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Q&A with Style Me Pretty's Abby Larson

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Nicole Baas
We visit with the wedding guru to see what’s on her mind and why she loves our fair city
From the Editors of Style Me Pretty in partnership with Charleston Weddings
 
Style Me Pretty (SMP) founder and editor Abby Larson says she can’t wait to get back to Charleston. First on her list when she next returns? Popping into college pal Stacy Smallwood’s King Street shop, Hampden Clothing. Two mega-achieving banner women with nationally renowned brands who are longtime (and pre-notoriety) friends? You gotta love it. 
 
She’ll be in town in January 2017 for Charleston Wedding Week Presented by Diamonds Direct, her third jaunt here from her Boston home base. One previous visit centered around her brother’s wedding at Boone Hall Plantation. “To date,” she says, “it's still one of our site’s most popular posts of all time. Charleston just has a little magic about it that finds its way into each and every wedding it touches.” We asked Abby a boatload of questions about her great perspectives, the Holy City, and more. Check out her answers below, and bring your own questions to her meet-and-greet luncheon for Charleston Wedding Week. 
 
Charleston Weddings: We know why we think Charleston is the place to say “I do.” Why do you think it’s so popular? 
Abby Larson: Charleston has all the special “somethings” that add up to a dream wedding location. There’s something so wildly romantic about marrying in a city steeped in history, while also amidst some of the most charming architecture and culture in the country. Charleston embodies hospitality in every sense of the word and whether you’re that classic Southern bride or one planning a modern day that bucks tradition, the city has a place—not to mention the vendors—for you.
 
CW: What’s your recipe for a dream Charleston wedding?
AL: Location: I can’t decide! I love weddings at RiverOaks Charleston for their classic and almost European inspired beauty, though I also love the William Aiken House and Zero George.
Color palette: There is nothing more beautiful than a soft neutral palette—whites and ivories, worn rustic wood tones, and green garlands. Add in a few soft, aged metals and you have my absolute perfect palette. 
Decor: Florals for days. Is that an answer? I’m simultaneously picky and entirely un-picky when it comes to florals. I believe that they should be inspired by the surroundings and not forced, too terribly studied, or perfect. And I believe that beautiful florals can transform just about anything.  
Gown: I’m a die-hard Jenny Packham fan, but I love the beauty of some of the newer collections from Carol Hannah, Sarah Janks, Elizabeth Fillmore, and Lihi Hod.
Signature cocktail: Anything with champagne. 
Signage: Rustic wood tones and free-form calligraphy … although we recently featured a gorgeous white on black wall that I fell in love with. 
 
CW: We hear of brides who throw a Charleston-styled wedding far outside our area. What does a “Charleston wedding” mean to you?
AL: To me, a Charleston wedding, whether right on King Street or across the country, means it’s a celebration infused with that special Southern charm, warmth, and style. When these components come together, it’s a recipe for a perfect party and you can’t help but want to re-create that atmosphere wherever you are!
 
CW: We’ve heard you get “wedding envy” a few times a day. Can you explain the phenomenon and how brides can avoid falling into the trap it can set for indecision, waffling, and overspending?
AL: The “wedding envy” struggle is real and a process both brides-to-be and happily married ladies (myself included!) encounter alike. As a creative, I can’t help but drool over beautiful design moments, stunning imagery, and the latest wedding trends, but the heart of Style Me Pretty (SMP) has never been comparison. We want to give brides actionable inspiration that moves them from the place of pretty ideas to designing a celebration that’s so uniquely them. That said, when envy strikes it’s OK to admit it. Learn to set those social media boundaries and focus on the bigger picture. After all, you’re marrying the love of your life.
 
CW: Style versus substance: How can a bride make sure she strikes the right balance?
AL: The biggest compliment a guest can give is that the wedding was a true reflection of the couple. No one wants a cookie-cutter day and with a thoughtful approach, style and substance can go hand-in-hand. Let style dictate your overall design (think venue, color palette, floral choices) and make the details anchored in meaning and heart.
 
CW: How would you remind a couple of their wedding’s big picture when everyone’s drooling over pretty pictures, boards, and so on?
AL: Remember that the journey and process of planning your wedding is all a very big part of The Big Day itself. It’s spending time with your family, hanging out with your best friends, diving head first into date night and cake tasting with that person that still gives you the butterflies. Your wedding day isn’t simply a few hours. It’s months and hours spent with the people you love most in the world. 
 
CW: Any girlfriend gossip you can share about your adventures at SMP?
AL: We’re busy bees these days at SMP! We have a whole bunch of exciting projects up our sleeves that we’re eager to share with our stylish readers! Our new Vendor Guide is life-changing for all brides-to-be out there, giving them opportunities to discover their dream team. And keep an eye out ... we’re putting the finishing touches on an SMP app that will blow your minds with its pretty!