Google+ Virgil Bunao Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: Virgil Bunao

People often say that opposites attract, but for Chandler and David, their similarities are what drew them together. After meeting online and going on two dates within a mere six days, these two were inseparable. Their common beliefs and ability to see eye to eye fostered a love that quickly grew, and it carried them right through their premarital preparation and into their wedding day. When guest list challenges arose, Chandler and David focused on celebrating with those who loved them as a couple, and kept their focus centered on their relationship by viewing their wedding as “our day” instead of individually. The beautiful Lowndes Grove Plantation was the perfect place for everyone to enjoy their celebration–there was even a place for their tiny flower girl to squeeze in a quick nap!

Thank you kindly to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Virgil Bunao for sharing this sweet day!

I knew I wanted to do a girls trip for my bridal gown shopping, so arrangements were made for family and friends to join me in Charleston exactly one year prior to the wedding. I was joined by my mom, my sister, my sister-in-law, my maid of honor, and David’s mother. We went to two salons in the morning, and then after lunch, we moved on to Gown Boutique of Charleston. At GBC, I tried on about four dresses. I was getting a little frustrated and worried that I was going to be talked into a gown I didn’t love, before I finally put on the only dress I tried on in the store that I personally pulled off the rack. I knew as soon as I saw it that I loved it. I looked up and realized my mom was crying, so naturally, I started crying, and so did many of the other girls. We all knew this was the dress. Although not part of the original plan, I was glad I ended up wearing a veil. Initially, I was completely against the idea of wearing a veil, and committed to wearing a flower crown. At my fitting in March, my mom talked me into trying on a simple, cathedral-length veil, and I ended up loving it. Still committed to the flower crown, we ordered the veil and agreed that we would decide later about when each would be worn. After talking with David after the wedding, I was very happy that I was able to combine the flower crown I loved with the beautiful flowing veil that he had hoped for.

While rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck, after months of planning an outdoor ceremony, rain was anything but a welcome visitor on our big day. Therefore, when we learned about the Southern tradition of burying a bottle of bourbon to keep the rain away, we were all for it. We were so excited when we received a call from our planner saying we had the “okay” from our venue to bury the bourbon! We were blessed with beautiful sunny skies and temps in the 60s and 70s for our big day.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? I first heard “The Blessing of the Hands” in a wedding video I watched early in our planning process. We both loved the words of this poem, so we insisted on having David’s brother’s wife read it during our ceremony. My childhood minister, Dr. Hawkins, who guided us through premarital counseling, also officiated our wedding. Dr. Hawkins incorporated 1 John 4:16 and Colossians 3:12-17 into the service, and did a beautiful sermon on marriage. It was important to us that my maternal grandfather had a role in our wedding–he was a navy chaplain for many years, and officiated the wedding of my parents over 40 years ago, so it was special to us to have him read scripture during our ceremony. He read Ruth 1:16-17 and Mark 10:6-9, which David and I had chosen together.

Our favorite detail was definitely the venue– not only was it a gorgeous backdrop for our wedding ceremony and reception, but it made the events on the day of the wedding flow so easily. My bridal party and I spent the entire morning getting ready in the Lowndes Grove Plantation house prior to the ceremony. After the ceremony, the guests were able to wander around the venue and explore the house, property, and the dock that extends out into the Ashley River. The venue also allowed us to bring in a swing, which was hung from a tree by an attachment point designed by David so that it swiveled to face either the river or the house. We, and many of our guests, captured beautiful photos with loved ones on this swing. Since the swing is ours, it is memento that we can hang at our own home, so it will remind us of our wedding day for years to come. Later in the evening, the house was great for guests who wanted a quiet place to enjoy each other’s company. Our reception was on the back patio under a tent, and once the band started playing, this area got loud (in a good way!), but there was a ton of comfortable seating inside that many of our elderly guests were able to escape to as the night carried on. Our flower girl, who was 13 months old at the time, was even able to take a little nap during the reception on the second floor of the house, which I know her mother appreciated. David and I loved Lowndes Grove from the first time we saw it, but it was especially nice to see how well it accommodated our guests’ needs.

