Monday, October 31, 2011

Jennifer + Chris {Honey Horn Plantation Wedding}

Honey Horn Plantation is located on Hilton Head Island and is one of the Lowcountry's treasured Wedding venues.  It has everything that today's couple, Jennifer + Chris, wanted in a reception venue: cozy live oaks, salt marshes, spanish moss and picturesque open fields. Amanda Joy Photography was on hand to capture this darling Southern affair complete with an oh-so sweet couple,  personalized details and some amazing lowcountry cuisine.

Thanks to Jennifer for filling us in on all the details.  I just love her responses...

Tell us a little bit about how you met your husband.  How long have you known each other? Where did you meet?
My husband and I met through our group of friends at the beginning of our sophomore year at the University of South Carolina. As our group of friends hung out more, our relationship grew and it was history from there. We first became best friends and the love grew from that which is why our relationship has such a solid foundation. We dated for 5 years before getting engaged


How did he propose?  How long were you engaged for? 
While visiting my family in Bluffton SC for a long weekend, our day was full with lots of summer activities throughout the day, nothing out of the ordinary. I noticed that Chris seemed to be following my Dad around a little more than normal while they were cooking dinner on the grill, but thought he was just trying to get to know him more. Little did I know, he was asking to marry me.  After dinner and showers, we were ready to watch a family movie when Chris mentioned that he wanted to go to the gas station nearby to get a Gatorade to help his headache. Chris almost always gets a headache after being in the sun all day, and always wants a Gatorade when he has a headache, so this wasn’t out of the ordinary either. I was a little annoyed with him because I was ready to watch the movie, and the gas station wasn’t very close. After my mother (who also had no idea what was going on) tried to offer him a few medications, I agreed to go with him to the gas station, but being stubborn, I didn’t change out of my pjs and didn’t put on any shoes either. Once we got on the road, I was giving him all sorts of directions to the gas station, and he wasn’t following any of them. He was driving past all the turns. Finally, he asked me where the church was that my parents got married in. He said he wanted to drive by to see what it looked like at night, since it is on the water. I STILL didn’t get a clue; I was just getting more and more annoyed. Finally we got to the church and we hopped out of the car. He took my hand and walked me over to an oak tree and got down on one knee right under it. He asked me to marry him and I immediately covered my mouth in shock and started stepping backwards. Chris jokes now that he was a little scared when I did this because it looked like I was going to run away. I of course said YES and we quickly got back in the car. Remember, I wasn’t wearing any shoes and Chris found out quickly that he knelt down in an ant pile. Oh, the joys of the south. On the way home to celebrate with my awaiting parents and brothers, I still thought Chris had a headache and asked if he still needed a Gatorade. We were engaged for a little over one year.

How did you choose your venue? What elements drew you to Honey Horn?
We knew right away that we wanted to get married on Hilton Head, where I was born and raised. Chris’ family has a beach house in Beaufort SC, which is about an hour away. This is where Chris spent his summers growing up. So this place is special to the both of us. We knew we wanted our wedding to be somewhat laid back and a low country theme, so an outside reception was perfect. We chose Honey Horn Plantation because of the beautiful pavilion (in case of rain) that still gave the outside feel, but most importantly because of the beautiful oak trees and moss. Nothing is more beautiful to a southern girl and guy like us than a location with Oak Trees, moss, and the smell of the marsh nearby. We were sold!

I asked Jennifer to pick her most cherihed shot from the day...I'd have to say I agree!



Your wedding was filled with gorgeous details.  Did any have special meaning? What was your favorite?
This was the most important thing for Chris and I when planning our wedding. We wanted every single detail to be personalized or mean something special to us. Since we had a more laid back reception, we got to spend a lot of time creating small details that meant something to us. Where do I start?
For the actual ceremony, I had my great grandmother’s ring tied to my bouquet, which was wonderful knowing that it was there.
And the reception is where is gets good! Each table number corresponded with a short sentence or story about Chris and me. For example, Table 56: Chris and Jennifer were engaged for 56 weeks. The escort cards were clothes pinned onto an old window frame.
 My dad made different signs to use around the reception for parking, arrows for “reception”, “thank you” for the gift table, but my favorite (out of all the signs and everything at the reception) was “Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hunt” that was put at our wedding party table in front of our seats.
 The pavilion had a beautiful fireplace with a huge mantle that we had fun decorating. We strung twine across the mantle and used clothespins to pin up black and white pictures of Chris and I. My dad also made a huge “H” to put up as the focal point. Some greenery and a few more framed pictures, including ones of our parents on their wedding days finished up the mantle.
For our cake, I had a clay figurine made of our two precious dogs with their names on it. We were sad they couldn’t be there with us, but the cake topper was a perfect addition.
We also created a fun area for guests to take pictures and videotape. My mom found a huge red couch on sale that we put out in the yard. We had a table nearby with a camera and video camera and a chalkboard so that guests could write notes to us. There were also stick mustaches, lips, and glasses to have a little fun with.
We used more chalkboards to label different things at the reception like the lemonade, sweet tea, specialty drinks, cookies, and pies.
Near the gift table we had a few vintage pieces of luggage stacked on top of one another with a picture of Chris and I on our first trip together as a couple, and a little note to tell the guests where we were headed for our honeymoon.
There were many many more details for our reception, and once again, everything was planned and meant something to us. We know that with all of these special details, nobody will ever come close to having the same details as us, and our wedding will always be unique to us.

