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As y’all know, I can get a little (or a ton) excited over engagements! There is just something so special about that moment a handsome beau asked the girl he’s in love with to be his wife! Gah, it always gives me chills! Well, today’s sweet groom, Coley, definitely did me proud on his proposal to Kinsey! Grab a tissue because this video might make you cry! Don’t forget to read their proposal story in the text below.

Now dry your eyes because you’ve got to take a good look at Kinsey + Coley’s lovely South Carolina wedding. Starting with the historic setting of the Lowndes Grove Planation, our friends (and Blue Ribbon Vendor members) Ooh! Events worked with Kinsey to create a meaningful day full of nautical details and Southern traditions. We’re so thankful that Jared Lister was along to capture their big day!

Oh heavens, Kinsey’s dress is some kind of ruffly perfection!

After reserving our venue and wedding coordinator at Ooh Events, finding my wedding gown was one of my first priorities. I was thrilled to make an appointment at White on Daniel Island. While I had a ball trying on over ten gowns, my mom and I quickly narrowed down our favorites. The one I loved became very apparent when I could not stop smiling. It was the second gown I had tried on. I knew this was the one Coley would love the most. We immediately decided on an outdoor ceremony on the front lawn of Lowndes Grove Plantation as soon as I chose the Amsale silk taffeta ball gown with a ruched bodice, ruffle neckline, and easy pockets. I knew we were meant to have a Southern, traditional outdoor ceremony when I chose this dress.

That little flowergirl praying? I die!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The ceremony music was very important to me, as I had grown up in the Presbyterian Church and its wonderful tradition. I knew we needed to make a statement on the large lawn and set a reverent tone for the outdoor ceremony. We found a bagpiper to play traditional music as guests arrived and then transition into a moving arrangement of “Highland Cathedral” followed by “Amazing Grace” for the seating of the mothers and grandmothers. We then found a local a cappella gospel singing group to be a surprise for both our wedding party and our guests. The Plantation Singers burst out of the main house to lead Coley and our wedding party across the lawn and down the aisle with a vibrant Gullah rendition of “This is the Day.” The choir transitioned to more subdued, worship version of “Holy Ground” for the bridal procession with my father. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Plantation Singers broke into a joyous adaption of “Amen” for the wedding party recession and then led the guests over to the cocktail hour. They continued to entertain the guests with Gullah spirituals and hymns until the reception began. The choir was one of our favorite ways to celebrate our South Carolina low country setting. The band at our reception was also from South Carolina and was based on the shows of one of our favorite bands, The Original Tams. The Mighty Kicks had non-stop choreography and energy. They kicked off the evening by singing our first dance song, “To Love Somebody,” performed by The Tams during our first date five years earlier in Charleston.

Describe your wedding flowers: Ooh Events created incredible arrangements of my favorite flowers. I knew from the beginning that all of our wedding flowers would be white. The bridal bouquet was a lovely, full bouquet of gorgeous white peonies, my favorite flower, wrapped with ivory lace from my mother’s veil. Each bridesmaid chose her own white flower for her individual bouquet, and our mothers and grandmothers carried a spray of white peonies with a touch of dusty miller in a tussy mussy engraved with our wedding date. Boutonnieres were fashioned from a white freesia or dedrobium flower and tied with a charcoal silk ribbon. Flowers placed in wooden planters at ceremony site were filled with white hydrangea, agapanthus, casablanca lilies, dusty miller, dendrobium orchids, white delphinium, freesia, and cascading seeded eucalyptus. Mercury glass vessels held white hydrangea, roses, tulips and ranunculus at the cocktail hour and reception.

