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Tropical Vibes

Abby + Greg | May 12, 2019

Southern tropical wedding with navy tones, gold accents and vibrant florals at the Historic Rice Mill in downtown Charleston, South Carolina 

Around the age of ten, Abby met her cousin’s best friend, a boy named Greg who was always hanging out when her family had gatherings. They didn’t see each other for about ten years, when they suddenly ran into each other again at her cousin’s house for his graduation party.

“At the time, Greg was working as an EMT and I was working as a CNA prior to entering my physician assistant’s program,” said Abby. “We both worked night shifts so we definitely had things in common as well as were awake at the same time!”

Most of their relationship was long distance, as Greg was going through pilot training for the Air Force and was traveling across several states. At the same time, Abby was finishing PA school in St. Louis, their hometown, and both eventually ended up in Charleston. One day, Greg decided they should spend the day going to the farmers’ market, followed by Angel Oak on Johns Island.

“Now, most who know me, know I love beautiful trees, whether in person or in a photograph,” said Abby. “However, usually we only visit Angel Oak if family/friends are in town, so I had my suspicions.”

After viewing the colorful array of Southern model homes, Greg suggested they get a photo in front of the beautiful oak tree. As they were standing next to each other and a stranger took their photo, Greg began to get down on one.

“I could feel Greg's heart racing and eventually he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!” said Abby.

On a blissful spring day in downtown Charleston, unparalleled sunset views and a waterfront historic venue set the tone for a Southern, tropical wedding day. The space’s classic exposed brick, plank wood floors and large double windows, paired with vibrant florals and gold elements, created a whimsical atmosphere for the couple to say “I do.”

“Most of our family and friends had not ever been to Charleston and in May, everything is blooming,” said Abby. “It’s warm, and you just feel like celebrating!”

Inside the bridal suite, the hair and makeup teams got Abby and her bridesmaids ready for the much-anticipated day. In navy blue, high-low halter gowns, the bridesmaids waited eagerly to see Abby step out in her wedding look.

She looked exquisite in an ivory, princess cut gown with a full lace bodice and a strapless sweetheart neckline. The tulle skirt was especially captivating, featuring multiple ruffled tiers with satin trim and a thin embellished belt. Her hair was twisted back into a low bun, and she added statement silver earrings and a matching cuff, with a pair of metallic strappy heels boasting crystal applique.

Greg and his groomsmen looked dapper in two piece gray suits, with white button-down shirts and seersucker mint green ties. The best detail of the entire ensemble was the pineapple boutonniere that Greg wore, which let him stand out from his groomsmen who wore classic boutonnieres made from sprigs of fern and peach-colored rose buds.

“My favorite moment of the day/night would have to be right when Greg turned around to see me for our first look,” said Abby. “He just looked so happy and teared up at the sight of me in my was a great way to start our day and I could not stop smiling the rest of the day!”

Following their first look, Abby and Greg snuck away with Dana of Dana Cubbage Weddings so that they could capture a few intimate moments in the most mesmerizing settings. They posed in front of romantic blush pink stucco walls and on enchanting cobblestone streets overgrown with lush live oaks blanketed in Spanish moss.

The historic ceremony and reception space was right by the river, offering breathtaking waterfront views and classic design elements including exposed brick, wide plank wood floors, large double windows and pressed tin ceilings. There were gold Chiavari chairs set for the guests, and potted tropical plants in each corner including cabbage palms and monstera leaves.

Once everyone was seated, Abby laced her arm through her father’s, and gracefully walked down the aisle toward Greg. She looked absolutely radiant with her cathedral-length veil and bridal bouquet in hand, a handpicked selection of blush, rose and peach garden roses, peonies and tulips, with delicate sprigs of baby’s breath.

After a sentimental, traditional ceremony and exchanging of “I do’s,” Abby and Greg slipped away while the space was being transformed for the afterparty. They posed for picturesque shots on a dock in front of a charming sailboat, pausing to soak in the views and each other’s love. 

“My favorite moment was after the wedding ceremony and during the reception,” said Greg. “It was nice after all of the anticipation to just sit outside and have a few beers while sliding between conversations and actually getting to talk to all of our friends and family that went so far out of their way to make it to our special day.”

When guests entered the space, they were first greeted by a statement floral arrangement that matched the tropical theme with pampas grass, monstera leaves, cabbage palms, Lily of the Valley buds, bamboo shoots and baby pink anthurium. Inside, there were round tables with ivory linens, floral centerpieces, glass candle votives, single bud arrangements and gold geometric lanterns.

Abby and Greg arrived hand-in-hand soon after, and made their way straight to the dance floor for their first dance. Since the wedding landed on Mother’s Day, they had all the mothers and sons join in for the Mother/Groom dance which created a really meaningful moment. When it was time for the Father/Daughter dance, the moment marked another favorite memory for Abby.

“He picked our song - ‘It’s a wonderful world’ by Louis Armstrong and there are definitely some ugly crying pictures involved but it was an amazing moment that I could have with him,” said Abby.

After emotional first dances, guests made their way to the stunning mahogany and marble bar, where they sipped on bubbly and cocktails. There were three separate stations for their guests to indulge in some delicious and traditional Southern bites, including a Lowcountry Boil, a carving station with assorted meat and vegetables, and a highly popular build-your-own mac & cheese station.

“Anyone who knows Greg knows that he loves mac & cheese,” said Abby, “and honestly, it was the biggest hit of the whole wedding...everyone loved it and lined up for seconds!”

For their wedding cake, they went with a single-tiered, simple buttercream marble cake with ribbed frosting and decadent chocolate ganache filling. On top, there were a few floating flower buds and a gold, glittery laser cut topper that read, “finally”.

Rather than spending money on wedding favors, Abby and Greg decided to donate the money they would have spent to a local rescue organization - the same group they adopted their sweet Labrador retriever from a few years prior.

“Since she wasn’t able to be present for the wedding, we felt the pictures would do her justice,” said Abby. “And how could you not smile at her smiling face!”

They celebrated and partied the night away with their closest friends and families, in the luminous glow of rainbow glow sticks and full hearts on the dance floor.

We wish the new Mr. and Mrs. a lifetime of happiness!

Searching for the wedding venue you’ve always dreamt of? Check out our list of vetted vendors HERE!

Creative Team

Dana Cubbage

Sweet Grass Social

Historic Rice Mill

Gown Boutique of Charleston
Badgley Mischka
David's Bridal
Men's Wearhouse


Lashes and Lace Bridal Hair and Makeup

Jay Maxwell’s Music by Request

Juniper and Jasmine

Good Food Catering

Rentals & Decor
Eventworks Rentals
Duvall Events

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