Google+ kiawah island wedding Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: kiawah island wedding

I love it when a tradition starts with only the bride or groom’s family, but then a wedding turns it into something that all their loved ones can enjoy. For Colleen and Nicholas, that’s Kiawah Island. Though Nicholas’ family had been vacationing there for years, after bringing Colleen along while dating, it became the perfect place for these two to celebrate their marriage. It didn’t hurt that as soon as they drove up to the Ocean Course on a post-engagement vacation, they knew it was the exact place where they wanted to share their love of Kiawah Island and each other with their friends and family! A clear-top tent, an abundance of beautiful blooms by Fox Events, and plenty of sweet Southern sunshine later, and I’m sure all the guests in attendance will be itching to create their own traditions on the island, too!

Thanks to Tim Willoughby for capturing this beautiful day!

My dress was actually one of the first ones I tried on. I was so excited to try on wedding dresses, so my mom and I went to Saks right away, just for fun! We weren’t expecting that I would find my dress so quickly, but as soon as I put it on, I absolutely loved it. I went to a few other appointments just to make sure, but ended up coming back to the first one I loved!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We had a really hard time deciding if we wanted to do a first look, but we ended up doing one. We were so happy we did! It was really special to have our first moment together on our wedding day be for just the two of us (and our little yorkie, who made an appearance for some pictures). It gave us the opportunity to take a lot of our pictures before the reception so we could enjoy as much of the celebration as possible, and also made us much less nervous for the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we had one of our close mutual friends officiate our wedding, which added a special and personal touch to the ceremony.

Nick has been going to Kiawah with his family since he was a kid, and we all went there together a couple of times when we started dating. We were there on vacation a few weeks after we got engaged and decided to look at some venues. As soon as we drove up to the Ocean Course, we knew that’s where we wanted to get married! It was so much fun to be able to share one of our favorite places with all of our friends and family for the weekend.

The one thing I knew I wanted at our wedding was tons of flowers! We went with a neutral palette of white and light pink with some pops of blue and lots of greens. Our wedding planner also did all of our flowers–she and her team did an amazing job! When Nick and I walked into our tent for the first time, we were so happy with how beautiful it looked.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? All the dancing. Our wedding band, ATL Groove Factory, was absolutely amazing and had everyone on the dance floor the entire night! For our after-party, a good friend of ours from NYC who is a DJ kept the dancing going. We had so much fun with everyone!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I both went to Cornell, but somehow never met, even though we have a ton of mutual friends. After college, we were both living in New York, and I went to a 4th of July party in the Hamptons that ended up being at a house Nick and his friends were renting that summer. After we spent the day together, Nick asked me to go out again the next day in the city. After that, we were pretty much inseparable!
Tell us all about the proposal! A couple of summers ago, we were spending a week out on the North Fork of Long Island. We made a nice dinner to have outside at sunset, but I noticed Nick wasn’t eating anything. He said he needed to go inside and grab some balsamic vinegar to add to the food, but instead, he came back outside, got down on one knee, and proposed!!
When did y’all get married? October 10, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 190
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many little details, but one of the best were the two big swings we had on the edge of the dance floor. They looked beautiful and everyone had so much fun on them! I also loved the chandeliers that we hung from the top of the tent.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did. My twin sister let me borrow the sapphire and diamond earrings she wore for her wedding day, and I wore blue satin shoes to take care of my something borrowed and something blue. My mother and my mother-in-law both provided pieces of lace from their wedding dresses that were wrapped around my bouquet as something old, and I wore a bracelet Nick gave me the morning of our wedding as something new.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The most difficult part of getting married on Kiawah Island was figuring out transportation for all the guests, since there wasn’t one main hotel where the majority of guests were staying. Somehow, our wedding planner and our families managed to figure out where everyone was staying and get everyone to the wedding on time.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding planner, Lauren Fox. We knew planning our wedding in Kiawah from NYC would be a little more difficult, but Lauren made everything so much easier. I always say I would re-plan our wedding all over again because that’s how enjoyable Lauren made the whole process!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn, so we’re just enjoying married life in our new neighborhood. And we’re hoping to grow our family soon!

Photographer: Tim Willoughby | Videographer: Hart to Heart | Planner and Florist: Fox Events | Venue and Caterer: The Ocean Course | Wedding Cake Baker: Jim Smeal | Rentals: Snyder Events and Ooh! Events | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band: ATL Groove Factory | Paper Products: Studio R Design | Bride’s Gown: “Cora” by Austin Scarlett | Bride’s Jewelry: Zoe Chicco | Hair Stylist: Charlotte Belk, Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Makeup Artist: Pamela Lesch | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale in Navy Blue | Menswear: J. Crew

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar elaine reply

    Where is her reception dress from?!? Amazing!

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!

