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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Customized Southern Wedding

Words by Taylor Wilson
Photos courtesy of Olivia Griffin

When Preston, from Virginia, and Jennifer, from California, moved to Greenville, South Carolina, they immediately decided Greenville would be the perfect location for their wedding. With the original intention of a wedding in San Francisco, Preston and Jennifer thought this would be the perfect way to show off their new hometown’s natural beauty.

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In an attempt to give friends and family a taste of what the “new south” has to offer, Preston and Jennifer chose Greenbrier Farms. This was the perfect venue for the couple, priding themselves in supporting local businesses and the use of sound agricultural practices. “All of the reception food was grown on the farm or very locally,” explains Jennifer.

The wedding itself was extremely personalized, given the financial perks of having a wedding in South Carolina as opposed to San Francisco. Jennifer used the blog Style Me Pretty to find local vendors like her photographer Olivia Griffin, as well as The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings and Etsy. She included many DIY projects from the stationery, to the “welcome” gift bags, filled with local products. The couple also incorporated a DIY photo booth with props, a candy bar, wedding favors and much more.

Guests came from all around the World, including places like Bali and Bahrain. None of the guests were closer than two hours by car, which enhanced the destination wedding experience. When asked about the guests’ reaction to the destination wedding, Jennifer explains, “They may have been surprised initially…but were supportive overall. It worked out because many guests said it was the best wedding they had ever attended!”

Had the wedding been held in California like originally planned, Jennifer believes it would have been harder to completely customize the event at a reasonable price. Also, because the event was held in a destination completely unknown to most guests, the wedding had a “unique vibe” it would not have had otherwise.

Jennifer says the key to a successful destination wedding is to have fun planning it and to relax as much as possible. With that, “Trust your gut and make decisions based on what you and your future husband enjoy so that it is a true reflection of your partnership and the ultimate celebration of your love and new life together.”

Vendors: Photographer: Olivia Griffin, Ceremony/Reception Site: Greenbrier Farms, Gown Designer: Paloma Blanca, Groom's Clothing Designer: Tommy Hilfiger, Birdesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Donna Morgan/Woolrich, Florist: Dahlia a Florist, Cake Designer: Kathy and Company, Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

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