“Marrying Justin is all I care about… I trust y’all and I’m just not sweating the small stuff!” These were the words that Madison emailed to The Burlap Elephant during the wedding planning process and we couldn’t love them more. The couple, who have known each other since childhood, had their priorities straight and they ended up with a stunning event at Lowndes Grove in Charleston to prove it. The New Orleans natives kept this simple with a neutral palette and let the grounds of the plantation take center stage, while Out of the Garden added to the backdrop with an airy ceremony arch and classic white florals. The couple enlisted Brandon Lata to capture all the moments of their day in these lovely images.
Tell us how and where you found the dress!
It was the second dress I put on. I did try on a few more during that appointment, but ended up putting that dress on again and it just felt right. I did not purchase that day because my mom didn’t think it was possible to buy a dress at my first wedding dress appointment (classic) so I did sleep on it. I went back two days later to put it on for my dad and there was no question to me that this was the dress I wanted to wear.
For the bridesmaids I wanted to do navy blue and figured it would be cooler weather on March 3, so the darker color made sense to me. I am not into chiffon or nudes, or plain dresses that just “blend in” and that’s pretty much what 90% of bridesmaids dresses are for some reason! I found Katie May on the internet one day and then I found them in a local store so I to went to see them in person. I loved the fit and the material. It was similar to my dress which I really loved. I decided I wanted my friends to pick out whichever dress they wanted. It was all the same material, color, and fit so I just let them pick out their favorites. I don’t like telling people what to wear or how to do their hair and makeup. I just wanted everyone to feel beautiful and like themselves instead of me telling them how be.
What made the wedding personal and unique?
What made the day personal for me wasn’t a thing or something I brought. It was honestly the wedding guests. It was so meaningful to have people get on a plane and travel to Charleston for Justin and I. 170 people that truly wanted to be there for us. That for us was a ‘wow’ moment. To know we have that many people that were there to support and celebrate us. It was special.
Is it unique to have groomsmen take their shirts off during the reception…? But really, Lowndes Grove made it unique for me. Working with the designers to pick out linens, chairs, chandeliers, etc. was amazing. It wasn’t just the standard items that came with the venue. It represented me and my style, not someone else’s.
My earrings were my mother’s diamond studs she gave me for the wedding. I had a ring you probably couldn’t see in the photos, but I was wearing my great grandmother;s wedding band which was really special to me. Kept it simple.
Walking down the aisle with my dad was really memorable for me. You see that moment repeatedly in movies so that moment was surreal for me.
How we met & became engaged:
I attended high school with Justin’s younger sister, Emma. We were, and still are, best friends. Justin was a few years older at the College of Charleston so I wouldn’t see him often. We did kiss after my high school graduation, but it was kind of an ongoing joke that he liked his younger sister’s friend. It wasn’t until he moved back to New Orleans after college that things kind of turned into something. I think I was 20 or 21 when we started dancing around this idea of liking one another, but he was not interested in having a girlfriend at the time. But I knew I was going to marry this person and kept persisting. We dated for 4 years before we became engaged.
He proposed last April 2017. It was a Thursday and I was on my way home from work, and he was annoying me all afternoon about when I was going to be home and what I was doing – I should have known by his weirdness what was going on. I walked in the house and our golden retriever, Haley, was sitting down with a ring box attached to her head and he was kneeling on the floor next to her. It caught me off guard and the dog sitting there with the ring was just such a sweet moment.
Design & Coordination: The Burlap Elephant // Photographer/Videographer: Brandon Lata // Floral: Out of the Garden // Invitation/Stationery: Scriptura and Calligraphy by Maria Helena // Venue: Lowndes Grove (Patrick Properties) // Dress Designer: Mikaella Bridal // Wedding Dress Salon: Town and Country Bridal // Hair & Makeup: Lashes and Lace // Cake/Catering/Bar: Patrick Properties // Tabletop Rentals: Polished Tabletop // Band: Crystal Clear Band // Ceremony Musician: Holy City Strings // Transportation: Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle // Shoes: Chanel // Bridesmaids: Katie May Bridesmaids Collection // Bridal salon for bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaids Mandeville // Groom tux: Brooks Brothers // Groomsmen: The Black Tux // Rentals: Ooh Events / Snyder Events / La Tavola Linen