Real Wedding: A Wedding Among Church Ruins

Emily and Anthony choose locations with a historical touch for their spring wedding.

Keeping It Simple

About the Couple: The ruins of Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort, South Carolina, offered a unique location for Emily and Anthony to tie the knot.

Emily wanted to choose flowers that were in bloom for her springtime wedding, so these simple bundles of hydrangeas were the perfect complement to her bridesmaids' "shrimp pink" dresses.

Budget Saver: Choosing flowers that are in season will save you big bucks. Check with your florist beforehand to get a list of flowers that are in bloom.

A Natural Bouquet

Sticking with natural flowers, Emily's bouquet was an assortment of wild flowers, palms, a few tulips, lilacs, and 'Osiana' roses, her favorite rose.

Bride's Tip: The more greenery you use in your bouquet the more money you'll save.

A Touch of Green

Emily didn't imagine a wedding dress quite like this Watters gown, but the second she saw it she couldn't resist. To add a special touch, she bought a mossy green sash to tie in the surrounding colors of her outdoor wedding.

Get the Look: Add a pop of color to a solid white dress by incorporating a large silk ribbon or sash. Choose a color that will fit with the rest of your wedding scheme.

Making a Grand Entrance

Emily and Anthony's ceremony and reception were 17 miles apart, so to transport their wedding party and family back and forth, they rented this classic trolley. The trolley ride was a fun experience for everyone and saved money for everyone.

Bride's Tip: Look beyond the typical limo to transport your wedding party. In most cities there are trolleys, small buses, or other modes of transportation that will save you money and get everyone where they need to be.

A Unique Ceremony Location

Emily and Anthony chose to have their ceremony at the Old Sheldon Church, which they had visited some five year earlier. The beautiful ruins were a unique backdrop for their ceremony. This old church was burned by the British in 1779 and by Sherman in the Civil War in 1865.

Simple Ceremony Decor

Since their ceremony was held in such a unique location, Emily only needed a large floral arrangement to sit on the original church altar. The arrangement sat about 3 1/2 feet high and was composed of the same wild flowers, palms, and roses used in Emily's bouquet.

Oaks Plantation

After the ceremony, guest headed to the Oaks Plantation. The house, built in 1855, has quite the history -- it was significant in the military occupation of St. Helena during the Civil War and with the establishment of Penn School, the first school for freed men in the United States, in 1862.

Get the Look: If you want to have a plantation-style wedding, search your local historical societies for information on the houses. There are many plantation venues across the South.

Natural Centerpieces

Emily wanted to keep her centerpieces on the highboy tables and dinner tables simple to show off the natural surrounding. She bought vases that were all different heights to place around her reception. Then she cut branches of flowering quince to fit the vases, finishing the arrangement with dark stones she had picked up at her craft store.

Budget Saver: Save big bucks and create this natural look with budding branches verses large floral arrangements.

Create the Atmosphere

Emily and Anthony's guests were able to enjoy both the inside and outside of the Oaks Plantation. The four large oak trees that surround the backyard, overlooking a marsh, created a cozy ambience for guest to enjoy throughout the night.

DIY Decor

Emily brought in a touch of the beach with these arrangements that were scattered throughout the reception. All you need to make this project is a small vase, a votive candle, sand, shells, and raffia. This was a fun way to add a personal touch.

Bride's Tip: To get the candles to stay in place, use a little candle putty, found at your local craft store. This will keep the candle from sliding around while you're transporting it.

Bring Back the Old-Fashioned Soda

Emily added a festive touch by offering her guests old-fashioned sodas displayed in a large tin bucket adorned with this simple flower. It was quite a hit.

A Perfectly Pearly Cake

Emily and Anthony's three-layer buttercream cake was adorned with a pearl-like trim that matched the pearls Emily and her bridesmaids wore. Each layer was a different flavor and the most popular was the middle layer -- a lemon cake with lemon filling. The fresh, fruity flavor was a perfect complement to the spring weather.

Out-of-the-Ordinary Napkins

Emily and Anthony wanted to take their cocktail napkins beyond the typical name or monogram so they added this cute phrase " married." It added a fun touch that the guests loved.

Get the Look: Get creative with your cocktail napkins! Most couples end up with a slew of napkins, so choose something fun and simple that you can pull out again for other parties you host.

Setting the Mood

To add a touch of ambience to the dance floor, Emily and Anthony strung lanterns from a low-hanging tree branch. It gave a pretty glow to the dance floor.

Bride's Tip: When stringing the lanterns, use curling ribbon to attach. You can curl the ends for a cute touch, then just snip them when the party is over for an easy cleanup.

A Sparkly Farewell

As the newlyweds headed off for the honeymoon, their guests lined up with sparklers Emily and Anthony had ordered online.

Bride's Tip: If you order your own sparklers make sure to do it early. Many times they are being shipped from outside the country so it takes a while for them to arrive.

Vendor Guide

Wedding Location: Old Sheldon Church, Sheldon, South Carolina

Reception Location: The Oaks Plantation, St. Helena Island, South Carolina

Photography: Olive Productions, Charleston, South Carolina;

Florist: Bitty's Flower Shop, Beaufort, South Carolina;

Cake: Beaufort Catering (by Missy Trumpore), Beaufort, South Carolina

Catering: Steve Brown Catering, Beaufort, South Carolina;

Dress: Bride Beautiful, Atlanta, Georgia;

Hotel: The Beaufort Inn, Beaufort, South Carolina;

Bridesmaid Dresses: Magnolia's Bridal, Greenville, South Carolina

Tuxedos: Thomas & Sons Formal Wear, Spartanburg, South Carolina;


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