Reply to:

I’m a classic wedding gal through and through! When I saw the very first photo of Grace and Ben’s beautiful day I knew I was going to love it. I mean, the cathedral length lace veil and monogram button down combo?! But, after reading their sweet interview, I am even more smitten. For these high school sweethearts, sticking with tradition, classic design, and beautiful florals was not just to create a stunning wedding day, but to honor their family and their own love story. Custom corn hole boards are fun, but for Grace and Ben it was not only a nod to the amazing tailgates we have as Southerners, but Ben’s time as a collegiate football player at Appalachian State. My favorite reason for a decision, however, is why they chose not to have a first look. Ben’s father (also his best man) told him: “One of the greatest feelings you’ll ever have in your entire life is when your bride walks down the aisle towards you for the first time; you feel like your chest is going to explode.” Oh, Southern gents, y’all break the mold!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Virgil Bunao for capturing this romantic day planned by fellow BRV member A Charleston Bride.

I found my wedding dress the week after we got engaged! At an appointment with my mom, I tried on about five dresses I liked, and then she pulled one from the rack that she thought I should try on. I did, not really sure if I would like it, and LOVED it as soon as I put it on, so much so that I decided I didn’t want to try on any more dresses and knew that it was the one! The only issue was that it was strapless, and I had always wanted sleeves. The amazing ladies at Joan Pillow worked with me over a period of about six months to create a custom designed bolero from coordinating Carolina Herrera lace to match my veil. I had a vision for it and they made it happen so beautifully!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ben and I met at Charlotte Latin School. He played football and had a devastating knee injury his senior year. The injury resulted in multiple surgeries, causing him to miss so much school that he ended up choosing to repeat his senior year to get to play a complete season of football and re-earn his athletic scholarships to colleges. The doctors told him he might never walk again, and he ended up being an all-American college football player at Appalachian State as a tight end. Also, if he hadn’t had to repeat his senior year, we never would have met! I waved at him from my art class for a few weeks while he was playing foursquare outside for a physical education class. He asked one of my friends who I was, my friend gave Ben my number, and the rest is history!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? I grew up going to Kiawah Island with my family and have so many happy memories there, so as soon as we got engaged I had a feeling I wanted to get married there. Ben also loves it and has joined my family on lots of trips there. Whenever I was at Kiawah with my family, we attended Holy Spirit Catholic church and I thought it was beautiful. Plus, the people there are so kind and warm.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used the traditional vows at the church. Reciting the traditional vows that my parents and their parents before them promised to each other before God is something that was very special for me.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Old Testament: Genesis 2:18-24, New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a, Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-29 (My husband’s favorite scripture verses!)

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose “God Who Created Hearts to Love” as the song to walk back up the aisle to once we were married because it completely sums up our belief about marriage — that we were created by God to love Him through loving each other. Our first dance was “All of Me” by John Legend; my husband specifically picked it out because the lyrics sum up what we are about. Neither of us are perfect, and we love that about each other. My dad picked our first dance song, “Lullaby: Goodnight, My Angel,” and we both cried. I loved that it was not a very common father-daughter dance song, and it brought back so many memories of my dad singing it to me when I was a little girl.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? We had custom corn hole boards set up off the back porch to entertain our guests during the cocktail hour. My husband played college football in the South and it was a great nod to the amazing tailgates we have as Southerners! We had chicken and waffles as a passed appetizer, with the waffle as a waffle cone and a piece of fried chicken with syrup inside of it– easy to eat and delicious! Along with Southern deviled eggs and macaroni and cheese balls, we also had a raw bar with local oysters and shrimp. One of our three entree options was shrimp and grits. Other than the food, the overall atmosphere of the event was very Southern in regards to the hospitality. As we planned the wedding, the main thought I always came back to was trying to make everything comfortable and welcoming for our guests. The staff at the River Course went above and beyond to make sure every one of our guests had what they needed at all times. Another way that idea was executed was in having lounge furniture right off the dance floor. The gorgeous upholstered sofas and chairs summed up what being Southern means to me – welcoming, comfortable, and relaxed elegance.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We chose to incorporate two flavors into the three tiers. The top and bottom were white chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut filling, and the middle tier was sour cream pound cake with strawberry filling. In terms of the design, I wanted to keep it simple and have it be a part of the overall design of the event. The middle tier said, “And they lived happily ever after,” in gold, as well. I really wanted to incorporate our love of Disney and our engagement in a subtle way.

