CAROLINE & MATTHEW
CASSINA POINT PLANTATION WEDDING
October 29, 2016
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Tell us how you met: We were both living in Columbia attending University of South Carolina for graduate school. We had both gone out with friends one Friday night and our friend groups ended up at the same place. Matt came up and started talking to me and we went on our first date a few days later.
Proposal Details: That afternoon Matt unexpectedly brought me flowers and said he wanted to go to dinner to celebrate all the things going on in our lives (completion of his boards, a new job for me, etc). He said he wanted where we were going to be a surprise. That night we went to Oak Table, a local restaurant in Columbia where we went on our first date 3 years before. We had a great dinner celebrating all the things that life had brought us over the 3 years we had been together. After dinner, we went back to Matt’s apartment where he got on one knee and proposed. We had so much fun spending the rest of the night calling family and friends and then celebrating with them that weekend.
The Dress: My mom came to Charlotte, where I was living at the time, for the day and we went dress shopping just the two of us. The first appointment was at Classic Bridal and we didn’t even go anywhere after that! I did not have a clear vision for what I wanted and hoped I would know it when I saw it. We started by tagging dresses we liked in the showroom. We went for a variety of styles and then started the trying on process. The dress we eventually chose was the 2nd dress I tried on. I immediately fell in love with it. My mom’s eyes got teary and we knew we had found the right one. It is designed by Allure for their Spring 2016 collection. It is a lace dress with a scalloped lace bottom and long train. It has so many elements I loved, like the elegant train, buttons on the back, and lace edge style on the top. I felt beautiful and felt like I could move and dance all night in it - which was a must for me! We paired it with a simple chapel veil to compliment it, but not fight with the lace design of the train.
Hair and makeup: I used Blush Air from Charleston. My mom and I went for a trial a couple of months before the wedding. I wanted a look that was natural and still looked like me while being something special and extra from what I would normally wear. Jamie (hair) and Dana (make-up) accomplished that and were amazing to work with. I thought I may want an up-do and had Jamie try a couple of styles at the trial before saying I wanted it half-down the day of the wedding.
Bridesmaids Attire: I worked with Kathryn, owner of Sash in Columbia, to choose the Lula Kate styles. I chose the shantung fabric in the color sky. I chose the floor length dahlia skirt (with pockets!) and then let my bridesmaid’s choose from a few different top styles. It was important to me that each bridesmaid felt comfortable and like they had a dress that suited their different body types. I also let them choose their own jewelry, shoes, hairstyle, and any other accessory they wanted.
How did you select your venue? Matt and I had a feeling we wanted to get married at Edisto. Edisto had always been special to me as I have gone there with family and friends forever. It was somewhere I loved sharing with Matt as our relationship grew. While looking for options at Edisto, we fell in love with Cassina Point Plantation. It was a beautiful location and the owners, Bruce and Tecla Earnshaw, were amazing to work with. We were able to really use the space the way we wanted.
Aesthetic + color palette: For the aesthetic, I really wanted to create an atmosphere that exuded low-country hospitality. I wanted it to feel elegant and also comfortable/welcoming. We loved the venue so much that we wanted the natural beauty of Cassina Point and the Edisto marsh to drive the color palette and décor. We chose to use hues of blue, green, and silver to compliment the natural beauty of the area.
Decor: Heidi (On a Limb Florals) and Amanda (Au Contraire Event and Design) really made the décor happen for us! My vision for creating the low-country hospitality and natural atmosphere included using lanterns and magnolias. Heidi took that idea and far exceeded my expectations. Heidi decorated with lanterns, flowers, driftwood, and candles on each table. Our family friend Moyer Albergotti graciously let us use her lanterns to make the look happen. Amanda helped create the layout using two tents placed adjacently. One tent had the food and dinner tables while the other tent had the band, dance floor, cake table, bar, and a few cocktail tables. In the tent with the food, we used 4 wrought-iron candelabra chandeliers for lighting that we got through Amanda. The food was served at various food stations and Heidi created a gorgeous large flower arrangement for the center serving table.
I wanted the band tent to feel like a fun party atmosphere. We created this using a black and white checked dance floor, small stage for the band, and string lights. The band tent was set up so the marsh and a beautiful live oak served as the backdrop. There is a picture of the band from behind the tent that I think looks so cool! Finally, we had rocking chairs outside of the tent by the marsh.
Men's Attire: The groom and groomsmen all wore black tuxes. Matt worked with Britton’s in Columbia to give each groomsmen a bowtie made by R. Hanauer, a company in Fort Mill, SC. He also had a cummerbund and bowtie set made by the same company for him. We liked adding the bowtie to give something different to the black tux.
Guest Count: 120
Did you decide on a first look? We did not do a first look. We had both always thought about the first moment when the bride and groom see each other during the ceremony. It was really important to us to have that moment.
Ceremony Site: Cassina Point showed us the area and then really left it open to us to use the space however we wanted. For the ceremony, we wanted to create the feeling of an outdoor chapel. We chose to have the ceremony across a small pond from the house, looking out at the marsh under a live oak that was once struck by lightning, leaving it half live and half dead. While the ceremony and reception were both at Cassina Point, we wanted the two spaces to feel different. We liked that the guests would walk across a foot bridge over the pond to go from the ceremony to the cocktail hour on the marsh and then under the tent for the reception. Heidi from On a Limb Floral really made the décor happen. In meeting with her, I shared our idea of creating an outdoor chapel and mentioned wanting some kind of cross. She knew of an 8 foot cross in Summerville, where she lives, that we could rent. She made a flower arrangement to go down the cross and it was undoubtedly one of my favorite elements!!! I love the pictures showing the cross and flowers in front of the marsh and the pictures of us standing with our priest in front of the cross. For Matt and me, it was important that the ceremony felt like a church service. We chose to have Eucharist, an element that meant a lot us in the ceremony. It was also very special to involve our siblings in the service. Both of our younger brothers, Jake and William, read the lessons and my sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Matt, served as chalice bearers during Eucharist. (yes, both my sister and I married Matts! J) The music was a guitar and violin duo. Christopher Tevas, the guitarist, helped us choose music to help create the outdoor chapel feel we wanted.
The Invitation: We used Gages in Greenville, SC to choose invitations by William Arthur. The invitations were on ecru lettra paper with a beveled border using letterpress in a blue color. Gages handled the calligraphy for the outer envelopes. They also did the save the dates. I think the style and décor was really set by the save the dates – I even took them to the appointments with vendors to show the colors, style, and feel we wanted for the wedding.
Hurricane Matthew hit Edisto and the South Carolina coast just 3 weeks before our wedding day. We didn’t know if visitors would be allowed on the island by our wedding weekend or if our vendors would up and ready for business. Thankfully, Cassina Point and most of our vendors were minimally effected and completely on board to make our plans still happen. We did have to move the rehearsal dinner and Matt’s mom did an amazing job planning a rehearsal dinner essentially from scratch from 1,000 miles away in just 2 weeks!
What was on the menu for the evening? When we met with our caterers, Katie and Val, we did what we did with most vendors – shared our favorites and our dislikes and shared our vision for the event and then trusted them to use their expertise to choose the details to create it. During the cocktail hour, we served Cajun deviled eggs topped with a drunken shrimp, mushroom pate with bread rounds, and sautéedsausage links with a honey Dijon dipping sauce. For dinner, we had 3 food stations. One station had crab cakes (my favorite!) and a garden salad. A second station had “ultimate grilled cheese” (Matt’s favorite!) made with cheddar and Monterrey jack and a variety of toppings served with a creamy tomato bisque. The third was a beef carving station paired with mini mac-and-cheese and roasted asparagus. The bar served beer, wine, and one signature drink – an Old Fashioned.
First dance song? Our first dance was to “With This Ring” by The Platters performed by The Travis Allison Band.
Cake: Matt and I had so much fun designing the cake with Hayden at Ashely Bakery! With her help, we designed a four tier cake. The entire cake had white vanilla almond buttercream frosting with straight line borders between the tiers, but each tier had a different design. The bottom design was formal comb pattern, followed by a tier with Swiss dots, then a tier with over lapping wavy piped lines, and the top tier was a scalloped buttercream design. We finished the design off with fresh flowers by Heidi. After creating the design, the fun tasting part came! While every flavor they served was incredible, we chose to go with two tiers of sour cream pound cake and two tiers of chocolate Kahlua.
The Flowers: I left our meeting with Heidi without knowing exactly what flowers she would use. During all of our conversations, I felt like we were so on the same page with my vision for the wedding and I trusted her to make that vision into a reality. To make the beautiful décor happen, Heidi used a variety of vines, ranunculus, white, antique blue and green hydrangeas, Spanish moss, dried sea oats, fresh wheat, magnolias, dark greenery, jack thistle, and garden roses. The bridesmaids had classic rounded bouquets of antique green hydrangea and spray roses in shades of white with ribbon streamers.
We had koozies designed with our names and a silhouette of a live oak on one side and the saying “Sip Sip Hooray” on the other that guests could take home. We also created welcome bags that Edisto Realty and Atwood Realty helped have for guests at their houses/condos as they arrived. The welcome bags included an issue of Explore Edisto magazine, a guide for the weekend with our favorite things to do on the island, and bottles of water with a few snacks.
Advice for Brides-to-be: Stay focused on the big picture of celebrating you and your fiancé starting your life together. At least one or two stressful things are bound to happen while planning, maybe even a hurricane will hit! But if you stay focused on that big picture, planning can be much more fun than stressful.
What were the most important elements about your wedding day to you and your husband? The most important part of our wedding for Matt and me was not a material element, but more a focus on creating an entire weekend for our family and friends to relax and enjoy spending time together at Edisto while celebrating with us. One of my favorite elements was getting to use the house at Cassina Point for my bridesmaids and me to be together while we got ready on Saturday. I gave each bridesmaid a pair of monogrammed pajamas from J. Crew which we wore as we sipped mimosas and had our hair and make-up done that day. Similarly, my parents hosted a brunch the morning after the wedding at the house where they stayed on Edisto. Again, it was just about being together and sharing the monumental moment in Matt and my life with the people we love.
What is your favorite picture from your wedding day? This is an incredibly difficult question because there are so many pictures I love!! I think my absolute favorite is a picture of Matt and me standing under a beautiful live oak right after the ceremony. We had not seen each other all day, had just said, “I do!” and were about to spend the rest of the night celebrating with our closest family and friends. Olivia captured that moment so perfectly! She did an awesome job of capturing moments rather than trying to create moments to capture. When she took that picture, we couldn’t stop laughing and both have such big and genuine smiles that just show the joy we felt in the moment and really the whole weekend.
What are you plans and goals as a newly married couple? We are currently living in Columbia, SC with our dog Cooper. I work at the nonprofit The Therapy Place with their preschool program for children with disabilities and Matt is currently working on his PhD in neuropharmacology at the University of South Carolina. We are very much enjoying our first year of married life. We are excited to be together for all the adventures life has to bring, taking them one step at a time.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cassina Point Plantation ll Photographer: Olivia Griffin Photography ll Event Planning & Design: Au Contraire Event and Design ll Floral Design: On a Limb Florals ll Cake: Ashley Cake Bakery ll Catering: Friends Farm and Catering ll Gown: Allure ll Dress Boutique: Classic Bride and Formals (Cornelius, NC) ll Bridesmaids Dresses: Lula Kate from Sash (Columbia, SC) ll Hair & Makeup: Blush Air ll Groom's Attire: R. Hanauer from Britton’s (Columbia, SC) ll Rentals: EventWorks ll Invitations: William Arthur from Gage's (Greenville SC) ll Ceremony Music: Christopher Tevas ll Band: The Travis Allison Band ll Rehearsal Dinner: Ella and Ollie’s (Edisto, SC) ll Officiant: Father Jack Hardaway, Grace Episcopal Church (Anderson, SC) ll Restrooms: Nature’s Calling (Charleston, SC)