Today we are sharing this elegant William Aiken House wedding that is a mixture of beautiful inspiration & fun! I love seeing work come through thats from Charleston because is always comes with a touch of sweet southern charm. Precious family heirlooms were incorporated into the day along with classic details to make for a stunning Charleston wedding day!
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
“Looking for wedding dresses was so much fun!! Then once I started my alterations it was the exciting feeling all over again because I got to put on THE dress of my dreams and plan out what we do next with it!”
“Rachael and Forrest got married at William Aiken House, which is a beautiful venue in Charleston with black and white checkered flooring, pale yellow exterior and big Charleston style porches. They chose this venue because it was the perfect blend of the two of them: Traditional, elegant, whimsical, and unique. Rachael wore an absolutely stunning lace detailed wedding gown, her hairpiece was from her mom’s veil and she held a hanker-chief from her great grandmother. Forrest wore classic black tux with a black bow tie and a watch that was restored and gifted to him from his dad. They looked so incredible! Rachael did a first look with her dad and bridesmaids; both are always so fun for us to photograph! The couple opted to not do a first look but chose to exchange wedding day cards to each other with a door between them. It was the perfect intimate moment for them before walking down the aisle! The ceremony was a beautiful service in front of a floral filled backdrop. Rachael walked down the aisle to her grandparent’s first dance song. Their DJ live streamed their entire ceremony so the guests that were unable to attend could still be there! During the ceremony the groom wiped away tears while his bride snuggled close during the prayers. The groom dipped his bride for their first kiss and they exited their ceremony while all the guests tossed white rose petals in celebration. They decorated the area with so much greenery and florals, which we loved. The couple even personalized the marquee next door on the American theater board. The reception was half indoors and half outdoors at the William Aiken House. They danced the night away and when it came time for the garter toss, the bride tricked her groom by icing him instead of wearing a garter! They ended the evening with a fun cake cutting and sparkler exit.” – Kailee DiMeglio Photography
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
Rachael: We first met at church, but ultimately, our friends helped set us up! I remember seeing Forrest across the room two months before we actually met and thinking “he’s cute.” I totally had a crush on him. All I can picture, still to this day, is his middle part hair bouncing as he walked.
Forrest: I saw her across the room at a community group and I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. It was like no matter what was going on, they kept drifting back to her. After group was over, I was walking over to her to make my move…and she met me halfway and beat me to the introduction! I knew it was on after that!
Tell us a funny story from your relationship!
Rachael: I had always wanted to play a prank on Forrest on our wedding day. I thought about having one of his groomsmen dress up in a wedding dress for a first look, but ultimately ended up going with “icing him.” Basically, I hid a Smirnoff Ice in my dress right before the garter toss with help from my planner and sister. Instead of a garter, he found the Smirnoff ice and had to get on one knee to chug the whole thing! Best moment ever!
Forrest: By far the funniest moment of our relationship: we were eating sushi at our favorite spot and Rach was busy on her phone. While she wasn’t looking, I decided to grab a giant scoop of wasabi and feed it to her like it was sushi. It took about 2 seconds for her to realize what had happened, and the look on her face was one for the ages.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
Rachael: One word: COVID. Definitely was not expected in our year of planning. We ultimately decided to go through with our wedding, with much lower numbers. Thankfully, there were no COVID cases even 2 weeks after our wedding that could be traced back!
Forrest: Gosh, I would say having to make a decision to postpone, cancel, elope, or continue along with the wedding. We must have spent every day discussing it from March up to the week of the wedding. But in the end, we made a decision together that had both its pros and cons. And now, we are happily married, and that is all that matters.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
Rachael: I wore a hairpiece made of part of my mom’s veil, and I carried my great-grandmother’s handkerchief. I also walked down the aisle to my grandparent’s first dance song!!! We chose to incorporate my paternal grandfather’s stamp collection onto our invitations as well.
What part of your wedding day was most important to you?
Rachael: With COVID, our wedding was extremely stressful for me. The most important part that I will never forget was the lengths that Forrest and our friends took to try and make the day special for me. They were relentless in making sure that we were able to celebrate without feeling stressed! I never could have done it without them.
Forrest: Getting to spend all morning and afternoon with the men who would stand by my side later that day. We shared good drink and cigars while standing on the balcony overlooking the grounds.
What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another?
I think we can both say that we have learned how to view the world from different perspectives from each other. We are different in a lot of ways, but it works. We are able to compliment our personalities mellowing our weaknesses and amplifying our strengths.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Rachael: His ability to annoy me to no end, but keep me smiling no matter how life is going!
Forrest: Her eyes.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Rachael: I’m not going to lie. Planning was hard for many reasons. 2020 was a season of loss for me, but I did enjoy being able to attempt to put together something cohesive.
Forrest: After our original plans fell through, I planned our honeymoon stateside. Rachael wanted it to be a complete surprise, so she didn’t even know where we were going until we were on our final leg of the flight! I recreated our planned Portugal honeymoon in California. We explored Carmel-by-the-sea, the city of San Francisco, and Napa.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
Rachael: Take it slow. Take time to make sure the process doesn’t feel rushed. You want to be able to enjoy it and look back knowing you did what you wanted without feeling pressured!
Forrest: Guys, don’t hesitate to smash the cake on her face.
What is the most honest thing you can say about love?
Forrest: It’s so worth it. Fight for it each day, even when you’re tired and worn out. Strive to be selfless in everything, and you will gain love your heart truly desires.
Photographer: Kailee & Tim Shields / Venue The William Aiken House / Stylist / Planner / Designer Peper Events / Floral Designer Fresh Weddings & Events / Dress Boutique White on Daniel Island / Dress Designer Anne Barge / Cake Designer PPHG / Makeup Artist Pampered and Pretty / Hair Stylist Pampered and Pretty / Men’s Formalwear The Black Tux / Rentals Event Works / Accessories / Decor Bride’s hairpiece is from Bride’s veil / Hanker-chief – Bride’s great-grandmother / Film Lab The Find Lab / Videography The Oshiros / Ceremony Music Charly Van Norden / Reception Entertainment DJ Crane[/caption]