Wedding Wednesday | A Look Back At The Perfect Fall Wedding

WOW! I can’t believe how quickly the years have gone. This October marks 11 years together and 5 years married to my husband, father of my children, best friend, and partner in crime. As with all relationships this one has had its ups and down for sure – but in all the obstacles we have both come out as better people. This to me is what make relationships work – do you make each other better people? Can you overcome struggles together? Do you know how to make each other happy? I have never written about my wedding day and that’s sad because it was truly spectacular and deserves recognition. I am sure it won’t do it justice but I hope you will understand the essence of what it meant for Drew and I to begin our family together.

How We Met? Drew and I met in college at Clemson University.  It is comical now and was to me then but I was visiting an ex when Drew knocked on the door. I was at the apartment alone and refused to let him in – I mean he could have been a predator (HAHA). My now husband stood outside for 20 minutes until someone came home!  Once we met though we totally hit it off – and things with my ex quickly fizzled. Although I tried to get Drew to date my roommate at the time because I knew he was “marriage material” – I couldn’t deny our chemistry! Since the moment we kissed we have been pretty inseparable despite waiting so long to get married. Although we dated for a long time before getting engage we both had agreed we wouldn’t get married until I had graduated college and we were ready to have children. I am so thankful that we made that decision.

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{Picture of Drew and I the first night we kissed}

The Engagement Drew and I got engaged during his birthday dinner at The Green Room in Greenville, SC during restaurant week. I was pretty shocked because after 5 years together I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen! After looking back on it I should’ve realized what was happening because my mother was texting throughout dinner asking me strange questions! She knew because Drew had asked for my father’s blessing, which was very charming. We decided on an eighteen month engagement despite some minor familial protests. We knew that this was best for our finances and timeline and I wouldn’t have done it any other way!

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{Engagement Picture taken by Lauren James at Brookgreen Gardens}

The Stationary Drew and I made our own stationary for our wedding. With our save the dates we took Andy Warhol style pictures of each other. It was so fun and easy! These pictures are still some of our favorites. As far as the wedding invitations we made a stamp out of a picture of an oak tree that we took at our wedding venue. With the stamp I printed the words and embossed the tree for each individual invitation. We also included information on local hotels, restaurants, and entertainment since for many Charleston was a new destination for some. As for the RSVP we printed a picture of the house that we got married at – which many people recognized once they arrived! For our thank you notes we had pictures from the wedding printed on the front with a general note it the center. I thought it was sweet, thoughtful and a great reminder of the day.

The Rehearsal I was honestly a TOTAL wreck for my rehearsal. I have always dealt with anxiety and it definitely culminated that evening. I spent most of the evening in the bathroom and was too nervous to even stomach the dinner. However the location of the rehearsal was totally charming. The food smelled excellent (and tasted fantastic I hear). Plus the cake was so adorable!! I loved seeing my closest friends and family together. We also had a great slide show made by Lauren and was so adorable seeing pictures of us growing up! It really was the perfect set up for the following day!

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{Picture of our rehearsal taken by Lynn Coppotelli}

My Attire I am so incredibly blessed with what I was able to wear for my wedding – it really was a fantasy! First my engagement ring is a Carlisle family heirloom that is over 100 years old. Personally this makes it more special to me – and is definitely my style! Secondly is my dress. I wore a Grace Kelly style wedding dress that was my Grandmother’s that my Mother also wore in her wedding. It was in such wonderful condition and really the most perfect dress for the setting. I also wore a cap instead of a veil that was made by my very talented MIL. It contained an orange cameo, peach colored earrings made from shells that were Drew’s great grandmother’s, and lace we found in a fabric store on a trip to New York City. It was absolutely exquisite! As far as jewelry I borrowed by Mother’s sapphire and diamond earrings and my other Grandmother’s diamond tennis bracelet. As far as shoes I found stunning shoes at Rue La La that were Badgley Mischka and I got them for a steal! I really could not have worn anything better!

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{Pictures taken by Classic Photography}

The Décor and Location Honestly the wedding probably wouldn’t have come together without the help of my family and friends. But there is one person in particular that was extremely helpful and that was my close family friend Gillian MacDonald. She is an event planner by career and offered to be my wedding coordinator. What she was able to create even remotely (she lives in PA) was amazing and I will always be so thankful to her! When Drew and I chose our wedding venue I wanted something that didn’t need much decorating, was outside, and a historic site. Low and behold we found the Legare Warring House at the Charlestown Landing State Park. It really was a fairy tale location. We also used minimal floral arrangements with ranunculus, hydrangeas, spider mums, anemones, protea, and some roses. Our other main decoration was lanterns to keep a low light level and stay true to the location. The “alter” was flanked by two tiered planters that included a variety of fall flowers. We used chalk boards instead of programs. We also had pictures of my grandmother, my mother, and my bridal portraits inside of the house as well. This basically concluded the décor – it was all I wanted. Simple and elegant!

