Not all weddings have ‘themes’ per se, but after scrolling through this dusty blue wedding inspired by the ocean, we wish they did! Leave it to a bride who’s actually a pro when it comes to planning weddings to ensure her big day was beautiful, unique, and personal. For Shannon and her now husband (!!) who love being on or near the water, the blue hues and watercolor details felt just right. Lucky for us, she’s taking us behind the scenes of the planning and design process that resulted in this stunning fete! Trust us, after seeing it, you’ll want to know everything…
Shannon, bride & planner at Bespoken, shares…
As a wedding planner, I plan, design, and coordinate many weddings for many brides. I know the amount of work it takes, and when it came time to planning my own wedding, I knew I needed to enlist help so that I could truly enjoy the process and actually be a bride. Plus, who knew I would feel like a deer in headlights when it came to certain aspects of my own wedding?!
So, early on, pretty quickly after Brentley asked me to marry him, I enlisted the help of Upstate I Do, another local planner, and The White Box, an international service who happens to have their headquarters in my home town! I knew what I DIDN’T want with our wedding, and while there were some things I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I wanted… I still needed some direction and guidance. Carrie & Michelle with The White Box helped me create an overall design concept for our wedding, and from there, Alexandra Barham with Upstate I Do helped me take the design even further by curating beautiful, meaningful details that were woven throughout the wedding.
Brentley and I are beach lovers. We love being on the water; it makes us feel grounded. We had dreams of getting married on the beach somewhere, but due to family circumstances and wanting those that are closest to us to celebrate with us, we decided to have our wedding close to home. So we planned our wedding to take place in downtown Greenville, SC in the middle of summer.
Due to the South’s heat and humidity in the summer, we chose to have our wedding take place indoors at Larkin’s Thomas Roe Founders Room and their new historic venue, the L. The L has an industrial vibe to it, so we were excited to contrast that with the design concept we came up with. With an organic color palette of dusty blues and neutrals, there was a romantic and subtle beachy vibe to our entire design, and we knew this would play off well within both venues.
Our invitations were custom designed with a local stationer; I helped her watercolor the edges of every invitation and then add two lines of gold ink on top to bring in the gold metallic elements. The font and quote on the envelope liner were used throughout the wedding. The quote was even displayed on acrylic boards that are currently waiting to be hung in our house!
The day of our wedding was a dream come true. There were unexpected moments, like our Pastor who, not knowing our love of the water and the subtle beachy vibe our wedding would have, incorporated messages of navigating our marriage, comparing it to a ship, with Brentley as the captain. He gave Brentley a beautiful brass gold compass to keep as a reminder that he is the “captain of our marriage-ship”. He gave me a leather journal with an anchor on it to remind me to stay anchored to Brentley and our faith…while using the journal to write to Brentley through the first year of our marriage. When he started our ceremony, and when it became clear that he was going to include symbolism of the ocean in it, I felt chills, and I knew the day was going to be absolutely perfect.
The flowers were unique. Our floral designer, Kate Asire, incorporated various kinds of bunny grass to bring the beach home. The light that bounced off the lunaria was beautiful and only further enhanced the natural light streaming in through the windows. We had a custom arch built that resembled a chapel’s arch for the ceremony, and Kate created beautiful arrangements that made it look like the flowers, greenery, and wispy bunny grass were blooming out of the floor, steadily growing up the arch’s posts. The tapestry backdrop that we hung behind the arch created a stunning (and unexpected) effect that mimicked stained glass in a chapel.
To break free of the mold of white draping, we opted for light blue draping in our reception space to give a nod to the ocean. Other design elements that brought about an ocean vibe were some of our linens from BBJ Linen, a beautiful watercolor wedding cake, a piece of sea fan artwork that hung behind our seating chart and doubled as a welcome sign, as well as a simple coffee table guest book (Beaches by Gray Malin). The tiny tassels tied around each napkin were one of the last details we added to give just one final nautical touch.
We wanted our wedding to feel romantic and intimate while allowing guests to relax and have a really good time. To further ensure this, we opted to have a formal plated dinner among a mix of banquet tables and round tables to create the intimate atmosphere that was so important to us. We also had a couple of lounge areas set up for guests to relax comfortably, and Uptown Entertainment brought a new Mirror Photo Booth that was a hit all night long! Once dinner and cake cutting were over, the dance floor was packed while Justin Reid of Uptown Entertainment played some throwback songs that everyone is still talking about to this day.
Our entire wedding felt like a dream come true. There’s not one single thing I would have changed (Brentley even asked me this same question on our honeymoon). We loved celebrating with our closest friends and family, and we both feel so incredibly honored and humbled to have had such a meaningful experience that we’d love to relive a thousand times over and over again.