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Charleston Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

A Classic Southern Wedding at a Charleston Plantation

 Charleston, Real Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on A Classic Southern Wedding at a Charleston Plantation
Nov 032016
Classic Charleston Wedding, Bride and Groom Portraits

Photo: Virgil Bunao

When Michael Bruns proposed to Victoria McCauley, there were fireworks — both of the metaphorical and literal sense. He asked Victoria to be his wife during a July 4th celebration, during their two families were present and could join in on the fun. (In fact, the soon-to-be father of the bride filmed the proposal while posing incognito on a neighbor's porch!) "This had to be the most surprising moment of my life," Victoria says.

The couple would later gather their family (plus 200 additional guests) for a September 19, 2015, destination wedding in Charleston, South Carolina, where they often traveled to visit Victoria's brother. He also served as the couple's eyes and ears on the ground of Charleston. In fact, the couple trusted his recommendation of Lowndes Grove so much that they committed to the venue before seeing it in person. Spoiler alert: They weren't disappointed. "Lowndes Grove is the epitome of a Southern home," Victoria says. "I had always dreamed of a beautiful outdoor wedding." With the help of A Charleston Bride, that's exactly what the couple got. Their outdoor fete was gorgeous down to every last Southern detail (just wait until you see the couple's cigar bar). Photographer Virgil Bunao was on hand to capture their late summer celebration, all seen below.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Bride in Kenneth Pool Wedding Dress Classic Charleston Wedding, Lace Back Wedding Dress Classic Charleston Wedding, White and Blush Wedding Bouquet

Photo: Virgil Bunao

Victoria didn't choose her Kenneth Pool wedding dress for its dramatic, sheer back or hand embroidered-lace details, although those certainly didn't hurt. "I loved this gown because it was comfortable," she says. "This was important to me because I knew both Mike and I loved to have a good time." Plus, with a simple bottom half, the lace on her cathedral-length veil really stood out.

Her white and blush bouquet contained garden roses, hydrangeas, and gilded hypericum berries for a dash of glamour.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Groom in Black Tuxedo Classic Charleston Wedding, Groom's Accessories

Photo: Virgil Bunao

Michael went with the most classic wedding look: A black and white tuxedo, complete with a bow tie and pocket square. He also wore a watch Victoria's parents had given him for Christmas.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Bride and Bridesmaids Classic Charleston Wedding, Groom and Groomsmen

Photo: Virgil Bunao

Victoria's bridesmaids wore a mix of different champagne-hued gowns for the big day. "I wanted them to have options so they could choose what they felt more comfortable in," she explains. Like the bride, each 'maid carried a round bouquet of ivory and pink flowers, but Victoria's arrangement had something special: Her florist tied her grandmother's hanky, which had once been stitched on her bonnet for her baptism, around the handle of her bouquet. "At my bridal shower, my mom gave it to me and the bonnet had been undone to wrap around my flowers for my wedding day," she says.

Mike asked his groomsmen to mimic his traditional attire in black and white tuxedos, and he gifted the men their black bow ties.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Bride Walking Down the Aisle Classic Charleston Wedding, Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Virgil Bunao

The ceremony was held at Trinity United Methodist church. There, their florist decorated pew ends with clusters of white hydrangeas to make the aisle pop and two large floral arrangements that flanked the altar.

Victoria and Michael considered writing their own vows, but ultimately decided on a traditional ceremony. "I guess I had always pictured I would say what I had heard in the movies on my wedding day," the bride says. "There is something special about repeating the same vows that our parents, grandparents, and other generations before have said."

Classic Charleston Wedding, Cigar Bar Classic Charleston Wedding, Cigar Bar Classic Charleston Wedding, Cocktail Hour Tent Classic Charleston Wedding, Cocktail Tables Classic Charleston Wedding, Outdoor Bar

Photo: Virgil Bunao

At the reception, the couple set up a suspended cigar bar with vintage Pepsi crates hanging from a tree branch. For guests that preferred to pass on cigars, the bride and groom also arranged a lounge sitting area, complete with a sofa, chairs, and a chandelier. Cocktail tables covered in blush-colored linens gave friends and family another place to relax between trips to the outdoor bar that served up delicious drinks.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Seating Chart Classic Charleston Wedding, Reception Tables Classic Charleston Wedding, Tall Floral Centerpieces Classic Charleston Wedding, Low Floral Centerpieces Classic Charleston Wedding, Gold Box Centerpieces Classic Charleston Wedding, Menu Cards

Photo: Virgil Bunao

The couple's reception tent draped in gold chiffon, and guests found their seats at tables covered in blush-colored linens and centerpieces that included towering trumpet arrangements to small gilded boxes filled with roses, hydrangea, and stock. Five crystal chandeliers hung above the tables, lending a romantic glow to the space.

