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There are few things we love more around here than seeing a wedding that reflects a couple and their love story. Even better, in the case of Carly and Spencer, their late spring celebration in Charleston not only nodded to their personalities and favorite things, but also, their dreams for their future! In his vows, Spencer told his bride, “I don’t know what the days to come hold, but I have a brighter outlook in sharing those days with you.” What could reinforce that idea more perfectly than a celebration full of sunshine colors, bright signature drinks, and a sparkling exit to top it all off? Y’all please enjoy this sunny celebration!

Thanks so much to Dana Cubbage for sharing Carly and Spencer’s sweet day with us!

I found my perfect dress at the second salon we went to. I wanted a dress that was vintage-inspired and simple, but elegant.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look so we would have more time to spend with our friends and family during cocktail hour.

I was so impressed by our flowers! We had mostly white flowers with some yellow accents and lots of beautiful greenery.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows. My favorite line of his vows was, “I don’t know what the days to come hold, but I have a brighter outlook in sharing those days with you.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Some of the Southern details we included were hand fans, sweet tea, shrimp and grits as one of our dinner stations, and pralines as one of our favors. Our wedding was surrounded by great oaks with Spanish moss, and of course, it was full of love!

Charleston, South Carolina is my favorite place in the whole world! Magnolia Plantation had the perfect combination of Southern charm and elegance that I was looking for in a wedding venue.

We had a three-tiered, simple vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. We also had mini key lime pies, brownies, and cheesecakes. However, many of our guests said their favorite dessert was the s’mores they could make on the fire pit outside!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Spencer’s brother-in-law, who was my co-worker, thought we’d be a good couple and decided to play matchmaker. Our relationship started out with us going on fun adventures together, and we eventually became best friends and fell in love.
Tell us all about the proposal! The proposal was such a surprise, and one of my favorite memories! Spence and I went out for an evening boat ride, and on the way back, he was kneeling down pretending to check the engine when he pulled out a ring!
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 86
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had an amazing string trio for our ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “Falling in Love with You” by Elvis because we both like the song, and I thought I would be able to get down the aisle without crying if it was playing! We chose “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as our recessional song, because it fit our fun and loving relationship. We love live music, so we had a band for our reception. Our first dance was to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. It’s such a fun and sweet song!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I wore a garter that was made from my mom’s wedding dress–it had a little blue bow on it, so it was both old and blue. My something borrowed was a small angel pin on the inside of my dress that one of my bridesmaids wore at her wedding. Pretty much everything else was new!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by inviting only our closest friends and family members.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment is probably just being on the dance floor with my new husband and almost everyone else that I love and care about in the world!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy the planning, even though it is sometimes stressful!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying time together and doing some traveling. We are looking forward to making memories together and having a family in the next couple of years.

Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings / Planner: Cibi Events / Venue: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens / Florist: Miele Events / Cake Baker: Cakes by Kasarda / Caterer: Hamby / Rentals: EventHaus Rentals / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: Charleston Virtuosi / Band: Emerald Empire Band / Bride’s Gown: Sincerity Bridal / Hair Stylist: Alayna of Serendipity Salon / Makeup Artist: Bellelina / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Tammy reply

    Beautiful! Makes you want to have a Southern Wedding!!!

  2. avatar Palak Doshi reply

    Where can I find a little chalkboard like that to write the drinks?

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned while choosing details for my own wedding, it’s that when in doubt, I should stick to the classics. There’s a reason things like lace wedding gowns, white tiered cakes, and “Just Married” getaway car signs never go out of style–they have already stood the test of time. I would’t be surprised if Shannon and Andrew heeded this advice as they planned their Maryland wedding, with the help of our Blue Ribbon Vendor, A. Dominick Events, and as a result, I imagine they’ll still love everything about their special day when they’re showing these pictures to their future grandchildren!

Thank you so much to Jodi Miller (another beloved BRV!) for sharing Shannon and Andrew’s wedding with us!

I was supposed to meet Andrew in San Francisco for Valentine’s Day weekend, but was snowed in and all the flights were canceled. My mom and I decided last minute to look at some wedding dresses instead. There was a Romona Keveza trunk show going on at the Nordstrom Bridal Boutique in Tyson’s Corner. My mom begged me to “humor her” and try on a dress which seemed too old fashioned for my taste on the hanger. However, when I tried it on, I immediately fell in love. I went back three times that weekend to try the dress on again. It was such a silver lining to the canceled California trip!

