I’ll tell you what, it’s been a crazy week over here! It still can’t believe it’s already August. This summer has just flown by! As I head out to Dayton, Ohio this weekend for my sister’s bridal shower, I thought I’d share a little dose of what we all love the most…a lovely South Carolina wedding with a preppy green and navy color filled with adorable Southern wedding details. This beauty took place in Aiken, South Carolina at Woodside Plantation Country Club and was shot by our friend Britt Croft Photography. Happy Friday, y’all!
We’re headed into what is sure to be a fabulous, January weekend. I mean, we’re talking 75 degrees and sunny! Is it springtime already!?! So, in honor of this beautiful weather, I thought a gorgeous Charleston engagement from our pal Britt Croft Photography would be the perfect way to get the celebration started. Tim + Rachel started things off dressed in the Steelers Save the Dates at the beach with their adorable, four-legged friend Bella before heading downtown to enjoy the historic Holy City!
She’s baaack! The soon-to-be Mrs. Brittani Croft is back to share more of her Charleston wedding planning journey and this time it’s all about beauty, bridals and bachelorette par-tays!
Hey ALW! I feel like it’s been forever, and that’s probably because time is flying and we are getting SO close to our big day! It’s all about the little details now and we are really busting our butts to stay organized, enjoy this time, but make sure we are accomplishing lots of the important last minute critical things.
Image via Britt Croft Photography
First though, let’s start with some of the latest fun stuff! A few weeks ago, I had my hair and makeup trial and it was really awesome to get an idea of what I’ll look like on our wedding day. Bellezza Salon and Spa in West Ashley will be doing hair and makeup for my bridesmaids and I, so it was really important to make sure that I knew what I wanted so that the morning of the wedding I wouldn’t be stressing about how exactly my hair and makeup would end up looking.
I’m not a huge makeup kind of girl, so we are keeping it relatively simple there since I really want to still look like myself. For my hair, I was torn between having a half up/half down look, but with the chance of it being stormy and/or outrageously hot in September, my stylist and I decided a low updo would be better and a lot less risky. Here are a few images I used for inspiration…
Image by W+E Photographie via Style Me Pretty
Image via Hair and Make Up by Step
Image by This love of Yours Photography via Style Me Pretty
My hair and makeup came out fabulously and I really felt like a bride. If you’re wondering if a trial is worth it, I definitely vote yes!
So not to let my hair and makeup go to waste, I decided to also have bridals done that evening. As a photographer myself, I shoot often with the amazing Charleston wedding photographer Paige Winn, of Paige Winn Photo. You’ve probably seen some of her awesome work here on ALW! Paige met my mom and I at Boone Hall and we worked quick so as to dodge the looming showers and get some great bridal portraits. I even had my portrait bouquet with me that Beth and WildFlowers Inc. put together so it was really such an awesome little test run. I looooove my dress, but I think I need to practice moving around in it a little more!
Image via Boone Hall Plantation
Another really fun pre-wedding festivity is the bachelor/bachelorette party or weekend. Since Dustin is from South Carolina but I’m from Maryland, many of my closest friends are still up north. We decided to make it a co-bachelor/bachelorette weekend and meet halfway in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, NC. This ended up being SO much fun and honestly the best part was seeing all of our friends and their significant others meet (most for the first time) and absolutely hit it off so well! The weather didn’t cooperate for the beach, but we were able to have such an awesome time going to dinner, seeing The Campaign (we love some Will Ferrell), mini golf, and check out some of the really fun bars in downtown Wilmington. It was a total success and since many of us shared rooms at a hotel right between downtown and the beach, we were able to keep the costs manageable.
