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Though Ashley and William might not be Southern by their home address, I am quite confident that these two should be honorary Southerners. Their destination wedding weekend at Lowndes Groves Plantation was focused on hospitality, and course, a great party–two mighty important aspects of being a Southerner! With the help of Intrigue Design & Events, Ashley and William welcomed their family and friends into Southern culture with grace and heart. I especially can’t get over the sweet sentiment of why they chose their first dance song, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding: “The song symbolized all of the adventures we had experienced together, as well as those that were yet to come.” Amen, y’all!

Big hugs to Britt Croft for capturing their beautiful day!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Since this was a destination wedding to not only our guests, but also for us, we wanted to ensure we had a home base for the week that wasn’t a hotel room. We rented a beautiful historic estate on the Battery that served not only as the home base for the week, but also a place for friends and family to gather with us. We stayed at the house along with six members of the bridal party and our beloved dog, Winston.

I walked down the aisle to “Trumpet Voluntary” and we walked back up the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. We chose this because it was upbeat, but had a classic undertone that sounded beautiful played by The Palmetto Strings.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My borrowed item was from my grandmother on my mother’s side, who gifted me with pearl earrings that had been passed down from generation to generation to females in my family on their wedding day. I’m continuing to borrow them until my cousin gets married and I can pass them down to her. My borrowed and blue item was my best friend from high school’s garter, which had a blue ribbon on it. My old item was my vintage gold Rolex from my grandfather on my father’s side. My new item was from my grandmother on my mother’s side, who gave me a silver sixpence to place in my shoe for good luck (I’m surprised I still have it after all of the dancing!).

Will attended college in Charleston, but I had never been. After viewing a few venues in Connecticut and New York, we quickly realized that our perfect venue was in a city only a plane ride away. Charleston, known for its beautiful setting and Southern hospitality, quickly won our hearts. After viewing a few picturesque estates, Lowndes Grove Plantation was the clear favorite, thanks to its grand estate and waterfront location.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Hospitality and, of course, a great party! We also incorporated Southern touches into details throughout the wedding weekend. Groomsmen wore pastel bow ties from High Cotton (Winston had a matching one!), our wedding cocktail was a bourbon punch, and our custom bar was a bourbon tasting and cigar bar. We included a welcome note in everyone’s hotel rooms with a watercolor map of downtown Charleston and a nip of Firefly sweat tea vodka or bourbon. My gift to Will was a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon engraved with our initials and wedding date. In addition, the palmetto tree was incorporated into all of the details, from the invitation to the menus.

Our first dance was to “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding. This song has always been on the playlist for our road trips to the beach, on ski trips, and on other weekend getaways. For the wedding, the song symbolized all of the adventures we had experienced together, as well as those that were yet to come.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through friends in Boston in 2008. We first informally met at a summer happy hour with a group of friends. Months later, also through friends, Will attended a BBQ I was hosting at my apartment (I attribute the relationship to my cooking and cocktail-making skills, and Will agrees!). Before leaving the BBQ, Will asked for my number, and he called the next day to ask me out to dinner. We started dating soon after and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! I’m never one to let anything get by me, so I was tough to surprise! Will purchased the ring months in advance and shipped it to my parents’ home in Connecticut for safe keeping. The proposal was carefully scheduled for the days prior to my mother’s surprise 60th birthday celebration, which I was planning and hosting. The timing was perfect, since we got to celebrate with both friends and family. Will curated the entire evening from start to finish. The proposal happened at our apartment, so our beloved dog, Winston, could be present. On Friday after work, I came home to find Will on one knee, asking for my hand in marriage. After tears of happiness, we headed to our favorite neighborhood restaurant, followed by a large meet-up with friends to celebrate the engagement. The next day, we headed to Connecticut to celebrate with family (and, of course, my mother’s birthday!).
When did y’all get married? October 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 95
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Since I live in New York City, the possibilities for wedding dress shopping were endless. My mother, grandmother, aunt, and godmother came to the city for a day of shopping. Only two boutiques and five dresses later, I found my dream dress at Kleinfeld’s.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We both agreed that a first look was best for us so that we could celebrate more with all of the family and friends who traveled from near and far to join us in Charleston.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? At the end of the day, it will be the best day of your life. The only thing that truly matters is being with one another and the family and friends you get to celebrate with.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently looking to purchase a new home in 2016, and are apartment hunting in New York City.

