Atalaya Castle South Carolina Wedding, Wedding Planner

Morgan & Andy

I love attending weddings, but I’m not a big fan of things that require me to be the center of attention; in fact, I would have enjoyed eloping on a beach in the middle of nowhere. But I’m so glad that we decided to have a full wedding – being surrounded by our closest family and friends was irreplaceable – there will never be anything like that again! We couldn’t have gone through the planning process without Lauren Evans, our wedding planner, and designer.

Lauren made the entire thing a breeze – finding all of our vendors, coaching me on how to create a look and style, and coordinating our families to pull off such a fantastic event. She helped us set and stick to a budget, and brought together all of the little details that made the day feel like a well-coordinated and classic, timeless event. From the candles to the flower boxes to the hurricane vases – she thought of everything! Which was great, because I was busy being uncomfortable in the spotlight.

The dress – I tried it on in the very first store I went to (BHLDN – Chicago). I didn’t have anyone with me to validate my decision (living on the West Coast was trying at times!) – so it took me a while to come to a final decision, but when I did, I knew it was the right one. I just loved my dress! It was so different from all the dresses I pinned or ever thought that I would go for – but when I put it on I just felt so comfortable in my skin. I loved the tulle layers and how they looked when I spun around, and that it was inspired by the Paris ballet. I knew it would work well with the other thing I had my mind set on – wearing a flower crown!

What I also loved about our wedding was the amount of personal touch and connectedness across the weekend. All weekend, people kept commenting on what a relaxed bride I was. I was so relaxed because I was SO incredibly happy to be surrounded by all the people I love, and for so many of them to have a special role in this moment of our lives:We were married by Andrew Lovedale, President of A2S, a non-profit that I founded with Andrew and others in 2009. Our nonprofit operates in Davidson, NC and Benin City, Nigeria. Andrew is the most spiritual person I know and has been a huge influence on both mine and Andy’s lives. I’ve been to Nigeria with Andrew three times now, and to stand up front with him was incredibly comforting.

My aunt made toffee when I was growing up, and it was a favorite of mine, along with her pound cakes. She turned her toffee into a business a while back, and it’s been a success ever since. We gave out boxes of Chapel Hill toffee to our guests – many of whom were also UNC graduates. I mentioned my aunt’s pound cake – she made four-pound cakes with a beautiful flower display, and we featured these at our rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception. This was particularly touching as my uncle had passed away just a few years earlier, and having my aunt be a part of our wedding in this way felt like he was there, too.

Our save-the-dates were designed by our good friend Fred, who is a graphic designer based in D.C. and a member of our wedding partyOur friend Courtney led everyone in beach yoga on Saturday morning, which was a very calming and great way to start the wedding day! My grandparents have been married for over 70 years now! They were featured in the local news in Pawleys…and it was so special to have them there at our ceremony. I love dessert! In addition to the pound cakes and coffee, we had an ice cream bar. Andy and I had “buried the bourbon, really ” and we put the bourbon we dug up on the wedding day at the dessert table so that our South African guests could treat themselves to a Dom Pedro.

Andy and I shared Dom Pedros with our South African friends when we visited South Africa in 2013, and this was a fun way to share memories with them and thank them for coming all the way to our wedding!Andy’s family is Spanish and Italian in their roots, and Andy’s mom made lasagnas to welcome everyone to Pawleys on Thursday evening. Our rehearsal dinner was at one of the only Italian restaurants in Pawleys, and it was so special as the small nature of the venue allowed us to get to see and talk to everyone! My cousin’s cousin makes S’well bottles. We gave these to our wedding party! Andy and I wanted our wedding to ju un and relaxed weekend at the beach (with a nice party in the middle!). We wanted to have plenty of time to spend with everyone.

So my favorite part of the weekend was the resort we stayed at. We had two big houses that the bridal party stayed in, and the majority of the wedding guests were in homes or condos around us. And, we were beachside with a lazy river. All of this led to one thing – soaking up every minute with our guests. The one thing I’d heard from other brides was how fast it all goes by, and I was determined to slow it down! I didn’t – it still FLEW by – but it makes me happy to know that I spent every second possible with our guests. Andy and I didn’t have many traditions at our wedding.

We wrote our own vows, I walked down the aisle to Coldplay, we didn’t do any flower/garter/cutting the cake moments because we wanted to dance the night away…. But the one tradition we did have was the first dance and father/mother dances. Andy and I took dance lessons leading up to the wedding and they paid off. I’m so glad that I did this as we were completely confident in ourselves and had fun showing off our new moves. It was a surprise for our parents and our dance is something that they will cherish forever. I know this because they still tell me about it every week!”

Photographer:  Riverland Studios | Event Venue: Atalaya Castle | Transportation: Carolina Limousine | DJ: DJ Scott | Officiant: Good friend of the bride | Caterer: Lowcountry Eats | Hair Stylist: Stox & Co. Salon & Day Spa | Makeup Artist: Stox and Co. | Submitted via Two Bright Lights


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