Describe your wedding flowers. I carried a beautiful, naturally shaped bouquet that was slightly untamed. It included café au lait dahlias, David Austin garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace, fresh herbs, and white passion flower vine. The slightly wilder bouquet complemented my very traditional wedding dress. Shawn and her team at Beehive Events hit it out of the park!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we wanted to keep it traditional. The groom seeing his bride for the first time walking down the aisle is always one of my favorite moments of a wedding.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, a church that has special significance to both of our families. Andrew’s mother’s family and my father’s family both attended the church growing up.

After the priest announced us as husband and wife, we stood on the altar facing the crowd for a few moments before we processed out of the church. We just took it all in–the incredible commitment of marriage we had just made, and the outpour of applause and cheers from family and friends. There was so much love and joy in that church, and I will never forget that moment.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A. Dominick and her team went above and beyond to execute our vision. They were organized, thorough, experienced, and so much fun to work with. They were great advisors, never making decisions for us, but rather, helping us to make the decisions. They kept us on schedule throughout the planning process and left no stone unturned. On the day of the wedding, I was so relaxed. Aimee and her team made our wedding more special than I could have ever imagined.

Kendall’s Cakes created a beautiful “cake bar” for us with an assortment of small white cakes, half filled with white chocolate raspberry cake, the other half with key lime cake. Each one was decorated simply with white frosting. One was designed to look like the buttons and bow on the back of my wedding dress. They stood on vintage crystal cake stands I had borrowed from family members. It was a stunning (and delicious) display!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing.” It has a good pace (not too slow, not too fast), was soulful, and the lyrics really spoke to our relationship. The dancing at our wedding was so much fun that my dad (who is otherwise very frugal) paid the band to keep playing!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Pleasant Pops, one of our favorite local food trucks, brought a push cart outside the dance floor. We had four different flavors of popsicles, including Andrew’s favorite, New Orleans Iced Coffee. It was a great way to cool down after all that dancing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends at a bar the night before Thanksgiving in 2010. Although we had grown up in the same area and had known of each other, we had never officially met. There was an immediate connection. That first night, we talked for hours about everything from education to family. We saw each other one more time that weekend and exchanged phone numbers, but did not know when we would see each other again, since I was living in New York City at the time. Shortly thereafter, Andrew called me to tell me he was going to be visiting a friend in NYC and asked me to dinner. We went on our first dinner date at a little italian restaurant in Nolita. We had such a great time, we met for brunch the next day and had dinner that night as well. We joke that we had our first, second, and third dates all within 24 hours! For the next few months, we kept Amtrak in business traveling between NYC and DC to see one another.
Tell us all about the proposal! Andrew planned a dinner date under the guise of celebrating “the beginning of the school year.” I had just spent the week setting up my classroom, attending teacher development, and finalizing my first week of school plans. I was exhausted, but thrilled to have an easy, early dinner with Andrew to look forward to. We went to one of my favorite restaurants in D.C., The Blue Duck Tavern. For reasons unclear to me at the time, he had made the reservation at 5 p.m., so I was sure to give him a hard time about such an early dinner. After the meal, we took a sunset walk by the Potomac River and ended up at the Kennedy Center. We walked to the terrace, which has a gorgeous view of the monuments. Somehow, we were the only people there, which is a rarity in Washington. That is when he proposed. It was an incredible moment! He was so nervous that he put the ring on the wrong hand, which was a great moment of levity. Then, we went to his cousin’s restaurant, Beuchert’s Saloon, where all of our family had been waiting. It was such a wonderful night!
When did y’all get married? July 19, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had dinner stations instead of a sit-down meal, and one of the stations was called “Southern Comfort.” It included mini pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and watermelon salad.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went to a series of marriage preparation classes through our church with a few other engaged couples. We talked about everything from finances to family. It was incredibly helpful.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My aunt made bouquets of baby’s breath for the flower girls. We had lots of little girls in the wedding, and knew spending money on fancy bouquets for them would not be worth it. My sister-in-law also made the ribbon wands that were used for our send-off as we exited the church.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Andrew was offered a job in San Francisco, so we are looking forward to starting an adventure together on the West Coast. While we are sad to leave our family and friends in D.C., it will be a great opportunity for us to explore another part of the country and grow even stronger as a couple.

