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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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Abby and David deeply desire to “live their lives in a way that leaves a legacy of compassion,” and they wanted their wedding to be a reflection of intentionality and authenticity. I think it’s safe to say that this worthy goal was definitely felt throughout their sweet wedding day! Abby and David hosted their guests at Abby’s beautiful family home, where it was easy to create a comfortable and welcoming environment. Abby’s mama, the owner of Brown Eyed Girl Antiques, helped them bring their eclectic aesthetic to life while focusing on keeping guests warm and cozy, complete with family quilts, warm cider, and lots of fire pits for chatting around. If their ear-to-ear smiles are any indication, I’m sure guests were ever so grateful for this hospitality!

Thanks to Someplace Wild for sharing this lovely day with us!

Shortly after David proposed, my family traveled to St. Augustine, Florida where my mom, sister, stepdad, and I went to a few local wedding shops. Choosing my dress was one of the fastest decisions of the wedding planning process! At one store, the owner said she knew just the dress for me. I walked out wearing it, my stepdad got teary-eyed, and I knew that was the one. I had never seen him cry in my life! It was also the perfect fit–I was able to buy it off the rack, which was good because our engagement was only five months long. When we returned to our car, I looked through my wedding folder and found a magazine page of the EXACT dress I had just purchased. It was definitely meant to be!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I loved being able to have Someplace Wild as our photographer. Christina has an amazing talent of making everyone feel comfortable. I can see every emotion in the faces of guests that she captured. Having her present during my wedding day was a complete joy. I will cherish what she created for years to come.

We had a lot of music throughout the ceremony. David is a musician so this was his area of expertise. We chose “Found a Heart” by Emily Hearn while the bridal party walked down the aisle–we love this song because it really expresses the excitement and magnitude of the wedding day.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We chose to reserve our first look for the ceremony. It took my breath away to see him as I walked down the aisle, and made that moment really special!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the key to saving money was keeping the guest list to an intimate size. This was difficult to do, but really helped in the end.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We got married at my family home. It created a comfortable and cherished environment for our wedding day!

My favorite detail of the wedding was having it in my family home and how much of an impact my mom’s decorative style had on the evening. She owns an antique booth called Brown Eyed Girl Antiques, so she was able to salvage and create various environments throughout the night. My favorite pieces were the lanterns with lit candles hanging in the trees! She was a part of every detail and her industrial, eclectic style shined throughout the night. We had a wonderful time working together as a family to create this weekend, with surprisingly minimal arguments :) Many guests stayed late into the night visiting and socializing, even after we had departed. This was a great aspect of having an at-home wedding.

We had a very bohemian-styled cake, courtesy of Caken’ it Easy, that was a textured, three-tiered cake in a classic white with mossy green accents. Lynn Bottoms and Betty Cox, who are local family friends, also made their specialty desserts and added variety to the selection!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The meal was provided by ROUX, a local Southern restaurant. We served cajun shrimp and grits and Lowcountry boil on vintage Blue Willow plates. My stepdad, grandfather, and a local carpenter built a wooden cross as the centerpiece for the ceremony. The wood was obtained from the floor of an old local barn. We provided hand-sewn quilts for our guests as they sat during the ceremony. I gave my bridesmaids vintage brooches to place in their bouquets. I picked them based on personality, hoping they could wear these brooches again! We also had fire pits throughout the yard for guests to sit around and enjoy watching the dancing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. David and I met through mutual friends at a wedding. I snuck over to his table and ended up spending the majority of the night talking with him! He instantly caught me off guard with his humor and genuine demeanor–I wasn’t even afraid to tell him about my fear of wearing red at weddings or that I had almost read the COMPLETELY wrong scripture during the ceremony (John and 1 John…there is a difference). From the beginning, our friendship was simple and real. We continued to see each other at various events over the next few months. I literally lit up inside every time I saw him, but neither of us had decided to pursue one another quite yet…..until the marriage of the previously mentioned mutual friends! At their wedding, David finally asked for my number and called a few days later. Our first date was at La Fonda, where we spent hours trying to decide what to order between our endless chatter and laughter. We went with the chicken tacos, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! One of the things on our dating bucket list was to hike Stone Mountain and watch the sunrise. David picked me up one Sunday morning at 5:42. I don’t even think I brushed my hair that day…too early. We started our hike around 6:30 am. About halfway up the mountain, I began wondering if maybe we should call it a day and watch the sunrise from the bottom, but David quickly persuaded me to keep going. The view from the top was beautiful, and we picked a rock to sit on and enjoy the sunrise. At one point, I asked David if he had any water in the backpack he had carried up the mountain. He looked at me and said, “No, but you know what I do have in this backpack?” He then got down on one knee with a ring and asked me to be his WIFE! After a few seconds of elation, I turned around to find a few of our best friends, who had trekked up the mountain before dawn to surprise me! As if that was not enough, David had planned a surprise breakfast with our close friends and family when we hiked back down. I cannot tell you how many times I cried tears of joy on this day!
When did y’all get married? November 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had meetings with our pastor for premarital counseling and also read the book “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. A lot of our focus was on our marriage–we really did not fret over details of the wedding. With the help of our family, I knew it would all come together just as it was meant to.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I would say my most memorable moment was my stepfather and dad walking me down the aisle. My parents separated when I was five years old. A few years later, my mom remarried and my stepdad came into the picture. My stepdad has been a rock in my life and is the most dependable man I know. My father and him get along well, and my dad has also been very active and supportive in my life. Their relationship has always been jovial and supportive. Having these two walk me down the aisle was a great moment of healing and happiness for me and my family. Also, my stepdad is a man of few words. He has always been the provider and “go-getter” rather than the “let’s talk about it” type. He made it clear he wasn’t wanting to make a speech, and requested that my mother give the welcome speech for both of them! This was fine with me, and the planning continued. However, midway through dinner the night of the wedding, my stepdad stood up and asked for the crowd’s attention. I thought he was going to make a general statement about where to go once dinner was completed. Instead, he gave the most eloquent, authentic speech about how proud he was of me and how supportive he was of our marriage. Almost every guest was left speechless and teary-eyed. It was standing ovation-worthy. I will never forget it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We want to leave a legacy of compassion. We want to be remembered as a couple who cares and who can be dependable in a time of need. We want to be remembered as intentional and authentic. I hope the details of our wedding captured this, but we also try to live this principle out in our daily lives as well.

