When Megan and Nic were looking for the perfect location to celebrate their marriage, they wanted something with Southern charm and a historic feel. The bride was especially interested in something that would remind her family of their New Orleans roots, which she thought might be hard to come by in Upstate South Carolina.
Remembers bride Megan, "I have always been drawn to plantation-looking homes, and Ellery Farms had that Louisiana plantation feel to it. It only took us one day to find this perfect venue, and after booking it, I think the inspiration drove itself."
Once they had their reception venue booked, they were able to concentrate on the rest of the details, including their church ceremony at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. Of their big day's tone and theme, Megan says they were hoping for a blend of traditional religious elements and a modern-yet-Victorian feel.
Thanks to the couple's crafty abilities, they were able to DIY many of the major decor elements themselves for the perfect day at Ellery Farms!
How did you meet?
"We went to the same middle school in Greenville, South Carolina, but it wasn't until high school when we got to know each other. After hanging out in the same friend group, we started talking and realized that we really clicked.
"On March 24th, 2011, before driving to his soccer game, Nic came to my house and asked me to be his girlfriend. We were 15, just sophomores in high school. We easily became best friends, and grew up together during those high school years.
"After graduation, I went to the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and Nic went to a small engineering school in Indiana to play soccer. He was only there for pre-season training when he was diagnosed with mono on the first day of classes. He was too sick to continue there, and had to withdraw from the school and return home. Luckily, transferring from that faraway school was something that was weighing on his mind anyway, so he decided not to return there after he got better.
"Instead, he got a job in Greenville, took some late-start summer classes at Greenville Technical College, and applied to the Honors College at the University of South Carolina. It was awesome to have him there at USC with me starting in January of our Freshman year.
"There were so many invaluable experiences that we got to have together through college that we wouldn't have had if it weren't for him getting mono. It was a blessing in disguise!
"From an early age, I think we knew that we would get married one day. It wasn't until our sophomore year of college that we seriously discussed when we wanted to get marriage. We knew that we wanted to be together forever, and even looked at potentially getting married during Christmas Break of our sophomore year at USC.
"But the timing just wasn't right. We wanted to be able to be financially independent from our parents before getting married, and that wasn't possible with both of us being undergraduate students. We decided that it would be best to wait until after graduation."
- Megan, bride
Tell us how Nic proposed!
"Nic is so creative and thoughtful when it comes to planning surprises for me. The day that he proposed was the culmination of these traits of his.
"It was the weekend after his 21st birthday, and I was trying to plan a party for him with all of our friends. Meanwhile, he was planning an elaborate scavenger hunt around the city that we fell in love in so that he could ask me to marry him.
"I was expecting to wake up and go hiking with my mom and sister, but those plans were changed when they woke me up with a letter from Nic. That letter said that my day wouldn't be going as I had originally planned, but instead, I had to do what these letters instructed me to do.
"I knew that today was going to be the day, but I wasn't sure how or when it would happen! As the day progressed, and I was surrounded by my closest friends, we continued on with the scavenger hunt and drove around to find clues that were at places around the city held sentimental memories of our relationship.
"The scavenger hunt ended at a bridge in Downtown Greenville where my sister had taken some photos of us after we had been dating for only a few months.
"I turned the corner, and saw the man of my dreams standing on that bridge. Friends were on both ends of the bridge, blocking traffic for us to have our special moment and to share in this new memory with us. Nic got down on one knee, and asked me to be his wife - a dream come true!"
- Megan, bride
Tell us about the decor! How did you choose to decorate the ceremony and reception spaces?
"I am all about DIY! After going to my trusted Pinterest board that I had been working on for years, I started thinking about what sort of wedding decor I could make on my own.
"Originally, I wanted to DIY everything. But after seeing Ellery Farms, and everything that was offered there, we decided to use a lot of the decorations that were available for just $25 extra. It was definitely worth it because it cut down on having to transport so much decor there, and everything already went with the rustic and Victorian theme of the venue.
"I made some of our reception games, and was able to get out my creative flare by writing on the chalkboards that we rented from Ellery Farms as part of the decor package.
"For the ceremony, we kept it even more simple and only hung a single flower with tulle on the end of the first 2 church pews on both sides.
"All in all, our ceremony and reception decor was simple, rustic, and elegant, which is exactly what we were going for."
- Megan, bride
What were the florals like in your wedding?
"Believe it or not, we used fake flowers for our wedding. We went to Michael's when all of their spring florals were on sale, and bought enough flowers to make the bouquets and boutonnieres. The tulips that we used actually looked, felt, and smelled real!
"My sister helped me arrange them to look like the real deal, and no one even knew that they were fake!
"Honestly, this was one of the best decisions that we made for our wedding because it was so much simpler than dealing with real flowers, and we even use some of them as decorations in our home! It was a win-win."
- Megan, bride
Share one way that you personalized your wedding!
"We really wanted to do a "getaway car," especially since we were spending the night at Ellery Farms and needed a good way to signify the end of the party.
"But we are under 25 and couldn't rent a cool sports car, and other getaway cars had a higher price tag than we were willing to spend. So, to go along with the rustic theme, we decided that the back of a truck would be a fun and creative way to have a getaway car on a budget!
"One of our friends let us use his truck for our big exit, where we walked through a tunnel of sparklers. We sat on a little couch out of bean bag chairs and a comforter in the bed of the truck, and a friend drove us down the driveway of Ellery Farms and to Nic's car that was parked around the block.
"We drove around for awhile in disbelief that we were married, and just soaked in all of the amazing memories that we had just made."
- Megan, bride