I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Annie and Aaron hosted their Bay Area wedding at The Pearl —a lofty, artistic space that they secured for their big day before the venue was even complete! The couple enlisted the talent of Olea & Fig Studio to design their perfect day by incorporating the bride’s modern taste and the groom’s quirky vibe. The result was a beautiful, minimal modern wedding, organic but not rustic, with several personal details designed by both Aaron & Annie. Amazing greens and florals everywhere were created by The Bloomery Co., stationery by Minted & Olea & Fig, a cake by Jasmine Rae Cakes was the epitome of the couple’s vibe and lucky for us they enlisted the genius of ART IS FOR LOVERS to capture it all!

Click to expand for more

From the Bride: We wanted something minimal but modern, organic but not rustic. After scouring through all the venues we could possibly find in San Francisco Bay Area, we fell in love with the Pearl right away even before the venue was completed and furnished. All decor, furniture and stationery were chosen and created based on the same aesthetic concept, and so are our attire and even cake design. We also picked herb names as table names ensuring that herbs were a cohesive theme through out our drink and dinner menu, along with the greenery focus floral design to echo the overall organic feel. And as we are both Taiwanese who have been studying and living in the States for almost 20 years now, we incorporated our Taiwanese roots in our desserts and late-night snacks with a new American dinner reception.

Wedding planning can be one of the most fun and rewarding projects you’ve ever done, especially when this is for you as a couple to tell YOUR story creatively! Do not be limited by the resources available to you or the categorized trends you see on publications.

We had SO MUCH FUN, every moment of it! Having a wonderful vendor team certainly gave my OCD self a completely stress-free wedding day, and one of the best days in my life!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

Annie’s everyday style is trendy, modern and minimal, which makes the dress searching process not so easy. She basically went to all the bridal shops she knew in San Francisco, and was not able to find a simple and elegant dress which also gives that wow factor, much needed for the grand and design-y venue. BoLee Bridal Couture was her very last stop in the Bay, and as desperate as she was, as soon as she put on Atelier Pronovias’ Emmett, she knew it was the one. The silk crepe created the perfect draping and contour while the detailed design of the back emphasized the bridal modern glamour.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

(The bride was the planner & calligrapher herself). Given that the bride and groom are both originally from Taiwan, the reception was new American – Asian fusion inspired cuisine followed by Taiwanese desserts and late-night snacks featuring their favorite snacks from their childhood. All the place cards, calligraphy menus, thank you bag, table names and mirror signage were hand written by the bride & the Olea & Fig Team the for that beautiful natural vibe. Given that the bride is an ex-fashion blogger and stylist, the seating chart was scripted and printed on pieces of muslin cloths to integrate that garment component. As the groom is a coffee enthusiast, for guest favor, he hand picked the coffee beans and experimented with different cheesecloth for filtering cold brew.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The couple surprised everyone with their first dance. They started first with How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding, then with the main song being Watch Me by Silento.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Annie met Aaron during her freshman year in collage when Aaron was a senior. They were introduced by a good friend at Aaron’s house party. Aaron asked Annie to be his girlfriend the following New Year’s Eve under the fireworks in Taipei, Taiwan. They were in three years of long distance relationship after college, and were finally both in the Bay Area in 2012.

On 12/19/15, Aaron took Annie on a day trip to Point Reyes supposedly to celebrate their 9-year anniversary together. As usual, Annie always brings her video camera along to record all the trips they took together, which perfectly captured Aaron’s surprise proposal at the intimate Cypress Tree Tunnel. They then spent the rest of the day enjoying their alone time and amazing seafood by the bay before heading back to family and friends to share the wonderful news and the hilarious video that captured the perfect surprise proposal moment.

Photography: ART IS FOR LOVERS // Event Designer & Planner: Olea & Fig Studio // Coordinator: Spreading Lovely // Flowers: The Bloomery Co. // Stationery: Minted & Olea & Fig // Venue: The Pearl // Hair and Makeup: Makeup by Quis // Dress Designer: Pronovias // Wedding Dress Boutique: BoLee Bridal Couture // Cake: Jasmine Rae Cakes // Caterer: LRE Catering // Videography: Cinematt Videography // Groom’s Attire: Indochino // Bridesmaids Dresses Designer Amsale // Shoe Designer Badgley Mischka // Rings: Cartier / Brilliant Earth // Rentals: Bright Event Rentals / Rion Design

 

We like
our sponsors

We think you will too.

