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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Catelyn & James

Welcome back to another Wedding Wednesday!
Today y'all get a chance to meet another beautiful bride, Catelyn and hear her and her husband, James wedding story. It's absolutely beautiful and I love every single special, unique touch that made their wedding specific to them...let's jump in!

Welcome to Southern & Style's Wedding Wednesday! First of all, tell my readers a little about you and your husband.
I'm Catelyn! My husband, James, and I currently live in Aiken, SC. He is a chemist for a company called Halocarbon, and I'm the digital media specialist for the National Wild Turkey Federation. He is from this area, but I'm from the upstate. He graduated from USC (Go Gamecocks!) in 2014 and I graduated from Columbia College (Go Koalas!) in 2015. We are huge football fans.
How they met & how he proposed:
We met through mutual friends at a party in college. Our first two dates were total disasters, but I invited him to attend a formal with me as a last ditch effort and it was one of the greatest nights of my life. We dated for a little over a year when he proposed to me the day after my 22nd birthday.
He took me on a picnic in Finley Park, a gorgeous spot in the middle of downtown Columbia. I was completely blindsided. I hadn't suspected anything. My two best friends were the hidden photographers!
He was so nervous when he got down on his knee, but it was a beautiful moment! We went for cupcakes to celebrate and call our families, although my parents knew since he had asked my father's permission. We celebrated with friends that night and the next day I graduated from college!

Give a brief description of your wedding day: 
Guests arrived and were invited to sign our guest book. Instead of a traditional guest book, we used a wooden wall-hanging art piece that one of my bridesmaids made and customized for us. My dear friend Hillary played the violin while guests were escorted to their seats. Once our intimate group of 75 were seated, the bridal party processed in. It included our closest childhood and college friends as well as our families. I shared a special moment with my father before he walked me down the aisle. 
James was wide-eyed and open-mouthed when he saw me. My aunt conducted our simple ceremony complete with our personally written vows. 
After we sealed it with a kiss, we headed to our reception which included cake cutting, toasts from my grandfather and the best man, dinner, drinks, and lots of dancing. We had a wonderful evening filled with family, friends, and fellowship. Our guests sent us off with sparklers and a driver took us to our hotel in Columbia to stay the night before we left for our honeymoon the next morning.

What venue did you choose and why?
We chose the River Road and the Jasmine House and Garden in Irmo, SC. Irmo is right outside of Columbia, which is where we met, got engaged, and both attended college. It also served as a good central location for both of our families. When it came to selecting a venue, our budget was a big determining factor, but once we saw this place, we fell in love.
It features two small cottages filled with antique furniture and elegant touches. The cottages are surrounded by an enchanting garden full of lights, fountains, and seating areas tucked away amongst plants and flowers. Freestanding wooden doors open to the aisle of the ceremony area, which leads to a stunning metal gazebo-string lights weave across the area overhead.
The entire property radiated southern charm and I was hooked (and thrilled to have minimal decorating to do). It was also extremely practical with lots of parking on site, in house cake and catering as well as a very skilled and experienced wedding coordinator named Sara.
Having a nearly all-inclusive venue (they did ceremony and reception, DJ, food, cake, bar, coordinator, chairs, tables, etc.) saved me so much time and stress and was actually more affordable than using separate vendors. I only brought in my flowers, minister, and my people!
They worked hard to give me everything that I wanted.
Sara was such a blessing on the wedding day, she kept me calm and the event ran so smoothly!

What has been the most fun part of planning your wedding? What did you most look forward to planning?
I loved finding ways to work personal touches and experiences into my wedding day. I had so much fun designing and wrapping bouquets with my bridesmaids. Mine was adorned with my father and grandfather’s military pins alongside my husband’s fraternity pledge pin. My photographer, Rachel, was someone I grew up in youth group with. I’m a little camera shy but she made me so comfortable and knew exactly what types of images I would want. My aunt is a minister and conducted our ceremony. She was able to work in some very special sentiments because she knows both of us. I had custom music performed by one of my best friends. On the big day, and looking back now these details mean so much to me and I’m glad I made them a priority.

What advice would you give to other brides as they're planning their weddings?
The practical advice is to have to wed within your means. Do not go into debt to have a wedding. We were able to have everything we wanted and more within a budget that we could pay for ourselves. You don’t want to start your marriage out with debt. More importantly, remember what the day is about. Throughout the planning process we kept our marriage at the center of everything. We wanted to celebrate our love and the things that were important to us. This also saved us from getting caught up on any trivial issues. My little sister destroying her corsage (and two extra ones) minutes before the ceremony seemed disastrous at the time, but James and I were still married at the end of the day.

