After they got engaged, Jenna and Christina debated on whether they should have a big wedding ceremony or make it a quiet affair in a civil ceremony. They made the decision to go all in on a church wedding and catered reception--and organized the entire thing in just 3 months!
Their historic wedding was the first at Shandon Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Explains Jessica Hunt from Jessica Hunt Photography, "Jenna and Christina are actually the first same-sex couple to be married in this church! The members of the church voted to be LGBTQ+ friendly two years ago, and Christina and Jenna’s union will go down in that holy building’s history! I was so honored, on top of the normal “omg-this-amazing-couple-choose-me-honored” feeling, to be a part of this church’s history."
Having their wedding ceremony at the church was a key component in the couple's planning. [Getting married at Shandon] was extremely important to us - we both are so thankful and honored to call this our church home!" says bride Christina.
Along with a close group of friends, the two quickly put together the wedding of their dreams that celebrated their lives together; the result is a mixture of modern decor and personal details that make this wedding one worth remembering.
Pharmacists, Friends, and Sweet Moments
Although Jenna and Christina are both pharmacists in Columbia, they hadn't met despite having a group of mutual friends. After being introduced to one another, the two naturally gravitated towards each other when they were out with friends. "That similar circle of friends allowed us to get to know each other in a social setting better. This connection was undeniable, and eventually we took the step into "couple"dom," remembers Jenna.
When they were ready for the next big step in their relationship, Christina made sure to orchestra a proposal that led Jenna through all of their favorite spots in Columbia. With the help of their friends who were stationed at each stop along the scavenger hunt, Jenna followed clues from Glowout (the salon that later served at their reception venue) to Art Bar to the USC School of Pharmacy to Tio's.
Jenna's final stop was in a rose garden off of the Horseshoe on USC's campus. Christina had decorated it with twinkling lights, and was waiting there for Jenna with a special question! Says Jenna, "[Christina is] an amazing writer. Early on in our relationship, there were many letters and emails sent, and I loved hearing each word she read to me this particular evening."
Their friends were waiting to celebrate with them at Nonnah's, and the two enjoyed a night filled with love and laughter.
About a month later, Jenna had a surprise for Christina: she sent Christina for a massage, then walked her to dinner. For their proposal 2.0, Jenna wanted a sweet moment that was focused on Christina. "I'd arranged for a table in a private room at Nonnah's to be set with a nice bottle of champagne waiting and ordered the vegetarian tasting menu she'd been wanting to try for some time," says Jenna. Christina said yes!
Wedding Day Details
For this intimate wedding, the couple decided to keep the guest list to just 50 people. Remembers photographer Jessica Hunt, "Their wedding day was all about them, with each bride only having one attendant in the wedding party."
This smaller sized event allowed Jenna and Christina to enjoy every moment of their big day instead of being stressed. They decided on a green, gold, and black. color scheme, partially because green is Jenna's favorite color and partially because those were the dominant colors inside the church. The green elements created a fresh feel throughout the day, and the black added a bit of modern flair.
Jenna and Christina included plenty of personal elements to make the day feel like their own. They served peach bellinis using the recipe from the restaurant where they made the decision to have a wedding, and they included a macaron tower as a nod to their favorite trip to Paris.
Says Jenna, "The [reception] venue itself is gorgeous on it's own with exposed brick chic accent walls, marble countertops, chandeliers. One of our close friends helped us plan the additional decorations, and set it up the day of. This included arranging flowers for the venue, candles, etc. I made "J" and "C" signs -- our initials -- with wine bottle corks we'd saved over the years!"
"For several months prior to the wedding, we met our pastor ( about 5 times total) for premarital counseling. While much of the information discussed was not the first time, it still allowed thoughtful discussion and I believe it was very important. We also were able to work with him during these sessions to choose scriptures to be read during the ceremony, our vows, music, and prayers. We encourage others to seek out this planning time with your officiant!"
Photography: Jessica Hunt Photography
Bridesmaids' dresses: Nordstrom Rack
Cake: Silver Spoon Bake Shop
Florals: American Floral
Catering: Chef Richard Wolford
Macarons: Crepes and Croissants