Photographer: Jodi Miller / Videographer: Blue Sky Films / Planner: Aimee Dominick / Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Columbia Country Club / Florist: Beehive Events / Cake Baker: Kendall’s Cakes / Lighting: John Farr Lighting / Band: The Source / Popsicles: Pleasant Pops / Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza / Bride’s Veil: Nina / Bride’s Earrings: Nadri / Bride’s Vintage Brooch: Glynn Goldsborough Antiques / Hair Stylist: Bridal Hair by Remona / Makeup Artist: Lori Nansi of Le Mariee Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss

Jodi Miller and A. Dominick Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    I’m in LOVE with the bride’s dress! And Jodi Miller’s work is stunning as always. :)

  2. avatar Fun summer wedding ideas to keep guests happy – Wedding Party reply

    […] Jodi Miller via Southern Weddings […]

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Christina and Matt met in the city of Ouagadougou in West Africa while volunteering for the Peace Corp–talk about an adventurous courtship! For their October wedding, they were inspired by their mutual love of the color green, and they wanted an aesthetic that was built around nature and inspired by leaves, trees, wood, and flowers. The talented Tara Guérard took the already gorgeous Lowndes Groves Plantation, and boy, did she up its game! She even brought the beauty of the great outdoors right inside their stunning tent. I would be remiss not to mention that Christina and Matt’s officiant included a few words of wisdom from that “great Southern philosopher,” Forrest Gump, in their ceremony. I know the whole congregation must have been tickled to hear that!

Thank you so much to Liz Banfield for sharing this stunner with us in V7!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Matt and I met in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa, as Peace Corps Volunteers. I lived in Burkina and Matt lived in the neighboring country of Togo. The day we met–January 2, 2009–we had both been traveling with friends. My friends and I had plans to take a bus to Togo the next day. Matt gave me advice about where to go and what to do, and I invited him and his friends to join us for dinner, drinks, and dancing. Many hours later, in the early morning outside of a night club, Matt and his friends announced that they had decided to cut their vacation short and would join us on the bus to Togo. Matt escorted us all the way to his city, Lomé, and took care of us all week. While my friends spent an overnight in Ghana, I stayed behind and spent 48 hours with Matt. That was our unofficial first date. Eight months later, I moved to Togo and became a third-year volunteer in the town next to his. Until years later, he had no idea that I had done it for him. The day I arrived, we spent hours together in a group enjoying the festivities. At the end of the night, I went to my hotel room and closed the door, fretting about whether I had made the right decision, and if he was still interested in me. A few minutes later, there was a knock at my door. I opened the door and it was Matt. He took my arm, said “Christina,” and then kissed me. He finished his sentence before disappearing into the night: “See you tomorrow.”

I loved the way my dress maintained its dramatic shape whether I was walking, spinning, or standing still! It looked great from every angle and was unmistakably a wedding dress.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Rose Kpomblekou, of Peace Corps Togo, traveled all the way from West Africa to attend the wedding!

Who was your officiant? The pastor who married us is a close friend of Matt and a true Southern gentleman. He had tears in his eyes (and streaming down his kind face!) throughout the ceremony, and we were married with words of wisdom from that great Southern philosopher, Forrest Gump. He made everyone laugh while sharing his gifts as a spiritual and loving man.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. We had a string quartet playing songs we loved from Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, and some of Matt’s favorite video games. The ceremony was outside under a huppah of green leaves and a beautiful tree. Guests were facing a river and sitting on a mixture of chairs and pew-like benches. My dad and I emerged dramatically from the stunning Lowndes Grove mansion and had a nice long walk across the lawn to the center aisle–plenty of time for one last father-daughter chat before the I do’s!

No matter where we held the wedding, our families would have to travel. My family comes from in and around the New York Tri-State area, whereas Matt’s family lives in South Carolina and Florida. Elegant and cozy Charleston, South Carolina was the perfect location–not only because it is one of Matt’s favorite places in the world, but it was also a place that my family came to know and love through Matt’s eyes.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? I gathered fantastical images from Lord of the Rings and magical-looking forests. We both love the color green and wanted an aesthetic that was built around nature themes: leaves, trees, wood, flowers, etc.

What were some of the highlights of the reception? We LOVE to dance and the band was phenomenal. I danced to every song at our wedding except three: I missed two because of impromptu pictures and one because I was out of breath from jumping around with my brother. The speeches couldn’t have been more touching, funny, and apropos. The food was delicious and the service was flawless. Our sweetheart table experience turned into a surprise romantic dinner for two in the middle of our wedding!

