ALI + CHRIS
Montage at Palmetto Bluff
Bluffton, South Carolina
July 23, 2016
Tell us how you met: It all started with a little Georgia Southern University swim team tradition. On Sunday, February 20th, 2011 Ali was getting ready with her teammates to celebrate the end of the swim season, and the end of her swimming career with the rest of her seniors. They headed over to a fellow athlete's house to get the celebrations started. While hanging out and enjoying a few adult beverages with her teammates, one swimmer decided to give the 'baseball boys' a call to join the fun. After a tough loss that day to Tennessee Martin University and just missing out on a 'sweep' Chris was hesitant to join a few of his friends to the party as he thought he was 'too cool' for the swim team. However, after some discussion with his teammates they decided to attend the party, and little did he know he would meet his future wife. That night all of the senior swimmers had on flat top hats that were given to them at their senior meet. Chris decided to swipe Ali's best friend's hat from her (Lindsay Tullock/MOH). That wasn't going to fly with Ali so she immediately approached Chris and gave him her two cents in effort to get Lindsay's hat back. After some dialogue throughout the night and Chris lying about his age (as he was just a sophomore), they exchanged numbers and a few weeks later were officially dating.
Let's hear the proposal details: Well, it was a glorious Spring Semester, but Chris still had 2 more years of undergrad/baseball and Ali had to move to Halifax, Nova Scotia to complete her 1-year dietetic internship. Chris & Ali transitioned into a distance relationship, spending too much money on flights back and forth! In August 2012, Ali moved back to Statesboro for her Masters and Chris & Ali were able to be together through Chris's senior year and his Masters program. Post Masters graduation, Chris made a huge sacrifice and joined Ali in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
After making the move to Calgary, Chris decided to take the next step on his birthday (April 11th)! Chris and Ali were on vacation and visiting Statesboro, Georgia for the Swimming & Diving Alumni weekend. It was a Saturday morning, and Chris asked Ali if she would like to go for a little morning run. Chris put the pretty little white box in his pocket without Ali seeing and off they went on a run. Chris was quite directive on the run and got Ali to run to the famous Sweetheart Circle on the GSU campus. When Chris and Ali got to the middle of the circle, Chris stopped Ali and got down on one knee! Both with full hearts, and in one of their favourite places in the world they were engaged.
Living just 45 minutes from the Canadian Rockies and figuring out their early careers together, life is off to a pretty good start.
How did you select your venue: Chris and I ran a ½ Marathon running race at Palmetto Bluff while we were in grad school. We had never been to Palmetto Bluff before and were both completely blown away by the beauty and southern feel.
As a Canadian living in the south for 6 years I had always dreamed of having a southern wedding. It was important to me to be married in a church and have southern flare. Palmetto Bluff offered all of this!
Guest Count: 109
The Gown & Accessories: Wedding gown brand: Madison James & Veil from a Vancouver Designer, Promise Couture.
The Hair + Makeup: Kindly provided by Bride’s Side Beauty
Bridesmaids Attire: Short Donna Morgan Bridesmaid dresses - Polyester Chiffon (Colour is Petal)
Ceremony Site + Personal Details: Waterside Chapel, Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC. Christian Ceremony where we wrote our own vows, including some humor.
The Food + Beverage:
Moreland Grill from Palmetto Bluff Catering
- Garden Greens spiced pecans, strawberry, shaved manchego, pickled red onion & balsamic vinaigrette
- Blackened local catch roasted peppers & poblano chiles, grilled vegetables of the season, aged balsamic, garden basil
- Herb-marinated flat iron steak, chimichurri
- Grilled chicken breast, charred pineapple salsa, carolina rice pirlou, roasted root vegetables, chipotle honey mustard
- Just-baked skillet corn bread & sweet butter
- Warm Peach Crisp with vanilla ice cream and the Southern praline pound cake with toasted pecan creme anglaise & bourbon Chantilly
- Open Bar with Mason Dixon as a signature drink :)
- Had a station with a bible for guests to highlight their favourite scripture
- Polaroid camera’s for guest to take a picture of themselves and stick in guest book
- S’more Bar provided by the big fires on lawn outside of the ballroom
Aesthetic + Color Palette: Neutral colours – Blush, Creams, Whites, etc.
The Décor: Simple and elegant décor all developed by the Bride Whisperer wedding planner, Kelli Corn
What were the most important elements about your wedding day to you and your husband?
- Family – we had all of our siblings in our wedding party, parents were very involved in speeches and Ali’s Brother & sister-in-law Emceed the wedding.
- Personal Vows – we each wrote our own vows. This made the ceremony much more personal and intimate. It was also a nice surprise to hear what each other had written.
- A Good Party – The Dance floor was on fire! Wouldn’t have had it any way!
- Taking time after the ceremony together to decompress and reflect with each other that we were officially husband and wife!
- Ali’s 14-month year old nephew was the ring bearer. He just started walking a week before the wedding and was able to walk down the whole aisle without falling! All of the guests clapped when he made it to the end J.
The Favors: A piece of Canada & a piece of the south: Pralines from the Savannah Candy Shop & Pure Canadian Maple Syrup (Maple Roch)
Late night snacks/special treats: Mini Burgers, Fries and mini milkshakes! We also had a S’more bar set up for after the reception to make around the Palmetto Bluff Fires.
The Send-off/Getaway Vehicle: Sparklers & Golf Cart to our cottage a few hundred metres away!
Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-be: Take time to sit and reflect with your parents the morning of the wedding. I had a really special time with my Mom, Dad and MOH the morning of my wedding. I swam laps with my Dad in the morning before the wedding and had breakfast with my Mom, Dad and MOH. At this breakfast I gave my parents a card and a gift. It was such an emotional and fulfilling moment. Bottom line – family is what matters, so let that be a focus of your big day.
HILTON HEAD - BLUFFTON WEDDING VENDORS
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Montage at Palmetto Bluff l Photographer: Jennings King Photography l Event Planning & Design: Kelli Corn Weddings & Events l Florist: Em. Creative Florals l Videographer: Savannah Wedding Films l Cake: Lowcountry Flour Girls l Catering & Bar: Montage at Palmetto Bluff l Linens & Lighting: Montage at Palmetto Bluff l Gown: Madison James l Veil: Promise Couture l Dress Boutique: Novia Mia Bridal and Evening Wear (Calgary, Alberta) l Bridesmaids Dresses: Donna Morgan l Invitations: Jupiter and Juno l Hair & Makeup: Bride’s Side Beauty l Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse l Ceremony & Reception Music: DJ Bryan Mahanes of OtherBrother Entertainment l Rehearsal Dinner: The Pete Dye Course Clubhouse at Colleton River Plantation l Officiant: Dr. John Miller