Catherine and Jim married in the peak of spring at St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Charleston, SC. Following the ceremony, friends and family were invited to The Gadsden House for dinner and dancing. King Street Hospitality Group and Fresh Weddings and Events created a dreamy space including chinoiserie vases filled with peonies, roses, lilacs, ranunculus and hydrangeas. / Images by Carmen Ash Photography.
Says Catherine, “You would think after five years of dating that planning would have begun quickly! However, we are Catholic and made the decision to join a local church together as our faith is incredibly important to us. A year after joining St. Mary of the Annunciation, Jim and I were eligible for a wedding date. We debated between the fall, about 10 months away or a spring wedding, which extended our engagement another year and a half. Ultimately, I’d always dreamed of a spring wedding and chose to get married the following April. Even though our engagement was almost two and a half years, we both knew that the wait would be worth it!
I fell in love with Charleston during the spring while touring College of Charleston as a high school student, and year after year, it continues to be my favorite time of year here. The city is so gorgeous when it’s in bloom. Inspired by my favorite season and my new last name, Woods, a classic, spring garden-feel started to take shape.
We awoke on our wedding day to the most glorious spring day (the bourbon we buried worked!). The bride and her bridal party along with her mother-in-law got ready at Belmond Charleston Place (where I work as Digital Marketing Manager) while the groom and his groomsmen, including his father, got ready at The Gadsden House. The entire day was incredibly emotional and special. We are both really close with our families. On top of that, my dad had spent 11 days in the ICU just three weeks before my wedding. It was a miracle that he recovered and was able to walk me down the aisle. You will see lots of happy tears in all of the photos!
The Gadsden House, our reception venue, is a historic home in downtown Charleston dating back to 1798, and it inspired most of our decor decisions. We strove for a Southern Living garden party with a collected, curated look. My mom actually collected and found most of the cut glass votives, Baldwin candlesticks, and the Limoge cake plate at thrift stores near her home in Florida. We chose to utilize the courtyard for drinks before dinner, have dinner inside, and dancing outside in the courtyard.
Before the reception, we were taking photos near the street entrance of The Gadsden House, and as we were walking by, the band was practicing the final song, ‘This Will Be an Everlasting Love,’ and we had our own private dance party outside before entering the house.
While pops of blush were incorporated into the florals, our love of the color blue was incorporated into most of the decor including chinoiserie vases. A custom crest that featured a W and florals was incorporated into many design elements including the stationery suite, cocktail napkins, koozies, matches and favors. Favors were make-your-own take home bags of sweets. We had a dessert table, inspired by the cookie tables from Pittsburgh (where Jim’s mom is from) and had treats made by family, friends and our caterer, along with candy, the bride’s favorite.
Florals were inspired by the season utilizing peonies, roses, lilacs, ranunculus and hydrangea in the bouquets and arrangements. We served dinner station style, with a food station in each room of the house, and encouraged guests to roam.
We spent two and half weeks honeymooning in Madiera, Portugal, and Spain in May 2018.
Photography: Carmen Ash Photography | Church: St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church | Reception Venue: The Gadsden House | Planning: Bride Coordination: Kathleen Shuler from King Street Hospitality Group | Flowers: Fresh Weddings and Events (previously Frampton’s Flowers) | Videography: Siegel Films | Catering: Salthouse Catering | Cake: ABCD Cakes | Dress: Robert Bullock Bride from Bridal House of Charleston | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung from Bella Bridesmaids | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom’s Shoes: Custom Stubbs and Wootton | Hair: Malory Wrigley from Stella Nova | Makeup: Stefanie Sudduth | Band: Crystal Clear Band from Sam Hill Entertainment | Rentals: Snyder Events, Eventworks | Stationery Design: Laura Bousman | Letterpress: Virginia Vaught Gregg | Printing: Knight Printing and Graphics | Rings: Sohn & McClure Jewelers | Bridal Suite and Accommodations: Belmond Charleston Place | Transportation: Absolutely Charleston, Charleston Pedicab