Thursday, March 4, 2010

FEATURED COUPLE: Victoria & Talmadge

WHO - Victoria and Talmadge
Victoria was born and raised in Annapolis MD and received her BA in Communication Studies from Clemson University. After college she worked for FOX News Channel as a producer and later left to work for Chesapeake Bay Magazine as a Web Video Producer, Ad Rep and Marketing Coordinator. Just 760miles south, her future husband, Talmadge, was born and raised in Jacksonville FL. Tal received his BA in History from University of North Florida, after college he joined the Air Force as a Russian Linguist, today he is pursuing a graduate degree in International Administration from the University of Miami in Florida.

How it all began...
The story starts in December of 2007...Victoria and Talmadge met in Baltimore Maryland. Tal was in the Air Force and based at Fort Meade. Victoria was living in Annapolis MD and working for Chesapeake Bay Magazine. The first date was dinner at Sascha's 527 Cafe in the beautiful Mt. Vernon MD.
They both love football, sports, music, friends and family and quickly started to enjoy all of those things together.

The Proposal
On the weekend of July 25/26-After moving into our new apartment in Miami, Florida as Tal was preparing to start graduate school, we had finally arrived back to Jacksonville FL on Sunday July 26, 2009 to relax at Tal's parents house. It was about 8pm and the sweet summer sun was starting to set. Tal decided he wanted to go out for a bit and watch the sunset on the St. John's River since the sky looked immaculate. Arriving at the Walter Jones Historic Park just after 8:15pm we walked to the end of the dock and sat down, dangling our bare feet over the water, taking pictures of the clouds and sun and small-talking about how excited we were about the future and moving to Miami FL together. Before the sun was gone for the night Tal asked to walk along the nature trail on the riverfront boardwalk. The setting was perfect, large oak trees, spanish moss swaying from the branches, the calm St. John's River, and a purple and pink sunset. Tal insisted that I continue to take pictures of the sunset and then he said "You may want to take a picture of this.." I turned around and he was holding a dark blue Tilghman Jewelers box (the Annapolis local jeweler that my father has used for 25+years) in his hand with a beautiful diamond ring "I love you. Will you marry me?" Of course I said YES!

Why Charleston
Charleston SC was such an easy decision for us to make and based on many reasons we decided Charleston was truly our wedding destination!

With our families in Maryland and Florida it was a 'mid-way' point to say our "I Do's," whether driving or flying our family and friends will be able to join us at this central location.

Going to school in South Carolina at Clemson I've always enjoyed visiting Charleston, it reminds me of home (Annapolis MD) but with a southern twist. Like Annapolis MD it's rich in history, on the water, has a lot of boating/sailing, has a local market, lots of shops, restaurants and extremely nice locals. Tal loves history, old buildings, and beautiful homes and lets face it.. Charleston SC is filled with it all! We both love sweet southern hospitality and in this romantic city you're surrounded with it!
We couldn't be more excited to hold our destination wedding in Charleston SC-one of the most romantic places in the southeast.

WHY A Charleston Event & Bridal Library
After choosing Charleston SC as our wedding destination it was clear that the planning would be a bit more difficult for my mother and I to do than having it in Annapolis MD! While my mother and father live in Annapolis Maryland and Tal and I are now in Miami Florida, planning a Charleston SC wedding seemed pretty challenging alone. We decided to start searching for full time wedding planners in the Charleston area to help make the V&T wedding planning much less stressful on my mother and I and to get some insider/local knowledge instead of trying to go into finding everything blind.
Searching on various websites online and in national and regional magazines we learned fast that there are MANY wedding/event coordinators in Charleston SC- so how did we narrow our search and better yet pic ACE & Bridal Library?
I sent some initial emails and made phone calls to many different companies- not to mention any names- but most of them didn't make me feel like a bride to be- they made me feel more like a huge stack of cash on the other end of the phone that they wanted to fish up right away. Once I called A Charleston Event and spoke with Elyn, I honestly didn't want to get off the phone! I think the first time we talked on the phone our conversation went on for almost an hour. Elyn really took her time to explain everything about their services and their company and how they would make MY wedding exactly what I wanted! She listened to what I had in mind, answered all of my 101 questions and made me feel like I was talking to someone I've known for years. Elyn and her team are so experienced, knowledgeable and well-rounded in not only wedding planning details but also in Charleston SC. I expressed my vision of what type of photography I was looking for and Elyn didn't have to think twice before suggestions the PERFECT photographers. Elyn is available to talk anytime you need her. It's not just a 9-5 job for all of the ACE team- this is something they enjoy and they are there for their brides WHENEVER you need them- that means a lot!
We couldn't have made a better decision to go with A Charleston Event & Bridal Library as our wedding planner/coordinator.

The Planning Process
We got a majority of our planning done in one trip to Charleston (that we took before the holidays) where we met with Elyn and some of her team. We attended pre-arranged appointments with selected vendors to help narrow down some decisions that Tal and myself had to make. Here are the vendors that we chose:

Ceremony & Reception: Governor Thomas Bennett House
Before choosing ACE we made a trip to Charleston to look at venues, the Thomas Bennett House was the second site we visited, and it was our last! After getting a tour of the beautiful house on a sunny Saturday afternoon while it was being set up for a wedding that evening, we both got into our car and practically had tears in our eyes! We both just looked at one another and said "this is it, it's perfect." Needless to say we didn't visit the other 6 venues on our list and instead went to celebrate and toast to finding our perfect wedding venue!

Elyn set up a meeting with Mic & Alan during one of our Charleston visits. These two photo journalists brought samples of their work, explained how things would work the day of our wedding, and just really produced a final product which is exactly what we are looking for. They focus on telling a story and capturing emotions in their work. We can't wait to shoot our engagement session with them and better yet our wedding day!
Elyn set up a meeting with Iverson himself and MaryAnn at the Thomas Bennett House. We are looking for a low country cuisine with a unique presentation. Iverson Catering is perfect for it all! So easy to work with, Iverson Catering is making our wedding menu based on our suggestions and wants (and even adding Clemson BleuCheese to a few dishes!) We are really looking forward to our day of tasting that's coming up!

DELICIOUS! After sampling Linda's cakes Tal and myself were in heaven! Fresh, moist, light and delicious! It was a hard decision to make which flavors we wanted since they were all heavenly. Looking forward to a traditional cake!

Ceremony Music: Classical Charleston
Elyn set up a meeting for us to meet with Andrew Mille, Cellist and Manager of Classical Charleston. We were able to choose our ceremony music after listening to sample music and by far Classical Charleston has excellent talent and stood out from the others. We believe Classical Charleston will help provide the perfect ceremony atmosphere at our garden wedding.
Reception Music: Alternate Take
I tend to get ahead of myself and take the reins! Tal and I love music so we started searching for music before we even had a venue or wedding planner! We found Alternate Take on Gig Fun music! Great sound! Great communication! And list of songs! Plus a little added bonus if we have songs not on their play list they will learn it in time for our wedding! Can't wait to boogie with them.
Elyn and her floral team do it all! And that's why we chose them to do our flowers! They have so much experience and know how to pick the best combinations of flowers and colors. I know nothing about flowers but have complete trust in Elyn and ACE! Can't wait to see mock ups on our next visit to Charleston!

Next Steps
We are just under 4 months out and the next on the top of my agenda is to get invitations out! I never thought picking out an invite would be so difficult, but I'm finding a lot that I like! I'm quite calm about things getting done because I have the ACE team and trust that our big day will be everything we've dreamed of! We head to Charleston this month to meet with Elyn and her team for more meetings, tastings, photos, mock ups and more fun.

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