Photographer: Britt Croft Photography | Planner: Intrigue Design & Events | Venue, Catering, and Cake: Lowndes Grove Plantation | Florist: Loluma | Rentals and Lighting: Distinctive Events | Band: Liquid Pleasure | Paper Products: The Silver Starfish | Bride’s Gown: Custom by Mark Zunino | Bride’s Veil: Peter Langner | Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Dinnerware: Polished! | Tent and Additional Rentals: Snyder Events | Farm Tables: EventHaus | Transportation: Charleston Style Limo | Ceremony Music: Palmetto Strings | Babysitting Services: Guardian Angels Sitting Service

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Aunt Annie reply

    Love this wedding and the beautiful photos. Such a gorgeous venue and the day looked gorgeous. Picked up some gorgeous detail in the bride’s gown,simply stunning. All captured by my amazing niece! Love it.

  2. avatar Auntie Bern reply

    Loved the article and pictures and going back to such a happy and special time. You and Will are a gorgeous couple with many happy years to follow.
    XOXOXO

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Today’s bride has got some serious style! A look through these shots by Captured Photography and you’ll agree! Though her dress and shoes may look familiar, she makes it all her own. Those bold blue Manolos were made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City, but we love how they match the J. Crew bridesmaids dresses and pop against the white florals by Glenn Yee in this wedding. Everything came together beautifully at the Miami Beach Community Church ceremony, didn’t it?

Fun fact: the bride looked gorgeous in Vera Wang, giving Khloe Kardashian and Hillary Duff, who wore the same dress at their weddings, some competition!

How did the two of you meet? Charlie and I have known each other for 13 years. Charlie was Sigma Chi fraternity brothers with my brothers, Patrick and Kris, at Furman University. Charlie was also college roommates with Patrick for 3 years at Furman. In 2005, Charlie moved to Miami after living three years in Atlanta after college. Shortly after his move, we started hanging out socially, and then started dating. The rest is history. Charlie has always been very close with my brothers and my parents so we had both their blessings on our marriage.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) Michael and I took a trip to Key West (one of our favorite spots). The original plan was to propose on a secluded beach during the sunset. When we got there, Michael decided that it was not a good location to see the sunset, so we went to dinner instead. The backup plan was then to propose during dinner, but Michael and I did not enjoy the food, the wait staff or the atmosphere. After talking Michael out of getting dessert at the restaurant, we stopped to get some key lime pie and eat it while enjoying wine on the porch of the bed and breakfast we were staying at. After opening the wine, I slipped the ring on my pinky finger and offered Michael a glass. I don’t know if it was the five years of waiting or just the total disbelief that it would ever happen, but she was in shock and immediately started crying. I guess she said “yes” because we are now married.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, amazing, elegant.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The bridal table that seated 34 – it was breath taking. The lighting contractor took the damask pattern that was on the table’s runner and mimicked it over the entire table and center flooring of the room.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: My mother, my aunt, my mother’s best friend, my friend, my sister-in-law, and my wedding planner and I all went to NYC to find the perfect dress. We went to several designer’s showrooms and stores and found the dress on the very last day at Vera Wang. I tried on several gowns and I finally decided on a mermaid style, very simple with a bit of drama on the bottom on the gown. We added a Vera Wang crystal belt to add some bling. It was perfect, and I felt beautiful in it. The gown was actually worn by Hillary Duff and Khloe Kardashian in their weddings, but our choice to include the belt and restructure the top of the dress made it my very own fairy tale dress!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
23 Comments
  1. avatar Kristen reply

    This wedding is beautiful (I’m probably biased because navy is my favorite color!) That flower girl is precious and in exactly the style of dress I’m looking to get for her!! I would love to know where she got it!

    • avatar Michael Bertalan reply

      Kristen: Hi Kristen! Thank you so much for the awesome comment. Our wedding was amazing and wish we could do it all over again. We actually got the dress made for little Ellie from the website etsy. The web address is http://www.etsy.com/shop/beaneandco . This is the sellers direct link. If you are not familar with Esty, it is a great website. We actually got a lot of things from esty. Such as the purses nd earrings that I gave thebridemaids for gifts and the cake pops holders. this website is a great tool for brides! Thanks for the comment again.

