A State-Inspired Destination Wedding at Lowndes Grove in Charleston, South Carolina
Jessica Smith (27 and a speech-language pathologist) first met William Allen (31 and a construction project manager) while out with friends in Raleigh, North Carolina, and was immediately taken with his Southern accent. "He told me that if he was going to take a girl from New York on a date, he had to hyphenate my first and middle names so I at least sounded Southern," says Jessica. "To this day he still calls me Jessica-Lynn!" After a surprise proposal at the base of a waterfall, Jessica and Will planned their summer nuptials at Lowndes Grove in Charleston. The couple exchanged vows under a canopy of live oaks overlooking the Ashley River, followed by a cocktail hour on the main house's balcony. Jessica and Will initially had a difficult time deciding where to have their wedding since they're from two different states. Instead of choosing between the two, they opted for a destination wedding that honored their home states of Virginia and New York. "Many aspects of our decor centered around the states that we hail from," says Jessica. "The pillows in our lounge area, custom cornhole boards and our sugar cookie favor all incorporated Virginia and New York!" Colorful mixed flowers popped against the navy and gray color palette, and succulent accents added a rustic flair. Instead of a plated dinner, the couple enhanced their laid-back atmosphere with food stations and treated out-of-town guests to local Southern fare. Will insisted on surprising Jessica with their first dance song and caught her completely off guard when a local country artist came out to serenade them. "I was so surprised when I heard the guitar start to play, and was immediately in tears when I heard him start the song 'Hey Pretty Girl' by Kip Moore," says Jessica. "It was the sweetest moment and something I will never forget!"