KENLY & STEVE
LOWNDES GROVE PLANTATION WEDDING
September 3, 2016
Charleston, South Carolina
How they met: If you know Steve, you know he is deeply and unwaveringly passionate about his sports teams. When the Reds, Bengals or Fighting Irish are playing, it's safe to say you may have some trouble getting his attention elsewhere. Well, luckily for me, none of his beloved teams were involved in the 2012 Super Bowl and, when we both attended a friend's viewing party, I was able to successfully steal his attention from the game. We spent the day talking and laughing and ended the evening with plans for our first date.
Proposal Details: Three years after that serendipitous Super Bowl Sunday, Steve whisked me off to the beautiful beaches of Punta Mita, Mexico. As we watched the sun set over the aquamarine water, Steve knelt to one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I, of course, responded with a gleeful and teary-eyed "Yes!”
How did you select your venue? My Aunt, Uncle and cousins live in Charleston and, ever since we first started dating, we’d made an annual trip from San Francisco to visit them. Charleston became a very special home away from home to us and when it came time to choose our venue we felt it was the perfect place for our wedding. We scheduled tours of a handful of venues, but when we pulled up to Lowndes Grove we immediately knew we’d found the one. Lowndes Grove is like walking into a real-life fairy tale. Between the draping live oak trees, historic 1786-era home and breathtaking 700 foot private dock extending in to the Ashley River, it was love at first sight.
The Dress: I went in to the dress shopping experience open to trying a spectrum of designers, styles and fabrics. During my initial appointments, I tried on some really beautiful dresses, but I never felt that magical “this is it!” feeling. Finally I arrived at Marina Morrison, a bridal salon in San Francisco, where one of the in-house stylists sat down with me to get a better sense of my style and vision for our big day. Our discussion immediately sparked her recommendation that I try dresses from their Anna Maier Couture line. Sure enough, it was exactly what I’d always dreamed I’d be walking down the aisle in. The white Duchess Satin was the most exquisite and illuminating color against my skin. The princess seams and slim fitting bodice created a classic, elegant silhouette, while the extravagant draped folds around the fluted trumpet skirt gave it a dramatic, old Hollywood feel. I felt like a princess the minute I put it on and when my mom burst in to tears as I stepped out of the dressing room, I knew I’d found the dress!
Hair and makeup: I wanted my hair and makeup to complement the classic, old Hollywood feel of my dress. I opted for loose, voluminous curls accented with a pearl and crystal headband. I also wore a cathedral length veil that reached just past the train of my dress for the Ceremony. For makeup, my makeup artist created a smokey eye with golden and brown hues, sun-kissed cheeks with a light bronzer and a light pink, glossy lip.
Bridesmaids Dresses: With the Nicholas Sparks novel like backdrop of Lowndes Grove, I wanted my Bridesmaids to wear something ethereal and romantic. Our wedding was also over Labor Day weekend so I wanted to be mindful of the heat and humidity. Amsale’s floor-length silk chiffon bridesmaid dresses were the perfect choice. To give the group a little variety in their look, half of the bridesmaids were in blush while the other half were in bellini. Some were also in off-the-shoulder while others were in strapless. They subtle variances in shade and style gave them a bit more pop and depth as they were standing together. They looked stunning!
Men's Attire: The Groomsmen wore Navy suits, white shirts, cognac dress shoes and blush ties to accent the Bridesmaids’ dresses. Steve wore the same except his tie was white. Again, we wanted to keep the color palette light with the outdoor, summer backdrop.
Did you decide on a first look? We did decide to do a first look. We both wanted that moment of seeing each other for the first time to be something very personal and intimate between the two of us. We wanted that alone time to laugh, dance, happy cry, whatever we were feeling! We also knew the day would just fly by once the ceremony started so we really wanted to take advantage of the time beforehand to have quality time just the two of us as well as enjoy some special time with our wedding party.
How did you decide on your aesthetic + color palette: The venue has such a light and ethereal feel – especially in the summer months – so we wanted to be sure our aesthetic and color palette naturally aligned. I knew I wanted white to be our primary color and we decided on light blushes, dusty greens and pops of gold to create a romantic and glamorous feel.
The Ceremony: For our ceremony, we were married beneath the beautiful draping live oak trees with the Ashley River and breathtaking 700 foot dock behind us. The setting was so spectacular we kept the additional décor very minimal. White rose petals lined the aisle and we hung silver mercury glass vases filled with white roses, blush astilbe sprigs, and dusty miller to every other row of chairs along the aisle.
Personal Touches: We welcomed our guests to Charleston (many of whom were flying from all corners of the country to join us) with special gift bags that awaited them at their hotels and AirBnB’s. The bags included weekend essentials like sparkling and flat water, bug spray and Aspirin, as well as some odes to the South like freshly made Benne Wafers and sandalwood folding hand fans. Bags were wrapped in satin ribbon with hand-calligraphied tags.
The Invitations: To embody the classic, elegance of Charleston and our venue, Lowndes Grove, we opted for a stately letterpress invitation suite in white with black font, hosting a custom monogram. Invitation suites were tied in white satin ribbon.
The Reception was then held beneath a white draped tent that nestled against the historic 1786-era home. One of my most favorite touches was the gorgeous floral chandelier that hung above our black and white checkered dance floor. The crystal chandelier was adorned with a spilling arrangement of white florals, pops of soft blush and dusty greens. It was understated glamour at its best.
