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Caroline knew her beautiful lace gown was the one for her as soon as she saw it in the window of Maddison Row while she passed the store on her way home from work. She also knew right away that since one of her favorite things about weddings is how couples incorporate special touches throughout their day (us too!), it was important to her that on her own wedding day, meaningful details were woven in. One of her favorites was the ranunculus halo worn by their flower girl–it had seven individual blooms on it in memory of their seven late grandparents who weren’t physically present at their wedding. We also love the sweet favors that Caroline and her mama canned themselves, using a family friend’s pickle relish recipe. I’m sure guests loved being able to witness a new chapter in Caroline and Luke’s life, and then take home a piece of their family history!

Big hugs to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Courtney Dox for sharing this sweet day with us!

During our engagement, I was working in downtown Charleston. Every day, I would take the same route home from work, and luckily for me, Maddison Row was on that route. I loved getting stuck at the Maddison Row intersection and inching my car up as close to the storefront as possible to see the three beautifully dressed mannequins in the window. On my way home one day, I spotted my beautiful dress, pulled out my iPhone, and snapped a picture! I called and set up an appointment with my photo in hand! I tried on several dresses during my appointment, but the beautiful Monique Lhuillier I had spotted was the one!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One of my favorite things about weddings is seeing all of the special touches incorporated throughout, so I knew that was important to me for my own wedding. One of our favorite details was the ranunculus halo worn by our flower girl in lieu of a traditional flower basket. The halo had seven individual ranunculus flowers on it in memory of our seven late grandparents who weren’t physically present for our special day.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up in a United Methodist Church, but my home church was too small for the wedding size we were planning, so we chose a beautiful United Methodist Church downtown for our ceremony. We chose Lowndes Grove Plantation for our reception because it is a gorgeous Charleston venue that encompassed all of the Southern charm we were looking for to make our wedding incredible!

The biggest challenge we had to overcome while planning our wedding was trying to figure out ways to maximize our budget. We had a large guest list and wanted to be able to include everyone without having to compromise on too many of the personalized touches we knew would make our wedding day so special. We quickly realized the big difference between want and need, and we were able to find a perfect balance to create an amazing day!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The entire wedding planning process helped us plan for our marriage. We learned so much about how to talk to each other during stressful times and how to peacefully resolve differences. In the end, all we wanted was for the other to be happy on that day, and we learned early on to remember that point for the duration of our marriage.

Our flowers were absolutely incredible! We really wanted vibrant pinks and corals and romantic, trailing greenery. The bouquets and arrangements included beautiful peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and other seasonal blooms, accented with succulents, maidenhair fern, and trailing jasmine vine. The groom, groomsmen, and ring bearer boutonnieres were made of succulents, and our flower girl wore a beautiful ranunculus and greenery crown.

We couldn’t agree on a song for our first dance until one day when “Oh Girl” by The Chi-Lites came on my Pandora station, and I immediately knew it was the one! We thought it would be a perfect fit for our band and we loved the idea of a classic song that everyone in the crowd would know and could sway along to.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a beautiful, traditional Southern wedding with the most picturesque setting and traditional Southern foods. One of my favorite Southern traditions we included was the guest favor passed at the reception–my mom and I made pear relish using a family friend’s recipe, packaged it in four ounce quilted Mason jars, and tied a tiny butcher’s twine bow around each lid. I loved the days spent in the kitchen canning with my mom to create such a heartfelt thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Luke began his pediatric residency in July 2011 at the Medical University of South Carolina, and my twin sister was working as nurse on the general pediatrics floor at the time. During his second year of residency, they were on an overnight shift and several people were chatting about significant others. Luke was asked if he was dating anyone, and when he said no, they immediately began brainstorming who they could set him up with. My sister mentioned she had a single twin sister and set us up on a blind date. We went out a few weeks later and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! On October 30th, 2013, I got off work early and arranged for afternoon manicures and pedicures with my sister. We went to our usual salon and had a fairly uneventful afternoon. When we got back to my house, my sister went home, and Luke was home from work, but acting suspiciously abnormal. He said he had made dinner reservations for us at one of our favorite restaurants for our weekly date night, so I went to my room to search for the perfect outfit for our night out. He came into the room and told me he’d surprised me and gone and picked up some new makeup I’d been wanting, and set it down on the dresser. He walked out of the room and I kept searching for clothes, only looking at the makeup several minutes later. When I opened the bag, there was a ring box inside and I yelled, “WHAT IS THIS?!” I quickly ran down the hallway to the living room, where Luke was waiting for me on one knee! I was so shocked, I threw the ring box at him, which he immediately opened and asked me to marry him! Of course, I said “YES!” to a man who not only knows what kind of makeup I wear, but also picks up hints that I’d been wanting new products and successfully surprised me with them!
When did y’all get married? May 23, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175-200
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? I absolutely love first look photos in wedding albums. The expressions and emotions are so genuine, and the excitement of the big day is captured forever! It was so hard for me not to want that moment captured for us, but we both strongly felt that we wanted our first reveal to be when I came down the aisle. I wanted the moment to be so pure that I even decided against bridal portraits, so my first time in my gown was on our wedding day.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we wanted to preserve the tradition of a United Methodist wedding and recited vows from the United Methodist Book of Worship.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! My twin sister lent me her monogrammed handkerchief from her wedding two years prior. My paternal grandmother was the donor of something old, giving me her antique gold bangle bracelet to wear. My maternal grandmother passed 10 years prior to my wedding, but was there in spirit for my something blue, which was pale blue fabric from her wedding attire wrapped in lace from my wedding dress and wrapped around my bouquet. I considered my beautiful dress my something new!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We made decisions to select less expensive furniture options in some places, selectively place linens around the venue to provide optimal effect, and made other similar choices that would allow us to save small amounts across varying aspects of our wedding, adding up to bigger savings.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right now, we are just loving married life and building our life together! We want to see the seven wonders of the modern world and are looking forward to a little traveling before starting a family. We saw Chichen-Itza on our honeymoon and can’t wait for our next adventure!

