10th Jul 2017

Emily & Josh


The Big Question

My family had planned at family vacation to Europe, and I was thrilled that Josh was able to join us! Our first stop was Paris, and it happened to be on my birthday. For weeks, I had been telling Josh about the Pont de Art bridge in Paris where couples would leave locks to symbolize their unending love. I wanted to find it and maybe even add a lock for us! Well, a week before we left, we heard that the love lock bridge was being torn down. We were disappointed, but it turns out that the trend had spread to almost every bridge in Paris. As we walked around the day before my birthday, I kept wanting to buy a lock, and Josh kept telling me no. Later that night, he caved in an presented me with an early birthday present. He had found a beautiful antique lock and hand engraved it with our names, the date (my birthday), and a quote in French that read "my heart is forever yours." Needless to say, I was incredibly touched that he had not only been listening to me, but had put so much thought and effort into this special gift. He told me that this was only one of two gifts for my birthday, but I assured him that there was nothing I could possibly love more. I had NO IDEA what was coming.

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After nagging him to tell me the secret most of the morning on my birthday, he finally told me that he was taking me on a tour to the top of the Eiffel Tour that night. I was SO excited! It ended up raining pretty much the entire day, so I was confused when the cab driver dropped us off at bridge a few blocks from the Eiffel Tour.  As we started to walk out on the bridge it suddenly stopped raining! We walked to an overlook with a gorgeous view of the tower, and Josh stopped to point something about the tower out to me. When I turned back around, he was down on one knee! I said yes!! I have never been more surprised in my life! It turns out that a "tourist taking pictures" was a professional American photographer living in Paris that Josh had hired to capture the entire thing! We even had a mini engagement photo shoot right there on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge overlooking the Eiffel Tower! Josh had thought of EVERYTHING! In addition to presenting me with the most gorgeous ring I have ever laid my eyes on, he had also kept a journal of the entire process from the progression of our relationship to this point, asking my parents for their blessing, picking out a ring, planning the proposal, and so much more- all from his personal perspective! He had also managed to record the audio of him asking my parents for my hand in marriage because he knew how much their blessing meant to me! It just does not get more thoughtful! He also had the head coach of the Clemson football team, Dabo Sweeney, sign a Tiger Rag saying congratulations to us!


And on top of that, I got to walk with my new FIANCEE to meet my parents and my sister under the Eiffel Tour where they were waiting with a bottle of champagne to celebrate with us! Just as we reached them, the sky cleared and the sun shined down on us! It absolutely could not have been more perfect! It surpassed even my wildest dreams! To complete the trip of a lifetime, we went on to visit Switzerland, Tuscany, Florence, and Rome before heading home!


Shop 'Til You Drop

I am probably one of the most indecisive people ever, and I really had no idea what I was looking for going out! After some initial dress shopping my mom and I headed down to Charleston, SC with a much clearer vision of the look I was going for. I wanted something a little more formal and traditional for our ceremony in a cathedral, but fun enough to let loose at the reception!


A few of my bridesmaids were able to meet us at the store and help me see that the Augusta Jones Bridal 'Bonnie' dress encompassed all of the elements I was looking for!  I absolutely loved the illusion back with the full length trailing buttons, and I didn't have to choose between satin and lace because this dress incorporated both.  Once the consultant showed me that they could custom make a sash and added a cathedral length mantilla lace veil, I was sold!

The Perfect Day


If I were to summarize our wedding day, I would have to describe it as a real life fairy tale.  Everything about it was absolutely perfect.  Our reception venue, Lowndes Grove Plantation, was ours for the day, and we were lucky enough to be able to get ready there!  So the day began with my girls and me taking a limo ride out to Lowndes Grove and getting to spend the morning having our hair and makeup done in the exquisite surroundings of the upper floors of the old house that had lovingly been converted to a bridal suite.


Even though it was the middle of December, the weather was a perfect 75 degrees with sunny skies. We did a first look and took the majority of our pictures under the live oaks by the water before heading to the church for the ceremony.  The whole bridal party and our parents rode together to and from the church in a classic Charleston trolley.  Getting to spend those few quiet minutes with the people we love the most was something I wouldn't trade for the world.


Our ceremony was held at Grace Church Cathedral in the heart of downtown Charleston.  It is an absolutely beautiful church with a center aisle and stunning altar, and the ceremony was perfect. I am the luckiest girl in the world to get to call Josh my husband. 


Following the ceremony, everyone headed out to Lowndes Grove in time to watch the glorious sunset over the water.  Our wedding planner, Hannah Grogan, and all of our wonderful vendors created the most magical reception space I have ever seen.  It was even more spectacular than I envisioned.  We dined, danced, and laughed the night away and it all felt almost like a dream.  Down to our sparkler lined exit from the reception and riding away in a vintage Rolls Royce, every moment of our wedding day was everything I could have ever hoped for and more!


Wise Words

During the planning process: Be true to yourselves. Determine what it most important to you as a couple and showcase that.  Many people may offer you advice on the best ways to do things, but at the end of the day, it is your wedding, so do what works best for you!  And try not to stress too much!  Remember that ultimately, you are preparing to marry the man of your dreams- not just planning a wedding!

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During the wedding day itself:  After the ceremony concludes and you are pronounced husband and wife, it is only natural to be filled with emotion and hurriedly float down the aisle with happiness. I highly recommend pausing for an extra few seconds when you turn around to face the congregation.  Look around at all your family and friends gathered there to witness this moment and take in all the love and support your new marriage is surrounded by.  It is a moment that I will never forget!

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Photographer: Virgil Bunao
Dress: Bonnie
Location: Lowndes Grove Plantation
Stockist: Gown Boutique of Charleston
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