An Autumn Wedding at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, with Vibrant Tropical Blooms
LaToya and Elliott, "wanted a wedding worthy of an oil painting's depiction; one that is timeless and worth reveling for generations to come. From this thought, everything else was born." LaToya shares how she's "always wanted a fall wedding, thanks to it being my favorite season. Fall is the perfect mixture of everything; functionally warm yet cute fashion, perfect weather, beautiful leaves changing color, boiled peanuts, delicious soups, and bonfires. We wanted the wedding to represent what we are as people: classic, elegant, whimsical, Southern, and proud of our Black culture. The color palette was meant to reflect the spectrum of color seen in fall leaves. Our wedding hashtag was 'Do the Genwright thing,' which is a nod to Spike Lee's movie classic, "Do the right thing" and our last name. We wanted to pay homage to Black culture because we are unapologetically Black. Before I knew what my wedding dress would be, I knew the pose and the main prop for the engagement photos; the pose was one from the 19th century where the man is seated as a king next to a powerfully standing woman and the prop is the Huey P. Newton peacock chair. Both exude deep Black history, which speaks volumes to the backdrop of our wedding location of Charleston, South Carolina, the heart of the Transatlantic slave trade. We made it a point to attempt to utilize a mostly Black vendor list in order to show our love for our culture beyond just our words," LaToya shares.
To bring their wedding vision to life, the couple stuck with decor that was "simple yet elegant. In real life, I'm a minimalist of sorts. I wanted the ceremony and reception to be classically decorated while leaving space for the memories to fill the space. We used a floral circular arbor and white garden chairs for the ceremony. Guests were welcomed by a custom-designed wooden display showing our names interconnected via a heart. 2 large floral arrangements marked the aisle's perimeter. I designed the ceremony program, reception gobo monogram illuminated on the wall, and the reception menu program," LaToya says. As for the wedding's floral arrangements, those also played a key role in the couple's fall-inspired aesthetic being realized. "My florals were a combination of warm, fall, seasonal flowers. I literally had to search Google to determine what I liked because I never paid much attention to those types of things. The types allowed the theme to flow throughout the ceremony and reception. Dahlias, calla lilies, hydrangea, and tulips were some of the flowers utilized," LaToya says.
Beyond planning a beautiful day, LaToya and Elliott ensured their wedding celebration was packed with meaningful, personalized details. "Every part of the day had hints of what we value as a couple. I wanted our wedding to reflect us and also reflect the culture of Charleston. My mother and I were whisked through downtown Charleston via a beautiful white horse-drawn carriage prior to our grand entrance to walk down the aisle. We had a cello and violin duo playing wedding classics along with some Stevie Wonder to welcome our guests. Our outdoor cocktail hour was laced with Southern culture. We had seafood gumbo shooters, boiled peanuts, and bang bang shrimp while shrimp and grits awaited us inside. Our signature drinks were our go to’s: blueberry lemon drop and Angry orchard with Fireball. Our reception entrance presented the opportunity for photos in front of a greenery wall and our peacock chair. There was also a remembrance table for my Daddy and Granny. Our reception was full of surprise performances that entertained all (described in a later question). Guests were met at their seats with a Palmetto rose, which is a palmetto leaf handcrafted into the shape of roses. They were made via the Charleston Recreation Association that connects customers with kids, providing them the proceeds and business training. The roses served as wedding favors and were a hit! The reception also had a photo booth and crepe station for those with a sweet tooth. Our wedding day was one to remember!"