Photographer: Courtney Dox / Planner: Ashley Wez of Boutique Planning / Ceremony Venue: Bethel United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation / Florist: SYG Designs / Cake Baker: Jim Smeal Cakes / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals and EventHaus / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band: Heart to Heart / Paper Products: Studio R Design / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Accessories: Vera Wang / Hair Stylist: Christine Pointek of Allure Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lula Kate / Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Event Design: JLV Creative / Transportation: ACW Limo and Absolutely Charleston / Linens: Nuage Designs

Courtney Dox and LulaKate are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    SO beautiful!! They are such a gorgeous couple, and that is a reception after my own heart–biggest heart eyes for that gray and white checkered dance floor and striped cake!

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My favorite details from many of the weddings we share are not just details. Many aren’t even things you’d notice by looking at the lovely photos–rather, they’re the special pieces of each wedding that make them personal to our darling couples. Katie and Win are no exception! Their magical Blackberry Farm wedding boasts stunning mountain views and perfectly classic blooms, but on top of that, they were married on Katie’s parents’ anniversary, and The Georgia Boy Choir, the same angelic voices that sang at Win’s parents’ wedding, were part of the ceremony. What a sweet way to honor both families and the unity that their marriage will create! Even their venue choice stemmed from a decision to honor their love story–they have memories at Blackberry Farm from holidays, to weekends spent hiking, and most importantly, their engagement!

Heavens, we’re happy A Bryan Photo was on hand to capture all the beauty that unfolded!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Although I did not have a particular wedding dress style in mind, I knew I wanted it to be traditional and timeless. The dress I selected was a French peony lace column gown with a full and softly fluted round hem. I loved it for its simplicity and the beauty of the lace and buttons down the back.

The flowers we chose were rich in texture and natural colors that blended into the already spectacular setting. The bouquets were everything we had imagined and more; they were the perfect balance of simple elegance with a little farm flair! My bouquet was made up of white peonies, one of my favorite spring flowers, accented with natural greenery from muted lavender and olive leaves. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a smaller version of mine with white peonies, white garden roses, muted lavender twigs, and olive leaves. The groom and groomsmen wore white garden rose boutonnieres.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Win and I felt it would be more authentic and romantic to have our first look when I walked down the aisle with my dad. We did not mind having our guests be a part of the emotion shared when we saw one another for the first time.

The Georgia Boy Choir surprised guests during our ceremony on the front lawn at Blackberry Farm. They also sang at Win’s parents’ wedding in 1986. It was such a special nod to the Rollins family to have them as part of our wedding. Their angelic voices rang through the mountains in celebration of our marriage!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with Reverend Allen, our high school chaplain, multiple times for premarital counseling as we planned for the big day. These sessions were a reminder of the merging of two families that was about to occur and what that meant for us moving forward. We discussed values, differing opinions, various stages of love, family planning, and more. Win and I will strive to live by the tools of honor, communication, trust, and love that he instilled upon us. It also made our wedding ceremony very special, since Rev. Allen knew us so well!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We rode from our wedding ceremony to the reception at The Barn in a horse-drawn carriage that was decorated with garlands of greenery and white roses. This was our first moment alone as newlyweds and it gave us an opportunity to reflect, relax, and enjoy the moment.

