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THE JOURNAL

Gilded in Gold and White

Following the sound of laughter echoing through the gilded walls of the historic William Aiken House, we found Kara and her bridesmaids relaxing on the floor of the crimson and gold bridal suite. Kara, in her satin slip and eyelet robe, was enjoying the luxurious pleasure of sipping mimosas and hanging with her besties on the morning of her wedding day. 

With her impeccable updo and wedding day glow, Kara stepped into her dress. Stealing our hearts, she instantly became a spectacle of romance. The floral appliques adorning her gown gathered like a bouquet at the corset, spilling out into a cathedral-length tulle skirt with soft pink undertones. Her mom, in a red-carpet-worthy French blue dress with sequin embroidery, helped Kara hook her whimsical eyelet sleeves onto her strapless sweetheart bodice.

The bridesmaids waited outside in the limestone piazza with their eyes closed. They gasped to see their beloved Kara transformed into such a beautiful bride. Following a teary-eyed first look with Dad, Kara was ready to see her soon-to-be hubby. Breathing in the spring breeze blowing through the open-air piazza, David waited for Kara. Flashing a wild grin before composing herself, she beckoned him to turn. David was moved to tears by the vision of beauty coming towards him with open arms. The two embraced and laughed in disbelief that their day had finally arrived.  

We strolled about the courtyard with the giddy couple, Kara delighting in her awe-struck soon-to-be hubby. Backlit by moss-draped oaks, magnolia trees and overgrown ivy, Kara relaxed her playful smile, transforming into a Regency-era painting come to life. Her monochrome bouquet and the floral appliques of her gown enhanced the vibrant blooms of the garden. Admiring his bride, David grinned ear to ear as the springtime sun illuminated Kara. 

Rallying the bridal party to the courtyard, Kara pulled her two sisters close by her side with her champagne bridesmaids surrounding them. The young girls in baby blue dresses looked up at their older sister, Kara reflecting a loving smile back at them. A few of David’s groomsmen took a knee, making a manmade chair for him to kick back in while the rest of the guys crowded around. The flower girls pranced about in their white dresses and lace socks, spinning their tulle skirts and landing in laughs on the grass.

The ornamental wrought iron gates of the William Aiken House opened, and the buzzing guests poured into the enchanting landscape. Mesmerized by the timeless aesthetic of the monochrome decor, they took their seats facing the estate’s signature white trellis brought to life with sprawling vines of white roses. Champagne and strawberry-infused water circulated into the hands of the guests, cooling them off as they waited in the sunlit courtyard.

With the bright strings of the orchestra commencing the ceremony, the wedding party made their way down the aisle. David came cruising through, beaming with joy as he waved to loved ones in the audience. With Dad by her side, Kara emerged from the French doors of the mansion, coming apart when she saw David at the arbor. In true family affair fashion, Kara’s brother initiated the ceremony and her dad stepped in for the second half. Standing hip to hip with their arms wrapped snug, Kara and David held onto every word her father spoke. The congregation moved through tears, deep belly laughs and lots of amusement from Kara’s animated faces. Exchanging the rings and the magic words “I do,” these two happy hearts melted into one. 

Sporting their spring best, the guests mingled about the courtyard eating delicious hors d’oeuvres on napkins printed with fun facts about the venue. Kara bounced around emitting her radiant energy, while David greeted old friends. Optimizing the opulence splashed about the mansion, the dining tables were placed throughout the Victorian rooms and piazzas. Captivated by the stunning white blooms on the tablescapes, everyone dined like royalty on porcelain plates in gold Chiavari chairs. The classic color palette enhanced the historic glam of the home, providing a stunning contrast to the coral and turquoise dining rooms. 

After the couple cut their cake, Kara changed into a strappy maxi with a draped neckline and flowing skirt. The guests gathered around the chandelier-lit black and white dance floor, waiting to be serenaded by the couple’s first dance. Strutting through the crowd came Kara and David, soundtracked by the nostalgic brass intro of Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are The Best Thing.” The couple swung their arms around each other, rocking and twirling to the cheerful ballad. Following behind, Kara and her dad shared a teary-eyed father daughter dance to Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Cinderella.” David and his mom brought back an energizing tone with a synchronized swingin’ performance to Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock.”

After a round of heartfelt speeches, Seven Til Sunrise invited everyone to the dance floor for a soul-lifting experience. Equipped with horns, an electric guitar and powerhouse vocals from ladies dripping in gold, the band was ready to lead an unforgettable party. Singing along to all of their favorites, Kara twirled her nieces while David and his groomsmen danced a silly jig. With light up tambourines shaking in the air, everyone contributed to the colorful music bouncing around the tent. 

David, flaunting his relaxed suspenders, went on stage with Kara to sing with the band. Reveling in his rockstar moment, he dove head first and surfed through the crowd. Despite wearing a silk dress, Kara followed suit and went soaring, held up by her dad and brothers. Taking a swig of beer from his shoe, David grabbed the mic to thank everyone for making it to the happiest day of his life. Preparing for the last song, the couple joined their family and friends to give the dance floor everything they had.

Gripping their crackling sparklers, the guests lined up along the brick path by the gate. Kara ran upstairs to change into a flapper inspired high-waisted pencil skirt with a matching sequin crop top. Riding on cloud nine, they floated through the sparkler runway and out onto King Street. In true Charleston fashion, they jumped onto the worn leather seats of a pedicab draped in white wisteria. Into the night they went, madly in love with each other and their life together. 

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Steadman! May everyday together be as epic as this one!

Check out a few of our favorites below!
xox Kai & Tim

Photography: Kailee & Tim Shields; Kailee DiMeglio Photography 
Venue: William Aiken House 
Wedding Planner: A Charleston Bride 
Hair & Makeup: Galya Gornishka Makeup Artistry 
Florist: Flora 
Videographer: Milestone Media
Ceremony Music: Palmetto Strings 
Music: Seven Til Sunrise 
Caterer: PPHG
Cake: Publix 
Wedding Dress: Gown Boutique 

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