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Bride Mary Catharine shares her downtown Charleston wedding!

Please meet our sweet bride for today, Mary Catharine! I really think you’re going to like her. Not only is her wedding to Cody paw-sitively (get it?!) lovely, but they sound like the sweetest couple. I loved learning about how they chose their wedding venue, and especially their proposal – you know it’s going to be good when mama is involved, y’all! Not to mention, the way Mary Catharine described their love story is simply the best. She said it is “an example of patience, friendship, and love, persevering over long-distance to become teammates, PAWrents, husband, and wife.” Keep reading to hear more about this adorable duo and their extra-cute pup!

Thanks to Kati Rosado for sharing!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I took an impromptu trip to Winter Park with my friend and her daughter (my goddaughter and one of the flower girls!) to re-try on a favorite I had found in Charleston a few weeks prior. The stylist had pulled a few others just to give me a variety, but I was pretty set on the one from Charleston – until I put on what would become my wedding dress. It just felt like the dress was made for me! Classic, yet flirty with the low neck line, and it had pockets!! I was so in awe that I didn’t even notice the cluster of people outside of the large glass doors that were signaling that this had to be my dress!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did! Since we chose to do an intimate family-only ceremony, we wanted to make sure we were there to greet our guests when they arrived for cocktail hour. It was so nice to have our family formals out of the way so we could enjoy the reception with everyone! Plus, it definitely helped calm my nerves to see him before the ceremony :)

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? I lost my father two years ago, and the thought of his not being at our wedding made me tear up every time I thought of it. I knew I could never hold it together with the pressure of so many people staring at me as I walked down the aisle, so we decided on an intimate family-only ceremony (20 people and our pup Walter) and asked my oldest niece to marry us! We are only three years apart and she is my best friend. She wrote the most perfect ceremony, bringing everyone to laughter and tears, and honored my dad in the best way possible. We wrote our own vows, full of memories we had shared over the past seven years and promises to keep in all of our years to come!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We have always known we wanted to get married in Charleston – it is where my family lives and where we spend most of our holidays! We didn’t have a specific venue in mind, but knew that we wanted it to accommodate both our ceremony and reception (as well as dogs!), and Cru had to be our caterer! When we stumbled across Upstairs at Midtown, we instantly fell in love with its intimate feel, Southern charm, and, of course, their love for incorporating our pup Walter into our day!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose much of the music based on concerts we had seen together. We shared a list of these artists with both our ceremony/cocktail hour musician and our DJ, and they knocked the playlists out of the park! My favorite choice was the song we walked back down the aisle to, an acoustic version of “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris, played by our guitarist. At the reception, DJ Wade made it next to impossible to leave the dance floor, with each song better than the last!

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had two cakes – one a more typical wedding cake (for cake cutting pictures, serving guests, and saving for our one year anniversary!) and one made by my uncle (a childhood favorite of mine and the groom’s favorite flavor – a little vanilla cake with chocolate frosting). We also served mini skillet bread puddings, our go-to dessert at Cru Cafe.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. An example of patience, friendship, and love, persevering over long distance to become teammates, PAWrents, husband, and wife.
Tell us all about the proposal! Cody and my mom planned the whole thing! They tricked me into thinking my mom had surprised us with a trip to Blackberry Farms in Tennessee as a Christmas gift for the two of us, but really they had been working together and planned it as an engagement trip. He proposed the first night, outside at sunset after taking a few pictures to send my mom! We spent the rest of the trip devouring delicious food, celebrating with lots of champagne, and playing with truffle hunting dogs! It was the most amazing trip in the most magical place.
When did y’all get married? September 16, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? If we had to choose, it would be the live painter! The first thing our guests saw when they entered our reception was her painting a scene from our ceremony. I wanted everyone to feel like they were witnessing our ceremony come to life, even though they weren’t actually there.
What was Southern about your wedding? The location and the food! We made sure to include all of the Southern staples: chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, she crab soup… the list goes on and on! We emphasized to our guests that they should arrive overly hungry!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Finding the perfect way to include my father, who passed away two years ago. I didn’t want to do anything that would make me too emotional, because he would have hated that! So I made our signature drink “The Geezer” (our nickname for him), an old fashioned with a whole cherry and orange slice. It was his drink of choice, and I stuck to them as well the whole night! It made me smile every time I took a sip, or saw a guest with one in hand!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Since I do calligraphy as a side business, Cody and I were able to design our own stationery and I completed all of the calligraphy for our envelope and signage.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our whole day was so perfect, but I think I can narrow it down to our pup Walter joining in our first dance, and the look on Cody’s face when I surprised him with his favorite Buffalo Wild Wings as a late night snack on the dance floor! The look on his face was priceless!

Photographer: Kati Rosado | Videographer: Hart To Heart Media | Day of coordination: Kathleen Shuler of King Street Hospitality Group | Venue: Upstairs at Midtown | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Cake: Ashley Bakery | Caterer: Cru Catering | Linen rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen | Event rentals: Snyder Events | Ceremony Acoustic Guitar: Josh Johansson from Other Brother Entertainment | Reception DJ: DJ Wade from Other Brother Entertainment | Paper products, signage, and koozies: MC Calligraphy | Illustrations: Betsy Petersen | Bride’s gown and earrings: “Mason” by Carolina Herrera | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Lashes and Lace | Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka | Attendant dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaid Winter Park | Groom’s suit: Alton Lane | Groom’s bow tie and Walter’s collar and leash: Crewlala | Attendant tote bags: Coastal Kelder | Wedding logo and welcome bag logo: Anchor Design Co. | Champagne flutes and dog bowl: Artworks by Teri | Flower girl dresses: J.Crew | Live painter: Artistic i

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar nyfika reply

    The dog just melt my heart <3

  2. avatar 14photographers reply

    Every wedding needs a dog. Love this :D

  3. avatar Noveli Photography reply

    So much green!

