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I have very unfortunately not been to Charleston yet, but weddings like these that strike such a lovely balance between preppy, coastal, elegant, and feminine have me wanting to plan a road trip ASAP. Cameron and Evan have grace and style for days, and the details they chose for their wedding–from Cameron’s gently cascading orchid bouquet to the groom and groomsmen’s white dinner jackets–reflect that perfectly. They also happen to have one of the most fun modes of exit transportation I can think of, and a wonderful attitude when things didn’t go quite right (see their most memorable moment). They were married, and that was the important thing!

Thank you so much to Virgil for sharing Cameron and Evan’s beautiful wedding with us!

In the fall of 2009, I picked up my life in Washington DC and took a leap of faith by moving to Montgomery, Alabama to work on a political campaign. I remembered a friend from college, Jason, was living in Montgomery, so I called and let him know I was moving. He introduced me to his then-girlfriend and now wife, Alice, and she and I quickly became best friends. Right before Christmas that year, Alice, Jason and I went out in Montgomery and ran into Evan, who was a good friend of Alice’s from high school. Alice always says the rest was history because once she introduced us, it was like she wasn’t even there! We hit it off that night and Evan asked me out on a date the following week. We have been inseparable ever since.

Cameron’s bridesmaids sure were lucky gals–Lilly Pulitzer cocktail dresses and monogrammed bouquet wraps? That’s a style any Southern bridesmaid is sure to love wearing!

Describe your wedding flowers. Our florist, Harriet Gilmore, is so talented and made my dream of an orchid bouquet a reality. One of my favorite parts of our wedding was the bouquet she created for me! My bridesmaids carried bouquets of roses and hydrangeas.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? I felt strongly about Evan seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time when the doors of the church opened up and I walked down the aisle, so we did not do a first look. We had a close encounter by the church right before the ceremony, but luckily, our wedding party was helpful in making sure we didn’t accidentally see each other. The only person that saw my wedding dress before the day of our wedding was my mom. It was fun to see everyone’s reaction!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 and Colossians 3:12-17

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed a pearl bracelet from my Aunt Fran and I wore my dad’s sapphire pinky ring on my right hand as my old and blue item. The pearl earrings Evan gave to me as a gift on our wedding day and my hot pink bedazzled Kate Spade shoes were my something new.

Our wedding planner, Harriet, had a vision for the wedding decor and flowers and made sure everything came together perfectly. Also, hiring Virgil as our photographer was the best decision I made throughout the wedding planning process. He was perfect and made me feel so comfortable. I couldn’t be happier with our pictures.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a traditional tiered pound cake with buttercream, decorated with hydrangeas to fill the spaces between the layers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The food! One of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte, NC is called Cowfish, so “sushi/burger fusion” was our inspiration. We had sliders, fresh seafood, and sushi with pink nori wrappers, since pink was one of our wedding colors. We also incorporated traditional Southern foods like low country egg rolls, mini tomato pies and sweet potato biscuits with fried chicken as a late night passing. As a nod to Evan and all our friends that traveled from Alabama, we served a popular drink from the Alabama coast called a Bushwhacker with Auburn flags in them. Evan is a huge Auburn fan.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I wanted our wedding to be traditional, but fun. Part of that for me was not seeing each other from Friday night until the ceremony. Evan stayed at our house with my brother the night before our wedding and I stayed at the Wentworth Mansion nearby, which was special to us because it was the building where my Grandfather’s company was for years before it was renovated to become a hotel. We left the reception on a sailboat, which I thought that was very romantic and unique! To me, being Southern is a state of mind, so I’d like to think all aspects of our wedding were Southern!

