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South Carolina 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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One Couple Tied the Knot in the Ruins of a South Carolina Church — And It Was Amazing

 Real Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on One Couple Tied the Knot in the Ruins of a South Carolina Church — And It Was Amazing
Aug 192016
 

Savannah Guest and Gabe Slotnick got engaged in a dreamy place — on the beach in Martha's Vineyard, to be exact — so it makes sense the couple would seek out equally stunning spaces for their October 24, 2015, wedding. Enter: The Old Sheldon Church Ruins and Richfield Plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina, two breathtaking venues steeped-in-history that could effortlessly accommodate the couple's 150 guests.

Savannah says they pictured an old-fashioned and timeless day, with a neutral and natural color palette of ivory, champagne, and green. And despite planning the fete from far away, the bride thought wedding planning was a blast. "I love hosting and planning events and parties so creating our wedding was a dream job," she says. The couple had help, too. Sparkles Event Decor & Design was on hand to help create the laid-back but classic look the couple craved, while Hunter McRae Photography captured it all on camera.

Savannah selected an ivory taffeta wedding dress with a deep sweetheart neckline from Essence of Australia. "From the second I tried it on, it just felt like me," the bride says. But despite her conviction, she couldn't bring herself to swipe her credit card that day. Instead, Savannah continued to shop for another six months before returning to the store to nab the gown she knew was right all along.

The bride personalized her dress with a custom ribbon made of thin strips of ivory satin that she tied at the waist. She carried a bouquet of ivory and champagne roses with greens.

Savannah's sister spotted the perfect gown for the bride's 'maids: A floor-length vanilla crinkle chiffon dress with a sweetheart neckline and spaghetti straps. "It looked good on everyone," Savannah says. Bonus: It complemented the colors in the Old Sheldon Church Ruins.

The couple's flower girl donned an ivory dress and wore a floral wreath in her hair, which the craft bride made herself. And couple's ring bearer slipped on a sweater vest and navy pants. "The ring bearer decided he didn't want to walk down the aisle, so he covered his face with the pillow and his dad carried had to carry him down," Savannah laughs. "It was absolutely precious and will be a memory forever."

Gabe and his groomsmen wore navy suits and light blue ties. But their real pop of color came from their socks: The guys were sure to lift their pant legs for a shot of their rainbow colored accessories, which featured everything from stripes to dinosaurs.

South Carolina Church Ruins Wedding Venue, Church Ruins Ceremony Site South Carolina Church Ruins Wedding Venue, Bride and Father Walking Down the Aisle Savannah-Gabe-IMAGE13

Photo: Hunter McRae Photography

The couple's ceremony was held outdoors, in the ruins of what was once the Old Sheldon Church. "The ruins were a place I visited often as a child, and I love their history and architecture," Savannah says. Its awe-inspiring architecture (or what remains of it) meant the couple could use a light touch when it came to décor. With the exception of marking off the reserved rows with magnolia flowers and ivory ribbons, the couple went decoration-free.

Savannah's father walked her down the aisle as a cellist performed. "Walking down the aisle and seeing so many people who have played such important roles in our lives was one of my favorite moments of the day," Savannah says. "That feeling of being surrounded by so many people who care about you was truly amazing. It felt like time stopped for a minute."

The groom's father read a speech during the ceremony. "It was very sweet and added a special touch," the bride says.

Savannah and Gabe welcomed their guests to the outdoor reception with a cocktail hour that included a charcuterie display and his-and-hers signature drinks, including a Manhattan and the Slotnick's House Lemonade, a mixture of vodka, St. Germaine, champagne, and lemonade.

Cocktail tables were topped with white linens and mason-jar arrangements of roses, baby's breath, and greens, while reception tables were decorated with burlap table runners, similar centerpieces, and votive candles held in brushed gold, rose gold, and antique gold containers.

The couple's three-tier carrot, lemon, and chocolate wedding cake was iced with cream cheese frosting.