Everyone noshed on a Southern-inspired menu that included cornbread, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and beef filet, plus au gratin potatoes made from the mother of the bride's own recipe.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Hanging Wedding Cake

Photo: Virgil Bunao

Victoria and Michael's cake might have been the reception's most interesting décor element: The tiered confection was suspended from the ceiling with crystal cables and nestled in a bed of hydrangea, roses, and stock. It included layers of vanilla cake with raspberry jam and salted caramel buttercream and red velvet cake with cream cheese buttercream.

Classic Charleston Wedding, Bride and Groom

Photo: Virgil Bunao

The party then moved to a separate tent for dancing, where the bride and groom kicked things off with "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli. "I have always been a huge fan of oldies, considering that's all my mom let me listen to in the car growing up," Victoria says.

After the party wound down, the newlyweds departed on their honeymoon to France. It was the first time Michael had ever been to Europe. "We left two days after our wedding and arrived in Paris," says Victoria, adding they also visited Cannes, Nice, and Monaco.

Ceremony Venue: Trinity United Methodist || Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove || Wedding Planner & Florist: A Charleston Bride || Bride's Wedding Dress: Kenneth Pool || Veil: Dimitras Bridal || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Ash & Co. || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Charleston Tuxedo || Wedding Bands: James and Sons || Music: Charleston Virtuosi; Seth G || Catering & Cake: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group || Rentals: Snyder Rentals; Event Haus; Polished || Transportation: CE Executive || Videographer: Life in Rewind || Photographer: Virgil Bunao

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Want more inspiration just like this? Then check out another couple's Charleston wedding in the video below.

This Couple’s Charleston Wedding Was Dripping with Southern Charm

 Charleston, Real Wedding Videos, Real Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on This Couple’s Charleston Wedding Was Dripping with Southern Charm
Oct 082016

Looking for some great new ideas for your wedding? Then look no further than our real weddings video channel, packed with tons beautiful celebrations and countless ideas to steal for your own big day. Each week we take a deeper look at one of our favorite new love stories, and today's inspiration comes courtesy of Jordyn and Michael's Charleston celebration, which was absolutely packed with southern charm.

Dock House Digital joined the pair and their guests at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and captured every sweet moment of the couple's beautiful South Carolina wedding. The bride and groom's outdoor ceremony embodied the essence of this beautiful city, where guests wandered beneath trees covered with hanging Spanish moss and took in the property's breathtaking landscaping and views.

See More: 25 Ways to Decorate Your Wedding with Pumpkins

Jordyn and Michael exchanged touching vows beneath a birch wood chuppah. There, guests watched the pair become husband and wife with views of a lake in their backdrop. In keeping with Jewish tradition, the pair displayed their ornate ketubah for everyone to see.

Their reception was just as sweet, with guests sitting at long tables beneath a vaulted ceiling before moving into a clear-topped tent for dancing beneath café lights. And a special guest made sure everyone was out of their seats — Cocky, the mascot for the University of South Carolina, made an appearance to help get the party started.

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This Chic Pair Hosted the Very First Wedding at One of Charleston’s Prettiest Venues

 Charleston, Real Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on This Chic Pair Hosted the Very First Wedding at One of Charleston’s Prettiest Venues
Jun 152016

Lara Alexander and Drew Courtney's relationship started purely as a friendship — the pair met as undergrads at the University of Virginia, where both played varsity tennis. Once Lara graduated and was living in New York, she returned to their college campus to celebrate Drew's birthday with him. "I guess you can say the rest is history," she says. In January of 2015, Drew decided to take their relationship to the next level by visiting Lara's family with her in London. "He proposed right on the doorstep of my family home. We spent the whole day together in London on a perfect bright, crispy day."

The duo decided on an indoor-outdoor ceremony and reception at Cannon Green in Charleston, South Carolina, on September 26, 2015, giving themselves eight months to plan the simple but elegant celebration they had in mind. With the help of Megan Chandler at Ooh! Events, this couple pulled off the wedding of their dreams — even when the bride had an ocean between her and her venue. "The hardest part was having to plan partly from overseas," Lara says. "In the early stages of planning I was in the UK and Drew and Megan were in the states, but from start to finish Megan and the whole Ooh! Events team were extremely thorough, professional, and beyond helpful."

Read on to see how their day came together, as photographed by Amy Arrington Photography.

Lara and Drew were the very first couple to get married at Cannon Green, one of Charleston's newest wedding venues. In addition to loving the idea of being the first bride and groom to exchange vows in the space, the couple also fell hard for everything the property offered. "It was exactly what we were looking for décor wise, and the courtyard we used for the ceremony and Trolley room we picked for the reception both felt very inviting and intimate," says the bride.

They decided on a black tie celebration in the late afternoon, with their ceremony kicking off at 4:30 pm. It was important to Lara and Drew that their day feel both simple and elegant, meaning they skipped over-the-top decorations and unnecessary décor in favor of elements that really spoke to their style. Says Lara, "We wanted people to be blow away in a subtle but understated way. Although our wedding was black tie, we didn't want the evening to feel stuffy."

