Tell us how you met: We actually met through match.com. I had recently moved to Durham to complete my endocrinology fellowship at Duke and Adam had just moved to Greensboro after working for Siemens in Germany for two years. Both of us knew what we wanted in a partner, but just found it difficult to meet that type of person in our respective new cities. We met at a wine bar in Durham for our first date and hit it off so well that it led to a second date…and the rest is history!
Proposal Details: Adam and I went on a (very hot) mid-day run to the Duke Campus on June 20th. He suggested we run by the Duke Gardens and when we reached the water’s edge, he pulled a ring box out of his back pocket and proposed! His parents had come down and were hiding in the bushes with our dog Gabby – they were able to capture the moment on camera and then jumped out to surprise me. I was super sweaty but didn’t care…I just couldn’t believe I was engaged, nor couldI stop staring at the ring! We went to the famous Angus Barn in Raleigh that night to celebrate. Next to my wedding, it was one of the best days of my life.
Tell us about your dress shopping experience: My mom and mother-in-law-to-be came down to visit for the weekend so we could dress shop. I had decided that I wanted something with lace, A-line fit, a V-neck, and open back. We went to several shops in Raleigh but the first one, Traditions by Anna, had two dresses that I absolutely loved. The one I chose was pretty different than what I had in mind – it was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, silk chiffon on the top and lace on the bottom. It was fitted and flattering, something I knew Adam would like. My mom teared up when she saw it on me with the matching veil – that’s how I knew it was the one!
Bridesmaids Attire: J.Crew dusty shale long chiffon dresses, each bridesmaid chose their own style
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Adam wore a bright navy Hugo Boss slim suit and the groomsmen wore J.Crew grey slim suits with a striped tie to complement the dusty shale color of the bridesmaid dresses
Describe your hair and makeup: Carrie at Paper Dolls did my hair and makeup for our engagement photo session in November. I loved how she made me look both “done-up” and natural at the same time. She did a trial run for my bridal photos and was able to make my ideas come to life – long wavy hair, half-up/half-down, with smoky eyes and a natural blush complexion. She came to our rental house on the wedding day to do hair/makeup for me, the moms, and my bridesmaids. I can’t say enough good things about Carrie – she is simply fantastic and calm under fire!
How did you select your venue? After first visiting Charleston at the age of 12, I knew I wanted to have my wedding there. After getting engaged, I started my online search of Charleston venues. Adam wanted something on the water so that was my priority as I perused the many venues. I had always wanted something outside and loved the idea of having a big white tent. Since Patriot’s Point offered both of these, it seemed like the perfect fit!
The Invitation + Paper Details: I chose invitations by Minted since they offer printed envelopes and matching design suites. Our design was “Gilded Wildflowers” which is gold foil-pressed flowers on ivory with a traditional format for the invitation. The envelopes were lined with gold. We also used matching RSVP cards, entrée option cards, programs, table numbers, and guest name cards.
Flowers: Lush & textural florals in corals, blushes, and whites, with a few accents of soft orange, green, and gold. Blooms included: white hydrangea, romantic antique garden roses, peachy coral campanella garden roses, blushing bride protea, peachy blush stock, succulents, seeded eucalyptus, dusty miller, coral parrot tulips, coraly pink ranunculus, blush majolica spray roses, coral hypericum berries, coral amaryllis, white ranunculus, green china berries, gold painted thistle, coral ball dahlias.
Did you decide on a first look? Yes, we did a first look at the recommendation of our photographer Dana. We had two primary reasons for doing it:
1. Cut down on ceremony jitters/anticipation
2. Allow us to move from ceremony to cocktail hour without an hour spent taking pictures
Ceremony Site + Details: Our ceremony took place at Patriot’s Point at a clearing adjacent to the reception tent. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D which is commonly used in weddings but a song that I absolutely love.
I decided to use succulents as a “theme” since my mom loves them so much. She has been growing them for years and has an entire greenhouse in her back yard filled with succulents. So I thought I could use her succulents as my “something borrowed”. Branch Florals was supportive of this idea so my mom packed all of her succulents safely in her trunk and drove them from Augusta to Charleston for our wedding week. We brought them into Branch’s design warehouse and were able to work with the florists on how to incorporate them into the bouquets.
How did you decide on your aesthetic + color palette: I wanted a pastel palette that would complement the light green color of the succulents, but also wanted a “pop” of color so chose to incorporate some coral as well. For my metallic pieces I chose gold/champagne.
Tell us all about the décor: Chelsye and Branch Florals helped coordinate most of the décor. I wanted to use lots of florals along with the succulents so we arranged the centerpieces around these. We used a combination of gold lanterns and glass pedestal bowls with gold accents and arranged florals around these. Table linens were a combination of white and peach and we used gold chargers and flatwear.
What was on the menu for the evening? Cru Catering helped us offer a menu with some of our favorite foods. For the cocktail hour, we had a raw bar with shrimp cocktail and fresh oysters. There were also passed hors d’ouvres: Cucumber with white truffle artichoke, Apple smoked bacon wrapped quail, and Crab Louie on endive. The meal started with a mixed green salad with veggies and pine nut encrusted goat cheese. Entrée options included cedar plank smoked salmon, a surf n’turf with roasted chicken and jumbo shrimp, and garlic roasted angus strip filet.
Cake: The moms and I knew we wanted a wedding cake. We had a simple, buttercream frosted, three-tiered cake made by Declare Cakes. They layered the frosting to look like petals and we used cascading florals as the decoration. Our flavors were: top tier - carrot cake, middle tier - strawberry shortcake, bottom tier - chocolate mousse.
Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-be: Wedding planning can seem stressful but you will miss it when it’s over! Choose elements that have a personal meaning for you. And take brief moments during your day to absorb the love around you – I will cherish the moment I had with my dad just before we walked down the aisle, and will also cherish the look in my husbands face during the ceremony. This is probably the one time in your life that you will be surrounded by all your family and friends at one time. If you don’t have a videographer, have someone take a phone video of the speeches for you – I didn’t do this and it is my biggest wedding regret.
What were the most important elements about your wedding day to you and your husband?
- The most important elements were the people, the weather, and our sweet golden retriever Gabby! We had been praying for good weather for over a year, and the Lord granted us that! Even though the forecast was calling for rain, we did not have a single drop of rain during our ceremony or reception. We had beautiful rays of sunshine shining on our ceremony and cocktail hour J We were also on the fence about having our dog in the wedding but Dana encouraged it and helped us find a pet service to pick her up afterward. Branch made a beautiful floral wreath for Gabby to wear. She was so adorable and well-behaved, and now we can’t imaging not having her there on our special day.
Check out the CHARLESTON WEDDING VENDORS who created it...
Ceremony & Venue: The Pavilion at Patriots Point // Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings // Event Planning & Design: Intrigue Design & Events // Floral Design: Branch Design Studio // Gown: Lea-Ann Belter // Dress Boutique: Traditions by Anna (Raleigh, NC) llBridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew // Hair & Makeup: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Makeup // Men’s Attire: Hugo Boss (Groom), J. Crew (Groomsmen) // Catering & Bar: Cru Catering // Cake: DeClare Cakes // Rentals: EventWorks // Invitations: Minted // Ceremony & Reception Music: DJ Rehab // Favors: Ben & Jerry’s // Rehearsal Dinner: FISH // Officiant: Brent Garrard