ASHLEY & JUSTIN'S HIBERNIAN HALL WEDDING
Wedding Date: May 14. 2016
Tell us how you met: We met my senior year in college at The University of South Carolina. Justin had returned home from a tour in Afghanistan. We met one weekend through mutual friends right before the 4th of July in 2011. I truly met the man of my dreams! The rest is history!
Proposal Details: Justin took me to our favorite restaurant in Charleston – Halls Chophouse. He proposed on our 3 year “dating” anniversary, July 7th. Justin meticulously planned out the evening by designing with the amazing Hall’s staff a personalized dessert menu to include a diamond ring… our evening was spectacular and full of surprises, nerves, love and plenty of champs! I will never forget how my soon to be husband who loves steak barely ate ½ of it because I later found out how nervous he was that I would know what he was up to! He switched the ring around in his pocket 20 times he said, afraid I would feel it in one of his pockets. Of course he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him, I said yes.
Tell us about your dress shopping experience. Describe your gown and designer and tell us who all was along for the ride. – I have a special relationship with my mom and this was something we wanted to do just the two of us. It was a special moment that we wanted to share together. We traveled down King Street to our Saturday appt with Lauren at Modern Trousseau. I think I tried on a total of 11 dresses. I chose my elegant gown that same day and it was the second dress I tried on. It was a Mikado silk, diamond white, fit to flare strapless gown with an extended 3 ft. cathedral train, with a satin sash with detailed buttons all the way down the back. It had special blue embroidery on the inside of my new name and date, as my “something blue.” It set the tone of the entire wedding. We both knew it was the one and wasted no time at all in searching for alternatives. That was it! Then we celebrated and enjoyed our favorite chopped salad and shrimp cocktail at Halls Chophouse.
Describe your hair and makeup: whimsical, long and full with a simple half up half down look. My makeup was my everyday makeup with just a little heavier for photos of course. The airbrush technique was definitely the way to go to ensure it would stay on all day and night. My mom’s hair was the most amazing! She always wears it down and it was the most gorgeous updo, simple but made a great statement! She was stunning
Bridesmaids Attire: Jenny Yoo Sabine , color: Truffle Crepe de Chine, neude heels and I bought them all the same diamond stud earrings
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: They wore a classic tux, bowtie, cummerbund and suspenders from Grady Ervin on King Street (Justin wore a white bowtie in Diamond white to compliment my dress and the groomsmen wore a black bowtie)
How did you decide on your aesthetic + color palette: I am a very neutral person. Whites and metals (gold and silver) I knew from the beginning was what I envisioned for our reception. I wanted to bring in elements of green in the flower stems, etc. but for the most part to me white as the main backdrop makes everything magnified. In this case A Charleston Bride blew our reception out of the water. I could speak for days on how amazing our reception looked.
Guest Count: 225
The Invitation + Paper Details: I wanted something very classic and elegant and made a statement on its own. We used Elizabeth Porcher Jones for the calligraphy on a 6 x 9 pearl white, 2 ply invitation letter pressed with antique gold ink. We had a calligraphed reception card, response card and rehearsal dinner insert card.
We used our custom wreath with our initials that Studio R created and we carried all of this throughout other aspects of the paper products at the reception which started with our save the dates with a personalized picture on them to set the tone! I feel like the first paper you send helps the guest see what your vision is and what you’re going for with the feel of your wedding.
How did you select your venue? We love Charleston, and the old history that comes along with it. The Hibernian is the epitome of history. It was a no brainer for us. The large open venue, the rustic touches along with the gold that fit our theme of décor was more than perfect. WE used both upstairs and downstairs. It was also perfect for our walk for guests right around the corner from the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
Did you decide on a first look? Why or why not? We chose not to do a first look. We got married in the Catholic Cathedral and are both Catholic and wanted a very traditional wedding. For us, seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle was most important. It was the beginning of the rest of our lives together.
Ceremony Site + Personal Details - please include any decor, special music and moments: For us, the most important piece of our wedding other than the obvious of tieing the knot, was how fortunate we were to have the Bishop of Charleston, The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone bless our marriage. Words cannot express that feeling. To me the wedding programs were stunning! This was what I envisioned from the beginning of planning and Studio R was able to turn it into a reality. They were 5x5 square pearl white with antique gold ink. They were each tied together at the top with an antique white satin ribbon. The front was a single antique gold catholic cross
**** One of the most important things about this day was the fact that my brother walked me down the aisle. My brother and I are very close. This was very important to me and something I wanted us to share together. He is 7.5 years younger than me but we have always had a special bond! One of the biggest highlights of the day and always supports everything I do!
Tell us all about the décor: This was the most important to me, as I am an event planner myself in Charleston at The Citadel Foundation. From the napkins in the bread bowls being monogrammed, to the caricatures of my husband and I on the restroom doors, late night snacks with drawings of our animals on them, three different koozies, the intricate 3 tier china plates with charges.
We had a bar downstairs and 2 bars upstairs lined with special ordered fabric to back the bars to tie in all the details. The bars had custom designs on the front which included gold plated squares and monogrammed wreath with greenery around it. We had custom bar menus created to carry out the theme , beautiful gold lamps throughout
Upstairs in the reception room we had a stunning lounge section which included a couch , two chairs and gold coffee table all with elements of gold and silver on the pillows. This was also where the flip flop baskets and sunglass baskets were staged for our guests during the band!
Personal Touches: We had our friends who were bagpipers walk with us and our wedding party on the cobblestone roads in front of the Hibernian to welcome us into the reception after we concluded taking our group photos. This was where we were greeted by all of our 225 guests! Something unique to start off the night.
