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I love it when a tradition starts with only the bride or groom’s family, but then a wedding turns it into something that all their loved ones can enjoy. For Colleen and Nicholas, that’s Kiawah Island. Though Nicholas’ family had been vacationing there for years, after bringing Colleen along while dating, it became the perfect place for these two to celebrate their marriage. It didn’t hurt that as soon as they drove up to the Ocean Course on a post-engagement vacation, they knew it was the exact place where they wanted to share their love of Kiawah Island and each other with their friends and family! A clear-top tent, an abundance of beautiful blooms by Fox Events, and plenty of sweet Southern sunshine later, and I’m sure all the guests in attendance will be itching to create their own traditions on the island, too!

Thanks to Tim Willoughby for capturing this beautiful day!

My dress was actually one of the first ones I tried on. I was so excited to try on wedding dresses, so my mom and I went to Saks right away, just for fun! We weren’t expecting that I would find my dress so quickly, but as soon as I put it on, I absolutely loved it. I went to a few other appointments just to make sure, but ended up coming back to the first one I loved!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We had a really hard time deciding if we wanted to do a first look, but we ended up doing one. We were so happy we did! It was really special to have our first moment together on our wedding day be for just the two of us (and our little yorkie, who made an appearance for some pictures). It gave us the opportunity to take a lot of our pictures before the reception so we could enjoy as much of the celebration as possible, and also made us much less nervous for the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we had one of our close mutual friends officiate our wedding, which added a special and personal touch to the ceremony.

Nick has been going to Kiawah with his family since he was a kid, and we all went there together a couple of times when we started dating. We were there on vacation a few weeks after we got engaged and decided to look at some venues. As soon as we drove up to the Ocean Course, we knew that’s where we wanted to get married! It was so much fun to be able to share one of our favorite places with all of our friends and family for the weekend.

The one thing I knew I wanted at our wedding was tons of flowers! We went with a neutral palette of white and light pink with some pops of blue and lots of greens. Our wedding planner also did all of our flowers–she and her team did an amazing job! When Nick and I walked into our tent for the first time, we were so happy with how beautiful it looked.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? All the dancing. Our wedding band, ATL Groove Factory, was absolutely amazing and had everyone on the dance floor the entire night! For our after-party, a good friend of ours from NYC who is a DJ kept the dancing going. We had so much fun with everyone!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I both went to Cornell, but somehow never met, even though we have a ton of mutual friends. After college, we were both living in New York, and I went to a 4th of July party in the Hamptons that ended up being at a house Nick and his friends were renting that summer. After we spent the day together, Nick asked me to go out again the next day in the city. After that, we were pretty much inseparable!
Tell us all about the proposal! A couple of summers ago, we were spending a week out on the North Fork of Long Island. We made a nice dinner to have outside at sunset, but I noticed Nick wasn’t eating anything. He said he needed to go inside and grab some balsamic vinegar to add to the food, but instead, he came back outside, got down on one knee, and proposed!!
When did y’all get married? October 10, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 190
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many little details, but one of the best were the two big swings we had on the edge of the dance floor. They looked beautiful and everyone had so much fun on them! I also loved the chandeliers that we hung from the top of the tent.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did. My twin sister let me borrow the sapphire and diamond earrings she wore for her wedding day, and I wore blue satin shoes to take care of my something borrowed and something blue. My mother and my mother-in-law both provided pieces of lace from their wedding dresses that were wrapped around my bouquet as something old, and I wore a bracelet Nick gave me the morning of our wedding as something new.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The most difficult part of getting married on Kiawah Island was figuring out transportation for all the guests, since there wasn’t one main hotel where the majority of guests were staying. Somehow, our wedding planner and our families managed to figure out where everyone was staying and get everyone to the wedding on time.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding planner, Lauren Fox. We knew planning our wedding in Kiawah from NYC would be a little more difficult, but Lauren made everything so much easier. I always say I would re-plan our wedding all over again because that’s how enjoyable Lauren made the whole process!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just moved to a new apartment in Brooklyn, so we’re just enjoying married life in our new neighborhood. And we’re hoping to grow our family soon!