Although we would have loved to have our dog, Olsen, present at the wedding, we knew his playful, and sometimes rambunctious, personality would have never allowed it. At the wedding, David and I, on behalf of Olsen, had pink tennis balls and custom dog treats available for guests to take home to their four-legged friends. For weeks after the wedding, we received photos from friends and family of their dogs enjoying either the treats or their new pink tennis balls. We loved that these favors gave us the opportunity to incorporate our dog into the wedding, but it was also such a privilege to learn more about our guests’ beloved pets.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? One of the best things you can do is hire a wedding planner who fits your design style and personality, and is able to delegate tasks to family and friends who are offering to help. Ali was organized, assertive, responsive, pleasant to be around, and willing to be as involved as we wanted her to be. Ali and her team saved us an ample amount of money in the long run, not to mention, her team ensured the wedding planning process was always fun and not stressful.

To say I like bows would be a huge understatement–I LOVE them! From the beginning stages of planning our wedding cake, we knew there would be a bow on it. We wanted our cake design to be classic and more traditional in style, so we chose to have a solid white cake. The final product was exactly what we wanted: a four-tiered round cake with a simple quatrefoil pattern on the first and third tiers. The largest tier had a beautiful white fondant bow on the front of it. We had two different flavor options for our guests to choose from: chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and vanilla cake with passion fruit buttercream. Luckily for us, Patrick Properties sent us home with two slices of each flavor and an anniversary tier, so we were able to enjoy our tasty cake for many days following the wedding. We can’t wait for our first anniversary to enjoy it all over again!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In July 2013, we had both recently relocated to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina for jobs. Being single and knowing very few people in the area, we both decided to create online dating profiles on I created my account on a Sunday afternoon, and shortly thereafter, David messaged me. After an email exchange, we agreed to meet in person for dinner in Durham at a small Italian restaurant called Piazza Italia. The connection was immediate. The conversation never stopped and we quickly realized that our personalities meshed perfectly. Before we knew it, the dinner was over, and not being ready to say goodbye, we headed across the street to James Joyce Irish Pub for drinks and trivia. Since we both had to work the next day, the night had to end earlier then we would have liked, so we planned a second date for that Friday. After two dates within a mere six days, we were inseparable and dating exclusively.
Tell us all about the proposal! Many of our friends and family members were speculating aloud that we were going to get engaged soon–even though we had only been dating for eight months. From these conversations, David had learned two important things: 1. I was confident my best friend Jillian wouldn’t know about the proposal ahead of time because she wouldn’t be able to keep a secret like that from me, and 2. I wanted an extended period of time together after the engagement to enjoy the moment (like a vacation or weekend). With that in mind, David knew that in order to surprise me, Jillian had to be involved and that the proposal needed to be on a weekday! On the morning of the proposal (April 24, 2014), Jillian, per the plan, called me and asked if we would like to join her and her boyfriend for a picnic dinner at Duke Gardens. Prior to this, David had told me he would be working late (in an attempt to throw me off) so I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want to be a “third wheel.” After hours of persuasion, Jillian convinced me to join her, at which point, David announced he no longer had to work late and would be available to come along. With the picnic basket (complete with the ring) in hand, Jillian was first to arrive at the bench where David was to propose. David and I found her waiting there, and after some quick “hellos,” Jillian announced she had to get her boyfriend from the parking lot. At this point, David suggested we enjoy some wine, pulled a bottle out of the picnic basket, and handed it to me. Etched on the glass wine bottle was “Will you marry me?”, my monogram, a sweet note. I was shocked and immediately began crying tears of joy. David was so excited he forgot everything he was going to say and ended up just reading the message on the back of the wine bottle instead of reciting his memorized speech, after which, he dropped to one knee and presented me with a beautiful engagement ring.