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{Pictures taken by Classic Photography}

The Ceremony The ceremony was by far the most important to Drew and I. We do not believe in organized religion (a long story) but wanted to keep the ceremony meaningful and personal. We chose two friends to merry us (a man and a woman) who became some of our dearest friends! We wrote our own vows which were obviously very meaningful and personal. We had my Uncle choose something to read – of his own choosing – and he couldn’t have picked something better for the occasion. It was a piece by Mya Angelou and was just beautiful! However I think the most personal things we chose for our ceremony was the music which was played in acoustic by some of our most talented friends. The bridal party walked to “We’re Going to Be Friends” by Jack White. I walked down the aisle to “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. During the ceremony we had “Here, There, and Everywhere” by the Beatles played – which was also played during my in-laws wedding. Our recessional was to “In an Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutromilk Hotel. As you can tell our ceremony was deeply personal and really invited our family and friends into our hearts and what truly made us a couple. I really wish we could do it all over again!

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{Picture of my Uncle Blake reading taken by Classic Photography}

The Reception Our reception was so fun under a tent with perfect lighting in front of the Legare Warring House. The lighting gave the night a nice warm glow and perfect ambiance. There was dancing of course… Our song was “Earth Angel” by The Penguins. Instead of tossing a bouquet or garter we did a dance off of sorts. We asked all couples to the stage and ask people to leave the dance floor for the number of years they had been married. The winning couple who has been together to longest received my toss bouquet. It was a really fun way to celebrate love with our guest.

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{Picture taken by Classic Photography}

As for food we did heavy hors d’oeuvres  from Charleston Café. This included a mac and cheese bar, shrimp and grits, and table of dips, cheese and fruits of sorts. We had Arnold Palmers and passed heavy hors d’oeuvres post ceremony. Our cake was also truly a masterpiece. We asked the baker to do what she wanted – with the following guidelines – wedding colors, color blocking, and something unique. What the end result was truly wowed Drew and I. It was definitely a masterpiece and tasted amazing!

We also had a photo booth that was all my SIL idea and it was just wonderful! The pics from it were truly amazing and some of my favorites from the wedding. Our gift to our guest was stone ground grits in a small orange lunch bag with a shrimp and grits recipe that was my SIL. Small thoughtful and not something that would likely be thrown away. It was a great gift IMO. Lastly we ended up having the Clemson game on during out reception. Even though it wasn’t my choice (long story) it ended up being fine and didn’t take away from the reception too much. We left under a bridge of hands and drove off into our wonderful lives today.

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{Pictures of cake and send off taken by Classic Photography}

What Have I learned? Oh this is a big broad topic that I will try to answer after having ample time to think about the wedding. Here are my top 5 revelations about my wedding…

  1. The best piece of advice I received “Don’t worry about what doesn’t come to fruition – no one will be any the wiser. We are here to celebrate you and everything else is pomp and circumstance.” And let me tell you it is so incredibly true!! Don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moments while they happen. Focus on what is truly important to you both and the rest will fall into place.
  2. If you are not a planner or into weddings… get a wedding planner. I could have paid my friend her weight in gold and it still wouldn’t cover the service she did for me. I could never repay the amazing wedding she gave us. I wasn’t super into wanting to plan this wedding. It’s not something I dreamed about often as a child. So having a planner was pivotal for me. One that note take advantage of your friends talents. We used friends for music, DJ, planning, décor, photography etc.. It really allowed everyone to enjoy the wedding and become a part of it.
  3. Make it personal. People are there to celebrate you… so make it about YOU! Have something special that only people who truly know you would understand. Not only does this make your ceremony more meaningful for you but also give your guest an insight as to who you will be as a family unit!
  4. Take LOTS of pictures and record your ceremony. Although I feel like we took lots of pictures there were definitely some we missed which are my biggest regrets! I have no pictures of my brothers and I from our wedding or recordings – something I will never be able to do again and it is something that still weighs on my mind. Although I remember our wedding I wish we could relive it on video.
  5. Lastly and this I feel very passionately about – Marriage is a lifelong commitment and should never be rushed… ever! Drew and I discussed every facet of life before we were engaged and have continued that conversation after we were married. I think this is what has allowed our relationship to be so strong. Marriage includes a lifetime of growth together and if you haven’t grown together as a couple beforehand you may never be able to grow as a couple. You need to sow some roots and become established before you can reach your full potential.

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{Picture of our great wedding planner taken by Mallory MacDonald}

I am so incredibly thankful for those that allowed my wedding to go off without any major difficulties. I am also so blessed to have found the perfect partner and father to my children. I always knew Drew would be the best husband and still am in awe that he is in fact mine. Although our relationship isn’t perfect, it is perfect for us. I am confident that there is no obstacle that we can’t overcome together. Although we may never be rich monetarily we will always be rich in family and love – and for me I couldn’t ask for more.

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Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

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