Leap of Faith

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PHOTOGRAPHER CREDIT: 
Leap of Faith | Luxury meets garden style in this Hotel Bennett wedding in downtown Charleston
Chloë Beesburg & Blake Kennedy
 
March 23, 2019 • Second Presbyterian Church & Hotel Bennett
 
A pair of college sweethearts book an unfinished luxury hotel downtown for their Big Day and reap the glitzy rewards when the construction tape came down and their celebration took off
 
Every wedding involves a leap of faith in one way or another. But committing to a reception site moments after touring it while you’re wearing neon vests and hard hats? That takes some serious trust.
 
So it went with Chloë Beesburg and Blake Kennedy on their visit to Hotel Bennett one venue-scouting weekend. “The carpets were covered with thick, protective paper; the wallpaper wasn’t even up,” Chloë recalls of its then under construction ballroom. “But the moment I saw the sparkling chandeliers,” she says, “I was sold. Under all the caution tape, we could tell it was going to be absolutely stunning.”
 
The South Carolina natives (she’s from Chapin and he’s from Campobello) are no strangers to standing firm on what others might see as shaky ground. During their early years as friends at Clemson University, Blake vowed he’d pursue her if ever she were single. When his chance came, Chloë hedged. “I swore that our senior year was a terrible time to start a relationship,” she says, “but Blake knew we had a future together, so he took my stubbornness in stride and showed me how strong his faith was in us.”
 
Post-graduation, the couple’s careers moved professional golfer Blake to Greenville, South Carolina, and Chloë to Washington, DC, for training in medical sales. During a meet-in-the-middle trip in Raleigh, North Carolina, Blake dropped to one knee and proposed in the city’s rose garden with their Bernese Mountain Dog, Rocco, by his side.
 
Given the proposal, it was only fitting that they wed with a garden party—even an indoor one—and one glam enough to suit the spectacularly completed Hotel Bennett. Chloë and her attendants readied in her parents’ suite alongside breakfast and mimosas. “It was so much fun overlooking King Street,” she says of the morning. “The staff made my bridesmaids feel like celebrities.” The wraparound veranda wasn’t bad either; it made a dream setting for a gown reveal that left Chloë’s gals clapping and crying both.
 
From there, it was off to Second Presbyterian Church—just a block away on Meeting Street. After the ceremony, all 200 guests were lead by a saxophonist through the streets and across Marion Square, parading to the hotel.
 
Pure Luxe Bride hadn’t allowed Chloë an in-progress peek at the reception hall, “and I’m so glad,” reflects the bride. “Walking into this absolutely beautiful room full with our dearest family and friends will be something I cherish for a very long time.” Leap taken, and firmly landed. 
 
Vendors
 

Wedding design: Pure Luxe Bride, www.pureluxebride.com 

Ceremony venue: Second Presbyterian Church, www.2ndpc.org

Reception venue, caterer, baker, bar service, wine service: Hotel Bennett, www.hotelbennett.com

Photography: The Happy Bloom, www.thehappybloom.com

Florals: Petaloso, www.wearepetaloso.com 

Rentals: EventWorks (flatware, chargers, bars), www.eventworksrentals.com; Ooh! Events (lounge furniture), www.oohevents.com; Nüage Designs (linens), www.nuagedesigns.com; Hotel Bennett (chairs, crystal), www.hotelbennett.com

Stationery: Dodeline Design, www.dodelinedesign.com 

Calligraphy, signage: J. Lily Design, www.jlilydesign.com

Bride’s attire: Hayley Paige (gown), www.jlmcouture.com/Hayley-Paige; Sara Gabriel (jewelry), www.saragabriel.com; Badgley Mischka (shoes), www.badgleymischka.com

Beauty: Wedding Hair by Charlotte, www.weddinghairbycharlotte.com

Bridesmaids’ attire: (dresses) BHLDN, www.bhldn.com; (jewelry) BaubleBar, www.baublebar.com

Menswear: Berlin’s for Men (suits), www.berlinsclothing.com; Michael Kors (shoes), www.michaelkors.com; Brackish Bow Ties (bow ties), www.brackishbowties.com

Flower girl’s attire: Zulily, www.zulily.com

Music: Classical Charleston (saxophonist), www.classicalcharleston.com; Darby Events (reception), www.charlestonweddingdjs.com

Live painting: Wed on Canvas, www.wedoncanvas.com

Videography: Dock House Digital, www.dockhousedigital.com