A law student and musician were married against a historic backdrop.
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Though they went to the same high school for one year, Elizabeth Filaseta and Seth Boone didn't truly connect until they were reintroduced years later by a mutual friend. A friendship blossomed for a while—until things turned romantic, that is. Following several months of dating, Seth planned a beautiful proposal in Venice, Italy, which took place on Elizabeth's birthday.
"Gondolas had just become wheelchair accessible, so I couldn't pass up the chance to give her a dream proposal," Seth says. When the opportunity presented itself, however, the gravity of the situation got the better of him. "Seth got so nervous that he held out the ring and forgot to say anything," says Elizabeth. "My response was along the lines of, 'I want to say yes, but you haven't asked anything.'"
"Reality kicked back in, and I proposed to the best of my ability," Seth says. "She didn't need the theatrics—she was thrilled to just spend the moment with me, and it still means the world to me till this day." Adds Elizabeth, "It was perfectly imperfect."
On December 17, 2017, the pair hosted a formal wedding for 280 guests at 701 Whaley, a historic site less than a mile from their home in Columbia, South Carolina. Though a few drops of rain fell ("Just enough for good luck," Elizabeth says) during their portraits, which were taken by Landon Jacob Photography, the pair enjoyed beautiful weather for their evening affair. The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all took place within different spaces at the same location, allowing for quick and easy transitions. The couple (with the help of their event planner, Meagan Warren Events) took the venue's blank canvas and added everything they needed for their formal and romantic affair.
Local stationers By Farr created the couple's bespoke wedding invitation suite. The envelope liner was custom drawn to match the color palette and incorporated floral elements and gondolas, all of which alluded to the location of the pair's engagement. The invitations themselves were letter-pressed in black and gold foil. Each suite was held together with a green velvet ribbon and finished with a custom wax seal—its logo, designed by the groom, merged their zodiac symbols and appeared repeatedly throughout the décor.
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A fan of the TLC show Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Elizabeth traveled to Georgia to chose a wedding dress from famed southern bridal salon, Bridals by Lori. "The second I put it on, I felt like a princess," says the bride of her ethereal tulle gown with lace bodice and beaded accents by Watters Brides. Her veil was held in place by a headpiece styled with delicate freshwater pearls. Family heirlooms from her father's side served as her sparkling accessories. "My great-grandfather gave the pieces to my great-grandmother to wear at their wedding on June 11, 1932, and they were later worn by my grandmother, two of my aunts, and my mother on their wedding days," says Elizabeth.
They posed for portraits on a navy blue velvet settee from Ooh! Events, which allowed them to bypass Elizabeth's wheelchair and cozy up together sans any barriers.
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A Lush Bridal Bouquet
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Seth's groomsmen were clad in Calvin Klein tuxes with burgundy bow ties and pocket squares from Men's Wearhouse.
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When searching for a venue, the couple primarily sought out a space that was large enough to accommodate their extensive guest. "701 Whaley was not only the right size, but provided the perfect atmosphere," says Elizabeth of the venue, a stunning 55,000-square-foot building on the National Register of Historic Places. Billowing fabric draped the cinderblock walls and ceiling of the ceremony space and a crystal chandelier was suspended above the altar. Magnolia leaves lined the aisle and stood out vividly against creamy flooring brought in for the occasion. White roses also dotted the aisle and formed two large floral arrangements set on pedestals up front.
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Programs made by By Farr featured purple velvet ribbons and were displayed beside and inside a vintage champagne bucket.
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The couple exchanged vows during a traditional Christian ceremony. Elizabeth's grandfather—a Methodist minister—officiated. An emphasis was also put on music, as Seth is a professional musician. "Air and Bist du Bei Mir" by Johann Sebastian Bach, "Cannon in D" by Johann Christoph Pachelbel, and "Wedding March" by Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy were all performed by friends and coworkers of the groom.
While the wedding itself was mostly traditional, the couple put their own take on the classics throughout the day. For one, Elizabeth asked the officiant to request that all guests remained seated as she went down the aisle so that she could comfortably be on the same level as everyone else.
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The Cocktail Hour
Guests were met with beautiful mahogany bars inlaid with mirrors from Ooh! Events as they entered the Granby Room for cocktails following the ceremony. In addition to a full bar, two signature cocktails were served: Holiday Mules (Jack Daniels, cider, ginger beer, lemon, and apple garnished with cinnamon sticks) and Rose Tinsel (Prosecco with a splash of cranberry-pomegranate juice and gold sugar rims).
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Pretty Passed Plates
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Guests found their reception tables with the help of a seating chart courtesy of By Farr featuring the same motif as the wax seals on the couple's invitation suite.
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Situated in the Grand Hall, a 6,000-square-foot space with tall windows and columns original to the building, the reception showcased the couple's penchant for jewel tones and a rustic-chic aesthetic. Distressed concrete floors contrasted with crystal chandeliers suspended from exposed ceilings, while gold chairs and accents shimmered in the candlelight. "It was very formal and romantic," says Elizabeth, who got her wish for an elegant winter color palette that wasn't too reminiscent of Christmas. "We didn't want a theme so much as something that simply showcased our love with subtle nods to our interests and personalities."
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Lush Floral Wall
The couple's sweetheart table was set against a towering floral wall composed of burgundy and white hydrangeas and roses.
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A Meaningful First Dance
The couple was so nervous about their first dance that sweet reinforcements had to be brought in. "My mom recognized our anxiety and brought us each a glass of our wedding drink, Johnny Walker Blue Label," says Seth. "Elizabeth and I took our shot together, and proceeded to the dance floor." The special moment was made even more memorable by the music selection. "The song we danced to was 'Rainbow' by Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin)," says Elizabeth. "We saw him perform it live in Louisiana in 2016 and it has had a special place in our hearts ever since."
Seth was more at ease performing than dancing—and chose to do a rendition of "Rosanna" by Toto, which features a drumming originated by his mentor, Bernanrd Purdie.
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The couple's sweet potato-flavored groom's cake was designed to be a replica of a "TARDIS"—a time machine, space craft hybrid from the television show Doctor Who—and was filled with spiced cream.
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Guests waved sparklers as the couple made their getaway.
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After their exit, the newlyweds drove off in a vintage red Cadillac.
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Photography, Landon Jacob Photography
Location, 701 Whaley
Event planning, Meagan Warren Weddings
Catering, Southern Way Catering
Flowers, Côte Designs
Videography, That Rainwater
Stationery, By Farr Design
Cake, Bonnie Brunt Cakes
Bride's gown, Watters Brides
Engagement ring and wedding bands, Kay Jewelers
Hair, Studio O2
Makeup, Eyebrow Junkie Makeup
Bridesmaids' dresses, Dessy
Lighting, Ambient Media
Transportation, Ann Lyons; Southern Valet
Photo Booth, ShutterBooth