two groom’s suites for the guys to hang out in the day-of, which none of the other venues we looked at had.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our entire ceremony. Our good friend from college officiated, which was so special to us. This is a phrase we both loved: “Loving someone is a reason to stretch beyond our limits, to become more for the sake of the other. It is to look into the soul of your beloved and embrace what you see. A couple who weds are joined not only by the mutual affection and love they share, but also by their hopes, dreams, and by their promises of what will be.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our food was really one of our favorite parts of the wedding. Cru was amazing to work with, and the food was all we had hoped for. We had assorted Southern hors d’oeuvres, like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, pickled shrimp BLTs, pork belly with smoked tomato caramel glaze and goat cheese, and smoked mozzarella potato blintzes with truffle oil and mushrooms. For the main dinner, we had a shrimp and grits station, a carving station with filet, grilled veggies, and fresh bread, and a salad station with goat cheese caesar salad. We got to introduce many of our Northern guests to some fun Southern dishes–most people tried shrimp and grits for the first time, which everyone was really excited about!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our planner! Francesca from Pure Luxe Bride and her entire team were so amazing. We had to deal with rain the entire weekend, which was really stressful. I had a tent on rain reserve, but I had my heart set on an open-air celebration. Francesca made me feel really good about our decision to get the tent to be safe, and even somehow got us a clear-top tent the day before the wedding, which ended up being stunning. She and her team added draping for us the morning of the wedding, and also totally reworked our seating chart to work around the tent. She really knows what she’s doing, which saved the day…and it didn’t end up raining at all!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We had our planner grab us right when the food was put out and bring us upstairs to the bridal suite so we could eat just the two of us. It was only about ten minutes, but we loved taking a moment alone to be like, “We’re married!” and call each other husband and wife for the first time. We also got to try our amazing wedding food that our planner had so graciously set up for us with our drinks of choice. We are so happy we did that.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Dan and I met during our freshman year at Clemson University. We were great friends all throughout college, and then started dating our senior year. Our friendship grew into the most amazing relationship. We graduated and moved to Maryland (where Dan is from) together, and dated for six years before we got engaged! It is a great feeling knowing you are marrying your best friend.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were at Clemson for the weekend for a football game with friends and family, and decided to get up early on Sunday to go for a walk around campus together. We go back to Clemson every year for a game, but rarely get to take in our surroundings because we’re so busy. We were up pretty early, so it seemed like we were the only people on campus. We took a picture of ourselves with the library in the background (if you’ve ever been to Clemson, you know how beautiful this view is). I looked at him and started getting emotional because I was just so happy to be with him, and then he then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! Even though we had been dating for so long, I did not see this coming! It was the most amazing moment.
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. We both really wanted to be at the cocktail hour to see and talk to as many people as possible, and to really take in the day. We are so happy we did a first look! We got so many photos done before the ceremony, with only a few taken after the ceremony around the grounds. This made for a stress-free, fun time for us both.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a two-tiered white buttercream wedding cake with fresh flowers on it. It was simple, yet stunning. We went with pound cake with raspberry sauce and lemon curd inside. We also had a dessert table that included mini bourbon pecan pies with vanilla bean meringue, mini double fudge brownies, mini Meyer lemon squares, and assorted cookies.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to our lives as a married couple. Children will hopefully be in our near future as well, but for now, we’re in love with being married to each other.

Photographer: Courtney Dox Photography / Videographer: Siegel Films / Planner: Francesca of Pure Luxe Bride / Venue: Legare Waring House / Florist: Branch Design Studio / Cake Baker: Declare Cakes / Caterer: Cru / Rentals: Snyder / Vintage Items and Love Sign: 428 Main / Lighting: Innovative Event Services / Band: The Root Doctors / Paper Products: Scotti Cline Designs / Bride’s Gown: Lazaro / Bridal Salon: Love Couture / Bride’s Hair Accessory and Jewelry: Haute Bride / Bride’s Belt: Carol Hannah / Accessory Salon: Southern Protocol / Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Rachel” and “Morgan” in Grey Ridge by Donna Morgan / Menswear: Men’s Warehouse

Courtney Dox and Scott Cline Designs are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love how their flowers turned out!

  2. avatar Maureen reply

    I really didn’t think I’d like the lavender and peach combo but it looks so soft and romantic together – I love it!

    Josh and I just celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary yesterday and it’s so surreal. I still feel like it was yesterday and love reading about weddings because it reminds you of the magic of your own day too. ;)

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love the flowers and the location is stunning!

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The first time I visited Charleston was for Callie and Jamie’s wedding–Dave and I made a weekend of it and loved spending a little bit of time exploring the beautiful city. That trip was all too short, but thankfully, working at Southern Weddings has given me the opportunity to learn so much more about the amazing places throughout the South. Charleston is absolutely overflowing with history and tradition, and Keli and Ben drew from it all while planning their Lowndes Grove Plantation wedding. Along with the charms of Charleston, they were deeply inspired by their own home during their wedding planning. As a result, they brought furniture and decor from their house to their venue–both new pieces they had collected and refinished as a couple, and precious heirlooms that had been passed down to them. Meredith of Sweetgrass Social used all of these pieces and more to create the Southern garden dinner party reception Keli and Ben had dreamed of, and I’m sure you’ll agree, the result was magical!

