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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? 
How many guests attended your wedding? 
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? 
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.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Stephanie Gregory reply

    Amazing job Christine! The cotton centerpieces and boutonnières are heavenly!!

  2. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Gorgeous! Love the use of cotton in place of flowers and lanterns for the bridesmaids! Great menu options for a southern wedding, and any couple who decides on bottled Cokes for their wedding is a-okay with me :) Love!

  3. avatar Ken Tan reply

    Great job, Tea Olive Photography for capturing and sharing this. What a beautiful wedding!

  4. avatar Sergio Goncharoff reply

    Gran work! Exelente pic! Me encanta…

  5. avatar Sophie reply

    The best thing I’ve ever seen! Photographer is the best!

  6. avatar Carol Neil reply

    Absolutely the most beautiful wedding and so down to earth cost wise! What a beautiful couple they are, just radiate love! Such a true inspiration to southern couples everywhere!

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  8. avatar Laura reply

    Where is her engagement ring from? That is exactly what I have been looking for and can’t seem to find anything like it anywhere.

    • avatar Caitlin reply

      Laura: Hi Laura, my band is from Croghan’s in Charleston and it is the Coast Diamond brand. The band is NOT listed online, but a Coast Diamond dealer should be able to order it. There was another variation of it that alternated marquis with diamond/square designs. Good luck!

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Y’ALL. Before we even get into how much I love this wedding, can we just talk about how adorable these little sheep are??

I had to get that out of my system. As soon as I saw the images in this post, I emailed Marissa and squealed about the furry farm animals to her! Though it’s a huge plus, it’s not the only thing we love about Casey + Craig’s wedding. Casey actually said she had trouble figuring out exactly how she wanted the wedding to look within their five-month engagement. “I had always wanted to get married, but for some reason I always skipped the wedding and dreamed about the marriage itself. Which is good, but not so much for wedding planning!!” Thankfully, Casey’s friends gave her a lot of advice. However, to me, it feels like the couple made each decision based on what they like, not what matched their inspiration board — and I kind of love it. The result feels elegant and easy. Big hugs to Landon Jacob Photography for sharing this one with us!

These invitations kill me. The bold black calligraphy is so fun! After searching fruitlessly for invitations that she loved, Casey actually drew out the invitations herself and then took them to a local printer. I also love Casey’s pick for her bridesmaid dresses. They’re romantic and flow beautifully, but her bridesmaids will probably rock them for multiple other occasions!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
I found my dress at Evelyn’s Bridal in Lugoff. It was the second place I visited, and I’m so glad that I did. They were extremely patient with me as I tried on dress after dress after dress. I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for, which made starting difficult, but they were so helpful! The dress I ended up loving was unlike anything I’d seen, but still so simple and classic. The bow was definitely a selling point for me because it was different from all the lace that’s in style right now. The buttons also went all the way down the back, which I found so romantic and sweet.

Describe your wedding flowers. 
I love flowers, but I really wanted to keep things simple and classic, so I wanted a lot of greenery and just a few white flowers for contrast. There were white tulips and hydrangeas and magnolia leaves everywhere. Honestly, my favorite of all the flowers was my bouquet. I wanted something less structured but still very pretty, and Jordan really delivered — I loved it!

I die!!! Too cute.

We did decide to do a “first look” and it was honestly my favorite part of the day. I stayed with the bridesmaids at Old McCaskill’s Farm in Rembert, about a 15 minute drive from the ceremony site, so everyone popped over for pictures beforehand and it made the transition from ceremony to reception seamless and easy (the ceremony was done on one side of TenEleven Galleria and the reception on the other). After all of those were finished, Craig stuck around for five or ten minutes and we got to just be still together and enjoy a few minutes of calm before things got crazy. It was such a sweet moment for us to get to enjoy each other’s company while engaged for one last time. It definitely helped to ease both of our nerves before the ceremony. I was originally concerned that it would take something away from how special my walk down the aisle would be, but I think it actually added some excitement and comfort and reminded me of how completely ready I was to be this man’s wife. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s considering it!

We didn’t have any readings at our ceremony, however we were very concerned about the pastor’s remarks — we wanted it to be a ceremony full of truth about the Gospel and what marriage is really about. Jon did such a great job, and I really think the Lord was glorified. I like to think we tricked many of our friends and family who don’t know the Lord into coming to a service to hear about Him. Ultimately, we wanted things to be about Jesus, not about us.

