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Katie is a girl after my own heart! She’s a bit addicted to monograms, believes pockets in a dress make everything better, and wanted to create a wedding full of love and sweet Southern hospitality. Katie and David were married at the beautiful Governor Thomas Bennett House in front of 225 of their very favorite people in the world! I must admit I am completely smitten with their pretty preppy day, including fun pops of color, gold pineapples (and a pineapple bow tie!), and monograms galore! But, the very best part, in my opinion, is how many of the details were made my Katie’s mama, godmother, and aunt — it makes them just that much more special.

We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor Dana Cubbage was on hand to capture their sweet celebration!

Since I worked for Lilly Pulitzer for years, I am accustomed to LOTS of bright colors! We went for bright pink peonies, yellow ranunculus, light pink sweet peas, garden roses, pink astilbe, and dusty miller. We also had pineapples spray painted gold to use as candlesticks and mini pineapples added into the florals on the tables!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. We went EVERYWHERE! We shopped in Charleston twice and all over Charlotte and the surrounding area. Finally, we went to J.Majors, the bridal salon less than a mile from my house. There was one dress that I tried on and everyone said I was smiling from ear to ear when I walked out of the fitting room. It was so simple, classic, and HAD POCKETS! (Pockets in a dress just make everything better!) After swishing around for a bit, we were told it was called the “Mimi” dress. Cue the tears! My grandmother, Mimi, who had passed away 15 years before, loved wedding planning and it was the sign we all needed to stop looking.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! And it was the best decision we made! It took a little convincing for David, the traditionalist, but I was totally on board from the beginning! With a little help from our photographer and a friend of David’s, we finally convinced him. We didn’t feel rushed and actually got to spend some time together during the day. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the whole time!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We definitely wanted to have a Southern-style Charleston Wedding, so we looked at just about every venue in Charleston. We finally had it narrowed down to the last few when one of my maids of honor, Kacie, mentioned the Governor Thomas Bennett House. It had everything: a beautiful semi-circle garden, a large covered porch (with a blue ceiling, of course), ivy-covered arches, spiral staircases, a large oak tree with Spanish moss (a MUST for me!), a secret garden, and more!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but took our favorite lines and verbiage from different traditional religious vows and combined them in our own way. David was very adamant on not saying the word “death” on our wedding day, so at the conclusion of our vows we made sure to use “as long as we both shall live.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians. We both know that it is used all the time, but it made us feel like we were REALLY getting married! (Plus, it reminds us of our wedding when we hear it!)
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The bridal party walked down to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, followed by a guitar and string version of “Here Comes the Bride.” Once we were announced as husband and wife, we walked up the aisle to “This will be (an Everlasting Love).”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? So many, including pineapples (a sign of welcome and hospitality), monograms (we own a family monogram business, after all)!, and Southern cooking (including fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, a mac and cheese bar, shrimp and grits, and late-night chicken and waffle sliders with french fries!).