My cousin, David Johnson, is a songwriter and musician, so we asked if he would perform one of his songs at the wedding. He came back to us a week later with a brand new song entitled “Face to Face,” which instantly became our song. The lyrics were as special to us as the songwriter, so we asked Dave and his son to perform it for our first dance. They were awesome and Matt and I had a blast dancing to this perfect song.

Describe the proposal: Matt and I were looking to buy a house, and finally, we found the one. We put a bid on it, and then found ourselves in a bidding war with another buyer, which we eventually lost. I was so disappointed, but nothing could be done about it. Matt left on a last-minute work trip and continued to be very busy for a while. Turns out, his “last-minute work trip” was really a train ride to visit my parents in New Jersey to ask for permission to marry their daughter, and to ask my mother to take him ring shopping. On the night he planned to propose, we had scheduled dinner with friends. My mom had been in town, but left on the morning of the dinner to take care of “taxes” in New York. On the way to the restaurant, Matt took a detour onto the street with the house. “Why would you take this street? It’s depressing!” I told him. I didn’t want to see the house that we had lost. He slowed down next to the house and pulled into the driveway. I asked him what he thought he was doing. “We’re trespassing,” I told him, “and we are late for dinner.” He replied, “I lied to you. We’re home. We got the house.” Inside, the living room was covered in red rose petals and 200 candles. A throw rug near the garden window was piled high with long stem red roses perched over a card. I knelt down to open and read the card, which said, “I love you so, so much. Turn around.” He was kneeling with the ring and proposed. The real estate lady was hiding in the bushes with the paperwork for the house. We signed on the dotted line and left to celebrate over dinner with our friends!
When did y’all get married? October 26, 2013
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Elegant, comfortable, euphoric.
How many guests attended your wedding? 180
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? I only have one sibling, so instead of choosing a maid of honor, I choose my brother to be my “man of honor,” and he truly filled the role to the fullest! My girlfriends all love him and were delighted to follow his lead–even through planning the bachelorette party! He gave a once-in-a-lifetime speech at dinner, and if I were ever unsure, I know how very much he loves me.
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? The funniest moment was when the pastor explained how when Matt and I met and some of his first words to me were “You smell good.” This was a huge compliment while serving in the Peace Corps!
Tell us about your grand exit. We drove off in a gorgeous, vintage getaway convertible while the guests cheered us into the night with sparklers.
What was Southern about your wedding? We incorporated Southern cuisine, hospitality, and sensibilities.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We went as far away as possible to New Zealand, a magical land of fjords, mountains, glacial lakes, diverse flora, and hobbits.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Prioritize taking care of your guests and don’t assume responsibility for any details on the day-of. A bride’s job is to be the joyous chief of the party!!

Photographer: Liz Banfield / Videographer: Artistic Eye Productions / Planner, Designer, and Florist: Tara Guérard Soirée / Venue, Caterer, and Bar Service : Lowndes Grove Plantation / Cake : Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: Charleston Heartstrings Quartet for Debut, Inc. / Bride’s Gown: “Laetitia” by Anna Maier / Bridal Salon: Hitched Salon / Bride’s Shoes: “Isabel” by Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Earrings: “Elsa Peretti Pearls by the Yard Drop Earrings” from Tiffany and Co. / Bride’s Veil and Hair Accessory: Hitched Salon / Bridesmaid Dresses: #839 in Fern by Aria / Wedding Day Dresser: Cacky’s Bride+Aid / Hair Stylist: Kristy Cuthbert / Makeup Artist: Kori Mahoney / Getaway Car: Matt Buero / Men’s Attire: Grady Ervin & Co / Ice Sculpture: Ice Age Ice Sculptures / Paper Goods: The Lettered Olive / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Linens: Immediate Tablecloth / Band: Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters / Transportation: Absolutely Charleston and Marquee Limo / Lighting: Production Design Associates and Tara Guérard Soirée / Ceremony Director: Lori Lethco

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Anastasia reply

    OH I LOVE THIS. this is probably my favorite wedding published in a while. i love their adventurous and individualistic relationship and also their love of LOTR and natural beauty. perfect!!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    That proposal story brought tears to my eyes, so sweet!

  3. avatar Ally reply

    I completely agree with her advice – take care of your guests! Any time you invite people to celebrate (even if they are celebrating you!), it’s always gracious to keep them comfortable and happy!

  4. avatar kate h. reply

    this is incredible.

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