Our wedding cake was a five-tier design highlighted with a cascade of magnolias, my favorite Southern flower. Each layer was a different flavor and filling. We also passed a traditional hummingbird layer under the reception tent outside. I created the base on which the cake sat from a ship wheel with a glass base on top. I had a gold plate engraved with our names and wedding date so that we could hang the wheel in our new home. It is surrounded with framed wedding photos behind our dining room table today.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Coley and I both love to remember leaving on the boat from the long dock at the end of the evening. The moon was completely full and the water was like glass. We could not have planned a more perfect way to end our reception as we cruised around the harbor, enjoying wine and reliving our wedding day together.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) We were introduced in the fall of 2006 in Columbia, SC when I came to visit a best friend who was in grad school with Kinsey at the University of South Carolina. I continued to drive three-hours from Blowing Rock, NC each weekend hoping to see her until we had our first date in Charleston for New Years. We danced to the same Tams song we used as our first dance at our wedding five years later.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) Kinsey works for the University of South Carolina Alumni Association. One of her responsibilities was to plan the Ring Ceremony on the historic Horseshoe each semester during which students are awarded their Carolina class rings from the President of the University. I knew it was her favorite Carolina tradition. I managed to get in touch with her boss to help me with the process. Kinsey’s boss contacted the President of the University and got his assistance and permission to allow me to be a part of this prestigious ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, after the final student had been called to the podium to receive their ring, President Pastides called my name and invited me to the stage. Kinsey’s family and my family were all on the back row, out of sight from where Kinsey was standing throughout the ceremony. I walked to the stage, stepped up to the podium and announced that one more person was here today to receive a ring. Thankfully, being in front of 400 people and on bended knee, Kinsey said yes.
In what month did you get married? June 2, 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 250+
Did you decide to do a “first look”? While we did not plan to do a first look, our photographer staged and documented a private first look with my father. This was one of my favorite memories of our wedding morning. Seeing my father for the first time on my wedding day was a priceless moment.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We shared Colossians 3:12-17 with our pastor to use during the ceremony. I had marked and saved these verses in my Bible during a women’s Bible study years ago. We both loved its message of forgiveness and love above all else.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the life ring we had our guests sign as an alternative to a guest book. It is hanging by our front door today to welcome friends and family to our new home!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Coley and I are both from the Carolinas, though very few of our wedding guests were from Charleston. We wanted to celebrate the low country setting of our wedding while highlighting the picturesque location on the Ashley River. Lowndes Grove is billed as Charleston’s last great waterfront estate circa 1786. The combination of Southern heritage and the water was a perfect venue for us. We included lots of nautical details while fully embracing Southern touches such as tussy mussies for our mothers and grandmothers and magnolias on our cake. We created a low country menu to allow our guests to fully appreciated the Southern setting, including passed shrimp and soft gouda grits, a crab cake station, “Palmetto Pale Ale”, and late night snacks – sweet potato fries and hot pralines! Our band pleased our guests with shag music and Motown favorites all night long.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was planning the wedding in Charleston while I lived in Columbia, my mother in Greenville, and my sister in Kansas City. We did not have many personal connections with local vendors, though Ooh Events was incredibly helpful in recommending and coordinating meetings with our wedding vendors when we were in Charleston. We were able to set up back-to-back meetings each time we visited, and it worked out perfectly.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? We were immensely pleased with our band, the Mighty Kicks. The dance floor was completely full the entire night, and they truly set the fun, celebratory tone for the entire reception. We did not stop dancing! The band can set the mood for both the wedding couple and your guests.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I love to tell brides to enjoy every minute of the planning process. While it can seem overwhelming, it is such a wonderful way to celebrate who you are as individuals and now as a new couple. Finding creative ways to incorporate a nod to your shared tastes and unique interests makes it so much fun for your friends and family! Make sure to include your fiancé in the planning process as much as possible.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?
We are enjoying building our new home together in Charlotte, North Carolina. We are excited to celebrate the holidays together and to be living in the same city during the week. We are already looking forward to returning to Charleston to celebrate our first anniversary next summer!

Ooh Events is one of our fabulous advertisers!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh my stars!!! That ship wheel cake plateau and the boating goodbye — this is such a dream wedding!!!!!!!!!!!! Swoon of all swoons.

  2. avatar Anna ( reply

    This wedding is giving me a toothache! Loving the southern touches and the bridesmaids dresses.

  3. avatar Valerie (Pieceful Wedding) reply

    Oh wow, the ruffle details are amazing on the bride’s gown and bridesmaid dresses…absolutely beautiful!

  4. avatar Arlissa Vaughn / Special Event Painter reply

    Wow, I LOVE the gospel singers introducing the bride – what a lovely and jubilant addition!

  5. avatar Emily Alice reply

    I’m dying over that cake!!

  6. avatar Elegant Wedding Invitations reply

    Wow! Ruffles, pastel blues, tuxedos, beach front wedding and gardenias! How perfect!

  7. avatar Caitlin reply

    i don’t think a wedding could get anymore southern than that! i love it!!!!

  8. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    This is so sweet! This wedding has true Southern charm while also bringing in some glamour.

  9. avatar Shelby reply

    I can’t decide which I like best, the joyous ceremony music or that BEAUTIFUL magnolia cake! I swoon!

  10. avatar Rose {Rose and Ruby Paper Co.} reply

    So gorgeous – love how the maids dresses match the bride so beautifully!

  11. avatar Kris reply

    Everything is so beautiful! Love the sparkler exit!