After a traditional Southern dinner, Savannah and Gabe held an oyster roast with 12 different food stations. "Our guests put on aprons that were embroidered with the words, 'Just Shuck It,' and were able to shuck their own oysters," Savannah says. As you can imagine, the experience was a hit.

"There will be bumps in the road," the bride says of planning a wedding. "But I promise that day will be better than you imagined and everything does fall into place. Soak it all in, because it goes by so quickly. Enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by everyone close to you who have all gathered to support and celebrate you."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Richfield Plantation || Wedding Planner & Rentals: Sparkles Event Decor & Design || Bride's Wedding Dress: Essence of Australia || Veil: White by Vera Wang || Jewelry: Nelson Coleman Jewelers || Shoes: Steve Madden || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Macy's || Wedding Bands: Classic Creations || Florist: The Petal Palace Florist || Invitations: Rachel Slotnik || Music: Andrea Casarrubios; The Swamp Nots || Catering: Flowers Seafood Company || Photographer: Hunter McRae Photography

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Can't get enough of this couple's beautiful celebration? Then check out another South Carolina wedding in the video below.

The Punchy Color Palette at This South Carolina Beach Wedding Will Leave You Saying Goodbye to Blush

 Real Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on The Punchy Color Palette at This South Carolina Beach Wedding Will Leave You Saying Goodbye to Blush
Aug 052016
 

If you had asked Bri McDaniel and her friends where the best place to find a potential suitor would have been in 2009, you'd get one resounding answer: the Georgia Tech campus. "You gotta love those engineers," Bri laughs now. Humor aside, their instincts were on point. It was there, at a campus pizzeria, that Bri first bumped into Phil Richards. And she hasn't left his side since.

Five years later, Phil popped the question at a park, and the couple began to plan their casual March 21, 2015, wedding on Folly Beach, South Carolina. As Bri says, the process was quite relaxed — thanks in large part to the help of the team at Detailed I Do's — as was the couple's barefoot, sandy ceremony and gold,
black, and white reception near the beach. And with Michelle Scott Photography there to capture every colorful detail, you're sure to find ample inspiration for your own eclectic fete.

Bri and Phillip invited about 70 guests to join them at their celebration. "I wanted a very chill beach trip for my guests, where we just happened to be getting married," the bride says.

Bri knew she didn't want to go the traditional white route for her wedding dress. "I was looking for a gold dress with over-the-top sequins," she says of the perfect gown. When she spotted her Vienna dress on the rack at a store, she admits the glittering material immediately stood out. And with its $100 sale price tag, this bride couldn't resist buying it on the spot. That being said, Bri does admit she wondered about her final choice until the wedding day. "It didn't really feel right until I was walking down the aisle toward Phil," she says. "His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree, so that was when I knew then that I had made a pretty good choice."

Bri went without a veil, choosing to wear a floral crown in hues of red, orange, pink, and peach instead. She carried a bouquet of roses, anemones, greenery, favoring the same cheery colors as her crown.

And if you needed more proof that their wedding was entirely relaxed, just listen to this: Phil's suit came from H&M. And his stand-out accessory? "He carried a flask that his best friend engraved for him," Bri says.

Bri's bridesmaids chose their own black dresses from either Rent the Runway or Forever 21. "I wanted them to choose a dress that they felt the best in and that represented their personal style," the bride says. Each 'maid also carried a slightly different bouquet, in hues of red, pink, peach, and yellow.

The twosome envisioned a wedding ceremony in the sand, where the natural beauty of the beach could speak for itself. "I really wanted to be surrounded by nature during my ceremony," Bri says, so it was no surprised that the couple kept their décor to a minimum. A wooden arch served as the focal point of their celebration, and was covered in an asymmetrical garland with pops of pink, orange, and red flowers.

Bri's father walked her down the aisle, with the sounds of the ocean as the only processional music to be heard, and her grandfather acted as the couple's officiant.

