Our wedding

Romance

This is going to be a very photo laden post, but just as with everyone, my wedding was very special. Ever since I started this blog I’ve been looking forward to sharing my wedding. Our wedding photographer, Jason Ayers, was phenomenal and really captured some incredible moments in our wedding.

I worked at a stationery story for a short time in 2011 and 2012, and in that time I fell in love with Crane stationery. I hadn’t quite picked out my wedding stationery, but I knew it would be simple, traditional, and engraved. What is great about engraved is that I now have the engraving plates from the whole set as a keepsake. My maternal grandmother actually has hers as well and it’s definitely something I’m interested in framing and passing down.

We also created a whole series of fun invitations for all of our wedding events. From top left is the invitation from my bridal shower, the rehearsal dinner which was held at a local smokehouse, and then the invitation to our engagement party. The second row is the invitation to the Sunday morning brunch, the invitation to my bridesmaids luncheon, and finally our save the date. In the middle is my desktop calendar from Sugar Paper. I keep mine on my vanity on a cute gold easel that it comes with. Using the June calendar was a great way to capture the day.

I love traditions, and the “somethings” poem and what it symbolizes is incredible.

Something old: my engagement ring

Something new: my shoes and dress

Something borrowed: my grandfather’s bronze star. He passed away when I was four and passed all of his military memorabilia onto my brother, so I was able to incorporate my grandfather into my wedding by pinning this to the inside of my dress, borrowing it from my brother.

Something blue: my sapphire earrings

Sixpence in my shoe: I actually placed this sixpence in my shoe. I love this card that it came with from SparkConfab‘s etsy shop. It provides an explanation of why you incorporate every “something.”

I absolutely adore my dress. I hope to have it framed one day to hang in my huge walk-in closet, but right now it is preserved at my parent’s house. It was designed by Augusta Jones Bridal, an elegant southern wedding dress designer. When I picked out my dress I knew I wanted lace, sleeves, and for it to be as poofy as possible. I had always dreamed of wearing a ballgown style dress, but based on recent experience I knew I looked better in mermaid style. I had them modify the dress to be a modified A-line, meaning the part where it did poof out is a little lower than a traditional A-line. A June wedding in Charleston also meant it would be hot so I knew true sleeves wouldn’t work so I was so excited to find a dress with these sleeves. And the floral detail in the lace was incredible.

My makeup artist is Megan from Cos Bar in Charleston and she is so talented. I try to see her twice a year to go over facial changes, new trends, and new products. I absolutely love her. My hair stylist is Kaitlyn who owns Doux or Dye in Greenville, SC. I began seeing her at a blow out salon in Greenville, and moved with her when she got her own space. I still drive up to Greenville about once a month to see her. Her daughter was actually my flower girl! She has done this style on me several times and she was a little disappointed when I didn’t change it up, but I just love this updo so much!

You may remember the above photo from yesterday’s blog post. This is my maid of honor who introduced David and I. He and she went to college together, and both of them being highly social extroverts, they remained in touch. She is a sweet and kind woman, the mother type, but also not someone to be reckoned with.

I love this photo of me enjoying a mimosa, looking out the window. We got ready in a suite at Charleston Place, located on Market Street between Meeting and King Street. It really was a perfect place to get ready. The beds are so comfortable and the food is delicious. I had a light breakfast and lunch served in the room, as well as a mimosa bar set up and lots of tea and coffee. All day I went back and forth between a mimosa and black tea, to keep me relaxed and energized. I probably had 2 or 3 of each over the course of about 9 hours, so not a lot.

My dad’s mom was also able to get her hair done. She is so sweet and always the life of the party. She was the one who passed my engagement ring on to me. And my mother is one of the most selfless women I know, so I was so excited to see her sit down and enjoy getting her own hair done. My mom got her hair done by Katrina from Salon Couture in Charleston. I needed an updo girl in Charleston for my various formal events and this girl is incredible! She is very flexible and can do the simple and classic updos I love in a matter of minutes.

I was such a lucky bride because I had such an incredible bridal party. Everyone got along and enjoyed one another. I had a massive bridal party, 9 girls, and so I was a little worried but everyone really enjoyed one another. I had friends from Raleigh, Greenville, and Charleston, whom I had met during all different stages of my life. It was really special to have all of these girls by my side. I got everyone monogramed robes with their role embroidered on the back, and it really made for some great photos. I got these from JoyfulTidingsBride‘s etsy shop and they are incredible quality for the price.

For gifts I got all of the brides a string of pearls, a set of pearl earrings, and an engraved silver jewelry box. My then future father-in-law is a jeweler so I was able to get them at a discount. He was so kind and helpful with this process, and everything turned out great. I also got a jewelry box for myself and I keep all of my jewelry I wear on a regular basis in it.

