Real-Life Fairy Tale

Real-Life Fairy Tale | See what happens when a local wedding insider dreams up her own princess-worthy celebration

Eliza Morrison & Benjamin Apple
March 5, 2016  • Gadsden House

Working in the wedding industry has its advantages. Take Eliza Morrison, lead floral designer for Branch Design Studio. When it came time for her to wed Benjamin (Ben) Apple, there was no shying away from serious style statements like a “living” wall of jaw-droppingly gorgeous blooms and greenery, a lounge stocked with hot-pink velvet furniture, and one bombshell of a blush-colored wedding dress. “I am a huge lover of all things Disney,” readily admits Eliza, “and I wanted the wedding to look like it was a modern-day fairy tale because that’s what I felt like I was living.” When you hear the couple’s love story, it’s easy to see why she says as much.

The Charleston native met her now-husband (another local) on the weekend of his brother’s wedding. The two flirtatiously chit-chatted, made eyes at each other during the ceremony, and ultimately danced together at the reception (with him in his Navy dress whites). When a bridesmaid told Eliza that Ben was crushing on her, “I was over the moon,” Eliza says. “I mean, come on—who doesn’t love a man in uniform?”

After Ben returned to his base in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the couple dated despite the distance and fell quickly and deeply for one another over letters (not e-mails) and phone calls (almost never texts). After two months, Ben told Eliza they’d one day get married. (When you know, you know, Eliza says, who in spite of her shock was on the same page.) After nine months, he bought Eliza a dog,  and after 16 months, he popped the question on bended knee.

When it came time to plan the festivities, the couple quickly—and easily—chose Charleston as their location, Eliza says, “because we were both born and raised here, it’s where we met, and it’s where we want to be.” The choice to host their celebration at the Gadsden House downtown was also simple as the historic home offered a clean palette for Eliza to run wild with color. (“The more color, the better,” she says.)

When the actual day rolled around a mere ninth months later, bright pops of pink, peach, yellow, and green bouquets and arrangements—made from the longest list of flowers planner Lauren Miller of ELM Events says she’s ever seen—filled the outdoor courtyard, where both the ceremony and reception were held. “We chose what we loved,” says Eliza. “And it all came together in the end. It was even better than I could have ever imagined.”

Even so, ask her and Ben what they remember most vividly,  and décor falls by the wayside. She says him smiling as she came down the aisle and when they walked it as man and wife sticks with her. For Ben, the entire ceremony was magic. “It felt like there was nothing else going on in the world,” he says. “It was just the two of us, in that moment.” Spoken like a real-life Prince Charming.


Vendor List

Wedding design: ELM Events,

Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings,

Venue: Gadsden House,

Florals: Branch Design Studio,

Linens: BBJ Linen,

Rentals: EventHaus, (lighting, tables, chairs, and lounge area); 428 Main Vintage Rentals, (vintage lounge furniture); Ooh! Events, (chandeliers); Snyder, (bars)

Caterer: Mosaic Catering + Events,

Bar service: King Street Hospitality Group,

Cake: Ashley Bakery,

Stationery: Made by the bride

Map: Jolly Edition,

Signage: ELM Events,

Bride’s attire: Essense of Australia from Gown Boutique of Charleston, (gown); 14th & Union (shoes)

Bridesmaids’ attire: Amsale from Gown Boutique of Charleston, (gowns)

Beauty: Lashes and Lace,

Menswear: Jos. A. Bank, (suits and ties); Cole Haan, (shoes); Happy Socks, (socks)

Music: Other Brother Entertainment,

Getaway vehicle: Black Cab Company,