While the couple did write their own vows, they didn't put pen to paper until minutes before the ceremony began. "I wanted them to truly come from the heart," she explains. "No special quotes. Just short and simple."

The newlyweds held their reception at a nearby open-air pavilion. "It allowed my guests to have the beach as a reception backdrop," Bri says, and for the couple to yet again let the natural beauty that surrounded them take center stage.

Bri and Phillip sat at a sweetheart table, topped with a sparkling gold runner and a bottle of hot sauce, all the better to slather their Southern Comfort dinner with. "We used the food to tell who we are as a couple," the bride says. On the menu: chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and collard greens.

Their sweetheart table included gold marquee letters in the couple's initials, flanked by flowers.

Other tables were topped with the couple's DIY project: Mismatched wine bottles spray painted gold, and filled with bright flowers. While some wooden tables remained bare, the couple dressed others up with black and white chevron table runners. Their sweet favors, miniature fruit pies, also doubled as dessert.

Bri and Phillip danced to "Just the Two of Us," by Bill Withers, then opened up the dance floor for their guests to get down.

At the end of the night, Bri and Phillip gathered their guests on the beach and sent off Chinese wish lanterns. "It was really special because Phil and I made a private wish along with everyone else," Bri says. "It just seemed like everything was full of hope and promise."

If Bri and Phillip's laid-back wedding sounds like a dream, it can be yours, too. No matter how complex your wedding day plans are, Bri says to remember everything will work out. "Chill out and everything will naturally fall into place as it should. Nothing will really go as planned on the wedding day, but that's what makes it exciting and special."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Pelican Watch Shelter at Folly Beach || Wedding Planner & Invitations: Detailed I Do's || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vienna || Hair: Shear Rhythms || Makeup: India Drummond || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rent the Runway; Forever 21 || Groom's Attire: H & M || Wedding Bands: Helzberg Diamonds || Florist: Victory Blooms || Music: DJ Chuck Nice Inc. || Catering & Favors: Carolima's Low Country Cuisine || Rentals: Synder Event Rental Company || Photographer: Michelle Scott Photography

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Searching for more beach wedding inspiration? Then watch another couple say
"I do" with the ocean as their backdrop in the video below.

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.

What to Do in Charleston, South Carolina on Your Mini Moon

 Honeymoons, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on What to Do in Charleston, South Carolina on Your Mini Moon
Mar 072016
 
french quarter inn charletson

Photo: Courtesy of French Quarter Inn

If you're planning to stay stateside for your honeymoon, consider Charleston, South Carolina as your romantic destination. Enjoy world-class cuisine, premier shopping, and luxury accommodations while surrounded by good ol' southern hospitality. And did we mention, romance?

Stay
Church Street's French Quarter Inn offers a more luxurious stay. This elegant hotel is in the heart of Charleston and includes amenities such as champagne upon check-in, gourmet continental breakfast, and evening wine and cheese receptions. Hop on a complimentary bike rental and take a short ride to Battery Park, or take a three-minute stroll to the Charleston City Market.

For a more intimate stay, book a long weekend at one of Charleston's finest antebellum homes, Two Meeting Street Inn. This bed and breakfast is full of old southern charm and beautiful front-porch views. The Spell Room is a honeymoon favorite featuring twelve-foot ceilings, a queen four-poster bed with an arched canopy and a second floor veranda.

See More: Your Perfect Cape Town Honeymoon Itinerary

Eat
Skip your hotel's breakfast buffet and head to Hominy Grill for some yummy southern fare. Specialties include shrimp and grits, and The Big Nasty — a biscuit with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy. If you choose to visit for Sunday brunch, be prepared to wait. But with additional menu options like salmon potato cakes, and a low country omelette, it's totally worth it.

Lunch is a must at Cru Café on Pinckney Street. Munch on the duck confit arugula salad with port wine vinaigrette or dive into the shrimp B.L.T. sandwich on sourdough. Of course, all entrees should be accompanied by a local craft beer.