Molli and Justin’s wedding at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art on the Auburn University campus was full of sentimental details and unique touches. There’s no doubt, though, that the stand out feature of the day was the way Molli’s primary color, bordeaux, was brought to life by florist Thorne and Thistle. The florals are abundant and stunning, transitioning beautifully from the romantic courtyard ceremony to the modern interior of the gallery reception. With planning and coordination by Invision Events, stationery from By Invitation, and a Cakeitecture cake decked out in MORE flowers, this one is sure to inspire and we’re thrilled to share all the beautiful moments captured by Eliza Morrill.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique? 

From the bride:  I choose to have our wedding at Auburn because I was an art major at Auburn University and had classes and attended events at the museum and always thought it was the most beautiful venue. I’m a third generation Auburn alumna so naturally it’s one of my favorite places!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I wanted to keep a family tradition and have sleeves on my gown so I started looking while I was living in Nashville. I found the perfect dress at a boutique in Nashville.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

From the bride: I wore my late grandfathers Allstate “good hands” pin he was given after 40  years of service. I also wore it on my graduation from Auburn. The first dance was the same song as my parents used and they just celebrated 25 years of marriage. I added tulle from my grandmothers dress to add my “something old”.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

From the bride: I would have to say Justin’s reaction on our first look and when I walked down the aisle. The raw emotion we felt at that moment was better than we ever anticipated.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

From the bride: I met Justin on July 17, 2016 in Birmingham, AL at the World Deer Expo. I was traveling through Birmingham with my friend, Taylor Bassham, on the way home to Columbus, GA for the weekend. She had a friend, Matthew Howell, who was in Birmingham for the World Deer Expo running a booth for his company, Freak Outdoors. She reached out to Matthew and he asked us to stop by the booth on our way back to Nashville that Sunday. When we went to the Freak Outdoors booth, I immediately noticed Justin – it was hard not to with how big of a guy he is! I secretly pointed at him and whispered to Taylor, “I want him!” I was immediately interested in him when we began talking about his travels and his hobbies. I will admit that I was flirting with him really hard! I was disappointed that he didn’t ask for my number because I really thought we had hit it off. So, right before I left the booth, I took it upon myself to hand him my business card with my cell phone number circled on it and told him to call me sometime! Taylor and I left the booth and went to dinner and about 5 minutes later, I had a text message from Justin asking me where we went to dinner and if he could meet us before his flight! He almost missed his flight because we could not stop talking. Two weeks after that he flew to Nashville to see me, and the rest is history!

Justin and I had a whirlwind romance from the beginning and we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together very early on. I mean he told some of his closest friends at work the day after he met me, “I’m going to marry that girl.” We even said “I love you” only weeks after meeting each other for the first time. People thought we were crazy but when we met each other’s families it was clear to them and us that something was very special about what we have. So, on December 9th we traveled to Bryson City, NC for a mountain weekend get-a-way. Justin had rented us the most incredible cabin I had ever seen and he planned this whole trip for us to celebrate Christmas early together. The next day, Saturday, December 10th, he told me to get ready we were going out to hike and adventure around the city! I of course spent way too long doing my hair and makeup (like I always do) and he was getting very impatient with me and I had no clue why he was getting so flustered! So we set out later that afternoon to go hike part of the Appalachian Trail and we made it about 3.5 miles up the trail when we stopped at New Found Gap. It was sunset and the view was breathtaking. Justin and I were standing on the edge of this lookout when he came up behind me, put his arms around my shoulders, and whispered to me, “I need to ask you something, I heard something and I want to make sure its 100% true.” My initial instinct was worry and panic so I whipped around and found him down on one knee. He asked me “Will you spend the rest of your life with me? Will you start a family with me? Will you marry me?” I was in shock and I could not say yes fast enough!! We were both so emotional in that moment, it was perfect, it was everything I had ever dreamed it would be and more. It still gives me goosebumps just writing about it!

Photography: Eliza Morrill // Planning + Coordination: Invision Events // Floral Design: Thorne and Thistle // Invitations: By Invitation // Venue: Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art // Dress: Morilee by Madeline Gardner // Bridesmaid Dresses: Kennedy Blue // Hair: Stephanie Lee of Swank Salon // Makeup: Carrie Reap // Second shooter: Jennifer Corcoran // Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse // Floral Ribbon: Silk and Willow // Cake: Cakeitecture // Rentals: The Event Group // Draping: Unique Element Events

 

The sophistication of a black tie affair, the intimacy of a dinner party, and the warmth of a family gathering. This was the vision of longtime loves Donna and Michael when they tied the knot. And with the help of creative force Ashley Peraino—they nailed it! Long Island’s Metropolitan Building set the tone with it’s industrial-warehouse-meets-aristocratic-French-parlor vibes while blush tones in the florals and bridal party are a nod to the bride’s career in the ballet world. A candlelit dinner completed the romantic affair while Renee Hollingshead Photography was on hand to capture it all in these dreamy film photographs.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

Our inspiration was the desire to create an event with the sophistication of a black tie affair, the intimacy of a dinner party, and the warmth of a family gathering. Michael and I had been dating for many years, and our wedding day was just as much a celebration of what we’ve been for sometime, as much as what we would become moving forward as husband and wife. A feeling of togetherness was key— if our brownstone apartment could have fit everyone we love into our living room, we would have gladly had our wedding at home! Instead, we found the beautiful Metropolitan Building with its bookshelves, chandeliers, and candelabras, which made for a gorgeous home away from home. The Metropolitan Building takes your breath away. A labor of love by its founder, Eleanor Ambos, the space can be described as merging the industrial structure of a warehouse with the stylings of an aristocratic French parlor. Filled with painstakingly-restored furniture and antique treasures, the curation of it all is a work of art.

Ideas for our color palette began with a blush pink for the bride, attributed to my career in the ballet world, and a deep forest green, for the groom’s love of the outdoors and National Parks. A commitment to mixed metals in flatware and decor contributed to tastefully gilded glamour. Transparent glass tableware, champagne flutes, and serving bowls for salad, bread, and butter made the tables glow and sparkle with reflected candle light. The palette was completed with black ink calligraphy and subtly contrasting ivory linens with white napkins and candles, giving classic elegance to the occasion.

Florals played a big role in creating ambiance in the room. Michael and I were drawn to really dark greenery, so Ashley Peraino and I chose Italian Ruscus for a garland archway, garland “islands” on the tables, and for use in the numerous bud vases to compliment the blooms. Juliet garden roses and Patience garden roses were my “must have” flowers. A trip to the floral district in Manhattan helped us find beautiful Ranunculus, Dahlias, Peonies, Spray Roses, Fringed Carnations, and Spirea to help round out our flower selections. Dozens of bud vases throughout the venue made for delicate arrangements, each one-of-a-kind. The ceremonial garland had wired garden roses around the arch, framing us as we made our vows. Garden roses appeared in illustration on signage, programs, and menus, which I designed, and the two-toned Royal Albert flatware featured their regal Old Country Rose design. Juliets adorned the simply iced wedding cake, with a complimenting Old Country Rose cake server and knife for the cutting.

