Brookgreen Gardens wedding with alligator boots, a classic car & outdoor reception

What was the inspiration behind your day?

Let’s be honest, Austin would have married me behind a gas station wearing a potato sack! haha… The inspiration behind our day came from my Mother In Law, Dianne. She suggested Brookgreen Gardens which was the perfect venue for us and fit well with our theme. The theme was a romantic, garden wedding.  I went for an elegant style with the beautiful chandlers in the tent and mauve / pink color palette. Austin incorporated his southern roots with a dance called the “SHAG”; My polish family surprised me during the cake cutting ceremony with a traditional polish song “STO LAT”  (One Hundred Years) which is a traditional Polish song that is sung to express good wishes, good health and long life to a person.

How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

Kelly Catron, Ashley, and her team at Gigi Noelle events took care of all the wedding decor for both the ceremony and reception. I loved the glass sign for seating arrangements that was hand painted. Cafe lighting over the brick patio was magical. The only DIY was the advice cards. We decorated an old mailbox.

What were the florals like in your wedding?

Florals were beautiful pink tones and lots of greenery. Brookgreen did not need much since nature was around us. However, I was sure to incorporate lots of greenery and long table arrangements. It was simple yet elegant.  My ultimate favorite was the gorgeous cascading floral arrangement hanging off the ceremony gates.

Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts?

Austin is running a family business, Wild West Bootstore, so we had to incorporate boots somehow. As a gift from one of the vendors, Corral Boots, they custom made Austins Alligator boots and my White Python boots with a beautiful silver overlay and swarovski crystals. It’s pretty wild to think that no one else will ever have those boots! My favorite part was walking into my wedding and just seeing it come to life. The event planner was amazing and made everything way easier. She made my wishes come true. The DJ was interactive, fun, and captured many moments.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?

Austin wore a slim fit navy suit. Cream colored shirt with an Ivory tie. Underneath his suit jacket, custom leather suspenders to match the cognac leather belt.  For shoes he wore custom made cognac alligator boots by Corral from Wild West Bootstore. I tried on a bunch of dresses and I just didn’t like how “stiff” they all felt; I originally thought i wanted a “sexy” dress. The dress I choose felt amazing, light, and I felt beautiful. It was all lace, a long beautiful train and ivory over ivory. I added a custom diamond / beaded belt for a touch of bling. It was elegant, romantic, and very girly. I got a matching veil that was long. I wanted big hair and pink lips / cheeks and shimmery eyes.

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We met at a target shooting range in Aynor, SC.  Austin is from South Carolina and I was on vacation. I am from Connecticut originally and wanted to visit my older sister who just moved to South Carolina with her husband.  Austin was very shy and quiet. I thought he was friend zoning me. Later that night, after target shooting, I made the bold move to text him out to dinner. We went to Bully’s Pub at barefoot landing. The next day, Austin met up with my sister and took a yoga class with us! At that point I knew he wanted to be more than friends. We kept in touch and dated long distance. Eventually, I decided to follow my heart and move to Sunny SC. Best Decision Yet. Austin proposed on a random Tuesday afternoon. He brought his stepdaughter, Kallie and myself on a kayaking adventure in Murrells Inlet. We parked our kayaks on goat island ( not allowed) and he asked me to marry him. It was such a surprise and the ring was (and still is) phenomenal. Later that evening we celebrated at The Claw House with champagne and seafood. Brookgreen Gardens was even more special since its proximity to Murrells Inlet.

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

Arriving in a 1972 White Cadillac Coupe Deville to be escorted down the aisle by my father.  Walking down the aisle to see Austin for the first time  that day was the most anticipated and memorable moment.

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

My wedding planning advice would be, if you have the financial means to hire a wedding planner, do it. We hired Kelly at Gigi Noelle events for partial wedding  planning services and we stayed under budget. Hiring a planner may help you save money as well. As a bride, speaking from experience, the stress we put on ourselves to be and do everything perfect is unrealistic. When you feel in the crazy control / perfectionism zone, try to be mindful and step back and remember what is most important, your love for one another. This day is going to be the most joyful day of your lives. Put your heart in the right place and enjoy the planning process.

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