An Elegant Wedding
at Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina

Real Weddings
strapless vera wang wedding dress with black sash

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Adventurous taste buds brought Susan and Charlie together at a friend's birthday bash in New York City. "We found out we both liked to try new types of food and set a date to try Ethiopian," said Susan. But of the menu at their whirlwind wedding five years later, Susan said, "I can barely remember dinner. I hear the raw bar was amazing, but I never got to it."

lowndes grove plantation wedding

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Lowndes Grove in Charleston, South Carolina, lent privacy and polish to the couple's intimate affair for 115 guests. "After seeing Lowndes Grove in person, it was an easy decision," Susan said. "The grounds are gorgeous."

The location also had special meaning for the groom, who attended medical school in Charleston. "We wanted our friends and family to experience the city, too," the bride said.

bride getting ready wedding photo

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Susan and her four bridesmaids dressed inside the property's historic plantation home. The bride's sister applied Susan's makeup.

lavendar wedding bouquetmetallic wedding shoes

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Susan's light lavender bouquet—a mix of lisianthus, garden roses and muscari—stood out against her winter white Vera Wang dress. She added drama to the strapless organza gown by wearing a billowing cathedral-length veil. "I just wanted to wear it forever," Susan said.

blue j.crew bridesmaid dresses

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Bridesmaids donned silk taffeta J. Crew dresses in Caspian blue and carried round bouquets of lavender roses.

classic hugo boss bow tie tuxedoclassic groomsmen tuxedos

Photo: A Bryan Photo

The groom wore a Hugo Boss bow-tie tuxedo, and pinned a purple boutonniere of spray roses, muscari and seeded eucalyptus to his lapel.

sea grass ceremony aisle runner

Photo: A Bryan Photo

The couple kept their ceremony decor simple, opting instead to let the beauty of Charleston's Ashley River be the backdrop for their vows. Custom white linen covers concealed guests' chairs.

flower girl basket with ribbons

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Flower girl Annika Johnson tossed one petal at a time as she walked down the aisle, Susan said, "because we had practiced with much bigger leaves the day before." In the end, the three-year-old girl upended the white basket, throwing all the petals into a single pile.

bride and groom reciting vows

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Susan and Charlie wrote their own vows. "We chose 'until we are parted by death' for drama," Susan said, "but couldn't help laughing when we said it."

passed hors d'oeuvres

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served on a patio overlooking the river. Waiters passed Korean beef satay, spicy tuna served on cucumber, iced tea in mason jars and the couple's signature cocktails—Moscow Mule and Death's Door Daisy.

elegant escort card table with metal escort cards

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Just outside a clear-topped tent, guests found their seat assignments on galvanized metal cards.

signature cocktail at weddinghanging chandeliers at wedding reception

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Susan envisioned an "elegant and simple, yet unique and clean" reception. Gold oriental lanterns hung from the rafters. Soft gray and purple linens covered square and round tables, which were accented with arrangements of roses, lisianthus, muscari, sweet peas, stock, tulips, freesia, lilacs, hyacinths, anemones and orchids. And antiqued votive holders were scattered throughout the tent.

Two separate lounge areas faced each other across the dance floor, "allowing guests to mingle on both sides," Susan said. "A different style chair or coffee table and decorative pillows accompanied each section, creating a sense of space."

square white wedding cake

Photo: A Bryan Photo

The couple's cake was frosted with butter cream icing and filled with almond amaretto and hazelnut and chocolate shaving flavorings. In addition to their simple and elegant square cake, the couple also served a s'mores and crepe bar and late-night mac-and-cheese balls and miniature hot dogs on brioche buns.

pink rose wedding centerpieces

Photo: A Bryan Photo

Centerpieces stuck to the couple's chosen color palette of pink and gray.

couple's first dance

Photo: A Bryan Photo

"We wanted to look back and love it," Susan said regarding the look and theme of her wedding.

Venue: Lowndes Grove || Planner: Kristin Newman Designs || Stationery: Oscar & Emma Design Studio || Floral design: Gathering Floral + Event Design || Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals || Linens: La Tavola Linen || Catering: Fish || Cake designer: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal || Ceremony music: Other Brother Entertainment || Reception music: Quiana Parler and Friends || Bridal gown: Vera Wang || Veil: Vera Wang || Bridesmaids: J. Crew || Groom's suit: Hugo Boss || Transportation: Charleston Black Cab Company || Photography: A Bryan Photo || Videography: Artistic Eye Productions

—Jillian Kramer

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