Kristen and Robert's William Aiken House wedding was a gorgeous mixture of things they held near and dear: Southern charm mixed with laid back California style, the festiveness of the holiday season with elegant Christmas decor, and traditional vows mixed with modern bridal design.
The West Coast-meets-East Coast holiday wedding was also both a destination wedding (for their Oregon family members) and a return home (for Kristen, a South Carolina native). The couple currently resides in California, so their downtown Charleston affair was a bit of a vacation for everyone!
For lifelong Carolinians and first time visitors, this incredible day was filled with poignant moments, awe-inspiring details, and plenty of holiday cheer.
"We met on June 11th, 2016 at a "White Party” being held in Hermosa Beach, California. It was just another typical Saturday night at the beach in SoCal.
"I had big plans to stay in and watch a movie when a friend of mine called and said to throw on my favorite white outfit for a party down the street. I hesitated, but have a hard time saying no to a theme party, so I got ready and was there in half an hour.
"Little did I know I would meet the love of my life that night! From across the room, there he stood, with a group of his friends all dressed in white.
"We made eye contact and with a little help from my girlfriend, met each other and ended up spending the rest of the night talking. We knew that night that “this was different” and that our lives would never be the same after. It truly was love at first sight."
A Sweet Christmas Surprise
"About 5 months [after we met], on December 17, Robert asked me to marry him in the MOST amazing way ever. It was the night of his company Christmas party and he had asked me to meet him at his house a little early so we could exchange presents as I was leaving the day after to spend the holidays with my family in South Carolina.
"Whenever I arrived at his house, he told me he had all the gifts in his car and to hop in as we were on our way to a surprise he had for me. I had no idea what was going on but did as I was told.
"About an hour later, we pulled up at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and, as we parked he said "Merry Christmas!" He knew that this was somewhere I had always dreamed of staying and it was right around the corner from the location of his company Christmas party so it made perfect sense to me.
"Minutes later, we were listening to Frank Sinatra, drinking champagne and eating chocolate covered strawberries in the most beautiful hotel room I had ever seen.
"Robert asked me if I wanted to have a drink with him in the Polo Lounge prior to leaving. We were led to a table in the corner covered in red roses, baby pictures of both of us, a card with my name on it and lit candles.
"We ordered a glass of wine and he asked me to read the card. About 2 months prior, I had given him a card whenever he brought me to Oregon for the first time with "100 things I love about you" written inside.
"He had decided to return the favor and write 100 things he loved about me. The very last card read "100: I want to marry you!" I burst into tears, looked up at him and he had the most exceptional ring I had ever seen with a huge smile on his face. We spent the rest of the night celebrating and day dreaming about our beautiful future we would create together."
Just the Right Song
"I walked [down the aisle] to "Holocene" by Bon Iver, and while a bit untraditional, it truly captures the love that Robert and I share. I remember the day I knew I would walk to it after agonizing what song to select. I was sitting in the kitchen and Robert was in the living room. I played the song and he started to weep because of what it meant to him - it brought him right back to the day we met."
"The [William Aiken House] is already SO beautiful I really went with the less is more approach. I wanted to highlight what was already there.
"Floral was where I concentrated most and lighting was also very important. We got married underneath the most gorgeous chandelier and had two other hanging from our tent where the reception was.
"Encased candles were lit and hung from the tree that is a staple on the property and could not have been more romantic for the time of day or year."
Venue: William Aiken House, Charleston, South Carolina
Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography
Dress boutique: JLM Boutique
Dress designer: Hayley Paige
Linens: Nuage Designs
Rentals: Event Works
Lighting: Innovative Event Services
Stationery and Calligraphy: Coucou Calligraphy
Catering: Patrick Property Hospitality Group
Videography: Seigal Films
Hair: Salon Edge
Makeup: Elysium Salon
Officiant: Damon Adcock, Beach Church
Bridesmaids' dresses: Watters
Transportation: Lowcountry Valet and Shuttle
Groom's attire: The Trunk Club
Shoes: Something Bleu Shoes
DJ: DJ Rehab
Florals: Branch Design Studio
Cake: DeClare Cakes
Event Design: Samantha Anderson Events