When did y’all get married? October 31, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 126
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I actually saw Lowndes Grove Plantation in a magazine years ago and thought it was so gorgeous. Since that moment, I have wanted to get married there. After we got engaged, David was on board with a Charleston wedding. Since we have family spread out all over the US and guests would be traveling from near and far, we wanted to pick a location that guests would enjoy spending a few extra days in, and Charleston definitely fit that criteria. David had planned a trip to Charleston for my birthday three weeks after we got engaged. During that time, we looked at four venues. We went to Lowndes Grove first and fell in love with it, but David was very excited about another venue in the Charleston area, so we wanted to check it out as well before we made any final decisions. All the venues we toured were beautiful in their own way, but just didn’t compare to Lowndes Grove Plantation.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Instead of writing our own vows, we decided to use traditional vows and write each other personal letters to be read prior to the ceremony in private.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had many conversations that began prior to being engaged, during which we discussed many of the topics relevant to marriage. Having nearly identical viewpoints in so many key areas was a major contributing factor to us now being married. Our similarities and common beliefs only fostered the love between us. We also independently took the Prepare-Enrich premarital survey that measures a person’s perceptions on many critical aspects of life, such as finances, religion, family, children, etc. Our answers were used to highlight similarities and differences in our beliefs and was a part of our pre-marital counseling that was done by my childhood minister, Dr. Hawkins.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge to overcome with planning our wedding was putting together the guest list. At the end of the day, we ended up inviting those individuals who knew us and loved us AS A COUPLE. We viewed our wedding as OUR day rather than that of the bride or groom individually, so we wanted people there who had fostered and encouraged our relationship.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are thrilled to finally be married and to be able to move on to the next chapter in our lives, during which we will continue to build our relationship and learn how to conquer the challenges of life together. Memories we are looking forward to in the years to come are taking vacations together, starting our own family traditions, purchasing a house, growing our family with children and puppies, and fulfilling new roles as aunt and uncle. We are also looking forward to having friends and family over for dinner parties, special celebrations, and holidays.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao | Videographer: Siegel Films | Planner: A. Caldwell Events | Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation | Florist: Tiger Lily Florist | Cake Baker: Jessica Grossman | Caterer: Fish | Rentals: Snyder Events, EventWorks, and 428 Main | Lighting: Innovative Event Services | Band: The Mighty Kicks | Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Charleston Virtuosi | Save the Dates: Green Tie Studio | Invitation Calligraphy, Navy and White Wedding Signage, Welcome Sign, Hors d’oevures Cards, and Place Cards: Mason Dixon Designs | Artwork and Calligraphy for Table Numbers, Programs, Menus, Invitations, and Welcome Letters: Cass Deller Design | Paper Goods Formatting and Printing: Ply | Bride’s Gown: Eugenia Couture | Bridal Salon and Veil: Gown Boutique of Charleston | Bride’s Earrings: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry | Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair and Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Elehandmade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate | Men’s Suits: The Black Tux | Men’s Shirts, Ties, and Tie Clips: J. Crew | Bridesmaid Robes: Talbots | Custom Dog Treats: Treat Dreams Dog Bakery | Koozies: SplendidSips | Welcome Bags: Welcome Bags Weddings | Cocktail Napkins: Memorable Wedding | Monogrammed Corn Hole Bags: The Lakeside Woodshop | Coral Quatrefoil Pillows: Pillows by Janet | Bride and Groom Chair Signs: Host and Toast Studio | Custom Corn Hole Board Decals: WG Cornhole | Monogrammed Chevron Swing Pillow: Peppermint Bee | Transportation: Lancaster Tours

