Real Weddings

Doko Manor Wedding – Jessica & Arin

Jessica and Arin tied the knot in the church where they met, started dating, got engaged, and now they’re married in! They ended their day at Doko Manor for some sweet treats, dancing and a few very moving toasts.

Their wedding day was a little bit steamy, but this couple didn’t let the heat or humidity put a dampener on their excitement about their Doko Manor wedding! The day was filled with personal touches, from the bride wearing the same necklace her dad gave her mom on their wedding day, the handwritten vows, to their wedding guests having milk and cookies at their reception (because the couple loves to have milk and cookies together). Everything was unique and authentic to the two of them.

“There were a lot of personalised touches throughout the day! The guest book had our home state and current state on it; the cocktail hour were both of our favorite snacks (Arin: cookies & milk, Jessica: popcorn); we chose tacos because that is our favorite meal to eat together; and we had a close friend, who is the reason Jessica came to Seacoast and met Arin, sing in the ceremony. Jessica’s favorite part of the day was the first look with Arin and dancing/celebrating with everyone at the reception–it was amazing how many people were out of their seats and dancing the WHOLE time!”

We love that all the florals were wooden flowers to be environmentally conscious so that the bride could have them forever, she said “while I appreciate fresh flowers, I love the idea of flowers that can last forever and look the same forever. I saw wooden flowers made from sola wood on television and went from there. I had an issue with a company who was supposed to make the bouquets for me, so I ended up ordering just the flowers myself and put them together into bouquets and centerpieces with my twin sister/made of honor. I used dried lavender, partially because it matched the color scheme, but mostly because I love the smell of it and the calming effects of it (which every bride needs the week and day of her wedding!!). We used silk flowers for the decor that lined the aisle and for the backdrop.”

Jessica says that “most of the decor was DIY! I did not want to go with all of the trends right now (burlap and lace, for example), but loved the simplistic and homey look of those styles. So I browsed Pinterest a lot and brought in my own style. For the ceremony, honestly, my sister’s roommate did all of the aisle decor with materials I provided. The ceremony backdrop we made ourselves out of PVC piping, curtains and fabric, and battery-powered fairy lights. The church decor is quite simple on the stage, so I wanted something pretty and romantic behind us. I love jars and lanterns of all kinds, so that is why I chose to have lanterns lining the aisle and glass jars with flowers on the ceremony tables. We used flowers made from Sola wood for the bouquets and in the glass jar centerpieces, and silk flowers in shades of purple and white for the aisle and backdrop decor. I love the look, feel, and smell of old books (I am a huge book/word nerd), so I wanted to have that on the table for centerpieces. They were all old books I collected from my personal collection, my great-grandma, and great-aunt’s collections, and from used books stores. I hand-painted the globe that we used for a cardholder and my sister/MOH hand wrote the phrase on it. She also hand wrote a wooden sign for our guest book table. We printed the signs and printed/assembled the programs ourselves. The canvas guest book was bought on Etsy by Miss Design Berry, which we loved because it incorporated the state we are both from and the state where we met and live.”

This lovely couple started dating when “Arin moved to South Carolina in 2011, he started going to the Seacoast Irmo campus on the recommendation of a friend of a friend. He briefly stopped going to Seacoast when he moved to Lexington, with the hopes of finding something closer to his new house. He didn’t find anything he liked better, so he returned to Seacoast Irmo. I moved to South Carolina in 2013 to start teaching at AC Flora High School in Columbia. On the very first day of school for teachers, I met another teacher named Madison, who told me about Seacoast because she sang in the worship band. Madison invited me, and I’ve been going ever since. Madison and I always sat in the same area of the sanctuary. Arin always sat in the same area of the sanctuary. Somehow, we never noticed each other, until one random Sunday in October or November, when Arin sat in the pew directly in front of me. After the worship songs and the introduction from the pastor, everyone was asked to greet those around them, and that’s how it all began. Arin and I often would talk after the worship songs/before the start of the message, as well as after service. With us both being shy introverts, the conversations were short and sweet. Still, we talked and slowly began to get to know each other. Not long after we met, it was the last Sunday before my winter break started, over which I would be going back home. Arin knew I was a teacher, so he asked what I was doing for her break. I told him that I was going back home, and then realized I had never said where “home” was. I added that I am from Michigan, to which he surprisingly responded that he was, too! We both thought to ourselves that this was a strange coincidence. Arin wished me a good break and left; I played on her phone while waiting for my church friends to finish packing up their worship band equipment so we could head to lunch. Suddenly, Arin was back! He asked me what I was doing, so I told him, and he said that he had come back to ask me to go to lunch with him.

Now here is where the stories differ slightly…

Jessica: In my head, I was thinking that I would really like to go to lunch with him, but I also knew that this was my last opportunity to see my new friends for at least three weeks! I thought of a compromise that he could join us for lunch. Instead of expressing all of this out loud, I only offered him the compromise and secretly hoped he’d ask me out again some other time.

