Molly and Joe tied the knot with a classic celebration in Greenville, South Carolina. The ceremony at their local parish church was an especially meaningful location after the recent passing of the groom’s mother. Upstate I Do planned a day was filled with traditional details—a black and white palette, soft and oversized white floral bouquets, and a ballroom reception filled to the brim with florals, greenery and live trees all by Katie Asire Flowers. The couple enlisted Olivia Griffin Photography to capture all the love and details of the day and we’re happy to share the images below.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Joe: We had our wedding at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville, SC, which is a special venue to us for all sorts of reasons, but perhaps, most powerfully, as our parish church it is where we had my Mom’s funeral three months before our wedding. It is a beautiful church that is noble, simple, and directs the gaze of all who enter to things that are most important and most lasting: love, justice, courage, faith, and hope.
Having our wedding there – a place we go every week – allows us to relive our wedding experience each week while keeping in mind the powerful sentiments and memories of our wedding day throughout all the changes and chances of this life. We are very lucky to have someplace so beautiful as a regular part of our lives and it is a great everyday reminder of the vows we made to each other on our wedding day. Having our wedding there also allowed my Mom’s memory to permeate the day – she was never far from us while we celebrated because so many of our guests had last been in the church for her funeral Mass.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
Molly: My dress is the Erin gown by Modern Trousseau. I bought it at Hayden Olivia in Charlotte NC (Lauren, the best sales consultant ever!). I found it the first time I went shopping, although it is the opposite of what I thought I wanted. With my mom, sister, and best friend there to help, I tried on lots of options and knew right away that this was the one. I am a decisive (and often impulsive) shopper, so this was no exception.
My favorite thing about what I wore was actually my veil, which was a gift from my husband’s late mother.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Joe: The touches were mostly the people we had involved: the wedding was officiated by our pastor and friend, Fr. Jay Scott Newman; we had several other priests assist who have been a part of our lives, especially my childhood pastor, Msgr. Chet Moczydlowski. Molly’s uncle, who is a professional organist, played the prelude and Joe’s high school friend from the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and professional cellist Wade Davis also played. We are good friends with a group of nuns who serve the very poor in rural South Carolina and one of them, Sr. Susanne, read the readings. I selected the music and all of it had some special meaning for us (i.e. it had been performed at other important family events, etc). Of course, having Molly’s family from Wisconsin, and even as far away as Australia, and my family and friends from Greenville (including my 8th grade math teacher) with us on our wedding day was hugely special.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Molly: People aren’t kidding when they tell you that your wedding day is a blur — lots of happy tears. My favorite moment of the day was at the very end; we made our getaway on a golf cart that dropped us off at the back entrance of the hotel, so we walked back in, just the two of us on the way to the honeymoon suite. We stopped for a kiss in a back hallway of the hotel, and some random stranger passed by, commenting on how it was our wedding day and how in love we looked (especially to be kissing like that with no one around, not for a photo-op or anything). And I remember feeling like that was so true. I almost felt like I would burst with all the love and hope and happiness I felt.
“In a person’s lifetime there may be not more than half a dozen occasions that he can look back to in the certain knowledge that right then, at that moment, there was room for nothing but happiness in his heart.” – Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Molly: We met at Joe’s younger brother’s engagement party. Although Joe and I both attended Furman for undergrad, he was a couple years ahead of me, and we didn’t know each other during college. I did, however, know his brother Andy quite well. Fast forward a few years and Andy got engaged to my college roommate, Lindsey. All of our girlfriends from college threw the two of them an engagement party at Stellar in downtown Greenville, and of course Joe was there. All of the Waters men are extremely well-dressed, and Joe had on a sharp button down shirt with his monogram that night. In what I remember to be a very charming way, I commented on how he must be related to Andy because he is so handsome, and we ended up talking all night.
Joe knows that I love surprises more than anything, so he proposed in the most surprising and low-key way a couple of weeks after we took our first trip to Europe together (and visited London and Oxford and lots of romantic, picture-perfect type spots). We both took a Friday afternoon off work so we could duck out of town and head to Highlands, NC (Joe gave me a night at Old Edwards as a Christmas gift, but it took quite some time for us to coordinate our schedules) I was home at my apartment packing and getting ready to go, when Joe called to say he was going to stop by before running over to Jimmy John’s for a sandwich; as Jimmy John’s is across the street from me, this is a common occurrence. He came upstairs and asked me to grab lunch with him, and then said, “I just have one more question…” while reaching for his pocket and getting down on one knee. After he asked me to marry him (and after I recovered from my shock), I was overjoyed to say YES. And then we went to Jimmy John’s.
Photography: Olivia Griffin Photography // Planning, Design & Coordination: Upstate I Do // Florals: Katie Asire Flowers // Calligraphy: Katie Faikes Calligraphy // Reception Venue: The Westin Poinsett // Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church // Hair & Makeup: Belle-Maquillage // Cake: Sugar Magnolia Cake Boutique // Band: The Royal Suits // Live Painting: Meredith Piper Art // Rentals: Berbank Rentals / Professional Party Rentals / Industry Event Rentals // Transportation Southern Valet