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ariella Chezar flower workshop, cosponsored by our friends at Easton Events, in Charleston. Early spring turned out to be the perfect time to visit one of my favorite Southern cities, and my short trip was filled with delights for every sense, from the gorgeous blooms to the delicious eats to the charming facades down every charming cobblestone street. Had I not even ventured beyond the gates of my hotel, however, I think I still would have touched on all five senses – Zero George Street is a property that’s clearly been designed to delight!

First, though, the blooms! I wanted to share a snippet from the workshop here to give you a taste of what I experienced, but you can see much more in the current issue of Smitten Magazine!

All photos are by the talented Corbin Gurkin.

If you saw my first instagram upon arrival at Zero George, you might remember that I described it as “the home of your favorite Southern aunt – the one with exquisite taste.” This delightful boutique hotel really does go out of its way to treat guests like family – with warmth, ease, and joy.

Zero George makes it easy to continue my home metaphor, since the concierge desk is located inside the original carriage house and directly adjacent to the property’s (teensy but beautiful and custom) kitchen – the heart of any home.

On our way to my room, I learned a bit more about the property’s history, which is fascinating! The four main buildings all date from the early 19th century — two are original to the property and two were carefully relocated from elsewhere in Charleston, and they are positioned to form a garden courtyard that is the match of any in downtown. (That’s one of my favorite Charleston activities, by the way – peeking into lush and gorgeous gardens through ironwork gates!)

Photo by Meredith Perdue via Map & Menu

Since their transport, the four buildings have been painstakingly renovated with each detail thoughtfully considered. There are now eighteen studios and suites, each featuring original architectural elements like heart pine floors, high ceilings, period millwork details, and classic piazzas. The attention to detail did not surprise me in the least, considering that Lynn and Dean, the geniuses behind Easton Events, are also the proprietors of Zero George!

The particular guest room I stayed in had me rethinking the colorful palette of my own home, with its layers of texture from natural linen fabrics, casual slipcovers, inviting bedding, and sisal weave area rugs. SO calm and relaxing!

Photo on the left by Jamie Beck – I loved the keys!

And the bathrooms – oh, the bathrooms. Crisp, white perfection.

Breakfast is complimentary and served each morning in the main carriage house. It was so yummy I made sure to wake up early enough to partake every day (which is saying a lot for this late riser). Tart yogurt, house-made granola, fresh fruit and juices, pastries, and hard-boiled eggs, among other things, made up the European-style spread.

Personal instagram

Evenings at Zero George kick off with a wine and cheese hour, which quickly became a favorite daily treat. It was also the perfect opportunity to try out the many porches located throughout the property! I didn’t have a chance to sample it, but the Zero Cafe + Bar serves light bites in the evening if you’re worn out from walking the day away.

Photo by Meredith Perdue via Map & Menu

If you didn’t know better, you’d think Zero George had been around for years and years – from their well-proportioned porches to their tucked away drawing rooms, this place combines classic Southern charm with everything you could want in terms of comfort. It could not be a more perfect backdrop for a relaxing Southern getaway, a sweet Southern honeymoon, or even an intimate Southern wedding! (Yep, they do private parties!)

Photos by Jamie Beck

Zero George is situated in the historic Ansonborough neighborhood, which is to the east on the Charleston peninsula but just a short walk from King Street and the French Quarter.

Personal photos from around Charleston!

I promise that if you choose to stay at Zero George on your next trip to Charleston, your hotel will be much, much more than just a place to lay your head at night – it might even be the highlight of your stay. More info on this lovely spot here!

Now, on a bit of a different topic, I would love to hear: What are your favorite places to eat in Charleston? This time around John and I tried Poogan’s Porch, Husk, Hominy Grill, and Xiao Bao Biscuit (all delicious!). Let us know in the comments!

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Jessica reply

    I’m a huge fan of Kaminsky’s dessert cafe in downtown Charleston. Their sweets are fantastic and their dessert beverages are the perfect late night treat. A must try!

    • avatar Emily reply

      We almost went there for dessert one night!! Definitely on the list for next time.

  2. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Love the pink bouquet!

  3. avatar Mariana Symecko reply

    Emily, you are such a sweetheart! It was so nice meeting you at Ariella’s workshop!!! And thank you for the rides! :)

  4. avatar Meghan G. reply

    The bride holding the pink bouquet, could anyone tell me where I can find that wedding dress??

  5. avatar Coral & Orange Floral Fall Wedding Inspiration Board | B Loved Blog reply

    […] // Orange & lace chair ribbons by Nadia Meli via Magnolia Rouge // Redhead bride by Unknown // Coral and peach floral centrepiece by Corbin Gurkin via Southern Weddings // Seed packet favours by Nadia Meli via Magnolia Rouge // […]

  6. avatar Emily reply

    These pictures are absolutely beautiful! I love everything about this location! Do you know who the designer of that second wedding gown is? What a beautiful dress!

  7. avatar Melissa reply

    is there any way I can get information about the wedding dress with the pink bouquet?

  8. avatar Floral Fridays // Poppies – The Project Lifestyle reply

    […] From southernweddings.com. […]

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!

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