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Suzanne + Keith’s reception at the Wolff Ballroom took place in one of the oldest communities in the South, Washington, Louisiana! The soft lighting against the brick walls and wooden beams created an atmosphere of Southern hospitality, which was only helped by the sight of S + K’s four-tiered wedding cake, decorated with magnolias and the blue hydrangea centerpieces. Guests partied the night away to the band, Louisiana Red, which the newlyweds credit as their favorite detail. True to tradition, the couple also had a money dance at the reception before making their getaway and continuing their journey to their honeymoon. Now, they’re looking forward to their bright future with their new furry companion, Coteau, a shelter dog they adopted and named after the town they were married in! Thanks again to Ali Harper for sharing this wedding!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our band, Louisiana Red. The reception was so much fun!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Magnolias were in my bouquet and accented the wedding cake. An old time trolley transported the wedding party from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church to the reception site at Wolff Ballroom. Both beautiful buildings were built in the 1800’s. Wolff Ballroom is in Washington, Louisiana, which is ranked one of the oldest communities in the South. We had the traditional Southern “money dance” where the bride and groom dance with guests and have money pinned on their wedding dress and tuxedo. Our rehearsal dinner was in the courtyard area of my aunt’s beautiful antebellum home in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, which was also built in the 1800’s and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Describe your wedding cake: It was a four-tiered traditional wedding cake with accents of magnolias on three tiers. It had buttermilk frosting and different fillings on each tier of pecan, chocolate and cream cheese.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It was very stressful trying to plan the wedding in Louisiana from Atlanta. Thankfully, I have a wonderful family and some great friends who helped me to pull it all together.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 to $25000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The band! It was well worth it!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Gosh there were so many, but probably the most memorable was the minute they opened the doors at the church and I saw my sweet husband standing at the altar.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are so very excited to start our lives together. We had an amazing engagement, wedding and honeymoon and are so thankful to have found each other. We were given some surprising news exactly one month to the date of our wedding. I’m 31 years old and was diagnosed with breast cancer. We feel so very blessed that this was found fairly early and believe with all of our hearts that everything happens for a reason, and that this is just part of our journey. The first year of our marriage will have some challenges, maybe more than some. More importantly, it will bring many blessings in unexpected places and bind us even stronger! The future is bright for us, and we just adopted a precious dog from a shelter, and we named him Coteau (taken from the name of the town we were married in, Grand Coteau). We look forward to all that is ahead!

Photographer: Ali Harper Photography // Ceremony venue: St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church // Reception venue: Wolff Ballroom // Florist: Kaddie Tidwell of Breaux’s Florist // Wedding Cake Baker: Brent’s Catering // Caterer: Lafayette Receptions // Bride’s Dress: Mikaella // Bride’s Shoes: Alfani

Before you go…

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Cami reply

    Congratulations on your marriage and gorgeous wedding.
    Wishing you good health and happiness.

  2. avatar erin {a lowcountry wedding} reply

    this is just stunning. i love that venue

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] We love when a love story is as beautiful as the wedding itself! Suzanne + Keith’s was pure serendipity. See their Louisiana wedding here and here. […]

  4. avatar Kathryn reply

    Gorgeous!! I love the wedding bands photo with the two old-fashioned cans. So cute!!

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If Lara hadn’t just replenished my office candy supply with Easter goodies galore, I’d be jonesing for a major sugar fix right about now. Sarah boasted the highlight of their festive reception at the Belle Meade Plantation had been the lavish dessert bar, and she wasn’t kidding! Dessert Designs provided the three-tiered confection that doubled as the couple’s wedding cake and the sweet spread’s main event – yum! Emily loves the fact that Sarah + Tyler wed in a real life horse barn and celebrated in the adjoining carriage home, complete with hay bales and mounted bridles. (I’ll spare you the obvious bridle/bridal pun, because I’m awesome like that.) Hats off to photographer Brion Hopkins for this rustic Tennessee wedding!

Describe your wedding flowers: My bouquet was filled with narcissus, white sweet peas, star of Bethlehem and blue privet berries, surrounded by magnolia leaves and tied with a striped burlap wrap with pearl buttons. I adored it! To me, it was an ideal mix of earthy/elegant, high/low elements.
Describe your wedding cake: Our wedding cake was just one item on our dessert table, which included cookies, carrot cake cupcakes (Ryan’s favorite), caramel and candy apples (my favorites), bags of caramel corn and horseshoe-shaped chocolates, so we chose a relatively small three-tiered cake. The cake was covered in ivory fondant icing and decorated with a simple sugar magnolia.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Finding time to do everything! Ryan and I both have busy careers, and, I admit, I’m a bit of a control freak, so I did not exactly delegate any wedding planning tasks. I do not, however, regret any of the countless hours I spent shopping for perfectly mismatched accessories for the bridesmaids, scouring antique stores for picture frames to turn into chalkboards, rubber stamping burlap sacks to hold dessert table treats, etc., because our wedding truly reflected our personalities and style. Plus, I actually enjoyed every moment of it!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Aside from saying our vows to one another, my favorite moment was walking down the aisle with my father. The stables looked almost magical, I was surrounded by my family and closest friends, and I was moments away from marrying the man of my dreams. I remember thinking, “This is the happiest day of my life.” Ryan says that his most memorable moment is when he first saw me in my wedding dress. Yeah, he’s a keeper.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote and memorized our own vows, and did not say or read them to one another until the ceremony. My favorite line from Ryan’s vows to me was his opening: “For years you were just a dream and a prayer. Now that I have you, I will never let you go.” Ryan’s favorite verse was when I said, “Where you go, I will go. Who you become, I will become the complement.” We’ve placed our vows at the very front of our wedding album and plan to repeat them to each other every year on our anniversary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Right now, Ryan is interviewing for his fellowship in hematology/oncology, so it is exciting to see what possibilities that will bring. Other than that, I’m hoping to start referring to myself by my married name on a more consistent basis. Some habits die hard, I suppose!

Written with love by Katharine
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