A Cozy Winter Wedding at Home in Columbia, South Carolina

Planned by Bellafare

Katherine Blanchard and Davis Whittle were married in Columbia, South Carolina.

Photo by KT Merry

Katherine Blanchard and Davis Whittle have mutual friends and football to thank for their meeting. In September 2014, they both found themselves in Nashville, Tennessee, where they'd come to watch the University of South Carolina take on Vanderbilt in football. “We went on a date the following week and have been together ever since,” says Katherine. Three years later, Davis proposed during a visit to Katherine’s family farm in South Carolina. “He surprised me with a party at my parents’ house with our family and friends,” she remembers.

The pair decided to host their December wedding reception at home as well. “My parents were also married there, and Davis and I have spent lots of time together at their home so it’s meaningful to us, "Katherine says. "It’s also beyond beautiful!” Keep reading to see Katherine and Davis's December wedding—featuring a cocktail party-style reception filled with décor ideas that feel wintery but not Christmas-y—planned by Bellafare and photographed by KT Merry

Archway of greenery
 Photo by KT Merry
Archway of greenery at the bride's family home
 Photo by KT Merry

The couple opted to do an at-home wedding for many reasons—one of which was the vibe it created. "Davis and I are both laid-back so we wanted our guests to enjoy themselves fully," she explains. "We wanted a romantic yet relaxed celebration of our marriage, and I think having it at my parents’ home also helped create the environment we were looking for."

For the décor, Katherine says she "wanted lots of classic romance!" “We decided to get married in December, and while we wanted the charm that comes with a winter wedding, I didn’t want it to be too ‘Christmas-y,'" she says. "I knew I'd be thrilled as long as there was lots of greenery, candles, beautiful flowers, and good food.” 

Back of bride's wedding gown
 Photo by KT Merry
Bride's accessory detail
 Photo by KT Merry

“I’d seen my dress on Romona Keveza’s Instagram and decided to try it on for fun even though I wasn’t sure it was my style and it was so different than what I thought I wanted,” says Katherine. “I’m so happy I did because the second I put it on, it felt like ‘the one’.” The silk crepe gown featured an illusion cap sleeve overlay of Reticella lace. Katherine completed her look with diamond-and-pearl-drop earrings from jewelry designer and friend Jenny Thompson of Charleston’s Theodosia Jewelry, as well as a pearl bracelet that had belonged to her grandmother. 

Bridesmaids make their way in the rain
 Photo by KT Merry
Portrait of the bride and bridesmaids
 Photo by KT Merry

Katherine's 10 bridesmaids wore navy dresses by Ghost London paired with moonstone drop earrings, a gift from the bride. “I wanted a uniform look for my bridesmaids, as well as a dress that was flattering and timeless," she says. "I’ve always loved a cowl neck and thought the style fit the aesthetic of the wedding perfectly.” 

Bouquet detail
 Photo by KT Merry
Flower girls
Photo by KT Merry

The wedding party carried a variety of blooms by Fern Studio with the bridesmaids holding smaller, more neutral versions of the bride's rich red bouquet, which also featured magnolia leaves (her favorite!). The flower girls carried white pomander balls. “Our flower girls were rock stars!” says the bride. They wore white satin dresses by Le’Za Me, flower crowns, and silver flats to match the bride’s silver Valentino pumps. 

The bride and groom embrace
KT Merry 

I’d originally been hesitant to do a first look because I was worried it would take away from the moment I walked down the aisle to him, but I couldn’t be happier we had that time, just the two of us.

Portrait of the bride and groom
 Photo by KT Merry

One of the bride’s favorite moments of the day was the first look with the groom, who donned a custom midnight blue suit by Oxxford Clothes. “Davis looked so handsome and it was such a calming, surreal moment for me," she recalls. "I’d originally been hesitant to do a first look because I was worried it would take away from the moment I walked down the aisle to him, but I couldn’t be happier we had that time, just the two of us.”

