Laurie & Dan
November 3, 2013
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation
Photographer: Hyer Images
If you’re in the market for glam we highly suggest you ring the ladies at Pure Luxe Bride to bring your vision to life. Francesca and her team know luxurious and they executed it oh-so-well for Laurie & Dan’s Lowndes Grove affair. The Miami based couple were searching outside of their South Florida hometown for the perfect destination to host their lavish wedding day dreams and, by chance, stumbled upon Charleston. With a trip to the Lowcountry and a visit to Lowndes Grove Plantation to seal the deal, a November 3rd wedding was in the works. Laurie’s breathtaking Jim Hjelm dress set the tone for her posh Southern soirée. The show-stopping gown was an ivory ball gown with a lace bodice, dropped waist and organza skirt. Her maids wore dark grey, one-shouldered JLM Couture dresses and carried understated, white peony bouquets.
Planning & Design: Pure Luxe Bride // Floral, Lighting & Decor: Loluma // DJ: Creative Sound // Videography: Hart to Heart Media // Band: Shimmer // Bridal Shop: JLM Couture (Beverly Hills, CA) // Dress Designer: Jim Hjelm // Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss // Groomsmen: Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse // Hair & Makeup: Stuart Lawrence Salon // Transportation: Charleston Style Limo // Cake: Twenty Six Divine // Catering & Bar Service: FISH // Officiant: Rabbi Segal // Rentals: Snyder Rental // Specialty Bar: EventHaus // Paper: Prim & Pixie // Rehearsal Dinner: Palmetto Café at Charleston Place Hotel
How did you select your date + venue:
The number 3 is very personal to us on many levels so we knew we wanted to be married on the 3rd of any month. We chose November for the fantastic SC weather. As for choosing SC and the venue, Dan and I really wanted to have a different wedding from most of our family and friends so we knew we needed to do it outside of our hometown Miami. I chose Charleston by chance and after I did my research and visited, we both fell completely in love with everything about that city! And after seeing Lowndes Grove Plantation, the decision was made!
I’ve always known that I wanted something with a vintage lace that resembled my mothers lace from her wedding gown but my dress choice completely took me by surprise actually! I thought I wanted more of a Sheath style but I ended up choosing something totally different! My dress was an Ivory organza flounce ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. It had a sheer alencon lace bodice, a dropped waist, voluminous layered organza skirt, and a chapel train. It’s just absolutely stunning!
The Hair + Makeup:
I wore my hair down, with soft waves and had one side pinned just a bit. I really wanted to go for a chic but soft look for my hair and makeup. I wanted to have color in my photos but I didn’t want anything dramatic. My dress was already the show stopper so I wanted to balance it out!
The Accessories (Shoes, Jewelry, Veil):
My veil was waist length, very sheer, with an organza border. Very subtle and lovely. My jewelry was my mother’s beautiful drop diamond and white gold earrings. My bracelet was a gift from my parents for my 21st birthday. It’s a vintage diamond bracelet. It was also my something old!
My shoes were Valentino! They caught my eye at Saks and were just too perfect!
Jewelry was a combination of different pieces. I wore a pair of my mothers diamond 3-tier drop earrings (it was my something borrowed) along with a vintage diamond tennis bracelet my parents gave me for my 21st birthday (that was my something old). The only other piece I wore was my engagement ring. I kept it very simple and classic.
I had 5 bridesmaids and 1 maid of honor. All of my bridesmaids did end up choosing the same dress even though they had other options! My sister/maid of honor wore a different style in a different fabric but same color! The bridesmaids wore A-line gowns with a one-shoulder neckline, draped bodice, and a dropped waist. They were in a dark metal grey color!
I wanted my girls to look and really feel beautiful on the day! There’s nothing like a woman with a glow and I really wanted that for all of them! All of the girls had the choice to do what they wanted with their hair and makeup and jewelry so they all had different looks even with the same dress! Each and every one of them looked stunning!
