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Corinne & Stu

Corinne & Stu

Wooden Rings
Marker Heart
Hand-Drawn Wedding Detail Backdrop

Charleston Wedding Photographer

Stu and Corrine are such an incredible couple. They are soulful, spiritual, down to earth, and kind. You just need to spend one meal with them to get a sense of their enchanting outlook on the world. When we first met, they talked about their vision for their perfect wedding day. It included a location where their friends and family could gather, a ceremony that was true to themselves and one heck of a weekend party!

Corinne's dress was spectacular. One of the unique dresses that I have photographed in my ten years shooting weddings. The dyed green bottom was sensational; it fit her perfectly. She looked stunning. Corinne's wedding dress set the tone for the wedding day decor. From one event to another, it was a non-stop celebration for Stu and Corrine.

Congratulations Corrine and Stu!! I wish nothing but the best for you in the future

A word about the wedding cake

Blank Page Cafe is an on-farm coffee shop and gluten free bakery located at Bread and Butter Farm in Shelburne that specializes in performance coffees and nutrient dense baked goods using high quality local ingredients.

Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

A: Our wedding was a destination wedding weekend for every single one of our guests. Thematically we wanted a location that would house everyone and all events on a single grounds to avoid any additional transportation once guests arrived. The hotel provided both intimate opportunities for gathering as well as plenty of space for privacy throughout the weekend as desired by each guest and their respective families. A destination wedding after all is a vacation for everyone, and it was important that our scheduling of events was minimal to allow our guests the personal time to do as much or as little as they were so inclined. Our color palette was earth toned with a range of greens on a spectrum of saturation, intended to be natural to and un-intrusive of South Carolina's innate lush green palette.

Q: Let's talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

A: It just so happen to rain us indoors for our ceremony so the beautiful lawn overlooking Lake Champlain and the dramatic Adirondack Mountains was replaced with the convenience of a three-story building, where the Bridal preparation, wedding ceremony and reception took place on different floors under the same roof. The hotel's grounds and views provided all the aesthetics we needed, we had not planned for any additional decoration besides a small white birch trellis that we moved indoors as central focal point of the ceremony.Our reception hall was one of the club's original buildings with timber framed, post and beam construction that we worked with for tabling and dancing. We utilized the bridesmaids bouquets along with a few tall topiaries that our florist had assembled from various beautiful branches integrated into the natural charm of the space.

Q: What were the florals like at your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces, or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

A: Rather than florals, I focused on herbals! Greenery was the theme. Living decor is big consideration for the wedding day budget, and I saw the investment as an opportunity to build our garden after the weekend concluded. It is now a favorite memory of wedding preparations to have spent a day herb shopping and situating the centerpieces with my mother, working on a tarp in my kitchen.Inspired by the textures and hues of culinary and medicinal herbs centerpieces, two florists made the rest of the greenery possible. A surrogate grandmother offered to make flower girl hair pieces from herbs as well as tall topiary pieces for reception decor. In Full Bloom, a renowned florist is Shelburne, was hired to curate the large bouquets and boutonnieres. I asked my bridesmaids to choose a dress in their favorite variation of green; identical draping green bouquets unified their unique dresses. Stu had his groomsmen in identical outfits, so I asked In Full Bloom to create individualized boutonnieres to give each groomsmen a personal flare.

Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment, etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

A: It was a family-forward event! Six nieces and three nephews from both sides of the families comprised the flower girls and ring bearers. My two sisters were bridesmaids, and Stu's younger brother his Best Man. My eldest brother and his wife shared a reading, while Stu's eldest brother and sister-in-law provided live ceremony prelude and postlude music with a songlist of our selections. My other brother was an usher and my mother's escort, as was Stu's second eldest brother for his mother. My father, retired Navy Captain G. Donald Steel, addressed us and the crowd with a navy blessing before turning the ceremony over to Stu's father, Reverend Steve Melvin, to conduct the marriage vows and introduction of the newlywed bride and groom.We also utilized the skilled-trades of our local artisan bakers and friends at Blank Page Cafe for a gluten-free dessert table. Mike & Katie crafted three different cakes; an olive oil cake with rosemary-infused Italian buttercream, a dark chocolate zucchini cake, and beet red velvet cupcakes with a coconut cream icing.

Q: Let's talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.

A: I had a fabulous time designing my dress! My dressmaker is my mother's cousin, Mandy Camardo, who also made my mother's wedding dress, forty two years ago! We worked together to craft the style and details; I loved visiting her studio in Hudson Valley, and we even shopped for sustainable fabrics in the garment district in NYC on an afternoon day trip. A two piece, made of stretchy material, with a green dip-dyed bottom of the skirt were the dream criteria. Mandy even attached green gemstones into the center of tiny rose gold flower beads to incorporate the rose gold of our engagement rings, and sewed each flower onto the neckline of my top. She also added a raw silk train that was dyed in the gradient green, so that my dream of a long train dip could be achieved yet removed when it came time to dance! Stu's two-piece green and grey toned Reiss (label) suit was fashioned around the color-dye concept of my ivory and green dress. A fitted white mandarin collar button-down shirt and taupe, suede Chelsea Boot complemented his suit.

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: Our meeting was such a synchronistic encounter as passing strangers strolling down the same sidewalk in Oakland, California. I had left my apartment to retrieve some items from my vehicle when Stu and I crossed paths where Stu stopped me on the spot and asked me out for coffee, which I declined. I went about my stroll without any expectation of crossing paths again. Stu however had other expectations, as it turned out.A couple of weeks later I arrived at my vehicle to find a multi-page construction paper note under the windshield that was hand illustrated, asking for a date. His note had suggested several things we could do on this date, among a couple other less noble first-date suggestions that we could do that he crossed out in the note as if to omit from legibility, rather (intentionally) unsuccessfully at that.Stu's proposal came unexpectedly on our property during a beautifully dramatic Winter sunset. He worked with local artisans "Raintree Jewelry" to fashion an engagement ring set, created from an existing ring that I had recently received from my grandmother who passed a few moths prior. It was a very special way to continue her legacy. My grandparents were married for seventy years and their devotion inspires me still.

Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

A: It's such an honor being surrounded by the collective individuals and families that have been so impactful and influential on our lives to date. The significance of the ceremony was more powerful than expected, and reassuring that for Stu and I, this intimate scale production, in this exact setting, recognized and witnessed by these loved ones was perfect.

Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you'd like to share with other couples planning their day?

A: Hold onto your vision as to what is authentic to you and your significant other. There will be many well intended opinions shared with you throughout every step of planning and execution, and there will be so many incredible people that come together to help make your day such a lasting memory, so craft your wedding harmoniously with all involved, but do it your way. Choose a location and venue that represents you, but is also considerate of your guests in both accommodations and conveniences. Most likely many are traveling in from some distance and while it's your wedding and about you, be strategic in your planning for the greatest ease on your guests, where appropriate and applicable.Get a great photographer and videographer. The old adage is true that the actual ceremony and overall event goes by so quickly and the memories of each respective moment is left to live on in the documentation of them. We are very fortunate to have found Amy Bennett (and team) as everyday we look back on her beautiful capturing of that day with such grateful eyes...