Liz & Matt | Timeless Backyard Wedding in Charleston

I’m so glad I don’t have to pick just one thing to love about today’s wedding – I don’t even know how I’d choose! The timeless details, the marching band parade, or the fact that the bride wore her best friend’s wedding dress – so much to love! Photos by Virgil Bunao.

The bride’s parents’ neighbors generously shared their home for the wedding reception.

The bride wore a Romona Keveza gown borrowed from her best friend and Matron of Honor, and completed the look with a handmade peach silk belt and an altered Monique Lhuillier lace bolero.

What a priceless shot of the bride and groom walking through the Navy sword arch!

Says Liz, “Matt and I both went to high school in Charleston together and our high school didn’t have a marching band, but on special occasions, the Burke High School Band would come to our games and play for us. They are amazing and so talented! My cousin gave me the idea of asking them to lead a wedding parade from the church to the reception (she had been to another wedding where they did this) and it was magical! They led us down Broad Street, one of the old historic streets in Charleston to our street. The bridal party split off and took photos in my parent’s yard while cocktail hour started up across the street and then we joined the party. It was perfect.”

Bridesmaids wore nude chiffon dresses from Amsale.

The “scratchy sounds” of the bride’s father’s collection of oldies transferred from records to MP3s were played during cocktail hour, with a band taking over after dinner.

Signature drinks were Prosecco with a splash of St. Germaine and fresh honeydew juice, as well as traditional mint juleps.

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We both grew up in Charleston so this was a natural choice for us. We knew we wanted to have a church wedding and were originally supposed to be married in my childhood church; however, there was damage from an earthquake (really!) and reconstruction going on so we moved to St Michael’s, another old and very lovely historic Charleston church. It’s only a few blocks from where I grew up, and my mom suggested asking the neighbors if we could use their backyard for the reception (since my parents’ yard is too narrow). They were so kind and gracious to let us use their home.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  My favorite flowers are peonies and I decided to go with a soft palette of pastels. I wanted the decor to be elegant and sophisticated but relaxed and comfortable. I was drawn to creams, whites, peaches and soft pinks.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  This is so tough! I have several. At the top would be walking down the aisle to Matty and holding his hand throughout the ceremony – I was so giddy! The parade was also unbelievable. Exiting the church and hearing the band start up was like magic.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  My dad had gotten a Salmanazar of Chateauneuf du pape for each of his children’s weddings – he had been saving this since I was little and it was so special finally getting to open and drink it with everyone. The bottle is now sitting by our bar in our house.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  If you have a dear friend who is a similar size as you, think about borrowing your dress. I borrowed my best friend’s dress and had a monogram of her maiden initials and wedding date sewn in, along with my maiden initials and wedding date. This gives the dress even more meaning and we hope one day our kids will want to use it. To make it my own, I went to Fabulous Frocks in Charleston, who sells pre-worn dresses and samples. I found a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier bolero that was several sizes too big and had a mandarin collar that I wasn’t wild about and had it reconstructed.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Matty and I had to include our dog, Eloise, in our wedding. She was our “greeter” and wore a little flower wreath and helped my cousin greet guests at the church.


Signature Cocktails: Mint Julep / Prosecco with St. Germaine and Honeydew Juice  //  “Pick Table” Hors d’Oeuvres: Assorted Local and Imported Cheeses / Fresh Fruit / Crostini / Lobster and Crab Spread / Vermont White Cheddar Pimiento Cheese / Caramelized Mushroom Goat Cheese and Charcuterie  //  Passed Hors D’Oeuvres: Mini Vermont White Cheddar and Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwiches / Fried Oysters  //  French Station: Steak Au Poivre / Truffle Grilled Zucchini / Duck Fat and Truffle Oil French Fries  //  Italian Station: Handmade Wood Oven Pizzas / Pasta  //  Southern Station: Miniature Pulled Pork Sandwiches on Cheese Biscuits with Pulled Smoked Pork, House-Made Pickle and Dijon / Shrimp and Creamy Mascarpone Grits / Buttermilk Marinated Fried Chicken / Fried Green Tomatoes Topped with Balsamic Reduction and Goat Cheese  //  Dessert: Carrot Cake / Classic Yellow Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


See the rest of Liz and Matt’s classic Southern wedding in the gallery.

Vendor Credits

Photographer: Virgil Bunao / Event Planner & Floral Decor: Ooh! Events / Ceremony Venue: St. Michael's Church in Charleston, South Carolina / Reception Venue: private home / Gown: Romona Keveza / Shoes: Vera Wang / Lace Bolero: Monique Lhuillier /  Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale /  Catering, Bar: Granville's / Cake: Wholefoods / Band: Groovetown Band

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