Approaching the towering yellow walls of the William Aiken House, the groomsmen came strutting down Anne Street with an energized pep in their step. In his Indiana Jones leather hat, Alex was leading the charge as the entourage sported their ‘game day’ walk into the venue. Repping custom Four Loko T-shirts and equipped with the wedding day essentials – a guitar, an iron, a speaker, and one watermelon Four Loko tall boy – the groomsmen were ready as ever for an unforgettable day.
Upstairs on the breezy second-floor piazza, Catherine was dancing about in her fuzzy white slippers while her bridesmaids showered her with love. Radiating with a wedding day glow, Catherine stepped into her one-of-a-kind gown, teeming with textured flower appliques blooming around her strapless bodice and down her skirt. Catherine’s mom, wearing a springly floral embroidered gown, adjusted the wispy sheer sleeves delicately wrapped around Catherine’s arms. As she fastened her pointed-toe magenta flats with rhinestone bows, her unmatched, sophisticated-yet-spunky look came together perfectly.
Standing by the Roman columns in the courtyard, Alex waited patiently, dapper in his velvet loafers with a white calla lily pinned to his black satin lapel. With his back to her, Catherine embraced him from behind, relishing in the sweet moment before the big reveal. Turning around, Alex was stunned by the vision of beauty he was soon to marry. Nearly a puddle of tears, he read his vows to Catherine, including a love letter from their pup Archie. Catherine wiped his face as the two laughed in the still quiet gardens of the estate. Taking out her leather pink notebook, she vowed to a lifetime of loving Alex.
Alex stood by watching his soon-to-be bride as she posed in the picture-perfect white and gray limestone veranda. Illuminated by the cheerful yellow walls, Catherine exalted her monochrome bouquet in the air, her white tulle gloves elegantly wrapped around the base. Ready to take a peek at their custom designed party for the evening, they joined hands and walked through the enchanting garden of the William Aiken House. Floating on a cloud, the two shared a quick dance at the arbor where they would soon marry. Jaws dropped, Catherine and Alex strolled about the dining area, amazed to see their creative vision even more stunning in real life.
A brigade of romantic pink patterns and hues, the bridesmaids spilled out into the courtyard oohing and aahing at the brilliance surrounding them. Finding their places among the dapper groomsmen, we photographed the bridal party in front of the iron gates overgrown with ivy, green palms and crepe myrtles. The party proudly huddled around the bride and groom, their trumpet-like calla lily bouquets and boutonnieres adding a magical touch to the airy scene.
With springly pastel arrangements blooming in the aisle and green ivy crawling wild on the walls surrounding the courtyard, the William Aiken garden was thriving in its most natural state. Taking in the romantic oasis, the guests cozied up on rustic ivory benches while the couple’s friend serenaded the guests on the piano. With a spring breeze rolling through the garden, the bridal party began to make their way down the aisle. Like a vision of timeless romance, Catherine emerged from the double doors with her father, her cathedral length veil covering her face and trailing behind her.
Under the white trellis draped in green foliage, Catherine’s father gave her away to Alex. The couple joined hands and looked around at the faces of their beloved friends and family. After they spoke their vows, the best man appeared to be flustered and began searching his pockets for the rings. Much to our surprise, this playful stunt was arranged so that Catherine and Alex’s pup Archie could run up the aisle with the rings and save the day. Once everyone recovered from a fit of laughter, Alex’s cousin, the officiant, pronounced the two husband and wife. Grinning ear to ear, the couple walked down the aisle as pink and white rose petals rained down on their beaming faces.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds sauntered down King Street, heading for the American Theatre. Literally stopping traffic, Alex dipped and kissed Catherine in the street in front of the marquee that read “Best of My Love – The Julians.” Meanwhile, the guests delighted in the venue’s opulent atmosphere, enjoying champagne and scallops while mingling and perusing the historic home. Between the “Let’s Get Lit” matchboxes and the A & C metallic pink napkins, every thoughtful detail was a charmer. The couple’s friend played an acoustic set from the second floor balcony that resounded throughout the mansion, elevating the romantic ambiance.
Approaching the dining area, the guests swooned at the pastel, softly lit spectacle. Towering calla lilies bloomed enthusiastically from trumpet vases while technicolor bouquets in gold chalices added rich pops of color. The farm style tables were covered in dusty blue floral rococo fabric with gold flatware, crystal glasses and green serviettes. Printed with pastel botanicals and blue jays, the eye-catching bar was outfitted with a backdrop that could have been cut from the walls of Versailles. Placed at each end of the bar, two magnificent arrangements with white larkspur and pink peonies drew the eye to the center of the wall where a three dimensional floral installation was shaped in the letter J.
The guests happily took their seats, commenting on the stunning tablescapes and introducing themselves to their new friends for the evening. Preparing for the couple’s entrance, the band prompted everyone to stand up and whirl their sage green napkins in the air. Alex and Catherine arrived on the scene, weaving through the tables and beaming at their guests. Taking their place at the sweetheart table, they listened intently to Catherine’s father as he greeted everyone and warmly welcomed Alex to the family. Content as ever, the guests dined on salmon and steak, taking in the delightful ambiance and the loving words from the honored speakers.
With dance classes under their belts, Alex and Catherine were ready to get the party started. Delivering an impressive rendition of The Emotion’s “Best of My Love,” Power 2 Party carried Alex and Catherine through their first dance. The guests watched their new favorite couple having more fun than ever, dipping and twirling on the black and white checkered dance floor in a synchronized state. After Catherine shared a dance with her father, Alex hopped on stage with his red electric guitar and sang “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with his mother. Catherine and her mom fangirled at the front as Alex and his mom blew the crowd out of the water.
The guests were elated to get dancing and indulge in the espresso martinis circulating on silver platters. Alex sported his leather Indiana Jones hat and Catherine changed into a flapper inspired dress with swinging fringe and a cutout bodice. Wearing white leis and heart-shaped sunglasses, the guests posed together in the photo booth and showed off their most playful dance moves. For some late night fuel, and an homage to their hometown, Chicago style hot dogs were passed around the dance floor. Like two romanced rockstars, Alex brought Catherine on stage, kissing her passionately and sending everyone into a celebratory fit. After Power 2 Party and the wedding guests gave all they had to the last song, Alex and Catherine were left alone for a private dance to Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors.”
Grateful to see the couple’s smiling faces one last time, the guests eagerly lined up along the gray and white limestone veranda with their glowing sparklers. Sailing through hand in hand, Alex stopped to dip Catherine low for a kiss, her white fringe whipping the air. The happy couple said goodbye to their loved ones and headed into the night, their cups overflowing with the best of their love.
Check out a few of our favorites below!
xox Kai & Tim
Photography: Kailee & Tim Shields; Kailee DiMeglio Photography
Venue: William Aiken House
Wedding Planner: Grove Designs
Video: Nebo Films
Makeup: Antonia Scott Beauty
Hair: Brianna Adams
Florist: Bearded Florist
Ceremony Music: Clay Hamilton
Reception Music: Power 2 Party
Cake: Sugar Bakeshop
Wedding Dress: Ava Laurenne Bride – Justin Alexander
Ceremony Shoes: Anthropologie
Reception Dress: Herve Ledger
Reception Shoes: Dolce Vita
Engagment Ring: Ring Concierge
Wedding Bands: Diamonds Direct
Save the Dates and Invitations: Minted
Day of Paper: Betty Lu Paperie
Lighting: Bunn DJ
Linens: Stradley Davidson
Live Painter: Popadich Art
Cocktail Hour Music: Nate Leach