One of the first weddings I ever featured was that of Mary Keller and JD, shot by Melissa Schollaert. Today, Melissa is back with the equally beautiful wedding of Mary Keller’s sister and new brother-in-law, Heath and Andy. Heath explains the decision to wed at her grandparents’ home: “We wanted to focus on us getting married and not the wedding. We originally thought we might elope, but the more we thought about it, the more we decided eloping would be more stressful for both of us. My grandparents’ home was the only place I could ever imagine getting married. It’s not only the perfect place for an intimate wedding, but so personal and comforting for us. It was more perfect than I could have imagined.”“Getting dressed with my mom and sister in the room we grew up playing in was very nostalgic,” says the bride. Just as her sister had done for her wedding, Heath’s “something old” was a garter made out of lace from her grandmother’s wedding dress.
On the flowers: “I actually wasn’t involved in the flowers for the house and yard at all,” says Heath. “My grandmother worked with Roots to keep everything consistent. It was so fun to be surprised by the entire house that day – it brought tears to my eyes! Their house has never looked prettier!”Heath’s sister and mother wore black dresses that echoed the lace in the bride’s ivory dress. Says Heath of her dress: “It wasn’t actually a wedding dress – I originally found it in black at Coplon’s, and it was exactly what I wanted. Coplon’s contacted the designer and they agreed to make it for me in ivory. It was perfect!”Heath found a jazz trio through Furman University, where the saxophonist is a professor in the music department. A trolley transported guests from their hotels to the wedding. Says Heath, “I loved being able to incorporate special family traditions like homemade country ham biscuits, cheese pennies and my grandfather’s favorite caramel cake being served. Those details made it such a special day!”The ceremony was followed by a cocktail reception, with heavy hors d’oeuvres and various cakes.The night ended with a sparkler send-off.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We wanted our wedding to be very intimate and personal. We didn’t want to get lost in all the details and options available for weddings. We wanted to keep it simple and classic. I think my grandparents’ home is so beautiful too and we wanted that to show. We really let the natural beauty of their home and courtyard stand out.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day?
Heath: The idea of everyone focused on me made me nervous, so Andy and I decided a while beforehand that we would see each other before the ceremony. I debated whether or not I wanted to do this, since it breaks tradition, but I’m so glad we did. Seeing him before the ceremony was by far the most special moment for me. It was pure joy! It made me relax and enjoy the rest of the day.
Andy: I have two favorite moments. The first was when Heath and I saw each other before the wedding. It was such an exciting, yet comforting experience. I was very tense when I arrived at Heath’s grandparents’ house, but when I got to see her and give her a hug, everything immediately became familiar and comfortable. My other favorite moment was during the ceremony when Heath walked out of the front door with her Dad. I have never felt such strong emotion for someone as I did in that moment. It was so overwhelming, and she looked so beautiful and happy…..I’ll never forget that feeling.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was to think about the entire weekend and experience for our guests. When we decided on my grandparents’ home, I knew I wanted our guests to stay downtown so they could enjoy all the shops and restaurants Greenville has to offer. We held our rehearsal dinner downtown so guests could walk and had a trolley pick guests up to bring them to the ceremony. I think it helped guests relax and fully enjoy themselves not having to worry about anything throughout the entire weekend.
What advice do you have for other brides? Try to think about the big picture of how you want the day to feel. Once I figured out this piece I was able to explain it to others who could help make decisions for me. I’m not a wedding person and I highly recommend anyone who feels the same way to step back, take a few moments to really think about what you want and then work with people who can execute exactly what you imagine. This wedding would not have happened without my mom, my sister and my grandmother. They were all amazing throughout this entire process and I will never be able to fully explain to them my appreciation. Almost every decision that was made, other than my dress, was by them. Some I didn’t even know about and I was blown away on my wedding day by each and every small detail. I have never felt so much love in my life and for that reason I would recommend that every bride, even those who are hesitant about a wedding, give it a second thought.
See the full gallery here.