A Pastel-Hued Destination Wedding at Merchants Hall in Charleston, South Carolina
To celebrate their love, Raleigh-natives Victoria and Taylor planned a destination wedding at Merchants Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, with a soft pastel color palette. From a wedding party sporting dreamy shades of green to tables decked out with blush linens, the whole day was an ethereal masterpiece any pastel-lover is sure to swoon over. Not only was the couple's wedding day visually stunning, but it was also packed with meaningful and personalized details—from Taylor starting the day with a 10K to a caricature artist at the reception for guests' enjoyment.
"Even though we had to move the wedding a full year due to COVID, we were so lucky and got to keep every vendor we had originally booked for the new date," says the couple. "We spent four years planning every tiny detail, which resulted in the most perfect day. We drew a lot of inspiration from Charleston itself. We wanted to reflect the traditional Southern style, but add modern elements that reflected who we are as a couple. We chose a pale peach and dusty sage color palette as a base, with elements of gold. We wanted the whole vibe of the wedding to be light and airy. We also subtly incorporated pineapples and palm trees throughout the invitation suite, decor, and bridesmaids' gifts to add a touch of Charleston as well. Since we had 12 total, we chose to keep the bridesmaids all in the same dress, a sage chiffon floor-length gown. We also had one bridesmaid who prefers pants over dresses, so we actually found her a sage green suit that perfectly matched the bridesmaid dresses. Our brothers were our Best Men. They, along with both our dads, wore matching grey tuxedos with sage green ties. The sage bridesmaid dresses and grey tuxes complemented each other well."
In terms of decor, the couple "wanted flowers used in as many elements as possible, and they were very important to the overall wedding style. Our ceremony had fairly simple decor, as the venue is so beautiful on its own. We had a greenery installation behind the altar with candles and greenery flanking each side. Our reception decor was so stunning. We had beautiful floral centerpieces on each table, with tall centerpieces down the center of the head table. The low styles featured a pineapple-shaped lantern, a nod to Charleston! We wanted to make sure the reception space was separate from the cocktail hour, even though it was the same room, so we had white drapery hung that was pulled back once the reception started. The cocktail tables had sage linens tied back with a greenery spray. We also had the MOST stunning floral arrangement on our cake table that made a ring around the cutting cake."
When it came to making their wedding at Merchants Hall in Charlestons, South Carolina, feel personalized the couple brought in nods to their alma mater, their families and even their shared favorite food. "We both attended East Carolina University (where we met) and there is a 'famous' restaurant right off campus called 'Sup Dogs.' It's a great hole-in-the-wall spot that is a favorite amongst the students. They have a signature drink called a 'Sup Crush,' which is served in a custom cup. We were able to get the cups from Sup Dogs and served Sup Crushes at the bar. It was such a fun nod to our days at ECU," recalls the couple. "Also at the bar during cocktail hour, we served 'Nuts and Bolts' which is a homemade snack mix that Victoria's family makes all the time. In addition to the photo booth, we also had a caricature artist, which was a big hit with the guests! We share the same favorite food, chicken alfredo, so that was one of the plated dinner options! In lieu of a big cake, we had a small cutting cake and then served various flavors of bundt cakes for the guests."
Looking back on the Southern wedding, Victoria notes that her favorite moment was one that nearly didn't happen. "We never really planned to have a first look, and actually, Taylor was pretty against it, but it ended up being my favorite part of the day," she says. "We decided to do the first look solely as a time-saving measure, based on the recommendation of our photographer. We got ready separately and had kept our dresses/hair/makeup plans a secret from one another. Taylor very rarely dresses up, whereas I am constantly in full hair and makeup, so I wanted to be the one to turn around and be surprised because I knew it would be a total shock. When they set me up and went to get Taylor, I was in a puddle of tears before she was even on-site. I was so excited to finally see her and for the day to finally be here. It was the most special moment, and I will always remember it."
Meanwhile, one of Taylor's favorite moments happened even earlier in the day when she decided to run a full 10K race prior to the wedding. "I had a few favorite parts of the day," recalls Taylor. "The first is kind of unrelated to the wedding, but I am an avid runner, and it just so happens the day of the wedding was the Cooper River Bridge Run, a famous 10K race that takes place every year. I've always wanted to participate, and since we were already going to be in town, I knew I couldn't pass it up! So I started the morning of our wedding completing the race and then went straight to get ready! My second favorite part of the day was having all our friends and family together after being apart for so long. It was so nice to see everyone having a good time. Lastly, and my very favorite part, was after the reception ended, we had a private car drive us around the city, through all the gorgeous areas of downtown Charleston. It was so fun to take in the sights and also have some time together, just the two of us. It was the perfect way to reflect on the day and enjoy our first moments as a married couple."