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A Winter Wonderland Woven with Tradition

Melanie + Herman | Feb 9, 2018

A winter palette of white, red, green and metallics helps showcase family ties and southern charm at this intimate, elegant wedding at Cannon Green in Charleston, South Carolina

Melanie and Herman met in 2010 as coworkers and quickly became friends. Their relationship grew over the years, from working and traveling together to meeting family, and they eventually made things official as a couple.

In 2016 they took the next step by getting a house together, and although they’d talked about marriage, Melanie wasn’t expecting a proposal. Herman had other plans, though, when the couple took a trip to Cape Cod three weeks after moving into their house.

During their trip, the couple stopped at a lighthouse to enjoy the views, and while Melanie was taking pictures, she hears Herman say her name. Her view when she turned around was a total surprise: Herman on one knee, holding a beautiful ring.

Their hometown of Charleston was an easy pick for the wedding destination, as was choosing their venue.

“We were pretty set on Cannon Green before we were even engaged,” Melanie said. “It’s just such a beautiful space, and I knew that’s where I wanted my future wedding.”

Having attended a number of humid Lowcountry weddings, Melanie and Herman decided on a February wedding date instead. They also wanted to honor Herman’s Chinese heritage. These decisions came together to create a winter wonderland of white, red, green and metallic gold and silver, as well as traditional Chinese symbols and rituals.

“The color red is important to the Chinese culture and symbolizes good luck, happiness and prosperity,” Melanie said.

The couple also incorporated the Chinese double knot into several details throughout the day, symbolizing happiness.

A little rain was no match for all the happy moments before the ceremony. The day began with Melanie and her bridesmaids getting ready for a look that included sparkle, warmth and elegance.

“I let all of my girls choose their own dress with only two stipulations—it had to be a metallic color and floor length. I had the most beautiful wedding party, and all of those fabulous dresses came together perfectly. I had the best surprise bridal gifts formy girls, too,” she continued. “Because it was a winter wedding,I didn’t want them to be cold, so I gave them furs, which I think added a unique look.”

Melanie also had a mink stole, but hers was a sentimental accessory—it was made by her late grandfather years ago for her mother. She wore it over her halter neck fit-and-flare gown with a low back and accessorized with rose gold Betsey Johnson shoes that had “something blue” soles.

Melanie arrived at Cannon Green for her first look with Herman, who was waiting in the courtyard in a custom-made navy suit with a purple tie, and a winter inspired boutonniere. It was a pinecone accented with berries and greenery, all wrapped in gold ribbon. He wiped his eyes in an emotional moment when he saw his bride, andthe two had some pictures taken against the courtyard’s living plant wall and portico backdrops. The lush, southern setting further showed off Melanie’s bouquet, which was accented with white anemones, red garden roses, berries and greenery.

The group moved inside to Cannon Green’s Trolley Room for the ceremony. The space, featuring a vaulted ceiling and original exposed trusses, offered a neutral palette to bring the winter wonderland inside.

Melanie walked down the aisle with her gorgeous cathedral-length veil with lace appliques trailing behind her. Even though Melanie had already seen Herman, that walk down the aisle was a special moment for her.

“I look up and see Herman, and he’s wiping his eyes, and I just melted,” she said. “Looking at him looking at me the way he was—there is nothing like it in the world.”

Herman stood in front of wooden plantation shutters decorated with vertical strands of lights. Greenery hung from the tresses above, and hurricane vases were arranged at their feet, creating an intimate andelegant focal point for the ceremony.

The couple designed the ceremony themselves, including both family and symbolism. Melanie’s uncle officiated, and their young cousins performed the readings. Their sand ceremony featured “Mrs.” and “Mr.” carafes filled with gold and silver sand, which they poured into a monogrammed glass container to signify their family bond. A gold and glass jewelry container held the rings, which rested on pinecones and red fabric.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds got some more pictures while guests settled in for the reception. There they were greeted with handcrafted details, including a white birdcage card holder that Melanie’s aunt customized with flowers, greenery and jewels; a guest book where guests could take and mount Polaroid pictures and write a personal message; and a seating chart handwritten by Melanie’s mother in metallic pen onto a large mirror.

The round tables were draped with ivory linens and decorated with centerpieces of silver floral vases and gold candle votives. A signature centerpiece featured a tall vase filled with gold pinecones and branches. Hanging from the branches were glass terrarium ornaments filled with greenery and gold beads. The menus at each place setting were white card stock accented with the Chinese double-knot border in gold.

Throughout the reception Melanie and Herman honored Chinese traditions, including a tea ceremony where the couple shared tea with and received red and gold envelopes from their elders, symbolizing respect for the family.

The families’ union also was represented on red macarons, decorated with Herman’s last name in gold in both English and Chinese. The gold-rimmed pedestal stands of macarons were part of the dessert table, which was decorated with assorted hurricane vases, Melanie’s wedding bouquet, and red and gold Chinese displays. Their three-tier white wedding cakewas the centerpiece, decorated with gold flowers and greenery, accented with the symbolic double knot and topped with Chinese dolls representing the couple.

The night ended with dancing and a festive confetti send-off.

We wish the couple much love, luck and happiness!

Looking for the ideal venue for any (or all) of your Charleston wedding events? Contact Cannon Green by clicking HERE!

Creative Team

Cannon Green

Maddison Row South

ABCD Cakes

Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Makeup

Darby Events

Pretty Petals of Charleston

Rentals & Decor
Lowcountry Entertainment

Paper Goods + Calligraphy

Andrew Cebulka

Fabulous Fete

Patrick Black

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