Fourteenth: My Charleston Bride

Charleston, South Carolina is a special place filled with history, art, fantastic bars and restaurants, beaches, and the Charleston School of Law. Little did I know when I sent a care package filled with goodies to a law student named Kelsey, who I had never met, that one day I would design her wedding veil and be a guest at her wedding.

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Kelsey and John met through mutual friends. John was two years ahead of Kelsey at the Charleston School of Law. John is a huge golfer and proposed at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island at his favorite hole.

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John lived in Charleston for twelve years. We absolutely love the city and while we think our wedding was deemed a “destination wedding” we both felt it was a place close to home that gave us some of our best memories.
— Kelsey
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Kelsey’s Bridal Veil

One of my best friends in Law School is Marie’s daughter, Brielle. Without ever meeting Marie, she would send me encouragement packages, cookies, and birthday gifts—even after Brielle transferred to Richmond Law. I knew Brielle’s mom designed headpieces and veils. Once I got engaged, I leaned back on my relationship with Brielle and Marie and knew Marie would be the perfect designer to work with.

Kelsey, a long distance client, worked with me through phone conversations, photos, and swatches. Kelsey couldn’t get our “Betty” veil out of her mind! She loved the dot and delicate French lace scallop. Her sleek crepe mermaid “Ivana” wedding gown by Pronovias offered clean, simplistic lines with zero embellishments. Kelsey wanted the perfect accessory to complete her look while adding a bit of pop.

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As much as I loved the Betty veil, I made sure Kelsey knew this veil would stream down the aisle with a narrow slithery look. As beautiful as it is on my dress form, I wasn’t sure this was what she really wanted. We discussed it and took a breather to figure things out.

I knew I wanted a cathedral length veil to add some drama to my look. It was right around the time of the Royal Wedding. I texted Marie soon after and all but said, “I need it—Meghan Markle length!” Marie didn’t bat an eye, and I knew she would create the perfect length and perfectly designed veil.
Meghan Markle’s stunner of a wedding veil prompted a cathedral veil craze, while we had been custom designing extended length veils for years before the most recent Royal Wedding. We designed actress Tara Reid’s veil at 157” long when she was to marry MTV’s Carson Daly. Our blogged bride,  Rachel McKnight , wore our cascading veil at 147” long. Today we have several veils ready for production at over 160” in length.

Meghan Markle’s stunner of a wedding veil prompted a cathedral veil craze, while we had been custom designing extended length veils for years before the most recent Royal Wedding. We designed actress Tara Reid’s veil at 157” long when she was to marry MTV’s Carson Daly. Our blogged bride, Rachel McKnight, wore our cascading veil at 147” long. Today we have several veils ready for production at over 160” in length.

While on location at the Park Savoy, I posted this photo of our gorgeous two tier French Lace cathedral veil while readying for a photo shoot. This design inspired by the veil I created for my daughter's wedding day, was perfect for Kelsey. It had lace, length, shape, and drama. Kelsey texted me immediately upon seeing the post. The next day I ordered her lace from France.

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Kelsey wanted a blusher and liked my suggestion of designing a longer length and placing her bouquet underneath. She left the blusher design in my hands. Our brides love our blusher designs because of their beautiful shape and sheer nature.

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This weekend made many great memories. The fun began the moment Jeff and I step off the plane. Our housemates for the weekend asked us to join the bride for a glass of champagne at Tavern and Table. Next, it was time to settle into our three flour house within walking distance to everything Charleston.

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Brielle and I were nothing but happy and ready to celebrate with our Charleston bride-to-be on rehearsal night.

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Marie has been a supporter in every aspect of my life even though we didn’t formally meet until her daughter’s wedding in October of 2017. It was important for me to show her how much I appreciate her time and talent and I wanted her to see her work “live.” In addition to everything Marie did leading up to the wedding, she spent her afternoon on my wedding day enjoying champagne while placing my veil. She even snuck out of the reception and made sure my veil was folded and hung to keep its integrity. I can’t thank her enough!
Photo by Allison Hanson

Photo by Allison Hanson

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I really don’t know what came over me in this photo other than Kelsey looked like a princess, and I needed to get under her veil and tell her that. We are all blessed with a few true friends in our lives. To share this moment with one of mine is something I will never forget!
— Brielle Maffett
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I love taking pictures of people! I love capturing simple moments that my clients will want to remember for a lifetime. I am so grateful that my career also happens to be something I love and I hope my work reflects that!
— Allison Hanson

Photography by Allison Hanson

The wedding of Kelsey Brudvig and John Chandler

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I love a photographer who knows how to capture a veil in its beautiful natural form. So many photographers stage veil photos, and that is so obvious to me. A perfectly designed wedding veil will want to be left alone to dance with the bride.
— Marie Hunt
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This is Kelsey’s favorite veil photo. It is easy to understand why.

This is Kelsey’s favorite veil photo. It is easy to understand why.

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John knew exactly what needed to be done after the ceremony. He is now a husband and a gentleman for life!

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Kelsey and John chose to have their reception at the Gibbes Museum of Art located along Museum Mile in the heart of the Historic district.

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Our housemate, Casey Brennan took our couples photos. Our wedding weekend was a marathon of stops along King Street and culminated with “too much” reception fun! Shortly after our return home, I received a text from Irina saying she missed us and wanted to plan a trip together. I guess, Jeff and I, fit in okay with the younger crowd!

Brielle and Alex

Brielle and Alex

Marie and Jeff

Marie and Jeff

Irina and Casey

Irina and Casey

It is always an honor to attend the wedding of one of my clients. It is rare that I get a special moment together with the bride because I never want to intrude. I love it when I am there to see my bride walk down the aisle. To find a snapshot of us together is icing on the cake!

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After cocktail hour in the art museum we were led to an outdoor high-top tent crisply decorated with comfort food stations waiting to fill our bellies.

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I always encourage my brides to leave their veil on for as long as they can. It was specially designed for them and they should enjoy it. I often find a photo where I ask my followers to envision the bride without her veil on. The photo below is one such image.

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The Charleston Wedding Band was incredible! They played American Pie and it was so good someone requested they play it again—and they did!

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Kelsey changed into separates for dancing and adorned her hair with a baby’s breath crown.

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I am so happy that Jeff and I attended Kelsey and John’s wedding. The sparkler send off was only the beginning to many bright and wonderful years ahead. Congratulations Kelsey and John! Thank you so much for inviting us to witness your vows and celebrate with you in Charleston.

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Next month on the Fourteenth:

Headpiece.com and Vera Wang