Vidya Fleetwood & Brendan O’Brien
June 25, 2022 • Lowndes Grove
Vidya Fleetwood and Brendan O’Brien were living in Chicago in 2014 when they spotted one another inside a Whole Foods Market and connected over, of all things, broccolini. Brendan, an engineer, had a feeling about Vidya, who had just finished the second year of her medical residency. Their relationship soon bloomed after a proper date at a Champagne bar.
The pair would continue dating, even as Vidya’s surgery fellowship took her to Madison, Wisconsin, and Brendan remained in Chicago. Come early 2020, Brendan was planning a proposal. He arranged for a few of their friends to make the trip up for a “Wisconsin weekend”—really, a clever cover for popping the question. But when the start of the pandemic thwarted the group gathering, he drove solo to weather lockdown with Vidya. The two passed time taking high-flying drone shots of the scenic state. One day, after heading to a nearby harbor, he handed Vidya the remote. When she turned to him, he was down on one knee—while the drone captured the unforgettable footage.
Having grown up in South Carolina and attended medical school in Charleston, Vidya quickly thought of the city for their wedding. It took only a weekend trip for Brendan to agree. And as they explored the sprawling grounds of Lowndes Grove, with its manicured lawn and dock reaching over the marsh and into the Ashley River, they knew they’d found their venue.
They set about planning a celebration infused with heritage. Vidya had long dreamed of a fusion Indian wedding to honor her mother’s home country. Her aunt provided a script for the ceremony, which the couple customized together. Brendan’s uncle shared a Burmese prayer to represent their family’s roots. Other special elements included the two families pouring rice into a common pot together to represent their joining in marriage and the couple taking seven steps around a fire, which planner Amy DeVito of Buttercup Events depicted via a glowing table of candles. Throughout the space, abundant king protea flowers represented Vidya’s South African background, while garlands of marigolds, used for centuries in Indian weddings, symbolized brightness and positivity, setting a lovely tone for the couple’s next chapter together.
Planning & Design: Buttercup Events
Photographer: Jenna Marie Weddings
Venue: Lowndes Grove
Florals: Roadside Blooms
Catering & Cake: Patrick Properties
Photo Booth: Slate 360
Jewelry: Olive and Piper
Beauty: Lashes & Lace
Entertainment: Palmetto Strings (ceremony); Two 3 Ways (reception)
Lighting: Lowcountry Entertainment
Linens: Stradley Davidson; Nüage Designs
Transportation: Coastal Limo