Emily + Christopher | Aug 4, 2018
Elegant and glamorous wedding with black and gold accents at the Westin Poinsett Hotel in Greenville, South Carolina
Emily and Christopher’s love story started on New Year’s Eve, when they met by complete accident through mutual friends. She invited Christopher to go out to dinner with her and her friends later that night, where she got to see her most favorite side of her future groom—his sense of humor.
“He has been making me laugh since that night,” said Emily.
After spending the next four years in a long-distance relationship, they came full circle on yet another New Year’s Eve. Emily found herself in the same location as their first date, with the man of her dreams down on one knee asking her to be his wife.
“I look back on this moment and every moment that led up to that point, and I could not be more convinced that he was chosen for me and I was chosen for him,” said Emily. “Our story will always be my favorite love story.”
On a summer day in upstate South Carolina, cloudless blue skies and warm sunshine created the most joyful setting for this couple’s wedding day. It was an elegant affair brought to life by all the glamorous details: high ceilings, a long aisle, a huge wedding party, black and gold accents and muted florals for a soft finishing touch.
“Our wedding was meant to feel like a big party, and we wanted to bring a little glamour to Greenville for all of our friends and family,” said Emily. “The inspiration behind our day was our personalities ... Christopher and I both have BIG personalities and we wanted our day to match that.”
Emily and her bridal party spent the day lounging and getting their hair and makeup ready in the most gorgeous bridal suite, decorated with multicolored oriental rugs and crystal chandeliers. For the bridesmaids’ dresses, Emily chose an aesthetic that was a mix of traditional chiffon and sequins, while staying within a neutral/gold color palette.
“This allowed each lady to choose a dress that they felt like their best and most beautiful self in,” said Emily. “My ladies were a diverse group and I am so proud to say that every body type was on display in the most beautiful way!”
When Emily revealed her bridal look, her party was speechless at how stunning she looked in a traditional yet modern, sleeveless ivory gown. It had crystal and opal embellished straps, a plunging neckline and a full tulle skirt with a delicate handkerchief hemline. She completed her ensemble in cobalt blue flat sandals, handmade in Bali which were the perfect punch of color.
“I could not have pictured a better gown for me on that day,” Emily said.
Christopher wore a classic black suit with a crisp white button down and black bow tie. For a personalized touch, he gifted each of his groomsmen a handpicked, funky pair of socks that were indicative of each of their individual personalities.
“Emily and Christopher went to great lengths to make sure that their day was completely personal to them,” said the photographer. “There were so many details that were really just very them.”
For Emily, one of the most special moments of her entire day was the first look she had with her parents. Having them lay eyes on her for the first time as a bride - in her dress, jewelry and veil - was a surreal and heartfelt moment of pure togetherness for the entire family.
“This was a moment that Emily pondered over leading up to the wedding day and it was everything she could have hoped for,” said the photographer. “As a bride, there is no better feeling than seeing the admiration and love in your parents' eyes on your wedding day.”
The floral design on display at the ceremony venue was absolutely breathtaking. It was traditional with a modern twist, incorporating texture and asymmetrical elements into the boutonnieres, bouquets and overall decor. In the mix there were sprigs of fresh myrtle and eucalyptus, other sprays of lush greenery, cream roses, hydrangeas, daisies and amaryllis.
Since the ceremony space was a traditional chapel, the floral design was kept very simple and classy. Inside the charming structure, bundles of greenery were affixed to the ends of pews with ivory satin ribbon. On the front doors, there were wreaths full of eucalyptus, featuring the couple’s monogram - creating the sweetest introduction for their guests.
Leading up to the wedding day, Emily and Christopher each wrote letters that they both read prior to the ceremony. Once it was finally time for Emily to walk through the doors and down the aisle of the chapel, she was absolutely beaming with happiness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room—from the bride, to the groom, to their friends and families.
“The emotions that both of them had over the words they had written to one another was the sweetest,” said the photographer. “I knew that if emotions were flowing during card reading, that when they saw each other in the chapel for the first time the emotions would really be going!”
After sharing communion and scripture readings, it was time for the bride and groom to read the vows that they wrote to one another. They stole glances and smiles throughout the entire ceremony, and topped it off by sharing the sweetest first kiss. It was also incredibly special for Emily to have her brother standing behind her, sharing that moment with her.
“That moment of having my brother standing right behind me as I married my best friend was surreal,” said Emily. “My brother has always had my back, so it felt so incredibly right for him to have my back on the biggest day of my life.”
Following a memorable ceremony, the newlyweds and their wedding party posed for photos in the most beautiful grounds, and also in front of an enchanting building with historic columns. The photographer captured the group in the most radiant natural light, bringing out the glow of pure happiness in each of their faces.
Inside the ballroom, the space had been transformed to create the wedding reception of their dreams. They used traditional elements and really elevated them for a modern, glamorous feel. Floor to ceiling drapery, luxurious lounge areas, crystal chandeliers and an abundance of flowers that tied the decor together in the most elegant way.
“With such a large space and with several different types of spaces within a space, the flowers really are what glued the elements of the reception together,” said Emily.
After their first dance and parent dances, their friends and families joined them on the dance floor where they kept the party going all night long! To the side, they had a photo booth with a gold, “mermaid" sequined backdrop, and their hand-drawn monogram lit up overhead for a sweet, Southern personal touch.
“We were able to place our personal monogram on a lot of elements that helped weave throughout the day,” said Emily. “This was meant to symbolize Christopher and I becoming one and celebrating that essential fact throughout the whole day.”
The reception tables were adorned in crisp white linens and topped with greenery garland runners, votive candles and statement centerpiece arrangements in geometric bases. At each place setting they had gold-rimmed glassware, gold-rimmed black chargers, white scalloped-rim dinner plates, black flatware and white hemstitched, monogrammed linen napkins.
“Their reception was as elegant and as magical as they are,” said the photographer, “from the wall draping and elegant flow of the different spaces to the amazingly breathtaking flowers that covered the tables.”
Several different lounge areas were set with luxurious white furniture, tufted ottomans, glass accent tables and sequined pillows. On a glamorous black and gold sequined tablecloth, their elegant wedding cake was on an antique gold display. With four tiers, white buttercream frosting and gold trim, floral garnishes, a tiny Clemson tiger and a gold monogrammed cake topper, it was absolutely to die for.
“I like to think the whole day was personalized to us,” said Emily. “We handpicked every single aspect of the day, and with the help of our A team, we were able to create something that I had never seen at other weddings but while also creating a day that was so specifically tailor-made for us.”
They continued the personal touches by having their college mascot, the Clemson Tiger, and Howard's Rock—a special tradition where the Clemson football team touches the rock for good luck before they run out for every home game. It was such a knockout surprise and the most exciting way to end a day full of unconditional love and happiness!
“Emily and Christopher truly are the cutest couple you will ever see,” said the photographer. “Their love for each other radiates and you can truly tell they were meant for each other.”
If Emily had one piece of advice for soon-to-be newlyweds, it would be to stay present, and to remember that the day is for you to tell the person you love more than anything that you will love them forever.
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.!
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Jos A Bank
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Paper Goods + Calligraphy
Gage’s on Augusta
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Professional Party Rentals Inc.
Premiere Party Entertainment
Kathy and Company
Bella Blooms Designs
Westin Poinsett Hotel
Furman University Campus
Upstate I Do
Kendra Martin Photography