Hand-picked cotton centerpieces, dapper gents in classic black tuxedos and an oak-lined plantation: oh y’all, Caitlin + Jared’s wedding is sweet Southern goodness! With a stunning backdrop like Turkey Hill Plantation, C + J decided to keep it simple with a “less is more” approach to design, and I am totally on board with their choice. As Caitlin said, “The plantation we chose was so naturally beautiful that it didn’t need very much decoration. We decided to skip flowers all together; instead we used cotton!”
Big hugs to Tea Olive Photography for sharing C + J’s darling day with us!
Our wedding took place at a beautiful historic plantation that is settled at the end of a fantastic oak-lined driveway. The plantation also featured ancient live oaks that were dripping with Spanish moss. There is just something romantically Southern about the way the light shines against the moss. Having centerpieces and arrangements made of cotton also added a natural Southern touch. Along with that, we served barbecue with good ol’ fashioned bottled Coca Colas.
I love Caitlin’s wedding band – it’s so different, yet classic!
Jared’s family friends own several cotton fields, so we made a trip or two to cut the cotton plants for our big day. I then had the joy of cleaning tons of plants of cotton before the wedding. It really is amazing how dirty that stuff gets out in the elements!
One of my aunts helped me make my cotton bouquet and the boutonnières for the groomsmen. I decided to change it up a bit with the bridesmaids, and instead of having them carry flowers I gave them pretty little lanterns with twinkle lights and Spanish moss.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I found an amazing orchestral version of “Secrets” by One Republic mixed with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony by the Piano Guys to walk down the aisle to. It’s such a beautiful song and had the most perfect build up — it still gives me chills! On our way back down the aisle we played “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” by Stevie Wonder. Jared actually picked this one, and he couldn’t have been more spot on. Our first dance was to a James Taylor song, “Smiling Face.” It’s one of our favorite songs, and just fits us.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment for me was walking down the aisle with my dad. It is such an emotional moment; it’s hard to forget something like that.
Jared’s grandfather also helped me make the centerpiece boxes we used. We then gathered a mountain of Spanish moss to fill them. I absolutely adored how they turned out. We then rounded up antlers and had them painted gold to go along with our centerpieces and candles, which looked especially beautiful that evening.
Jared is very picky about his cake: he likes chocolate and only chocolate. So for our cake, we had a simple small chocolate cake. We also served chocolate as well as pumpkin spice cupcakes in honor of fall and my personal love of pumpkin. I also incorporated a groom’s cake for Jared. One of his favorite pastimes is fishing for redfish, so naturally his cake was in the shape of one!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
The two of us met during our freshman year of college at Charleston Southern. We were in the same public speaking class and shared glances at each other for a few weeks before Jared worked up the nerve to walk me to my dorm after class. We shared several walks over the next few weeks until he finally asked me to be his girlfriend, and several years later his wife.
Describe the proposal. Jared planned a surprise for the two of us during the SEWE weekend in Charleston. He had only hinted at one thing, “It’s something you’ve always wanted to do.” Well boy did that make my head spin. There were tons of things I had always wanted to do! As I was enjoying the Jack Hannah show and patiently waiting to see the cheetah, he informed me that we were late for our “thing,” and had to leave. I was pretty disappointed due to the fact that the show wasn’t even halfway over, but we made our way to the car and began the drive to Patriots Point. I had a sneaking suspicion he was taking me to see my old teammates, as they were playing against College of Charleston, but again I was wrong. We passed the softball fields and continued on, parking near the docks. At this point, I was wondering what the heck we were doing, and then we met the Captain of the Firefly. Jared had chartered a sailboat for the two of us to cruise the harbor on. I was dumbfounded and thought that this in itself was the surprise! We then skimmed atop the Charleston harbor enjoying wine, cheese, and fruits for quite some time until Jared insisted that I come to the bow of the boat. It had been raining off and on and I wasn’t too keen on getting wet, but I eventually obliged. We did the cheesy “Titanic moment” and as I turned to head back to cover, Jared was down on one knee with a beautiful ring asking me to marry him. After answering with a yes, we then took cover as the Captain showed me that he was taking pictures of the whole thing! I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress the first day I went shopping. I didn’t have much of an idea what I was looking for until I put it on. I was actually debating between two dresses that were significantly different, but was so happy with my final choice.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We decided not to do a “first look” as we are both pretty traditional. We were looking forward to first seeing each other down the aisle — we didn’t want to miss that dramatic moment.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were way too many to count them all. I absolutely loved our venue, our ceremony site, the driveway, and the backyard. It is so naturally beautiful. I also was over the moon for how our centerpieces turned out. I could go on, but everything was just perfect.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? A big challenge for me was planning the wedding two hours from home where Jared lived. It was slightly difficult trying to orchestrate everything that needed to be done, especially while trying to also spend some non-wedding time together on the weekends. We didn’t want every weekend to be all about the wedding since we only saw each other every week or so, but there are some things that aren’t easy to decide over the phone.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I wouldn’t say I splurged on any particular thing, but I cannot say how happy I was with our photographer. She truly did an amazing job capturing our day. I couldn’t have asked for better.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t let it stress you out, and add a little time to your wedding day schedule. We had a very padded schedule and it worked out so well. The groomsmen and groom were a little late to their pictures, but we weren’t rushed because of great planning.