Whimsical Wedding at Sunnyside Plantation

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

MARY EMILY & DANIEL

Sunnyside Plantation

June 4, 2016

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

Tell us how you met: I wouldn’t say that Danny and I officially ever “met…” more so that we knew who each other were from 6th grade on. That’s right, 6th grade!! I remember sitting in our 12th grade Gov/Econ class (six years later) thinking he had the most contagious laugh ever and wondering if I’d ever be someone who’d be able to make him laugh. Clearly I was not paying attention, which is probably why I don’t understand the economy to this day! It wasn’t until the summer after HS graduation that we really and truly “met” each other and our groups of friends began spending every carefree summer day together. When we finally started dating in Aug. of 2009, separate colleges and a new chapter in our lives were only two-weeks away.

Proposal Details: Six and a half years, some long distance, two medical emergencies, one college transfer, one career change, multiple moves, a couple of first adult jobs, and a lot of growing up later, we got engaged on NYE 2015. As the ball dropped and 2015 became 2016, Danny got down on one knee in the middle of a NYE party that I had helped plan. (Clearly I wasn’t in on ALL the planning) Surrounded by our closest family and friends, I celebrated the New Year on my own (popping the confetti and drinking my champagne) for a full 15 seconds before realizing what was happening. To say I was surprised is an understatement! In the video (yes there is video evidence), Danny’s grandma can be seen tapping me on the shoulder to get me to turn around to see Danny on his knee. My response? A very class “holy crap,” and then a “yes,” of course a “yes.” And the ring? - His great-grandmother’s engagement ring from the 1920s. If you ask him, he’ll say that once his mom showed it to him, he knew it was perfect. He was right, it is.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

How did you select your venue? Both our ceremony and our reception took place at Sunnyside Plantation in my hometown of Murrells Inlet, SC. I always wanted to get married outside and on the water. The inlet was a large part of my childhood and is a special place for both me and Danny. Sunnyside Plantation was the perfect place for both our ceremony and our reception. We got to use the entire grounds to celebrate and the inlet was the perfect backdrop!

Guest Count: approx. 350-400

First Look: Before the ceremony, I kept tradition and did not see Danny but instead did a first look with my dad and brothers. That was such a special moment with my entire family. Danny and I were able to have a first touch by holding hands around a door and having a moment to pray before it all began. 

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

The Gown: My wedding gown was the Blakely Dress by Maggie Sottero. It was purchased at Fancy Frocks in Murrells Inlet, SC. I had only been dress shopping one other time (two days after the engagement) when I gathered with my mom, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, best friend, best friends mom (2nd mom), and wedding planner. I thought I knew what I wanted – strapless, lace, fit and flare…and that is what I tried on, over and over again…different versions of the same dress, but none of them felt special enough. I was leaning toward a blush color just to spice things up. I didn’t know it then, but I actually wanted something totally different. I wanted it to fit my personality and style…I just didn’t know what that was. Luckily my mom did. The dress that eventually became mine was picked out by my mom and was the last one I tried on. I knew it was the one the moment I saw myself in the mirror, although I couldn’t admit that to myself then. It took me two days to finally make a decision, even though I knew deep down it was the one! When I finally decided, I was back at the wedding salon re-trying on all of the dresses and waiting for my little sister to join us as she came back into town from a Ski Trip. I didn’t want to choose my dress without her! Kim Falvey at Fancy Frocks was incredibly patient and helpful throughout the process! I loved everything (and still do!) about my dress (especially the vintage/Gatsby flare) and loved it even more on my wedding day when paired with my veil and then eventually the flower crown. My wedding shoes were the Kate Spade Rainbow Charm Heels given to me by Danny’s parents…my new family!

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

Hair and makeup: I was so thankful to have my very good friend Beth Ponton with me on my wedding day to do my makeup. Beth used Younique Makeup products and made me look and feel fabulous. Most importantly, she made me look and feel like myself. I think the favorite part of my makeup look was my lip color! I rarely ever wear lipstick or lip color but Beth gave me a bold lip in the perfect shade of pink that lasted all night!

Brittney Webb of Rock Paper Scissors in Pawleys Island did my hair. She did a fabulous job! My hairstyle was a very natural and bohemian inspired up-do that seemed to carry me perfectly through every part of the day and night. I kept my side-part and kept things loose around the face and let the back carry all of the detail.

Bridesmaids Attire: Bridesmaids chose their own dresses. I wanted them to be gold and sparkly but not to match. Honorary Bridesmaids did the same thing, but wore blush. I absolutely LOVE how this turned out. It was one of my favorite elements of the wedding.

Men's Attire: The groomsmen, groom, and fathers of bride and groom wore navy slim-fitting suits from Fancy Frocks.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

Ceremony Details: The ceremony began with music our pastor and a string quartet (Charleston Virtuosi)…something I had always wanted to have on my wedding day. They played “Holy Spirit” together to set the tone of the ceremony.  Once the ceremony officially began, they played “Jesus Loves Me” for the mother’s seating, “All of the Lights” by Kanye West for the Groomsmen, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri for the bridesmaids/flower girl, and “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles for the Wedding Processional. For years, I have wanted to walk down the aisle to that song on the strings. The music selection was specific and detailed to our personalities.