Tell us all about the proposal! We both love Disney World, and our dating anniversary was January 1st. On New Year’s Eve, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom together to celebrate seven years of dating. We spent the day there together and found a great spot to watch the fireworks starting at midnight, the start of our seven year celebration! We were right in front of Cinderella’s castle, and after the countdown to the New Year, as the fireworks were just beginning, Ben got down on one knee and whipped a ring out of his pocket and proposed! I was shocked and so unbelievably happy!
When did y’all get married? January 17, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to not do one. Ben’s father (also his best man) has always told him: “One of the greatest feelings you’ll ever have in your entire life is when your bride walks down the aisle towards you for the first time; you feel like your chest is going to explode” We definitely wanted to share that moment of seeing each other for the first time that day as I walked down the aisle in the church and I’m so happy we did it that way. It was so incredible and Ben says he will remember that feeling for the rest of his life.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was our custom logo designed by Studio R. It was our initials intertwined inside of a hand-drawn floral wreath. I loved it so much that we used it on our invitations, envelopes, cocktail napkins, corn hole boards, thank you cards, and most excitingly for me: our ice sculpture. I love ice sculptures, and knew I wanted one at our wedding. Our wedding planner suggested carving our custom logo on it. We placed shrimp and oysters on it, making it a raw bar set up in front of the huge bay windows. As the sun set, it illuminated and shone through the sculpture. It was beautiful and a custom touch I will always remember and cherish. It was also one of the first things our guests saw when they walked into the space for cocktail hour, and I believe it set the tone for the rest of the event.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! Borrowed: I had two! I first asked the florist to wrap my bouquet in my mom’s white rosary that she got in Italy. Secondly, I borrowed my mom’s gorgeous pearl earrings with diamond jackets. They are classic and elegant, just like my mom. I felt so special wearing them. Blue: Betty, the wonderful seamstress at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, surprised me at our last fitting by embroidering the inside of my dress right over my heart with a blue GJ (my new initials), and our wedding date. After spending months designing my custom bolero with her, we became really close and it was very meaningful for me that she did that. Old: I also had the florist wrap my bouquet in a strip of lace from my mother’s dress. I loved having a piece of her dress as a part of my outfit as I walked down the aisle, and along with her rosary, I cherished holding onto it.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was a lot of fun to work with Haley and the ladies of A Charleston Bride to plan our beautiful wedding, but for the year we were engaged, Ben and I were most focused and excited about preparing for our marriage and life together. After being together for over seven years at that point, we were so ready to commit to spending the rest of our lives together in front of God and our family and friends. We met with my local priest for premarital counseling and attended a weekend getaway with engaged couples where there were speakers on issues ranging from financial planning to spiritual development.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? There were so many images I had seen on Pinterest and in magazines that I loved, but they were all very different from each other! It was hard for me to focus on what, exactly, I wanted our wedding to look like. It was overwhelming!! After my first meeting with Haley, all of my issues were totally gone, as she instantly was able to look into my head and know exactly what I wanted, but couldn’t articulate. She was able to read my taste completely, and helped me more than I can say with creating a vision. She is incredible.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was when the church doors opened for the first time, I stood with my dad, and looked out and saw the man I love more than anything in the world who was about to become my husband.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice would be to stress out as little as possible about it. At the end of the day, the most important thing is your marriage; the rest of it is just beautiful extras. However beautiful you believe your wedding will be, I promise it will be even more incredible than you imagined. Relax, soak it in, and enjoy it. It will be gorgeous and perfect no matter what little things go wrong.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Ben and I recently brought a new member into our family, our puppy English Bulldog named Brutus! We plan to continue settling into our first home together, tackling very very small home improvement projects as neither of us are handy, and enjoying this time together.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao Photography | Videographer: Jim Jorden Productions | Planner:
Haley with A Charleston Bride | Ceremony Venue: Holy Spirit Catholic Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: The River Course Clubhouse at the Kiawah Island Club | Florist: A Charleston Bride | Wedding Cake: Ashley Bakery | Band: The Maxx from East Coast Entertainment | Paper Products: Studio R |
Bride’s Gown and Veil: Carolina Herrera “Alice” | Bridal Salon and Custom Bolero: Joan Pillow | Hair Stylist: Victora Melton | Makeup Artist: Moore Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Tadashi Shoji from purchased at Nordstrom | Groom’s Attire: Charleston Tuxedo

A Charleston Bride, Virgil Bunao, East Coast Entertainment, and Studio R are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Victoria reply

    Obsessed with this sweet couple and their story! Consider this comment a formal request for y’all to feature them for Southern Newlywed- with style like this I bet their home is adorable! XO

  2. avatar Jim reply

    What a sweet article Marissa! Here’s a link to: Grace & Ben Forever, Their Love Story

    Password – jordens (all lower case)

  3. avatar Jehnel Oboza-Davison reply

    I second that request, Victoria! We were so happy to have Grace and Ben make their way towards for their photos. When I found out their home was also adorable, I immediately told Grace to try her hand at applying for Southern Newlywed. I really hope she does! (=

  4. avatar reply

    Wow what an elegant event. We especially love the flowers around the fireplace & on the backs of the chairs and that cake is so pretty!

  5. avatar Abbey Angelle reply

    Would love to know where the mother of the bride dress came from? Designer? I love it.

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!

Reply to: