Brianne and Austin’s wedding was a charming day filled with a variety of amazing locations from a ceremony surrounded by nature, portraits around downtown Charleston then finally ending at Parcel 32. With multiple fun twists like an outfit change and a choreographed first dance, their wedding is truly a delight to witness through the beautiful images of the day!
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day? We were so lucky to have our nieces and nephews as our ring bearers and flower girls during our ceremony (although not all the ring bearers made it down the aisle!). Our brother-in-law, Alex, was our officiant. Aside from that, Austin had a pocket watch from his late-grandfather and I wore my late-Grandmothers’ rings so that they could be a part of our special day. During the ceremony, there was thunder in the distance. Austin’s sister, Lanie, called this out as our grandparents celebrating from above. It didn’t rain a drop, so this felt entirely fitting!
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? Austin and I met our freshmen year of college at University at Buffalo. Our first encounter was when I was baking cupcakes in the common dorm kitchen, to which Austin definitely enjoyed some! In what we like to describe as a classic movie meet-cute, we ended up being chemistry lab partners during second semester and the rest is history. While we were both smitten with each other, it did take Austin a little while to pick up on my hints that we could be more than just lab partners.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning. In planning our wedding, we knew right away that we would prefer to do an intimate, smaller event. We wanted our close family and friends there, and for the day to feel special. Neither of us are great at being the center of attention, and Bri loves focusing on the little details as opposed to a grand event. It took a bit for our parents to understand and agree with this decision, and we ended up compromising by allowing our wedding to be small, but both sets of parents had a backyard reception later in the summer to celebrate with extended family and friends in a more casual setting. It was the perfect balance for us. Our wedding day didn’t feel like a race to talk to hundreds of people, and we were able to catch up with those we hadn’t seen in a while during the relaxed backyard parties.
It’s chemistry class your freshman year of college and your professor pairs you up with the cutest lab partner. You lock eyes for the first time and it’s love at first sight! Sounds like a movie, huh? Well, it’s actually the beginning of Austin and Brianne’s love story!
These two ended up becoming more than chemistry partners and have spent the past 8 years building a beautiful life together! We appreciate this couple because they knew exactly the type of wedding experience they wanted to curate. With a modest guest list, a charming county park ceremony, a reception restaurant takeover and lots of cool accessories — they had a wedding day perfectly unique to them.
The ceremony was held in Laurel Hill County Park, a hidden gem in Mount Pleasant with incredible wildlife and coastal vistas. The guests took their seats facing a cascading avenue of stunning oak trees. Little munchkin boys in suspenders and little girls in blue dresses patiently waited to debut the aisle and sprinkle the ground with white rose petals. Music began to play and Brianne made her way over to Austin, her billowing white gown contrasting beautifully against the green backdrop. Austin was overtaken with emotion as his serene bride approached him. Hand in hand they professed their everlasting love to one another and turned the page to start a new chapter as Mr. and Mrs. Lewandowski!
After the ceremony, the wedding party ventured west to the Charleston peninsula for cocktails and bites. We stole away with the couple to take wedding portraits in the Historic District of downtown. For two people who claim they aren’t very comfortable being photographed, Brianne and Austin completely charmed the camera! We adore the look of Brianne’s voluminous wedding skirt on the cobblestone streets of downtown, her retro heart shaped sunglasses adding a playful element. Austin looked dapper and timeless in his club master sunglasses, with his cufflinks engraved with their fur babies’ faces reflecting the summer sun.
Next destination, Parcel 32! This eclectic restaurant seamlessly ties together funky, modern Art Deco with the Old South. It was the perfect place for this couple to have their intimate wedding celebration. The wedding party drank colorful cocktails and dined on local lettuces, New York strip and wedding cake decorated with white roses and Veronica flowers. The couple sat at the sweetheart table, radiating with a newlywed glow, as the honorary guests gave their speeches and a professional Irish dancer graced the party with a flurry of fast moves (which per Irish tradition means the couple will have lots of children!).
After dinner we gathered on the top floor for the couple’s grand entrance and first dance. Austin twirled Brianne around like a swing dancing champion. In her breezy sweetheart dress and white sneakers, she looked swept away into bliss. Soon after, everyone else joined in, showing off their best moves for the disposable camera and camcorder that was floating around. No other group was having as much fun dancing above King Street than this crowd.
It was such a pleasure venturing around Charleston with Brianne and Austin, capturing their unforgettable first day as husband and wife. We wish you a lifetime of everlasting love! -Kailee DiMeglio Photography
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another? We have learned to always focus on the positives. When the world can feel heavy, it is helpful to concentrate on the good within our control. The simple, happy moments can mean the most. A warm cup of coffee on the back porch in the morning with our pets, a walk on the beach at sunset, a great meal at one of our favorite restaurants, a laughing fit for something one of us did. These are the moments we love to soak up and enjoy.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be? There is no “right-order” to life events. We had dated for nearly 9 years before getting married, and in that time, we moved to a new city together, got two pets together, purchased our first home. Make decisions as they seem right for you two as a team, not based on others’ opinions of how life should go. It will make you stronger as a couple. We know it is always us two agreeing on how we want to live our lives.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding? For Bri, it would be the details. Making the name place cards out of recycled local oyster shells, using a Cricut to self-address the envelopes, designing photoshop signs, and all the little things that made our day special.
For Austin, it is a tie between the food (Parcel 32 was amazing) or prior to settling on our venue, touring the different options. It was a chance to see different locations in Charleston that we hadn’t been to previously, and they are all so special and beautiful.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship! We made the financial decision to not hire a videographer. It was a choice we agreed on, as we feel wedding videos have reached a stereotypical point where they all look the same. With that being said, we knew we wanted to have some video of our special day to reflect back on. We decided to buy a $200 handheld camcorder for our guests to use to help us capture the day. Oh my goodness, watching that footage back is the funniest experience. It feels like a true home video, shaky footage and zooms in and out, but it captured the moments in a way that feels real. One of our close friends took the lead in videoing the day, and it is evident he took his job seriously by the number of photos from Kailee with him in the background, camcorder in hand.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you? For us, the most special part of our day was our first dance. We made a last-minute decision to quickly have a choreographed dance about 2 weeks before our wedding date. The lessons were so much fun, and we think our guests were truly shocked when we whipped that number out! Lots of spins and twirls, and it was just a joyful moment in our day. We had the biggest smiles and laughs, and our guests were hollering to celebrate us through the whole dance. We chose the song Mango Tree by Zac Brown Band, and the up-beat tune will remain special to us our whole lives together.
Photographer: Kailee DiMeglio Photography
Venue: Parcel 32
Stylist / Planner / Designer: Lee from Direct My Day
Floral Designer: Coastal Creations
Dress Boutique: Victoria’s Bridal Shoppe
Cake Designer: PPHG
Makeup Artist: Silhouette on Site
Hair Stylist: Silhouette on Site
Film Lab: Photovision Prints
Ceremony Location: Laurel Hill County Park
Vintage bus: Low Country Valet
Reception Entertainment: Mikey Lee Event Entertainment