Real-Life Weddings: DIY Plus Professional Polish Make a Perfect Union
Emily Mullins & Pepe Diaz-Llaneza; October 18, 2009, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
When Emily Mullins laid eyes on fellow Virginia Tech student Pepe Diaz-Llaneza at The Rivermill bar in Blacksburg, Virginia, in 2001, she had a “he’s the one” moment. Almost seven years later, the pair were vacationing at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina when Pepe asked Emily to take a walk with him. It raised a major red flag with her because it was a hot and humid day, and “He’s not a fan of heat,” she laughs. As the pair strolled down the pier, Emily remained suspicious until Pepe dropped to one knee and delivered his proposal. With her “Yes!” hanging in the air, onlookers applauded and friends joined them, champagne in hand.
Soon, romantic Charleston—the city where the pair vacationed for the first time years prior—became the obvious choice for their wedding. Dreaming of a Southern extravaganza with a modern feel, the couple enlisted Ooh! Events and then rolled up their own sleeves to tackle some of the to-do list.
The DIY aspects amounted to everything from save-the-dates and programs to kitchen shifts spent baking goodies for welcome bags and favors and assembling s’more kits. Their families pitched in, too—Pepe’s mother even sewed a dainty dress for the flower girl. Everything came together until a last-minute venue hitch reared its head. “We originally booked a ceremony and reception venue that closed,” says Emily. Luckily, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens was still available. “And it suited us and the look we were going for much better,” says Emily.
In the end, with the aid of their flexible attitudes, help from family and friends, and the direction of Ooh! Events, the wedding came off seamlessly. Following the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing, the picture-perfect evening faded to a cozy end as the last stragglers roasted marshmallows over fire pits. A year later, Emily still says, “There is honestly not one thing I would have done differently.”
Band: Mirage Jazz Trio (Rehearsal Dinner); Chris Teves (Ceremony); Kevin Hackler Jazz Trio (Cocktail Hour); DJ Josh (Reception)
Bridal Gown: Romona Keveza Collection from J. Major's Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jim Hjelm from J. Major's Bridal Boutique
Florals: Out of Hand
Groom's Suit: Kohl's; tie by Rabbitstop
Groomsmen's Suits: Kohl's; tie by Rabbitsstop
Photographer: Karyn Iserman
Rentals: Ooh Events
Transportation: Absolutely Charleston
Wedding Design & Coordination: Ooh Events