    • avatar Kristen reply

      Michael Bertalan: Oh my I love Etsy! I’m on it at least 2-3 times a week! I am definitely going to check out her shop – Thank you for the tip! I’m having the hardest time finding something for my sweet flower girl to wear!! Thanks again! :)

  2. avatar Whitney reply

    This wedding is absolutely gorgeousl. I am using navy in my wedding as well. I was curious where the she got the clutches for her bridesmaids? Congratulations!

    • avatar Morgan reply

      I LOVE this wedding! Kudos to swmag for featuring different styles of weddings. Some sites I frequent post basically the same weddings (outdoor, vintage, tons of mason jars everywhere) over and over. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with that style….but I like a little variety :)

      Thank you!!

    • avatar Michael Bertalan reply

      Whitney: Hey Whitney, Congrats on Your wedding. Navy is such a great color for weddings. I got the clutches for the bridesmaids from the website etsy. Here is the direct link for the seller http://www.etsy.com/shop/novaoflove. Etsy is a great website and actually got a lot of things from etsy. It became my BFF. Well congrats again for the big day. Enjoy every moment because it goes so fast.

    • avatar Whitney reply

      Michael Bertalan: Thank you so much.

  3. avatar Real Florida Wedding: Michael + Charlie, Part II « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] loved the pops of blue from Part I of Michael + Charlie’s wedding, but the vibrant green accents at their reception make me fall […]

  4. avatar Emily reply

    Hi Morgan! We definitely try hard to post a variety of weddings, so I’m thrilled to hear you love this one! It’s super helpful for us to hear which weddings you love so we can better choose future content, so keep it up!

  5. avatar Sharon reply

    Wow. I absolutely adore this wedding. Way to go Southern Weddings for putting up something new and different. This is such a classic South Florida/Miami wedding! Elegant, Modern, and just downright GORGEOUS! Captured Photography you are amazing!!! What beautiful shots!

  6. avatar Captured Photography by Jenny reply

    Thanks SW for featuring Michael and Charlie’s wedding. I know they put a ton of work in to it and it was such a lovely day. We had a blast being there! :)

  7. avatar Sarah {A Paper Proposal} reply

    I LOVE a good navy blue wedding….and the shoes…oh, the shoes! Stunning! :)

  8. avatar Tiffany reply

    I love your wedding! We’re doing navy and green as well, with the girls in navy dresses. I LOVE the belts with the girls dresses, what a great idea…where did you get those?

    • avatar Michael Kibler reply

      Tiffany: Thank you so much for the comments. I actually got the bridesmaids dresses and belts from J-crew. The belts were a big hit with the girls and it made a simple dress look amazing. I highly recommend it! Congrats and enjoy planning!!

  9. avatar Lydia reply

    The bridesmaid shoes are to die for, and the color combination is fabulous!

  10. avatar Lauren reply

    Just curious where the reception and ceremony took place?
    It was lovely. I live in FL and Im having such a hard time finding some place different..I really like the photo from above, Im guessing that was of the bridal party table? Love it, congrats!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Lauren! So sorry for not including that information! Michael and friends got ready at the W Hotel in South Beach. The ceremony took place at the Miami Beach Community Church. And the reception took place at the Moore Building and Bamboo Garden. Hope that helps, and I’m glad you loved the wedding!

  11. avatar Grace McKinney reply

    I love the colors in this wedding and the bride is beautiful!! The reception table decorations are absolutely gorgeous! A very beautiful wedding in every aspect!

  12. avatar Meggan reply

    I absolutely LOVE this wedding! So beautiful!

  13. avatar Kristen reply

    What a stunning wedding! I especially love the blue Manolo Blahnik shoes and the studded belt on the bridesmaid dress. These details really make the wedding unique and beautiful!

  14. avatar Carissa reply

    love, love, love this wedding!!

  15. avatar Modern Florida Wedding by 1313 Photography, Part I « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] y’all liked Michael + Charlie’s wedding so much (here + here), I have a hunch you’re going to be equally huge fans of Whitney + Jeff’s. […]

  16. avatar Catherine reply

    What a gorgeous wedding!! Just wondering where you found the groomsmen’s ties? They’re fabulous!

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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