A Velvet-Clad Charleston Soiree


For photographer Lindsay Brown and Travis Taunton, one wedding led to the next. They met at their best friends’ wedding in Texas in 2014, after months of their respective friends telling them about each other. “They sat us next to each other at the rehearsal dinner, and we have talked every day since,” says Lindsay. They dated long-distance for a year before Travis moved to New York City and, in 2016, proposed on the High Line in the same place he’d asked Lindsay to be his girlfriend. The biggest surprise: “Right after he proposed, I turned around and both our families were there!”

But when it came time to plan their own wedding, the NYC-based pair selected a place neither of them had called home: Charleston! “We kept coming back to it,” she says. “Plus, it made for a beautiful and fun destination for our 190 guests.” On September 16, 2017, they said “I do” in the city’s oldest Catholic church and then partied at a site the groom didn’t actually see until the day of the wedding. “He was very trusting,” says Lindsay of Fenwick Hall, an oak-lined property that “felt like a fairy tale.” Another perk: the property allowed them to use any vendors they wanted, which gave the bride a freedom she loved.

With their venue locked in, Lindsay was inspired to design the wedding around the space. “Every detail took the venue into account,” she says. Luke Wilson of Luke Wilson Events helped wrangle every such detail: “He understood what we wanted from day one, which made planning a wedding from afar that much easier,” she says. Keep reading to see more of this early fall wedding, as planned by Luke Wilson and photographed by Olivia Rae James. It’s a beauty!

Upon stepping into Monique Lhuillier’s salon in New York, the bride felt confident she would find her dress. The lace gown she chose was the most comfortable one she’d ever put on. “The lace was buttery soft, and I didn’t want to take it off!”

Travis looked dapper alongside his bride in a custom midnight-blue tuxedo by Billy Reid. He paired his tux with shoes by Allen Edmond and his dad’s watch.

Lindsay’s gorgeous bouquet was made exclusively of early-fall blooms, including dahlias, astilbes, quicksand roses, and snapdragons. The blooms were tied together with gold ribbon and complemented with greenery.

Lindsay surprised Travis with the design of his personalized boutonniere, which was made up of a white hellebore, purple wax flower, and baby-blue eucalyptus.

Lindsay’s three bridesmaids (also in Monique Lhuillier) and Travis’s groomsmen were accompanied in the wedding party by a collection of flower girls, flower children, and a ring bearer. The flower-girl dresses, by Us Angels, were Lindsay’s favorite, as were their adorable ballerina flats from J.Crew.

Says the bride, “Our ring bearer was dapper in a black tux as he ran down the aisle pulling one of the flower girls with him. I was sad to miss it!”

According to a family tradition, Lindsay wore her sister-in-law’s veil, and she also donned Alexandre Birman heels for her walk down the aisle.

Because she wanted the venue and decor to flow naturally, Lindsay says she kept coming back to jewel tones that would complement the setting. She says, “Throughout the decor you’ll see deep purples, emeralds, blushes, and dark blues, among other colors.”

To adhere to the guidelines of their church, St. Mary of the Annunciation, the couple stuck to minimal decor for the ceremony. But that doesn’t mean they skipped over a sweet element! “The guests were greeted by young greeters in floral crowns and given custom programs tied with satin gold ribbon,” says the bride. Additionally, due to strict music guidelines, they featured a trumpet and organ player, who performed classical pieces. “I loved how they both fit into the church,” says Lindsay, adding, “The trumpet definitely set the tone!”

For the reception, the bride selected Fenwick Hall, after visits to several other locations around Charleston. “It was our last stop of the day, and I knew right away,” she says. “While I didn’t know at the time exactly how my vision would unfold, I felt confident that Fenwick would make for the perfect backdrop.”

At cocktail hour, the newlyweds served a signature libation: an herbal peach old-fashioned. The space was also set with French bistro chairs at small tables draped in textured ivory linens and white umbrellas. Midnight and emerald velvet linens were featured on tables too, and the custom-made bars were made of mahogany and French oak. Iron bookshelves—displaying florals and beautiful glassware—behind each bar completed the look.

Escort cards were displayed on a moss-covered table—a perfect choice for their Spanish-moss-filled setting!

For dinner, guests moved to the sailcloth tent on the estate’s back lawn, where a mix of long tables was draped in bone velvet linens. “The installations hanging in the tent appeared to mimic the expanse and elegance of the oaks on the property that are dripping in Spanish moss,” says Lindsay of the smilax vine that dripped above, with geometric pendant lights peeking through.

The thoughtful table settings included loose floral arrangements, gold and mercury hurricane vases, tea lights, and ethereal ivory sheer runners. Each place setting had a dark rattan charger, a gold-rimmed plate, and a velvet-banded place card that was hand-calligraphed and featured a gold wax seal. Gilded flatware, gold-rimmed glassware, a perfectly imperfectly knotted olive-green napkin, and custom menu cards finished off each setting.

After Travis and Lindsay’s first dance, to “Take the World,” by Johnnyswim, everyone joined in to dance to music from the couple’s band, Papa Sol from Atlanta. “The dance floor was full the entire night,” says Lindsay.

The round tiered cake featured slightly textured buttercream and piped dot detailing, and was adorned with greenery, blooms, apricots, and figs. The flavors—almond apricot, fig hazelnut, and creme caramel—were a nod to fall.

One of the couple’s fondest memories of their wedding day is of their time on the dance floor. “Around 10 p.m. we brought out a bunch of fun hats, glow sticks, boas, and fake mustaches,” says Lindsay. “It was hilarious seeing our friends and family embrace the fun, and it made for a perfect ending to the reception.”

The couple made a pact that they would stick together the entire reception. She explains, “I am so happy we did! Every moment from the night, we have together, and that has made looking back on our wedding that much more special.”

Wedding Team

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