Sweetly Southern Real Wedding


February 4, 2021
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Ashleigh Donahue Photography

Planning a destination wedding 100 percent from afar can bring about unique challenges, such as having to account for the time difference when making vendor calls or even having to book a venue site-unseen. However, there is no planning challenge quite like having to completely erase all plans just 30 days before the wedding date due to a global pandemic. This is the daunting task real couple Patrick and Abagail faced on their journey to the altar in the city of Columbia, South Carolina.

“We did not want to wait to begin our life together. We had been planning this day for 11 months and knew that even if it would have to be without our original guest list, it was time to celebrate our marriage,” the couple says.

Even though their plans changed drastically, a central part of Patrick and Abagail’s wedding wouldn’t be changing, come rain or shine: the location.

“Columbia was our home together for many years. It is where we met, where we fell in love and got engaged, and where we wanted to be married,” the bride says.

Before the pandemic, most of Patrick and Abagail’s loved ones – who live all across North America – expected to have to travel for the wedding and were more than willing to do so. That made it extra hard for the couple to break the news that they’d only be hosting their immediate relatives.

“Everyone was loving, supportive, and understanding,” the couple says. “The hardest part was telling our dearest friends, many of whom were originally in our wedding party, that health and safety took priority over gathering with them at that time.”

While the original reception venue fit the couple’s desires for their 250+ person wedding, when the guest list had to be dwindled down to just 13 attendees, they began the search for a more intimate space.

“1425 Inn turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Downsizing and hosting our family at the quaint and charming bed and breakfast in Columbia helped us navigate the stress of planning a safe and meaningful wedding amid a pandemic,” the couple says.

With the help of her mom, the bride took on purchasing and setting up the decor for the reception, now set to take place in The 1425 Inn. Having purchased hundreds of volitive candles and holders, faux greenery and gold picture frames to fill the original venue, they were left with more than enough decor to personalize the celebration space.

After thoroughly enjoying their intimate wedding in Columbia, Patrick and Abagail tell us that, in hindsight, the destination aspect of the wedding gave them the freedom to remove themselves a bit and not stress over the small details.

“Even if your wedding is COMPLETELY changed 30 days before your ceremony, enjoy the ride and know that it will be a magical day because it celebrates your love.”

Photographer: Ashleigh Donahue Photography; Ceremony Site: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church; Reception Site: The 1425 Inn; Florist: Blossom Shop Inc; Stationery: Minted; Hair: Murphi Kirchner; Makeup: Megan Savage Bride’s Gown & Bridesmaids’ Dress Designer: Cincinnati Bridal Boutique; Groom’s Clothing Designer: The Black Tux; Catering: Southern Way Catering 

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