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I want to jump right through my computer screen and into today’s darling wedding! From the beautiful location, to the sentimental “somethings” Kelsey chose, to the cake that sounds like a slice of heaven, Kelsey and Zane took every opportunity to make sure their wedding day reflected their personalities and their amazing love story. I remember chatting with their photographer, Shalyn of Love, The Nelsons, in Austin over a year ago and hearing about how excited she was to fly to Charleston to capture this special wedding, and having read K and Z’s interview, I can completely see why. These two are sweeter than the Benne wafers they included in their guests’ welcome bags, and their wedding is overflowing with so much love for their family, friends, and most of all, each other!

My something old was very precious to me. My grandmother’s wedding dress is no longer in wearable condition, so my mom had a piece of each sleeve of the dress made into a handkerchief for my sister and I. In blue stitching, she added my Nana’s initials and wedding date, her initials and wedding date, and my initials and wedding date. I pinned it to the inside of my dress so that I would have it with me all day. My something new was my earrings (that I won in an amazing Southern Weddings giveaway!) and my wedding shoes. My something borroweds were the ribbon to tie a charm around my bouquet and perfume from one of my bridesmaids (though that wasn’t planned)! My something blue was the blue topaz ring that my parents had given me for graduating from the University of North Carolina.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had looked through tons of magazines and photos online, but I wanted my mom and sister by my side when I actually went shopping for THE dress. We planned a weekend for them to come out to Texas to shop with me, and I absolutely loved the experience! From all the weddings I went to as a little girl and all of those I saw on television (think Princess Di and The Sound of Music), I remember the gorgeous backs and trains that you saw as the bride walked down the aisle. On the second day of shopping, I found a dress that I couldn’t stop staring at. I had never seen anything like the back of this dress; it had a gorgeous V in the back that was covered with beautiful lace, buttons down the back, and a special ribbon. The ladies helped me add a veil, and for the first time, I didn’t see the mirror–I saw Zane at the end of the aisle. It felt so real and brought tears to my eyes.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we decided to do a first look and are so glad we did! We spoke to several recently married friends of ours, some who had done a first look and some who hadn’t. No one who had done a first look regretted it, but some of those who didn’t wished they had more photos of just the two of them. It was such an intimate moment for us and one I’ll never forget. We got to talk and hug and relax. Then we were ready to get married!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose to have three readings at our ceremony. One traditional Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, one reading that had special meaning to Zane, and one reading that had special meaning to me. Zane loved The Velveteen Rabbit as a child, and it has such a sweet message about the meaning of love, so we asked a close friend to read a passage from the book. I chose a reading called “Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love” by Edmund O’Neill. I love the message that it shares: that marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life, and that it is a promise that is worked on for a lifetime.

I loved walking down the aisle and seeing so many faces of people that I love, hearing my brother playing the guitar, feeling my dad holding on to me tightly, and then locking eyes with Zane and having this amazing feeling of warmth and happiness. By the end of it, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Zane and I always knew that we would be married in Charleston–it is the city where we fell in love. One of the only specific things Zane asked for was if we could be married in the chapel at his school, The Summerall Chapel. It is absolutely beautiful and has great significance to Citadel cadets. For our reception, we wanted our guests to experience the historic charm of downtown Charleston, but I am also a beach baby and had dreamed of being by the water. We found the perfect mix of both in the Historic Rice Mill!

