Natalie + David translated their love for vintage European and Southern tradition into a beautiful Lowcountry wedding at the romantic Roseville Plantation in Florence, South Carolina. The couple enlisted a team of talented vendors to create their special day including the sought after duo of MCG Photography. Our blushing bride, Natalie, gave us an inside look into her once-in-a-lifetime afternoon...
Tell us about the proposal...
We both specialized in post-1660 British literature and enjoy old-fashioned charm and beautiful settings. Thus we love Jane Austen novels, and we’re members of the Middleton Place Foundation which helps to support the Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston. At Middleton Place we have an oak tree where we like to sit and spend time on the plantation grounds. We consider it “our tree,” if you will. It was while we were sitting under this tree that David proposed to me. He was actually so thoughtful about it that he proposed in both a traditional American way and in a nineteenth-century British way. He asked “Will you marry me,” and “Would you do me the honor of making me the happiest of men” while on bended knee. I was absolutely ecstatic and exclaimed, in between light yet passionate kisses, “Yes, yes, always, and forever and ever yes”!! We were engaged for exactly one year and celebrated our engagement anniversary and first day as spouses the day after our wedding under “our tree” at Middleton Place Plantation.
Out of the entire day, what was the most memorable moment?
It might sound trite, but in all honesty, the most memorable moment of the day was when we exchanged vows. We both kept crying tears of the deepest kind of joy.
What’s your favorite picture from your wedding?
Corrie and James of MCG Photography are such amazing photographers, it’s difficult to choose just one favorite. One that certainly is at the very top of our list, however, is the one of our first kiss as wife and husband. It really was such a magical moment.
Why did you choose to have A Lowcountry Wedding?
Since I grew up in the South, it’s easy to consider me a “southern belle,” and even though David is from Portland, Oregon, we both cherish the elegant, traditional, hospitable charm that the south has to offer.
How did you choose your venue?
We wanted to get married outside at a place that feels like it has southern and old-fashioned British charm, along with a sense of timelessness. We were thrilled when we found a plantation that met all criteria and even helped us to feel like we had stepped into the setting of nineteenth-century novel.
Tell us a little bit about your menu. Did you add any Lowcountry elements?
Since our wedding was in the afternoon, we just had heavy hors d’oeuvres in addition to the wedding cake, which had lace details and yellow roses, my favorite flower, to match my bouquet. Since I’m a vegetarian, and some of our friends are too, we served a variety of meat and vegetarian options. Favorites among the guests included the bacon-wrapped scallops and tea cookies cut in the shape of our initials, which both have Lowcountry flair. Seafood is popular in the Lowcountry, and tea cookies reflect the way that the south, especially areas like Charleston, continue to incorporate our British heritage while also celebrating particularly American twists. In the South, for instance, we drink a lot of tea, but instead of often serving it hot like the British, we usually serve it iced instead. Not surprisingly, we had plenty of both sweet and unsweet iced tea for guests to enjoy at the reception.
Your wedding was filled with gorgeous details. Did any have special meaning? What was your favorite?
Since we both specialized in post-1660 British literature, we wanted elements that reminded us of both the Romantic and Victorian Periods. Because of this we incorporated details such as cap sleeves and lace. My dress was mostly lace instead of satin and had cap sleeves. The Maids of Honor, too, had dresses with these elements. We also used lace to drape many of the tables, embellish the guest book, flower girl baskets, and ring bearer pillows, and wrap around the birdseed that guests tossed at us during our “grand exit.” Incorporating these kinds of details made the wedding excitingly feel “very us,” and carefully cutting piece after piece of lace with my mom is a part of the planning that I’ll always fondly remember.
Looking back on your engagement and wedding, is there any advice you would give to brides in the planning process?
Absolutely- It’s so easy to get caught up in what can seem like the million and a half details. With so many elements to choose and try to perfect, it’s really no wonder that there are countless programs, books, and magazines dedicated to planning a wedding. When planning gets stressful, it’s important to remind yourself what the day is really about. It’s not details like your shoes, the table drapes, and the design on the napkins that matter most, but the love that you and your fiancé share and are there to celebrate. The day is about that celebration and your devotion to one another, not how elaborately you can throw a party to please the guests. What you, and even your guests, will remember most are the moments that help express just how much you and your fiancé love each other. Keeping these thoughts in mind can help immensely when you and your fiancé are working your way through the stress of planning and after the wedding as well. No one, I imagine, wants to look back on her wedding day and remember it as the most stressful day of her life, but instead one of the happiest. Keep your focus on the love and happiness you and your fiancé share, and your wedding day will be one of the happiest days of your life, regardless of how any of the details unfold.
Photographer: MCG Photography / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Roseville Plantation / Videography: Heart Stone Films / Designer/Planner: We did most all of the planning, but we had assistance from Theresa Mann of As Southern As Possible Events / Invitations: The American Wedding (and programs were by Laura Ashley) / Cake: Freeman’s Bakery / Flowers: Flowers by Starks / Favors: The American Wedding / Gown: David’s Bridal / Bridesmaids Dresses: Southern Brides / Tuxedos: Jos. A. Banks / Hair & Makeup: Stuart Laurence Salon / Caterer: The Catering Connection