Photographer: Christina Devictor / Planner: Beth Miller and Laura Hintz / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Funky Mountain Flowers / Wedding Cake: Cake’n It Easy / Caterer: Roux on Canton / Rentals: Tents, Tents, Tents / Lighting and Special Details: Brown Eyed Girl Antiques / Music: Jim Drennan and Tory Fallis / DJ: Omar of Spectrum Events / Hair and Makeup: Elle Cardenas / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style #F15555 in Mercury by David’s Bridal / Menswear: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    We’re never surprised to hear that a couple chooses a Southern locale for their wedding because they want to introduce their guests to a place they love. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we publish a magazine and this blog–so that brides around the world can see what makes the South such a magical place to call home! That’s exactly how Jill and Mike felt about Mike’s hometown of Hilton Head, South Carolina–they recall that one of their favorite details of their wedding was showing their families and friends Hilton Head’s beautiful landscape and undeniable Southern charm. Many guests even decided to make a vacation out of their wedding weekend and stay for the whole week! Jill says, “Every detail came together perfectly, creating a truly memorable experience not just for us, but for everyone who was there.” If that’s not Southern hospitality, I don’t know what is!

    Thank you so much to our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my bridesmaid and dear friend’s veil. I was the fourth one of our college girlfriends to wear it, so this was extremely sentimental and important to me! Not as important, my something blue was my favorite chapstick, a blue Eos ball. Lastly, my something new was everything else: shoes, dress, earrings, etc…plus, my new husband!!

    I went to several bridal salons in Philadelphia but was never captivated by anything. Finally, I visited BHLDN in NYC and was pretty much sold on a beautiful, extremely feminine, blush gown. I had an appointment at Nicole Miller the next day though and didn’t want to be rude and cancel, so I went anyways. Of course, it was at Nicole Miller that I fell in love with an extremely classic, fitted, ivory dress. It was not overly bridal and I am certain that is why I loved it–I felt like myself, and more importantly, I felt it was timeless dress that would never go out of style or be deemed trendy. That’s how it ultimately won out over the blush BHLDN gown!

    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep breathing! People who say planning a wedding isn’t stressful either had nothing to do with the planning or are billionaires! It will be tough at times, but it will all get done. And don’t forget what the day is about! At the end of it all, you will have married your best friend and love of your life, surrounded the people who love you most in this world.

    Our favorite detail, besides the fact that we were married, was being able to share Hilton Head with all of the people we love. Most of the guests had never been to Hilton Head and made a vacation out of the event, renting hotel rooms and houses and staying the week. Every detail came together perfectly, creating a truly memorable experience not just for us, but for everyone who was there.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had the ceremony at Mike’s family’s church, where they have gone since moving to Hilton Head from Colorado in 2005. The reception did not have any special significance going into the wedding, but ending up being perfect for us–it matched our personalities and provided a very unique experience for all of our friends and family. It was the last venue we visited while looking, and we almost didn’t even go because it was getting late, but once we arrived, we knew within a few minutes that we had found the perfect place.

    We wanted to show off the South a bit to everyone who had never been to South Carolina before. The venue was a wonderful example of how beautiful the Lowcountry is–we took photos on the marsh next to huge live oak trees, and the pavilion was surrounded by more massive trees covered in Spanish moss. We served traditional Southern comfort food buffet-style, including fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, barbecue pork, shrimp and grits…we needed bigger plates so everyone could fit all the food! Mike also took full advantage of the Southern lifestyle–neither he nor his groomsmen wore socks with their shoes, and it ended up being a great decision.