Tell us a little bit about your menu.  Did you add any Lowcountry elements?
Our menu screamed southern for sure, and that is exactly what we wanted. For the cocktail hour, the guests were greeted with mini crab cakes, fried oysters, fruit skewers, and mini ham biscuits.
For dinner we enjoyed strawberry and feta cheese salad, Caribbean chicken, coconut shrimp,  grilled veggies, and macaroni and cheese. Everything was absolutely delicious! Honestly, we had a hard time deciding what we wanted for our menu because everything that Downtown Catering and Events had was delicious!

Out of the entire day, what was the most memorable moment?
Besides saying our vows (which was by far the best moment of the day, it felt like we were the only ones in the room), there were two other great moments that I could live over and over and they would never get old.
The first one would be seeing all of our friends and family at the reception together, having a good time. I’ve been to many weddings, but I have never seen two families mesh as well as our two families did. People that didn’t know each other until that day were dancing with one another. New siblings were dancing, long time family friends were dancing, and everyone was having a blast. You wouldn’t have been able to tell which family member or friend went with which family and for me that was the best thing. Family is the number one most important thing to Chris and I, so this was a very special moment for us for sure.
The second moment would have to be when we drove away. I know that doesn’t really sound too good, but at this moment, it was just the two of us for the first time all day, for the first time as a married couple. My little brother and his friends decorated our car and Chris drove us away, so there wasn’t even a driver to get in the way. Just us. As much as we were sad that the day was over, it was now real. On the way to the hotel, we realized how hungry we were, so we went through the Burger King drive through to bring food back to our room. We looked at each other and laughed because this was us. Nothing had changed, except I was now Mrs. Hunt and we were finally married.
Looking back on your engagement and wedding, is there any advice you would give to brides in the planning process?
I think I would say what everyone said, enjoy the whole thing, and DON’T RUSH through it. For me the planning for a whole year before the wedding made it so I wasn’t too stressed towards the end. Don’t get me wrong, I think every normal girl will get at least a little stressed. But, I feel like I had just enough time to plan.
The part that went by so fast for me was the actual day. I feel like I was rushing the morning by because I just wanted to see Chris and I couldn’t wait for the ceremony to start. I could have slowed down and taken in everything a little more.
The reception went by the fastest. I’m not sure where the time went. I wish I would have been able to speak to everyone there a little more than I did.
So yes, my advice would be slow down, look around, and enjoy every second of the day.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Autumn + Tony {Costa Mesa Engagement}

Autumn + Tony are a good lookin' twosome.  Whether it's running or boxing, they always make
a point to hit the gym together on a daily basis...and it shows. Being the boxer that Tony is, it
was important for this Costa Mesa couple to get their engagement pictures taken PRIOR to his
upcoming matches.  The duo hung out with the fabulous Brittanee Taylor for the afternoon as
she snapped some seriously adorable images of this attractive duo. 

Christina + Tim {Atlanta Engagement}

Christina + Tim are planning a Parisian themed wedding and really wanted to incorporate that vibe into their engagement session.  With the help Elle Golden Photography and a perfect Spring afternoon, this Georgia couple accomplished just that.  They decided on Atlanta's John Howell Memorial Park where Christina + Tim took in the beautiful scenery and enjoyed a cozy French inspired picnic.

These two are so stinkin' cute.  Christina is just precious...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stephanie + Matt {West Palm Beach Wedding}

Stephanie + Matt tied the knot this past Spring in sunny West Palm Beach, Florida.  The two opted for a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Ann's Church were they said 'I do' in front of all their friends and fam.  Afterwards, they took to the beach where the ladies of Stay Forever Photography were able to grab some gorgeous sun kissed images of the happy couple and their bridal crew.  They joined their guests at the Palm Beach Sailing Club were they enjoyed a reception filled with an appetizing array of food (including BBQ and cake pops!), kickin' reggae, lots of dancing and a wonderful coastal breeze.

photographer: stay forever photography  /  reception venue: palm beach sailing club