My favorite Southern aspects of our wedding were the people and place. Charleston is so rich in history and Southern charm, and the hospitality and warmth from all of our friends and family was contagious. Even those who had just met became fast friends, swapped stories, and danced the shag! To make sure that everyone made the most of their visit, we gave them welcome bags filled with treats (Benne wafers, anyone?) and information about the area.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided to have a small wedding cake displayed for the formal cake cutting and then served sheet cake from the kitchen. Zane loves absolutely anything with Nutella on it, and we both love strawberries, so our display cake was a vanilla cake filled with Nutella and fresh strawberries. The cake that we served to our guests was made by my absolute favorite bakery back in Chapel Hill! Nantucket Grill has this amazing mile-high strawberry shortcake with whipped cream icing and fresh strawberries in each layer. It is so delicious! In college, my girlfriends and I would go have cake there for dinner. A dear family friend grabbed the cake on the way down to Charleston and kept it cool for us. Our guests loved it!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Zane and I are from the same hometown in South Carolina, but went to different schools. We met during high school on a spring break trip to Folly Beach. Some mutual friends knew each other, so both of our groups decided to meet up to hang out. Zane and I ended up being paired together on a team to play “Sardines” (like hide and seek, but once you find someone, you have to hide with them until only one team is left). Our hiding places were ridiculous and we kept each other laughing all night. After spring break ended, Zane and I continued to become really good friends. On May 28, 2007, I came home with my family from our beach house in North Carolina. Zane had been taking care of our two dogs for the week, and when we pulled into the driveway, there was writing on my car that said “Will you be my girlfriend?” I was so excited to say yes, and he brought over a movie to watch for our first date as a couple. Zane and I dated long distance all the way through college while I was in Chapel Hill attending UNC, and Zane was in Charleston at The Citadel. I quickly realized that this guy was my best friend and I could not imagine life without him. We were finally able to spend one semester of college together while studying abroad in Australia. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I couldn’t have imagined a better person to share it with!
Tell us all about the proposal! On August 3, 2012, we had planned a big date night out for Houston Restaurant Week. When I finished getting ready and came out of the bathroom, I stepped on a note on the floor. I looked up and saw a trail of notes leading out of my room around the apartment. Each note had a reason why Zane loves me written on it. The trail led me into the living room, where candles and flowers were set up. As I was reading the last note, Zane came around the corner and got down on one knee. Of course, I said yes, and barely waited for him to stand up before jumping and hugging him. I was on cloud nine!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 200
Did you write your own vows? We chose to recite traditional vows. We found it really romantic to be saying the same wedding vows that our parents and grandparents recited to each other to be joined in marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Now that we live in Texas, planning a wedding back in South Carolina was definitely challenging. I had to make the most out of the time I was back home by strategically planning appointments with vendors and describing the vision I had in my head effectively. Having a long engagement helped because it gave us the time to research venues and vendors before making decisions. I did a lot of looking around online to narrow things down before I actually met vendors in person in Charleston.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We absolutely love being married. I smile every time I say “husband!” We are planning to take a trip somewhere new each year as our anniversary present to each other. Even just around the states, we are excited to make those memories together. And we are most looking forward to our next big steps: buying a house and starting a family. No matter when or how things happen, I am so happy and proud to spend the rest of my life with Zane, and I know that it will be full of joy and laughter!

Photographer: Love, The Nelsons / Videographer: Chap Films / Planner: Southern Bells Events / Ceremony Venue: The Summerall Chapel / Reception Venue: Historic Rice Mill / Florist: Country and Lace / Wedding Cake: Ally & Eloise Bakeshop and Nantucket Grill / Caterer: Good Food Catering / Rentals: EventHaus Rentals / Band: Rubberband / Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Veil: Marry Go Round Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LaRoque / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Officiant: Pastor Greg V. Mason of Wedding Minister in Charleston / Bouquet Charm: Bip and Bop / Decorative Pillows: Two Peaches Design / Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Cake Forks: Eve Of Joy / Transportation: Limos For Less, LLC.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Shalyn reply

    Thanks so much for the feature sweet ladies!!! It was such a fun day! Y’all are the bomb.com! <3

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    We are obsessing over this classic southern wedding. So gorgeous!

  3. avatar Sarah reply

    What a sweet proposal! I love it!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    Love the sweet embroidered patch, and of course the sword arch! Beautiful wedding!

  5. avatar Bridget reply

    Goodness, I would love to go to a wedding with Chick-Fil-A fries! And I adore those perfect Kelly green bridesmaid dresses.

  6. avatar Dimitri Fotografo reply

    So sweet wedding, love it a lot, congratulation for the perfect choice of photographer.

  7. avatar Kelsey reply

    I may just have to re-read this every year. :) This is such a special way to remember our story! Thanks so much y’all!

  8. avatar Stephanie reply

    I would love to see the back of the dress! Beautiful wedding! I love Kelly green!