I also got them day of seersucker bags with a matching cosmetic bag from KuteKiddo‘s etsy shop. KuteKiddo was incredible. She helped me get some last minute bags done for my flower girl and ring bearer as well, and was able to do four letter monogram for one of my bridesmaids who has a super southern name with two middle names. Inside the bags were custom champagne flutes from EverythingDecorated‘s etsy shop who did a beautiful job, their silk robe, water, various hangover travel size medicines, and adorable “No Ugly Crying” handkerchiefs from BridalEmbroideryMeg‘s etsy shop. I also got custom handkerchiefs for David, his parents, my parents, and my flower girl and ring bearer.

We were actually running late and David almost stumbled upon me walking to the church, so all of the above photos were actually rushed. We got a trolley ride to the church, which was only a few blocks but I wasn’t about to walk that in a wedding dress in June in Charleston. Fortunately, his groomsmen walked in front of him down St. Michael’s Alley and stopped him from coming around the corner. But I looked up and I just saw men in tuxedos standing down the street and I screamed and jumped behind one of my bridesmaids. The groomsmen were just standing there watching me do my reveal with my father.

David and his groomsmen got ready in our apartment after spending the day out eating brunch and recovering from the stag party. Being a bunch of frat boys who enjoy celebrating, David had to watch them very carefully and keep them occupied all day because he knew I wanted a very respectful wedding ceremony. I knew they would have a good time at the reception, but I wanted them to be sober at the ceremony.

For the previous Christmas I bought David a bottle of Wild Turkey Diamond anniversary, and this was the first time he opened it. He and all of his groomsmen enjoyed one finger each in our new Waterford rocks glasses one of the groomsmen got us for a wedding gift. David also opened his small wedding gifts from me, a pair of socks that referenced his potential cold feet (unfortunately he was already dressed, fortunately he had no need for them) and his handkerchief I mentioned above.

I decided to do a first look with my father which was really special given all he had been through over the previous year. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in December, and was told a week later it had not metastasized but that he needed surgery immediately (at which point he told me). He had the surgery at the very beginning of January, and over a year later is doing very well. It’s expected to be a long battle but he is able to continue living his life. He was wonderful though. His energy was low but he made sure to focus on the wedding this whole weekend. He loves exploring and taking photographs, but he limited that activity in order to enjoy all of his only daughters wedding festivities.

David and I decided not to do a first look, which cut down on the photos we got together, but the look on his face as I walked down the aisle was worth it. Instead, I talked him into holding hands before the wedding, and the columns outside of the church were perfect for that. He had actually already seen the dress a bit, as it was purchased in Greenville and he drove back with it (and me) to Charleston, where it sat in the back bedroom, all the time in a slightly opaque bag. He knew it was white and lace, but that was it. He was really excited to not see the dress, or me in the dress, until I walked down the aisle. To the best of my knowledge he never snuck a peak.

David and I are both in a season of struggle with our faith, not living as faithful lives as we wish, but it was really special for us to be surrounded by faithful people for our wedding to bless our marriage and our lives together, that we may grow in our faith together.

I had met two of my bridesmaids at my church in Raleigh, and two at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston. The rest I met in Greenville and are all women of faith. One of my bridesmaids, an incredible woman, pulled me aside and prayed with me before we actually left the hotel. I am not an emotional woman but it almost brought me to tears to have her pray with me and for me, especially as she was not one of the women I had met through church.

Every Sunday when I walk into our church for worship, I have to pinch myself over the beauty of it. George Washington and Robert E. Lee both worshipped at St. Michael’s, and sat in the same pew where all visitors are encouraged to sit.

But beyond the physical beauty of the church, you can really feel the spirit of God in the church. St. Michael’s is the oldest sanctified ground on the Charleston peninsula (this oldest church building in Charleston is in present day West Ashley, near Magnolia Plantation). The current church structure was authorized by the General Assembly of the Provence in 1751 (after several previous structures, one on the same site, had become too small for the growing town), and was completed in 1762. It has withstood the Civil War, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes, suffering damage but always repaired to be stronger than ever. Here is a more detailed history of the church.

We really had a wonderful wedding party. I mentioned before that all of my bridesmaids got along, but truly the whole wedding party did. I am told they had a wonderful time during the stag party (although I was at the hotel resting) and going out after the wedding. But we do hope to get together with them yearly, because it really was such a fun group!

The church is very strict on photography during the ceremony, as they want it to be centered on bringing a couple together under God as opposed to the show. Fortunately for our memories, the videographers were able to set up in the loft, as long as they sat quietly (which they did). But the wedding planner with the church was willing to open the doors for Jason to take a few photos during the ceremony. I’m so grateful he was able to do that. It was all such a rush, I don’t remember David’s face as I walked down the aisle, I don’t remember the sermon, I truly don’t remember anything. I didn’t think I would rewatch the video, but I actually have just to remember it all. And these photos are incredible! So if you are on the fence about a videographer, definitely get one.

After the ceremony we all gathered for photos. One thing a friend told me long ago when she got married was to schedule lots of time for photos. She took photos in a garden beside the cocktail hour and was constantly interrupted by guests, so I was grateful to do these photos in the church with all of the guests down the street at Hibernian Hall. But you can truly see the magnitude of our wedding party! Nine bridesmaids and ten groomsmen (including David’s father)! We went into the narthex in order to fit everyone because the pulpit would have blocked people. You can also see how large our family is. David had some extended family come, but I had three grandparents, all of my aunts and uncles, and most of my cousins come. We are all very close.

