After falling in love in the South Pacific, it was only natural that this Southern couple was drawn to the ocean on their wedding day. We’re smitten with their less-is-more approach to planning, the bride’s flowing silk chiffon gown (a last minute purchase!) and the stunning Lowndes Grove Plantation where they said, “I do.”
“A wedding for us meant bringing our families together to celebrate love. We wanted our wedding celebration to be simple and inviting. Combining that inspiration with our love for natural beauty, Lowndes Grove was a perfect backdrop for our summer wedding.”
What was the best advice you received as a bride? That you should feel beautiful in your dress. My first dress was just okay, but I kept telling myself it didn’t matter. I ended up at a local boutique “just to look”, and ended up getting a new dress a month before the wedding! When I tried it on, I just knew. I felt beautiful.
How did you go about planning your wedding? I had a very hands-on approach to planning. I used Excel for budgeting, and used checklists to stay on track,
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? My only tip is to add an extra $5,000 for miscellaneous stuff. It’s so easy to forget to budget for the small stuff, and it does add up.
“I was living in Kentucky searching for a location in Charleston. I looked through hundreds of blogs, and every time I saw pictures of Lowndes Grove, I loved the feeling. The space is beautiful, natural and full of Southern charm. The oak trees against the Ashley River with a long dock in the background was the perfect backdrop for our wedding day.”
Your ceremony in three words. Quick, easy, and meaningful.
What was your ceremony music? Joe’s best friend, Derek, played the guitar as our guests arrived. As I walked down the aisle, he played “Forever” by Ben Harper.
Who officiated your ceremony? Joe’s father was our officiant. He is a Kentucky Supreme Court Judge, and having him marry us made the ceremony very special.
What were your vows like? Joe wrote the entire ceremony and our vows. They were based on our lives and our dreams, and as his father read them aloud to our guests, I was struck by how perfect it was.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Our ceremony was as non-traditional as our parents could handle! In the end, it was simple, sweet, and meaningful, but not traditional.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? It was quick, beautiful, full of light, and involved only family and friends. I’ll never forget the way we felt that day.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I would have danced just a bit less so that I could socialize with our guests more. I also really wanted a photo booth, but couldn’t fit it into the budget. When I look back on our wedding day, I wish I’d worked harder to have one at our wedding
“We met working on a yacht, and our love blossomed in the South Pacific Islands. Two years to the date of crossing the equator together, Joe proposed and asked me to go on a lifelong journey with him. We were married in front of the best friends and family you could ask for. As a seasoned sailors, we know there’s never been a tighter knot tied.”
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? My sister and I made our own centerpieces, which I think were simple but elegant. I left the natural beauty of Lowndes Grove do the rest. I also made all the place settings, name cards, and other day of details.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We served house-made gelato under oak trees draped with Spanish moss.
What was your first dance song? Our first song was written by Joe’s brother and his best man, Luke. He wrote the song about their childhood and dedicated it to their parents. It was so special to have our first dance to a song with so much meaning to Joe and his family.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? I wanted our wedding to mirror our real life, so my advice would be to be yourself. Plan events and incorporate traditions that will make you feel at ease. It only happens once, so don’t sweat the small stuff and find joy in every moment. Breathe deeply, be present and then drink lots of rum while you dance the night away!
How would you describe your reception? The evening was easy going, and all about dancing and socializing. I wanted it to feel like home, so I set up the dance floor as the main attraction and there was a lounge area where people could relax, too.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? When Joe’s brothers and friends took over the mic after the DJ headed home. Everyone sang “Wagon Wheel” and danced under the stars. It was the perfect way to end the night.