Elizabeth Ann & Adam’s South Carolina celebration is chock full of gorgeous details, but there’s one we simply can’t stop talking about – the bride’s spectacular lace and chiffon gown! We give you plenty of looks at this long-sleeve stunner, which was a beautiful centerpiece for this stylish Southern wedding.
“Our wedding was a beautiful picture of two families coming together in support of us. It was a celebration of love all over the place – between Adam and me, and across both sides of our family and friends.”
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? It wasn’t planned, but my something borrowed was actually my Matron of Honor’s underwear! After hours and an army of help getting me ready, I was two hours late for my first look with Adam. I thought I was ready to walk out the door, but all my girls were adamant that my underwear wasn’t working. I panicked – I didn’t have a backup! Kristen did what only the truest friend would, and offered to trade underwear with me. Just like that, I had something borrowed!
Do you have any budget tips for brides? Prioritize what is most important to you and your partner. When you picture your wedding, what do you see and what do you want to remember? This is what’s worth spending money on.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? The Westin Poinsett is grand and effortlessly beautiful. The high ballroom ceilings, the woodwork, the black and white tile veranda, and the hotel staff won me over. It was not only an amazing place for our celebration, but a hotel where we were thrilled to host our guests for the weekend.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Yes – two things. I wish I’d found a special moment for my mom and I to do photos, and I would have hired a coordinator for the full day. // I had a first look with Dad, I walked down the aisle with Dad and we had a dance together at the reception, but I didn’t have anything similar planned with my mom. She was such an integral part of the wedding planning, so not having special photos of the two of us is a little disappointing. // We hired a coordinator for our wedding and reception, but if I had to do it again I would have hired her for my entire day. Our coordinator was the most wonderful wedding drill sergeant, and she would have never let us get behind schedule after brunch. Hair and makeup ran way over and before I knew it, we were two hours late to start photos! Luckily, I had a pro team so we got back on track, but not without a little stress.
“At weddings we’ve attended, it often feels like the couple is rushing through the ceremony to get to the reception. Throughout the hype and excitement, we tried to stay focused on the meaning of the day, so it was important to us that the ceremony be purposeful. We wanted every song, reading, and prayer to be significant. We spent time discussing our goals with our officiate and made a genuine effort to craft a meaningful ceremony.”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, elegant, musical
Did you do include any traditions in your ceremony? ￼ We did, but we also changed things up a bit – Adam and I switched places for the ceremony. I stood opposite my guests and bridesmaids on the left of the ballroom, while Adam could see his guests and groomsmen behind me. When I looked past Adam’s shoulder, I saw all my girls standing there, glowing and looking gorgeous. Being able to catch their eyes and their sweet smiles during the ceremony was amazing.
Who officiated your ceremony? I asked a close family friend and my Matron of Honor’s father, Tom Beal, to officiate our ceremony. Tom has been an influential leader in my life since I was seven, and he was as devoted as we were to building a purposeful ceremony.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows over coffee at Panera one afternoon a few weeks before the wedding. We felt like writing them ourselves would force us to think about them and take them more seriously when we said them in front of all our family and friends, and it absolutely did.
What was your ceremony music? A trio of three individual professionals – Adam’s brother-in-law, a pianist; Adam’s college friend, a trumpeter; and my friend from the Navy, a violinist – came together and performed flawlessly. Our guests had no idea they had only practiced once together at our rehearsal the night before! For our prelude, they played jazzy versions of our favorite hymns. Our grandmothers and my bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. For the bridal processional, they played “Trumpet Voluntary.” During the ceremony, my mother sang “We Are Standing on Holy Ground,” and while we signed our marriage license, my mother and my sister-in-law sang “The Prayer.” For our recessional, the trio played Handel’s “La Réjouissance.”
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The bride said, “It’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but something that will always stand out in my mind was my Mom singing, “We Are Standing on Holy Ground.” Just after my father gave me away and while our guests were still standing, Mom began to sing, “We are standing on holy ground, and I know that there are angels all around…” It sent a clear message that this is why we were all gathered together – to witness a holy matrimony. Our guests joined in the last verse to include them in the celebration and make their importance at our ceremony understood by all. It was tremendously moving.
The groom’s most memorable moment of the ceremony? “When we walked to the table to sign our marriage license during The Prayer. Liz tried several times to lean in and kiss me, and she was confused about why I kept backing away. I finally had to whisper, ‘I can’t kiss you yet!'”
“I wanted the reception to be a reflection of us. Adam plays the trumpet, so it was important to him to have a band with a horn section. I love beautiful photos, so for our guest book, each guest took a polaroid photo in front of a backdrop we customized with our monogram. Each table was named for one of our favorite cities, and the table card included a small story about the role that city had played in our lives. We value our relationships more than anything else, so when making our guest list, we kept the guest list small. It allowed us to create memories of our wedding with those special to us.”
How would you describe your reception? Dreamy, picture-perfect, fun.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Vanilla cake with almond icing.
What was your first dance song? Adam and I did a coordinated dance with twirls and dips galore to “This Will Be An Everlasting Love.”
The bride’s favorite moment of the reception? My 96-year-old grandmother was able to attend all the way from San Diego, California. Seeing her dancing in the Conga line was amazing!
The groom’s favorite part of the reception? We had a sweetheart table, directly in front of the stage and across from the band. On either side of the stage sat our guests. I loved being able to sit there with my wife and look out at all of our friends and family together in one room.
What was your last dance? The last dance that the band played before we fled the scene was “Last Dance” by Donna Summers. Everyone was on the dance floor and gathered around us as we kicked the song off. By the end of the song, everyone was dancing and having a ball. It was perfect.