Filled to the brim with handmade details, this DIY wedding in Charleston captured by Catherine Ann Photography is beyond sweet! The bride wore her mother’s gown and used the color purple in her design in honor of her late father. Their ceremony under the moss covered oaks is sure to make any Southerner swoon!
I knew when planning the wedding that one of our colors would have to be some shade of purple in memory of my father. He died five years ago from a rare disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy and the national awareness color is purple. Once we set the wedding date for spring I instantly thought of a pastel color scheme. We included mint because green is Matt’s favorite color and added gold to warm up the palette. We chose Magnolia for so many reasons: it was gorgeous – I mean it’s just drips with romance – it had ceremony and reception sites on the grounds, our guests had free access to the grounds for the whole weekend, and you could rent the site for the whole day.
Ever since I was a little girl looking through photos of my parent’s wedding, I have always wanted to wear her dress. I was obsessed with the long ruffled cathedral train, lace and beaded bodice, and the buttons that went all the way up the sheer back. Once we started planning the wedding, my mother brought the dress out of storage and I tried it on. It was way too small and 30 years had turned it yellow. Some of the hooks from the bustle were broken and there were small rips in the netting of the sleeves. But – we were determined. My mother found a business called Kimmels Gown Preservation and Restoration and they did an amazing job of lightening the color, removing stains and mending all the rips and tears. Once the dress was restored we took it to Miranda’s Vintage Bridal where we had the back removed (after which the dress fit PERFECTLY), we took off the sheer poofy top layer of the sleeves, switched out the Victorian neckline for a scooped illusion neckline, and put boning into the bodice. Miranda was amazing the entire time and was able to handle every change I wanted to make. She was incredible.
My favorite part was the ceremony. Definitely. It’s always amazing to me when I hear a bride or groom say, “We just have to get through the ceremony” or “I can’t wait for the ceremony part to be over” – that’s the whole point! This is the moment when you vow to be a part of the other person’s life for the rest of your life! This is the moment when you as a couple combine your families into one big family. Out of the billions of people on the planet you are picking this ONE and committing to them. ITS A BIG DEAL!!! We felt all the feels and wanted everyone to feel them with us, so the whole things was extremely personal. My stepfather walked me down the aisle to a string trio playing “To Whom it May Concern” by the Civil Wars. We also wanted to officially ‘tie the knot’ and did so with a fisherman knot tying ceremony.
Wedding planning is stressful, nonetheless a destination wedding, and there were a few times Matt and I looked at each other and were like “we should’ve eloped”. It would’ve been easy, romantic, and so much cheaper – but there would’ve been one HUGE thing missing – our family and close friends. We recognized that the day is essentially about the two of us, but it’s also about our two families coming together and we wanted to share that moment with them. But we didn’t just want it to be one day that everyone came together – we wanted it to be an event. A weekend. We wanted everyone to intermingle for days, and ultimately leave feeling like they had made new friends and feeling like their family had doubled in size. I think we accomplished that.
Our style was all about fairytale romance. I really wanted the whole event to just feel like a dream so ruffles and lace, soft colors, a ceremony under draping spanish moss, golden light, and dancing under the stars all came to mind. Fresh garlands are EXPENSIVE! Luckily I found some faux magnolia garlands at Michael’s and my mother bulked them up with lavender, grapevines, and ribbons. They doubled as ceremony decorations, and served as table runners at the reception.
All signs, and chalkboards were handmade as well. Our favors were spearmint mini-toothpowders and peppermint lip balm from etsy. Our guestbook was a monogram wooden sign we built, stained, and painted. We had everyone sign it with a gold paint marker and now have it displayed in our dining room.
Photography | Catherine Ann Photography | Venue | Magnolia Carriage House | Planning | Pinnacle | Florals | Greenskeeper Florist | Cake | Cake My Day! | Catering | Crazy Dutchman Catering | Rentals | Snyder Events | DJ & Lighting | Pinnacle | Ceremony Music | Coastal Chamber Musicians | Vintage Gown Restoration & Veil | Miranda’s Vintage Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses | Morilee | Bridesmaids Bracelets | Alex & Ani | Hair & Makeup | Lashes & Lace | Rings | Sam’s Emporium | Officiant | Kasey King | Videography | Acacia Imagery