Thank you so much to Olivia Griffin for sharing this very special day with us for V7!

The Haint blue porches have always been one of my favorite accents on historic Southern homes. We wanted to incorporate this feature throughout our wedding, especially because both the Unitarian Church and Lowndes Grove Plantation featured this concept on the ceilings. We continued the theme with the canopies on the structures on the oyster tabby, as well as in the table linens, stationery, and even down to my shoes.

Did you have a something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue? My something new was a bracelet Ben gave to me as a wedding gift. Rice was known as Charleston’s cash crop in the past, so he thought the rice pearls were appropriate to remind me of our wedding day in Charleston. I wore two items for my something old. One was my great-grandmother’s diamond ring that my mom also used as her wedding ring. The other was my mother-in-law’s veil from her wedding. My something borrowed was a vintage brooch I wore in my hair. I borrowed it from my sister, who also wore it in her wedding. My something blue was my shoes! They were just the right shade of blue and had an eyelet cutout design. They were the perfect touch and I can’t wait to wear them again!

The bridesmaids wore black dupioni silk dresses from LulaKate. When choosing a color, I wanted something classic that wouldn’t compete with the colors of the church. What girl doesn’t need a little black dress? I let the girls choose the styles and cuts that were best for them and let them accessorize as they pleased. The flower girls wore simple Swiss dot dresses that were adorable. I had them custom-made by Moss Rose Cottage Dress in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I also gave each of them pearl necklaces to wear.

Our wedding was held on April 13, 2014 in Charleston, South Carolina. We wanted a destination wedding that was close enough so that our family and friends would be able to attend. Ben lived in Charleston for several years and I have always loved the old Southern charm of the town. We chose a spring wedding since the flowers would be in bloom and the weather would not be too hot. We both knew we wanted a church ceremony, and had visited the Unitarian Church of Charleston for a friend’s wedding. We were amazed by the detailed fan vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. It had all the rich history and character we were looking for. For the reception venue, I wanted a historic site with architectural elements, and Ben wanted the scenery of the Lowcountry marsh. Lowndes Grove was the perfect combination of both! We fell in love with the house; it was elegant and grand, but felt homey, and the waterfront landscape was like a painting.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? We chose to have a traditional ceremony. It was important to Ben to have his father involved in the ceremony, so our pastor from Ben’s home church conducted the service, and Ben’s father performed the vows and ring ceremony for us. In honor of my parents, my mother’s sister lit the unity candle and my father’s brother walked me down the aisle. Ben’s mother lit the unity candle for his family.

Our wedding was Southern because the tea was sweet, the people were sweeter, and Charleston in April is the most beautiful Southern city on God’s green earth. The smell of the salt marsh in the distance laid out a canvas for the senses and harmonized with the aroma of shrimp and grits, Palmetto pale ale, and fried green tomatoes. Sitting along the banks of the Ashley River underneath Haint blue canopies, we watched a Southern sunset that made the ancient oak trees burn with a deep orange hue. The flowers danced on the Swiss dot linens beneath crystal chandeliers, as we danced on the oyster tabby under a palmetto moon.

What was the design inspiration for your reception? I knew I was going to be a handful for Meredith of Sweetgrass Social when I showed up with my sketches, floor plans, and fabric swatches when we first met–we couldn’t have pulled our wedding off without the help of her and the Sweetgrass Social team. They were amazing! Ben and I put great thought into each element of the décor and design. We wanted each component to tell a story about us and where we came from. Since both my parents and grandparents are deceased, incorporating items that were passed down to us was a way to have them there in spirit. It also allowed us to have pieces that were sentimental and reflected us as a couple.

Outside, I wanted it to feel like there were “rooms,” even though we were outdoors. I was trying to achieve a designated area for dining for our guests with chandeliers hanging above, like you would see in a dining room. We wanted our guests to feel like they were sipping sweet tea on the verandah beneath the Haint blue ceilings of Charleston, so Technical Event Company created these amazing whitewashed structures draped with light blue fabric and finished with crystal chandeliers. By having these structures scattered among the oyster tabby, it gave the illusion of separate rooms. During the afternoon, it felt like you were sitting on a Charleston verandah overlooking the river, and after sunset, it transformed into the elegant dining room we had envisioned. We also brought pieces from our own home. For example, tucked away in a nook of the reception, we staged my writing desk and the wingback chair I use at home with custom-made stationery that Ben designed, so that guests could write us letters.