    • avatar julie reply

      Can email pictures of back of dress if you like.
      Thanks for your comments, we had so much fun!!
      Mother of the Bride

  9. avatar Wedding Color Inspiration: Kelly Green – Wedding Bags reply

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After reading about how these two met at a college football tailgate and then got engaged at an Atlanta Braves game (be sure to read about this special nod to Keely’s late father), I knew Keely and Hill’s wedding would be sweet, Southern, and full of personal details. And, y’all, they did not disappoint! Together with their planner, The Graceful Host, Keely and Hill created a romantic wedding with blush pink and monogrammed details that any Southerner would be proud of. Keely said “Who we are and where we come from is something us Southerners take pride in,” and I couldn’t agree more!

Big hugs to Lauren Friday for sharing this lovely day with us!

My something blue was the blue monogram of my father’s tie that was sewn into the back of my dress with his initials and our wedding date. My something new was my Valentino peep toe shoes. My something old was my father’s tie, which happens to be the only “blush” tie in his tie box. My something borrowed was the cameo that belonged to my great-grandmother, which was worn by my grandmother and mother on their wedding days. I had it tied and wrapped up into my bouquet.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our wedding party! That’s a detail right?! I had ten of the most beautiful, giving, and carefree group of girls, while Hill had ten guys that were as dapper as they were funny. Together, they all made our whole entire wedding weekend so much fun.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to keep it traditional. After the 1,000 decisions that we had to make, this was by far the easiest. While I was walking down the aisle, it was as if all of our guests had disappeared and the only thing that we could both focus on was each other! Even with 200 pairs of eyes on us, it still felt so intimate.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We both feel like there is nothing more romantic and beautiful than the sounds of Webber, Pachelbel, Wagner, and Handel coming from a live string quartet. Hill and I are fans of Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and very seldom hear some of those pieces without shedding a tear! I kept it a secret from Hill that my first processional song would be “Music of the Night” by Webber. As I walked from the house down to the start of the ceremony chairs, it then transitioned into a more traditional sound, “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner. We choose “Hornpipe in D” by Handel in honor of Hill’s parents, who used it for their wedding recessional 48 years ago.

We treated our guests to a shrimp and grits bar, loaded potato bar, fried macaroni and cheese pops, and even served late night snacks of milk and cookies and mini pizzas in our signature monogrammed pizza boxes! Our monogram was EVERYWHERE. Who we are and where we come from is something us Southerners take pride in, so Deb at Olive Paper created a signature “H” monogram that was used on everything from our save The dates all the way to our custom koozies and pillows on the rocking chairs. Hill had actually gifted me my new monogram on a Moon and Lola gold necklace earlier that day, which I switched to wearing after we said our I do’s! Even Hill had his own special monogram–his late grandfather had left him his gold monogrammed cufflinks, and in his honor, Hill carried a buckeye, which you could always count on his grandfather having in his pocket every time you saw him!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Hill and I were introduced in 2011 by mutual friends at an Appalachian State University football tailgate. Immediately, there was a mutual attraction, but the timing with our ten-year age difference made it a little complicated at first! We lived two hours apart, and as you can imagine, our worlds were very different at the time! Our lives continued to go in different directions, but we remained in touch. During that period of time, I decided to pack my bags to live and work in Germany for a year. After countless emails from 4,558 miles away and many Skype calls, one thing was certain: we didn’t want to be without each other. In January 2012, Hill decided to take his first flight overseas to meet me in Vienna, Austria. We spent the most magical New Year’s Eve together and explored what would be the first of many European cities together! After my year in Germany ended, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to finally be close to Hill.
Tell us all about the proposal! In June 2013, Hill decided to plan a surprise trip, which is nothing out of the ordinary–I hit the romance jackpot with this guy. He had planned a quick weekend trip down to Atlanta. Growing up, it was my dad’s “thing” to spend quality time as a family at Atlanta Braves games. For as long as I can remember, Atlanta has always held a special place in my heart for this reason, even after my father passed away when I was 13. After Hill and I enjoyed a Braves game, we headed back to get ready for dinner. As we walked out of the hotel room, Hill said “Wait a minute, I have something for you to wear tonight.” He went over to a box and pulled out a candy ring pop. I had always told him I didn’t care about a ring, and when the time was right, that a ring pop would do just fine. Bright, shiny, and cherry it was! He placed the ring pop on my finger and smiled. Before I could even speak, he laughed and said “Oh, that’s the wrong one.” He then dropped to his knee and pulled out the most gorgeous cushion-cut diamond I have ever seen. My jaw dropped as Hill asked me to be his bride, and somehow between the laughing and crying, I managed to get a yes in there! Later, I found out that Hill had asked my mother and my brother’s permission for my hand in marriage earlier that week, just like a true Southern gentleman should! It still gives me goosebumps to think about how much thought Hill put into making our proposal so special, and, most importantly, connecting it to my father.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Aside from actually committing my love to Hill in front of our friends and family, finding my wedding dress was one of my favorite moments of our wedding process! My sister-in-law had purchased her gown from Monica at Bellissima of Salisbury a few years ago, and from the moment I walked into the store, I knew that I would be coming back for my dress someday! My first time trying on dresses was overwhelming because I fell in love with so many different dresses. I left that day knowing my dress would come to me; I just need some good ol’ fashioned “sleep on it” advice from my momma! During that time, Monica contacted me and asked me if I would be her model for a photo shoot she was doing for her Southern Weddings magazine ad! ;) Of course, I was honored and humbled! During that shoot, I started to gain a better understanding of what I liked, and Monica told me I would love the Kelly Faetanini gowns she had coming in soon. I had my eye on “Emmy” from browsing her gowns online, and the day that I went to try on the collection, I saved the best for last and knew “Emmy” was my girl!
Did you write your own vows? We like to stick to tradition! There is something to be said about saying the same vows our grandparents and parents used!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Hiring our wedding planner, Ashley of The Graceful Host. Having a wedding planner helped us put our money where it was most important to us!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner and don’t get caught up in the fluff of things. At the end the day, you are going to be married and that is the most IMPORTANT thing. Also, don’t skip the videographer just because you have the pictures covered! Hiring Shamus Coney, our videographer, was one of the best decisions we made throughout this process! You will not be sorry when you get those videos back! See ours here.