Tell us all about the proposal! After a fun-filled week of celebrating friends’ birthdays, we planned to cook dinner in on a Thursday night. Evan acted totally normal that day and nothing seemed off. I went to the gym late that afternoon, and when I got to Evan’s house, he was standing at the front door waiting for me. When I walked in, Evan got down on one knee, said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and proposed. I, of course, said “yes!” and noticed Evan had flowers and champagne in the dining room. We sipped champagne and called our parents and a few friends before going to dinner at our favorite local restaurant, which was where we went on our first date.
When did y’all get married? August 18, 2012
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Before Evan and I got engaged, we were already planning to go home to Charleston with my parents during the first weekend of February. Thankfully, Evan timed the proposal well, so my mom and I quickly began wedding planning that weekend. I went to a few bridal boutiques in Charleston and found two dresses that I loved. I knew I wanted something fun and different, and I loved the girls at Maddison Row, so by the end of the day, I knew the dress I had chosen there was the one.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Prince of Denmark’s March” by Clarke and Evan and I walked back up the aisle to “Rondeau” by Mouret. I loved the music played during our ceremony because the organist at the French Huguenot church, George, is so wonderful! Our first dance song was to “Stand by Me” by Otis Redding. The first dance song was never anything we gave a ton of thought to. We picked a song and decided to wing it!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning long distance was difficult, especially because of our short engagement. Also, I was pretty indecisive at times. There were things I felt strongly about that I made sure were exactly how I wanted them to be and there were lots of things I didn’t feel strongly about. I was very trusting of my vendors and it worked out well!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I have so many! I loved getting ready with my bridesmaids the day of the wedding. We listed to fun oldies music, danced and drank champagne. I would say one of the most special moments of the day for me was walking down the stairs in my dress to see my dad for the first time. Most of our friends and family say the most memorable moment of our wedding was one of the groomsmen getting on stage with the band singing “Funky Cold Medina.” Lastly, one of our favorite funny moments was after the sailboat docked and dropped us off at the Ashley Marina. We were standing in the parking lot of a gas station trying to flag a cab for about 45 minutes because our rickshaw ride didn’t show up. Evan and I couldn’t stop laughing.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would say decide on a few things that are important to you as a bride and make them your own. And don’t let the process of planning a wedding get in the way of your overall happiness! I let the stress of the planning get to me at times and its not worth it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Evan started practicing law right after we got back from our honeymoon. We bought our first home together in December, so I have been busy decorating! As cliche as it sounds, I am just looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my best friend! Every day with Evan is an adventure. Whether its a road trip or a cooking dinner, it’s always fun.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao | Videographer: Josh Ambrite | Planner and Florist: Harriet Gilmore | Ceremony Venue: The French Huguenot Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Carolina Yacht Club | Rentals: Snyder | Band: NTranze | Bride’s Gown: Legends by Ramona Kevesa | Hair Stylist: Beth at Allure Salon | Makeup Artist: Joanna Robbs | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade and Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lilly Pulitzer | Men’s Attire: Berlin’s

lisa Written with love by Lisa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Joyce reply

    I love ..love..love the orchid bouquet. So white airy and bridal.

  2. avatar Barbara reply

    Would you be able to tell me where you found your bouquet wraps? They are lovely as is your entire wedding.

  3. avatar Sally reply

    Beautiful images Virgil! I could not love that dress more.

  4. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    LOVE the Lilly bridesmaids dresses! So perfect.

  5. avatar Dana reply

    the wedding party looks awesome; love those lilly dresses!

  6. avatar Gretel reply

    Love the Lilly dresses and monogrammed bouquets. Where did you get both please?!

  7. avatar Marisa reply

    YAY – I recognized the French Huguenot Church immediately! Several of my ancestors are on those plaques on the walls. We go there when we are in Charleston every summer. It’s a lovely wedding venue. Also, I LOVE those Lilly Pulitzer bridesmaid dresses…have to drop a hint to my sister :)

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Hi ladies + gents! It seems like almost as soon as I finish writing one “Emily Plans a Wedding” post, the next one is on my doorstep (even though they’re scheduled two weeks apart – yikes!). Time marches on, does it not?

