Love is Love
Andrea + Jade Reynolds
Wedding Date: September 29, 2017
Ceremony & Reception: William Aiken House
Andrea and her bride, Jade, tell us about their instant love connection and all the details that went into planning their special day
Jade and I spoke online for several days before meeting in person at a Starbucks in Charleston. We stayed there for three hours talking and, when the store closed, we took a walk since neither of us was ready to leave. From the beginning, I (someone notoriously shy when meeting new people) felt comfortable with Jade; in fact, I felt so comfortable I didn’t want to leave her!
After our first date, we began spending nearly every free moment together. I was working as a nanny and Jade was busy with school and soccer at CofC, but we met almost every night and spent weekends at one or the others apartment. Two and a half years later, just after I graduated from MUSC, I decided it was time to make things permanent. One evening, after our soccer game, I tried to get Jade to stop at the Mount Pleasant Pier – where we had our second date – so I could propose somewhere significant to both of us. Being sweaty and tired, she said she didn’t feel like it (I should have thought the whole thing through better). Stymied but determined, as soon as we arrived home, I asked her to sit down and, while getting on one knee (she’s sort of traditional), I handed her a letter, both expressing how much she means to me and asking her to marry me. She, of course, said yes and we spent the next fifteen minutes calling our family to share the news!
Living in Charleston, we were a bit spoiled for choices as far as wedding venues go. Jade was out of town for soccer at the time, so choosing was left largely to me (which would ordinarily be a huge mistake). She gave me several options to look at and decide from. I had always noticed William Aiken House in passing during trips downtown, but never thought much about it one way or the other. However, when I walked through the gate into the courtyard, I was very nearly stunned at the tranquility and beauty of the place, being that it stood mere feet from the bustle of King St. Street, noises were hushed and I got to take a look around the grounds in quiet for several moments. During that time, I was able to envision our wedding taking place there, with the gorgeous house itself as a backdrop. I spoke to Jade as soon as I left, and it was decided.
I’m pretty easy to please, so Jade took the reigns for the majority of the wedding details. We both knew we wanted an element of timelessness as well as simplicity – to let the venue speak for itself. We chose colors and furniture to fit, with the help of our wedding coordinator. We had no real ideas other than we wanted everyone to feel comfortable and the area to speak its true beauty. All the decor was simple and elegant.
We wanted the venue itself to be the centerpiece of the event. Our layout and decor was set so as to allow the natural beauty of the house and property be the focal point. We like to think it worked. Since Jade was traditional, we went with two aisles to walk down at the same time and the simplicity of the ceremony is said to have inspired a lot of the people that attended!
Lillies are both of our favorite flower, and white is Jade’s particular favorite. Our most special bit of decor was a homemade wooden memorial to our family members that have passed. This allowed, in some sense, for us to feel that they weren’t forgotten during our big day. We went with a light blue linen mixed with aged wooden tables and tried to let the uplighting on the trees make the space feel more intimate.
My favorite part of the whole thing was collapsing into bed at the end of the night and talking about the day. It was the first time we had gotten to speak about how everything went and to exchange stories about things that guests had done/said that one or the other of us didn’t see/hear. Other than that, my favorite part was definitely the dancing!
Jade’s favorite part was the food and, in particular, the hor d’oeuvres. Ever since the tasting, we had been bigging up the food to our family and it did not disappoint.
I would say the millions of tiny details that need to be pre-arranged was the biggest challenge but, luckily, I have a wife that took care of all that like a pro. For us, we were just a bit worried about finding a venue and vendors that wouldn’t treat us differently for being two women. We know we aren’t exactly traditional, but we wanted a wedding as much as anyone else. Jade, in particular, had had dreams for her wedding since childhood, and I wanted to make certain we would get equal treatment compared to our heterosexual counterparts, so that her big day would be as good as she imagined. Luckily, we didn’t have too many problems with having it in such a nice place like Charleston. Our coordinator was amazing once she knew exactly our way of thinking and came up with solutions for everything.
Being British, much of Jade’s extended family, and many of her friends, were unable to make the trip to Charleston. However, several were, including her Nan, which she was incredibly thankful for. We are so thankful for being surrounded by so many amazing people and, to everyone who travelled, we thank you. As for everyone that helped with our day, thank you. We could not have done it without you and it was nothing short of perfect.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Ruta Smith Photography
WEDDING COORDINATOR: Sara Cavallon Celebrations
BRIDAL GOWNS: Mimi’s Bridal and Palmetto Bridal Boutique
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Weddington Way
MENSWEAR: Men’s Wearhouse
HAIR & MAKEUP: Lashes and Lace Bridal and TaRey Dance
INVITATIONS/STATIONARY: Studio R Design
FLOWERS: Justin Wham Weddings
RENTALS: Snyder Events and Justin Wham Weddings
LIGHTING: Technical Event Company
CATERER: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group