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A Classic Garden Wedding at a Private Home in Charleston, S.C.

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Anne Rhett of Anne Rhett Photography

Grace Toland, an assistant buyer at Celadon, a furniture and lifestyle store in Charleston, S.C., met Stephen Osborne at a mutual friend’s graduation party, and they started dating about two weeks after that first meeting.

Six years later, Stephen proposed. “We had just bought a house together, so it was about time!” laughs Grace. “It was New Year’s Eve, and we took a golf cart to ride around our neighborhood late that evening. I didn’t think anything of it because I hadn’t seen him all week, so I thought we were just catching up! Then it hit me as soon as he started driving down Pitt Street Pier—it’s a rather popular spot for engagements!” After Stephen popped the question, they returned home to find all of their friends and family ready to celebrate. “We had the best night ringing in the New Year and our engagement,” remembers Grace. “I now love having another reason to celebrate on New Year’s Eve!”

At the onset, Grace knew that she wanted a classic garden style wedding set in Charleston’s historic district. “Many of our guests were coming from out of town, and we wanted them to be able to experience the beauty of the city,” explains Grace. “The home we found is a historic landmark built in 1800.” Located on Bull Street, it’s in the heart of downtown Charleston and truly captures the essence of a bygone era. “Stephen and I both have parents who work at the College of Charleston, and we both graduated from the College, so having our wedding in this city was really special to us all,” adds Grace.

The couple worked with Grace Frederick Design to create their simple, elegant aesthetic. They chose all white for the floral arrangements and paired them with matching white linens, in keeping with the theme of simplicity. “I also didn’t want to commit to a color in part out of a fear that I would later regret it!” says Grace. “Without a doubt, the all-white look added an air of formality that worked beautifully with the historic setting!”

“I tried on about 100 dresses—no joke!” says Grace. “Ultimately, I went with something timeless and chose a Monique Lhuillier dress from Maddison Row.” She accented the dress with simple nude Loeffler Randall sandals. Towards the end of the night, she switched into a backless Needle and Thread dress that allowed her to really move on the dance floor. She kept her jewelry understated. “I wore a gold and diamond necklace that my parents gave me for graduation,” notes Grace. “I never take it off, so it would have felt weird wearing anything else on my wedding day. I also wore diamond earring studs and borrowed a sapphire and diamond ring.”

For beauty, Grace stayed pretty true to how she normally does her hair and makeup. “I love a heavy blush and a pink lip with a smokey eye,” she says. “That’s pretty much my go-to look!”

The ceremony was held in the garden behind the William Blacklock House. “I walked down the aisle with my father to strings playing ‘Trumpet Voluntary in D Major,’” says Grace. “One of our close friends, Sam Wheeler, officiated the ceremony. It was really special having someone that has known us for years marry us. The service was short and sweet, and the weather was just right!”

At the reception, the meal was a buffet of all of the couple’s favorite southern foods: a beef tenderloin cutting station, macaroni and cheese, shrimp and grits, scalloped potatoes, and a summer salad with greens. “I was having so much fun on the dance floor that I never got around to eating,” laughs Grace. “But I heard the food was great!”

The Loose Chain band out of Atlanta had everyone partying all night. “We had seen them before at a friend’s wedding and had so much fun, so I knew they would be the perfect band for us,” says Grace. “The dance floor was full the entire night, which was my goal—it was pretty wild!”

Afterwards, everyone went to Hall’s Chophouse on upper King Street. “We rented out the side portion of the restaurant, and it ended up being perfect! It’s a place we frequent—a little too often—and it wouldn’t have felt right to go anywhere else!”