Enjoy local dinner cuisine at its finest when you visit Husk, from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock. The menu flourishes with ingredients sourced strictly from the South and changes twice daily. Past menu offerings include deviled eggs with pickled okra and trout roe, and South Carolina shrimp and chopped okra stew with Carolina gold rice and flowering basil.

Play
There is no shortage of historical sites in Charleston, but Fort Sumter National Monument is a must-see for history buffs. Take a vessel from Liberty Square in downtown Charleston to the site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. You may even spot some playful dolphins along the way.

Shop both top brands and one-of-a-kind boutiques on King Street. A stroll down this historic strip would not be complete without stopping into one of the oldest antique establishments in the southeast, George C. Birlant & Co.

Take a break from sightseeing and shopping to visit the waterfront Battery Park, a landmark defensive seawall and promenade. Enjoy a front row view of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse.

Walk off your dinner with one of Charleston's infamous ghost tours. The Charleston Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour from Bulldog Tours explores the city's streets, cemeteries, back alleyways churches and, of course, The Provost Dungeon.

Indulge in a nightcap under the stars at the rooftop Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel. Signature cocktails include the Pavilion Punch and Market Pavilion Madras. If it's too chilly outside, head to The Gin Joint, where there is a seasonal drink menu and no shortage of booze.

What is your favorite spot in Charleston? Tweet us @brides!

What to Do in Charleston, South Carolina on Your Mini Moon

 Honeymoons, Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on What to Do in Charleston, South Carolina on Your Mini Moon
Mar 072016
 
french quarter inn charletson

Photo: Courtesy of French Quarter Inn

If you're planning to stay stateside for your honeymoon, consider Charleston, South Carolina as your romantic destination. Enjoy world-class cuisine, premier shopping, and luxury accommodations while surrounded by good ol' southern hospitality. And did we mention, romance?

Stay
Church Street's French Quarter Inn offers a more luxurious stay. This elegant hotel is in the heart of Charleston and includes amenities such as champagne upon check-in, gourmet continental breakfast, and evening wine and cheese receptions. Hop on a complimentary bike rental and take a short ride to Battery Park, or take a three-minute stroll to the Charleston City Market.

For a more intimate stay, book a long weekend at one of Charleston's finest antebellum homes, Two Meeting Street Inn. This bed and breakfast is full of old southern charm and beautiful front-porch views. The Spell Room is a honeymoon favorite featuring twelve-foot ceilings, a queen four-poster bed with an arched canopy and a second floor veranda.

See More: Your Perfect Cape Town Honeymoon Itinerary

Eat
Skip your hotel's breakfast buffet and head to Hominy Grill for some yummy southern fare. Specialties include shrimp and grits, and The Big Nasty — a biscuit with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy. If you choose to visit for Sunday brunch, be prepared to wait. But with additional menu options like salmon potato cakes, and a low country omelette, it's totally worth it.

Lunch is a must at Cru Café on Pinckney Street. Munch on the duck confit arugula salad with port wine vinaigrette or dive into the shrimp B.L.T. sandwich on sourdough. Of course, all entrees should be accompanied by a local craft beer.

Enjoy local dinner cuisine at its finest when you visit Husk, from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock. The menu flourishes with ingredients sourced strictly from the South and changes twice daily. Past menu offerings include deviled eggs with pickled okra and trout roe, and South Carolina shrimp and chopped okra stew with Carolina gold rice and flowering basil.

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There is no shortage of historical sites in Charleston, but Fort Sumter National Monument is a must-see for history buffs. Take a vessel from Liberty Square in downtown Charleston to the site where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. You may even spot some playful dolphins along the way.

Shop both top brands and one-of-a-kind boutiques on King Street. A stroll down this historic strip would not be complete without stopping into one of the oldest antique establishments in the southeast, George C. Birlant & Co.

