We never get tired of the classics around here–there’s just something so sweet about knowing a couple will still love every detail of their wedding when they show the pictures to their grandchildren someday! Annemarie and Sean certainly fit that bill, and what is even more special about their celebration is how involved their community was in bringing it to life. The reception was held at Annemarie’s grandparents’ home, and friends and family members contributed their time, talents, and treasures to make every detail magical for the newlyweds. Be sure to read Annemarie’s interview for some of the special ways their loved ones contributed–it included everything from the catering, to the magnolia leaves, to their getaway car!
Thank you so much to Olivia Griffin for sharing this lovely day with us!
I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, grandma, and aunt at The Poinsett Bride in Greenville soon after I got engaged. I had a specific Steven Birnbaum dress with an illusion neckline in mind that I wanted to try. The bridal salon didn’t have the dress I was looking for, but they did have a very similar dress by the same designer. As soon as I put it on, we all knew it fit the timeless, classic look I was hoping for. The ladies at The Poinsett Bride were able to add a custom illusion neckline to the dress. I could not have been happier with the way it all came together!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at First Presbyterian Church of Laurens, a lovely, historic church in my hometown. Choosing our reception venue was easy for me: most of our family gatherings center around my grandparents’ home. Many of my favorite memories, from birthday parties to family weddings, have taken place there, and I couldn’t imagine having the reception anywhere else.
We are so glad we did a first look. Olivia captured some of my favorite pictures from the whole day during it. We really enjoyed being able to spend some time alone together before the wedding, especially since it was an evening wedding. We also wanted to spend as much time as possible with our guests at the reception, so doing a first look was an easy decision for us.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? My grandfather is a minister, and he performed our ceremony using traditional vows. He married my parents as well, so it was very special to all of us to have him play such a meaningful role.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. My uncle sang “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,” a beautiful Southern hymn that has been a family favorite for many years. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “Thaxted” by Holst and the recessional was “Toccata, Symphonie V” by Widor.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One favorite detail was arriving at the reception in my uncle’s antique car, a roadster converted from a 1929 Ford Model A, but there were so many special details, it is very difficult to decide on just one!
We were very blessed by our generous family and friends who contributed their time and talents in countless ways. Family friends assembled the table arrangements for the reception, and my grandmother and several friends and family members prepared the majority of the food for the reception (which is an amazing accomplishment, considering the number of guests!). We also used a lot of items from our family instead of renting, like the silver pieces and the furniture at the reception.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Dear family friends generously gave us our cake as a wedding gift. It was a traditional, three-layer white cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and beautiful white roses cascading down the side. We also served homemade vanilla and chocolate ice cream made by my brother.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met our senior year at Clemson University and started dating that spring. After graduation, I began medical school and Sean moved to Atlanta for graduate school. Even with busy school schedules and a few hundred miles between us, we still saw each other as much as we could.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were both back in Clemson for a friend’s wedding. The evening after the wedding, Sean suggested we go for a walk on campus, which is something we enjoyed doing together frequently as students. We eventually stopped at a scenic place on campus where he asked me to marry him!
When did y’all get married? August 9, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 400
Describe your wedding flowers. The bouquets were made up of white garden roses and hydrangeas, accented with magnolia leaves. We used lots of magnolia leaves from my grandmother’s trees in the wedding. My mom made magnolia leaf garlands and wreaths for the church–the poor magnolia trees were starting to look pretty bare after she was finished with them! We used family silver pieces from my mom, grandmothers, and aunts as the containers for the reception table centerpieces.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mom’s pearl earrings. The handkerchief I carried was monogrammed with blue thread. I wore my great-grandmother’s diamond ring and a new pearl bracelet from Sean.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our goal was to incorporate our families as much as possible. We displayed wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents at the reception. The menu also included several Southern family recipes, including my great-grandmother’s benne seed cookies and cheese biscuits made by great-aunts. My mom made her famous pecan pralines for the favors.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved having Olivia as our photographer; she also happens to be a member of my extended family! She has photographed several other weddings in our family, so I was very familiar with her incredible talent and had hoped that she would be our photographer for a while.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After dating long distance for three years, we are thrilled to finally enjoy each other’s company on a daily basis. We are very excited to move to Charlotte, where I will start my pediatric residency training in June.
Photographer: Olivia Griffin Photography / Planner: Lisa Kirk / Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church of Laurens / Reception Venue: Private residence / Florist: Rick Childers / Rentals and Lighting: Event Rentals / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving, Inc / Bride’s Gown: “Rosanne” by Steven Birnbaum / Bridal Salon and Accessories: The Poinsett Bride / Bride’s Shoes: Something Bleu / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D627” by Alfred Sung in Black Dupioni / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank