Jules and Nick both hail from the South, and both have ties to Charleston, so a destination wedding in the Lowcountry was an easy choice! They selected Lowndes Grove Plantation, as Jules had always dreamed of getting married outside under the trees. The location, lined with oak trees right on the Ashley River, could not have been more perfect. Their vision of a romantic, Gatsby-inspired soiree was brought to life working with Mac and B. Events. They selected a color palette of champagne, ivory, and gold. Tables were adorned with ample florals by Branch Design Studio, in soft metallic vases, adding a bit of shimmer to the clean white tents. Glimmering chandeliers wrapped in greenery completed the scene and the result is exquisite! This sunset stunner from Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay is one for the ages!
In their own words
How did you meet?
Julia (“Jules”) moved to San Francisco in March of 2013, ready for a change of scenery after spending her university days in snowy Beantown followed by six years in the Big Apple. As fate would have it, Nick also chose San Francisco for his destination city and moved the following year, ready for West Coast adventure after 25 years in Louisiana. With the old-school dating scene gone the way of the dodo, both decided to try their luck online. OkCupid would be the platform of choice, a virtual vehicle that would soon show itself to be way more than just “OK” by them. Nick wrote to Jules, and on February 4th, 2015, precipitously close to Valentine’s Day, they met up for their first date at “Brass Tacks” in Hayes Valley, Julia’s old neighborhood famous for the “Painted Ladies” Full House exterior. Nick walked her home and immediately planned their next date. From that day on, they were inseparable. Little did they know that just a year later, they’d be planning for their own full house, complete with Jake and Turtle (the cats) and Nash (the foxy dog).
What is your proposal story?
With their one year anniversary quickly approaching, Nick decided he needed to come up with the perfect proposal; he wanted to make February 4th a day to remember, so he knew he needed a plan of action. He commissioned an artist to make a portrait of their family. Nick, Julia, and their pets were the main image, with “The Joslyns” written underneath them. Adding to the suspense, “The Joslyns” was covered up with “remove me” written on a piece of paper taped to the picture. Julia removed the paper and saw the full family portrait. Realizing what this meant, she looked up–and found Nick on one knee. One year to the day after that first “Brass Tacks” date, having already asked Julia’s father and mother for their blessing, Nick popped the question. Spoiler alert: Jules said yes.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We knew we wanted our ceremony to feel very intimate. We had the ceremony officiated by our dear friend and talented actress, Zuzanna Szadkowski. It felt incredibly personal and hilarious, all at the same time. It really represented who we are as a couple and we feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so much love and warmth from our family and friends. With 124 guests, the size felt just right. The ceremony was 20 minutes long, and left us feeling overjoyed and ready to dance the night away! Music is really important to both of us and we knew we wanted a live band. I loved how they could read the crowd and keep the energy up, they made sure everyone was on their feet and having a grand time!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
I wrote Nick a song early on in our relationship about the night we met and what I hoped might be in store for us. I had the band secretly learn the song months before the big day, and arranged for them to perform it for us at the wedding reception. My anniversary and wedding present to my new husband. Surprising him with that song was incredible. We both feel that our first look was one of our favorite moments of our lives. Standing by the dock, we had handwritten notes to each other which we read while I was facing Nick’s back. I then told Nick he could turn around, and the look on his face is one I will never forget. With so much build up to the wedding, that special time with just us right before we went to our ceremony is one I will treasure forever. After the ceremony, we snuck away for a few sunset photos. It was incredibly special to have a little time alone to capture those first moments as husband and wife before heading in to greet our guests and get the dancing started!
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
We framed pictures of our parents and grandparents at their own weddings, as well as a few of loved ones who are no longer with us. We had those pictures placed throughout the main house. It felt so comforting seeing their faces and special memories as we started our new life together and made our own. I have one grandmother that is no longer with us and one that was not physically able to attend. Both grandmothers had broaches that were special to them. I had broaches from each grandmother attached to my bouquet and my sister’s bouquets. It was my way of feeling like they were with me walking down aisle.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Enlist the help of family and friends, and if you’re able to – hire a planner! First looks are incredibly special, and also happen to be a huge time saver. They provide a great opportunity to get a lot of family photos taken care of before the wedding so you have more time after the ceremony to enjoy your guests! My mother-in-law gifted me with the biggest and best bridal emergency bag. It had everything a bride could possibly need and it certainly came in handy throughout the entire day! My brother-in-law gave us some fantastic advice. He told us to be sure, when standing with your partner and officiant at the ceremony, to look around at all of your guests. Sure enough, all of their faces were all beaming with love and happiness. The day goes so quickly and it is important in all of that, to look around and take it all in. Nick and I feel so blessed to have been surrounded by so much love and support. A successful wedding is one where you are married at the end of it! Don’t let the details get too overwhelming. At the end of the day, this is about you and your partner and sharing your love with those who you each hold dear.
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- Zuzanna Szadkowski