Low Country Love


Once upon a time, a boy met a girl in preschool. The spark was there at an early age and the two began dating in high school. They continued their relationship through college, though the boy attended Wake Forest University and the girl attended Auburn University. Their paths united after college and the two married in Charleston, SC on Feb. 5.

This is the fairytale of Madison Priest of Kennesaw and Sam Smith of Marietta. Madison is the daughter of Christine and Shaun Priest. Sam is the son of Jennifer and Matthew Smith.


The wedding took place in Charleston, a favorite of the couple because of the groom’s connection to the area. Sam’s grandparents, Fetz and Peter Tezza, own a vacation home on Sullivan’s Island, just minutes from Charleston. He spent many summers in the Charleston area and introduced Madison to the charm of the coastal town.


It always helps to have creative genius in the family. Such is the case of the groom’s mother, Jennifer who assisted the bride and her mother, Christine, with wedding details. Together, they designed an exquisite invitation suite setting the tone for this memorable wedding.

Jennifer painted a watercolor of the venue, Lowndes Grove, that was incorporated into the invitation


The weekend was full of luncheons, dinners and special treats for the bridal party. The attendants stayed at Chapel Lofts, a converted church and rectory, in downtown Charleston.

Madison surrounded by her bridesmaids in matching pjs before the wedding

Sam and the groomsmen got shaves and haircuts from Barbearia barber, Tyler Hunt, who came from Marietta to attend the nuptials--and he brought his chair



Jennifer and Matthew Smith hosted the welcome party at Union Station, an historic industrial space offering a blank canvas that was transformed into a perfect party venue.

The groom's cake, created like a Yeti cooler, gives nod to Sam's time on the Wake Forest fishing team

A vintage flower truck where guests could pick their own bouquets

Jennifer and Matthew outfitted a small wooden fishing boat into a cold seafood bar for the welcome party. The following evening, it was used as a cigar bar at the reception.

The boat was aptly named "Low Country Love".

Guests received a canvas bag at the reception filled with a plethora of goodies like an hand-painted (by Jennifer) oyster shell perfect for rings and earrings, commemorative t-shirt, chips, cookies and candies by local vendors, hangover kit and more.

Closeup of welcome bag

Charleston map designed and painted by Jennifer. A copy was included in bags.



Enchanting Lowndes Grove, set on the banks of the Ashley River and surrounded by historic water oaks, has marveled visitors for four centuries. Guests at this low country wedding were no exception. The wedding took place overlooking the marsh in a relaxed, yet sophisticated, setting.


Picturesque coastal charm

The bride wore Monique Lhuillier

All smiles

The bride shares a moment with her maid-of-honor, Maddie Williams.

The bridal party

Madison with mothers Christine (L) and Jennifer (R)

Best man, Andrew Smith (groom's brother) with Sam

The bride's brother, Carson Priest and the groom


After the ceremony, the party moved to the grand lawn in front of the 1786-era home to enjoy a cocktail hour.

Petite chicken and waffles were among the hors d'oeuvres passed during cocktail hour

Jan Eikost and Dorothy Miller

Phillip Quinn, Mary and Hugh Glidewell, and Jason Stump

The bride's cousin, Gabriella Priest and Arthur Celestin

JT and Emily Wood, Jason and Wilson (Wood) Schubert, and Melinda and Jeff Wood

The bridesmaids show off jean jackets with vintage scenes handpainted by Jennifer. They are flanked by Jennifer Smith (L) and Christine Priest (R). Madison received a white jacket (of course).



The celebration moved inside to a tent situated next to the house.

Alternate lounging area



Sam and Madison's vision for the reception was a great party with an air of sophistication.

First dance for Mr & Mrs Smith

Father, Shaun Priest dances with his daughter

Cutting the wedding cake

The party begins. Caroline Tezza enjoys dancing with her daughters, Ella and Lilly

Light-up cowboy hats came out later in the evening. Jennifer and Sam enjoy a reel.


Andrew Smith cheers the crowd on.

Jennifer and Matthew Smith

Janet Knautz takes a break from the dance floor.

So does the groom.


On the way to happily ever after.

Special thanks to @jennamarieweddings for the beautiful photography.


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