Just like she was the first bride to wed at her venue, Lara was also the first (and only!) lucky lady to don this Mira Zwillinger wedding dress. "I got a custom design which made it very special and unique," the bride says. "I chose the front of one dress and the back of another. In my mind I had a vision of what I wanted and once I tried it on, I just felt like it was made for me."

The top half of her delicate A-line style was made of white and ivory lace flowers that were assembled on sheer silk tulle and finished with hand-beaded sequin details. The hand-pleated chiffon skirt offered a breezy balance to the more ornate bodice.

Lara accessorized with a pair of pearl and diamond earrings and a sapphire and diamond bracelet borrowed from her mother. "I didn't want my jewelry to take away from the beading of the dress," she says.

For her bouquet, the bride asked for deeper fall shades, resulting in a mix of garden roses, antique hydrangea, anemones, garden roses, eucalyptus, Queen Anne's lace, dahlias, lisianthus, and ranunculus in shades of white and purple with touches of pink.

Drew was every bit the dapper groom in his notch lapel Ike Behar tuxedo, which was paired with an ivory ranunculus and rosemary boutonniere.

Since the bride and groom planned a celebration with a largely neutral color palette, Lara decided to go bold when it came to her bridesmaids' dresses. The winner was a flowy fuchsia chiffon style from Amsale, which popped against the décor and also helped to tie in the pink hues in the flowers.

Each 'maid carried a bouquet that was slightly different, but all containing a mix of garden roses, hydrangea, scabiosa, ranunculus, cotton, wax flower, and tallow berry in shades of white and blush.

Drew's groomsmen wore their own tuxedos but coordinated in matching Brooks Brothers shirts.

Lara and Drew loved the idea of exchanging vows in Cannon Green's walled courtyard. "It's flanked by two reflecting pools and palmetto trees, so it feels very Charleston," the bride says. "A few highlights of the space were the lush greenery, green wall, and the arbor." The pair decidsed they'd exchange their vows beneath the arbor that already existed on the property, adding just greenery and a few protea and hydrangeas to really make the structure pop.

Once Lara's father walked her down the aisle, she and Drew exchanged short yet meaningful vows. After the newlyweds shared their first kiss, a string duo performed "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles.

During the outdoor cocktail hour, guests could lounge on comfortable — and chic! — furniture while sipping on tasty cocktails and enjoying bruschetta, fried green tomatoes, a full raw bar, tacos, sliders, and grilled summer squash. "The food at Cannon Green is top notch," says the self-proclaimed foodie bride. "It was important to us that we had really good food; we wanted recognizable food that people wanted to eat."

In between sips and snacks, guests had the opportunity to leave a message in the couple's unique guest book: A copy of the book Very Charleston.

The couple's reception was held in Cannon's Greens Trolley Room, which the couple loved for it's vaulted ceilings, original exposed trusses, hardwood floors, and glass doors overlooking the courtyard. "It gave the space a rustic, clean, simple feel," Lara says. Tall fluted glass cylinders were filled with hydrangeas, garden roses, spray roses, dahlias, ranunculus, wax flower, and eucalyptus for a lush look that complemented the high ceilings.

On other tables, low glass compotes held mixes of similar blooms with berries for extra texture. "One of the coolest aspects of our lighting for the reception were three hanging glass boards that held candles in large hurricanes," the bride says.

More lounge furniture ensured everyone would be comfortable throughout the party.

After dinner, the couple cut into their three-tier caramel, chocolate chip, and coconut wedding cake. The sweets didn't end there, though: Lara and Drew also served his-and-hers ice cream flavors. The groom picked bourbon caramel while his bride selected peanut butter.

The couple and their guests had a blast during the reception, but Lara and Drew's favorite memory was being pulled up on stage by their band, Rivertown. "We had no idea this was going to happen!" Lara says. "They gave us the option of performing two songs or designating two guests to do it, but Drew said, 'We're doing it.' So we proceeded to stay up on stage and sang Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing' and Bon Jovi's 'Living on a Prayer.' All I can say is I felt like a rock star up there."

The newlyweds, who honeymooned in Turks and Caicos, left the reception in a black London taxi, a nod to the bride's British roots. "Don't sweat the small stuff," Lara reminds future brides. "This aspect of the planning process was hard for me to come to grips with because I'm a perfectionist, but once I put everything in perspective, it all fell into place and was unforgettable."

Venue & Catering: Cannon Green || Wedding Planner: Megan Chandler of Ooh! Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Mira Zwillinger; Carine's Bridal Atelier || Hair: Allure Salon || Makeup: Ooh! Beautiful || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: Ike Behar || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Tiny Jewel Box || Flowers: Out of the Garden || Invitations: Fancy Creative || Save-the-Dates: Rifle Paper Co. || Music: Classical Charleston; Rivertown Band || Cake: Jim Smeal || Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography

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Did you love this Charleston celebration? Then check out another wedding packed with Southern style in the video below.

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