When I met with Anne Bowen at Charleston Stems, I knew I was in good hands. I envisioned a soft mixture of cream and white flowers mixed with foliage in shades of green, rich with texture. We used a lot of my own glassware and vases I had collected over the years. In addition, I wanted to incorporate my mom and grandmothers’ pedestal bowls into the centerpieces. We added mercury glass votives in shades of gold and silver to the tablescape to add some warmth. My bouquet was composed of white peonies. I found some vintage French silk ribbon in a light mint color and added some vintage lace around the center to wrap the peonies in. My grandmother’s brooch was attached to finish the look. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a mixture of white sweet peas and garden roses, and the flower girls carried peony blooms dressed with a mint linen ribbon, monogrammed with their initials. For the boutonnieres, we wanted to give a nod to Charleston and Ben’s love of the city, so we chose sweetgrass roses accented with lily of the valley.

We used a vintage porcelain cake knife and server to cut the cake, and our own fine china for the cake plate we ate from. My sister and brother-in-law gave us a bottle of Moet Champagne as a wedding gift, which we served from Ben’s grandmother’s silver champagne bucket. We toasted with our La Maison crystal champagne flutes.

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most touching moment was my father-daughter dance. My dad and I always danced to “My Girl” by the Temptations growing up. He was one of eight children, five of which are still living. When it came time for my father-daughter dance, I planned to dance our song with one of my uncles. However, during the song, my four uncles and my aunt surprised me by each taking a turn on the dance floor with me during our song. It was so special. I am truly blessed to have such a caring and loving family. The mother-son dance was also touching–Ben surprised his mom by dancing to a song he wrote and composed while living in Charleston called “Saltwater Symphony.” It is her favorite out of all the songs he has written.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Ben and I met through my sister and my brother-in-law, who grew up with Ben. We were friends for a few years before we actually started dating. We started dating after we ran into each other at my sister’s wedding. Ben was living in Nashville and I was still in Florence, South Carolina, so most of our relationship involved a lot of phone calls and flights back and forth.
Tell us about the proposal! Ben and I love Asheville, North Carolina, and would meet there during our long-distance relationship. We usually take a tour of Biltmore Estate while we are there, since we both appreciate history and architecture. Knowing my love for flowers, Ben planned our trip to the Biltmore during their annual flower festival. The courtyards were filled with blooming tulips, and the grounds were rolling with bright yellow forsythia and pink cherry blossom trees. The greenhouse boasted exotic orchids and hydrangeas. It was my dream garden! I didn’t make it easy for Ben to pop the question–I was too busy snapping pictures and reciting the different types of flowers to him. We finally made it back up the hill to a quiet nook surrounded by forsythia where Ben “had to take a picture of us.” It was there where he fell to one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Sentimental, elegant, personal
How many guests attended your wedding? Around 150
Tell us a bit about your first dance. Our song was by an artist we both love, Ray LaMontagne, and is called “Hold You in My Arms.” The lyrics are meaningful and relate to our relationship. It’s also a song Ben plays to me, which made it very sentimental.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My uncle, Larry Moore, always says the blessing at all of our family gatherings. He gladly accepted when we asked him to do so at our reception.
Tell us about a way or ways you saved money or cut costs while planning. By bringing in our own pieces, we saved on rentals. We also made the Swiss dot tablecloths and runners from curtain panels which a friend sewed for us. By doing projects like these, we not only enjoyed them for our wedding, but can continue to use them in our future. We decided on having multiple smaller cakes in lieu of one larger single cake. I also did a lot of DIY projects, like the invitation envelopes and liners.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? We are looking forward to growing together and continuing to learn about one another. It is exciting to go through the journey of life with someone I love.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: As I was waiting alone outside the chapel with my Uncle Stoney before we walked down the aisle, he told me that he could still remember the way his wife looked coming down the aisle. He described the moment and how beautiful she looked like it was yesterday. He told me how I would always remember this very moment, and to take in every second. It was a sweet and touching moment we had together.

Photographer: Olivia Griffin Photography / Planner: Meredith Tanton of Sweetgrass Social Event and Design / Ceremony Venue: The Unitarian Church of Charleston / Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation / Florist: Anne Bowen of Charleston Stems / Caterer: Fish Restaurant / Wedding Cake: DeClare Cakes / Bride’s Gown: “Mimi” by Wtoo Brides / Bridal Salon: J Major’s Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: Ivanka Trump / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate / Flower Girl Dresses: Moss Rose Cottage Dress / Hair Stylists: Meg Workman and Chelsea Poulas / Makeup Artist: Meg Workman / Menwear: Jos. A. Bank / Paper Goods: Minted and Just My Style Invitation and Programs / Rentals: EventWorks, EventHaus Rentals, Polished, and 428 Main Vintage Rentals / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Ceremony Musicians: Classic Charleston / Reception Band: Hot Sauce Party Band / Benne Wafer Favors: Olde Colony Bakery / Transportation: Old City Bus from Absolutely Charleston / Lighting: Technical Event Company

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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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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