It doesn’t get more timeless than this elegant wedding at Boone Hall Plantation (Ahem.. where Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds tied the knot). We bet this couple’s stunning blush nuptials could give them a run for their money ;). Truly, though, every element of this special day is stunning. A Charleston Bride planned it to a T for her deserving bride & groom – and thankfully, we get to share how it all panned out. We hope you love it as much as we do!
The bride shares her & her groom’s story, as well as the inspiration for the day…
An #orangeandblueido took place on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. We chose Sunday simply because Sundays are always a day for family time at our house, and we wanted this day to reflect how much family means to us.
Ryan and I met at the University of Florida almost 5 years ago. Go Gators! A mutual friend introduced us one night at The Swamp Restaurant, and the next evening Ryan was taking me on our first date. He was such a gentleman. He opened every door for me and didn’t let me pay for a single thing. He truly swept me off my feet!
One of our first trips together was a road trip from Florida to New York City, where we lived for about 2 years. We drove up the east coast, stopping at multiple cities along the way. Our favorite stop: Charleston. We had both visited as kids, but it wasn’t until this trip that we knew it’s where we would get married one day. And Boone Hall was the perfect setting! From the moment you drive up it just takes your breath away. From the Avenue of Oaks, to the grandeur house, and serene Cotton Dock, it’s the perfect mix of southern and coastal.
I also loved how expansive the plantation is. There are so many beautiful spots to see and explore, making our ceremony and reception locations one of the toughest decisions. I had seen so many wedding receptions done at the Cotton Dock, and while it’s beautiful, I wanted to switch things up a bit. We decided on having a tented reception right behind the house and cocktail hour on the back patio. It reminded me of a JFK soiree with the American flag and house in the background. As for our ceremony, we chose to have it under the oaks on the lawn in front of the gates to the house. No one had ever done their ceremony there before, but the space worked perfectly with our intimate guest count. It was soft and romantic, just what I envisioned our ceremony being.
I always knew I wanted to have a fall wedding, but my original color palette was very neutral. After spending some time explaining my vision to our wedding planner, I realized just how much I loved the idea of incorporating a burgundy/marsala color. I wanted our wedding to have a very elegant and romantic, Southern feel to it. So we went with lots of greenery, blush, cream, gold, light grey, and a pop of burgundy at the reception. We kept the ceremony soft and neutral to play off of the natural landscape of the plantation and used the burgundy to elevate the richness at the reception. It was the perfect touch to go along with the cool, crisp weather we had that day.
We wanted our wedding to feel like us. So many of the little details were quite significant to us as a couple. As Thank You Gifts we had pineapple bottle openers to signify hospitality and friendship, two things we hold near and dear to our hearts. We also had homemade jars of salsa that my dad spent months before the wedding making and jarring for each guest to take home. Growing up my dad was known for how good his homemade salsa was, and even to this day our friends will come over just so they can enjoy some of his chips and salsa. We had little stickers made to go on top of the jars that said, “Love is the spice of life.” And since we’re big ice cream fans, we had an ice cream tricycle where guests could go and make their own cone of our favorite flavors to go along with the banana cream pudding and carrot cake wedding cake.
Like I mentioned earlier, family is very important to us, so to honor those that are no longer with us as well as our parents and grandparents that still are, we created a Memory Table where we displayed their wedding pictures. We wanted our guests to get a further glimpse into the people that helped shape us into the people we are today. We called it the Generations of Love table.
But above all else, my favorite detail of that day was our exchange of vows. We both wrote our own vows that we read to each other during the ceremony, and it was such a special moment for us. Not only did our guests get a deeper feel for just how much we love each other, but it solidified what marriage means to the both of us as well as the commitment we made to each other on that day.
As for my dress, it has a story of its own. My original dream dress was one with lace sleeves. When my mom and I went dress shopping, and I explained that to the sales lady, she asked me if I like to dance. My response, “Yes, what Southern girl doesn’t like to dance?” She further explained that I wouldn’t be able to lift my arms high enough for dancing if I chose a dress with sleeves. So there went that dream. About 6 months later I found myself unable to fall asleep one night, regretting not having gone with sleeves. I called my mom hoping she would reassure me that I made the right choice. But in true mom fashion, she said we should address it at my next fitting and see if there’s anything they can do. She wanted me to be happy.
So, at my next fitting I asked the seamstress what my options were. We tried on a couple different boleros, but nothing looked right. They either took away from the low back or made the dress look stuffy. Finally, she suggested making custom sleeves with the exact tulle and lace from Romona Keveza that she would sew onto the cap sleeve. I was so excited to hear that the look I wanted was possible. And in order to address the dancing problem, we would cut the sleeves off after the ceremony. We bought special sewing scissors, and my planner stood there for an hour after pictures meticulously cutting the sleeves off of me. Let’s just say the seamstress is really good at her job. In the end it was the best of both worlds. It allowed me to stay in my wedding dress all night, but still dance the night away with my new hubby!
Overall, it was the most magical day of our lives. We didn’t have a huge budget to work with, but we somehow pulled off one incredible celebration! A huge thank you to the team at A Charleston Bride and our planner, Lindsey Shanks, who helped us every step of the way.