Image via Wilmington and Beaches
So what’s next? It’s all about planning our ceremony, DIY projects, creative favors, buying/making gifts for our wedding party, and those other fun details. I’m so thankful our friends and family have been so helpful
The gals of Happily Ever BorroWED made a trip to Charleston to show off their delicate bridal pieces for a weekend trunk show of fun at Fabulous Frocks! While Lowcountry brides were on the hunt for their dream Southern wedding dress and perfect accessories, Fabulous Frocks made sure they received the complete wedding experience. They ooh-ed and ahh-ed over romantic floral arrangements from Ooh! Events, and indulged in heavenly treats from the crew at Cupcake. Thank goodness Britt Croft Photography was there so we can all relive the fabulous swanky details…
Brittani, of Britt Croft Photography, is back, and this time, the bride-to-be is giving us some fabulous tips to keep in mind when picking your Lowcountry vendors…
Hey ALW readers! I’m back again, this time spilling on some of our vendor choices. Hiring quality vendors is SO important. You really want to work with people that truly care about how important this day is in your life and respect and appreciate your business and budget.
Image via Katelyn James
When choosing vendors…
- Don’t be afraid to meet with a few different vendors in each category that you are looking for. I felt kind of bad about doing this…like I was sneaky and price shopping. But as a bride, it’s your prerogative to ensure you’re finding the best fit for you. Just be honest if anyone asks, and make sure you are polite and kind about it. I knew what kind of food we wanted for our wedding (good ‘ole down home country cooking!), so I inquired with three or four caterers in the beginning. Surprisingly enough, one got back to me immediately, two took weeks to get back to me, and one never did. Obviously that says a lot, and if I had only inquired with one and thought that was the normal wait time for inquiries, I may have hired a company that wouldn’t pay my wedding food much attention. Regardless, it’s always good to meet with several different options to get a feel for who will be a best fit for your type of wedding, your personality, and your budget.
Image via Kathleen Amelia Photographer
- Try to meet in person. Getting a feel for someone in person can be totally different over email or the phone. How do they dress? Are they timely? Are they polite? Do they come prepared and organized? Are they enthusiastic or overbearing? These things may seem silly, but they say a lot about how this person will be on the day of your wedding. Will they be presentable and professional? On time and polite to your guests? This is hugely important!
- Ask to see examples of their work, reviews from past brides, or a taste test. This may seem like common sense, but its crazy how many brides skip on the little things. Tasting the food beforehand or hearing about what past brides felt about the planner you are sitting down with can make a big difference in how your wedding day flows.
Image via Kathleen Amelia Photogrpaher
- Who have your friends used? Ask around to your married friends and find out what vendors they used and loved or wouldn’t recommend. What’s better than hearing it straight from someone who has experienced a service previously?
Image via Paige Winn Photo
So who have we chosen to work with for our wedding? Remember are getting married at The Pavilion at Pepper Plantation, so almost all of our vendors are located in the greater Charleston area.
I told you it was going to be a good blog week around here at A Lowcountry Wedding and to keep the pattern going I’ve got a charming Charleston wedding from our friend Britt Croft Photography. I feel in love with this wedding the moment I laid eyes on it. Not only was it the perfect Spring day in Charleston, but the couple looked timeless. Bride Nicole was a classic, beauty in her knee-length gown and her man looked handsome in his Navy uniform. I’ll let Britt take it from here…
“Nicole and Rees arranged a very sweet and simple elopement for only their most beloved friends and family this past March. Since Rees is in the Navy and stationed in Charleston, and Nicole was living in Florida at the time, they were more than ready to begin their lives together and finally be able to live in the same city. I was honored they hired me for such an intimate day. Their ceremony took place on one of the beautiful outside porches of the quaint Phillip-Yates-Snowden Bed & Breakfast on Church Street in Charleston, then afterward we were able to stroll the cobblestone streets where passersby wished the newlyweds congratulations. We then made our way toward Waterfront Park, then back to the Battery and it was such a blast as Nicole and Rees sunk into the fact that they were finally husband and wife.”
One thing we love to share with our Lowcountry Brides (well, besides stunning, jaw-dropping wedding inspiration, of course!), is tried and true tips straight from our horses, I mean, brides’ mouths. Our gal, Brittani, is back today to give us a few pointers about what she’s learned thus far as she navigates her way to her big, Charleston wedding day!
