I imagine that a thunderstorm-filled wedding morning or a melting cake would be pretty upsetting for many couples, but for today’s Charleston bride and groom, these things were just part of the beautiful story that made up their May 31 wedding day. Thanks to their talented planner, Callie of Ooh! Events, Dotty and Matt knew they didn’t need to stress about a thing. Instead, they focused completely on enjoying their sweet, traditional ceremony, hosting their 300 guests at their classic tented reception, and soaking in every second of becoming husband and wife!
Thank you so much to Shannon Michele for sharing this lovely wedding with us!
My mom and I spent a few weekends visiting bridal boutiques around Charleston, finding some lovely gowns, but nothing that just felt right. Finally, at Jean’s Bridal in Mount Pleasant, I tried on a Paloma Blanca sample. It fit like a glove, was the perfect princess dress without a single bit of embellishment, and it had pockets–I knew I had found my dress. The color is called “natural,” which tends more towards an ivory shade, and to say I adore it would be an understatement. We ordered it along with a coordinating veil, and when it came in, all it needed was a bustle. Talk about meant to be!
I walked down the aisle to Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, and we walked back up the aisle to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. All of the songs we selected for the ceremony were very traditional and were gorgeously played by the Chamber Players.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Literally all morning and day long, we had torrential downpours, flooding, and thunderstorms. This was a little unnerving for us, having an entirely outdoor wedding (tented, but with this rain, we would have all been soaked). I knew that Callie would take care of it, no matter what the solution ended up being. Right around the time we were supposed to take photos, the rain let up. The photos with the grayish sky are gorgeous, and the cooler temperature was an amazing side effect. The rain letting up at the same time I finally saw Matt was my most memorable moment.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Shrimp and grits, an obvious Southern delicacy, was one of our stations, but we also spiced things up with a fajita station. My husband was a Sigma Nu at the University of South Carolina, and at all of their weddings, they take over the stage to sing a Hank Williams, Jr. song. Fraternity men singing Hank Williams, Jr.? What’s more Southern than that! Probably our favorite Southern detail from our wedding was our guest book. We opted for an 8-foot joggling board painted in Charleston Green for our guests to sign with metallic markers. It turned out better than I could have ever hoped!
Our wedding cake was a four-tiered, square, white cake with alternating layers of lemon and raspberry filling. It was iced in ivory buttercream and adorned with white gum paste magnolias…initially. In hindsight, buttercream outside on May 31 was not the best decision, and luckily, my wedding planner, Callie, came to the rescue and adorned the cake with some additional fresh flowers to hold it together long enough for us to have our cake cutting!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had East Coast Party Band (a fabulous beach music band) provide our reception music, so we knew we wanted our first dance to be a shag song. We decided on “How Sweet it is (To Be Loved by You).” My father and I danced to “My Girl,” which held special significance to us because he used to sing it to me quite frequently when I was a little girl (I am one of five, the youngest, and the only girl).
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our mutual friend (and my maid of honor) introduced us. She had known Matt for several years, and she and I had been friends for about a year. We finally ended up single long enough for her to introduce us, and she jumped at the opportunity. We officially met (after she had already shared his life story with me) at Party at the Point, an outdoor summer concert series, which is held at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina.
Tell us all about the proposal! Matt planned a trip for us to Savannah last October, the weekend after I had a work conference. I was completely exhausted, but excited for what I assumed would be our proposal weekend (we had never had a weekend getaway before this one that didn’t involve a tent and hiking too far). I planned every outfit I packed so that I would look perfect for the main event. After a while, I convinced myself that it actually wasn’t happening, and I texted my mom to let her know that we were still having a great time. After dinner, I changed into a t-shirt and athletic shorts and piled my hair on top of my head (since I knew that this wasn’t the proposal weekend after all), and we enjoyed wine on the balcony and admired the view of Savannah across the river. There was a wedding party wrapping up in the courtyard below, and I told Matt that it was a good thing the bride and groom were already gone, because no one looked like they were having much fun. Matt then assured me that our wedding would be a blast (of course it would be!), and I agreed, without diverting my gaze from the wedding guests below. And then, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye–my love was folding his long, lanky self down on one knee, and he asked me to spend my life with him! He didn’t hire those wedding guests, but it couldn’t have played out any more perfectly if he had.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Just over 300
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did, and there wasn’t a question in my mind that we would. I am emotional, so I didn’t know how I would react upon seeing him for the first time, and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t bawling walking down the aisle in front of 300 of our family and friends. I am so glad that we did a first look–it was such a special moment for us, and I will cherish the photos of those few minutes forever.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old and borrowed was a brooch that belonged to my grandmother, that my mother loaned me for my wedding day. I attached it to my bouquet, and it meant so much to have a part of her with me. My something new was my dress and shoes, and my something blue was my light blue toenail polish (Essie’s Meet the Parents)!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Honestly, the biggest challenge was finding a location. Charleston is a destination wedding location, and since we didn’t want to wait a full year (or longer) to get married, it proved to be a bit difficult to find a venue. Luckily, we were able to secure a spring date in Charleston with just enough time to plan.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The best thing that I did when planning the wedding was once I made a decision, I stuck with it. I didn’t second guess anything that I had chosen, and I absolutely stayed off of Pinterest once I had met with Lisa at Ooh! Events. She and Callie understood my vision and style, and I trusted them completely. So that’s my biggest piece of advice: stay off of Pinterest and other wedding websites once you have your plans in motion! You chose each detail for a reason; cherish it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Once we returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica, we got straight to work! Our first project as a married couple was laying new sod in the front yard, and we have just recently wrapped up laying a 700+ foot flagstone patio as well. Next up for us is a pergola and some patio furniture! We are loving married life, and I honestly couldn’t have chosen a better man to spend my life with.
Photographer: Shannon Michele Photography / Planning and Rentals: Ooh! Events / Venue: The Pavilion at Patriots Point / Florist: Out of the Garden / Cake Baker: Publix / Caterer: Relish Distinctive Catering / Paper Products: Open House Charleston / Bride’s Gown: “4165” by Paloma Blanca / Bride’s Veil: Paloma Blanca / Bride’s Hair Accessory: J. Crew / Hair and Makeup: Candice Lukasak-Herriott / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Arabella,” “Kylie,” and “Heidi” in Silk Chiffon by J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Photo Booth: Shutterbooth / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Charleston Chamber Players / Joggling Board: The Joggle Factory
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Her bouquet is perfect!! Love the Greek Key backdrop, too!