Nicole Calhoun & Ryan Johnson
A Charmed Charleston Destination Wedding
Feb 18, 2023
Charleston , South Carolina
Haley Jane Photography
As native Floridians living in a beach town, Ryan Johnson and Nicole Calhoun spent many date nights on the beach at sunset, including their most memorable date, when Ryan proposed to Nicole on the delicate, white sand as the sun slowly melted into the Gulf. To keep his future fiancée none the wiser, Ryan used the ruse of a dinner with his financial advisor to get her dressed for his big surprise. However, before dinner, Ryan asked Nicole to take an all-to-familiar stroll with him down the beach. Then, as a golden glow fell over Nicole’s unsuspecting face, Ryan took her by the hands, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. For Nicole, the rest was a joyous blur. While she admits it was entirely unexpected and she desperately needed a fresh manicure, it was an incredibly special moment for the couple, and she wouldn’t have changed a thing!
Soon after the engagement, Ryan and Nicole began the planning process. Although Nicole had her heart set on Charleston for their destination wedding, Ryan wasn’t quite on board yet, but after taking a trip to Charleston and touring a few venues, his heartstrings were pulled, and he quickly began to love the idea. Being from Florida, they knew they would need someone local to guide them through the process, so they solicited the help of planner Sarah Rickman of Anderson Event Design. She helped them choose their dream venue at The William Aiken House and recommended the best vendors to bring Nicole’s vision to life!
The Big Day
It appears Ryan and Nicole brought the Florida sun with them to Charleston as they woke up to incredibly clear skies, brisk but comfortable temperatures, and the sun beaming down on the morning of their winter wedding. The William Aiken House housed the wedding and reception. Located on historic King Street and built in 1807, the estate is one of Charleston’s most esteemed wedding venues. Also, its position in the heart of downtown presented the Johnsons’ wedding guests with a shining example of the city’s history and Southern architecture. The ladies got ready together in the drawing room and spent the morning drinking mimosas, chatting about the day ahead, and getting glammed up. While the gentlemen got ready in a room at The Dewberry Hotel, ideally behaving themselves. Once the bridal party was dressed, they walked down to The American Theater, another favored Charleston site, to take pictures beneath the vintage marquee, gracing the couple’s last name and wedding date.
Later in the afternoon, Ryan and Nicole had their first look and got to share that special moment together before they officially said “I do.” The ceremony took place in the garden, amongst a pristine array of greenery, including sweet-smelling magnolia trees and gentle white roses. There, the couple delivered their vows in front of many out-of-town loved ones, placed rings on each other’s hands, and sealed a kiss under the elegant pergola.
The reception commenced with a series of traditional wedding activities, including the couple’s first dance and the cutting of the cake in the ballroom. Then it was time to party! After a quick outfit change, the celebratory couple grabbed some fun props and danced the night away with all of their favorite people. Finally, at the end of the night, their friends and family stood outside the venue’s iron gates with sparklers and sent off the newlyweds. The blissful pair were then loaded onto a “Just Married” decorated pedicab, in true Charleston fashion, and whisked back to The Dewberry. The new Mr. and Mrs. Johnson ended the night with their favorite cocktail, an espresso martini, in the lobby and reflected back on the best day ever!
Bright and early the next morning, the newlyweds flew to Turks and Caicos for their Caribbean honeymoon getaway. They enjoyed total serenity and oceanfront views in their private villa at brand new luxury resort, Rock House. They spent the week soaking in the sun, reflecting on the wedding weekend, and sipping on espresso martinis while making friends with their resort bartenders (one of their favorite activities to do together on trips). Nicole and Ryan wanted to extend a special shout-out to Judson and Vaughn at Rock House for making their honeymoon so memorable and fun by securing them reservations at some of the busiest restaurants on the island and bringing them late-night snacks even when everything was closed! They had the best week on their first vacation as husband and wife!
HAIR & MAKEUP
ENGAGEMENT RINGS & WEDDING BANDS