An Elegant, Natural Wedding at Lowndes Grove Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina

Cat Goyeneche (32 and a psychologist) and Steve Marks (33 and a real estate managing broker) head south for their spring wedding, gathering their family members and friends in the quaint, historic city of Charleston, South Carolina. The location held a special place in the hearts of the Chicago-based couple, since Cat attended graduate school there and Steve spent many vacations there with his family growing up. Lowndes Grove Plantation had a quintessentially Charleston feel, with its elegant 1786 architecture, waterfront location and acres of majestic oak trees, which instantly won over the pair. The couple took an unexpected approach to the decor, decorating the reception tent overlooking the calm waters of the Ashley River with a minimalist, organic aesthetic in mind. Glass orbs filled with moss and succulents lined the ceremony aisle, while bell jar terrariums added an unexpected yet natural touch to the reception tables. Votive candles in textured jars illuminated the reception tent, giving the space a warm, inviting ambiance. The focal point of the room was a chandelier created by Cat and her family, made from 1,000 paper cranes and cascades of green amaranthus. The one-of-a-kind piece served as a traditional symbol of love, and infused the decor with undeniable personality. Other touches that give the day a personal dimension were the Southern-meets-Asian-fusion menu and a heartfelt blessing during the ceremony that involved all the couple’s family members and friends. “The ceremony was especially important,” Cat says, “and near the end, all friends and family members gathered, holding hands or touching shoulders to form a circle and connect with us.” Live music was another standout detail, with Cat and Steve bringing in two groups to play throughout the evening. A tip from Cat and Steve: “The only advice we have is to be very present on the day-of to enjoy each moment. All the planning and preparation, and any worries you may have beforehand, no longer matter. Be present in the moment, take it all in, and enjoy yourself. The time will pass quickly.”