South Carolina makes for some of the prettiest wedding’s we’ve ever seen. With it’s natural beauty, laid back simplicity, and all of the sweet southern hospitality; it’s hard not to fall in love. Mary and Travis’ DIY celebration is filled with so much fun inspiration. And the most wonderful part about this wedding is the non-stop smiles on the bride and groom’s faces! Photos by Briana Marie Photography.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? Since it was an outdoor wedding and we did not rent a tent, we buried a bottle of whiskey upside down at the site of the ceremony and put an egg in a silver goblet to keep the rain away. It poured for about 30 minutes an hour before the ceremony and then it was a perfect evening.
The bride drew the whimsical wedding invitations that fit perfectly with their theme.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The beauty of the plantation and help from Pinterest. We loved the idea of lights and using Guatemalan fabric from my time on the Peace Corps to add a splash of color. We wanted to keep things natural while enhancing the beauty.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Know that the day comes and goes so fast. Do not sweat the small stuff! Things work out no matter how stressful they seem at the moment. Enjoy it; it’s only one day and you are fully and completely committing yourself to your favorite person!
Mary looked beautiful in a vintage dress and her mother’s wedding veil.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? We were on a small budget, so we used lighting and Guatemalan textiles, brought back from my time in the Peace Corp, to add a magical feel and color to the beauty of the area. With the help of my family, we strung lights from a trunk—a large wooden device that was used to regulate the flow of water in and out of the rice fields—to the trees around the reception area. We also hung lights and Chinese paper lanterns in the rafters of the dance area. We wanted simple wildflower arrangements for the tables, bouquets and boutonnières, all decorated with Guatemalan textiles.
“The wedding festivities took place outside of Georgetown, SC. We chose this location for it’s natural beauty and that it lends itself to the style of wedding we wanted to have; a fun, simple, DIY, southern picnic theme with an outdoor rehearsal, ceremony and reception. We wanted to introduce the many friends and family members that had never visited the south to a real taste of southern hospitality and food. The wedding and ceremony took place at Estherville Plantation. My aunts and uncles live on the beautiful historic rice plantation.”
Your ceremony in three words. Woodsy, beautiful, intimate
What was your ceremony music? As a gift to us, my college friend, Ellie Schwarz, played violin. While the guests were seating themselves she played Beatles songs, including “All You Need is Love” while Travis and his mother walked down the path. We loved the idea of happy Irish jigs instead of the more somber classical music, so for the brides processional Ellie played “Garrett Barry’s Jig” and “Whelan’s Jig” for our recessional.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? The Reverend Paul Fuener. Paul is a family friend of my family.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We wanted it in a special place so we chose the point—a shore of the pond behind the main house where my father proposed to my mother. We had guests sit on benches and stand in a semi circle creating a more intimate ceremony.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Having Paul read from the Bible kept it somewhat traditional and my grandfather gave her away.
What were your ceremony readings? Paul read from the bible and led us all in a few prayers. Our dear friend, Keith Gilyard, a gifted potter who made plates, bowls and tumblers for our wedding gift, read a blend of Native American prayers and his own words.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows and read them to each other. They reflected our love and commitment as well as our weaknesses and how we will work towards overcoming them to be the best partners possible. We also talked about our excitement to share adventures, our willingness to embrace the challenges of a marriage, and promised to grow and learn together.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The location. Being on the point, surrounded by water on three sides, Spanish moss on the trees, in front of an old oak, with my favorite people all around me. Travis loved looking out at the faces of all the friends and family and then seeing me walking down the path, arm in arm with my Grandfather.
“A short walk across the bridge over the pond and the guests found themselves at the reception. We did not rent a tent but there is a long screened-in porch—which my family affectionately calls the Taj. It’s used for parties so it seemed like the ideal place.”
What was your wedding menu? To add to the experience, we wanted a southern barbecue buffet menu. Three weeks prior to the wedding our caterer backed out, however, Anja Stief of Dish and Design Catering came to our rescue and created a menu that gave our 160 guests the culinary experience we were hoping for. Using a trunk as a buffet table, she served: shrimp and grits, pulled pork, collard greens with smoked heirloom tomatoes, three cheese mac and cheese, coleslaw and potato salad. She even had boiled peanuts and pimento cheese for appetizers. Welcome to the south!
Did you have a signature cocktail? Guests were served themed drinks, Montana Mule—whiskey and ginger beer—and a Cucumber gimlet—cucumber vodka, cilantro, lime and soda water—wine, by The Watering Hole, and homemade shot skis were serving three specialty shots at a time.
How would you describe your reception? Fun and simple! We had two bands play. The opening band was Oh Valentino, a duo from Charleston with amazing vocals playing a mix of originals and covers. After dinner the second band, The Bootknockers shook things up a bit with some more upbeat dancing music. In the spirit of fun, a costume box was provided with empty picture frames hanging from a tree for photo opportunities.
What was your first dance song?
We danced to Sean Hayes’ song, “Powerful Stuff”.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Travis’ cousin, Leela Brett, flew all the way from Byron Bay, Australia where she has her own catering business. She created two wedding cakes: a classic coconut cream cake and a chocolate cake. She also had wedding cake toppers made that matched our wedding nickname, TacoDinosaur. Leela’s wedding cakes were the centerpiece of the dessert buffet. Our family and friends also contributed to the dessert buffet.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Since we did everything on our own, a day of coordinator would have been nice. We’d have everyone stay much later. We had a bus service that ended at 11pm and we all wanted the night to continue.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Seeing everyone having fun! It was the best when the costume box really started to get used. Also, our get away vehicle was a canoe! The path to the moored canoe was illuminated by sparklers that were passed out to all the guests. We paddled our way to the old boathouse, providing an opportunity for those guests who were ready to leave, and then we made our way back to the dance to continue the festivities.