Arin: I went to the bathroom and thought that the coincidence of us both being from Michigan was too strange, so I decided to go back in and ask her to lunch. She invited me to lunch with her friends instead, which I took as the cue that she wasn’t interested in anything more than a friendship.

Skip forward almost an entire year later, after questions from his mom, a long-awaited Facebook friendship, talking over Facebook chat and eventually over text message, Arin finally finally finally asked me out (again). This time I said yes!”

Jessica recalled her proposal story and said, “Arin I celebrated our two-year anniversary on November 04, 2016. Since this was a Friday, we decided to celebrate a little on Friday and then more on Saturday. I planned Friday, so we walked part of the Lake Murray Dam and added a lock to the other locks of love (a surprise from Arin), and went back to Arin’s house to make dinner and hang out together.

Arin planned all of Saturday. We went for massages, which was something we had also done on our one-year anniversary. Afterward, we went to Arin’s house and relaxed (because, massages) and took a nap. Arin had made dinner reservations for Gasthaus Zur Elli, a German restaurant in Prosperity, South Carolina that we had gone to for our first Valentine’s Day together. He didn’t tell me where we were going, but I eventually recognized the route and figured it out. The restaurant is tiny, and reservations are required to go at any time. The owner, a German woman, cooks everything on two kitchen stoves herself. Because of this, you know that it’s going to be a longer-than-usual restaurant experience. This time, however, it took extra, extra long! After probably 30 minutes, we put in our drink and food orders. The waitress brought the drinks a little while later, and we waited. And waited. And waited. THREE hours later we finally got our salads. The precursor to the actual meal! About 30 minutes later, we got their dinners. All the while, Arin played it completely cool. Arin had told me a few days prior that he had agreed to help our pastor, Patrick, set up some tables on Sunday evening, after 8:30 or 9 (the church is held at a school, and the school had drama practice all day), for a mission event. At first, I didn’t know if I was supposed to go with and help because I had figured we would be done with dinner by then, but later assumed I would just go and help. We left the restaurant at about 10 pm, and Arin called Patrick to let him know that we were on the way. We drove to the church, listening to a playlist that Arin had made of songs from artists we’d seen in concerts together. Once at church, we started walking towards the entrance, but it looked utterly dark. I wasn’t sure if Patrick was there yet, so I suggested we wait outside. Arin said it was okay, and then opened the door to the church.

There were candles lit that lead from the entrance of the church and into the sanctuary. I looked at Arin and asked what was going on. Hand in hand, we continued to walk into the sanctuary. As we entered the sanctuary, I heard “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector playing, which is a favorite song between the two of us. Arin looked at me and said he loved me. He led me to the end of the candles, which stopped at the pews where we first met, let go of my hand, and got down on one knee. Although he was choked up, he managed to ask if I would marry him. With a heart full of love and joy, I said yes!

And so the story continues… :)”

The colour palette for their wedding day was shades of purple and gray. “We didn’t have a theme, but wanted to keep it simple, but classy and beautiful. We chose to have various shades of purple and gray for two main reasons: I do not like the monotony of one/two colors as much as a range, but also it’s just easier when picking out decor and then doesn’t matter if everything matches perfectly! 😉  We met, got to know each other, and got engaged in the same place, so getting married at our church, Seacoast, and being married by our pastor, Patrick, was a priority for both of us. Our faith has been a central part of our relationship, so it was important for us to have that as a central part of our big day, too.”

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Jessica says that when it came to choosing her wedding day look, she “went dress shopping with my mom, sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, I had ideas of what I liked but nothing too specific. After trying on some dresses at David’s Bridal, I knew I wanted an A-line dress, and had a better idea of other details I liked. I’m very modest, so I was not immediately drawn to the dress I bought and was hesitant to try it on, but the illusion top and back and gorgeous lace detail on the bottom made me want to try it on. Once I tried it on, I loved it, and that was that! In some ways, it was exactly what I had pictured myself buying, and in some ways, it was completely different than what I thought I wanted! Arin knew he wanted a gray suit, so he researched various companies to rent or buy suits from. He initially tried The Black Tux because they send you a trial suit to see if you like it in person. Once he tried it on, he loved it and decided to go with them. He wanted to wear brown shoes to be a little different and picked out the socks/ties for everyone to match the color scheme of the wedding.”


Photographer: Jessica Hunt Photography // Venue: Doko Manor & Seacoast Church // Dress Store: Gina’s Bridal Boutique // DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Miss Design Berry // Ring Designer: James Allen // Floral Designer: Paula Jean’s Garden & Sola Wood Flowers // Veils & Headpieces: Enze Bridal & Blanca Veils // Hair Stylist: The Purple Chair // Makeup Artist: Makeup by Casey B // Other: Ed’s Bartending // Linens and Coverings: Chain of Events // Caterer: Salsarita’s // Shoes: Unlisted // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: The Black Tux // Dress Designer: Christina Wu of House of Wu

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