It was hard not to incorporate the “blackberry” theme into everything, but we decided to go for it when it came to the desserts. Our five-tiered round Italian cream cake was filled with cream cheese and alternating layers of blackberry buttercream, and was displayed on a wooden platter made from a wine barrel. Win loves milk and cookies, so instead of a groom’s cake, I surprised him with his favorite thumbprint cookies with blackberry colored icing. They were served in the tent along with small glasses of milk before our sparkler send-off.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Blackberry Farm holds so many memories for us, from holidays to weekends spent hiking, fly fishing, sitting by the fire with family, enjoying fabulous meals, and most importantly, toasting to our engagement with our families. This place is deeply rooted in love, laughter, and the start of our life together! It meant so much to have everyone at Blackberry Farm for such an important event in our lives.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy every minute! Take a step back from the details and remember that at the end of the day, this is about celebrating a commitment, dedication, and bond to the person you love. Do not forget to be gracious; everyone at your wedding has had a significant influence in your life and they have traveled to be a part of your wedding, so make them feel welcomed. And lastly, relax, have fun, and take every thing in, because it goes by too quickly!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Win and I met at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia and began dating in 10th grade, but we actually have pictures of us in the same class from preschool! After graduation, we began six years of long distance between the University of Georgia and the University of Virginia, and then from Atlanta to Houston, only seeing each other about once a month. Win told me that he knew I still loved him because I cried every time we said goodbye.
Tell us all about the proposal! Win had planned a trip to Italy in July 2013, but when I suddenly fell ill in June, we were forced to cancel it. To make up for it, Win surprised me with a fabulous getaway to Blackberry Farm during the holidays. This romantic retreat was just what the doctor had ordered, and more! There is nothing more festive than Blackberry Farm around the holidays and it is a perfect place to cozy up by the fire. Win and I enjoyed a relaxing day on the property, having picnic lunches down by the Yallerhammer Pavilion and playing endless rounds of Bananagrams by the roaring fire. On the evening of December 28, as we sipped our favorite Blackberry Bumpkin cocktails in The Barn, Win proposed! I was so elated that I still don’t remember a word he said, but I know I said “Yes!” Both of our families arrived at Blackberry the following morning to share in our engagement celebration.
When did y’all get married? April 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite details of the wedding were getting married on my parents’ wedding anniversary and having The Lovett School chaplain perform the ceremony. Win’s mom also drew a lovely sketch of The Barn at Blackberry Farm that we used for our rehearsal dinner invitations.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The first two vendors we booked, A Bryan Photo and ATL Groove Factory, were amazing!! Bryan and his team are not only incredibly talented, but so much fun, and they made us feel so at ease on our wedding day. ATL Groove Factory turned a magical evening into an unforgettable party for all of our family and friends! They were engaging, energetic, and had everyone on the dance floor for the entire night. The biggest compliment to us has been the number of our friends who have requested information about both of these vendors for their events.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Win and I are continuing to establish our new home in Houston, Texas, but hope to travel as much as possible over the next few years. Luckily, I am a travel advisor, so we are constantly dreaming of our next fabulous and memorable getaway together! One day, we hope to start a family of our own, but until then, we are enjoying our shared life together.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Blackberry Farm raises one of Italy’s oldest dog breeds, Lagotto Romagnolo, which are used on property to hunt truffles. The two new litters of curly-haired puppies enhanced everyone’s stay and definitely won a few hearts! Win and I still want to own a truffle dog and name him “Wally” in honor of Walland, Tennessee, home of Blackberry Farm!

Photographer: A Bryan Photo / Planner: No Regrets Events / Venue, Caterer, and Florist: Blackberry Farm / Cake Baker: Magpies Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals / Reception Band: ATL Groove Factory / Paper Products: Paces Papers / Bride’s Gown: Anna Maier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon / Veil: Tia Mazza Bridal / Hair Stylist: Ashley Schaumbug / Makeup Artist: Claire Balest / Bride’s Shoes: “Baxen” by Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Newberry” and “Lacey” in All Tomorrow’s Parties by Joanna August / Groom’s Attire: Miller Brothers Private Label / Groom’s Shoes: Baker Benjes / Monogram: Penned by Palmer / Calligraphy: Carol Gray Calligraphy / String Music: Special Notes Festival Strings / Choir: The Georgia Boy Choir / Rehearsal Band: Craig Duncan & Friends

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Erin Phillips reply

    Blackberry Farm is one of my most favorite places on earth! My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary there and I’ll never forget that experience, or the amazing meal we had in The Barn! It was fun to recall that experience while reading through this beautiful feature.

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