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Dana Cubbage is the BEST! She was able to capture every moment and every detail of the wedding. She was so relaxed the entire day, which made me extremely relaxed, too! She was always an arms distance away to grab a photo and was all over the dance floor snapping away. The next day, our family and friends couldn’t stop talking about how amazing she was! We cannot wait to find another excuse for more pictures! Also, Meredith and her team were behind the scenes the entire day. I know I only know a small percentage of everything they went through, which means a ton! She would sneak in at the last second to save the day by taking David’s sunglasses out of his pocket before our first dance, making sure we had a fresh glass of champagne for toasts, offering dryer sheets for when the bugs came out at night, and putting my getaway tote in the getaway rickshaw!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would make a list of the things that are truly important to you and your fiance. If it’s food and band, that is great. If it’s open bar and a DJ, that is great, too! Definitely learn where you want to make cuts and which things you have your heart set on! Also, there are so many ways that you can get the look but at a fraction of the cost! We made our own table runners for less than 1/3 of the original cost. We also reused the bridesmaid bouquets at the reception and aisle markers on cocktail tables!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a three-tiered red velvet cake with buttercream icing as our main cake. The aqua bow had our married monogram! We also had two mini cakes that were white chocolate with buttercream icing and a groom’s cake with a VT logo on top and vintage camo sides – a great surprise!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. One of my co-workers went on a blind date with David and texted me at the end of the date saying that I needed to meet this guy. So the next few times they hung out, I was invited to tag along, as well. After a few weeks went by, I was encouraged to reach out to David, so I did! (VERY unlike me!)
Tell us all about the proposal! On December 24th, David woke me up super early! He convinced me to go on a walk with our Golden Retriever, Shelby, in the park across from our house. Begrudgingly, in sweats, Uggs, no makeup (and friends joke – no monograms) we went on our early morning walk. I knew something was up, but I had expected something to happen later on in the day when our two families would all be together. Almost all the way around the lake, he talked about the first time he knew he fell in love with me, caught in a rainstorm, hanging out underneath a tree, walking Shelby. At that, he was down on his knee! (Shelby was pawing at the ring, too!) I freaked out and apparently never actually said yes!
When did y’all get married? March 14, 2015 (3.14.15!)
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225 of our favorite people in the world!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! YES! Borrowed: my gold Claddagh Ring borrowed from my sister. I also borrowed a pearl necklace from my mom. Blue: I wore aqua Jack Rogers to match the bridesmaids and not sink into the grass! Old: The monogram on my sash (my maiden monogram) was my something old. It was also the last time I would be able to wear my maiden monogram! New: my new dress, earrings, and shoes!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning for our wedding, we definitely had opportunities to talk about our faith, our beliefs, and our family values. We also had challenges and were able to work through our wedding budget together, as well. Also, halfway through the wedding planning process, we got a puppy! (While it might not seem like the best idea, it was great to “practice” our paternal roles, as well!)
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I would have to say the ceremony. We were so relaxed going into our ceremony (where I thought I would be stressed and nervous) because we had a “dance party” with the entire bridal party and then the music went off and we were sent down the aisle! Once we made it down the aisle (which is a bit of a blur) I don’t know if I have ever laughed so hard in my life! David’s cousin was our minister and was able to tell our story in a way that had everyone laughing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? My uncle Dom made us a Beautiful Bench,made from the wood of my grandfathers work bench, for us to use as our “guest book!” Mom & Aunt Mo painted a monogram on it & the guest were able to sign it in gold & navy sharpies! We cannot wait to find a special place in our house to display it!

Photographer: Dana Cubbage | Planner: Meredith Tanton from Sweetgrass Social | Venue: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Ashley Bakery | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events and Event Works | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band or DJ: Jim Bowers | Monogrammed items: It’s a Girl Thing | Invitations: Blue Glass Design | Signage: Bride’s Godmother | Bride’s Gown: “Mimi” by Wtoo | Bridal Salon, Veil, and Earrigns: J.Majors Bridal Boutique | Bracelet: Beads Inc. | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Shayla with Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaid Dresses: Coren Moore from Bella Bridesmaids Charlotte | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank | Bow Ties: High Cotton

Dana Cubbage is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Zookbinders Wedding Albums reply

    Wow! This is a beautiful wedding! Love the color

  2. avatar Kirsti reply

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this wedding!! I love the southern prep theme and of course, the pineapples!!

  3. avatar Real Wedding: Katie + David | Sweetgrass Social reply

    […] To see more of Katie and David’s wedding, check out their feature on Southern Weddings! […]

  4. avatar Real Wedding at Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, SC – Sweetgrass Social reply

    […] To see more of Katie and David’s wedding, check out their feature on Southern Weddings! […]

  5. avatar Kat reply

    SO much color! Gold, fuchsia, prints…what a fun day. I think my favorite thing is you can tell how authentic the couple stayed to themselves throughout every aspect of their wedding.

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The first time I visited Charleston was for Callie and Jamie’s wedding–Dave and I made a weekend of it and loved spending a little bit of time exploring the beautiful city. That trip was all too short, but thankfully, working at Southern Weddings has given me the opportunity to learn so much more about the amazing places throughout the South. Charleston is absolutely overflowing with history and tradition, and Keli and Ben drew from it all while planning their Lowndes Grove Plantation wedding. Along with the charms of Charleston, they were deeply inspired by their own home during their wedding planning. As a result, they brought furniture and decor from their house to their venue–both new pieces they had collected and refinished as a couple, and precious heirlooms that had been passed down to them. Meredith of Sweetgrass Social used all of these pieces and more to create the Southern garden dinner party reception Keli and Ben had dreamed of, and I’m sure you’ll agree, the result was magical!

Thank you so much to Olivia Griffin for sharing this very special day with us for V7!

The Haint blue porches have always been one of my favorite accents on historic Southern homes. We wanted to incorporate this feature throughout our wedding, especially because both the Unitarian Church and Lowndes Grove Plantation featured this concept on the ceilings. We continued the theme with the canopies on the structures on the oyster tabby, as well as in the table linens, stationery, and even down to my shoes.

