Evening Wedding at The William Aiken House

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KRISTEN & ROBERT

A William Aiken House Wedding

Charleston, South Carolina

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Q: Let's talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.

A: Robert's tux was custom made at Trunk Club in Los Angeles. He knew from day one he wanted a navy blue tuxedo with a black lapel. It fit him like a glove and he looks forward to being able to wear it again one day. To make it even more special, my 18 month old nephew had on a matching tuxedo my sister found for him! The story of my wedding dress is a little bit more involved. I have always taken a major interest in fashion and so when it came to the most important dress I will ever wear, I knew I had to nail it. I wanted it to be timeless and beautiful yet unexpected. Comfort was a huge deal to me as I knew I would be spending a lot of time on the dance floor. I had a vision, being that my wedding was taking place outdoors in December, that I would have a high neck, sleeves and an open back. I live in Los Angeles so I was sure I could find plenty of options showcasing exactly what I wanted. Turns out, you really don't know until you know. I probably tried on 65 dresses with a high neck and sleeves to only be more and more disappointed with the way they looked on my body. I genuinely tried to make it work but at the end of the day, you have to wear what flatters YOU - not what looks best in the magazine or online. I remember the day I found my dress ... I had found a gown online that I adored (of course it had sleeves) and a boutique in Beverly Hills that carried it. I got the first appointment they had available and anxiously awaited to try on the dress I was sure was the "one." I didn't even get it all the way one before the consultant said "no way." It looked awful on me. I felt so defeated and was quite simply exhausted from trying on white dresses. My consultant asked that since I had driven all the way there to try and take a look around to see if there was anything else that caught my eye. I grabbed a few so the trip wasn't a total loss and proceeded to try them on. And then, it happened. The moment I had been waiting for: I had found the dress of my dreams. It was literally the opposite of what I had thought I would wear, but it was perfect. I chose Maria Elena jewels to compliment the dress and a Erica Koesler veil that hit at the exact perfect spot on the back of my dress. I wore the coolest shoes I have ever seen (all white feathers) and chose to keep my hair very simple - down with some light curls. I felt exceptional on my wedding day and never more comfortable.

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Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: We met on June 11th, 2016 at a “White Party” being held in Hermosa Beach, CA. It was just another typical Saturday night at the beach in SoCal. I had big plans to stay in and watch a movie when a friend of mine called and said to throw on my favorite white outfit for a party down the street. I hesitated but have a hard time saying no to a theme party so I got ready and was there in half an hour. Little did I know I would meet the love of my life that night. From across the room, there he stood, with a group of his friends all dressed in white. We made eye contact and with a little help from my girlfriend, met each other and ended up spending the rest of the night talking. We knew that night that “this was different” and that our lives would never be the same after. It truly was love at first sight. About 5 months later, on December 17, Robert asked me to marry him in the MOST amazing way ever. I still get chills thinking about it. It was the night of his company Christmas party and he had asked me to meet him at his house a little early so we could exchange presents as I was leaving the day after to spend the holidays with my family in South Carolina. Whenever I arrived at his house, he told me he had all the gifts in his car and to hop in as we were on our way to a surprise he had for me. I had no idea what was going on but did as I was told. About an hour later, we pulled up at the Beverly Hills hotel and as we parked he said "Merry Christmas!" He knew that this was somewhere I had always dreamed of staying and it was right around the corner from the location of his company Christmas party so it made perfect sense to me. Minutes later, we were listening to Frank Sinatra, drinking champagne and eating chocolate covered strawberries in the most beautiful hotel room I had ever seen. We took our time getting ready and right before it was time to go, Robert asked me if I wanted to have a drink with him in the Polo Lounge prior to leaving. As we walked in, someone proceeded to escort us to the terrace where I was then led to a table in the corner covered in red roses, baby pictures of both of us, a card with my name on it and lit candles. It was like a scene out of a movie. We ordered a glass of wine and he asked me to read the card. About 2 months prior, I had given him a card whenever he brought me to Oregon for the first time with "100 things I love about you" written inside. He had decided to return the favor and write 100 things he loved about me. The very last card read "100: I want to marry you!" I burst into tears, looked up at him and he had the most exceptional ring I had ever seen with a huge smile on his face. We spent the rest of the night celebrating and day dreaming about our beautiful future we would create together.

