One Couple's Fresh Southern Bash at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Real Weddings

Two days after Christmas in 2012, Travis Folk pulled up to Sarah Burden's house to pick her up, and had no idea what to expect. The two had been set up on a blind date, and were heading to a nearby restaurant for dinner and sunset views. The date went splendidly, and about a year later, Travis knew it was time to make it official.

Though the pair's friends have had some elaborate proposals, Travis was able to find out exactly what Sarah wanted: a surprise, just the two of them, but with family nearby to celebrate the good news. So, after asking her entire family for permission to marry her, he took Sarah for a long morning walk. "He told me he loved me, and I asked him how much," she remembers. "Then he took the ring out of his pocket and said 'This much!'" And just as she'd asked, Sarah and Travis's families arrived later that day for a congratulatory dinner.

The couple kept their engagement short, marrying a mere four months after their engagement, with help from Kelli Corn Weddings & Events. "We scaled it down to an intimate wedding with just family and close friends, followed by a larger casual celebration later that weekend," Sarah says.

Read on for all the details, as well as the beautiful photographs by Donna Von Bruening.

Classic invitations invited guests to an evening of dinner and dancing at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff.

The flower girls, aged two and four, wore white dresses with tulle skirts. "They did a great job," says Sarah, "with the older of the two placing petals very deliberately, while the younger was a little more nonchalant."

Sarah carried an all-white bouquet of garden roses, hellebores, parrot tulips, ranunculus, anemones, and white peonies. "My mom is a florist," says Sarah. "It was a miracle that she was able to find peonies in March!"

The church was decorated with two rows of white flowers along the aisle, and arrangements of white lilies and roses hanging from the pews. The window behind the altar was edged with a magnolia garland.

Sarah wore the first dress she tried on, a trumpet Chantilly lace and silk organza gown by Sareh Nouri. "My mom and I went to a few more appointments to try on dresses, since it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Sarah, "but I think we both knew we'd be going back to get that dress."

The reception took place on the veranda at the Palmetto Inn. Guests dined on local grouper, served with dirty rice and okra.

The lush centerpieces featured hydrangeas, roses, anemones, and lilies, interspersed with bright greenery.

Instead of a signature cocktail, Travis and Sarah served wines from their friends' vineyards, including a pinot noire from Elke and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Oak Canyon Ranch.

The wedding cake, decorated with white chocolate magnolia flowers and leaves, featured layers of pound cake soaked with Grand Marnier and layered with Italian buttercream.

Toward the end of the evening, Travis and Sarah's planner invited them out to the edge of the veranda, where a firework display began. "My dad surprised us with a 10-minute fireworks show," says Sarah. "It was unbelievable!" As the last firework went off, the band picked up for even more dancing.

The couple spent 10 days exploring Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley, and Mancora in Peru for their honeymoon, then returned home to settle into married life—and start a family! And whether you're planning a wedding in four months or 18, Sarah and Travis's advice rings true. "Hire a planner you trust, and let them run with it," she says. "Our event was seamless (as far as we know!), and we had no stress at all."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, A Montage Resort || Wedding Planner: Kelli Corn Weddings & Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Sareh Nouri || Hair: Christine Stephens || Makeup: The Cottage Spa || Florist: Sue Burden Weddings and Corporate Events || Invitations & Paper Goods: Savannah Print Factory, Wedding Paper Divas || Music: The Maxx || Photography: Donna Von Bruening

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