Did you have a something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue? My something new was a bracelet Ben gave to me as a wedding gift. Rice was known as Charleston’s cash crop in the past, so he thought the rice pearls were appropriate to remind me of our wedding day in Charleston. I wore two items for my something old. One was my great-grandmother’s diamond ring that my mom also used as her wedding ring. The other was my mother-in-law’s veil from her wedding. My something borrowed was a vintage brooch I wore in my hair. I borrowed it from my sister, who also wore it in her wedding. My something blue was my shoes! They were just the right shade of blue and had an eyelet cutout design. They were the perfect touch and I can’t wait to wear them again!

The bridesmaids wore black dupioni silk dresses from LulaKate. When choosing a color, I wanted something classic that wouldn’t compete with the colors of the church. What girl doesn’t need a little black dress? I let the girls choose the styles and cuts that were best for them and let them accessorize as they pleased. The flower girls wore simple Swiss dot dresses that were adorable. I had them custom-made by Moss Rose Cottage Dress in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I also gave each of them pearl necklaces to wear.

Our wedding was held on April 13, 2014 in Charleston, South Carolina. We wanted a destination wedding that was close enough so that our family and friends would be able to attend. Ben lived in Charleston for several years and I have always loved the old Southern charm of the town. We chose a spring wedding since the flowers would be in bloom and the weather would not be too hot. We both knew we wanted a church ceremony, and had visited the Unitarian Church of Charleston for a friend’s wedding. We were amazed by the detailed fan vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows. It had all the rich history and character we were looking for. For the reception venue, I wanted a historic site with architectural elements, and Ben wanted the scenery of the Lowcountry marsh. Lowndes Grove was the perfect combination of both! We fell in love with the house; it was elegant and grand, but felt homey, and the waterfront landscape was like a painting.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? We chose to have a traditional ceremony. It was important to Ben to have his father involved in the ceremony, so our pastor from Ben’s home church conducted the service, and Ben’s father performed the vows and ring ceremony for us. In honor of my parents, my mother’s sister lit the unity candle and my father’s brother walked me down the aisle. Ben’s mother lit the unity candle for his family.

Our wedding was Southern because the tea was sweet, the people were sweeter, and Charleston in April is the most beautiful Southern city on God’s green earth. The smell of the salt marsh in the distance laid out a canvas for the senses and harmonized with the aroma of shrimp and grits, Palmetto pale ale, and fried green tomatoes. Sitting along the banks of the Ashley River underneath Haint blue canopies, we watched a Southern sunset that made the ancient oak trees burn with a deep orange hue. The flowers danced on the Swiss dot linens beneath crystal chandeliers, as we danced on the oyster tabby under a palmetto moon.

What was the design inspiration for your reception? I knew I was going to be a handful for Meredith of Sweetgrass Social when I showed up with my sketches, floor plans, and fabric swatches when we first met–we couldn’t have pulled our wedding off without the help of her and the Sweetgrass Social team. They were amazing! Ben and I put great thought into each element of the décor and design. We wanted each component to tell a story about us and where we came from. Since both my parents and grandparents are deceased, incorporating items that were passed down to us was a way to have them there in spirit. It also allowed us to have pieces that were sentimental and reflected us as a couple.

Outside, I wanted it to feel like there were “rooms,” even though we were outdoors. I was trying to achieve a designated area for dining for our guests with chandeliers hanging above, like you would see in a dining room. We wanted our guests to feel like they were sipping sweet tea on the verandah beneath the Haint blue ceilings of Charleston, so Technical Event Company created these amazing whitewashed structures draped with light blue fabric and finished with crystal chandeliers. By having these structures scattered among the oyster tabby, it gave the illusion of separate rooms. During the afternoon, it felt like you were sitting on a Charleston verandah overlooking the river, and after sunset, it transformed into the elegant dining room we had envisioned. We also brought pieces from our own home. For example, tucked away in a nook of the reception, we staged my writing desk and the wingback chair I use at home with custom-made stationery that Ben designed, so that guests could write us letters.

When I met with Anne Bowen at Charleston Stems, I knew I was in good hands. I envisioned a soft mixture of cream and white flowers mixed with foliage in shades of green, rich with texture. We used a lot of my own glassware and vases I had collected over the years. In addition, I wanted to incorporate my mom and grandmothers’ pedestal bowls into the centerpieces. We added mercury glass votives in shades of gold and silver to the tablescape to add some warmth. My bouquet was composed of white peonies. I found some vintage French silk ribbon in a light mint color and added some vintage lace around the center to wrap the peonies in. My grandmother’s brooch was attached to finish the look. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a mixture of white sweet peas and garden roses, and the flower girls carried peony blooms dressed with a mint linen ribbon, monogrammed with their initials. For the boutonnieres, we wanted to give a nod to Charleston and Ben’s love of the city, so we chose sweetgrass roses accented with lily of the valley.