What was Southern about your wedding? 
One of the biggest Southern things about our wedding was the food at our reception. In the South, we’re big on comfort and hospitality, and as a couple, we wanted everyone to feel welcome and warm and comfortable. So we had a coffee and hot chocolate bar, a mashed potato bar (with regular AND sweet mashed potatoes — seriously my favorite ever), and parmesan-encrusted chicken with macaroni and cheese bites, which were perfectly warm and cheesy and AMAZING.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. 
As people were arriving, we had Travis and Ashley sing “Forget Me Not” by The Civil Wars, one of my favorites. Mothers and grandmothers walked to “Where the West Wind Blows” by Green River Ordinance, which was very light and sweet, two things I really wanted the music to convey about our relationship. We have so much fun and are definitely goofier than subdued, but there have been such sweet undertones to our relationship from the beginning. I really felt like the music we chose for the ceremony reflected that well. I walked down the aisle to “I Am Yours” by Bethany Dillon, which was meant to be a reminder that even though from the ceremony on, I’ll be Craig’s, I belong to God first. We walked back up the aisle to “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips. For the reception, we had the bridal party introduced to “Sexy Back” and we walked out to “Ignition (Remix),” which was some of the most fun I had! Our first dance was to Frank Sinatra’s “You Make Me Feel So Young” — it’s always been a song we love, but it grew a lot in sweetness as we realized how applicable it will (hopefully!) be in 40 or 50 years. I loved our first dance. It was appropriately sweet but still upbeat and so much fun!

I LOVED my wedding cake! I had such difficulty discerning how I wanted my wedding to look. I really struggled with wanting to make sure it wasn’t too “pinterest-y,” but I also wanted it to be sweet and cute and very much inspired by who we are as individuals and as a couple. That said, choosing my cake was an absolute breeze. I had seen a picture of a petal cake that I loved, so we basically replicated it with different flavors for each tier. The bottom was vanilla with cream cheese filling, then marble with chocolate filling, the third tier was lemon with lemon filling, and the top was vanilla and cream cheese. I LOVE all things lemon, so that third tier was really all for me, but I also loved giving our guests some options to choose from. I was so pleased with how it turned out. The stand was a big thing for me, as well – I didn’t want anything too big or shiny because I thought the cake itself would be much more beautiful on its own. We found a round pre-cut piece of wood from Lowe’s and stained it dark brown — it was absolutely perfect.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
We met at the beginning of summer 2011, when we had the same group of friends from church and hung around each other all summer. We never had much of an individual friendship until the smoke detector went off in my house with super high ceilings — while I was in the shower! I couldn’t get it to stop and couldn’t reach the detector without jumping from a chair, and he was the only one to answer my phone call and come to the rescue. He’s super tall and fixed it with ease, cleaned my blood off the ceiling (because I had somehow cut myself trying to turn it off) and then sat down and began asking me about myself. That was really when I decided that I thought he was pretty cool. We were friends for a few more months, and then one night my roommates and I had everyone over to watch a movie. One by one, everyone left except Craig, and he and I ended up on opposite sides of the couch talking about everything from our families to broken bones to the things we wanted to do in life. Before I knew it, it was 6:00 in the morning. So he promptly left and I got a few minutes of sleep before my exam that morning at 8:00. We both just found each other so interesting, and he began texting me throughout the day and calling me pretty much every night and we’d talk for hours and hours. One of those nights, he called and said he wanted to pray about pursuing me as his girlfriend. We started officially dating a little while later, and exactly a year to the day after he told me he wanted to pursue me, he asked me to be his wife!!
Describe the proposal. 
I was SO convinced it wasn’t happening that I didn’t catch on, though I should have guessed what was happening. Earlier that day, I had lunch with a friend and I specifically said that I knew it wasn’t happening because we had “plans” with his sister after our date, and that just didn’t seem very indicative of a proposal to me. However, that night I met him at his apartment where we ate dinner that he had prepared. Afterward, he told me there was a “part two” to our date, so we went to his car and he blindfolded me while I sat in the front seat (howwww did I not know?!) We drove for what seemed like FOREVER, and then finally parked. He carried me on his back for a few minutes. When he finally put me down and took off the blindfold, we were in the middle of Williams-Brice Stadium, our alma mater’s football stadium, which seats more than 80,000 people. It was empty but the lights were on, so it was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life. His speech was short but sweet. We had saved saying “I love you” for engagement, so getting to finally hear those words was the absolute best. I had always said I would never cry, but I bawled like a baby. Then he blindfolded me again and took me to my best friend’s house, where all of our closest friends and family were gathered to celebrate with us. It was the BEST. I loved getting to share one of the best moments of my life with those people I care about most.
In what month did you get married? 
How many guests attended your wedding? 
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
I asked Craig what his favorite detail of the wedding was (just out of curiosity) and his reply was, “You! Your dress, seeing you — you were my favorite thing.” (The perfect answer, right?!) But when all is said and done, I agree with him. There were so many special and fun details that I loved. The mink I wore was my great-grandmother’s and the chandelier in the ceremony space — oh that chandelier, I fought SO hard for that thing! All I wanted was a crystal chandelier for that window, and we couldn’t find one for what we thought was a reasonable price. We found a working chandelier and spray-painted it an antique bronze. My sweet dad drilled holes and we strung thin pieces of wire through them to connect the crystals, most of which had been a part of my great-grandmother’s crystal chandelier. The venue was another favorite. As soon as we walked in, we both said, “Yup! We’re getting married here!” It just had such a warm and relaxed feel, which was something we really wanted. But however much I am in love with all of those things, on the day of the wedding the only person who was there to me was Craig. Seeing him and being with him, that was my favorite part. Because once the wedding is over, your marriage is what’s important and I just felt (and still feel!) so blessed to even know him, much less get to spend my life with him.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
Staying with my bridesmaids at Old McCaskill’s Farm! It was such a pleasant and relaxing experience. And the LAMBS!! They had the sweetest lambs that we got to take pictures with; getting to play with them was one of my favorite parts of my wedding day.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
When I think about my wedding day, I automatically picture myself on the porch steps with Craig after our first look was done, hugging and giggling and repeating over and over, “We’re getting married today!!” It was definitely my favorite moment of the whole day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Don’t get too caught up in the details. I think weddings now are great because they’re less traditional and give the bride a chance to make things more personal, but I also think that lends itself towards putting a lot of pressure on her to have a very detail-oriented day; I know I definitely felt that. But in reality, the day is SUCH a whirlwind that those things you thought were important just aren’t anymore. No matter what things look like, you’re getting married!! And that’s the whole point.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
Right now, we’re living in Columbia and learning how to be married, which has been so much easier than we thought, and the most fun I’ve ever had! We’re still praying about where the Lord wants us to be and looking forward to growing together in Him as a couple and individually. I just know I’ve already learned so much about God’s grace and patience through the way Craig loves me and patiently cares for me, and it’s so great! Marriage has been the BEST.