If you could re-do anything, what would you change?
I would probably have used more hairspray. Although that’s silly, it’s really the only thing I can think of. There are certainly things that didn’t go according to plan on our big day, but they’re nothing compared to all of the love and joy that my husband and I experienced that day. Some of the mishaps turned into really unique moments that I love even more than the ones we had planned. Most importantly, we ended up married, and that’s all that really matters.

Which did you look more forward to and why; the actual wedding day or the honeymoon?
The actual wedding day. We were so ready to be married. Our family and friends are fairly widespread across the country and it was wonderful to have everyone together for such a joyous occasion. I felt so beautiful in my dress and I had a constant smile on my face. We really enjoyed our day and the special moments we shared with each other.

Where was your honeymoon?
Clearwater Beach, Florida. We stayed at Pier House 60 Hotel. We spent 8 days hanging out on the beach, riding jet skis in the gulf, visiting museums, taking sunset cruises on a catamaran, and eating the most delicious seafood.

Did you DIY any of your wedding or did you let someone else handle all the details? Why did you choose that?
I DIY’d a LOT of my wedding. We did have a wedding coordinator that came with our venue who took care of the details the day of and helped with the high level planning. My husband and I paid for our wedding ourselves as fresh college graduates and had a small budget. I was able to save several thousand dollars by doing things myself while still achieving the same results. I’m relatively crafty and knew I was capable of doing a lot of the projects myself. Most importantly, I wanted our wedding to be very personal, and little things like wrapping my own bouquet and making my husband and father’s boutonnieres adding such a special touch to the day. I created my own center pieces, invitations, custom dress hangers, and several other elements.

Was your spouse super involved in the wedding planning or no?
My husband was always willing to help, but wanted me have the wedding I’ve always envisioned. He was a big decision maker for the dinner and bar menus. He also crafted our entire wedding playlist that I didn’t hear until the reception. He had everything from sweet love songs, to crowd pleasers, to our best karaoke hits from our college days.

Special Moments from the Big Day:
-Instead of using the traditional wedding march, my best friend composed an original piece just for my special day and played the violin while I walked down the aisle.

-Within our reception, we had a dedicated "memory table". It featured photos of family members as well as my husband's best friend who unfortunately passed away before our wedding. It also had a floral arrangement in a crystal vase that my parents used in their wedding. It was a very special way to honor our loved ones.

-We experienced technical difficulties with the DJ on our first dance song, but we continued our dance and it turned into a magical moment with all of our friends and family singing "Stand by Me" for us. 

-It was one of the groomsmen's birthdays on our wedding day, so we guests sing "Happy Birthday" to him later in the reception.

Photos by Cat Named Bird Stills 

Thank y'all so much for reading this week's Wedding Wednesday-I hope you enjoyed reading about the dreamy wedding of Catelyn and James and seeing their gorgeous wedding photos.

Until next time. . .



  1. <3 I love this! What a beautiful wedding!!!

  2. Awww so sweet! LOVE how this is a South Carolina wedding!!

    xoxo A

  3. Awww, this sounds like a wonderful wedding! Love how she was able to DIY a lot of it!

  4. Oh my gosh! I went to high school with James! How crazy that this popped up on my feed today. Beautiful couple and beautiful wedding!

    1. How crazy! I love when things like that happen :)

      xoxo, SS

  5. So, so sweet! Love reading about weddings and everyone's special day!

  6. Her dress is beautiful! I love the photos, the day looked gorgeous!

  7. Beautiful photos as always. That original song is such a cute detail!

    xx, Melissa

  8. This is so sweet! I love how the guests sang your first dance song! Our guests sang our last song of the night!

  9. This is so sweet! Her dress is absolutely beautiful and that is so cool that her guests sang the song for her first dance after their technical issue!

  10. That photo of her dress in the window is gorgeous!

  11. How sweet is this! While planning my own wedding, I love reading about others!

  12. These photos are beautiful! Your story is so sweet!

  13. This dress is absolutely GORGEOUS! The wedding looked absolutely lovely, thanks for sharing!

  14. Her dress is beautiful and so are those photos!


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