A Sophisticated Southern Wedding at Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina
From across a semi-crowded restaurant, Shalini Hanoman (33 and in leveraged finance sales) first laid eyes on Elbert (Joe) Campbell (39 and a director of catalyst research) during a late summer brunch. Although sparks were in the air, nobody made the first move so Shalini's friend went back in after they paid and slipped Shalini's business card to Joe. The restaurant where they first met quickly became an inside joke throughout their relationship because it happened to be both of their least favorite spots. It was later replaced by a new restaurant, which opened it's doors around Shalini's birthday, so Joe surprised her with a romantic night out where they first met. "Shalini admits that she was being a brat that evening and insisted on opening up her birthday present prior to dinner being served," says Joe. "So I got down on one knee as right as she pulled out the ring from her gift bag and she immediately put the ring on her finger—causing me to have to pull it back off of her hand and present the ring while asking her to marry me!" The couple enjoyed the first two months of their engagement without planning before getting started on making arrangements for their dream affair at Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. Shalini and Joseph exchanged vows in on plantation's lawn, with the antebellum style home serving as their backdrop, before inviting guests to celebrate with a refined navy, gold and blush affair. "We wanted our decor to be classic, elegant and timeless, but still feel modern and relevant with just a touch of bling," says Shalini. The sophisticated color palette was carried through from the paper goods and attire to the bouquets and tablescapes. Long rectangular tables were covered with navy blue linen and each place was set with a gold charger, gold-rimmed white dinner plate, navy hemstitch napkin topped with a custom menu. Small crystal vases filled with soft blush arrangements ran down the elegant tablescape alternating with gold filigree votives and glass pillars with floating candles. Shalini and Joseph visited 15 venues in four days before finding their venue. "As soon as we pulled up, I knew there was something special about Lowndes Grove," says Shalini. "From the house, the water, the trees —just the overall ambience—it was the spot!"