Yesterday, I was SO excited to skip out on work early to drive out to Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem and try on my dress for my first fitting!! My Mom was able to come, even though she lives in Connecticut, and we had a great time together. I still love my dress (whew!), it fit well (double whew!), and the only alterations that are needed are a hem, a (13-point!) bustle, and cups (of course).

BUT we’re actually not talking about my wedding fashion today, we’re talking about John’s! John will be wearing a tux, a decision he made on his own but that I was perfectly amenable to. I think he looks handsome in anything, but I would concede that he looks particularly debonair in a tuxedo, as do most gents.

A Bryan Photo

As soon as we knew he would be wearing a tuxedo, we knew we would be buying, and not renting. There were a few reasons for this:

1. He has to wear a tuxedo for two weddings this summer, and likely more in the future, so it made sense for us financially.
2. A great fit was very important to us, and you can’t tailor a rental. Grooms in baggy tuxedo pants make me sad!
3. We had a specific style of tuxedo in mind, and we didn’t think we’d find it at a rental shop.

Ashley McCormick via Southern Weddings

As I mentioned, we had a specific tuxedo aesthetic we were going for, and it was largely based off of two things: the J.Crew tuxedo (which is very sharp, but very expensive), and this handy New York Times graphic which has been floating around Pinterest.

Our first choice was in the lapel style. There are three options: shawl, peak, and notch. Shawl is the most old-school, while notch is more understated and business-like. We went for peak.

Top two images are shawl collar tuxedos from Katharine’s wedding by A Bryan Photo. Below, on the left is a peak lapel (photo by A Bryan Photo), and on the right is a notch lapel tuxedo (photo by Adam Barnes via Southern Weddings)

We were also looking for a two-button jacket and a shirt with a point collar.

For accessories, we vetoed both vests and cummerbunds in favor of suspenders for a more clean, modern, and fuss-free look. And all you Southern ladies will be pleased to know that John will be tying his own black bow tie! (Well, maybe with some help from Dad… or this handy SW graphic!)

Amanda Rae Photography via Style Me Pretty and A Bryan Photo

So we knew what we wanted, but not where to find it. Enter Marget’s fiance, who wears tuxedos frequently for work (fancy!) and is something of an expert. He recommended the Tommy Hilfiger tuxedos at Macy’s as a reasonably-priced option of good quality. On the day we cruised over to the Macy’s site to check things out, the tuxedo that caught our eye just so happened to be 66% off! With free shipping and free returns, we didn’t hesitate to snap one up in John’s size. For those that are curious, we bought this jacket and these pants, and this shirt. We’re still on the hunt for the perfect bow tie, suspenders, and shoes!

Jessica Lorren

So we have a tux – yahoo! Now all that’s left is to get it tailored, and to add a little personalization. Who says belles are the only ones who get to have fun with embroidery and monogramming? We haven’t decided yet exactly how we’ll add some pizazz, but embroidering the inside of the jacket is at the top of my list:

Lisa Poggi

What will your groom be wearing on his wedding day? If he’s wearing a tuxedo, which lapel style did you choose? Will you be renting or buying? Please comment + let me know!

In case you missed a post…
The main characters
Where we’re getting married
I go dress shopping
We choose a photographer
I ponder bridesmaid style
Mini food!
The music
We’re renting a tent!
We discuss bouquets + boutonnieres
We send out our save the dates
I gather hair and makeup inspiration
We talk cake and sweets
I introduce you to our videographer
We create a registry

P.S. If you like this post, check out these other ones, too!
What to wear to a black tie wedding as a guest
Our menswear favorites from 2011
An overview of wedding menswear options
How about tuxedos with navy dresses?

Adam Barnes and Jessica Lorren are fabulous members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
13 Comments
  1. avatar Hannah reply

    I love that peaked lapel! We thought about going with tuxedos for my handsome groom but with a wedding date at the end of July and the East Tennessee humidity, We will probably be putting the whole wedding party (well at least the gentlemen) in seersucker! I’m super excited but have a few groomsmen that are not quite as excited as we are yet… We’re working on that :) I’m also having trouble knowing where to find a good quality seersucker that fits in a modest budget. Any ideas?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Hannah! Considering your location and date, seersucker sounds like the perfect choice for your wedding! I don’t have a great option for good, reasonably-priced seersucker, but I’m going to check with the other gals in the office and will get back to you if we come up with anything!