Our bridal party consisted of a Maid of Honor, my sister, and two Best Men including Michael’s brother and his best friend. However, when I realized I would need help and company on the day of my wedding, I asked some of my closest friends to be part of my “house party”. A house party is a southern tradition that can be described as a second group of attendants that do not participate in the ceremony, but may provide support in other ways during the wedding. Even though I am not a southerner, I adopted this tradition, and enlisted some of my dear friends (who are all current or former professional ballet dancers) to wear pretty dresses and get the party started on the dance floor. I gifted them each a clutch, beaded dangle earrings made by my mom, and heart-shaped sunglasses as a playful favor. They loved them!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I found my wedding gown at Lovely Bride in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. Lovely Bride’s ambiance is warm and inviting, and their staff is patient and friendly. The dress I chose was the Laine by Anne Barge. I fell in love with the rich silk fabric, the bow at the sweetheart neckline, and the slight drop waist feature, elongating my torso. When I put on my dress, I instantly felt like a special version of myself— more elegant, balanced, and illuminated— a true bride! As I walked down the aisle, sat for the reception dinner, and twirled on the dance floor, the pearl colored fabric billowed and swirled. It helped add the right bit of drama to my presence and magic to the day. Thank you, Anne Barge! To customize the dress to my tastes, I took my dress to Esin Krimidizag of Sew Elegant Bridal in New York City. She’s a seasoned seamstress and worked with me to give the dress a stronger mermaid silhouette and a french bustle. The accessories for my dress included a single tier veil and dramatic dangle bridal earrings featuring round cut, princess cut, marquise cut, and pear cut stones, set into a mosaic drop design. My shoes were simple nude kitten heels with my great grandmother’s clip-on earrings used as shoe clips for added sparkle. After the ceremony, a crystal fringe clutch replaced my bouquet; on my right ring finger was an aquamarine ring as my something blue and on my left ring finger graced my white gold engagement ring and my new rose gold wedding band.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Keeping to the theme of celebrating our past and future, we guided our officiant, Pastor Emily Brown, to focus on making the ceremony about our enduring commitment to each other and our shared passion for life and our families. Her words were perfect. Building on this, we made many personal touches to our wedding. Two photo books of images of our relationship over the years gave guests a chance to giggle over our baby faces and old hairstyles. Our wedding caterer was a date spot of ours, Pies ‘n’ Thighs in Brooklyn, and Billy’s Bakery, our favorite cupcake shop in Manhattan, made our (banana cake with cream cheese frosting) wedding cake. Homemade family recipe cookies and sweets served as both a favor and a special to way welcome our guests into our big new family.

Our venue, the Metropolitan Building, permits couples to explore the space to freely pick and choose pieces to personalize the space. Knowing this, we scoured the venue for our favorite furniture, mirrors, and decor from their impressive collection and included them in our own original design. The building manager, Carlos Ortiz, made sure every piece we selected was in the proper place for our wedding day. Decor items including family photos, candelabras and depression glass contributed by my mom, and programs, menus, and signage designed by me gave the space an even more customized feel.

Additionally, we had two special drink menus: a signature cocktail list by the bride and a beer list from the groom. The signature cocktails included blush pink Palomas, peach-colored fizzy Macuás (a drink of Nicaragua to honor my father’s heritage made with lemon juice soda, guava juice, and Flor de Caña rum), and the vibrant Aperol spritz. Michael chose a selection of his favorite beers, both domestic and imports, inspired by his travels. The party continued until the last bus left at midnight with DJ Huggy Bear, a dear friend of the ours, masterfully spinning infectious dance music with his signature touch of soul and style. It was an outstanding party from start to finish.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The flood of emotions during our first look stands out the most, but also the feeling of pride as our officiant told our love story, comforting each other during the ceremony as we felt the nerves of the moment, the euphoria of being pronounced husband and wife, the gasp and awe of seeing our sparkling dining room decor come together, looking into our guests smiling faces during our thank you to everyone before dinner, the incredible speeches from our loving family, our first dance and dancing the night away, and eating leftover wedding cake in the hotel lobby after the wedding.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Michael and I met as freshmen in college, and dated over 10 years before getting engaged. We had traveled quite a bit together, attended family events together, and lived together. We were serious loves for some time, but our journey to the altar started with a conversation in Paris, and culminated with an intimate proposal on a snowy evening at a lakeside cabin at the Lake Placid Lodge. It was indeed a romantic and emotional moment. Michael presented me with a beautiful engagement ring he had designed that was inspired by a family ring. It was both modern and classic, capturing my style perfectly. As we discussed what our wedding day would be like, we knew it needed to honor what we had been for sometime, as well as celebrate our future as husband and wife.

Photography: Renee Hollingshead Photography // Florals: Ashley Peraino // Design/Décor/Setup: Ashley Peraino in collaboration with the bride // Invitation Suite and Paper: Graphic Design and Illustration by Bride with floral clip art from SmallHouseBigPony on ETSY // Venue: Metropolitan Building, Long Island City, NY // Dress: Anne Barge purchased at Lovely Bride New York, Alterations by Sew Elegant Bridal New York // Tux & Groomsmen: Custom Suits made by Suit Club New York // Maid of Honor Dress: Adriana Pappell // Bridesmaids: Forever 21 and Nordstrom Rack // Day of Coordinator: D’Anne Park // Calligraphy: Bride // Catering: Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Brooklyn, New York // Cake: Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by Billy’s Bakery // DJ: DJ Huggy Bear // Jewelry: Earrings by Lord and Grey Bridal on ETSY, Right Hand Ring by Zales // Engagement Ring: Custom Ring designed with Groom at The Image Gallery in Wayne, NJ // Bands: Bridal Band by Zales and Groom Band by Diamond Hut Jewelers // 2nd Dress: Aboverly1 Wedding Dress and Wedding Veil Shop, ETSY // Bridal Makeup: Yuby Leoce of Bobbi Brown Studio Montclair, NJ // Decor: Metropolitan Building; Candelabras and Depression Glass Plates from Mother of Bride // Rentals: Broadway Party Rentals // Sign In Book: Artifact Uprising // Wedding Website: Made by Bride on Wix // Ceremony Music: Marc Anderson // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

