It only took one date with Christopher Broyles for Lauren Patton to be smitten. "We were introduced by friends in July of 2015, and had our first date a few months later," Lauren remembers. "We dined on grilled cheese and red wine, and I was sold!" Two years later, Chris asked Lauren to join him for a walk along the National Mall before heading to dinner. "He led me to a secluded stand of trees and got down on one knee. The National Mall is usually a sea of people, but this little spot felt so intimate and private," Lauren recalls.
Chris then brought her to Mastro's for dinner, and surprised his bride-to-be with their families waiting in the private dining room.
When the couple set their wedding date for November 17, 2018, they knew they wanted to embrace the autumn season in a modern way. "We wanted our fall wedding to feel magical and elegant," says Lauren. They turned to Calder Clark to plan the 215-person event, tying the knot at the First Baptist Church of Charleston before heading to the Cedar Room for their reception.
With a toasty palette of pecan, forest green, and deep red, Chris and Lauren's wedding was the epitome of autumn-chic. Take a peek at all the details, photographed by Ryan Ray Photography, below!
The invitation suite, by Cheree Berry Paper, paired fall colors with modern textures, including a marbled invitation liner and a suede bellyband.
As guests arrived in Charleston, they were greeted with Southern favorites including cheese crisps and the makings of a Kentucky mule.
Lauren wore a Mira Zwillinger wedding gown with a plunging V-neck and floral appliqués. "I found my dress at the second store we went to, and couldn't help but dance when I put it on!" she says. Chris doesn't like surprises, but thankfully his mother was on Lauren's side. "She told him I'd found a dress, and he was eager to know some of the details. So his mom said I'd picked a mermaid gown with bright blue tulle...though after a bit of Googling he realized she was teasing him!" Lauren says with a laugh.
The bride paired her dress with metallic gray Alexandre Birman sandals, which she swapped for black lace Manolo Blahnik flats for the reception.
Lauren's bridesmaids wore a variety of navy dresses from Katie May and carried bouquets of David Austin roses, garden roses, astrantia, astilbe, and scabiosa. Lauren chose rice flower, hellebores, kalanchoe, Japanese clematis, and smokebush for her own bouquet.
Lauren's mother wore a chic floral print mother of the bride dress for family portraits before the ceremony.
Chris and his groomsmen all wore classic black tuxedos: The groom purchased his from Geoffrey Lewis, while the groomsmen rented from The Black Tux.
"The church is already so beautiful, so we wanted to let it speak for itself," says Lauren. Lush fall-inspired arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, amaranthus, and autumn leaves flanked the white altar.
As guests arrived at the Cedar Room for the reception, they were greeted with blackberry and champagne cocktails garnished with rosemary. They made themselves at home in residential-style lounges of gray furniture arranged next to the marbled dance floor.
Maple branches were affixed to the venue's columns, creating a modern forest inside the Cedar Room. Tables were topped with custom pecan velvet linens, with blush centerpieces adding a feminine touch to the seasonal palette.
Mixed textures gave the tables lots of depth. Place settings paired marble and gold-rim plates with hem-stitched napkins and gold flatware. Gray taper candles were arranged in dark marble candleholders, while votives floated in petite gold bowls. The centerpieces paired blush roses with hellebores, scabiosa, smokebush, and trailing greenery for an organic finish.
The menu was all comfort food, from mini lobster rolls and deviled eggs at cocktail hour to Nashville hot chicken and sliders with onion rings for dinner. "Chris is a burger fiend, so we had to have them on the menu!" says Lauren.
For dessert, the couple cut into a crocodile-embossed wedding cake with layers of butter pecan and pink champagne cake. "We also served late-night Nutella milkshakes and pimento cheese biscuits with sausage patties and cheddar cheese. Our guests couldn't get enough of them!" Lauren describes.
The couple shared their first dance to "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra, then guests filled the dance floor for the rest of the night. "The only time we left was to take a few minutes to really take it all in," says Lauren. "It was Calder's advice, and I'm so glad we took it!"
Wedding Planner: Calder Clark || Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church of Charleston || Reception Venue: The Cedar Room || Bride's Dress: Mira Zwillinger || Bride's Shoes: Alexandre Birman, Manolo Blahnik || Bride's Jewelry: Boone & Sons Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Katie May || Groom's Attire: Geoffrey Lewis Ltd. || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Jeweler's Rowe Diamonds || Wedding Bands: Boone & Sons Jewelers || Floral Design: Blossoms Events || Paper Products: Cheree Berry Paper || Catering: Mercantile & Mash || Cake: Sugar Cloud Baking Company || Ceremony Music: Charleston Virtuosi || Reception Music: Surround Sound || Bridal Attendant: Cacky's Bride Aid || Rentals: Snyder Events, Calder Clark || Welcome Boxes: A Signature Welcome || Transportation: Absolutely Charleston, Lowcountry Valet || Videography: Life in Rewind || Photography: Ryan Ray Photography