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Quite the Complement

Photos By

Photos By: 
Tracy Turpen
Jessica Peterson and Ben Sielen, October 29, 2011, The William Aiken House

Though Jessica Peterson admits she’s always considered intra-office romances a no-no, she made an exception after what she says was one “casual, cool conversation” with Ben Sielen at an after-hours client dinner (then getting wind of the compliments he paid her by way of the workplace grapevine). 

A smart move, seeing as since their first date in 2007, the Charlotte residents have been inseparable. “We discovered we were perfect travel buds, fellow foodies, and concert junkies,” says Jessica. And it was the first of these common interests that, two years later, led the couple on a trip to Venice, where Ben proposed overlooking St. Mark’s Square.

Once back in the States, the planning began. First on the to-do list? Picking a venue. Wanting to steer clear of anywhere expected, Jessica threw out some far-flying locales, but Ben pitched the idea of a Charleston-set fête, which his bride-to-be loved. “The food, the history, fine art, and friendly people—we were smitten,” Jessica says of the city. “And we thought our guests would be, too.”

After enlisting Calder Clark Designs, the details of the day came into color-filled focus. Marrying the bride’s favorite hue (blue) with an autumnal shade of orange, Calder came up with the vibrant apricot and azure theme that colored much of the night—from the hand-stenciled aisle runner and servers’ attire to the furnishings, favors, and even the food.  And at just past 5 o’clock on that crisp, cool autumn evening, Jessica joined Ben at the end of the aisle—the start to a night she remembers as “romantic and sexy, heartfelt, and deliriously happy.” Following drinks in the courtyard and a supper in the ballroom, the party moved to the dance floor, where, “People didn’t stop dancing until the very last minute,” says Jessica. “Our guests—and we—still talk about how much fun everyone had.”

Vendor List

Aisle runner and hand-painted fabric pieces: Anne Melvin;
Band: Deas Guyz;
Bride’s gown: Vera Wang; from BleuBelle Bridal;
Bride’s sash: Doloris Petunia;
Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo;
Calligrapher: Elizabeth Porcher Jones
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal;
Caterer: Fish Restaurant;
Ceremony musicians: Archer String Trio;
Ceremony and reception location: The William Aiken House;                
Florist and fabric production team: Blossoms Events;
Groom’s attire: Taylor Richards & Conger;
Lighting: Technical Event Company (TEC Lighting);
Linens: DC Rental;
Photographer: Tracy Turpen
Planner: Calder Clark Designs;
Rentals and tenting: Snyder Event Rentals;
Stationer: Dulles Designs;
Transportation: Charleston Black Cab Company;