Despite the fact that professional baseball player Darin Mastroianni was on crutches at the time, he made quick work of approaching Bridget O'Brien at a charity event in 2013. As it turns out, Bridget's glittering gold gown and sparkling personality were simply too much for him to resist. "We didn't know it at the moment, but that was it," she says. "We noticed each other from afar and each of us thought that the other captivated the room." After what Bridget jokes was a "whopping four-and-a-half months," Darin proposed, but despite the seemingly speedy courtship, it wasn't quick enough for the bride-to-be, who knew the bridal bling was waiting for her. "The engagement ring had been hiding in our apartment for well over a month," she explains. "Darin had teased me about where it was located a few too many times. I felt like it was never going to happen."
When it came time to plan their November 9, 2014, wedding, the couple knew they wanted to say "I do" in a warm climate instead of in their home state of Minnesota. The couple invited their 110 guests to join them in Charleston, South Carolina, at Legare Waring House, a plantation with the feel of an Italian villa for a celebration that was equal parts glamorous and natural. "I am far from the queen of the outdoors," the bride says. "I never even went to camp! But something about the trees, the green, and the avenue of oaks, made the location feel so enchanting." And thanks to photographer Tim Willoughby, we can relive every incredible moment of this couple's big day.
Bridget and Darin embraced the natural beauty of the plantation venue but added their own modern flair to the space. "I wanted glamorous but natural, romantic yet edgy," Bridget describes, so the couple chose a color palette of black, white, and metallics to offset the greenery, which was first introduced in their sleek invitation suite.
"I expected to be sobbing when Darin and I did our first look," the bride says, but when the couple met on the lawn of the plantation, both the bride and groom admit they felt more joyous than teary. "We both just beamed from ear-to-ear and giggled because we were so excited to see each other. We had been missing each other all day and needed to look into each others eyes to calm our nerves."
Though she fell hard for her Vera Wang wedding dress, Bridget says its ball gown silhouette and sweetheart neckline were completely different than what she originally imagined she would choose. But once the bride-to-be slipped on the styles she thought she would adore, they didn't feel like wedding dresses. "This one immediately felt like the bridal version of me. It was unique and it was bold, but there would be no doubt who was the bride."
Bridget went with a more fashion-forward look when it came to her shoes. Her Herve Leger peep-toe booties featured black mesh and gold heels, a nod to the couple's modern color palette. Her bouquet, too, broke the mold: It was made entirely from black orchids.
Darin donned a classic black tuxedo and white shirt with accents in navy, including a vest and pocket square. Those accessories, Bridget says, acted as the couple's unconventional something blue.
In keeping with the couple's color palette, Bridget's bridesmaids wore black Amsale gowns. The bride says she searched for dresses that were different from the typical bridal party gown, but loved that the final style was still elegant, uniform, and sexy.
Darin's groomsmen followed the his classic lead, but wore white dinner jackets to offset the sea of black in the bridal party. "I'm glad that was the look we went for because it was super sharp, super classic, and ruggedly handsome all of them," says Bridget.
The bride reached out to an Etsy vendor for her flower girl's gown, which was made to mimic the cut and look of the bridesmaids' dresses. "It was perfect," she says. "She also had a custom white orchid flower crown that lay perfectly around her top bun."
Bridget and Darin chose to exchange vows in front of a large oak tree that was draped with moss. Guests were greeted with an Old Fashioned as they entered the ceremony site and the couple's programs were cleverly printed on cocktail napkins. Then, from mahogany-hued chairs, guests watched as the couple exchanged handwritten vows. "We didn't tell each other anything about what we were writing," Bridget says, "and it was incredible to me that both our vows had the same message: We are each other's best friends and biggest fans, and we both said 'I love you to the moon and back.'"
Guests followed golden arrows that pointed the way from the ceremony site to the outdoor dinner and reception. Once there, everyone found long tables that were decorated with black linens, mirrored runners, candles, and gold dinnerware. "Each long table had three stunning glittered branch arrangements in beautiful gold square vases," the bride says. "We hung string lights overhead and chose a floating chandelier for above the head table and bar."
The couple cut into a three-tiered white fondant cake that was decorated with black and gold stripes and the couple's signature DB logo on top. After Bridget and Darin danced to Lupe Fiasco and Ed Sheeran's "Old School Love," their guests joined them on the dance floor and didn't leave. "I still have guests ask me if I have an MP3 recording of my wedding because it was the best compilation of music they had heard," Bridget says. "I seriously never left the dance floor, not even to pee!"
Reflecting on their big day, Bridget says, "I received some advice that I now pass on to future brides: Take a moment with your brand-new husband in between all the commotion and really take it all in. Darin and I did this after all of our guests walked over to the dance area. He told me how incredible the day was and how proud he was of me, and I told him how grateful I was that he provided me with the ability to have a dream come true in front of us. The air was different than it ever has been in my life. Darin and I held hands tighter, kissed a few times, and spoke of the amazing chapter of life that was in front of us. We took a few more deep breaths and after completing our pause, went on to have what we both agree was the best night of our lives."
Venue: Legare Waring House || Wedding Planner & Florist: A Charleston Bride || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Veil: L'atelier Couture || Jewelry & Wedding Bands: Arthur's Jewelers || Shoes: Herve Leger || Makeup: Bellelina || Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: Martin Patrick 3 || Groomsmen's Attire: Charleston Tuxedo || Ring Bearer Attire: Nordstrom || Invitations: Deep Thought Robot || Guestbook: Wooden Wedding Puzzles || Music: DJ Natty Heavy || Catering: Cru Catering || Cake: Delicious Desserts || Rentals: EventHaus Rentals; Snyder Rentals; and TEC Lighting || Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Waterfront and The Vendue || Videographer: Life In Rewind || Photography: Tim Willoughby
Want more southern wedding inspiration? Then watch another couple's beautiful celebration in Tennessee in the video below.