St. John's Episcopal Church
 Photo by KT Merry
The bride and groom recess down the aisle
 Photo by KT Merry

“We chose St. John’s Episcopal Church for our ceremony because of its intimate size and the supportive community,” Katherine explains. One of the day's most memorable moments came after exchanging vows. “I got confused and kissed Davis at the wrong time!" Katherine admits. "It set off a chain reaction—the bagpiper started to play the recessional and, then, Davis and I began to walk out only have Father Fleischer tell us it wasn’t over yet. I was mortified but so many people came up to me that night to tell me how sweet and special the moment was.” Once the ceremony officially concluded, the newlyweds held hands as they made their way down the aisle to “Scotland the Brave” performed on the bagpipes.

The bride's family home
 Photo by KT Merry
Illuminated reception tent
 Photo by KT Merry

After the ceremony, guests were transported to Katherine's family home for the reception. Rain forced the event indoors, but the property was dressed with candles, uplighting, and greenery to play up the cozy, at-home vibe.

Bar swathed in greenery
Photo by KT Merry 

The couple opted for a cocktail-style reception rather than a seated dinner. "We didn’t want a party that felt too structured or formal,” says the bride. All 275 guests mingled throughout the first floor of the bride’s parents’ home, as well as in various tents set up throughout the property. 

Cocktail table detail
 Photo by KT Merry

Food stations were spread throughout the entire first floor of the house and within tents. “We had an eclectic menu of sashimi, scallops, short rib sliders, oysters, and more,” says Katherine. “Guests are still talking about the food!” The couple didn't have an official signature cocktail but all drinks were served alongside napkins personalized with their initials.

Room with flowers and candles
 Photo by KT Merry
Fireplace with candles and flowers
 Photo by KT Merry

“There were flowers everywhere!” says Katherine. “Fern Studio placed arrangements of plum, purple, and cranberry-hued flowers in every nook and cranny of the house and tents.” The couple worked with Kristin Doggett of Bellafare to bring the romantic, wintery celebration the bride had envisioned to life. “The candles and the twinkly lights felt truly magical," she adds.

Reception tent
 Photo by KT Merry
Tent interior detail
 Photo by KT Merry

Clear tents were draped in a lush cream-colored fabric with greenery woven throughout the canopy to create an intimate, elegant backdrop. Rentals included a mix of modern and rustic furniture styles, all done in a neutral color palette to allow the florals to pop.

Desserts detail
 Photo by KT Merry
Wedding cake detail
 Photo by KT Merry

The couple's sweet potato-flavored wedding cake was made with candied pecan crunch and maple buttercream. It was served alongside flourless chocolate tortes and botanical shortbread cookies. “The desserts were truly works of art—and delicious as well,” says the bride. 

The bride and groom share a kiss
 Photo by KT Merry

After enjoying the food stations and mingling in the event's many lounge areas, guests moved into a dancing tent to watch the newlyweds perform their first dance to “Come Home,” by Leon Bridges. At the end of the evening, Katherine (now in a short silver dress!) and Davis shared a kiss before heading off to London for their honeymoon. “People aren’t kidding when they say the wedding will fly by,” she says. Her advice? “Be present and enjoy every second!”

Wedding Team

Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Episcopal Church

Wedding Planner: Bellafare

Bride’s Dress: Romona Keveza

Bride’s Jewelry: Theodosia Jewelry

Bride's Shoes: Valentino

Hair: Process

Makeup: Pout

Bridesmaid Dresses: Ghost London

Groom’s Attire: Oxxford Clothes; The Tie Bar

Flower Girl Dresses: Le’Za Me

Ring Bearer Attire: Crewcuts by J.Crew

Engagement Ring: Windsor Fine Jewelers

Floral Design: Fern Studio

Invitations & Paper Products: Isidore & Augustine

Guest Book: Claire Magnolia purchased via Etsy.com

Music: Sol Fusion

Catering: Loosh Catering

Wedding Cake: Tessa Pinner

Rentals: Ooh Events, Mayker

Tents: Sperry Tent Southeast

Draping: Berbank Events

Lighting: Ambient Media

Photobooth: Smilebooth

Bartending: Twist Bartending

Welcome bags: A Signature Welcome

Videography: East West Productions

Photography: KT Merry

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