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Destination I Do
Friday, September 26, 2014

A Chic Charleston Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Hyer Images

While Chicago couple Katie and Mike love living in the Windy City, they couldn’t see themselves hosting their wedding there. “…we both attended so many weddings here (which were all beautiful), [but] we wanted something a little more intimate and a place where our friends and family could all enjoy a weekend of good food, sightseeing and, of course, to celebrate,” says the couple. “The whole vibe of having everyone we cared about all together in a different city, creating memories was something we knew we wanted.”

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When it came to narrowing down their destination options, the number one factor was the travel logistics. “Charleston is only a 2-3 hour flight from Chicago/Midwest area, the city is close to the airport and there were tons of hotels,” recalls the bride. The couple made several trips to Charleston during their engagement to meet with their wedding planner, Pure Luxe Bride, and various vendors.

Unfortunately, while Katie and Mike were sold on the idea of saying “I do” in Charleston, not all of their friends and family originally jumped on the destination wedding band wagon. “In the beginning it [was] a little hard to sell our families on the idea,” says the bride. “Being the first daughter to get married in my family, the idea did seem taboo. We certainly didn’t want to put anyone out – so we made sure to get everyone information right away so they could plan their trip. My mom came with me to Charleston a few months before the wedding and she fell in love with the city immediately – that helped a lot.”

Now that all the major players were on board with the idea, the couple began planning their dream wedding away with the help of their wedding planning team at Pure Luxe Bride. “There were situations that sometimes made [planning from afar] a little more difficult – not having the option to see certain things at any given moment,” says the bride. “On the other hand, our vendors were very helpful with ideas, suggestions and most things that needed to be decided early on, which put my mind at ease. In the end, we knew we wanted an amazing venue, great music, amazing food and drinks, and tried not to stress about the little things.”

Come W-day the details came together beautifully as Katie and Mike exchanged vows at Lowndes Grove Plantation. The only hiccup was inclement weather which forced the couple to tent their ceremony rather than have it in the open-air. While this deviated from their original plan, the couple stayed positive and focused on the bigger picture – committing their lives to one another.

Katie has some wise words to share with other brides planning a destination wedding. “Enjoy just being engaged and try not to spend your entire engagement planning. Get the big things out of the way, don’t second-guess every detail, and when you start getting flustered, put it away and revisit it another day.”

Vendors: Photographer: Hyer Images, Wedding Planner: Pure Luxe Bride, Ceremony/Reception Site: Lowndes Grove Plantation, in Charleston, South Carolina, Florist: Branch Design Studio, Band: East Coast Party Band, Catering: Patrick Properties, Stationery: Ruby the Fox, Gown Designer: Ines Di Santo, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Nicholas Joseph, Bridesmaids’ Clothing Designer: Amsale

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