Groom + Groomsmen Attire:
We had 6 groomsmen including the best man! The groomsmen all wore Vera Wang Tuxedos with a white fitted button down shirt from Express along with a dark metal grey slim tie from Express, as well!
The Groom wore a Hugo Boss, slim-fitted tuxedo with a Hugo Boss white button down shirt, a black slim tie, white pocket square, and glossy all black tuxedo shoes. All from Hugo Boss.
Aesthetic + Color Palette:
We really wanted a warm, chic feel with some lux and sexiness to it! We worked with dark and medium shades of grey with dark gold and silver mixed into it and just a touch of white! The only thing we kept white were the flowers! All of the flowers were white with very little green showing, I didn’t want any leaves on any flowers. I wanted it a very clean look.
Our centerpieces were beautiful tall glass curved vases with 8 long orchid stems cascading down in each of them. Surrounding the main vase, were 4 shorter vases, all at different heights (to create a cascading affect) each with 1 candle in it. To tie it all together were lots of mercury and clear glass votives with candles at the base of the centerpiece. We wanted to create a soft and romantic ambiance!
Our table linens were custom made from Miami. They were a dark metallic grey with a beautiful shine to them! They had lots of texture to them, they really tied in the entire décor! Our chairs were silver chivaries with dark gold cushions that matched our napkins! Our table numbers were special ordered die cut with dark gold writing as well, to compliment the menus!
Our place settings included a hammered glass charger with a silver rim. On top, we had our napkin folded horizontally with the menu on top! We had fun and mixed our glasses for each setting. We combined a tall modern champagne flute with a vintage water glass with a motif on it silver rim along with a classic white wine glass! Our cutlery was thin, modern, and silver!
Ceremony Site + Details:
The ceremony and reception both took place at Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.
Our ceremony, however, took place on the grand lawn of the plantation. It began at 4:30pm, an hour before sunset. The ceremony décor was my favorite part of the wedding! The seats for the guests were a combination of vintage and modern lounge furniture with some silver chivary chairs with dark gold cushions in the mix.
The aisle was a 60 ft long custom light grey carpet and the sides had 4 different tall, mirrored cubes with 2 vases of flower arrangements on top of each of them. The flowers were 2 separate vases of white orchids and white calla lilies with a bed of white hydrangeas at the bottom of the vases. The show-stopper was our chuppah (a canopy beneath which Jewish marriage ceremonies are performed) that we were married under! Our chuppah was a 10x10 all crystal masterpiece! The sunlight hit is beautifully and really made it shine!
The Food + Beverage:
Dan and I wanted a beautiful, refined 4 course meal for our guests! We both come from big foody families so we had to do it right!
1st course: soup tasting served on a rectangle platter with 3 tall shot glasses! Soups were Mushroom Truffle, Butternut Squash, and Roasted Red Pepper soup.
Rustic Tomato and Local Goat Cheese Tart with a honey thyme ricotta
Black Striped Sea Bass served with Sauteed gnocchi with oyster mushers and steamed asparagus, finished with a Fines Herbes Beurre Blanc.
Quinoa stuffer Pepper with roasted nuts, dried fruits, and a haricot vert fennal salad (vegetarian option).
Desserts (4th course)
Each guest were served a combination of miniture desserts on a vintage silver platter. Desserts included:
Roasted Banana Crème Brulee, Chocolate-dipped Cheescake Lollipops, Strawberry shortcake, Mocha Hazelnut Sponge Cake, and Mini Red Velvet cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream.
Beverages: We had a premium open bar with Ketel One Vodka, Johnny Walker Black, etc. We served wine with dinner. The guests had a choice of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.
Our wedding cake had 4 tiers, each different! My mother and myself sat down with my planner and the cake creator and just designed it from scratch with some inspirations I had gathered over time! The bttom tier was 20 inch (6” height) round decorated in a grey metallic color covered with fondant with an edible white orchid offset on right bottom corner. The 3rd tier was a 16” round covered with white fondant with light silver metallic antique design (6” height). The 2nd tier was a 12” wide (10 inch’ height) round white quilted diamond design made of fondant with light pearl luster dusting and edible diamonds. The top tier was an white fondant ruffle design that was suppose to coordinate with the skirt of my gown.