I didn’t get all the photos I wanted, but I did get the basic ones, and I was ready to get on to the party! I also got photos with each of my bridesmaids and David got some with each of his groomsmen. They are wonderful keepsakes. And then we walked the half block down Meeting Street to Hibernian Hall for the reception.

Frampton’s Flowers in Charleston did an incredible job with our flowers. She did exactly what I wanted, traditional with hydrangeas and magnolias, and the orchids were a wonderful touch. We had one long table with most of the wedding party (and their dates), where we sat at the head (although we did not really get to sit much), two more long tables in each back corner of the room, and round tables all around. We had a three course meal, with a delicious soup as the first course, and either a fish, beef, or vegetarian entree, all catered by neighboring Mills House. ABCD Cakes did our delicious cake as well as macarons as a farewell gift. We saved the top tier of cake, which we’ll try, but we actually intend to have a second small cake made for our one year that will actually taste good. Their red velvet is so good! Before this I had only had poorly made red velvet cake, and was not a fan. David insisted on it and I’m so glad he did because it was delicious. We actually had each tier a different flavor, but I could never remember what they all were.

We also had our custom monogram done by Emily McCarthy Shoppe in Savannah, Georgia. In the wedding, we used our monogram on our cake, on the menus, on koozies, on cocktail napkins, and on hand towels. We also had it put on vinyl and it was put on the dance floor and on the mirrors on the bar for the cocktail hour. Since then, we have used it on Christmas tags and stationery. We plan to continue using it for the rest of our lives. It has been a great addition.

David and I had basic dance lessons from Arthur Murray in West Ashley right before the wedding, and somehow pulled off a very basic dance with a few turns and a dip. Arthur Murray is a wonderful dance studio and the instructors are incredible. David and I both had a bit of experience with dancing, but could never had remembered any of it. We danced our first dance to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” It was perfect.

One thing I suggest: try to dance in your wedding dress before the big dance. We stepped into the room where the cocktail hour was after everyone had gone upstairs and did the dance really quickly. It made the upstairs dance a lot less stressful.

I ordered a cake set in my silver pattern so that we would have that for the rest of our lives. I still plan to frame it, but be able to easily remove it for use. I also had our names engraved on the cake server along with our wedding date. It will be a wonderful thing to be passed down.

You can see here why I chose Meg to be my maid of honor. When she sets out to do something, she was going to do it. And she was going to catch that bouquet. We actually wonder how Sarah didn’t get a black eye. Meg recently moved in with her boyfriend and a ring should be coming soon.

This was a very special moment that I’m so thrilled was captured. These are my dad’s parents. They have four sons, five grandsons, and one granddaughter, me. Two of their grandsons and I got married over the course of nine months, and they were able to dance at all three weddings. At this time, my grandfather was battling his fifth and sixth cancers, and to get through the weddings he opted for chemotherapies which severely weaken his immune system. By this time he was 92 years old, mostly blind and mostly deaf, but had gone paddle boarding for his 90th birthday, even then mostly blind and mostly deaf. Tragically, a few months after my wedding, he contracted what was most likely meningitis, and after a few days of fighting, refused treatment and passed away. For Christmas I put together a video of my grandparents dancing and gave it to everyone in the family.

We had a wonderful band called Riptide based out of Orangeburg, SC. Based on their price, I was so worried they wouldn’t be very good, and repeatedly pulled up their website to be reminded of why I chose them. They did not disappoint. They played a variety of music from the ’70s and ’80s, including beach music and rock. They did an amazing job of reading the crowd, and actually did not even take a break for two hours.

They somehow got word of mine and David’s differing political views, and realized the wedding guests were filled with people from both sides of the proverbial aisle, getting along. During the song “shout,” instead of separating us by gender, they separated us by political party (with a few Independents in the middle), and then we all came back together to dance the rest of the night away. Nobody was in their seats.

Charleston is such a beautiful city at night, and Jason was so thoughtful to pull us away from the reception about halfway through for a few photos. These are some of our favorite photos together from the entire day. Especially if you have a picturesque background outside, I would suggest you have your photographer pull you outside for a few photos. It was really nice to take a break.

The evening ended with our bell ringing send off. I got these bells from Amazon that we passed out, and we ended up with a box left over that I hope one of our kids will want to incorporate into their wedding. But these were a nice addition without causing a mess, and another wonderful thing for our friends to take home.

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Charleston: A dog friendly city – Holy City Life
    February 19, 2018 at 6:08 am

    […] hotel that we love is Charleston Place. You may remember from last week’s blog series that I got ready for the wedding at Charleston Place, partly because it was a very comfortable hotel that I had stayed in before, but also because they […]

  • Reply
    diane stokes jones
    February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    What an elegant and beautiful wedding!

    • Reply
      holycityhomelife
      February 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Thank you so much! It was a true dream wedding!

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