San Francisco couple Annie and Jake were married just six short post-proposal, two-thousand miles away in the city where they first met—Cincinnati. The couple dubbed their wedding theme “relaxed romantic” and enlisted the help of very talented friends to implement their vision at Carnegie​ ​Center​ ​of​ ​Columbia​ ​Tusculum​. Literally, from the photographer, to the band—and every vendor in between—was a personal friend of the couple. Depp, moody florals are by Katie’s​ ​Blooms​, and the bride wore BHLDN​ gown and shoes while her best friend Folchi​ ​Photography​ captured all her joy on her big day.

Click to expand for more

From the bride: Jake​ ​and​ ​I​ ​got​ ​married​ ​in​ ​May,​ ​just​ ​six​ ​months​ ​after​ ​he​ ​proposed.​ ​We​ ​simply​ ​couldn’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​to​ ​start our​ ​life​ ​together!​ ​Because​ ​of​ ​our​ ​short​ ​engagement,​ ​I​ ​think​ ​our​ ​wedding​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​really​ ​reflecting​ ​the two​ ​of​ ​us.​ ​We​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​the​ ​time​ ​or​ ​funds​ ​to​ ​go​ ​too​ ​crazy.​ ​Ha!

If​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​theme,​ ​I’d​ ​call​ ​it​ ​”relaxed​ ​romantic.”​ ​We​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​things​ ​as​ ​simple​ ​and​ ​fun​ ​as possible​ ​for​ ​our​ ​guests​ ​–​ ​that’s​ ​where​ ​things​ ​like​ ​the​ ​food​ ​stations,​ ​cocktail​ ​tables​ ​and​ ​sparse​ ​seating, open​ ​bar​ ​featuring​ ​our​ ​favorite​ ​drinks,​ ​lawn​ ​games,​ ​and​ ​donut​ ​bar​ ​came​ ​into​ ​play​ ​–​ ​while​ ​still​ ​feeling beautiful​ ​and​ ​meaningful​ ​to​ ​us.

Jake​ ​and​ ​I​ ​are​ ​extremely​ ​lucky​ ​to​ ​be​ ​surrounded​ ​by​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​talented​ ​people​ ​in​ ​our​ ​life.​ ​They​ ​all contributed​ ​their​ ​talents​ ​to​ ​our​ ​special​ ​day.​ ​My​ ​little​ ​sister​ ​did​ ​all​ ​of​ ​our​ ​stationery,​ ​my​ ​best​ ​friend​ ​took our​ ​photos,​ ​another​ ​best​ ​friend​ ​made​ ​our​ ​video,​ ​our​ ​band​ ​are​ ​actually​ ​close​ ​college​ ​friends​ ​of​ ​my husband’s,​ ​my​ ​cousin​ ​cantored,​ ​my​ ​sisters​ ​and​ ​soon-to-be​ ​sisters​ ​decorated​ ​the​ ​reception​ ​space​ ​(with the​ ​blooms​ ​by​ ​the​ ​box​ ​flowers!)​ ​and​ ​made​ ​our​ ​boutonnieres,​ ​the​ ​cake​ ​was​ ​a​ ​creation​ ​of​ ​a​ ​local​ ​baker who​ ​I​ ​met​ ​years​ ​ago,​ ​when​ ​she​ ​was​ ​just​ ​getting​ ​started.​ ​Countless​ numbers ​of​ ​our​ ​friends​ ​had​ ​”jobs”​ ​and “responsibilities”​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​our​ ​day​ ​moving​ ​along;​ ​even​ ​our​ ​priest​ ​was​ ​the​ ​man​ ​who​ ​baptized​ ​me​ ​26​ ​years ago​ ​(and​ ​was​ ​also​ ​my​ ​dad’s​ ​former​ ​principal​ ​40​ ​years​ ​ago)!
I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​little​ ​worried​ ​about​ ​planning​ ​the​ ​wedding​ ​from​ ​2000​ ​miles​ ​away​ ​(we​ ​live​ ​in​ ​San​ ​Francisco,​ ​and got​ ​married​ ​in​ ​the​ ​neighborhood​ ​where​ ​we​ ​met​ ​in​ ​Cincinnati),​ ​but​ ​having​ ​so​ ​many​ ​amazing​ ​friends​ ​and family​ ​made​ ​it​ ​easy.

