EMILY & ERIC
A Lowndes Grove Plantation Wedding
Charleston, South Carolina
April 1, 2017
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT: Emily Means was enjoying a night out in San Diego’s Pacific Beach with her roommate when a handsome man, Eric McAnelly, caught her eye from across the bar. With the help of her sly roommate’s introduction, the two immediately hit it off and spent the evening laughing and dancing. But before the night was over, they went for a walk on the beach and shared their first kiss.
THE VENUE: Much like the first night they met, the duo immediately fell for Charleston’s Lowndes Grove Plantation on the banks of the Ashley River.
THE GOWN:: Emily knew just where to go to find her Monique Lhuillier gown—Neiman Marcus in Downtown Dallas—the go-to spot for the ladies in her family. But after her initial trip was a bust, she returned a few weekends later for a Monique trunk show where she finally found the one. The winning design was the complete opposite of what she had imagined, accentuating her hourglass figure and providing the perfect amount of drama. She amped up her wedding day look with a smoky cat eye and a slightly undone take on a classic chignon for a timeless look with a sexy edge.
FIRST LOOK: The couple skipped the popular first look. “I wanted that fairytale moment where he sees me walking down the aisle and I (hopefully) take his breath away,” remembers Emily. And that’s just what she got. The pair kept themselves sequestered right up until the ceremony, and even though it meant they had to carve out time for pictures during cocktail hour, Emily wouldn’t have had it any other way. “Doing so heightened the excitement and I’ll never forget the look on his face as my dad walked me down the aisle,” she said.
THE CEREMONY: Hoping to utilize every corner of Lowndes Grove, the couple held their ceremony on the front lawn with views of the river in the background. A stately oak tree served as the makeshift altar, highlighted by a dramatic floral installation that appeared to crawl up the tree. To personalize the ceremony, Emily & Eric wrote their own vows. As the couple embarked on their marriage, they made a touching promise to each other, “Today, I choose you.”
THE DESIGN: The ladies of Pure Luxe Bride ran with the joyous vibe and let the couple’s wedding emblem dictate the design. They combined Emily’s vibrant color palette of blue, peach, green and gold with her love of champagne to create the celebratory atmosphere she had imagined. Tables were topped with soft blue tones, mimicking the blues of the neighboring Ashley River, and accessorized with cheery blooms and gold-rimmed chargers.
THE MOOD: When it came to the aesthetic, Emily knew three things were certain, “I wanted whimsy, I wanted champagne, and I wanted fun! My main concern was that people walked away from the evening feeling buoyant & having had a blast,” said Emily. “I wanted my guests to eat delicious food, drink whatever they wanted, have a cigar if that’s their thing, dance to a darn good band, and have the love in the room be palpable.”
CHAMPAGNE WALL: As an added WOW factor, they created a custom champagne wall with a boxwood backdrop and gold etagere shelves filled with glasses of Veuve Cliquot. Because, as Emily puts it, “no one drinks champagne when they’re sad.”
V E N D O R S - Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation ll Photographer: Monika Gauthier Photography ll Event Planning & Design: Pure Luxe Bride ll Floral Design: Branch Design Studio ll Gown: Monique Lhuillier ll Bridesmaids Dresses: LulaKate ll Hair & Makeup: Ash & Co. Bridal Hair & Makeup ll Men’s Attire: Charleston Tuxedo ll Catering, Cake & Bar: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group ll Groom’s Cake: Sablée ll Rentals: Snyder Rentals, Ooh! Events ll Invitations: Studio R Design ll Lighting: Ooh! Events ll Ceremony Music: Palmetto Strings ll Band: Charleston Groove Factory ll Videographer: Film Anywhere Productions ll Officiant: Reverend David Gibson
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