When Amber Vereen and Andrew Paugh decided to marry, they wanted something low key and simple, something that would put the focus on their commitment to one another and their families.
After much deliberation, the two opted for a small wedding in Mount Pleasant's Old Village, a location that has meant a lot to the couple over their courtship: they often spent time walking along the picturesque streets, and they even shared their first kiss on the Pitt Street Bridge. Although it was far from their original vision of a large wedding, this Charleston elopement ended up being the best decision for the couple.
Historic Ceremony Venue
The historic St. Andrew's Anglican Church made for a perfect setting for this intimate affair. Amber says, "I chose the historic chapel at St. Andrew's because I've has always had a passion for history, and I wanted to have the ceremony in my hometown of Mount Pleasant." The special day was captured by family friend and former photography editor at E!, Melinda Wilferd.
Melinda was initially hesitant to photograph the wedding since her background is in photojournalism instead of wedding portraiture, but agreed after some cajoling from her friend, the bride: "[Amber] convinced me that I could take the photos that she was looking for especially since she was having a very small intimate wedding with just family invited." That approach worked out for both photographer Melinda and the couple, who were able to get all of the shots they wanted.
The couple married on a Friday afternoon, a perk of having such a small wedding (there were only 8 people in attendance other than the couple!). Photographer Melinda recalls, "The day was perfect, blue skies and sunny, temperature was in the 70's. The setting was so casual that it was easy photographing the ladies getting ready for the wedding and then the wedding itself and the beautiful dinner afterwards."
Amber and her matron of honor, her older sister, enjoyed mimosas while they waited for the ceremony to begin. The bride wore a drop waisted pleated silk gown, a fingertip veil and bright pink shoes to complement her fiance's tie and her matron of honor's dress.
Romantic First Look
Before the couple exchanged vows, Amber and Andrew chose to do a first look. This unconventional choice ended up becoming one of Amber's favorite moments: "My favorite part of the day was our first look. We chose to see each other prior to the ceremony so we could enjoy the moment before being caught up in the day. It was definitely a moment I'll never forget when I was standing at the front of the church and Andrew turned around."
Once the two exchanged vows, they walked to Pitt Street Bridge for their first photos together as a married couple.
Old Village Reception
After their portraits were done, they met their immediate families on Pitt Street for a catered reception at the Old Village Post House. Amber and Andrew said, "We chose the Post House for its amazing food, ambiance and location to the ceremony. "
The couple toasted one another using a traditional Nuernburg bridal cup that Amber purchased on a trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.
Once the bride changed into a second dress, the new couple and their guests dined on soup, crab cakes, filet mignon, and berry cobbler. As Andrew recalls, "Being able to have all of our families together at one table sharing a meal like a Thanksgiving feast was a moment to remember. "
Their guests were sent off with a sweet treat from Sugar Bakeshop.
Many of the details were done by the bride and her family, which added a personal touch to the entire day. Amber's sister designed and created the invitation suite and favor toppers. The bride herself put the bouquets together the day before the wedding.
This family-focused Charleston elopement is testament to the fact that South Carolina brides and grooms can have a beautiful and memorable wedding day no matter the number of people in attendance.
The Perfect Charleston Elopement