To honor my late grandmother and grandfather and Danny’s late grandfather we had members of the family walk in their place and hold boutonnieres/mini bouquets during the ceremony. My cousins Catherine and James walked with my grandfather and grandmother respectively. Danny’s other grandfather carried his late grandfather’s fire helmet down the aisle while Danny’s dad escorted his mom down the aisle.

During the ceremony, in lieu of a scripture reading, we had our pastor sing “Good Good Father” while playing the acoustic guitar to create a time of meditation. Danny and I also said the traditional vows but had each prepared a little something to say to each other before we recited the traditional ones. Finally, our parents came up before the exchanging of the rings to make a circle around us and pass the rings between them while our pastor prayed over the rings and our marriage. All of this was anchored by the cross at the water covered in flowers. It was exactly as I always dreamed. After being pronounced husband and wife, we kissed as a rose petal cannon went off and showered us with rose petals. We then left the ceremony to “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers played by Charleston Virtuosi.

One of my favorite things was the lighting done by RSG Events, lights and chandeliers were hung in the trees and it was beautiful! I also loved the bridale party table that was multiple farm tables put together and set with vintage china.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

How did you decide on your aesthetic + color palette: Almost everything associated with my aesthetic and color palette came from my Pinterest Board. Of course! More specifically, however, my aesthetic and color palette came from one picture of a bouquet that just happened to be a pin on Pinterest. I wanted everything to have a vintage flare, be eclectic, fun & whimsical…colorful with gold accents, full of fiesta & boho chic. Basically, I wanted things to be whimsical and fun but also elegant and to include all the things we loved. I like to think that the style of our wedding and reception also reflected the style of our daily lives. I wanted it to be a reflection of us…who were are and what we love. I am so pleased with how we pulled that off!

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

The Menu: Social Hour: Mini Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Boiled Peanuts, & Soft Pretzel Display with assorted sauces (from E Jay’s Pretzels in Pawleys) **Hotdogs and Soft Pretzels were a homage to Groom’s NYC roots.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

Dinner Stations: Taco Station (ground beef, grilled chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, tortillas, salsa, guac, jalapeños, and tortilla chips)

Breakfast for Dinner (Seasonal fresh fruit, mini pancake stacks with lemon curd and fresh raspberry, mini cheese biscuits with country ham)

Low Country Buffet (Southern Style Green Beans, Squash Casserole, Chicken Bog, Mini Cheddar Biscuits)

Special Touches: featuring our favorite foods (breakfast for dinner and tacos!) and a dessert table instead of a traditional wedding cake with some of our favorite desserts (think: funfetti cupcakes, brown butter rice krispie treats, and 10-layer choc. Cake), late night milk and cookies before send-off, fun Spanish touches and influences (I’m a Spanish teacher) such as kissing piñatas, maracas on the tables (shake for a kiss), custom napkins in fun colors (“fiesta like there’s no mañana,” “you had me at hola,” etc.)., pictures of our parents and grandparents’ wedding days on display throughout the house, and an artist who painted the entire scene of our wedding day (a gift from my grandfather).

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

First dance song? “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel / “Stand by Me” by Prince Royce (English/Spanish version)

Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-be: With the planning, don’t get too caught up with tradition or trend, think about you and your fiancé and have fun creating a day that is truly representative of who you are! Also, once the day finally arrives, just let go and have the most fun! And remember, the best is yet to come…the wedding day is only day 1.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

Instead of a traditional guest book, two custom vintage globes from TheWaltHouse Etsy Shop were used.  Each globe had written on them parts of the verse from Ruth 1:16 of the Bible which reads..." Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay."  Guests signed the globes.  The guests were also asked to find their favorite Bible verse in a family Bible that was gifted to the couple.  Upon finding their verse, they were to highlight it and sign their name beside the verse.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

Dessert Table: Mini Funfetti Cupcakes, Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream “Naked”, 10-layer yellow cake with chocolate icing, Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats. Raspberry & Cream Cheese Vanilla Cake.  Late Night: Choc. Chip Cookies and Milk

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography
Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

It didn’t rain! By the grace of God. And now I think I’ve used up all of my luck for any future outdoor events. Danny’s 100 yr-old great grandma requested the mic and sang “You are my Sunshine” at the reception. Both of Danny’s grandmothers had impromptu special dances with Danny. Both mine and Danny’s family opened up the dance floor with a choreographed family dance.

Whimsical Sunnyside Plantation wedding by Carmen Ash Photography

MYRTLE BEACH WEDDING VENDORS: Ceremony & Reception Venue: Sunnyside Plantation  //  Photographer: Carmen Ash Photography  //  Event Planning & Floral Design: Willow Event Designs  //  Videographer: Reel Weddings  //  Sweets: Flowerchild Charleston  //  Catering & Bar: Inlet Affairs  //  Gown: Maggie Sottero  //  Dress Boutique: Fancy Frocks  //  Hair Stylist: Brittney Webb of Rock Paper Scissors  //  Makeup Artist: Beth Ponton  //  Shoes: Kate Spade Rainbow Charm Heels  //  Rentals: EventWorks and John Flowers  //  Invitations: LittleSparkCreations  //  Lighting: RSG Event Designs  //  Ceremony Music: Charleston Virtuosi and Reverend Scott Johnson on acoustic guitar  // DJ: Jeff Benton  //  Officiant: Reverend Scott Johnson  //  Restrooms: Elvis Service Company  //  Getaway Car & Petal Cannon: RSG Event Designs  //  Caricature Artist: Heather Gilmer