Image via Kelly Sauer
Yay it’s time for another ALW update! Last time I dropped by, I updated the fantastic ALW readers on my DRESS! That was such an unexpectedly exciting part of the process and I actually go for my first fitting in just a few weeks! I cannot WAIT to get back into my beautiful wedding dress, cowboy boots and all! The last few months since making that big decision have been CRAZY! I have been blown away by how quickly the time has gone, and I’ve learned a lot about wedding planning. Phew! I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned you probably want to do, and some of the things you probably don’t want to do…
Do hire a wedding planner! Ugh, what a mistake it was thinking wedding planners aren’t always necessary. As a wedding photographer, I of all people should know how important it is to have someone running the show. Oops! If I could do-over, that definitely would have been the FIRST vendor I would have hired!
Image via Riverland Studios
Do be realistic about what weddings cost. I LOVE weddings, trust me…there’s nothing more exciting and special and exhilarating than a wedding day. BUT, having said that, there is SO much that goes into a wedding. I was the bride that wanted to be able to spend big on the things that were most important to Dustin and I (photography, the venue, and food), and DIY and save as much as possible elsewhere. I’ve learned that’s not really realistic, at least for me and my lifestyle. When you have a full-time job, wedding planning is a whole other full-time job. That’s why planners are so important! There were so many “great big ideas” we had to save money but there’s just no TIME to make these things a reality. Life happens, and you have to be realistic about how much time you can really put aside to manage, create, and plan all of these things that seem so easy to do yourself.
Image via Tim Will
Do start whatever DIY projects you are doing early. In my mind, August was going to be wide open (the hot summers are usually my slower time work-wise), so I could do sooooo much DIYing then. Wrong. August is already halfway crazy for me. I’ve started tackling some projects now but honestly at the end of the workday, I just want to relax! I know some brides are so into crafting for their weddings and it is their way to relax at the end of the day, but between taking care of my dogs and horses, trying to work out (gotta look good for the big day!), cooking dinner, cleaning, regular household and farm chores…there never seems to be enough time at the end of the day.
Image via Carolina Studios by Gillian Reinhardt
Don’t get too caught up in Pinterest. Used the right way, Pinterest can be such a great tool for planning your wedding and coming up with fun projects. BUT, the trick with Pinterest is to not feel like your wedding has to look like someone elses’s. The whole point of getting really creative with your wedding is to make it a true representation of you and your fiancé and the things that are most special in your relationship. It’s so easy to look at pin after pin and think “that’s perfect!” but you should really start with a list of unique traits or themes you want to include in your wedding and search out inspiration from there. For us, since we were long distance for so long and spent a LOT of time flying and driving, travel is going to be a big theme. We’re also super dedicated to our farm and both grew up with horses, so that’s a big shared passion. We love our dogs like kids, so of course the dogs and being a blended family (Dustin has a 5-year-old son) are also very “us.”
Image via Richard Bell Photography
Maybe this is just me, but if I had to do it again, I would not try DIYing invitations. I work with a really good print lab because of my business, so I totally thought I could handle this on my own. Invitations are important, but to me they weren’t one of the biggest priorities. In reality, invitations are basically the first impression you are giving your guests. It’s worth it to invest in a talented designer (I love Sarah at Dodeline Design) who gets what you’re going for and can handle this for you. Invitations have Stressed. Me. Out. You can even find TONS of great invitation suites on Etsy, if going through a designer isn’t for you. At the end of the day, by weighing the pros and cons, spending another $200 or so on invitations would have been totally worth it, rather than dealing with the headache I’ve caused myself.
Image via Dodeline Design
Don’t lose sight of what your wedding is really about. There are going to be things you want to do but won’t get done. There are things that aren’t going to go as planned. Don’t forget what the day is really about…you and your new husband, your new life together, and the opportunity to have all of the people you love the most in one place at the same time, celebrating together. What will be, will be.
Image via Girl in the White Dress by Kelly Sauer Photography
Hopefully those little tips are helpful in some way or another. There are definitely some things I wish I could re-do but we’re this far in and we’ve just got to roll with the punches! I know the next three months are going to FLY, and although I can’t wait for the day to be here, I don’t want the days to fly by too fast because I don’t want our actual wedding day to fly by too fast! I know that no matter what happens, the day will be wonderful and I really look forward to the celebration!
What’s going on next? I’ll be back pretty soon with some insight into the vendors we chose and some other fun details like bridal portraits and what we’re doing for bachelor/bachelorette parties! See ya soon ALW!