Rustic Southern Wedding by Michael Moss Photography
Posted by Kate. Filed under Real Weddings

The setting in this week’s Real Wedding of the Week is just incredible.  Without even seeing it in person, Vanessa and Scott chose The Inn at Palmetto Bluff to host their dream of a good old fashioned Southern wedding.  They couldn’t have chosen a more perfect locale.  The charming architecture and breathtaking landscape of Carolina Lowcountry provided an entirely unique backdrop for their day.  Enjoy the gorgeous photos by Michael MossTo complement the setting, Vanessa and Scott opted for a neutral palette of pewter, beige, white and green.  The invitations were a custom design by etsy vendor {B.} Designs.  Vanessa layered strips of burlap on the paper goods, for a rustic effect. 

See the full feature in our Real Wedding Gallery, and read more of Vanessa and Scott’s story down below.

Photographs by Michael Moss

Venue: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Day-Of Coordination: Weddings with Leah

Flowers by Garden on the Square

Invitations by {B.} Designs

Cake Topper by YourTops

Cake by Signe’s Bakery

From the Bride: Scott and I met at a wedding!  A good friend of mine, who also happened to be a good friend of Scott’s sister, was getting married in October of 2008.   Both Scott and I ended up going stag and happened to find ourselves on the same corner of the dance floor when the band started to play one of the night’s inevitable slow songs, “At Last” by Etta James.  Instead of retreating to the bar with other singles in the crowd, and inspired by Scott’s parents’ endless energy on the floor, I asked Scott to dance.  A year later we were in Hawaii celebrating our one year anniversary.

Scott’s family has vacationed in Point Au Baril, Ontario, Canada for years. A vacation getaway passed down from generation to generation, several weeks out of every summer, the entire family makes it a point to get away from the rest of the world to relax and lavish in the natural, serene beauty of Point Au Baril to focus on the most important thing in this life: family. In the summer of 2010 I was invited along.  Mid week I was sitting down on the dock, book in hand, oversized straw hat shielding my face from the afternoon sun, when Scott came down from the house and asked me if I would like to go out and see the lighthouse. I jumped at the chance to go exploring and we hopped aboard a tiny wooden boat. In no time we were speeding across the inlet when I realized I had forgotten to grab shoes, Scott said it didn’t matter. His family had known the lighthouse keeper for years and he had called ahead. As we approached the lighthouse I was taken aback by how perfect it seemed perched where the water met the land, its red and white hues standing boldly against a backdrop of bright blue sky. We docked the boat and headed in. We were greeted at the front door with giant hugs from the tiny lighthouse keeper and her husband. We made our way to the back of the house where I was ushered up a tall ladder to the very top of the light house, out a small hatch, and back into the sun. We stood at the top of the deck, hand in hand beside the brilliant lamp which would guide boats back to Point Au Baril once the sun went down. It was so beautiful and such a perfect day!  Much to my surprise, Scott turned to me and said, “You know. I brought you out here for a reason…”, then he dropped to one knee, and pulled out a beautiful wooden ring box. I immediately burst into tears, I was completely shocked, and had absolutely no idea that he was going to propose. The next few minutes were a total blur. We kissed, I cried, and he slipped his great grandmother’s wedding ring onto my finger after I finally managed to get out a “YES, of course I will marry you!!!” When we went back downstairs, the lighthouse keeper presented us with a bottle of champagne and two antique glasses.  We found a place to sit on the rocks, drinking our champagne, and taking it all in while celebrating our future.

We wanted a good old fashioned Southern wedding… and we found the perfect place during a random google search.  The minute we saw the Chapel at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff we knew that was it!  We called and found that October 8, 2011 was booked… so we booked the very next weekend sight unseen and its a good thing we did!  It ended up pouring rain on October 8th in Bluffton, but on our big day, October 15th, the sun was out and a nice cool breeze lazed across the lawn.  It could not have been more perfect!  We actually planned our entire wedding from San Diego, before moving to Indiana.  Quite a challenge!  But we pulled it off and I have to say it was pretty incredible pulling onto the property, having never seen it, feeling like we were coming home, and having it not only meet but exceed all expectations!

We picked a natural palette of colors to complement the absolutely stunning grounds and scenery of our venue. Our invitations were custom made from a designer on Etsy that helped me to create one of my favorite elements for our wedding.  We used dark grey and ivory papers with burlap bands and unique touches that made it “us”.  The florals featured oversized white dahlias and draping greenery reminiscent of the huge Spanish Oaks covered in moss that originally caught our eye and drew us to the locale.  The guys wore lightweight tan suits with grey tennis shoes that matched the bridesmaid’s dresses.  The palette reminded us of the color of sand and the color of water on the May River at twilight. My dress and jewelry had a very vintage feel with a soft, understated Southern elegance.  I did a lot of the décor myself, using burlap and twine.  I even made my own clutch from burlap and a vintage bridal headband I found at an antique store!  We had a trolley transport the wedding party to add a little Southern thrill.  Scott’s two best friends played acoustic guitars and my little sister sang me down the aisle to “Make You Feel My Love.”  We had about 100 guests in the tiny chapel, filling it to the brim.  Fishbowl vases were filled with an assortment of flowers and hung on the end of each pew.  Our cake was another one of our custom touches! Scott’s dad makes custom vintage wedding cake toppers and he made an intricately detailed replica for us- including details like Scott’s beard and tennis shoes, along with the exact details of my dress.  Our friends and family came from all over to join us in Bluffton and I think it was an experience that none of us will forget!

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  • Such amazing images, love her wedding dress and the church looks fab. Great job.

  • It is so great to invite so many bridesmaids. I love the second image so much…

  • I love how the bridesmaids dresses shimmer! <3

  • Lovin’ the photo of the bride with her bridesmaids .. it looks so natural!

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  • Ann

    what a wonderful wedding! Beautiful couple, breathtaking venue all topped with some fantastic styling (the dress! bridesmaids dresses! flowers! decor! WoW!). I’d like to see more couple shots from the venue grounds on such a perfect weather day, but as a photographer I also every now and then stumble across clients who ‘don’t want many staged photos’.

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  • Michael, love the group shot with everyone on the old steps. everyone looks comfortable and like they are haveing a great time. What an amazing group of people. Thanks!

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  • Kristin

    Hi! I love the burlap bags tied with ribbon with the monogram on the front. Any idea how these were made or where they were bought??? I would love to so something similar to this for favors. Thanks so much!

  • Vanessa

    Kristin: I actually made the favor bags myself. It was time consuming but very easy. I just bought burlap in bulk on amazon and ordered a custom stamp off etsy. I stamped our monogram onto super think card stock, cut out teh squares and then sewed them into pre cut strips of burlap. Then I sewed up the bag and tied a strip of ribbon at the top. It took forever but I thought it was worth it! I would be happy to walk you through it in more detail if you are interested! Just let me know!

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