    • avatar Elizabeth reply

      Hannah: Joseph A Banks has good inexpensive Seersucker

    • avatar Elizabeth reply

      Thanks Emily for all your advice my fiance wants to have a custom tuxe made, but I am going to show him this one from Macy’s. I love it. We are also going to let our groomsmen wear what they have no need to make them spend extra if they already own one.

    • avatar AmandaR reply

      Hannah: If you are in or around Knoxville, try Coachman Clothiers, Brooks Brothers or John H. Daniel, and maybe American Clothing. My wedding is in Knoxville June 9th and the guys all ordered custom suits from http://www.studiosuits.com. They have TONS of fabrics, cuts, price ranges, and quick production time. I’ve seen the final product and it is pimp. That was the fiance’s way of letting his groomsmen and ushers invest in something nice, as opposed to renting an awkward tux that was only $50-100 less anyways.

  2. avatar Amanda reply

    So glad you for your dress at nitsa’s in Winston! I did too!!! But as soon as I saw your tweet about the tux at Macy’s I sent the link to my fiancé. He’s so tiny that renting is not an option! So I am in the same boat! I am curious as to what the groomsmen are doing though. My family is stuck on the idea that everyone has to match which is making everything so difficult! (everyone from my mom to his is complaining about this.) so we ordered a tux from topman and see how that fits. Not super nice material but no friends weddings in the future either.. Love to hear your thoughts on your men! And congrats on all the wedding success so far!!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Yay Nitsa’s! For the groomsmen, we gave them the option of either renting or buying, or wearing a tux they already have. We’re not so concerned about everyone matching exactly, but I can sympathize with you! I pointed the ones who were interested in renting towards the new Vera Wang line at Men’s Wearhouse, because they look like they have a more modern/slim fit!

  3. avatar Theresa reply

    Congrats Emily on your first dress fitting going so smoothly! I have mine this Sunday! We opted for light gray suits in a lightweight fabric due to an outside wedding on Hilton Head Island in July.

  4. avatar Bri @ Posh Purpose reply

    I know how wonderful it feels to have the groom squared away (mostly!). My beau can’t rent or even buy off the rack because he has an athletic build, think 6’4″ man with a 6’10” wing span – wonderful for swimming, but terrible for clothing him! Fortunately, we caught the 20% off made to measure event at Brooks Brothers and had a charcoal grey herringbone suit made. He particularly loves the special suit lining in MIT colors, our alma mater. It just arrived yesterday and I am so excited to see it this weekend!

    I decided that it would be silly to buy a tux for him since he will probably never need one again, and I also prefer men in grey ;) That being said, I am still debating between suits or tuxedos for the groomsmen. The local shop in town has a grey suit for rent, but I do love that Vera Wang line. Either way I am not concerned about the groomsmen matching the groom perfectly. I figure since it is expected for me to look different from the bridesmaids, then it should be fine for the groom to not match the wedding party.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Bri! Very interesting! Your groom’s suit sounds wonderful – love the custom lining! I’ve never really seen a groom in a suit while the groomsmen are in tuxes, and while I’m totally fine with the groomsmen dressing differently than the groom, I don’t know how I feel about them being more formal than him. Maybe let them wear their own gray suits, if you’re not concerned about them all matching perfectly? I’ve seen that done before, and it looks great!

  5. avatar jessica lorren reply

    Great idea for a post Emily! Love it. Thrilled to have Kyle’s groom style featured!

  6. avatar Black, White & Gold Wedding Color Inspiration – Crafty Pie Press reply

    […] Lily of the Valley Boutonniere via Southern Weddings. […]

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