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The simplicity and spontaneity of an elopement can help to strip away some of the “stuff” that surrounds weddings, leaving just the essence of a marriage: committing yourself to the one you love in front of the people who matter most. For this editorial, we imagined a couple who wanted to elope in Charleston, but still celebrate with their very closest family and friends. Though we tucked in lots of special details focused on hospitality, whether you have five or 500 guests in attendance, gracious hospitality can always by the centerpiece.

Big hugs to the supremely talented KT Merry for these photos and to the ladies of A Charleston Bride for pulling together the details. Purchase your copy of V7 (and her BFF, our brand new wedding planner!) here!

To shy to exchange personal vows in front of your guests? We love the idea of writing each other promises in letter form to exchange the morning of the wedding or at your first look. Having a calligrapher letter them for you makes for a beautiful keepsake.

Charleston City Hall was the perfect spot for these beautiful, light-filled photos! They’re some of my favorites in the magazine!

This editorial was inspired in part by one of our friend Kathryn’s inspiration boards. She imagined the scene set at the William Aiken House, and we agreed that the venue’s yellow walls could not have been more perfect to bring this scene to life!

Special glassware can instantly transform a table. We loved the combination of sleek black wine glasses and vintage tumblers!

Photographer: KT Merry | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Designer and Florals: A Charleston Bride | Venues: Charleston City Hall and the William Aiken House | Caterer and Baker: Fish | Cake stand: Country Kitchen SweetArt | Rentals: Snyder Rental, Ooh! Events, Event Haus | Ticking napkins: Un Original Americain | Flatware: West Elm | Hair and makeup: Carrie McLeod of Paper Dolls | Getaway car: Charleston Rickshaw | Invitations and stationery: Smitten on Paper | Calligraphy: Blue Glass Design | Custom sewing: Behind the Seams | Palm fans: Favors and Flowers | Wrapping paper: Sugar Paper, Ann Page, Snow & Graham, Linda & Harriet | Welcome bags: A Signature Welcome | Bass player: Other Brother Entertainment | Bride’s gown: “Lucille” by Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s cuff: Modcloth | Bride’s shoes: Nina | Bride’s clutch: Mar y Sol | Other jewelry: Perfect Details | Menswear: J. Crew | Bow tie: TieMart | Bridesmaid dresses: Rent the Runway and Modcloth | Pineapple dress: Townsen | Overnight bag: Mark & Graham

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Weddings V7: Holy City Behind the Scenes – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] our 5 A.M. wakeup calls, when Emily and I hit the road to Charleston for our Holy City Hospitality shoot, we were giddy with excitement. The clouds cleared more and more the further south we drove, […]

  2. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Love this shoot so much. I must say, the image of the man with the standup bass in the grass caught my eye. The light, the composition – just beautiful. All of the images are stunning, but it’s always fun to see one unexpected image stand out. Beautiful work as always, KT!

  3. avatar Winifred Paper reply

    That tablescape is absolutely to die for!

  4. avatar 21 Gorgeous Signature Cocktails To Serve At Your Next Party | LinenTablecloth reply

    […] Southern Weddings […]

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    […] s girlandou Brklyn View Photography via Style Me Pretty | bílá rikša s nápisem KT Merry via Southern Weddings | lodička Anastasiya Belik via Magnolia Rouge | skútr Ryan Ray via […]

  6. avatar Something Short And Sweet About Love Take Three – Coastal Bride reply

    […] night with a Bartender’s Choice at the Gin Joint.” Meg, My Borrowed Heaven KT Merry via Southern Weddings “A dream date to me is a simple one where we’d spend all day at the beach swimming, […]

  7. avatar Tyra reply

    This is beautiful! Anyone know if you can actually get married in Charleston City Hall? Thanks!

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One of our most deeply-held beliefs at Southern Weddings is that the wedding is just the beginning, not the end. The wedding is where the good stuff starts! So of course, we are totally on board with celebrating anniversaries in style. When one of our former Southern Brides of the Month and Southern Bride Bloggers, Madi, sent over this sweet celebration on the occasion of her first wedding anniversary, we knew we had to share it! Whether your celebration is a full-on candy-colored party or a simple dinner and dessert for two, we hope you make plans to mark these special milestones in style. And if you’re going the gift route, be sure to take a peek at our anniversary tradition posts (here and here)!

Hugs to Cassandra Castaneda for these sweet photos!

Even more in love than a year ago on the day they wed, Bret and Madi were able to share their affection in a sweet intimate dinner setting in the heart of downtown Kansas City. With a focus on their forever together and all they have learned in their first year of marriage, vendors were able to create a setting that brought them back to the sweet tender moments when they first fell in love. Celebratory champagne, sweet treats, and a look back on the vows that bound them together were arranged to commemorate a wonderful year shared together.