Take a break from sightseeing and shopping to visit the waterfront Battery Park, a landmark defensive seawall and promenade. Enjoy a front row view of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse.

Walk off your dinner with one of Charleston's infamous ghost tours. The Charleston Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour from Bulldog Tours explores the city's streets, cemeteries, back alleyways churches and, of course, The Provost Dungeon.

Indulge in a nightcap under the stars at the rooftop Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel. Signature cocktails include the Pavilion Punch and Market Pavilion Madras. If it's too chilly outside, head to The Gin Joint, where there is a seasonal drink menu and no shortage of booze.

What is your favorite spot in Charleston? Tweet us @brides!

South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains Served as the Backdrop for This Couple’s Stunning Early Summer Wedding

 Real Weddings, South Carolina  Comments Off on South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains Served as the Backdrop for This Couple’s Stunning Early Summer Wedding
Mar 042016
 

Stephanie Mihaly and Raphael Fernandes faced a problem when it came to planning their June 20, 2015, wedding: "Our friends and family were going to have to travel no matter where we decided to get married," the bride says of their guests, who hailed from everywhere from the Midwest to the Caribbean, and even as far as Brazil. So when it became difficult for the couple to select a locale, they decided to compromise by hosting a wedding in the state where they'd first met. "South Carolina will always serve as a reminder not only of the start of our friendship but now, our life together," Stephanie explains.

The couple invited 250 guests to join at that very special place, Sunset, South Carolina, just miles from the home where the bride grew up. There, they planned a fabulous celebration that melded their two cultures — American and Brazilian — and brought their families closer together. "We wanted to fuse both of our cultures and traditions to reflect our future lives," the bride says, "and to share this experience and our cultural differences with both sides of our family and friends." With the help of wedding planners from Tusk Events and The Burlap Elephant, Stephanie and Raphael dreamed up a personalized party that captured the natural beauty of South Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains and their unique love story. Luckily for us, photographer Brandon Lata Photography captured every glorious and absolutely gorgeous detail, all seen below.

Stephanie spotted her Reem Acra wedding gown in a magazine long before she ventured to a bridal bouquet to try it on. Almost seven years after first noticing it, the bride spotted that very same stunning dress at a trunk show in Miami and was shocked to see it again. "I couldn't believe that style of dress resurfaced, so I was sold," she says. The silk dress featured a pleated bodice and flowing skirt, with capped sleeves embellished with rhinestones and pearls.

While the bride carried a loose, whimsical bouquet of ranunculus, garden roses, peonies, anemones, and tulips tied with satin ribbon, her bridesmaids — dressed in shimmering pink and taupe dresses — carried hydrangea and rose blooms.

Raphael donned a gray suit, while his groomsmen wore slightly darker shades of gray with ranunculus and greenery pinned to their lapels.

Stephanie's mother and father walked her down a grass aisle, to the edge of Lake Keowee where she would exchange vows with Raphael. There, large urns overflowing with hydrangea, stock, garden roses, peonies, and tulips flanked the couple, while 30-foot-long garlands decorated the last row of wooden chairs.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen read from the Bible, including Colossians 3: 14-20 and Matthew 19: 4-6.

The couple held their outdoor reception beneath a white peaked tent. They offered lounge areas to guests, and food and drink options that celebrated both the bride and groom's cultures, like Brazil's national beverage, the caipirinha, as their signature drink, and a menu that ranged from fried chicken biscuits to coxinhas.

Guests found their seat assignments tied to garlands that hung from the tent's ceiling, then enjoyed a breathtaking view from long banquet tables. A mix of robust centerpieces that mimicked the bride's bouquet, gold bud vases holding a single bloom, garlands that stretched the length of the tables, flickering candles, and shimmering tablecloths transformed the otherwise classic tent.

The couple selected a naked three-tiered wedding cake layered with almond and vanilla, filled with chocolate ganache, and topped with fresh strawberries and raspberries. They also offered a selection of other sweet treats, like macaroons, pecan pie, cheesecake and brownies.

