Bride Lauren is from New York and grew up vacationing in Bluffton, South Carolina, so it makes sense that today’s wedding is the perfect mix of sophisticated city and sweet Southern charm. From the Lowcountry venue to the lush flowers (how incredible is that bouquet?!), Lauren and Colin’s wedding at Belfair Plantation is a stunner from top to bottom.
Photography by Virgil Bunao.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? For my something old, I wanted to incorporate something of my grandmother’s, since she couldn’t be at the wedding. She is known for her love of jewelry, so I affixed one of her diamond brooches to my bouquet. My something borrowed was my Matron of Honor’s hair clip that she wore to her wedding.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? My family has been vacationing in the Hilton Head/Bluffton area as long as I can remember and I have always loved the ambience of the Lowcountry, and it feels like a second home to me. Even though I am from New York, I’ve always loved the South—my hairdresser joked that based on the amount of volume and hairspray I kept asking for, that I am a really a Southerner at heart.
“Berkeley Hall has become a special place for Colin and me as we’ve spent time there together—I love tennis and he loves to golf. We got married overlooking the 18th hole of the golf course—I joke that it’s how I got him to show up for the ceremony.”
Your ceremony in three words. Personalized, sophisticated, floral.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We met Reverend Joe for coffee at a cute little coffee shop in Savannah about a year before our wedding. We told him about how we met and our vision for the ceremony. He helped us create a ceremony that was perfectly tailored to us.
What was your ceremony music? We kept the ceremony music fairly traditional choosing “Canon in D” for the processional, but we spiced it up with the music before and after the ceremony. The recessional music was “Today Was a Fairytale” by Taylor Swift and exit music was “Wake Me Up” by Avicii, which we loved because it is unexpected and beautifully played on the violin and cello.
Who officiated your ceremony? Reverend Joe was recommended by Amanda Spencer, our wedding planner. He had been a Catholic priest, but he fell in love and got married. We loved that he could incorporate both a religious and secular aspect to the ceremony.
What were your ceremony readings? Colin’s two sisters read excerpts from The Alchemist.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows. We wanted them to be reflective of the our relationship and the qualities of love and commitment that are most important to us.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Not necessarily a tradition, but we asked Reverend Joe to read notes we had written to our respective future in-laws, thanking them for raising the amazing person we were about to marry.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? I loved the moment I had with my father before we walked onto the aisle together. So much anticipation, excitement and love. I also loved the moment when Colin and I were announced, I could barely contain my excitement and did everything I could to stop myself from skipping down the aisle.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner! I love planning and details and I was very involved, but it was so nice to have someone else to get advice from, run ideas by and to make sure that everything went smoothly.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I wanted it to be tasteful, elegant, but most of all, fun! The first vendor I chose was our band because I knew it would set the tone for a crazy, sweaty dance party.
“A friend of mine who had just gotten married told us not to leave each others’ sides all night. It’s so easy to get separated and to have completely separate memories of the night. We were with each other all night and our memories of our wedding reception include one another and the great time we had together.”
How would you describe your reception? Elegant, chic and fun!
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We surprised guests with a Gullah choir singing lively tunes during the cocktail hour. It was completely unexpected for our largely New York-based crowd.
Did you have a signature cocktail? The specialty cocktails were named after our hometowns. Mine was the Cold Spring Harbor iced tea—I grew up on Long Island in a town called Cold Spring Harbor. Colin’s was the Okoboji Breeze as he grew up in Okoboji, Iowa.
Menu: Cocktail hour: passed hors d’oeuvres of shrimp and grits / tuna tartar tacos / fried chicken in waffle cones / watermelon and feta with fresh mint // 1811 Salad: mixed baby greens tossed with vanilla vinaigrette topped with grilled pear, sun-dried cherries, candied pecans, gorgonzola cheese, miniature grape tomatoes and a toasted herb crostini // Choice of Entrée: miso marinated Chilean sea bass with lemon caper butter sauce / roasted red potatoes / sautéed seasonal vegetables / grilled filet mignon with rosemary demi-glaze / roasted red potatoes /broiled stuffed tomato / twin quinoa stuffed peppers with eggplant, onions and topped with feta cheese and sun-dried tomato-basil sauce
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? A 5-tier Amaretto cake with buttercream icing. We also served small Southern-inspired bite size desserts: mini pecan pies, s’mores bites, and lemon cheesecake bites.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First Dance: “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” by Frankie Valli
Father/daughter: “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw
Mother/son: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
I took 20 dance lessons (10 with my dad and 10 with Colin) prior to doing our dances and we (mostly I) had such a great time with them. We were able to have some fun while showing off our new dance moves!
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Right before we did our sparkler exit, Colin and I took a moment to stand outside together and take everything in.