Ashlyn & Adam’s Blue-Hued South Carolina Aquarium Wedding


Hello and welcome to another week of funky wedding inspiration. I can’t believe we’re halfway through April already, where did the time go?!

You already know by now that this blog features weddings that allow couples to express who they are, just like the one today’s lovely couple Ashlyn and Adam had. They got married in a church but had their reception at one of their frequent date places — an aquarium! I love the unexpectedness of the venue and the fact that  Ashlyn incorporated so many personal nontraditional touches to make their wedding uniquely theirs.

aquarium wedding

Nathan Bell from Richard Bell Photographers, responsible for all the delightful photos on this page, had this to say about the event:

Ashlyn and Adam were all about pictures.  From the tres traditional historic Charleston Church followed by the funky backdrop of the Aquarium, there were lots of offbeat and classic scenes.  It was a rainy day, too, so we did lots of brainstorming ahead of time on how to work that into the portraits and story.  I’m particularly happy with the umbrella shots over Charleston Harbor, the bride and groom in the water droplets, and the ‘through the keyhole’ photograph at the church.  This wedding was a blast.

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

The lovebirds actually met online playing WoW! Here’s the pretty Ashlyn to share their cute story with us:

Adam, my husband (wow! it’s still so weird to call him that!) and I have a unique story on how we met. Usually when people ask we just say we met online, but that’s only half the story. Online dating is becoming so popular now, what with all the match.com and eharmony, but we actually met by chance while playing a game. We are both gamers, and World of Warcraft is one of our favorites. If you don’t know much about it, it’s an online game where you can play with other people from all over the country and the world. We ran into each other on the game and became friends through talking about in-game things, and it progressed from there. We never thought much of it, since I was a Carolina girl and he was a California boy, but after about 6 months of growing a friendship and talking every single day, we decided he should come visit me. He came to South Carolina intending on staying a few days, which turned into a few weeks, and by the time he went back to sunny LA we both knew that things were going to be different. We were no longer online best friends — we had ventured into long distance relationship territory! After about a year of carrying on long distance, Adam made the permanent move to SC to be with me, and it was all downhill from there. Now we’re married and have a crazy story to tell about how we got here!

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

Get ready for some really artistic shots by Nathan:

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

You probably can’t tell but the water droplets have the bride and groom in them!

aquarium wedding

LOVE this shot + the idea that the raindrops/umbrella/water theme connects with the aquarium motif!

aquarium wedding

Ashlyn’s back to tell us more about how they made their celebration completely their own:

My vision for the wedding really started with the location. I knew from the moment we got engaged I wanted to have the reception at the South Carolina Aquarium. We have been to several aquariums on dates, and we both love them and anything to do with the water, and I just thought it would be such a cool and fun venue that not many people think of when they think wedding! After I got Adam on board with the Aquarium idea, I decided to go with blues for the color scheme. Navy was the dominant color, but throughout the decor at the reception we used all shades of blue, along with some beige and ivory.

aquarium wedding

Awesome ideas for flower-less reception decor coming up:

My cocktail table centerpieces were mason jars, filled with water and a floating candle, accented with a raffia bow. My main table centerpieces were hurricane lamps, filled with sand and a tall candle and a few shells, surrounded by votives.

aquarium wedding

All the centerpieces and decorations I planned out and made myself. I wanted to keep with the beachy kind of theme without feeling like we were going to a beach party, so I just took elements from the beach to inspire the decor, while using things that evoked that southern charm.

I also am not a big fan of flowers– when I told my mom I didn’t want any flowers at my reception she thought I was crazy! “Who has a wedding without flowers?” she asked me, surprise on her face. I simply replied, “I do.” So I filled the aquarium with candles instead, and even she had to admit it was stunning. The candles were a little bit cool, and a little bit dramatic, and gave off the perfect ambiance.

aquarium wedding

One of the great things about the aquarium is that I didn’t have to do much decorating, the place IS a decoration on its own! So for the rest of the place, I had some cool rattan furniture in front of the big tank, where I placed candles and lanterns. It gave a very relaxed vibe, and the guests loved sitting on the couch looking at the colorful tank.

aquarium wedding

I had a small candy bar, filled with all of Adam’s and my favorite candy: laffy taffy, twizzlers, blow pops, sour skittles, and now & laters. I marked what each bowl was with DIY signs made from wooden dowels and a chalk paint covered circular disc.

aquarium wedding

One of my favorite parts about planning was deciding on the food! Since Adam’s family is all from California, I really wanted to showcase all the yummy things that the south had to offer — crab cakes, barbecue sandwiches, sweet potato biscuits, mashed potatoes, and a macaroni bar with all the toppings — and those are just the highlights!

aquarium wedding

My favorite, of course, was our cheesecake bar. The cheesecake was served in martini glasses and had a variety of toppings for a DIY cheesecake. It was a huge hit, and the guests are still talking about it! I decided the way to go was to use stations instead of a sit down meal — that way, guests could feel free to explore the aquarium while nomming on the delicious food. I wanted it to feel very laid back and relaxed.

aquarium wedding

We also had a beautiful cake. I wanted to keep it simple, so we opted for three tiers of completely white ruffles all the way up. There was one dark blue flower accenting the cake, and it sat in front of a fish tank. it turned out so beautiful I felt bad cutting into it!

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

One of my favorite things about my wedding that really made it “me” was what I wore. I loved my dress, which was sort of traditional, but I kicked around all day in shiny blue low top converse! That was the one thing that people said they remembered seeing and saying to themselves, “that’s SO Ashlyn.”  I also got my garter and several of the decor pieces, such as the table number holders, from Etsy. That is the DIY mecca!

aquarium wedding

aquarium wedding

My words of advice to any bride would be to enjoy the day as much as you can. Once you start walking down the aisle, that’s it — there’s no more planning you can do. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Also, during your planning, remember — it doesn’t matter if you have a low key affair with 50 of your closest friends and family, or an over the top blowout with dancing monkeys and a mariachi band. At the end of the day, you’re going to be married to the person you love, and that’s all that matters.

aquarium wedding

Thank you Nathan for sending your beautiful images my way, and congratulations Ashlyn & Adam! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. 🙂

Photographer: Nathan Bell at Richard Bell Photographers
Wedding planner: Melissa Lundsford with Charleston Celebrations
Cake: D’lish Desserts
Caterer: Hamby Catering & Events
Rentals: Eventworks
Ceremony flowers: Wedding Flowers by Lisa Ferguson
Ceremony Location:  First Baptist Church of Charleston
Reception Venue: South Carolina Aquarium
DJ: AJ Snow at Ascend Entertainment

Image submission via Two Bright Lights

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Did you find this blog post interesting?


Save your surfing time -- subscribe to our blog updates to receive funky wedding ideas & inspiration directly in your inbox! You may enter your e-mail address below.

Alternatively, you may follow us on BLOGLOVIN' or FEEDLY





Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Anti-Spam Quiz: