I went weak-in-the-knees for every single Lowcountry wedding that has graced the pages of our premier issue! They're all stunning! But I have a special place in my heart for Erin + Steve's Island House bash. I'm not sure if it's how their amazing photographer Virgil Bunao captured all the details, or maybe how Ooh! Events dreamed up this eclectic color palette with eye catching flower arrangements, or what sounds like the perfect menu of libations and Southern dishes from Cru Catering that the duo treated their guests to, but I adore every last detail of this Charleston wedding. Thanks to Erin and her talented mother for adding all the personal touches to their big Southern wedding day! Even though we tried, we couldn’t include everything in the magazine, so to find out a little more about Erin’s big day you can read her answers below, but to see ALL the details check out the Mag here! How did he propose? How long were you engaged for?
I think I may have the best proposal story ever. In August 2011, we'd planned to spend a weeklong vacation with Steve's parents in New Hampshire. The night before we were supposed to leave, Steve handed me a piece of paper. It took me a minute to realize that it was an itinerary for a surprise trip to Madrid - leaving the next day!! He'd planned everything - and had even done my laundry so I would have plenty of clothes for the trip! During our first day in Madrid, we roamed around the city and even went back to the place where we had our first kiss. The next day, he took me a private Spanish cooking class, and then to the Retiro park. He proposed in the park, and then told me we were going to spend the rest of the week on an engagement-moon in the Basque Country! It was like a dream.
What made you choose your Charleston wedding venue? What elements drew you to it?
I grew up in Chesterfield, SC and Steve is from New York, but we currently live in San Francisco. We knew we wanted to get married in South Carolina as a nod to my childhood, and we chose Charleston because we'd traveled there together and made some amazing memories. We looked at a ton of venues, and we really wanted to find a place that celebrated the natural beauty of the lowcountry. When we saw the Island House for the first time, we both knew it was where we wanted to get married. The proximity to the water, the wide open outdoor space, and the simple beauty of it all took our breath away.
Steve and I are cocktail aficionados, and the team at IceBox exceeded all our expectations (plus they let us do a really fun cocktail tasting ahead of time!). Our specialty cocktails were: Holiday in Spain (nod to our engagement and where we met - it was a jalapeno and cilantro margarita with macerated red peppers for a reddish tint) and the Johns Island Cider (Rum, Spiced Apple Cider, Mint, Ginger Beer).
What’s your favorite picture from your wedding and why?
That's really tough - mainly because Virgil is incredible. There's a picture of Steve and me holding hands out on the dock that I really adore, and then a party shot with us in front and all our friends behind us rocking out (and wearing neon glasses!).
Tell us all about the details! Did any have special meaning? What was your favorite?
-My mother handmade a lot of my favorite details from the wedding - homemade peach bourbon jam for the wedding favors, travel-themed placecards, and homemade pralines and benne wafers for our welcome bags. She worked so hard on everything, and it was so beautiful (and delicious!) so her creations were some of my favorite details.
-I really loved using table names instead of numbers. Steve and I love to travel, so I used chalkboard signs to write the names of places Steve and I have traveled together. People really got a kick out of sitting at the Reykjavik, Iceland or Zanzibar, Tanzania table
-The brooch that I pinned to my bouquet was particularly special to me. It's from a set of jewelry made by Tiffany's in the 1800s as a replica of the jewelry designed by Abraham Lincoln for Mary Todd to wear on her wedding day. I was the 5th generation in my family to wear this jewelry on my wedding day.
Tell us a little bit about your Charleston wedding menu…We are obsessed with good food, and Cru Catering made the wedding dinner of our dreams. For appetizers, we had a yellow tomato gazpacho shooter with habanero crema, collard green wontons, and a raw bar. We served a tomato and muskmelon salad with candied pecans, and a choice of ginger seared wreck fish or pomegranate glazed cornish hen. Objectively (or maybe not), this was one of the best meals of my life.
We did wedding pies instead of a wedding cake, and I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out! Lauren from Wild Flour Pastry blew us away with bourbon pecan pie, key lime pie with gingersnap crust, walnut derby pie, triple berry pie with oat streusel, and a banoffee (banana-toffee) pie! I heard that one older lady went back to the pie table five times to try all the varieties!
Something old: The family heirloom brooch I put on my bouquet.
Something new: My parents gave me diamond earrings, and my gorgeous Badgley Mischka shoes!!
Something borrowed: A sapphire and diamond bracelet from my grandmother
Something blue: Lots! My sapphire engagement ring and the sapphire/diamond necklace Steve gave me as a wedding day present.
Photographer: Virgil Bunao / Flowers, Décor & Design: Ooh! Events / Coordination: Ooh! Event, Emily Miller / Venue: The Island House / Ceremony Music: Classical Charleston / Reception Music: Atlanta Party Band / Catering: Cru Catering / Bar: IceBox / Wedding Pies: WildFlour Pastry / Tent & Rentals: Atlantic Tent / Photo Booth: Oh Snap! / Hair & Makeup: Jennifer Fernandez