Virgil Bunao is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Molly reply

    Yay! Congrats Chandler + David! Working with you both was such a wonderful experience! Your globetrotting stationery :) will forever hold a special place in my heart! So happy for you both!

  2. avatar Ali reply

    AW! We LOVE YOU TWO!!! What a fun experience this was and we are so blessed to have worked with two amazing individuals with such a deep love for each other and God! Hands down one of my favorite weddings to-date! XO

  3. avatar Zookbinders Wedding Albums reply

    Such a lovely bride! Gorgeous wedding!

  4. avatar Blavou Photography reply

    Wow, lovely wedding and inspirational photography!

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!

Reply to:

We’re just tickled to get to introduce y’all to a new set of Blue Ribbon Vendors each month, because we know any one of them would be a joy to you if you choose to work together! We’re using a few of our favorite BRV interview questions to help you get to know them. Click through to their listings to find out more about them and see all of our wonderful vendors!

Name: Sarah Joelle Furr, Sarah Joelle
Location/Coverage: Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida. Available worldwide.
Dream travel destination: Traveling makes my heart sing! Some of the places on the top of my list are Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Provence, and Santorini.

Name: Cassie Thibeaux, Southern Fete
Where you call home: Anywhere there’s oak trees and moss, generous hospitality, and a little Southern charm!
How I got into weddings: For as long as I can remember, I dreamed and planned my perfect wedding (and practiced walking down the aisle with a bath towel as a train… oh, you did that too?). When my husband and I moved to Lafayette from Baton Rouge after our dream wedding in 2012, I knew it was time for a career change. I craved a creative outlet that highlighted my passion for meticulous organization and immersed me in fast-paced situations that were never the same. I’ve never looked back.

Name: Stephanie Rachmeler, Stephanie’s Paper Shop
Where you call home: Atlanta, GA
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Southern weddings have a charm unlike any other I’ve seen. They feel homey and inviting. That’s not to say they’re all informal, but rather, they all carry with them the Southern hospitality for which our region is known. You feel like you’re part of one big family, and at the end of the night, you’re a little tired, a little too full, and you’ve had a ball.

Name: Randi Smith, Sugar Euphoria
Where you call home: Raleigh, NC
How I got into weddings: You know the saying “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth?” I’m convinced that I was born with a spatula and a whisk, since I come from a long line of bakers. However, I didn’t venture into the world of weddings until my husband encouraged me to sign up for a wedding expo. I’ve loved every minute of being a cake designer, from the consultations with sweet brides to the deliveries.

Name: Rachel Bridgwood and Lauren Anderson, Sweet Root Village
Where you call home: Alexandria, VA
Favorite part of a wedding day? Seeing everything come together after months of hard work! Aaaaand also putting flowers on the cake. We like cake.

Name: Nate and Jaclyn Kaiser, The Image is Found
Location/Coverage: Nashville/Worldwide
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: We were chosen as one of American Photo’s Top Ten Photographers.

Name: The Market at Grelen
Where you call home: Somerset, VA
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Being from California, I just LOVE the “Southern charm” family and friends bring to every wedding in the South. I love seeing guests get all gussied up, whether it’s a black tie affair or a seersucker suit. I also love it when couples get creative with their signature cocktails and put a fun twist on a Southern classic.

Name: Lisa Formaro, The Sweet Trend
Where you call home: Cumming, GA
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Fill the day with what is most important to you and your groom. You will love looking around and seeing all the special touches you took the time to add to your day and keep in your memories. It is just the beginning of a beautiful journey together.

Name: Virgil Bunao
Where you call home: Charleston, SC
Favorite part of a wedding day? Hmmm, the whole day. If I had to choose, I would say 15 or so minutes before the ceremony, when most people are scrambling, to about when the bride walks down the aisle. There tends to be A LOT of great moments during that time that I love capturing.

Name: Sara Fields, Wedding Connections
Where you call home: Asheville, NC
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Remember that love is the most important detail of any wedding day.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Sarah Joelle reply

    Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the shout out!!! xoxo

  2. avatar Feature: Southern Weddings Blue Ribbon Vendor Intruduction » Sweet Root Village Blog reply

    […] So thrilled to be a Blue Ribbon Vendor for Southern Weddings and grateful for their introduction post that included us on their blog! […]

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!

Reply to:

I’m a classic wedding gal through and through! When I saw the very first photo of Grace and Ben’s beautiful day I knew I was going to love it. I mean, the cathedral length lace veil and monogram button down combo?! But, after reading their sweet interview, I am even more smitten. For these high school sweethearts, sticking with tradition, classic design, and beautiful florals was not just to create a stunning wedding day, but to honor their family and their own love story. Custom corn hole boards are fun, but for Grace and Ben it was not only a nod to the amazing tailgates we have as Southerners, but Ben’s time as a collegiate football player at Appalachian State. My favorite reason for a decision, however, is why they chose not to have a first look. Ben’s father (also his best man) told him: “One of the greatest feelings you’ll ever have in your entire life is when your bride walks down the aisle towards you for the first time; you feel like your chest is going to explode.” Oh, Southern gents, y’all break the mold!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Virgil Bunao for capturing this romantic day planned by fellow BRV member A Charleston Bride.

