est. 2008

Andrew Jackson State Park : Luke + Margaret’s Rustic DIY Southern Wedding Details

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories





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Inviting. If I had to pick one word to describe what Luke and Margaret’s wedding was like, inviting is what it would be. Each detail was planned to not only express their personality and relationship, but to welcome their friends and family in to their lives on their wedding day. When Luke asked Margaret to marry him at his family’s cabin in nearby North Carolina they were already in love with the area. They started the journey of planning their wedding but it wasn’t until they found their actual location that things started falling in to place. Andrew Jackson State Park fit them perfectly and allowed them to host a gorgeous outdoor wedding filled with details and DIY projects and southern charm.

This first post is dedicated to the details that Luke + Margaret planned for their day, and to give you a sense of the very unique space it took place in. It’s the getting ready post (which includes some of those photos) and will prep you for rest of the wedding which I will post on Monday. So, let me set the stage…

It was a beautiful South Carolina day and warm radiant run streamed through the trees at Andrew Jackson State Park. Two long rows of ten picnic tables were being set with linens, burlap runners, bamboo and vintage plates, and numerous small vases of flowers. The gray and mustard color palate came to life against the emerald surroundings of the park. Like flowers in bloom small paper lanterns hung from the trees and were one of many delicate touches adorning the space. Nearby in the amphitheater the stage was being set for the ceremony, with a fabric runner and curtains paving the way for the place that Luke and Margaret would be married. Afgans, quilts and throw pillows were decoratively placed to create comfortable seating areas for the guests in the open yet private space.  The park maintained its character, but it was being transformed as if Cinderella.


The summer before the wedding Margaret worked at Sassafras Flowers in Rochester NY so she became very well acquainted with flower types and styles for her wedding. Luckily, she had none other than the fabulous Maura Harrison (owner of Sassafras) help her not only with her flowers but the arrangement and set up on her wedding day and I can’t even tell you how amazing she was. Of course, it’s nothing new since her shop is full service and they regularly set up for weddings… but believe me I’ve seen all kinds of florists and I’m not the only one to say Maura and Sassafras are the best. lm_18lm_19

love those long tables! it was fun to have all of the guests close by and sitting family style. The personalized cookie bags were a hit for guests to take a treat home with them – if there were any left! Once you see the desserts (all homemade) you’ll understand. lm_01lm_20outdoor wedding table settinglm_21lm_22

the view walking in to the amphitheater…lm_23

and a close up of the stagelm_24lm_25

gorgeous lanterns and sitting areaslm_26lm_27lm_28

a vintage chair to hold programs and the view of the amphitheater from the stagelm_29lm_30

The guest book and welcome table displayed the book I made for them as well as all of the “mad lib” response cards people sent in from their invitations. Creating a table that has a display and more than just the guest book added so much character and interest for people waiting to sign – I would highly recommend it.lm_31lm_32

the drink table! everyone had a mason jar with their name on itlm_33lm_34

once the location was ready, it was time for our bride and groom to prepare! This little chapel in the park was the rain location and where Margaret got readylm_02lm_04lm_03lm_06lm_05

After an quickly slipping into her dress with the help of friends, the real dilemma was how to tie her necklace – bow or no bow, ribbon showing or not – crucial decisions that involved a group effort. They made the right decisions and I think she looks amazing!lm_07lm_08

We got a few pictures before the ceremony which I love since everything is fresh and there is so much excitement in the air. Once you are finally dressed for the wedding you really feel like the day has arrived. lm_09lm_10lm_11

Margaret! you are so beautiful!lm_12lm_13

Luke is equally handsome and not only are they a good looking couple, they are amazing people. I’ll tell you more about them on Monday and I hope you enjoyed the all of the details, have a great weekend!lm_14lm_15

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