Kathryn and Mark’s wedding was inspired by roots and wood grain, a metaphor for putting roots down: the strength and malleability of wood and the importance of building something with a strong foundation together. The couple illustrated the theme in creative and meaningful ways, from the wooden invitations by Spilled Ink Press to wooden tables and barnwood planter boxes handmade by the groom’s father and laser-cut place cards for each guest. The wide-plank floors and floor to ceiling windows of The Chapel at Montage Palmetto Bluff needed no decoration, but Kathryn and Mark and Spencer Special Events left not a detail uncovered in the spectacular tented reception. Em Creative Floral created chandeliers dripping with greenery and centerpieces of lush, snowy white blooms provided a gorgeous soft contrast to the wooden and metallic elements featured throughout. Their wedding day is full to the brim with special moments and it is beautifully captured by Jennings King Photography!
What is your proposal story?
We were dating for almost 2 years when Mark popped the question in July 2016. We went out to dinner at the same restaurant as our first date. He proposed on Chicago’s Riverwalk, and he arranged to have our parents to be at a location across the river so they could secretly watch the proposal. Some friends then joined the celebration as well!
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
For wedding planning, we would advise couples to embrace the destination, and consider the details. Palmetto Bluff is such a special place to us (and a hidden gem!), and there is a magic to the breeze that blows through the old oak trees. We hoped that our guests would feel that as well, and we wanted to highlight as much as we could about the location. For example, although fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits are not traditional wedding food, we wanted our guests to experience delicious local fare. Select somewhere that means something to you as a couple, and figure out ways to showcase that meaning to your guests. For all of those wedding details: Before the actual event, we walked through the event so many times in our guests’ shoes, and we wanted to make sure every touchpoint at the wedding was personalized by us. At every point in the weekend, we wanted our guests to feel the gratitude and love that we have for them, and understand their impact on bringing us to that special day. For marriage, we would advise couples to embrace the journey, and consider the details. We are enjoying every day of this adventure of our new lives together, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds. In terms of considering the details, leave sweet notes for each other in the morning, buy him his favorite ice cream at the grocery store, and make her belly laugh every single day. We know these little details will create our lives together, and we cherish the importance of these moments.
Did you include any handmade or personal details?
We wanted our guests to feel welcomed and loved, and to have a good picture of our style as a couple. Kathryn gave the ladies monogrammed cardigans to wear as they all got ready together, and Mark gifted the men with palmetto polo shirts to commemorate the weekend. Favorite flowers of family members unable to join that day except in spirit were positioned in the parents’ houses. Several elements were meaningful to the couple: Kathryn and her Dad walked down the aisle to the University of Notre Dame’s Alma Mater, and later in the night, a photo was taken of the Notre Dame graduates at the wedding with a flag that the bride had custom-made as a gift to her Dad. As a wedding favor, guests received a mason jar of the bride’s Mom’s famous spiced pecans, a treat that usually only appears around the holidays! The bride’s Mom wore earrings that the bride had custom-made. A dessert truck served sweet Southern favorites like red velvet and peach cobbler, in individual mason jars. The bride and groom sipped champagne from engraved Waterford flutes that they picked up on a trip to Ireland. The welcome bags that greeted guests when they arrived for the weekend included favorite snacks (gummy bears and Cheetos) and a customized watercolor map of the location.
For the cocktail reception, ruffled white umbrellas dotted the lawn overlooking the river, while the string trio played a medley of songs. Crisp white linens on the tables helped elevate the bright green kale roses on each table. Wooden signs that the bride and groom had made were scattered throughout, and will hang in the couple’s home after the wedding. Guests sipped on specialty cocktails, including the groom’s favorite “Peaches and Bourbon”, and a custom port cocktail, named by the “Best Lady”, the bride’s sister, at a family event earlier in the week. For the reception, guests made their way into the sailcloth tent, topped with flags in the bride’s favorite color: kelly green. Scrolls atop champagne flutes featured the guests’ table assignments. Several tablescapes were created within the tent. Farmhouse tables with sequined runners were used for the head table and bridal party tables. Other tables had either sequined, lace or textured tablecloths in shades of blush and ivory. Many of the tables featured barnwood planter boxes that the groom’s father handmade, which will be used in the couple’s home. Other elements on the table besides floral included massive amount of candlelight, and pops of copper everywhere. Laser-cut wooden names were included at each guest’s place setting.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
One of the most anticipated moments of the wedding day was the firing of confetti cannons by Kathryn and Mark’s parents during the last song. While all our friends and family were dancing to “Shut Up and Dance”, our parents assembled into position on the stage. On the band’s cue, our parents released a blizzard of confetti over the dance floor, glittering as it snowed down. Cheers erupted from our guests as the confetti fluttered around them and the final song came to an end. We will never forget the delight on our parents’ faces as they stood on stage in that moment. Another one of our favorite moments was doing our first look on the dock next to the May River Chapel. We were excited about the idea of Kathryn walking down the long wooden dock to Mark, who was waiting at the end, overlooking the May River. On the day, the wind was pushing powerfully off the water. This created some challenges for us, but also resulted in some of our favorite photographs. Mark’s excitement and surprise overwhelmed him as Kathryn tapped his right shoulder, knowing that 180 degrees separated him from seeing his bride for the first time. Allow yourselves to be in that moment without expectation; nothing can prepare you for the first look at your beautiful bride better than that.