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Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

A: We met in Los Angeles but are from South Carolina and Oregon so we really wanted to combine the feel of all three into our wedding day. I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a "Christmas wedding" but that the spirit of the holiday was felt throughout. We also wanted to make sure that God was at the center of the ceremony. I carefully selected several verses I wanted to be highlighted to reflect the love we share.

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Q: Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

A: The venue is already SO beautiful I really went with the less is more approach. I wanted to highlight what was already there. Floral was where I concentrated most and lighting was also very important. We got married underneath the most gorgeous chandelier and had two other hanging from our tent where the reception was. Encased candles were lit and hung from the tree that is a staple on the property and could not have been more romantic for the time of day or year.

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Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

A: The most anticipated moment was also the most special. Walking toward Robert to join him in marriage is by far the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. To have all of our loved ones witness us exchange vows and promise to love each other forever and ever will go down as the happiest moment of my life so far.

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Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

A: My favorite part of the wedding was walking down the aisle to my favorite song to my now husband. I walked to "Holocene" by Bon Iver and while a bit untraditional, it truly captures the love that Robert and I share. I remember the day I knew I would walk to it after agonizing what song to select. I was sitting in the kitchen and Robert was in the living room. I played the song and he started to weep because of what it meant to him - it brought him right back to the day we met. I would also have to say those last moments before walking down the aisle. I had about 15 minutes to myself and I was able to peer through the upstairs window of the house that was located on the venue looking over the ceremony. My Dad came in about 5 minutes before we were supposed to walk and prayed with me. It was precious and a moment I will always cherish. We also wrote our own vows which was incredibly important to us both. It was a very special and emotional process for us both. Robert actually got an applause after his!

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Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

A: I spent a lot of time getting inspired by different florals and based most of my theme around the silver dollar eucalyptus which had me at hello. Branch Studio Design captured exactly what I had in mind combining the lush greens to represent Oregon, the romance and charm to represent Charleston and the wildflower look to capture the Southern California vibe. I would say the decor highlight of the entire day was the pergola where we were married under. It had these gorgeous cascading flower arrangements down each side as well as a chandelier hanging right above us. It could not have been more romantic or perfect. The centerpieces were in tall gold vases that complimented the gold dinnerware that I chose. They were elegant yet bold.

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Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?

A: I took the advice that was given to me and this is what I would pass along: stay present. Stay in every single moment. The details do matter, if that is what is important to you but when you are decided on them, remember the bigger purpose... that you are marrying the love of your life. Along the way, things will happen that are unexpected and out of your control. Recognize that no matter what happens, it all works out perfectly! The statement that rather bothered me as the day approached was when someone would say "it goes by so quickly." It would sometimes take me out of my present tense and take me to when it was already over. I would have to talk myself out of worrying about when it was over and focus on the moment I was in. As far as marriage advice, today marks one month of married bliss for us and so far, so good. Laugh every day. It truly is the greatest gift.

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Dance Instructor: Living Tango // Dress Store: JLM Boutique // Linens and Coverings: Nuage Designs // Equipment Rentals: Event Works // Lighting: Innovative Event Services // Invitation Designer: Coucou Calligraphy // Caterer: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group // Cinema and Video: Siegal Films // Jewelry: Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories // Hair Stylist: SALON EDGE // Makeup Artist: Elysium Salon // Officiant: Beach Church // Ring Designer: Cartier // Veils and headpieces: Erica Koesler Wedding Accessories // Bridesmaid Dresses: Watters Bridal Inc // Transportation: Low Country Valet & Shuttle Co. // Calligrapher: Coucou Calligraphy // Groomsman Attire: The Groomsman Suit // Tuxedo and Men's Attire: Hugo Boss // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Custom Trunk Club // Shoes: Something Bleu Shoes // Dress Designer: Hayley Paige // DJ: DJ Rehab // Floral Designer: Branch Design Studio // Cake Designer: DeClare Cakes // Event Designer: Samantha Anderson Events // Reception Venue: The William Aiken House // Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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