Navy Dunes West Club Wedding from Monika Gauthier Photography

We fell in love with Lauren a few weeks ago when we featured her dreamy Middleton Place bridal session that the wonderful Monika Gauthier Photography captured.  Well, as luck would have it, her gorgeous Dunes West Club wedding made it's way to my inbox and it's everything I thought it would be.  With a navy and silver color palette, this Lowcountry celebration includes a gorgeous bride, hand painted programs, lovely natural light!

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Tell us a little bit about how you guys met…

Dave and I met at college our freshman year at University of South Carolina. The girl that lived in the room next to mine, my freshman year, was a friend from his hometown in Massachusetts. Throughout freshman and sophomore year we would run into one another, but it wasn’t till junior year that we started dating.

Over break our junior year Dave randomly called me to see if I would look at an apartment for him. Since he was in Massachusetts and I was in Columbia I told him I would. As a “thank you” he took me on a date to California Dreaming and we were inseparable ever since.  We have been dating going on eight year now and we are loving it!

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Let's hear all about the engagement!

We got engaged in the Dominican Republic on October 18th, 2012. We were vacationing at a resort in the Dominican Republic and having a wonderful time. The second night of our vacation we went to dinner at the most beautiful restaurant at the resort, La Yola. The restaurant was on a dock over the water with no walls. There were only a few people at the restaurant, probably four other tables.  The restaurant had a four-piece Dominican mariachi band that played for us all night. We had great food and awesome wine, and as the night went on I kept asking Dave if we could get up and dance. Finally after we had eaten our dinner, Dave caved to my persistent request ;-) and we went to the dock near the water and slow danced to the music from the band. While we were dancing Dave was saying the sweetest things and he got on one knee and asked if I would be his wife. I cannot express my sheer happiness at that exact moment and of course I said yes! While we were hugging, crying, laughing, and kissing, our server brought over some champagne, and the few people in the restaurant all cheered. Our server even took pictures of Dave proposing to me! I later learned that Dave arranged pretty much the whole night... the music, the dancing, the camera, our server, and the delicious champagne.  It was so absolutely wonderful.

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We LOVE your beautiful Lowcountry Wedding Venue!  What was it about Dunes West that sealed the deal?

We loved the view of the marsh!  We also liked the style of the club house, the walled garden for the ceremony, and the customer service from Jason Hanson.  They made the wedding planning process at the venue very easy, and were super accommodating about which vendors we brought in, decorations, etc.

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Out of the entire day, what was the most memorable moment?

Walking down the aisle towards Dave for sure! There was so much emotion on Dave’s face and I couldn’t look away!  He was getting teary eyed and it took everything in my power not to “ugly cry” right then and there.   It was also an amazing feeling to walk towards the person I’m going to marry and be surrounded by all of the people we love and who love us.

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What’s your favorite picture from your wedding and why?

                To be honest I have several favorite pictures! It’s hard to choose just one, so I’ll give you my top three.

  • While we were getting ready, Monika captured a picture of my mother hugging me. I love this picture because it captures the emotion of my mom beautifully. I’m so happy to have this picture.
  • After the ceremony, Monika captured a picture of me and Dave walking back down the aisle. I love the one of us both looking at the camera. We are both so happy and this picture shows it! When I look at this picture I can feel exactly how I felt that day! It’s an amazing feeling.
  • For the portraits there are so many I love!  One of my favorites is the one where I’m wearing the fur and Dave is whispering in my ear. I’m looking up slightly and smiling. I love both the back and white and color version. Brings back good memories!

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To have and to hold in case you get cold – Since our ceremony was outside and in February, we offered to the guest blankets, pashmina wraps, and hand warmers.  That way they could snuggle up during the ceremony outside in the walled garden.

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new:  My dress and earrings.  The earrings were a gift from Dave.

Something old and borrowed: For Something the ceremony I borrowed my friend’s, Ashley Lyles, silver fox fur.  The fur was also used at my friend, Amber Maeda’s, wedding.

Something blue: My shoes.  They were navy blue Badgley Mischka.

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Tell us all about the details!  Did any have special meaning? What was your favorite?

                We had many details at our wedding, and listed below are a few of our favorite:

  • Jalapeno Pepper Jelly – These were the party favors (and we had NONE left!).  As a hobby Dave grows a vegetable garden, so we used the jalapeno pepper he grew to make this jelly.  The recipe was Dave’s grandma, who is no longer with us, so we labeled the jars “Mama Frances Jalapeno Pepper Jelly”.  Jalapeno Pepper Jelly is amazing on pork and brie.
  • Coloring Books – We had a lot of kids at our wedding, so we wanted to do something special for them. I created a coloring book (including drawing all of the illustrations) and published it through the company I work for, CreateSpace. We were able to dedicate the coloring book to our four nephews and niece.

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Guest count:  We had 185 guests attend

Color Palette:  Navy and silver

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Programs – Dave’s mother is a local artist, and she painted in water color of our wedding venue.  We used the painting on the front of the programs. We wanted to be able to incorporate a piece of her beautiful artwork into our wedding.

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Tell us a little bit about your menu…

                The menu included:

  • Apps: Sausage stuffed mushroom caps, Silver dollar ham biscuits, Baked brie and crackers and a Vegetable display
  • Dinner Stations: Shrimp and Grits, Carving station with sirloin steak and ham, Pasta station with penne with red sauce and tortellini with cream sauce,  Caesar salad station

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 Most valuable piece of advice you’d give to a newly engaged bride:

Even though your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, it’s only one day.  Do not get too stressed over the details of the day, it’s only one day!  Even if things don’t work out like you planned it’s okay and it will still be perfect because you are marrying the love of your life.

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Charleston Wedding Vendors

Venue:  Dunes West Golf & River Club  /  Photographers:  Monika Gauthier Photography & Design  /  Reception Band:  The Coastal Breeze Party Band  /  Ceremony Music:  John Wiley  /  Bridal Shop: Jo-Lin’s Bridal  /  Cake:  Jaclyn Story  /  Bar & Catering:  Dunes West Golf & River Club  /  Florist: Pretty Petals and Jenny McCullough  /  Wedding Favors:  Homemade  /  Programs:  Homemade + Artwork by Jeny McCullough  / Make-up: JONNY COSMETICS  /  Hair: Lo's Hair and Makeup  /  Invitations:  Morgan East, Bridesmaid  /  Planners, & Rentals: Jessica Martin, Wedding Planner  /  Rehearsal Dinner:  Water's Edge Restaurant  /  Officiant: Kevin Roberts from VOW – He was absolutely FANTASTIC! We receive so many compliments on how amazing he was.