SWN: So he popped the question! Tell us a little about it.
Mallory: Edward and I met at work. I’d been at Blackbaud for almost three years when he started his career there. Believe it or not, we were actually cube mates. Edward didn’t know the “rules” for interoffice relationships, but I did. There was some initial flirting and time spent together outside of the office, but because he didn’t know the rules, he always invited friends along with us. After two or three times of these group hangouts, I was convinced he was trying to introduce me to his friends. Eventually that came to bite him, and when I started flirting with a guy in front of him, his true colors showed. Over the course of our relationship, we spent a lot of time down at Palmetto Bluff where his family has a house. It was the first place I met his whole family. It was where his mom let slip there was a family diamond. And it was where he proposed, in the tree house on the May River down at Moreland. His parents were in Palmetto Bluff with us so they were eagerly awaiting our arrival back at the house to begin the celebration.
SWN: Tell us about the venue.
Mallory: I love a good southern wedding. The colors, anything goes. Weddings in Charleston aren’t complete without live oaks and spanish moss, traditions and family. The dancing, the music, the combination of a relaxed and formal feel. The mix of old and new in stark contrast. I am never going to be a formal girl. I like the sunshine, the color orange and wild flowers. I like to be comfortable and have a good time. We considered several venues, and we knew we wanted the ceremony and reception in the same location. When I saw Pepper Plantation, I simply fell in love. It was perfectly rustic and perfectly simple. With its oak beams, red roof and live oaks, it was romantic and dreamy. The fire pits were calling out for smores. The concrete floors screamed “dance on me!!” Anyone who has been to our house knows I love color and a rustic feel. Pepper lends itself to farm tables, café lights, wine barrel tables and mason jars full of wild flowers, and that’s exactly what I did!
SWN: Tell us about finding THE dress. Was it love at first sight or were you caught off guard when you tried it on?
Mallory: I actually saw my dress for the first time at my maid of honor’s final fitting. I hadn’t really started to look in earnest, but it caught my eye. It was completely simple with a sweetheart neckline, which I love, but a little plain. When I went back to look for my own, I narrowed it down to two completely different dresses, but at the end of the day, I felt most like myself in the one I eventually chose. It was simple, elegant and completely me. It didn’t hurt that it lent itself to a FABULOUS statement necklace which I found after quite a bit of searching for the perfect accessory!
SWN: What were some of the most important components of your wedding? In other words, what details were you most passionate about and why?
Mallory: Family and friend involvement was very important to us, and there is a lot of pride in knowing that sweat and elbow grease went into the creation of our day. Each vintage mason jar was lovingly found at antique stores across the low country of South Carolina. The twine was hand tied to each vase, candle and jar. The flowers were cut and arranged by some of my best friends and family. Our guestbook tree was a labor of love of our dear cousin, Kate. Bouquet charms of grandmothers no longer with us hung from my gorgeous bouquet. Time was spent ironing and cutting burlap so the edges would look just right. My maid of honor, Rebecca Ellerton, designed our Save-the-Dates, invitations, RSVP cards, ceremony programs and Koozies sent home with each guest. My friend Kim’s husband built an easel based on one I loved at a local store so we could display a photo on the welcome table. Kim white washed it so that it would fit the feel of the day. Our day was a labor of love, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
SWN: Tell us about your bridal party. Who did you choose to stand with you? Did you do anything creative to ask them?
Mallory: I chose some of my favorite people in this whole world to stand with me on my wedding day. I’m an only child so it was a given that my new sisters would be by my side, and that part was very special to me. The twins really welcomed me into the fold with open arms and family is very important to me. While the others weren’t technically family, but they are some of the most important women in my life. They are the people who have seen me at my best and at my worst. They’ve seen me through thick and thin, through good and bad. They know my secrets and I know theirs. These are the women I’ll grow old with, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
SWN: Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Tell us about the photos. What shots were important to you? Which picture is your favorite?
Mallory: I love Reese’s style. It’s real and romantic. It doesn’t feel forced or fake. She has a unique capability of capturing you in the best moments. I don’t know that I could choose a favorite, but I could choose a handful of favorites. I love the ones on the dock, the ones in the hazy light by the fence. I love the ones of us looking at our rings, of us dancing, of us cutting the cake. I really love them all. The detail shots, the getting ready shots, the dancing. I am forever grateful to Reese for capturing one of the best days of my life!
SWN: Anything unexpected happen during your wedding? Something funny?
Mallory: We had a black cab as our get away car. We did the grand exit, we hopped in the car and we were on our way… to the after party. We were cruising down highway 17 talking about our favorite parts of the night when the cab slowed to a crawl. The power in the car shut off and the cab driver began to apologize profusely. He tried everything he could think of but try as he might, the cab was dead. Luckily we had arranged for vans to pick up family and wedding party so we sat on the side of the highway until the first van came to pick us up. The driver was so embarrassed but we just laughed. It was the first time we had sat down in about four hours and we have funny pictures of us standing on the side of the road in our get away attire. Definitely a memory we won’t soon forget. There was one other mishap in the day, and while everything was perfect and gorgeous and just what I wanted, i think it’ll take us a little longer to laugh about that one!
SWN: As you think back on that day, what stands out as being your favorite moment?
Mallory: I wish I could do the day all over again. From the moment I woke up and ate breakfast with my maid-of-honor to the moment I closed my eyes that night, the day was perfect. My sweet friend Kim tied balloons to my mailbox to celebrate the day. Drinking coffee with some of my favorite people in the world, while getting hair and make-up done, laughing over fake eyelashes, snacking in the cottage at Pepper while dancing to music, it was perfect. By the time the day was over, I knew a new kind of tired I’d never been, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. Being in one place with all the people who mean the world to Edward and me, dancing to music played by such special and talented people, it was perfect. If I had to pick one favorite, it would be a tie. The first would be the tears of joy cried by my mom, mother-in-law and new sisters the first time they saw me in my dress. So incredibly special. Second would be our first look. That was something we decided early on we wanted to do. So much anticipation and planning to culminate in that first moment you see the person you plan to spend the rest of your days loving and laughing with and living life. Such a special and sweet moment we will never forget.