I​ ​think​ ​it​ ​was​ ​the​ ​personal​ ​relationships​ ​that​ ​made​ ​our​ ​day​ ​even​ ​more​ ​unforgettable.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​when​ ​the doors​ ​to​ ​the​ ​church​ ​opened,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​started​ ​walking​ ​down​ ​the​ ​aisle​ ​with​ ​my​ ​dad,​ ​I​ ​spotted​ ​all​ ​the​ ​most important​ ​people​ ​of​ ​our​ ​life,​ ​gathered​ ​together​ ​to​ ​support​ ​Jake​ ​and​ ​me​ ​in​ ​the​ ​pews​ ​–​ ​and​ ​I​ ​just​ ​started crying. They​ ​were​ ​the​ ​happiest​ ​of​ ​tears.

Other​ ​interesting​ ​things​ ​about​ ​our​ ​wedding:
Lavender​ ​has​ ​always​ ​helped​ ​relax​ ​me,​ ​that’s​ ​why​ ​we​ ​incorporated​ ​it​ ​in​ ​all​ ​the​ ​decor. Our​ ​band​ ​learned​ ​”Blue​ ​Moon”​ ​for​ ​our​ ​first​ ​dance,​ ​because​ ​it’s​ ​only​ ​once​ ​in​ ​a​ ​blue​ ​moon​ ​that people​ ​get​ ​so​ ​lucky​ ​as​ ​we​ ​did​. My​ ​dad​ ​and​ ​I​ ​danced​ ​to​ ​”The​ ​Way​ ​you​ ​Look​ ​Tonight”​ ​by​ ​Frank​ ​Sinatra; we’ve​ ​been​ ​planning that​ ​dance​ ​since​ ​I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school. I​ ​had​ ​five​ ​bridesmaids,​ ​my​ ​three​ ​sisters​ ​and​ ​two​ ​sister-in-laws.​ ​Jake​ ​asked​ ​my​ ​brother​ ​and​ ​his brother​ ​to​ ​be​ ​groomsman,​ ​so​ ​all​ ​of​ ​our​ ​siblings​ ​were​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​wedding​ ​party​ ​which​ ​was really​ ​special. It​ ​was​ ​so​ ​HOT​ ​the​ ​day​ ​we​ ​got​ ​married!​ ​After​ ​all​ ​the​ ​photos​ ​and​ ​before​ ​the​ ​ceremony,​ ​our wedding​ ​party​ ​had​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​by​ ​the​ ​local​ ​bar​ ​to​ ​cool​ ​off​ ​with​ ​a​ ​beer​! The​ ​wedding,​ ​photos​ ​and​ ​reception​ ​were​ ​all​ ​in​ ​the​ ​neighborhood​ ​of​ ​Columbia​ ​Tusculum, where​ ​I​ ​lived​ ​for​ ​two​ ​years​ ​after​ ​college,​ ​and​ ​Jake​ ​and​ ​I​ ​met​ ​four​ ​years​ ​before​ ​our​ ​big​ ​day.