    Describe your wedding flowers. The wedding flowers were more than just flowers! They were more of an artistic display of objects and different pieces with flowers scattered in. The flowers themselves were all blush, pinks, and white. I started to collect a bunch of different jars, bottles, vases, lanterns, mercury votives, etc. in Philly, and then we packed it all up and Mike drove it down in his pickup when he went home for Christmas. Dawn and Amanda exceeded my expectations! They took all this stuff and delicately wove in their own touches to create the most amazing display I have ever seen. Seeing all of the things I had collected in Philly put to use made all that work so worth it! It made me feel more involved and like I played an important, active role!

    We have been to a lot of weddings where we have seen cake get thrown out when people don’t eat it. We decided to get a smaller cake for us so we could still have a cake cutting, but the majority of the desserts were bite-sized treats for the guests to enjoy. The crowd favorite was definitely the mini key lime pies; they disappeared as soon as the desserts were put out.

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Mike: Our first dance was definitely one of my favorites. We picked the song “True Believers” by Darius Rucker as our song, which is very special to Jill and me, as it came out during a difficult time for us and really spoke to us and our relationship. Despite having known this would be our song for a very long time, we never practiced the dance once. But, like always, we were in it together, had smiles on our faces, and had a blast just winging it. The dance went great and the song was perfect–it will always be a fun memory that is just one of many from the week.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After a series of odd and silly events, Mike and 13 of his best buds had to relocate out of their college house, and luckily, they moved in across the street from my friend’s and my house during my senior year. It was his newly close proximity, as well as the fact that he was door manager at the local watering hole, that made me begin to notice Mike more and more. His lighthearted nature, sense of humor, and subtle charm definitely sparked my interest! After several not-so-subtle inquiries to Mike’s older brother regarding Mike’s relationship status, word finally got to Mike that I was smitten. To my pleasant surprise, the feeling was mutual! After several brunches at our college cafe and a hilarious first date during which Mike’s car broke down, we officially became one another’s true love and best friend! The rest is history!
    Tell us all about the proposal! From Mike: I always wanted our engagement to be a surprise to Jill. She was busy studying for her OCN (oncology certified nurse) exam for work and was buried in a book for a few months prepping for it. She took her exam on a Saturday morning, while I went to her family’s house to ask her Dad if it was okay if I proposed to Jill in a few hours. The only catch in my plan was that she got the results of her exam as soon as she was done, and I had no backup plan if she didn’t pass her test. I got home with the ring and a big bouquet of flowers, set my GoPro up, and waited for her to call and say she was coming home. When she called, she told me she had passed the test! When she walked in the door of the apartment, she thought I was congratulating her for passing. She didn’t even have her jacket or backpack off before I was down on one knee, attempting to speak, but mostly just crying, asking her to marry me. She said yes, the ring was way too big so I put it on her middle finger, we opened a bottle of wine to try and calm us down, and then we met family and friends out at a bar. I had told Jill and everyone else I wanted to have a party to celebrate her taking her exam–no one knew it was going to be an engagement party!
    When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we went with the traditional Catholic wedding vows.
    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? From Jill: It’s hard to pick just one! My aunt, sister, and my cousin Kristy (a bridesmaid) bent over backwards to give me a wedding morning to remember! They had a yogurt parfait bar, yummy mimosas, and the most beautiful tablescape ever, complete with an album of Mike and I, my shower, and my bachelorette party. On top of that, my aunt secretly treated me to my hair and makeup! Amazing! Another favorite was when my Uncle Dave stopped me dead in my tracks during the reception and said “Your dad is a good man and he did an amazing job with you two.” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It was simple, but striking and alarmingly true. It has been a bumpy, untraditional road for my dad, but no matter what, we have always had each other, and we will always have an amazing family!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Mike has a pretty fierce one-year anniversary trip planned! We are going to fly to Seattle and then drive down the 101/Pacific Coast Highway, stopping to see the sites, taste some wine, smell the lavender fields, experience Oregon, and ultimately, end up in San Francisco, where my cousin Kristy lives!

    Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Ryan Lindsay / Planner: Amanda Spencer / Ceremony Venue: St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Honey Horn Plantation / Florist: Dawn Kiritsy / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Bev & Rick / Rentals: Ranco / Lighting: Mike Wood / Band: The Voltage Brothers / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Chalkboard Floral Design and Escort Card: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Alexis” by Nicole Miller / Bridal Salon: Nicole Miller at the Bellevue Philadelphia / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Pearl Petal Halo by BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Christi Zampino / Bride’s Shoes: “Marlow” by Harriet Wilde / Menswear: The Black Tux

    Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and The Black Tux is a delightful SW sponsor!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    5 Comments
    1. avatar Honey Horn Plantation Wedding : Mike + Jill reply

      […] you SOUTHERN WEDDINGS for featuring their […]

    2. avatar Megan reply

      a truly beautiful day for wonderful, deserving people!

    3. avatar Dana reply

      love this wedding!!! they sound like the sweetest couple!

    4. avatar Emily reply

      That red velvet cake is to die for! Love all of these sweet details!

    5. avatar ChelseaC reply

      Stunning, stunning wedding!!

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