Landon Jacob is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Wow! They are absolutely gorgeous together, and I love their wedding planning perspective and advice!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I never ever comment on posts (something I’m working on!) but there is something special about this wedding. Not only is incredibly beautiful, it is so heartwarming to see a couple so in love with each other and with God. I particularly enjoyed the sheep pictures, the simple flowers, the brides handmade invitations, and their sweet love story!

  3. avatar Madi Sanders reply

    Now I have loved a lot of weddings on here, and I don’t know if I’m just feeling super emotional today or what…but this one just makes me misty! I love the sweet simplicity of every detail and Casey- your words about marriage and your love for one another is truly inspiring! I just love this so much!

  4. avatar Shelby reply

    Oh my lucky stars, this wedding couldn’t come closer to perfect if it tried. The lambs are the cutest things I have ever seen, but besides the adorable overload, her flowers were pure perfection!!

  5. avatar Elizabeth reply

    This is now one of my favorite weddings featured at Southern Weddings. I love that Casey and Craig personalized so much for their wedding day and didn’t lose sight of what it’s all about. They made their ceremony about Jesus and joining together for a marriage that will last with Christ as the center and foundation. I love that Casey used her great-grandmother’s mink (which is beautiful, by the way!) and her crystals for the chandelier and that dad was a part of that, too. I also love that she savored the moments leading up to “I do” both with Craig and her bridesmaids at the farm. Those sheep are so cute! I love that Craig’s favorite detail was Casey. This is an all-around gorgeous wedding. So inspired by this one. Congratulations and many blessings to Casey and Craig!

  6. avatar Jessica Leighanne reply

    One of my favorite weddings I have seen on Southern Weddings. Which is shocking for me, since I am not usually so drawn to indoor weddings. But Casey and Craig did a wonderful job at planning a wedding that was romantic, classic, and rustic all at the same time. I also loved that their love for The Lord was so evident in their ceremony! Most definitely saving ideas from this wedding! Congrats to the new bride and groom!

  7. avatar Emily reply

    I knew before I even clicked on the comments that this one was going to be a huge hit.

    Y’all, this is the best wedding you’ve ever featured on the blog, hands down. I have never been so moved by a story and by a bride’s words. Casey, your perspective is refreshing and beautiful and SO perfect for the Sweet Tea Society. Thank you for sharing and reminding us all of what is most important, the Lord and each other, and that is all. I know Lara must be loving this feature so very much.

    What a stunning couple, inside and out.

  8. avatar Ashlee reply

    What a beautiful wedding and truly inspiring story of how this couple met and got engaged! How blessed they are to have found each other. And the ceremony? I love that they centered it around the Lord. Beautiful, beautiful post!

  9. avatar Inspired by This Blog reply

    Such a simple and gorgeous wedding…loving all of it! :]

  10. avatar Lauren reply

    I love that cake so much. I love how simple but beautiful it so. Wow

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  14. avatar samantha reply

    Is there information regarding the bridesmaid dresses?

  15. avatar Teresa reply

    Where can I get the bridesmaids dresses in that light blush color in the post by nicole on 4/9/2013 for the Landon Jacob post??

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  18. avatar Nancy Sweeney reply

    Beautiful Wedding!!
    I am very interested in finding out the designer of your bridesmaid dresses. They are lovely, flowing, & perfect for an outdoor farm wedding! Thank you, Nancy

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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