Bride Fabiola shares her plantation wedding to Richard!
Whenever we feature brides who work in the wedding industry themselves, I always wonder what that must be like! Today’s bride, a wedding photographer by trade, described the predicament you may be in if you’ve been to a whole lot of weddings, perfectly. “We really wanted our wedding to be ‘us.’ Being part of the wedding industry, I have seen and been to dozens of weddings and have seen so many gorgeous details that it was hard to really make our day uniquely us and not a cookie cutter wedding. I think the biggest compliment at the end of the day was hearing our guests say ‘Wow, this is so Fabiola and Richard.’ It made everything so worth it.” This sweet reminder to stay true to yourselves and your story is just about as good as the way Fabiola honored her mother!
Read on below to find out how, and don’t forget to pick up a copy of our Tenth-Anniversary Issue for much, much more goodness where this came from!
Thanks to Rach Loves Troy for these photos!!
Tell us your love story in one sentence. From long-distance in college, to businesses formed, career changes, moves, trials and tribulations, a lot has changed in seven years but we are and always have been each other’s constant.
Growing up in Charleston, I always had the vision of a wedding on the water under some magnificent oak trees dripping in Spanish moss. After going to about 10 different venues, Cassina Point Plantation was the last one we visited. From the moment I stepped out of the car I knew this was the place for us. I instantly relaxed, and felt like I was able to breathe. Ms. Tecla, the owner, who has since become like a grandmother to Richard and I both, talked to us for hours on that first visit. She told us the history behind the plantation, and my favorite part, she told me that it was where Dear John was filmed. Not only was it beautiful but it really was a place that felt like home.
Did you decide to do a first look? Yes!! Being a wedding photographer, I knew the importance of a first look. It was an absolute no brainer for Richard and I. Not only did we get more portraits, and a first look would help our timeline go a bit more smoothly, but I knew that I wanted those few moments alone with him. It was probably my favorite part of the day, and contrary to popular belief it didn’t take anything away from me walking down the aisle to him.
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I’m not super big on trying on clothes and have always been the type of person who knows right off the bat how something looks on me by seeing it on the hanger. We went into Bleu Belle in Savannah with my parents and one of my bridesmaids, where Courtney our consultant was the biggest help. I knew the moment I saw it that it was the one. Courtney made me try everything else on before I got to try on the coveted gown, so of course I was super anxious to put it on. It was simple, had straps so I knew it was comfortable, and had some gorgeous light fabric that was going to be easy to move in. I stepped in and the waterworks started. I always doubted that I was going to cry, but there’s just something about the moment that you step into that gown that you know your life is going to change in for the first time. It was the best experience.
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Being engaged for 3.5 years, you have a lot of time to think and to write. I’m a huge writer so I knew that I wanted to write my own vows. Without a doubt, my favorite vow that I spoke to Richard was “I promise to pray for you each day. No matter where we are in the world, I know your hands and arms are always a safe place to land.” Richard has been my safe place for 7 years, and I was so excited to tie in our faith and the fact that home is literally, wherever I am with him. One of my favorite parts of our ceremony was when Anna, one of my closest friends and sorority sister read scripture. She has always guided my faith, and throughout college constantly prayed over me and was always there no matter what so it was, so important and so special to me that she read at our ceremony.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Richard’s and my favorite wedding part of wedding planning without a doubt were the tastings. We LOVE food so both our food tasting and cake tasting was one of the most fun parts! To be honest, every little part of planning was so great- after being engaged for so long you start to not care as much about the little details and just know that every decision is a decision closer to saying I Do!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Take it all in, and don’t let the little things overwhelm you. Looking back on it, we couldn’t have been happier about how everything went, and it really put things into perspective. All those stressful moments wedding planning didn’t matter at the end of the day. As long as you make it down the aisle and say “I Do” to your best friend, nothing else matters.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I was so excited to walk down the aisle to an instrumental “Thousand Years” by Christina Perri but to be honest, I was so nervous and excited that I couldn’t even remember them playing it! Our first dance was to the “Wedding Song” by Safetysuit. We had debated last minute between it and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran before we decided on it. The Wedding Song really narrated our relationship over the last 7 years, from the chivalrous things that Richard has always done for me, to the things we will never stop doing for each other. Growing up in a military family with my dad always away, my mom, who we affectionately call “She-She” (her name is Sheila!), often had to play both parent roles. I surprised her after the father/daughter dance and we danced to “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood. I don’t think I will ever forgot my mom’s face or that moment for as long as I live.