asked us to be the wedding planners for their big day.We have been friends with Tara and her family for many years. We watched Tara grow up and become the beautiful young lady that she is today.
We met with Tara and her mom several months prior to the wedding. Tara told us all about the wonderful southern touches that she and Ben were planning to use on their wedding day. We absolutely
loved them all.
Now you enjoy the gorgeous images by Lotus Creative Studios and the details Tara shared from the day.
By Jane White, wedding planner at It's Your Party! Events & Weddings
You can't have a real wedding without a real love story! The love story always adds a personal touch to the beautiful wedding photos.
How we met-
My mom met Ben at an Ag-in-the-Classroom educational event. She called and told me all about this cute farmer with a great personality that she had met. She also told him all about her single daughter. But she knew better than to give him my phone number! Several months later I was at the Blind Horse Saloon in Greenville, SC. A guy came up and asked me to dance. That guy turned out to be Ben! We didn't realize until the next day that he was the guy that my mom had met several months earlier. My mom still claims she picked him for me!
Our Wedding Day-Ben and I are both from small, southern towns and Ben is a farmer. We knew we wanted a southern wedding with touches of agriculture in our décor. There was little doubt where we would have our ceremony – in the church where I grew up and where my parents were married. It is a beautiful, pre-civil war church and we continue to receive comments from guests about how much they loved the church.
Also, to go along with the agricultural/southern theme, we picked the Livery Stable on The Square in Abbeville,SC for our reception venue.
"The original Livery Stable was built in the 1840s and was used to board horses until 1872 when it was destroyed by a fire. It was rebuilt on the original site in the late 1870s. In 2010, The Livery Stable was renovated. Today it is home to the local Farmers' Market and the site of many special events."
I cut a portion of my mom's wedding dress and wrapped it around my bouquet. To it, I tied a memory charm of a dear family friend who was like my second mother my entire life. She had wanted so badly to live to see my wedding day. She passed away seven weeks before on May 6th. A piece of my mom's wedding dress with a photo of her tied to it was one of the most special mementos of the entire day. Another special heirloom was my grandmother's engagement ring. My aunt gave it to me to wear for the day. It was like having a small part of my grandmother there with me.
Getting married in the church were my parents were married was extremely important to me. That meant we had to cut the guest list more than we wanted, but during the planning process Ben asked me, “What will you regret more in ten years – not getting married in the church you grew up in and where your parents were married, or inviting an additional 100 guests?” Decision made with no regrets.
We personalized our wedding in so many ways, many of which were small and probably went unnoticed by most people. From the cotton included in the arrangements which was from a friend's farm in Newberry, SC, to the paper cones which were made of pages from "Gone with The Wind", a classic southern novel and my namesake; the hymns that were played and the scriptures that were read; the ring box and cake slab was made by Ben; to our guest book being pictures of us on Ben's family's farm.
We also wanted as many friends and loved as possible to participate in our wedding. Aside from the wedding party, we had family friends officiate our wedding, be our soloist and pianist, bake our cake, film our wedding, and be our wedding planners. That helped make our special day even more meaningful.
Ben said his favorite part of the day was when he first saw me at the back of the church. That is when he teared up but quickly composed himself.
Mr. Cotton, a dear family friend and our officiant, used our vows in several ceremonies – they were more casual than traditional vows, but we felt they best described our relationship. "Amazing Grace" was sung in memory of our loved ones who are no longer with us.
Our first kiss was my favorite part of the day. Whenever Ben and I kiss 'hello' or 'goodbye', we always kiss three times. (I like things in threes!) So, when we kissed, we had a long kiss, then a pick. Then, I snuck in a third quick peck. Ben laughed and said, "I knew you were going to do that." His mic picked up that comment, so it's on our wedding video.
We took our southern theme and ran with it. The decor included cotton and peaches. We had pimento cheese, boiled peanuts and southern signature drinks during the cocktail hour. We served BBQ for our meal catered by Shealy's BBQ from Batesburg-Leesville, SC. Even our wedding cake incorporated peaches as a filling. The wedding planners did such an incredible job adding so many additional southern touches to the reception, including burlap and lace overlays.
Our first dance was to the song "Waiting on a Woman". It has been our song since the first month we met...apparently, I'm always running late.
We are so happy we splurged on having a band. I had heard them play in Charleston ten years ago. I had always said I would have them play at my wedding. Ben and I knew we wanted a band instead of a DJ, which was a splurge in and of itself. I had no idea how much the New South Players would cost. They were the first phone call I made after we were engaged. They were surprisingly one of the less expensive as far as bands go. They were incredible and kept people on the dance floor all night long!
I hear so many people say, "I wish I had done this and I wish I hadn't done that" regarding their weddings. I can honestly say there is not one thing Ben and I would change about our wedding. The venues, band, caterer and the especially the wedding planners made our wedding day absolutely perfect. ~ Tara
- Photographer - LOTUS creative studios
- Caterers - Shealy's Bar-be-que
- Rentals - Greg Hall and Company, Event Rentals
- Florals - Greg Hall and Company
- Coordinators - It's Your Party! Events & Weddings
- Band - New South Players
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