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THE JOURNAL

Guitar Strings & Cowboy Dreams: A Breezy River House Wedding

Nestled behind towering oak trees and the iconic Lowndes Grove mansion is the River House, an intimate venue for sophisticated Southern romantics. This secluded site is surrounded by lush manicured lawns and a sunset-facing view of the Ashley River – a perfect spot for musicians like Ashley and Josh who could spend all night cutting it up on the dance floor with their loved ones. Fusing their country music roots and Ashley’s love for pink details, they put their very own twang on their special day. We are tickled blush pink by this gallery and hope you love it as much as we do!

Walking into the immaculate sunlit corridor of the River House we found Ashley radiating bright with a wedding day glow. Stepping into her fabulous fitted sheath gown with a cowl neckline, Ashley gave us a twirl, showing off her brown locks and the sheer tulle falling from her thin spaghetti straps. Opening the bridal suite door, the bridesmaids swooned and squealed when they saw Ashley in her bridal glory. Pulling on Ashley’s train, the wide-eyed flower girl gazed up at the bride like she was a fairytale princess come to life. Ready for her first look, Ashley hugged her girlfriends and headed into the garden to meet her hubby-to-be.

Calm, cool and collected in his white tux and black cowboy boots, Josh stood on the lawn reflecting on the far-reaching vista of the Ashley River. Finding a private corner surrounded by thick palms and blooming azaleas, Josh waited for his bride. Ashley approached him with a glowing smile and gently clasped his hands from behind. Turning to his bride, the groom melted when he laid his eyes on her. Wiping his tears with her hands, Ashley wrapped her arms around him. Taking out their letterpressed vow books, the two exchanged their heartfelt words in the peaceful oasis of the garden.

Making the most of the glorious landscape, the bridal party gathered outside the mansion for their portraits. Leading the pack in his white tux, Josh heeled over in laughter as his groomsmen picked him up by his feet and laid him perpendicular in their arms. Punctuating every hue in Ashley’s spring bouquet, the pretty in pink bridesmaids surrounded their bride with warm loving smiles. Elated to be living out her fairytale dreams, the small flower girl in white gloves showed off her pearl-embellished tulle skirt for the camera. Wearing her polished “A.S.” cowgirl hat, Ashley cozied up on the outdoor settee next to her sweetheart, giving him a few more kisses before she met him at the top of the aisle. 

Taking in the captivating view, the excited guests sat back in the garden chairs facing the river. An inviting row of pink velvet roses and towering larkspur bloomed at the top of the aisle, contrasting with the green and blue coastal backdrop. The handsome procession began to walk down the aisle, led by the dapper groom in white. Walking through the double French doors of the River House, Ashley floated across the brick terrace and towards her sweetheart at the arbor. Taking in every detail, Josh watched his bride walk towards him with her father at her side. With their handsome pup Rae and all of their loved ones as a witness, Ashley and Josh turned to a new chapter of their love story as Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd. 

Gathering under the ancient oak trees for cocktail hour, the joyful friends and family filled the lawn with smiles and laughter. Reinvigorated by the salty spring breeze, they sipped on Aperol Spritzes and snacked on mini crab cakes. The newlyweds arrived on the scene, taking their time to connect with their guests and revel in their special day. As the sun set over the river we joined the couple for a romantic golden hour photoshoot on the dock. Nose to nose, the two sweethearts snuggled in close as the fading light shifted the hues of the coastal landscape. Josh gave his bride a twirl as the delicate tulle of her dress caught the salty wind. Watching the sun set on what would forever be their day, they walked back hand-in-hand ready to kick off an unforgettable night.

Finding their names on the floral embellished seating chart, the guests eased into the opulent outdoor dining area. Whimsical pink ranunculus and blush taper candles bloomed from every surface, contrasting elegantly with the glistening gold flatware and immaculate white linens. Surrounded by lush greenery and golden sun, every ornate detail looked effortlessly beautiful. Ready to charge the dance floor with their cowboy boots, the bride and groom held each other close for their first dance. They laughed and swayed to Dylan Gosset’s “Beneath Oak Trees” as everyone looked on with adoring eyes. Following Josh’s special dance with his mother, Ashley invited both of her parents up. Much to everyone’s surprise, Ashley and her father had an elaborately rehearsed jig that started sweet and ended silly, sending everyone over the edge of their seat in laughter. Buzzed on good laughs and great cocktails, the party shared an intimate candlelit dinner full of sweet words and mouth-watering bites.

Ready to get footloose, Ashley summoned all of her friends and family to the dance floor. Wearing her bespoke cowgirl hat, she kicked her white boots high in the air. The little ring bearer and flower girl looked up in amazement, smiling from ear to ear as the adults showed off their moves. Josh broke it down low with his groomsmen, looking like a silver-screen cowboy in Ashley’s hat. Some sweet-toothed guests gathered in the River House for a bite of wedding cake and to sign loving messages on the couple’s white guitar “guest book.” Holding one another close on the dance floor, the happy newlyweds sang the words to their final song and sealed the party with a kiss. Saying their goodbyes to their beloved friends and family, they strutted through a sparkler runway and out into the starlit night. 

Congratulations Ashley and Josh! You two go together like music and lyrics, and we love the sound of your special song!

Photography: Kailee & Tim Shields; Kailee DiMeglio Photography   
Venue: The River House 
Wedding Planner: Peper Events 
Hair & Makeup: Pampered & Pretty 
Florist: Festoon 
Music: Bunn DJ 
Caterer: PPHG
Cake: Ashley Bakery 
Invitation Suite/Paper Goods: Minted
Rentals: Snyder 

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