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Despite 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, and Emily’s car was packed to the brim with perfectly wrapped black and white gifts, chic paper details, a gorgeous little Monique Lhuillier, and even Taylor‘s signature hat, which he kindly loaned to us. As you can see, we had tons of amazing details to shoot, and thanks to the hard work and sweet personalities of KT Merry and the A Charleston Bride ladies, the day was just as lovely as we had dreamed it would be!

Thanks so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Dana Cubbage, for capturing all of these moments behind the scenes!

The William Aiken House‘s yellow walls and checkered floor could have been made for this shoot. We loved spending the day at this historic Charleston venue.

This was our first shoot armed with our Oatmeal Lace aprons, and it is safe to say they became a permanent fixture at all SW shoots after that!

KT and Chad are quite the dynamic duo–we always love working with them, and KT is fearless when it comes to getting the perfect shot!

See how this gorgeous shoot turned out here and in V7!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    this shoot was so cool!

  2. avatar Featured – Fall 2014 | Dana Cubbage Weddings // Charleston SC + Destination Wedding Photographer reply

    […] Southern Weddings blog shared behind the scenes photos I took at the Charleston V7 styled shoot at … this past summer.  Such a fun day! […]

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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
  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 […]

  5. avatar Svatební inspirace | Stylový odchod – Originální Svatba reply

    […] 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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Although it is practically impossible to come up with any real “rules” of wedding planning, there are a few guidelines that I think almost always apply: to work with your venue’s style and colors rather than against them, and that simple is often better. Cassidy and Mark hit it out of the park on both of these accounts, and as a result, their Outer Banks wedding was the stuff of beach wedding dreams! Their venue, The Saltaire House, needed very little decoration, so they included just a few thoughtful details that focused on their guests’ experience and let the romantic gardens and ocean views take care of the rest.

Thanks to Ben Lowry for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Right after we got engaged and I returned to Raleigh, I looked up wedding dress shops online. I called a place I had seen before called Traditions By Anna, and as it turned out, they were having a sample sale the following week and were taking appointments. I made one with the intention of going to find out what I was looking for, not to actually buy. My good friend came with me and I picked out four dresses. The second one I tried on was stunning! The ladies at the shop said no one had ever tried it on in front of them. When I walked out into the front room where the natural sunlight was coming in, I knew it was my dress. The light caught the crystals in the dress beautifully. It was like no dress I had ever seen and I loved it!

I walked down the aisle to the sound of live steel drums playing Canon in D. I played piano growing up and it was always my favorite song. I was ecstatic when I learned that they could actually play it on steel drums. When they announced us, the drums played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My family and I have traveled to the Outer Banks for many vacations. We thought it would be nice to have our wedding and a vacation combined so we could all spend more time together. When Mark and I went to look for a venue in the Outer Banks, I immediately fell in love with the Saltaire House.

The Saltaire House has a wraparound porch, a “saloon”-like bar, and gorgeous Southern decor. To keep people cool, we offered gorgeous paper fans from BHLDN and refreshing cucumber water. Our specialty cocktail was a John Daly (vodka, lemonade and sweet tea). Our food from Enchanted Cuisine was Southern and delicious–for appetizers, we had hush puppies, pickled shrimp with smoky cocktail sauce, and pimiento and crab on cornbread crostinis. Our main courses included NC pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, mac and cheese, watermelon and feta salad, and smoked chicken over Lowcountry red rice.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Yum! Just Desserts made our three-tiered wedding cake. It had ombre green layers, and was decorated with hydrangeas and white starfish. She did a wonderful job! Two of the layers were chocolate eclair, and the third layer was macadamia nut.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The caterers and service staff were fantastic, but I think the music is what really made our night. The steel drums were unique and sounded so beautiful during the reception and cocktail hour. During and after dinner, our DJ was amazing at feeling out the crowd and playing things we loved. There was so much dancing–that was Mark and I’s favorite part about the evening.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Mark and I first met in November 2008. My friend was dating his friend, and I was dating someone else, and we all met up at the designated “Ohio State” bar to watch a big game. We are both from Ohio, but lived in Raleigh at the time. A little over a year passed, and once I had split with my boyfriend, I signed up for I emailed Mark because I thought he was cute, but I didn’t remember having met him. He immediately recognized me. Fortunately, he was the only man I had to go on a date with through Match, and on our first date, I knew that he was the one.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to Las Vegas to celebrate Mark’s 30th birthday. He planned for us to take a gondola ride at the Venetian, then to go to a nice dinner, and finally, to go see Phantom of the Opera (my favorite Broadway show). After a little gambling and relaxing, we made our way to the Venetian for the gondola ride. Mark was frantic because we were running late for the “reservation,” but I didn’t think it was that serious. We eventually made it to the ride. Under the second bridge, Mark pulled out my GORGEOUS ring, turned to me, said some lovely words, and asked me to marry him. I was stunned! However, before I officially said yes, I really wanted him to ask on one knee. Mark is a big rule-follower, so he asked the gondolier if he could undo his velcro seatbelt and get on one knee. I got two proposals when he asked me all over again! Of course, I cried and said yes!
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not. We both wanted to see each other for the first time in front of all of our friends and family. It was an amazing moment.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My older sister read a “quote” from Bob Marley that I loved! “She’s not perfect–you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together, but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break–her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze, and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Staying within a budget was very challenging, and we took a lot of time to create our menu. My husband and I LOVE food, so that was one of the biggest priorities of the day. My brother-in-law, who is a chef, helped create the menu, and my caterer, Gwen Hart from Enchanted Cuisines, was so nice and accommodating. She did an amazing job creating the food we asked for and everyone raved about it.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Once I had a budget, I mapped out how much we could spend in each area. Once we had that, I worked very hard to stay within it, which helped a lot. I didn’t spend a lot on centerpieces or flowers, because the home and the outdoors lent itself to beautiful pictures and decor.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do what makes you happy. Decide what is most important to you (food, drinks, flowers, decor) and go from there. Food, drink and photos mattered most to us, and that was where we were willing to spend more. And at your reception, DANCE!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving back to Ohio soon to be closer to our families and to eventually start our own family. We will miss North Carolina, but it will always be a place we can return to for vacations and visiting friends.

Photographer: Ben Lowry / Venue: The Saltaire House / Florist: The Embellishers / Wedding Cake: Melinda Gregory of Just Desserts / Caterer: Enchanted Cuisine / Rentals: Ocean Atlantic Rentals / Ceremony Musicians: One Love Caribbean Steel Drum Band / DJ: DJ Fresh, Clarence Randall / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Paper Fans: BHLDN / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade / Hair Stylist: Ashley Dashiell of Dimensions Hair / Makeup Artist: Chelsey Crago / Bride’s Shoes: DSW / Groom’s Attire: Tommy Bahama / Shuttle: Island Limo

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kat reply

    I love her dress & the simplistic way they styled everything. What a beautiful beach wedding!!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    love her dress! she is styled so beautifully!

  3. avatar tungsten carbide ring reply

    wow,your post is so nice,and the wedding dress are so beautiful!!!i hope you will lilke ,it’s a best choice for your wedding!!!tungsten carbide ring

  4. avatar Julie Wirthman reply

    I attended my niece Cassidy’s wedding – it was amazing.. she was a beautiful bride – the venue, the food, everything was perfect!!! This article is the topping on the cake!!

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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