I love a good party, y’all, but I also love being surrounded by only people I truly love and cherish. For Emily + Michael, keeping their wedding small was a challenge that was worthwhile and turned into their favorite memory of the day. “We wanted to feel relaxed on our wedding day and enjoy everyone present. It was incredibly important to us not to compromise that. Having a small wedding allowed us to have many memorable moments. We did not feel rushed nor did we feel like we were entertaining. We really had time to enjoy and appreciate each person there.”
We just love that these photos from Jeff Hall make us feel just as relaxed as E + M wanted their celebration to be.
My wedding dress was more of a work in progress than anything. Both the dress and the shrug were made by friends. The dress design was a compilation of my favorite aspects of several dresses I had seen. It was really cool to see how my vision evolved. I love every piece of that dress. It has so much story, from the fabric to the broach to the shrug. Each element is precious to me and I know exactly where it came from.
I was so pleased with our wedding flowers. A dear friend of ours did all of the flowers. I gave her a picture of what I had hoped for and she made it happen well within budget! I wanted something that had an old-fashioned feel using the eucalyptus, wheat and whatever pink hues she thought would work. They turned out beautifully!
Did you write your own vows? We didn’t write our own vows. I think that is one of the few things we left to tradition. We used the Marriage Liturgy from the Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer and that had everything we needed to say. I remember those words from every wedding I had ever been to, so being able to say them myself was important.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Michael’s brother read Corinthians 13.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. My very best friend played the fiddle before and after our wedding and she wrote a song for us.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We really couldn’t choose. Everything in the wedding was hand-picked from thrift stores, borrowed, handmade or already in our collection of stuff. Each item was touched by someone we love and it all had a story. Our families and friends were so supportive and helpful in making every detail come together. We couldn’t have had a more meaningful wedding as far as all of the details go.
I love the photo below ridiculous amounts. I love that with a small wedding, a group portrait isn’t out of the question. This is one that I would hang in my home for generations.
I feel like there was so much that was Southern about our wedding. To begin, the Southern location, South Carolina Table Rock is just gorgeous, especially in the fall. The park itself has so much history and really is one of South Carolina’s great gems. The food was no exception. Barbecued pork, cornbread, cole slaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, drinking beer out of mason jars, sweet tea and lemonade! It was all Southern as far as the food goes! Another Southern element we had was that all the ladies were given lovely vintage handkerchiefs before the ceremony.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Michael and I met through our best friends years before we ever began dating. In those years, he was a nomadic rock climber (very much the bachelor) and I was a single mom. Needless to say, we were at very different places in our lives. Years later, we all reunited over a few beers and great memories. I gave him my number, he called, and five years later we married!
Describe the proposal. It was the coldest night here in South Carolina in December. He asked me to come into the backyard with him and look at the stars. It must be love because I obliged, though I detest the cold! Right there, he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I said “of course” and then “can we go inside?” I was so cold and I couldn’t see the ring! It was simple and perfect for us.
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? 55
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes we did. We thought it would be a great way to settle into the day, just to see one another and hang out before the ceremony. It was really sweet, too, because my son and our moms were there and the pictures turned out so well! Michael and I are both very happy we made the decision to have a “first look.” It was a very special part of the day and it really made everything afterward so relaxed and natural.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We went with pies. Many of our guests baked and we had about ten different pies.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Making decisions was my biggest challenge. Although I knew what I wanted, I was overwhelmed by the details and how to make things happen. The women in my life really helped with that. I looked at the people I knew who were excellent planners and I told them to tell me what to do and I did it. No questions asked.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The wedding itself. We feel that having a wedding and spending that amount of money on one day is such a luxury! Michael and I went back and forth as to whether or not we should have the wedding celebration. We are so happy we chose to celebrate in the way we did! I wouldn’t trade the entire experience for anything. It was the perfect way for us to begin our lives together with our precious family and friends.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just try to keep perspective about what this day represents for you as a couple.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? There is no telling what’s next! Our son will be in high school this year so that will be an experience within itself. Michael and I have learned that life has its own plans for us at times and we hope to handle it all as gracefully as possible. We do enjoy a good adventure every now and then. Maybe we’ll add a baby!??