I found my wedding dress the week after we got engaged! At an appointment with my mom, I tried on about five dresses I liked, and then she pulled one from the rack that she thought I should try on. I did, not really sure if I would like it, and LOVED it as soon as I put it on, so much so that I decided I didn’t want to try on any more dresses and knew that it was the one! The only issue was that it was strapless, and I had always wanted sleeves. The amazing ladies at Joan Pillow worked with me over a period of about six months to create a custom designed bolero from coordinating Carolina Herrera lace to match my veil. I had a vision for it and they made it happen so beautifully!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ben and I met at Charlotte Latin School. He played football and had a devastating knee injury his senior year. The injury resulted in multiple surgeries, causing him to miss so much school that he ended up choosing to repeat his senior year to get to play a complete season of football and re-earn his athletic scholarships to colleges. The doctors told him he might never walk again, and he ended up being an all-American college football player at Appalachian State as a tight end. Also, if he hadn’t had to repeat his senior year, we never would have met! I waved at him from my art class for a few weeks while he was playing foursquare outside for a physical education class. He asked one of my friends who I was, my friend gave Ben my number, and the rest is history!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? I grew up going to Kiawah Island with my family and have so many happy memories there, so as soon as we got engaged I had a feeling I wanted to get married there. Ben also loves it and has joined my family on lots of trips there. Whenever I was at Kiawah with my family, we attended Holy Spirit Catholic church and I thought it was beautiful. Plus, the people there are so kind and warm.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used the traditional vows at the church. Reciting the traditional vows that my parents and their parents before them promised to each other before God is something that was very special for me.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Old Testament: Genesis 2:18-24, New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a, Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-29 (My husband’s favorite scripture verses!)

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose “God Who Created Hearts to Love” as the song to walk back up the aisle to once we were married because it completely sums up our belief about marriage — that we were created by God to love Him through loving each other. Our first dance was “All of Me” by John Legend; my husband specifically picked it out because the lyrics sum up what we are about. Neither of us are perfect, and we love that about each other. My dad picked our first dance song, “Lullaby: Goodnight, My Angel,” and we both cried. I loved that it was not a very common father-daughter dance song, and it brought back so many memories of my dad singing it to me when I was a little girl.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? We had custom corn hole boards set up off the back porch to entertain our guests during the cocktail hour. My husband played college football in the South and it was a great nod to the amazing tailgates we have as Southerners! We had chicken and waffles as a passed appetizer, with the waffle as a waffle cone and a piece of fried chicken with syrup inside of it– easy to eat and delicious! Along with Southern deviled eggs and macaroni and cheese balls, we also had a raw bar with local oysters and shrimp. One of our three entree options was shrimp and grits. Other than the food, the overall atmosphere of the event was very Southern in regards to the hospitality. As we planned the wedding, the main thought I always came back to was trying to make everything comfortable and welcoming for our guests. The staff at the River Course went above and beyond to make sure every one of our guests had what they needed at all times. Another way that idea was executed was in having lounge furniture right off the dance floor. The gorgeous upholstered sofas and chairs summed up what being Southern means to me – welcoming, comfortable, and relaxed elegance.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We chose to incorporate two flavors into the three tiers. The top and bottom were white chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut filling, and the middle tier was sour cream pound cake with strawberry filling. In terms of the design, I wanted to keep it simple and have it be a part of the overall design of the event. The middle tier said, “And they lived happily ever after,” in gold, as well. I really wanted to incorporate our love of Disney and our engagement in a subtle way.