Guest Count: 110
The décor: Overall, we wanted our wedding to feel elegant and romantic with light and airy coloring and textures. To infuse a few hints of understated glam, our team at Pure Luxe Bride also helped us to create a few marquee statement pieces. In addition to our floral chandelier, the Bride and Groom chair backs were specially draped with florals and trailing greenery. Our tall cocktail tables were draped in white cloth and then tied with eucalyptus vines. We also had a hand crafted champagne tower display painted in shimmering gold hues.
The Flowres: White was our primary floral color with pops of light blush and dusty greens. Blooms included: Roses of every variety (White O'Hara Garden Roses, White Majolica Spray Roses, Blanc de Blanc Garden Roses, Blush Kiera Garden Roses, White Polo Roses, Blush Emely Roses, Pink Mayra Garden Roses), White Lisianthus, Pale Blush Sweet Peas, White Ranunculus, Dusty Miller Leaves, Blush Ranunculus, Blush Astilbe, White Hydrangea, White Stock, White Football Mums, White Amaryllis, Green Hanging Amaranthus, Jasmine Vine and Thlapsi Bell.
The menu: The Patrick Properties culinary team is truly second to none. They helped us create a custom menu that was above and beyond.
Our cocktail hour menu included acrushed iced display and raw bar brimming with oysters, shrimp and crab salad cones, passed apps including fig and pancetta wrapped scallops, breaded artichoke hearts stuffed with parmesan, shrimp & grits on edible spoons, tomato & mozzarella and fresh watermelon slices with feta cheese and balsamic glaze. Our Reception menu included Spinach salad with cabernet poached pears, goat cheese and pecans, Lobster Tail and Beef Filet served alongside Lowcountry Risotto and an Arugula Shaved Asparagus Salad. Specialty drinks included: HERS - French 75, HIS - Manhattan and Passed Sparkling Rose,
After the Reception, we also opened a specialty Bourbon and Cigar bar for the guys to enjoy. This was definitely a fan favorite!
What was your first dance song? “To Make You Feel My Love” by Garth Brooks
The Favors: Strawberry and Limoncello Macaroons packed in clear favor boxes and tied with ribbons. The boxes were displayed on our champagne tower at the end of the evening.
Late night treats: A coffee and donut station featuring cinnamon and sugar donut holes. Late night passed snacks including: spiced tater tots and mini vanilla and chocolate milkshakes.
Advice for Brides-to-be: Make sure to take time throughout the day to just pause and take it all in. As everyone will tell you, the day flies by so it’s important to carve out time for you and your husband to soak in this special time of being surrounded by the people closest to you who are there to celebrate your love and the start of your lives together. Steve and I snuck away at one point to walk out on the beautiful dock and just bask in the love and happiness we were feeling. From the dock, we were able to look back at the Reception tent filled with our closest family and friends and it was a moment and visual I know we’ll both remember forever.
Most of our guests had never been to Charleston before so we definitely wanted our venue and overall look and feel to embrace the classic romance of the South. Lowndes Grove couldn’t have been more perfect for achieving this vision.
Most importantly, we wanted our guests to feel like they were at a spectacular party. We hired an 8 piece band to ensure everyone danced the night away and incorporated fun surprise and delight elements throughout the night – like our Bourbon and Cigar bar that opened following the Reception.
I just can’t sing the praises of our wedding vendors enough. Our wedding planners, Francesca and Blake of Pure Luxe Bride, were truly the most incredible team. They were involved each step of the way providing their design expertise, creative thinking, problem solving and unwavering support. They truly made all of our wedding dreams come true.
Our wedding photographers, Aaron and Jillian Photography, were awe inspiring in their ability to capture each and every important moment and element of our day. They are so talented and were an absolute delight to have by our side on our big day. Their gorgeous images will be something we treasure forever.
Lastly, the Patrick Properties team was second to none. They went above and beyond to ensure our experience was seamless from start to finish.
Cake: Our pastry chef Jessica Grossman created a gorgeous white five-tier cake with floral accents. Tiers switched between red velvet cake with cream cheese filling – my very favorite - and vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream filling. Steve’s family also gifted us a beautiful matching white cake stand to display the cake, which we’ll keep to pass down as a family heirloom.
The Send-off Vehicle: We exited Lowndes Grove through a tunnel of white sparklers and hopped in our White Rolls Royce.
What are you plans and goals as a newly married couple? To continue loving, laughing and dancing just as we did on our wedding day!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation ll Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography ll Event Planning & Design: Pure Luxe Bride ll Floral Design: Branch Design Studio ll Rentals: EventWorks, Snyder Rentals ll Catering: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group ll Cake: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group, Chef Jessica Grossman ll Gown: Anna Maier ll Dress Boutique: Marina Morrison Bridal Salon ll Hair & Makeup: Pink Dot Beauty Bar ll Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids ll Men's Attire: Combat Gentleman ll Invitations: Aerialist Press ll Ceremony Musicians: Bob Williams Duo ll Lighting: Innovative Event Services ll Draping: Pure Luxe Bride, Snyder Rentals ll Officiant: Denise Adkins llBand: Emerald Empire Band ll Transportation & Vintage Rolls Royce: ACW Limo
Find this wedding and other Lowcountry favorites in our Summer/Fall 2017 issue.