Photographer: Tim Willoughby | Videographer: Hart to Heart | Planner and Florist: Fox Events | Venue and Caterer: The Ocean Course | Wedding Cake Baker: Jim Smeal | Rentals: Snyder Events and Ooh! Events | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band: ATL Groove Factory | Paper Products: Studio R Design | Bride’s Gown: “Cora” by Austin Scarlett | Bride’s Jewelry: Zoe Chicco | Hair Stylist: Charlotte Belk, Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Makeup Artist: Pamela Lesch | Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale in Navy Blue | Menswear: J. Crew

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

    Where is her reception dress from?!? Amazing!

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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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Katie is a girl after my own heart! She’s a bit addicted to monograms, believes pockets in a dress make everything better, and wanted to create a wedding full of love and sweet Southern hospitality. Katie and David were married at the beautiful Governor Thomas Bennett House in front of 225 of their very favorite people in the world! I must admit I am completely smitten with their pretty preppy day, including fun pops of color, gold pineapples (and a pineapple bow tie!), and monograms galore! But, the very best part, in my opinion, is how many of the details were made my Katie’s mama, godmother, and aunt — it makes them just that much more special.

We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor Dana Cubbage was on hand to capture their sweet celebration!

Since I worked for Lilly Pulitzer for years, I am accustomed to LOTS of bright colors! We went for bright pink peonies, yellow ranunculus, light pink sweet peas, garden roses, pink astilbe, and dusty miller. We also had pineapples spray painted gold to use as candlesticks and mini pineapples added into the florals on the tables!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. We went EVERYWHERE! We shopped in Charleston twice and all over Charlotte and the surrounding area. Finally, we went to J.Majors, the bridal salon less than a mile from my house. There was one dress that I tried on and everyone said I was smiling from ear to ear when I walked out of the fitting room. It was so simple, classic, and HAD POCKETS! (Pockets in a dress just make everything better!) After swishing around for a bit, we were told it was called the “Mimi” dress. Cue the tears! My grandmother, Mimi, who had passed away 15 years before, loved wedding planning and it was the sign we all needed to stop looking.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! And it was the best decision we made! It took a little convincing for David, the traditionalist, but I was totally on board from the beginning! With a little help from our photographer and a friend of David’s, we finally convinced him. We didn’t feel rushed and actually got to spend some time together during the day. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the whole time!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We definitely wanted to have a Southern-style Charleston Wedding, so we looked at just about every venue in Charleston. We finally had it narrowed down to the last few when one of my maids of honor, Kacie, mentioned the Governor Thomas Bennett House. It had everything: a beautiful semi-circle garden, a large covered porch (with a blue ceiling, of course), ivy-covered arches, spiral staircases, a large oak tree with Spanish moss (a MUST for me!), a secret garden, and more!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but took our favorite lines and verbiage from different traditional religious vows and combined them in our own way. David was very adamant on not saying the word “death” on our wedding day, so at the conclusion of our vows we made sure to use “as long as we both shall live.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians. We both know that it is used all the time, but it made us feel like we were REALLY getting married! (Plus, it reminds us of our wedding when we hear it!)
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The bridal party walked down to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, followed by a guitar and string version of “Here Comes the Bride.” Once we were announced as husband and wife, we walked up the aisle to “This will be (an Everlasting Love).”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? So many, including pineapples (a sign of welcome and hospitality), monograms (we own a family monogram business, after all)!, and Southern cooking (including fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, a mac and cheese bar, shrimp and grits, and late-night chicken and waffle sliders with french fries!).