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was November of my junior year of college, and it was the very first weekend in the semester that I didn’t have to work. While I wanted to sleep in and go watch the Gamecocks play, my mom and Richard convinced me to go home to Charleston since I hadn’t been that entire semester Richard told me I’d get to sleep in and we’d go to his Alma Mater, the Citadel, and watch their game. I got home to Charleston and was preparing for a relaxing weekend, but little did I know Richard had other plans. He woke me up bright and early that Saturday morning and told me to get ready for brunch. I threw on some comfy clothes and hopped in the car. I will never forget the look on Richards face as he said “Hey, we might not come back to your house before the game, so put on your game day outfit.” I was less than pleased that I had to go change but Richard to this day says he was relieved that he came up with that on the spot. I changed, and we headed to brunch but as we passed all of our usual brunch spots I became confused. We ended up driving an hour to Folly Beach, where Richard said we were meeting a few of his Citadel friends for brunch: which so happened to be the restaurant where we met and had our first date. Again, I thought nothing of it. We got to the restaurant, where they sat us in the same corner where we met, and had our first date. We laughed at the coincidence and Richard looked in his pocket and said “I left my wallet in the car let me go grab it quickly.” Again, I didn’t think anything of it. But then not only did his friends start coming in, but my sorority sisters started showing up. When the first one came in I thought it a coincidence, but when the 8th one came in, I knew something was going on. After about a dozen or so of our friends came in, Richard followed. I wish I could say I remember what he said but knowing him it was something well- thought-out and kind. He even grabbed the wrong hand as he nervously put the ring on my finger and it is probably one of my best memories ever. So while I didn’t get to sleep in, I said yes to my forever in one of our favorite spots.
When did y’all get married? March 25, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had a delicious four-tiered buttercream cake from Ashley Bakery here in Charleston. Richard, my mom, and I went cake tasting and we each picked a flavor that we loved! It was super simple with gorgeous blooms that Andraya from Flora expertly put on! Strawberry, Almond and Italian Cream were the winners and they were such a hit! Ashley Bakery made a gorgeous cake that tasted even better.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I think my favorite detail was all of the personal touches that Richard and I did. From the signage on custom cut glass to our invitations and koozies where my hand drawn sketch of the plantation home was placed, I think every detail was so perfectly “us.” Richard’s favorite detail was the music. From the ceremony to cocktail hour and to our reception, every note played really carried the energy of each moment.
What was Southern about your wedding? I think the most Southern thing would be the location: Spanish moss, plantation, live oaks. Our food was perfectly Southern and delicious: chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and barbecue all from B Gourmet. Our ceremony musicians had the most incredible banjos. It was a perfectly Southern soiree!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I have always been a very crafty, hands-on person so I did a lot of the signage on pieces of glass that I had custom cut. I also made each of my guests a custom print of their home (so a lot of Google Earth stalking was done), as well as used vendors that may not have had too many weddings under their belts but whose work and vision I trusted whole-heartedly.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first look was probably the most memorable for me. Richard graduated from the Citadel and took a ton of pride in his Citadel ring which didn’t quite fit, so after he had opened his groom’s gift I had one last surprise for him at our first look. With the help of a great jeweler, I got his ring resized and surprised him with it during our first look. He was SO excited and that just sparked the start of the most memorable day of my life.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? I think one of the funniest parts of our day ties back to the advice I gave above. I had so meticulously picked “Ice Pink” linens for our cocktail tables that when they arrived from the rental company, my planner was afraid to tell me that some had come in another shade of pink. I laughed it off, told her it didn’t matter to me, and didn’t even think about it or notice it. I promise, don’t sweat the small things, those tiny details that no one else will even notice but you- it’s not worth the wasted energy!
Photographer and Videographer: Rach Loves Troy | Planner: Eden Ellis (Paraiso Event Design) | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Cassina Point Plantation | Florist: Flora (Andraya Northrup) | Wedding Cake Baker: Ashley Bakery | Caterer: B Gourmet | Rentals: Snyder Event and Eventhaus | Lighting: TEC Lighting | Band: Flashback the Party Band and Green Levels | Koozies: Twine Graphics | Paper Products: Bride’s custom design | Bride’s Gown: Pronovias from Bleu Belle Bridal | Bride’s Hair Accessories: Modern Trousseau | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lashes and Lace | Bride’s Shoes: The “Filipa” from Bella Belle | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Menswear: Jos A Banks | Men’s Socks: Southern Socks | Bar Service: Spike by Snyder