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Destination I Do
Friday, October 16, 2020

Enchanted Charleston LGBTQ Wedding

Words by Katy Anderson
Photos courtesy of Danielle Harris Photography

Stephanie and her partner, Ashley, were vacationing in Charleston when they decided to go to the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a tour. The moment they arrived, Stephanie turned to Ashley and said, “This is it. This is the place we are getting married.”


The Spanish moss trees in Magnolia Gardens provide a whimsical, natural backdrop, and the grounds exude southern charm. Stephanie knew Charleston, South Carolina was perfect for her dream destination wedding the moment she saw it.

“I was totally and completely in love with it,” Stephanie says. “All of it.”

Stephanie and Ashley’s family were just as excited about the destination wedding as they were. With family coming in from six different states across the country, their guests would have to travel regardless. This allowed the pair to keep their options open, and choose the location that they truly wanted.

“Who wouldn’t want to take an extra vacation in the middle of June to Charleston? Not one person!” Stephanie says.

Luckily, travel went smoothly for the couple’s guests, and everyone did their own thing. Stephanie’s personal favorite travellers were Ashley’s family members. 

“They rented a massive van and all piled in together and drove down all at once from Ohio,” she says.

Stephanie and Ashley planned the wedding from afar with the help of Tara Steele, a wedding planner. Steele took care of coordinating with vendors and the venue, and Stephanie and Ashley were able to fly down for a four-day weekend to visit their planner and the place where they would say “I do.”

“It was such a fun time and a great way to solidify all the important details at once,” the pair says.

Although Stephanie and Ashley purchased most of their decorations, they did attempt one DIY project that added to the intimacy, romance and personalization of their wedding day. Ashley, who has an art degree, made a chalkboard sign specifically for her bride, who had seen the decoration online and wanted it. The sign said, “It was always you.” Stephanie loved how it turned out.

The rest of the decor and theme drew upon the natural beauty of the Magnolia gardens. With colorful bouquets of flowers in simple glass vases, elegant table linens, and string lights strung across the ceiling, Stephanie and Ashley’s wedding was nothing short of stunningly romantic. With charming beaches, shopping, historic sites, and beautiful scenery, it provided the perfect place for Stephanie and Ashley to get married. 

“There is something magical about Charlston,” the couple says.

Stephanie and Ashley tell us one of their main goals for their future together is to move to the very city they began their forever love story in!


Vendors: Photographer: Danielle Harris PhotographyWedding Planner: Tara Nicole Weddings and EventsCeremony/Reception Site: Magnolia Plantation and GardensFlorist: The Bearded FloristStationery: MintedCake: Ashley BakeryHair & Makeup: Paper DollsGown Designer: Pronovias Atelier from Marie Gabriel Couture Bridal; Bride's Suit Designer: Jin Lee Master TailorBridesmaids' Clothing Designer: Allure from Gretchen’s Bridal GalleryLighting: AV Connections Charleston; Rentals: Event Works RentalsCatering: B Gourmet Catering

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