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Dana Cubbage is the BEST! She was able to capture every moment and every detail of the wedding. She was so relaxed the entire day, which made me extremely relaxed, too! She was always an arms distance away to grab a photo and was all over the dance floor snapping away. The next day, our family and friends couldn’t stop talking about how amazing she was! We cannot wait to find another excuse for more pictures! Also, Meredith and her team were behind the scenes the entire day. I know I only know a small percentage of everything they went through, which means a ton! She would sneak in at the last second to save the day by taking David’s sunglasses out of his pocket before our first dance, making sure we had a fresh glass of champagne for toasts, offering dryer sheets for when the bugs came out at night, and putting my getaway tote in the getaway rickshaw!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would make a list of the things that are truly important to you and your fiance. If it’s food and band, that is great. If it’s open bar and a DJ, that is great, too! Definitely learn where you want to make cuts and which things you have your heart set on! Also, there are so many ways that you can get the look but at a fraction of the cost! We made our own table runners for less than 1/3 of the original cost. We also reused the bridesmaid bouquets at the reception and aisle markers on cocktail tables!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a three-tiered red velvet cake with buttercream icing as our main cake. The aqua bow had our married monogram! We also had two mini cakes that were white chocolate with buttercream icing and a groom’s cake with a VT logo on top and vintage camo sides – a great surprise!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. One of my co-workers went on a blind date with David and texted me at the end of the date saying that I needed to meet this guy. So the next few times they hung out, I was invited to tag along, as well. After a few weeks went by, I was encouraged to reach out to David, so I did! (VERY unlike me!)
Tell us all about the proposal! On December 24th, David woke me up super early! He convinced me to go on a walk with our Golden Retriever, Shelby, in the park across from our house. Begrudgingly, in sweats, Uggs, no makeup (and friends joke – no monograms) we went on our early morning walk. I knew something was up, but I had expected something to happen later on in the day when our two families would all be together. Almost all the way around the lake, he talked about the first time he knew he fell in love with me, caught in a rainstorm, hanging out underneath a tree, walking Shelby. At that, he was down on his knee! (Shelby was pawing at the ring, too!) I freaked out and apparently never actually said yes!
When did y’all get married? March 14, 2015 (3.14.15!)
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225 of our favorite people in the world!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! YES! Borrowed: my gold Claddagh Ring borrowed from my sister. I also borrowed a pearl necklace from my mom. Blue: I wore aqua Jack Rogers to match the bridesmaids and not sink into the grass! Old: The monogram on my sash (my maiden monogram) was my something old. It was also the last time I would be able to wear my maiden monogram! New: my new dress, earrings, and shoes!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning for our wedding, we definitely had opportunities to talk about our faith, our beliefs, and our family values. We also had challenges and were able to work through our wedding budget together, as well. Also, halfway through the wedding planning process, we got a puppy! (While it might not seem like the best idea, it was great to “practice” our paternal roles, as well!)
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I would have to say the ceremony. We were so relaxed going into our ceremony (where I thought I would be stressed and nervous) because we had a “dance party” with the entire bridal party and then the music went off and we were sent down the aisle! Once we made it down the aisle (which is a bit of a blur) I don’t know if I have ever laughed so hard in my life! David’s cousin was our minister and was able to tell our story in a way that had everyone laughing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? My uncle Dom made us a Beautiful Bench,made from the wood of my grandfathers work bench, for us to use as our “guest book!” Mom & Aunt Mo painted a monogram on it & the guest were able to sign it in gold & navy sharpies! We cannot wait to find a special place in our house to display it!

Photographer: Dana Cubbage | Planner: Meredith Tanton from Sweetgrass Social | Venue: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Ashley Bakery | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events and Event Works | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band or DJ: Jim Bowers | Monogrammed items: It’s a Girl Thing | Invitations: Blue Glass Design | Signage: Bride’s Godmother | Bride’s Gown: “Mimi” by Wtoo | Bridal Salon, Veil, and Earrigns: J.Majors Bridal Boutique | Bracelet: Beads Inc. | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Shayla with Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaid Dresses: Coren Moore from Bella Bridesmaids Charlotte | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank | Bow Ties: High Cotton

Dana Cubbage is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Zookbinders Wedding Albums reply

    Wow! This is a beautiful wedding! Love the color

  2. avatar Kirsti reply

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this wedding!! I love the southern prep theme and of course, the pineapples!!

  3. avatar Real Wedding: Katie + David | Sweetgrass Social reply

    […] To see more of Katie and David’s wedding, check out their feature on Southern Weddings! […]

  4. avatar Real Wedding at Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, SC – Sweetgrass Social reply

    […] To see more of Katie and David’s wedding, check out their feature on Southern Weddings! […]

  5. avatar Kat reply

    SO much color! Gold, fuchsia, prints…what a fun day. I think my favorite thing is you can tell how authentic the couple stayed to themselves throughout every aspect of their wedding.

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