For our guest / sign in book – We had a fabric scroll that was hand tied with the person’s name calligraphed on the card attached to the scroll of a quilt square to act as their place card. This acted as our guest book. Each guest wrote with gold and silver sharpies a note to us. There were 3 different neutral colors of fabric total and we put them altogether after the wedding and are in process of having the wedding blanket made for us!
** while the cocktail hour was happening downstairs, the amazing team from A Charleston Bride, led by Lindsey Shanks was putting the final touches on the breath taking room upstairs.
Lindsey knew how hard we had all worked on this design and how important it was to me and my mom and how exciting this day was for us. She was so sweet and thoughtful to have set aside time in our evening timeline to sneak us upstairs and open the doors to the ballroom so my mom and I could share that moment together to see the room for the first time with no interruptions and no people filling the room. Just all of the hard work for the past 2 years right there in front of us and boy were we overwhelmed with emotions. I will never forget what it looked like at that very moment. Time stood still and I couldn’t wait for Justin to see how it turned out. He had been the best partner through all the planning. Clearly wedding planning isn’t always for the men, but he was always supportive and was really impressed with all the details we executed , knowing how much time and energy we put into this day to make it the wedding of our dreams!
What was on the menu for the evening? Did you serve specialty drinks? The passed hors d’oeuvres and displays during cocktail hour consisted of: Braised Short Rib Tostada, Charleston’s fried green tomato with pimento cheese, apple smoked bacon wrapped quail, collard green wontons, crab cakes and a seafood display filled with shrimp cocktail and a variety of sushi
Our specialty drink was passed during cocktail hour: naming it Tipsy Tea – sweet tea vodka and lemonade with gold and white straws with personalized flags that had “Tipsy Tea” written on them, we then moved through our signage on the stairs that asked people to head upstairs after cocktail hour to begin our seated dinner later in the evening
We then moved to our seated dinner portion later in the evening after we arrived and cut the cake, dinner was served, it included: Arugula salad, crisp pancetta, candied pecans, julienne pears, gorgonzola, and honey-sherry vinaigrette
Main course: Petit Filet and Pan Seared Local White Fish with Whipped Potatoes, Sautéed Haricot Verts, Candied Carrots and a Port Wine Demi Glace.
The floral arrangements that were put together my Jonie far surpassed my vision. They were probably my favorite décor piece of the reception. My vision from the beginning was elegant but to fill up the room and to make a large statement as our guests made their way to their dinner seats.
We had three different set ups for tables which included rounds, rectangles and farm tables. We had hundreds of hurricane candles, clear and crackled glass votives, mirrored runners, special ordered linen runners for the Farm tables from Nuage and extra greenery laid throughout, these tables were covered with heavy cotton linens to the floor with special ordered white cloth napkins and gold chivari chairs.
There were tall green arrangements, tall white stock arrangements with greenery in them and greenery and flowers laced through candelabras (white hydrangeas, ruscus, Queen Anne's lace, loose design at the round tables. We had bud vases and mercury vases in addition on the tables filled with greenery and all white hydrangeas.
The entry arrangement which is the first thing you saw as you walked into the Hibernian was a massive, 6ft tall arrangement sitting on the center table in the Hibernian with large sticks, greenery and white stalk – absolutely breathtaking.
This personally designed cake by Jim Smeal was stunning and intricate wedding cake mimicking the lace in my veil and carrying our monogram from our invitation package and wedding signage. The cake was the highlight of the entry into the reception with beautiful pin lighting to showcase from AV Connections, it was paired with beautiful crystal champagne flutes and engraved knife and server. Flavors included: Creme caramel and Key lime.
Late night snacks/special treats: old fashioned custom ordered coke bottles with personalized carriers to include the coke, shoe string fries and ketchup that contained custom stickers of pictures of our 2 animals; along with a second treat of Lowcountry popcorn in old fashioned gold and white containers.
The Send-off/Getaway Vehicle: We rented an all-white vintage Rolls Royce from Carolina’s Executive that A Charleston Bride tied painted cans with white ribbon to the back as our flare as we exited! We used personalized bottles of bubbles that everyone blew as we exited The Hibernian
What were the most important elements about your wedding day to you and your husband? To enjoy every moment, exchanging vows in front of all our friends, family and the Bishop. Having great food for our guests and an amazing party! Which how could you not with Cru Catering and The Mighty Kicks! My mom made sure that this was over and beyond the wedding of my dreams. And I married the man of my dreams :)
It’s all about the details! There are never too many. For me this really brought everything together and was what I was most focused on. From bread napkins being monogrammed, to china settings, items in bathrooms for our guests, flip flops for dancing where my mom and I tied ribbon around each pair, personalized fun dancing sunglasses, koozies, cups, cocktail napkins, and signage, o' the signage!!!
Meet the Charleston wedding vendors from Ashley & Justin's Hibernian Hall wedding...
Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist ll Reception Venue: Hibernian Hall ll Photographer: Shannon Michelle Photography ll Event Planning & Design: A Charleston Bride, (Lindsey Shanks & Abby Frye) ll Florist: Palmetto Bloom ll Videographer: Hart to Heart Media ll Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal ll Catering: Cru Catering ll Bar: Spike Bar by Snyder ll Gown: Modern Trousseau ll Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Sash Boutique ll Hair & Makeup: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Makeup ll Shoes: Manolo Blahniks ll Men's Attire: Grady Ervin ll Rentals: Snyder, EventHaus, Ooh Events, Polished! ll Invitations: Studio R Design ll Linens: Nuage, Snyder ll Lighting: AV Connections ll Cocktail Hour Music: Classical Charleston ll Band: The Mighty Kicks ll Rings: Benjamin Jewelers ll Transportation: Carolina Executive, Finger Snappin' Entertainment ll Officiant: The Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone
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