You can feel the sweetness and sincerity between Candace and A.D. at their elegant, Southern wedding on Daufuskie Island. We love the Spanish moss, beautiful chapel and how each detail feels familiar, almost home-like at their reception. Bride Candace shared their love story and some wedding planning tips with us. Enjoy below!
How did you and your husband meet?
A.D. and I first met in college, where we both attended Georgia Tech, and while we had a lot of mutual friends we did not know each other very well at the time. Years after graduating, I was at a local bar in Atlanta with friends when A.D. approached me at the jukebox with a huge smile. My first impression of him that night was happiness. We ended up talking and catching up for the rest of the night, and he eventually asked for my number. I still remember going home with the biggest smile on my face; he asked me out to dinner later that summer and we were inseparable after that.
How did you know he was the one?
I knew he was special from our first date; that night we went to dinner and after the plates had been cleared and the check had been paid, we still sat at the and just talked for hours. I had butterflies with him but felt natural at the same time. We had a lot in common, being from smaller Southern towns and finding our way to the big city, where family and home meant the world to us but so did finding adventure. Before I met A.D. I had no interest in getting married anytime soon, so I do not say this lightly, but once we met each other’s families, I really could see my life with him and a year later we were engaged.
How did he propose?
I will be the first to admit it was a huge surprise to me! On one of our earlier dates, we had created an Atlanta bucket list full of restaurants and different activities we wanted to do – from the Atlanta Skywheel and Georgia Aquarium to attending an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert. Hiking Stone Mountain had been on our bucket list, so I did not bat an eye when A.D. suggested we go there one Saturday. From the top of Stone Mountain you can see all of metro Atlanta, so I was taking pictures and walking along the mountain top as A.D. was getting more and more quiet. We were about to leave, then he told me to come to a certain spot and look at the skyline with him, and that’s when he proposed.
I asked him later why he picked Stone Mountain to propose, and he said it was so we could look out and see the city we had conquered.
What was most important to you both in planning your wedding?
We got engaged at the end of March 2015, yet really wanted a Fall wedding, so we picked a date in October the same year even though that was not a lot of time in the wedding world. However, we did not sacrifice the most important things to us while planning on a short timeline—we knew that we wanted a unique venue, quality vendors and a bluegrass band. Those were our priorities, and we booked Sea Oak Manor, our incredible photographer and band in the first weeks of our engagement. It really helped all other plans come into place.
I had never been to Daufuskie before we got engaged, but I had heard it was beautiful and I liked how it is not connected by bridge to any mainland – you can only reach the island by boat, and most people use golf carts to get around the island. That is really difficult to stumble upon in the modern day.
When we got there, both of us fell in love with the island. A.D.’s home is the woodlands of Vicksburg, MS and my home is coastal Savannah, GA, and the island was like the joining of both of those worlds to us. There were gorgeous oak trees lined along winding dirt roads, and the most spectacular beach views all along the coast. It was perfect for us, and though we knew it would be a lot of work, we wanted our guests to experience that and the start of our marriage to begin there.
We were originally going to marry outside of Sea Oak Manor, until we made another visit to the island and visited the church. Built in 1881, it is the oldest building on the island and felt so special when we entered. We decided to get married there just two months before the wedding – I emailed our invitations contact on the way home that night! – and it was one of the best decisions made throughout the planning process.
How would you describe your wedding's style?
What drew us to the island was its natural beauty, so I wanted our wedding style to flow with that and really embrace the Southern Lowcountry. Our decorations were more natural elements, using vintage items and items of our family members. We had brought over several of our family members’ wedding photos to decorate tables, and for florals we used seasonal blooms with lots of greenery. Our palette was blush, white, gold and lots of eucalyptus green.
What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding?
Since it was a destination wedding, many people ended up staying the entire weekend with us on the island, and my family actually came to Sea Oak Manor a week before the wedding along with A.D.’s family. Spending the days leading up to the wedding all together was really special. Our rehearsal dinner was an oyster roast on one end of the island, followed by many of us going to a band party on the other side of the island, and we really loved getting to spend time with our family and friends then. Dancing in the living room of Sea Oak Manor with everyone was a blast as well. Since we had been staying at Sea Oak the whole week, it felt like a really grand yet cozy home party. A.D.’s best man was his brother and my maid of honor was my sister, so hearing their speeches and our fathers’ speeches was really special as well.
One of our favorite moments was right after the wedding, taking pictures on the beach with the bridal party and looking across the yard at the house to see all the people coming. Excitement was building, the sunset was perfect and it was a great moment to soak it all in before the night began.
What have you most learned about each other or marriage since getting married?
We have learned that teamwork makes the dream work! As cliché as that sounds, we really saw that first hand with our wedding planning. Planning a wedding on a remote island in six months is not easy, and it could not have been done without both of us helping out. A.D. helped in so many ways—he secured the band, created our website along with several other things, and was incredibly supportive when I had trouble making any decisions. Those great qualities in him persist in our marriage—he is my partner, my confidante and best friend. Some of the best advice I received while engaged was to always give your partner 110%, and I believe that advice will always hold true. Having each other’s back and being supportive of one another is critical.
What advice do you have to other engaged couples planning their wedding?
Make wedding planning a team effort! It makes the process all the more enjoyable, too. It can be a little overwhelming when you’re starting to plan as well, so both of you should pick out your top three priorities, then plan everything else out from there.
Also, it is easy to get bogged down with the little things and details, but remember that the wedding is just a day, and your marriage is a lifetime. That helps to keep things in perspective when you are stressing out over types of invitation fonts. Best of luck and wishes!
Artistic Credits: Location, Daufuskie Island, SC Church, First Union African Baptist Church Reception at Sea Oaks Manor Photography by Alea Moore Photography Planner and Floral Designs by Improvisions Savannah Bride's Attire by Ivory and Beau Suits and Ties by The Black Tux Bluegrass Band, Green Levels Paper Goods by Emily Kathryn Designs Dinner provided by Marshside Mamas