Photographer: Cassandra Castaneda Photography | Venue: The Gallery Event Space | Paper Goods: Little Yellow Leaf | Florals: Branches and Twigs | Rentals: UltraPom and The Vintage Plate | Coordination: Soirée Event Designs | Hair and Makeup: BeChic Bride | Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid – Kansas City | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank | Cake: CakeGirl | Earrings: Kendra Scott

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Madi Reid Sanders reply

    A BIG thank you to my favorite Southern belles! Love it! Love y’all! Happy Valentine’s :)

  2. avatar Cassandra reply

    Thank you for such a lovely feature!

  3. avatar Maura Coleman-Murray reply

    This is just lovely! You two are darling! Congratulations!

  4. avatar Mary reply

    Hooray! Loved this shoot! Cassandra did a wonderful job and Madi was beautiful as always!

  5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] weddings, with the help of our friends from Sperry Tents. We were inspired by a dreamy, pastel anniversary shoot. We celebrated some of our newly engaged readers! The prettiest red and pink weddings appeared on […]

  6. avatar Couture Boudoir | Atlanta Photographer reply

    Oh emm gee! This is such a brilliant idea! Every couple should do this for their one year anniversary.

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I love how Sara + Dom chose to separate the dinner from the dancing portion part of their celebration. (And oh my, what a celebration it was!) Tara and the team at Lowndes Grove worked together to create a dinner party feeling through estate tables, romantic chandeliers and low floral arrangements, then utilized modern lighting and a fun lounge area to create an upbeat space for dancing and more celebration. I love how ecstatic these two look in Liz’s photos!

Thanks again to Liz Banfield for capturing S + D’s soiree!

Dom is a big collector of matchbooks, so we had custom matchbooks made with our married monogram!

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Our cocktail hour was fantastic.   As you entered the house, you saw a gorgeous old-fashioned champagne tower.  There was also an oyster bar, cheese trays and delicious shrimp and grits in edible spoons.

One of the biggest hits was a soup sampler we served as part of dinner.  There were three different soups served together that people could not stop talking about: gazpacho, curry crab, and split pea.  The split pea and gazpacho were served cold, so they were also refreshing.

I’m smitten over these chargers – the cut-out detail is simple yet ornate all at the same time. I can see pairing them with my grandmother’s vintage china for an Easter brunch!

We always knew we wanted to separate the dinner and dancing portions of the evening.  We wanted dinner to feel like a dinner party and then we wanted to create a much more upbeat atmosphere for the dancing part of the evening.  The two spaces were adjacent to each other and as dinner ended, the dancing tent with the dance floor and lounge floor was unveiled for all to see.

I saw the idea for mini cakes in Vogue, and could not wait to re-create it!  I thought the idea of having individual cakes for everyone was so different, and also delicious.  We had three different flavors: carrot cake, caramel, and chocolate.  The cake tower that held them all looked perfect.

As soon as Kristin and I both saw Sara’s getaway dress we absolutely flipped! This girl is ready for a party!

We had rented an old Rolls Royce that had to cancel at the last minute so we ended up with a vintage green Lincoln coupe convertible and it was even better!  We left through the house doors and ran through the sparklers to the car and drove off to everyone cheering.  We went for a ride around the battery before heading to our after party.  It was an amazing feeling to drive around the battery as every car we passed by honked and people were wishing us well.  We were just trying to take it all in and enjoy the best night of our lives.

And please enjoy this film of the day from Joel Serrato!

Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.  We went back and forth on many different songs as we wanted as we wanted something that was a little upbeat.  “Stand by Me” turned out perfectly.
Favorite design element of your big day: My whole idea for dinner was to have the feeling of an intimate dinner party surround by friends.  That was executed with the long tables, lit candles, and the beautiful chandeliers hanging from the tents.
What was the funniest moment?  What was the scariest? Our funniest moment was when one of our friends was dancing on the stage with the band and jumped up and came down into a split.  The crowd could not believe it and when he showed up at our brunch the next day, the room gave him a standing ovation for his incredible dance moves.
What was Southern about your wedding? The location, the plantation, the food, and the specialty cocktails.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    I love the beautiful fabric draped ceiling. It’s so whimsical and delicate and paired with the gray and blue accents it is perfection.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    I adore their champagne tower and monogrammed table linens!

  3. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] Tara Guerard is of my all-time favorite planners and this is why! […]

  4. avatar An Ultra Elegant Charleston Wedding | Wedding Resource reply

    […] elegance never goes out of style for weddings. Take a look at this gorgeous Charleston, SC wedding on Southern Weddings to find out why. From the swanky cocktail hour to the bride’s Kenneth […]

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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