Charming Southern Real WeddingWords by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Broad River Photography
Have you heard of the city of Anderson, South Carolina? We hadn’t until Lauren and Daniel’s wedding appeared in our submissions for real weddings. One look at their W-day photos and we were in love with this luscious locale bordering beautiful Lake Hartwell.
Funny enough, Lauren and Daniel weren’t originally intending on taking their wedding celebration out of their hometown. But this lovely southern city had other plans for the couple.
“During my venue search, I could not find anything locally that I fell in love with,” the bride says. “As I expanded my search, I found Huitt Farms. Within the first 5 minutes of visiting the location, I knew it had everything I dreamed of.”
Having fallen in love with a venue away from home, the couple embraced the fact that they’d be saying “yes” to a destination wedding. Just the idea of a long weekend away with their closest family and friends had Lauren and Daniel ecstatic. In fact, most guests felt the same way, taking off several days from work and renting AirBnbs on Lake Hartwell (which is only 5 minutes from the venue). To ensure a relaxing, vacation-type feel over their wedding weekend, the couple made it an adults-only event.
“We understood that this may mean some invited guests with children may not be able to attend,” the couple says. “Before sending our invitations, we had conversations with these friends/family members that we felt may be impacted by this decision. Most guests welcomed an adult weekend and were able to attend.”
Also in the spirit of being able to fully relax during their destination wedding, Lauren and Daniel decided to nix any DIY projects and instead hire local vendors recommended by their on-site coordinator (and part-owner in Huitt Farms), Anna Fairey.
“I went into the wedding planning thinking that I would be a DIY bride,” Lauren says, “then COVID-19 had other plans. I work in healthcare, and with the long work hours and limited availability, I made the decision to hire vendors for all our needs. This was the BEST decision I could have made, and it relieved so much stress.”
As the week of the wedding finally approached, Lauren and Daniel placed complete trust in their vendors and were able to fully enjoy their wedding away.
“We went down a few days early and actually had some downtime to enjoy an incredible weekend with family and friends on the lake,” the couple says. “We would not have had that relaxing time at home.”
After a year of wedding planning through a global pandemic (and working in healthcare), Lauren finally fulfilled her dreams, saying “I do” to Daniel under a grand Oak tree swaying in the southern wind.
In order to make your wedding dreams come true as well, the couple leaves you with this wise advice:
“Trust your vendors. They do this for a living, they rely on your business so do not hesitate to tell them what you are looking for, no matter how different or crazy it sounds. If you explain your vision and needs, they will assist you or find someone that can. When you are planning from a distance you have to find someone that you trust and give you dedicated time just like a local vendor should. Also, get married away from your home! Whether it is 3 hours away or 12 hours, you will not regret that “vacation vibe” it provides and who doesn’t love vacation?!”
Vendors: Photographer: Broad River Photography; Coordinator: Anna Fairey; Venue: Huitt Farms; Florist: Carolina Roses; Stationery: Westmoreland Printers; Cake: Angie Lysek; Hair & Makeup: Uptown Girls And A Guy Salon; Gown Designer: Justin Alexander; Groom & Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Calvin Klein; Bridesmaids Dresses: Kennedy Blue; Bridal Party Accommodations: The Lodge at Generostee Creek
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