Photographer: Folchi​ ​Photography​ // Floral​ ​Styling: Katie’s​ ​Blooms​ // Flowers: Blooms By The Box​ ​​// Paper​ ​Products: MOO​ ​​// Ceremony​ ​Venue: St.​ ​Stephen’s​ ​Catholic​ ​Church​ // Reception​ ​Venue: Carnegie​ ​Center​ ​of​ ​Columbia​ ​Tusculum​ // Bridal​ ​Shoot​ ​Venue: Queen​ ​City​ ​Vignette​ // Wedding​ ​Dress​ ​+​ ​Shoes Designer:​ ​BHLDN​ // Bridesmaid​ ​Attire: Azazie​ ​// Graphic​ ​Design: Colleen​ ​Butler​ ​Design​ // Cake​ ​Topper Hickory​ ​Twine // Hair: Hannah​ ​Quirk // Makeup: Chelsea​ ​Skurow // Food​ ​+​ ​Beverage: Jeff​ ​Thomas​ ​Catering // Bakery: Canteen​ ​Bakery​ // Videographer: Shane​ ​Harrison​ ​and​ ​Jenna​ ​Heaton // Ceremony​ ​Entertainment: DJ​ ​CEO // Reception​ ​Entertainment: Suede​ ​Jackets​ ​(band) // Grooms​ ​Suit Designer:​ ​Tommy​ ​Hilfiger​ // Tent: The​ ​Alleen​ ​Co​ ​​ ​​

Allison and Christian’s love for old world glitz and southern charm is apparent in every detail of their stunning Charleston nuptials designed by A Charleston Bride. Allison stunned in a crystal-encrusted and tulle Jenny Packham while the groom in his classic black tux was flanked by groomsmen in white dinner jackets and bow ties. Vows were said in a classic church ceremony at Grace Episcopal Church, followed by a reception kicked off with a cocktail hour in the garden of the Govenor Thomas Bennett House. Overhead string lights and a beautiful bar with a jazz ensemble captured the New Orleans flair of the groom’s heritage. Palmetto Bloom created romantic florals in soft white, and added impact with graphic rust palms set against luxe pink velvet accents throughout the lounge area. And, lucky for us, it’s all captured beautifully in these images by Virgil Buano.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

 The groom, Christian J. Leveque, is known as the master of surprises and always has tricks up his sleeve. From giving his bride-to-be, Allison, a pile of Legos she had to build into the Empire State Building before being whisked away for a birthday in NYC, to a surprise engagement in New Orleans where each candid moment was captured by a hidden photographer, to the unveiling of his surprise honeymoon plans to the Maldives and Dubai, this groom never disappoints.

Christian and Allison tied the knot on February 25, 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina. The joyous occasion started with a 4:00 pm ceremony at Grace Church Cathedral followed by a cocktail hour and reception at the Governor Thomas Bennett House. The night was capped off with an after party at The McKee’s. Lindsey Boyce of A Charleston Bride planned every detail of this amazing day to perfection. Virgil Bunao put his signature touch on the photography at the wedding, as well as an engagement shoot in downtown Charleston and bridal portraits at Lowndes Grove. Adam Siegel captured the event in motion, providing flawless video production. Betsy Weir of Lemontree Calligraphy & Illustration, a watercolor studio based in Melbourne, Australia, designed an original crest displaying the bride and groom’s heritage that was used throughout their wedding season, including save the dates and a gobo projection on the dance floor during the reception. Jonie LaRosee of Palmetto Bloom went above and beyond with her creative floral designs and bouquets for the special occasion.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The bride chose two different looks for her big day, both of which were from White on Daniel Island. Allison’s first dress – designed by Jenny Packham and known as the Dixie – was vintage inspired and embellished with heavy crystals. For the reception Allison changed into a two-piece couture gown designed by Jodi Moylan, owner and designer at White. The talented Madison Hughes was the make-up artist and stylist that dolled up the entire wedding party. For Allison’s first look, Madison styled her hair down in soft elegant, romantic curls – then for the reception Madison created a beautiful up-do so she could dance the night away. The mother of the bride wore a blush Romona Keveza gown she discovered while wedding dress shopping with Allison in New York City from the bridal boutique Panache with the help of Elise Rosenblum.