Photographer: Lauren Friday Photography / Videographer: Shamus Coney Films / Planner: Ashley Cash of The Graceful Host / Venue: Boxwood Estate / Florist: North Carolina New Creations Flower Company / Wedding Cake: Wow Factor Cakes / Caterer: Something Classic / Rentals and Lighting: Party Reflections / Band: Loose Chain / Bride’s Gown: “Emmy” by Kelly Faetanini / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bellissima of Salisbury / Paper Products: Olive Paper / Bride’s Jewelry: Kelly Faetanini at Nordstrom / Hair Stylist: Sara Mardis & Lisa Freeze / Makeup Artist: Sara Mardis / Bride’s Shoes: Valentino / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier at Bellissima of Salisbury / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Koozies, Monogrammed Pillow, Cocktail Napkins: Mom and Pop’s Print Shop / Ceremony Music: Elegant Ensembles

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Charmaine reply

    These photos are beautiful love that wedding cake!

  2. avatar Ashley reply

    Thank y’all so, so much for featuring this sweet couple today! We absolutely adored working with Keely and Hill, and I’m so excited that the readers of SW Mag got to learn more about their beautiful love story … and to catch a glimpse of their gorgeous wedding day! XO

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Keely is a gal after my own heart–peonies, Valentino bows pumps, and long curls? Bridal perfection in my book!

  4. avatar Breanna reply

    Those photographs are absolutely gorgeous! And I love what Keely said about not missing out on videography just because you have photos covered. That is such a tempting thing to cut when eying the budget, but there is something special about having that video too. The way Keely and Hill incorporated so many traditions and kept their parents weddings in mind when planning their own was so sweet! So much class and so much romance all wrapped up in this fabulous wedding.

  5. avatar 14 wedding themes and ideas | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

    […] Southern Weddings photography by Lauren Friday […]

  6. avatar Boxwood Estate Wedding – Keely & Hill – Featured on Southern Weddings » Lauren Friday Photography reply

    […] feature and read more about the details of their day (coordinated by the fabulous Graceful Host), click here!  How gorgeous and stylish is this […]

  7. avatar Camera Ready Interiors – Comfy Cozy Couture reply

    […] talented and has such an amazing eye. You can see her work on Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Southern Weddings and Charlotte Weddings to name just a […]

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