Stephanie and Raphael danced to "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit. They plan to honeymoon this year in Greece, Italy, and Turkey.

Venue, Catering & Accommodations: The Reserve at Lake Keowee || Wedding Planner: The Burlap Elephant and Tusk Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Reem Acra || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair & Makeup: Cotton Rouge & Company || Bridesmaids' Dresses & Groom's Attire: Nordstrom || Groomsmen's Attire: Macy's || Wedding Rings: Turner's Jewelers || Florist: Out of the Garden || Invitations: Sideshow Press || Music: Classic Touch; Ben Fagan || Cake & Favors: Buttercream Bakehouse || Transportation: Atchison Transport Services || Videographer: Reel Video & Stills || Photographer: Brandon Lata Photography

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Did you love this open-air celebration? Then check out another couple's outdoor wedding in the video below.

Brides Southern California: The Best Shops for Your Bridesmaid’s Gifts in Los Angeles

 Bridesmaids, California, Favors & Gifts, Local, Los Angeles-Orange County, South Carolina  Comments Off on Brides Southern California: The Best Shops for Your Bridesmaid’s Gifts in Los Angeles
Feb 252016
 
los angeles bridesmaids gift shops clare v.

Photo: Courtesy of Clare V. via Instagram

Your bridesmaids are the ladies who've helped you plan, have thrown you an unforgettable shower and bachelorette, and of course — will be by your side on the biggest day of your life. So, when it comes to giving them a littlel something to say thank you for all of their support, it should be extra special. Any of these LA boutiques are perfect for finding a gift that's unique, thoughtful, and one-of-a-kind.

Clare V. (Above)
This Los Angeles-based leather accessories designer has three stores within the city limits: Silverlake, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica. Her beautiful clutches come in a rainbow of shades — and if you feel like splurging, each piece can easily be monogrammed with your bridesmaids' initials. This shop also designs and sells jewelry pouches, coin pouches, and leather luggage tags. If you want to add a little something extra for your maid of honor or in each bridesmaid's gift bag, there is a delicious selection of candles and other fun goodies like lip balm and jewelry to purchase.

Only Hearts
This Montana Avenue store has been a lingerie and loungewear staple since the 70s. Helena and Kaya Stuart, a mother-and-daughter design duo, created their own brand of lingerie, clothing, and sleepwear — made in the United States. The store is filled with adorable organic cotton camisoles, robes, and pajamas sets which are perfect for any of your 'maids — and those adorable morning-of photos! While you're there, you may also want to pick up a lingerie set for your honeymoon from Only Hearts' beautiful bralette collections — with exquisite underpinnings in every color and fabric.

See More: Feed Your Guests the Very Best From One of These Los Angeles Caterers

Larchmont Beauty Supply
This cosmetology super store is crammed with every skin, hair, and makeup brand you could imagine, making it a cinch to put together goodie bags to match each of your 'maids interest. Larchmont's candle selection is extensive and they also have lipgloss, hair ties, and nail polish for fun add-ons that will work for every budget.

Burro Goods
This California lifestyle store on Abbot Kinney is a one-stop-shop for picking up artisan items that are both eclectic and thoughtful. Due to popularity, the store has expanded to include locations in Malibu and Westlake Village — perfect for brides who are located in those areas. The hand-picked artisan goods are curated by Burro's talented staff and include items from around the world that are both unique and exclusive. Some of our favorites include Los Angeles rocks glasses, blankets from Peru, and coffee table books to suit every taste. If you're looking for greeting cards to thank your 'maids for their allegiance and help through the planning process, Burro Goods' card selection is extensive (and adorable!).

Heath Ceramics
Founded in the 1940s by Edith and Brian Heath, this ceramics company has become known for its California-based designs and exquisite pieces. Their flagship showroom in West Hollywood carries the complete line of tableware and interior design products sold by the company as well as a carefully-curated selection of home décor items like linen towels from Sweden and all-natural beeswax candles from Seattle. A few suggestions for your 'maids: Heath's own bud vases, ornate mugs, or serving bowls in your signature wedding colors!

