I’ve always wanted to get married in September, if only so that I can recreate the perfect outdoor temperatures and happy energy that fill Nicki + Adam’s wedding. Though we see a lot of weddings that take place at Boone Hall, we love that the newlyweds took advantage of the the view that the Cotton Dock afforded them (and some shade, too), and then transformed the space into an waterside lounge area for the reception, complete with a bit of fishing! Nicki + Adam loved adding a bit of the low country into their big day, but don’t be fooled! They also brought along some West Coast goodies for Adam, a California native.
We’re thrilled that Charlotte Elizabeth Photography shared this big day with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I first spotted the dress in Washington and then luckily found a boutique that carried it in Augusta, Georgia. When I made a trip home, my MOH went with me to try it on. I had always imagined that my wedding dress would be fitted, not poufy and definitely not strapless. Turns out, I fell in love with a strapless, poufy dress! You never know what will make you feel like a bride until you put it on!
Look closely and you’ll see sweet words stamped by those flowers. N + A’s planner, Katherine Miller, surprised the couple by stamping the words to “At Last,” the song Nicki walked down the aisle to, on the canvas ribbons adorning Adam’s boutonniere and Nicki’s bouquet. So sweet!
Don’t Nicki’s lovely bridesmaids remind you a bit of Beverly + Craig’s wedding? I love the bright yellow accessories that both brides are keen on!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did and it was great! Most of our guests had to fly in for our wedding so we wanted the whole reception to be about them, making it a great party. Taking time away from the reception for pictures was not ideal for us. With the first look, all the pictures are out of the way and you can feel free to really enjoy yourself after the ceremony. It did not detract at all from the feelings we had as I walked down the aisle.
We had an a cappella gospel choir sing during the ceremony and into the cocktail hour. They were AWESOME!! I came down the aisle to “At Last” and we walked back up to “Oh Happy Day.” Later, our first dance was to Adele’s cover of “Make You Feel My Love.”
Did you write your own vows? We did. A simple set of phrases that each began with “I promise.” One of the funniest ones: my groom promised to put as much effort into the honeymoon planning as I did into the wedding planning! Stay tuned for results…
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? None. We did have a moment of silence to remember those family members that could not be there with us. We lost my Nana in June and she would have been so happy to be there that day!!
The setting could not have been more Southern. Boone Hall embodies everything I love about the low country. The river, the marsh, the huge oak trees, the rocking chairs and fishing poles on the dock, the cotton blossom décor, our welcome bags and the food (shrimp and grits, pulled pork and fried green tomato sliders, boiled peanut hummus and a late night biscuit bar) were all completely Southern!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: This is hard since my fabulous wedding planner, floral designer and graphic designer included so many wonderful details and it really was very personal for Adam and me. But I would have to say my favorite detail was the escort sign and table name cards. Our pets are very important to us, so we named each of the tables after a family pet (past or present) and then Sarah of Dodeline Design made silhouette sketches of each of them for the table signs. It was like having our pups with us even though they had to stay home!
We wanted the wedding to feel casual and fun, so Adam and I worked with our wedding planner and our florist, Branch Design Studio to decorate the Cotton Dock. Then we mixed bright yellow flowers with grey dusty miller, white garden roses, feverfew and fresh, green herbs to create cheerful, natural bouquets and boutonnieres. Cotton blossoms hung everywhere — over the ceremony, on the barn doors and we even made a chandelier of it over the bar. We also turned wine bottles into candleholders and used as many wine barrels as we could (bringing a bit of Washington State with us to the low country, since we served west coast wines, too).
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I grew up in Walterboro, South Carolina (not too far from Charleston) and Adam is from the Bay Area of California. Randomly, we ended up at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University for different training programs. Our little family, with our 3 dogs (Ellie Mae, Clementine and Banjo), bought a house this year and are finally getting used to the winters here…well sort of! He and I are both still employed as veterinarians at WSU.
Describe the proposal. It was a TOTAL surprise! We were on a mini vacation at my Dad’s cabin in Plum Branch SC. He asked my father for my hand the day we arrived and, first thing in the morning on our last day there, he asked me to go for a walk with him around the pond. I was reluctant since it was chilly and I was not even out of my pajamas yet! But when we walked onto to the dock, he totally shocked me by getting down on one knee and asking! We quickly moved off the dock since the ring was way too big and he was worried it might fall in the water!
In what month did you get married? September
How many guests attended your wedding? 70
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We do not really like cake, so we ordered a selection of miniature desserts from Wildflour Pastry, a local bakery. These sweets were some of our favorites: lemon bars, mini pecan pies and salted caramel chocolate cupcakes! So delicious!!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Staying on budget is always a challenge but for me, living 3,000 miles away was also very difficult! My wedding planner, Katherine, was instrumental in making the wedding as perfect as it was!!!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The gospel choir and our photographer Charlotte.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Standing in front of our closest family and friends, reciting our vows to each other, looking into the crowd and knowing that all these people are here to support us and our lives together. The love was overwhelming!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a planner! And keep the guest list as small as possible. I was actually able to really enjoy myself!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are still in the middle of our respective training programs but when we finish, we hope to move somewhere warmer and start a family!
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