Chic Weddings/Destination Weddings

Shades of Blue Tropical Inspired Charleston Wedding

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Oh, how we adore new floral palm inspiration! Taking cue from the Palmetto State’s icon, dramatic palm fronds are the centerpiece (literally and figuratively!) of this bright and cheery Charleston wedding.

The fronds find their way into bouquets and centerpieces, on the groom’s smashing South Carolinan tie, their shapes mimicked in other florals, and waving in the low country winds around the venue.  Our bride Pamela’s favorite color blue, in all shades, is splashed throughout the wedding decor, with blue palm table runners, watercolor invites and her fabulous sparkling blue shoes.

We love how personal and heartfelt the day seems, from fabulous vendors playing close attention to Pamela’s favorite things to Bob’s surprise song to his new wife at the reception.

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Our Love Story

We are both teachers and started teaching at the same school the same year. Both being newbies at the school, we had the same prep period and found ourselves chatting a lot casually. The Spring of that school year, Bob asked me out to dinner and we immediately figured out how much we have in common. One of the things we both like is to experience foods. Bob took me out to a really good BYOB restaurant in Philly. We talked for hours and before we knew it, we were the last people at the restaurant.

Since then, we have been going to dinner in the city a lot to experience different foods. Our favorite – Italian. The other nice thing was that my family liked him right away and vice versa. We blended in easily to each other’s family. I loved how Bob would talk about his daughter with such pride and affection. In general, I was also impressed with his openness and honesty.

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The Proposal

I had a feeling it was going to happen. He suggested we go to his parent’s house at the shore before the end of the school year’s craziness. It was April, so it wasn’t particularly a nice time to go to the beach and I knew something was up. On the Saturday morning when we were there, he woke me up really early even though he knew I’m not a morning person. He said he wanted to see the sunrise. I had a hunch that the proposal was right around the corner and despite being a non-early-riser, I dragged myself out of bed.

We headed to the beach and watched the sunrise together. Afterwards, he just suggested heading back to the house. In my mind, I was so surprised that nothing was going to happen because this was such a perfect opportunity. I turned away to gather my things and little did I know, he was on one knee when I turned around. It was the best surprising non-surprise!

The ring was my grandmother’s ring. My mom had given it to Bob because we both knew we were going to get married. Bob had the ring reset to the setting that I liked (I had shared with him my Pinterest board for it. The name of the Pinterest board was “Hi Bob, Ring Setting Right Here”)

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The Venue

Both being teachers, we wanted to get married during our Spring Break. I wanted an outdoor wedding and in Pennsylvania, Spring or April weather can be iffy. I wanted a weather guarantee for our wedding, so we decided to go with Charleston, South Carolina for the warm weather and beautiful landscapes.

We chose The Gadsden House for its beautiful architecture and especially for the natural light that filled the venue. They also had a beautiful space where we could set up a lounge area for our guests to gather. We both liked the idea of people mingling around and not being fixed to a table. We wanted our guests to talk to other whom they might not have otherwise.

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The Photography

When I came across Minh’s page, I just knew that she was the right photographer. I liked the lively colors and just the right amount of contrast in her photos. I was also drawn to how she focused on the details and photographed them beautifully. She did such a wonderful job with our engagement portraits on Elfreth’s Alley – the oldest residential street in the US.

A fun fact is that after we decided to work together, we found out that we live across the street from each other. It was a complete coincidence! We were able to spend some time together during the engagement session and Minh even invited us over for dinner!

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The Decor

Luke Wilson Events was so accommodating to my whims and he captured beautiful my love for palms and greenery while being respectful of our budget. With a couple of inspiration photos, he integrated my varied inspirations perfectly. I was so pleased he knew of a florist who provides local and seasonal arrangements.

Our wedding theme was blue and white. Unsurprisingly, blue is my favorite color. I think that blue can be a neutral color in the same way that jeans are and goes with a lot of different other tones. My planner helped me pick out different pieces of blue and white chinoiserie vases that could go with a lot of different kinds of flowers.

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Special Moments

The night before, we were still preparing for the wedding! My now brother-in-law, my Dad and I spent a couple of hours putting the wedding favors together. They are little pouches of grits – a food that is typical of Charleston and the South in general.

Another special detail was the cuff links I gifted Bob before the wedding. I’m a Spanish teacher and there is a saying in Spanish “Media naranja” which literally translates to “You’re the other half of my orange.” The design on the cuff links was a half orange for that reason.

At the reception, Bob broke out his singing and guitar talents and surprised me with The Beatles song “I Will.” He sings all the time at home and plays at school a couple of times a year with the kids, but he had never sang directly to me, so it was a sweet surprise.

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Advice for Other Couples

Having a planner definitely helped. I shared a Pinterest board with my planner and he helped me brainstorm for ideas and pick out different details for all aspects of my wedding day. Being a perfectionist, I still wanted to have a say in the planning and make the decisions and my planner was very accommodating to humor all my preferences. A Pinterest tip – leave your Pinterest after you’ve already found inspirations for all the details. It could be very overwhelming to keep pinning!

I would recommend Zola for your wedding registry as I liked that I could have multiple stores on one site. I also loved Appy Couple for a wedding site. This platform has a lot of themes and options to customize. I felt like I was making something unique and not just one of ten choices that looks just like another couple’s website.

For little things like favors, bridesmaids gifts and wedding guest book, I found a lot of options on Etsy. I like to support small businesses and working with them was wonderful because they were all happy to customize their products to fit my wedding day. 

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The Honeymoon

Right after the wedding, we stayed at a friend’s place on Kiawah Island right outside of Charleston. We spent the rest of our Spring Break there before heading home in Pennsylvania.

We took our official honeymoon in July in Mallorca. We chose to stay at a small country farm house called Finca Ca’n Quatre in the Mediterranean. Owned by a local couple, the house was refurbished to accommodate those like us who like being surrounded by mountains (in what’s called Valley of Oranges), yet a few minute’s drive from the beach.

We enjoyed staying at a smaller venue and getting to know the other guests who were also spending their vacation there. The owners provided a delicious buffet-style breakfast spread every morning, but would also prepare items like eggs fresh upon request. It was so delicious that Bob is still suffering from Iberico ham and fresh OJ withdrawal. I would definitely recommend it for couples who like a more private environment and experience the outdoors.

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