Want to see more Los Angeles gift ideas? Check out our Los Angeles Favors page to find your perfect post-party giveaways!

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Feb 032016
 
best venues south pippin hill farm vineyards

Photo: Tec Petaja

Sometimes in the great search for the perfect wedding venue, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? Browsing the top-notch spots to get married. Ever. In our new February/March 2016 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best venues— indoor and outdoor, big and small, luxury and budget-friendly— across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,500 real brides and grooms nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to say "I do" by rating their own wedding location on everything from the service to the food to the view. From great plantations and rustic farms in the South to elegant libraries and grand hotels in the Northeast to romantic, swoon-worthy wineries on the West Coast, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite venues in the South.

The Hay-Adams, Washington, D.C.
Choose the Top of the Hay as your reception space and your guests will be Instagramming views of the White House and Washington Monument all night. Back in the bridal suite, you'll bed down on a cool souvenir: pillows monogrammed with your married initials.

The Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Seeking a fete with an old-world feel? Book this 150-year-old hotel a block from the White House and you can host a megaparty for 450 under glittering chandeliers in the ballroom or a bash for 250 in the columned Crystal Room.

Boca Raton Resort, Boca Raton, Florida
Spa gardens, pools, private beaches, marinas— there are almost too many ceremony spots to count at this sprawling upscale resort. Also winning kudos: the amazing cakes by pastry chef Jordi Panisello.

Sunset Key Cottages, Key West, Florida
If there were ever a place to do a sunset wedding, it's this island resort just 500 yards off Key West. Take over all 40 beachy cottages to make it your own private isle for the weekend.

Villa Woodbine, Miami
All arches, fountains, and Spanish tile, this private mansion feels way more Mediterranean than Miami. Make it official in an elegant courtyard or under a grand oak tree strung with lights.

See More: Don't Miss a Minute of Your Big Day With These Southern Wedding Photographers!

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island, Georgia
After beachside vows, take your pick of seven reception sites, including the manicured lawn of Crane Cottage or a riverside clearing dripping with moss.

Old Edwards Inn, Highlands, North Carolina
Brides love the staff and spa at this charming Relais & Châteaux hotel, home to an haute barn with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Mayo Hotel, Tulsa, Oklahoma
The 21st century meets the Jazz Age at this just-renovated 1920s landmark hotel, where sleek furnishings mingle with original art-deco details, like the ballroom's dazzling terrazzo floors.

Lowndes Grove Plantation, Charleston, South Carolina
Built in 1786, this grand Georgian-style plantation home sits on 14 acres in downtown Charleston, a sweet spot for a tented reception by the Ashley River.

Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee
The five-star, 9,000-acre retreat, located in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains, is a working farm, so expect next-level southern eats from the welcome dinner through the morning-after brunch.

Crystal Ballroom at the Rice, Houston
Go big or go home at this century-old downtown classic, which features 5,000 square feet of airy, chandelier-lit ballroom space. That's enough room for 450 guests.

Gage Hotel, Marathon, Texas
Just 45 miles away from Big Bend National Park, the mission-style hotel specializes in boho-chic affairs with a West Texas twist. Throw your party in the succulent-filled gardens or fountain-dotted courtyards.

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, North Garden, Virginia
This boutique winery pours on the charm with its elegant barn, panoramic mountain views, and customizable menu featuring fresh-from-the-barrel wines and southern-inspired fare.

The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
When a resort has a new white chapel (in this case, built by the owner for his daughter's 2015 wedding), you know it's serious about weddings. Your photographer will swoon over the colorful, lavish Dorothy Draper designed interiors.

Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES February/March 2016 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!

Want to see more wedding venues in the South? Check out our Southern Venues page to find your dream location!

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