Tell us all about the proposal! We both love Disney World, and our dating anniversary was January 1st. On New Year’s Eve, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom together to celebrate seven years of dating. We spent the day there together and found a great spot to watch the fireworks starting at midnight, the start of our seven year celebration! We were right in front of Cinderella’s castle, and after the countdown to the New Year, as the fireworks were just beginning, Ben got down on one knee and whipped a ring out of his pocket and proposed! I was shocked and so unbelievably happy!
When did y’all get married? January 17, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to not do one. Ben’s father (also his best man) has always told him: “One of the greatest feelings you’ll ever have in your entire life is when your bride walks down the aisle towards you for the first time; you feel like your chest is going to explode” We definitely wanted to share that moment of seeing each other for the first time that day as I walked down the aisle in the church and I’m so happy we did it that way. It was so incredible and Ben says he will remember that feeling for the rest of his life.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was our custom logo designed by Studio R. It was our initials intertwined inside of a hand-drawn floral wreath. I loved it so much that we used it on our invitations, envelopes, cocktail napkins, corn hole boards, thank you cards, and most excitingly for me: our ice sculpture. I love ice sculptures, and knew I wanted one at our wedding. Our wedding planner suggested carving our custom logo on it. We placed shrimp and oysters on it, making it a raw bar set up in front of the huge bay windows. As the sun set, it illuminated and shone through the sculpture. It was beautiful and a custom touch I will always remember and cherish. It was also one of the first things our guests saw when they walked into the space for cocktail hour, and I believe it set the tone for the rest of the event.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! Borrowed: I had two! I first asked the florist to wrap my bouquet in my mom’s white rosary that she got in Italy. Secondly, I borrowed my mom’s gorgeous pearl earrings with diamond jackets. They are classic and elegant, just like my mom. I felt so special wearing them. Blue: Betty, the wonderful seamstress at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon, surprised me at our last fitting by embroidering the inside of my dress right over my heart with a blue GJ (my new initials), and our wedding date. After spending months designing my custom bolero with her, we became really close and it was very meaningful for me that she did that. Old: I also had the florist wrap my bouquet in a strip of lace from my mother’s dress. I loved having a piece of her dress as a part of my outfit as I walked down the aisle, and along with her rosary, I cherished holding onto it.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was a lot of fun to work with Haley and the ladies of A Charleston Bride to plan our beautiful wedding, but for the year we were engaged, Ben and I were most focused and excited about preparing for our marriage and life together. After being together for over seven years at that point, we were so ready to commit to spending the rest of our lives together in front of God and our family and friends. We met with my local priest for premarital counseling and attended a weekend getaway with engaged couples where there were speakers on issues ranging from financial planning to spiritual development.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? There were so many images I had seen on Pinterest and in magazines that I loved, but they were all very different from each other! It was hard for me to focus on what, exactly, I wanted our wedding to look like. It was overwhelming!! After my first meeting with Haley, all of my issues were totally gone, as she instantly was able to look into my head and know exactly what I wanted, but couldn’t articulate. She was able to read my taste completely, and helped me more than I can say with creating a vision. She is incredible.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was when the church doors opened for the first time, I stood with my dad, and looked out and saw the man I love more than anything in the world who was about to become my husband.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice would be to stress out as little as possible about it. At the end of the day, the most important thing is your marriage; the rest of it is just beautiful extras. However beautiful you believe your wedding will be, I promise it will be even more incredible than you imagined. Relax, soak it in, and enjoy it. It will be gorgeous and perfect no matter what little things go wrong.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Ben and I recently brought a new member into our family, our puppy English Bulldog named Brutus! We plan to continue settling into our first home together, tackling very very small home improvement projects as neither of us are handy, and enjoying this time together.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao Photography | Videographer: Jim Jorden Productions | Planner:
Haley with A Charleston Bride | Ceremony Venue: Holy Spirit Catholic Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: The River Course Clubhouse at the Kiawah Island Club | Florist: A Charleston Bride | Wedding Cake: Ashley Bakery | Band: The Maxx from East Coast Entertainment | Paper Products: Studio R |
Bride’s Gown and Veil: Carolina Herrera “Alice” | Bridal Salon and Custom Bolero: Joan Pillow | Hair Stylist: Victora Melton | Makeup Artist: Moore Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Tadashi Shoji from purchased at Nordstrom | Groom’s Attire: Charleston Tuxedo

A Charleston Bride, Virgil Bunao, East Coast Entertainment, and Studio R are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Victoria reply

    Obsessed with this sweet couple and their story! Consider this comment a formal request for y’all to feature them for Southern Newlywed- with style like this I bet their home is adorable! XO

  2. avatar Jim reply

    What a sweet article Marissa! Here’s a link to: Grace & Ben Forever, Their Love Story

    Password – jordens (all lower case)

  3. avatar Jehnel Oboza-Davison reply

    I second that request, Victoria! We were so happy to have Grace and Ben make their way towards for their photos. When I found out their home was also adorable, I immediately told Grace to try her hand at applying for Southern Newlywed. I really hope she does! (=

  4. avatar reply

    Wow what an elegant event. We especially love the flowers around the fireplace & on the backs of the chairs and that cake is so pretty!

  5. avatar Abbey Angelle reply

    Would love to know where the mother of the bride dress came from? Designer? I love it.

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!

Reply to: