We see some of the loveliest weddings from South Carolina, and this one is exceptionally sweet. Katrina and Kevin, who live in Connecticut, gathered their closest 55 friends and family together in the beautiful city for their intimate celebration. The pink garden roses, exposed brick walls at the Historic Rice Mill, and gold accents are some of the features we love in this wedding. Not to mention her incredible rose gold sequined wedding gown!
Photography by Kelly Sauer.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was to take in each moment as it happens because the day goes by so quickly. I couldn’t believe when the night ended – I felt like it was only minutes ago I was getting my hair and makeup done.
Katrina says, “I knew I didn’t want to wear a white dress, so I started looking online and found my dress on Saks. It was on sale and I pulled up the customer service chat box and explained that I was interested in purchasing my wedding dress and asked if they could provide me with a coupon code and they very generously did.”
Dress by Aidan Mattox.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Try not to stress the small stuff, be kind to your vendors, have fun, and trust your gut! We had a few setbacks with something and we wished we would have trusted our gut from the beginning!
“We fell in love with Charleston the first time we visited — there was a magic in the air that was so amazing. After we got engaged, we started looking at venues in our home state of Connecticut, and nothing really spoke to us. We knew that we didn’t want a traditional wedding, and we toyed around with the idea of getting married in Charleston. We looked at some places online and we instantly loved the wood floors, exposed brick, and tin tiled ceilings of the Historic Rice Mill and knew it would lend itself perfectly to the type of wedding we wanted to have.”
Your ceremony in three words. Relaxed, short, non-traditional
How did you go about planning your ceremony? The ceremony was actually so easy for us to plan! We knew from the beginning that we wanted our wedding to be very non-traditional and we didn’t want to have a ceremony in a church. We wanted the ceremony to be short and sweet — we were really excited about the reception and celebrating with our friends and family! Our officiant sent over some ceremonies to choose from and told us that we could change them in any way, which we really liked because we were able to build off of what she already had, but make it our own. It was important to us to keep the ceremony short, but not cut out what the purpose of the ceremony is — to state our love for each other.
What was your ceremony music? I walked out to Queen’s “Killer Queen” and together we walked out to Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” — I knew that I was going to walk out to “Killer Queen” from the minute we started planning the wedding, but I had no idea that Kevin had contacted the DJ about us walking back down the aisle to “You’re My Best Friend”. It was such an exciting surprise at the end of the ceremony.
Who officiated your ceremony? Penny Reynolds of Reynolds Treasures. We found her using Wedding Wire and once we contacted her and told her what we were interested in, she was great! She told us that she was willing to let us change the ceremony so that it fit who we are, and we knew that she was the perfect fit for us.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? My brother walked our mom out to her seat, Kevin walked his mom out, and my brother walked me down the aisle. We also did a ring exchange, but that’s about as far as we went with traditions!
What were your vows like? Our vows were short and sweet, just like we wanted due to my fear of crying in front of everyone!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? We agree that it’s a toss-up between having the most beautiful weather for a ceremony outside and on the water, walking down the aisle to “Killer Queen”, and celebrating our way back out to “You’re My Best Friend”.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? I knew that when my brother walked me down the aisle if he hugged or kissed me that I would cry — once I started there’s no way that was going to stop. We decided that instead of a hug or kiss, we’d do a “secret” handshake and it made everyone laugh, and showed what our relationship is like. It was great.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Don’t be afraid of asking to negotiate and try to make things yourself! I hand painted and addressed our invitations and it saved us a lot of money. There are some really amazing tutorials online for making all types of invitations. I learned calligraphy using The Postman’s Knock’s, “learn calligraphy for a latte”.
“We wanted to put our focus more on the reception instead of the ceremony. We had friends and family come a long way to be with us, and we wanted them to have as much fun as possible! We stuck to our no-traditions theme during our reception, because we wanted everyone to relax and have fun.”
Why did you choose this location for your reception? We loved the layout of the venue so that those who wanted to dance wouldn’t be in the way of anyone wanting to sit at their table. We also loved that it had an outdoor seating area. And of course, because the Historic Rice Mill is so beautiful.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The thought of throwing the most fun party imaginable for our family and friends!
What was your wedding menu? We were excited that the Historic Rice Mill offers such an extensive menu, and we were so pleased for our guests to eat some really great southern food! We opted for a buffet because we wanted everyone to be able to try whatever they wanted.
Hors d’oeuvres: Bacon Wrapped Scallops / Fried Green Tomatoes / Twice Baked Fingerling Potato Bites / She Crab Soup Shooter / Farmer’s Market Display with Cheese, Fruits and Crackers // Dinner Buffet: Salad / Pecan Encrusted Chicken with Mustard Beurre Blanc / Pan Seared Grouper with Tropical Salsa / Pulled Barbecue Pork / Sweet Potato Puree / Seasonal Grilled Vegetables / Macaroni and Cheese / Biscuits and Cornbread with Honey Butter
Catering by Historic Rice Mill.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I learned calligraphy to hand-address our envelopes, so anything with writing on it I did. I hand painted the globe and folded all of the paper plane escort cards (a nod to Kevin being in the Air Force) and stamped them with our guests names and table numbers. I used galvanized steel wire and bent them for our table numbers and Kevin spray painted those and the dinosaurs gold to match some of the other decor pieces. Our wedding was truly a labor or love — it was so amazing to see all the things I’d worked on and had kept stored in different bags and boxes finally out and on display
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? I’ve been following Sweet Lulu’s Bakery on Wheels since its inception and once we decided to have our wedding in Charleston we could not wait to book with Karen! We chose to do three types of cupcakes:
Great Grandma’s White Wedding Cake (white almond wedding cupcake with toasted almonds and amaretto cream cheese frosting – we have one of these in our freezer, we’re not sure if we can wait the whole year to eat it!), Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting, and Juan Valdez (a chocolate cupcake with locally roasted King Bean coffee and ganache).
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?
There is nothing that we would have done differently! We were SO incredibly lucky to have amazing vendors and great friends and family. We knew that even if everything went wrong, it didn’t really matter because we had the most important people there with us to celebrate, and that’s all we wanted. We look back on our wedding day and can’t believe how perfect it was.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We loved our reception in its entirety and every moment that we got to share with everyone, but a major highlight of our reception was dinner. We had a small table off to the side, and it was so moving for us to look over and see our family and friends who traveled from all over the country to be with us. It isn’t very often everyone is in the same place, so it’s a part of our reception that we really cherish.