When Bride Ryan submitted her gorgeous Beaufort Wedding at The Oaks Plantation, I immediately knew that it had to grace the pages of A Lowcountry Wedding. Not only did I love hearing about the sweet couple's love story, but I adore all the thoughtful details they included throughout their picture perfect day! Ryan was stunning in a strapless lace gown and an effortless up-do, while her maids rocked gold cocktail dresses from Bella Bridesmaids. Thanks to The American Photographer for capturing all the details!
Tell us a little bit about how you met your husband…
Whit (Whitney) and I met while attending Costal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC. We both share a love for dancing and that is exactly where we met....on the dance floor! We were both in sororities and fraternities and had several functions together, but it wasn't until the night he asked me to dance that I really took noticed him.
Whit and I were both coming out of very long relationships so initially we talked for a few months before making anything official. After several months of dinner dates (pizza), boating trips, movie dates, and a lot of dancing, he decided to make it official. We went to A night of 1,000 candles, which is a beautiful holiday themed set up at Brook Green Gardens (Pawley’s Island, SC) and he then asked me to be his girlfriend. We later moved to Charleston together.
Tell us ALL about the proposal...
Whit and I had been dating for a little over three years. It was on a beautiful Fall Friday (October 19, 2012) that Whit and I had been planning a trip back home to visit my parents for the weekend. Being from the low country I have a great appreciation for the beautiful plantations that surround us. There was one in particular that always caught my eye, as I had to drive past it anytime I made the trip back home. It is called Bonny Hall Plantation. Whit knew my love for the place and its beauty. So on that Fall Friday as Whit and I were making the trip home "to have dinner with my family" he pulled in to the entrance of the plantation. He said that he had spoken with the manager and had permission for us to walk around and just take a look at the grounds. I was a bit hesitant about this story, but none the less proceed to follow him, hand in hand and walked around the historic grounds. He led me to the backyard where there stood a beautiful old, large oak tree, with a tree house of some sort built into it. He convinced me to climb the ladder to the top with him. (While he continuously cleared his throat over and over...he does this when he is nervous) As I stood up there embracing the gorgeous view of the marsh, he directs my attention to a rope dangling at the bottom of the tree. He begins to tug on this rope/pulley apparatus and up comes a cute little picnic basket covered in moss. He opens it up and there sits the most gorgeous diamond ring. Whit got on one knee and the rest is history.
What made you choose your venue? What elements drew you to it?
I wanted a venue that portrayed the low country and all of its southern charm. I had always imagined getting married on the water at a plantation with a historic yet romantic feel. The Oaks Plantation has a quaint historic home on the property, where the girls and I were all able to get ready. Out back is a large yard where we held the ceremony under the beautiful old oak trees on one side and the reception was on the other side; all while being surrounded by the gorgeous Beaufort River. It was my mission to find a place that had all the elements I had been envisioning. And that’s exactly what I found.
Lets hear about the details!
We were married under an oak tree, (at the Oaks Plantation) which seemed fitting given that Whit had proposed to me in an oak tree. As for the water aspect, I think one of my favorite things was leaving on a boat at the end of the evening. Whit and I both have a love for the water and this was the perfect touch to close out what was an amazing night. Also, we were married on October 19th which was exactly one year to the day that he had proposed to me. It was all about the details for me. Our guest book was not the typical book guests’ sign at weddings; it was a book of Southern Lowcountry Plantations, one of which was where he had proposed. I had a custom ring box made out of a tree stump that had our initials and wedding date etched into it. I had several added touches that incorporated where it all began, in a tree.
Keeping with the southern theme Whit and I both had specialty drinks at our separate bars. My drink was a “Southern Belle-ini” which consisted of white grape peach juice and champagne with a frozen raspberry. My bridesmaids and I were served this tasty cocktail when we went to try on bridesmaids dresses at The Gown Boutique. I thought it was so good; I had to make sure it was shared with my guests. As for the groom, his cocktail was called Southern Royalty which was crown royal and coke, simple yet Whit’s favorite. And my favorite aspect of the specialty drinks was the oyster shooters! A raw oyster in a shot glass filled with vodka and topped with cocktail sauce….a southern thing!
How many guests attended? We had approximately 200-250 guests at our wedding
Color Palette: Champagne/Gold, cream, touch of blush. Bridesmaid dresses were cement, linens were cream and sashes on cocktail tables were blush.
Something Old: a handkerchief that my grandmother saved for me to wear on my wedding day
Something New: my Louboutin wedding shoes
Something borrowed: broach in my bouquet that my MOH wore on her wedding day
Something Blue: handkerchief with my initials monogrammed in blue from my other MOH
What’s your favorite picture from your wedding and why?
One of my favorite pictures is of Whit and I staring into each other’s eyes, my veil blowing over his head, and the trees and water in the background. I felt that it captured the exact emotions of happiness and love that was over flowing that day. We both liked the photo so much that we used it to make custom thank you cards for our guests. I must say my other favorite photo was with another important man in my life, my dad. It was the photo of us during our father daughter dance. It captured the happiness in my heart that was made possible in part by my dad!
Tell us about the Lowcountry cuisine...
I admit to being a bit of a foodie, so this was very important to me. Not only was the taste of the food important but presentation was on the top of my list.
For cocktail hour we had tuna tartar topped with avocado and a chipotle crema served in mini cones that each had an individual holes they rested in on a cutting board. We had mini open faced BLT’s served on tea biscuits with an herbed mayo base. And what southern wedding is complete without a good fried green tomato topped with a Cajun cream sauce.
As for the dinner portion of the menu, I wanted to continue with good southern comfort food. We had a salad to start, which consisted of romaine lettuce, artichokes, hearts of palm, shaved red onions and parmesan topped with champagne vinaigrette. The meats included grilled pork tenderloin topped with a raspberry mustard sauce, and grilled bourbon pecan chicken. As for the sides we had sweet potato mash with brown sugar butter, smoked gouda mac n cheese, haricots verts, and a biscuit bar with fresh, hot, and fluffy biscuits served with an assortment of jams and preserves. Side note, anyone who knows Whit and I knows that we have an extreme love for pizza. So for our late night snack we brought it none other than papa john’s pizza for all.
Most Valuable piece of advice you’d give to a newly engaged bride:
Valuable advice would be, when choosing people that are a part of your wedding, choose those that will be supportive, loving and caring throughout the whole process. People that will be there for you two as a couple after the I do’s. And one more piece of advice, do hire a videographer! Best decision I made, and I’m so happy that we can relive our special day over and over!
Venue: The Oaks Plantation, St. Helena, SC // Photographers: The American Photographer, Early Branch, SC & second shooter Scott Hansen Photography // Reception Band: Tru Sol- Myrtle Beach, SC // Ceremony Music: Lowcountry String Quartet, Beaufort, SC // Bridal Shop/Wedding Dress: The Gown Boutique of Charleston, SC // Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid of Charleston, SC // Cake: Creative Cakes by RaFayele // Bar &Catering: Geist & Company- Bluffton, SC // Florist: Nix Florist, Hampton, SC // Rentals: Amazing Event Rentals- Beaufort, SC // Brides Hair/Makeup: Karen Lambert of Serenity Day Spa & Salon- Statesboro, GA // Bridesmaids Hair: Bangs Salon- Beaufort, SC // Videographer: Reel Weddings - Myrtle Beach, SC // Invitations: Jeffrey Bannon Charleston, SC // Tuxedos: Jim's Formal Wear- Florence, SC // Wedding Planner: Teresa O’Connel // Wedding Directors: Tammy Lane & Lori Poston // Officiant: Father David Dubay