We used a vintage porcelain cake knife and server to cut the cake, and our own fine china for the cake plate we ate from. My sister and brother-in-law gave us a bottle of Moet Champagne as a wedding gift, which we served from Ben’s grandmother’s silver champagne bucket. We toasted with our La Maison crystal champagne flutes.

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most touching moment was my father-daughter dance. My dad and I always danced to “My Girl” by the Temptations growing up. He was one of eight children, five of which are still living. When it came time for my father-daughter dance, I planned to dance our song with one of my uncles. However, during the song, my four uncles and my aunt surprised me by each taking a turn on the dance floor with me during our song. It was so special. I am truly blessed to have such a caring and loving family. The mother-son dance was also touching–Ben surprised his mom by dancing to a song he wrote and composed while living in Charleston called “Saltwater Symphony.” It is her favorite out of all the songs he has written.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Ben and I met through my sister and my brother-in-law, who grew up with Ben. We were friends for a few years before we actually started dating. We started dating after we ran into each other at my sister’s wedding. Ben was living in Nashville and I was still in Florence, South Carolina, so most of our relationship involved a lot of phone calls and flights back and forth.
Tell us about the proposal! Ben and I love Asheville, North Carolina, and would meet there during our long-distance relationship. We usually take a tour of Biltmore Estate while we are there, since we both appreciate history and architecture. Knowing my love for flowers, Ben planned our trip to the Biltmore during their annual flower festival. The courtyards were filled with blooming tulips, and the grounds were rolling with bright yellow forsythia and pink cherry blossom trees. The greenhouse boasted exotic orchids and hydrangeas. It was my dream garden! I didn’t make it easy for Ben to pop the question–I was too busy snapping pictures and reciting the different types of flowers to him. We finally made it back up the hill to a quiet nook surrounded by forsythia where Ben “had to take a picture of us.” It was there where he fell to one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Sentimental, elegant, personal
How many guests attended your wedding? Around 150
Tell us a bit about your first dance. Our song was by an artist we both love, Ray LaMontagne, and is called “Hold You in My Arms.” The lyrics are meaningful and relate to our relationship. It’s also a song Ben plays to me, which made it very sentimental.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My uncle, Larry Moore, always says the blessing at all of our family gatherings. He gladly accepted when we asked him to do so at our reception.
Tell us about a way or ways you saved money or cut costs while planning. By bringing in our own pieces, we saved on rentals. We also made the Swiss dot tablecloths and runners from curtain panels which a friend sewed for us. By doing projects like these, we not only enjoyed them for our wedding, but can continue to use them in our future. We decided on having multiple smaller cakes in lieu of one larger single cake. I also did a lot of DIY projects, like the invitation envelopes and liners.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? We are looking forward to growing together and continuing to learn about one another. It is exciting to go through the journey of life with someone I love.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: As I was waiting alone outside the chapel with my Uncle Stoney before we walked down the aisle, he told me that he could still remember the way his wife looked coming down the aisle. He described the moment and how beautiful she looked like it was yesterday. He told me how I would always remember this very moment, and to take in every second. It was a sweet and touching moment we had together.

Photographer: Olivia Griffin Photography / Planner: Meredith Tanton of Sweetgrass Social Event and Design / Ceremony Venue: The Unitarian Church of Charleston / Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation / Florist: Anne Bowen of Charleston Stems / Caterer: Fish Restaurant / Wedding Cake: DeClare Cakes / Bride’s Gown: “Mimi” by Wtoo Brides / Bridal Salon: J Major’s Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: Ivanka Trump / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate / Flower Girl Dresses: Moss Rose Cottage Dress / Hair Stylists: Meg Workman and Chelsea Poulas / Makeup Artist: Meg Workman / Menwear: Jos. A. Bank / Paper Goods: Minted and Just My Style Invitation and Programs / Rentals: EventWorks, EventHaus Rentals, Polished, and 428 Main Vintage Rentals / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Ceremony Musicians: Classic Charleston / Reception Band: Hot Sauce Party Band / Benne Wafer Favors: Olde Colony Bakery / Transportation: Old City Bus from Absolutely Charleston / Lighting: Technical Event Company

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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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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