Christian’s 13 leading men wore ivory dinner jackets from Berlin’s paired with midnight blue tuxedo pants and Ralph Lauren pocket squares, highlighting the groom’s love of southern staples with a contemporary twist. The groom wore a custom midnight blue tuxedo from Klein Epstein & Parker of Los Angeles, California. Christian chose to mark the occasion with a quote from Winston Churchill embroidered inside his jacket that was revealed to his bride during their first look, as well as a final touch of their wedding hashtag #Lev4ev under the jacket collar.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

The reception kicked off with a cocktail hour in the garden of the Thomas Bennett House. Overhead string lights and a beautiful bar with a jazz ensemble captured the New Orleans flare of the groom’s heritage. The couple’s love for old world glitz and southern charm was evident from their choreographed first dance that started with a classical tune and ended with the South Carolina state dance. Cru Catering outdid themselves with delicious southern dishes displaying both Louisiana and South Carolina Lowcountry cuisines. Guests indulged in these tasty entrees served in the secret garden during the reception. The wedding cake was designed by Jim Smeal, who drew inspiration from a floral dress design and crafted the perfect cake to represent the couple’s big day. The 8-piece Atlanta band, Mo’ Sol, brought the party to life as they performed an electric mix of Motown classics and modern hits.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The groom and his groomsmen surprised the bride by paying homage to the classic scene from the 80’s hit movie Top Gun, serenading her with “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” With beignets in hand, guests were draped with Mardi Gras beads and sequined feather masks as the night drew to an end. The couple exited to the famous New Orleans “Second Line” wedding tradition. Allison and Christian had beautiful custom-made umbrellas for the occasion, as their guests formed a long line waving monogrammed handkerchiefs and sending the couple off in style at the close of this magical night. The couple made their getaway in a vintage 1948 Oldsmobile convertible, taking in the crisp Charleston air and waving goodbye to the many friends and family who helped celebrate the new Leveques.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

From the groom: Allison and I met at the wedding for two mutual friends, although we did not know each other previously. The attraction was instant and the chemistry undeniable. I was living in Atlanta at the time, while Allison was in Charleston. A few weeks after the wedding, Allison visited me in Atlanta on Mother’s Day, which was very special to me as my mother succumbed to leukemia and passed away when I was 20. Subsequently, I visited Allison in Charleston for Memorial Day weekend. The rest, as they say, is history. We were basically inseparable from that moment forward!

I wanted the proposal to be unique and special. After nearly five years of courtship, Allison was convinced I couldn’t surprise her but I still had a few tricks up my sleeve! I grew up in New Orleans and we were planning a weekend trip there for a friend’s wedding. I knew the timing would be perfect, as Allison wouldn’t be expecting it! My dad picked us up from the airport and was waiting to stealthily hand off the custom engagement ring I had designed myself. He dropped us off at the rehearsal dinner and wished me luck, knowing I would be proposing the next day. It was there that the mother of the bride-to-be told Allison we were invited to an intimate family brunch the following morning at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue – a New Orleans favorite of ours. Of course this was all part of an elaborate plan to get an unsuspecting Allison to the right spot for me to pop the big question! The next morning we arrived for “brunch” and were met by a photographer who told us she was there to photograph the brunch for the wedding party and asked if we minded letting her snap some photos to perfect the lighting, as we were the first from the wedding party to arrive. Allison, ever the picture aficionado, ate it up. Shortly thereafter she said, “I hope we get to do this one day,” to which I replied, “How about right now?” Before she could quite figure out what I meant, I dropped down on one knee and asked Allison if she would give me my life’s greatest honor and spend forever with me. Luckily she YES!! (Christian spent over 6 months custom designing the ring with a jeweler in New Orleans. Allison had no idea what any of it would look like…it truly is spectacular and very unique. The center stone came from Sri Lanka!)

Christian + Allison | Charleston, SC from Adam Siegel on Vimeo.

Coordinator: A Charleston Bride // Photographer: Virgil Buano // Floral Design: Palmetto Bloom // Calligraphy and Invitation Suite: Sweet Magnolia Paper // Watercolor Crest: Lemon Tree Calligraphy // Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church // Reception Venue: Govenor Thomas Bennett House // Bridal Gown #1: Jenny Packham / White on Daniel Island // Bridal Gown #2 (Reception): Jodi Moylan of White on Daniel Island // Hair and Makeup: Madison Hughes // Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s Custom Tuxedo: Klein Epstein & Parker // Groomsmen Tuxedos: Berlin’s // Rings: Aucoin Hart Jewelers (New Orleans) // Caterer: Cru Catering // Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal // Videographer: Siegel Films // Equipment Rentals: Snyder Events // Tent Rentals: Skyline Tent Company // Linen Rentals: La Tavola Linens // Lounge Rentals: Ooh! Events // Lighting Rentals: Technical Event Company // Reception Musicians: Mo’ Sol Band // Transportation: Carolina Executive Limo