The flavor of the cake was a pink champagne with pink champagne buttercream and fresh raspberries! It was to die! We really didn’t want a traditional flavor and Twenty Six Divine really gave us the opportunity to do just that!
My bridal bouquet only consisted of white orchids. I originally wanted dahlia’s to honor my mother (her name is dahlia) but they were not full enough so we went with orchids. My bouquet holder was handmade by my mother, it was my something “new” which we hopefully plan on handing down to our own daughter or daughter in law one day!
The bridesmaid’s bouquets were just 2 or 3 white full peonies put together. We didn’t want the traditional big bridesmaids bouquets, we wanted something softer and understated.
We opted out of having any boutonniers.
Ceremony flowers: At the ceremony, the aisle was a 60 ft long custom light grey carpet and the sides had 4 different tall, mirrored cubes with 2 vases of flower arrangements on top of each of them. The flowers were 2 separate vases of white orchids and white calla lilies with a bed of white hydrangeas at the bottom of the vases.
Reception flowers: Our centerpieces were beautiful tall glass curved vases with 8 long orchid stems cascading down in each of them. Surrounding the main vase, were 4 shorter vases, all at different heights (to create a cascading affect) each with 1 candle in it. To tie it all together were lots of mercury and clear glass votives with candles at the base of the centerpiece. We wanted to create a soft and romantic ambiance!
The Invitations + Paper Details:
All of our stationary had some sort of non traditional die-cut involved but they did not all match!
Our invitations from Prim and Pixie were divine! They were 8x8 square folios that opened from the bottom and top. They were enclosed with a small die-cut accent that had our monogram designed on it. Once open, the invitation was in the center of the folio with a silver border. Texts were combination of letterpress with our names in silver foil. At the bottom pocket of the folio was our RSVP card (and return envelope) printed on an ivory paperstock with charcoal text, along with our “details” card that had information on our Friday night Dinner and my bridal shower on Saturday! Our stamps were custom made also from zazzle.com!
My menus were made by a store on etsy.com! I got my inspiration for my menus from pinterest and asked for something like it. The menu’s were die-cut with an ivory paperstock with dark gold colored text! My escort cards were also die cut ivory paperstock rectangles with script text.
Our favors were given to our guests as they arrived to each of their hotels for the weekend along with personalized weekend itineraries with a thank you note! We had silver boxes with different goodies inside including personalized water bottles, personalized silver and gold M&M’s, personalized mints, cellophane bags filled with Madeline cookies, mini personalized candy jars filled with nuts and a 2nd one with a trail mix! The welcome boxes were definitely one of my favorite parts of the weekend! My family and I put them all together ourselves when we arrived in Charleston and then had them delivered to the hotels.
At the wedding, we had 2 different colored shawls for the guests to take and keep during the ceremony. Every single guest took them with them and they still use them today!
The Send-off/Getaway Vehicle:
Our sparkler send off was so much fun and beautiful for photos. All of our guests stood side by side outside of the front of the house creating a walkway. They were all holding big sparklers and Dan and I walked through while everybody was cheering! We had a big stretch hummer limo waiting for us and our entire bridal party and some friends in tow to take us to our afterparty in downtown Charleston!
Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-Be:
Remember that this day is about nobody and nothing else but you and your partner. Its easy to temporarily forget that when you are in planning mode but its truly the most important thing to remember. Nothing else matters more than the 2 of you on that day. That memory will forever be yours and nobody else’s.
Also! Don’t spend too much time stressing over the small details. Nobody will notice but you, I promise! I wish I listened to those who told me that at the time! I am a detail freak so there was no changing my mind but I have to say, they were SO right.