Jodi and Dan became Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald on April 9th, 2016 at The Gadsden House in one of the most charming cities of the south (and one of Viva’s favorites), Charleston, South Carolina! Where do we begin? Even if it were just the beautiful details, delicious food, and gorgeous venue to make this wedding an amazing experience for us, we would have been happy; but Jodi, Dan, and their families welcomed us in like family. The only thing as rewarding as having a couple’s wedding turn out to be everything they had hoped it would be and more, is when we gain more than clients, but close friends.
Check out our interview with Jodi below to get to know the story behind Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald!
Where and how did you meet?
I met a couple of friends at a local sports bar in Raleigh for dinner/drinks. Once I got there, they let me know that their friend, Dan was coming to say hi and have a drink. This was not intended as a set up, as Dan was actually heading out for the evening. We both definitely felt chemistry in that short time. I got a call the next day from my girlfriend that Dan had inquired about me, which absolutely made me excited. We didn’t see each other for 2 more weeks. Our condo buildings had a crazy competition (which mine won… I always have to throw that factoid in) and from that day on, it was history. We were inseparable.
What were your initial thoughts/impressions when meeting each other for the first time?
We just felt comfortable from the start that day at the competition… it was so easy. We were introduced to each other’s friends, we joked around, we talked, and we laughed. We had an amazing time that day and I think everyone saw it too. To the point that one of my girlfriends, in the middle of the day, said to him, “You are getting her phone number, aren’t you?” From there, every day was exciting. It was great to feel connected with someone who you were on the same page with. We talked about all the things in life that we both wanted and we ‘fit perfectly’. Before we knew it, we bought a house together and started this wonderful life we have now.
Describe the proposal!
As Charleston, SC was our first vacation spot together, this is also where he asked me to marry him. I never saw it coming. It was the most amazing day in my eyes. We drove down from Raleigh, weather was perfect, and we walked the city. Before dinner, I suggested we go to our favorite rooftop at the Market Pavilion Hotel for drinks. I actually walked right into his plan without even knowing it. He wanted to take me there before dinner and propose, but due to some unforeseen circumstances that could not happen. Those funny things that happened on the rooftop that night I will never forget, but we just laughed, as we always did. Nothing seemed out of the out of the norm to me. He never seemed nervous then or even all day now that I look back. On the way walking to dinner… it happened… I turned around and there he was, down one knee and melted my heart. It was an amazing moment and completely us!
Let’s talk about the wedding planning process.
I don’t even know where to start… Stephanie, Lauren and the entire staff at Viva L’Event were INCREDIBLE. I had the time of my life planning my wedding with them. They made it not only easy and hassle free, but so much fun. Every random question I had, no matter how small, Stephanie was there every step of the way to answer. This was my second wedding and I was very open about not wanting the ‘traditional’ wedding, but still wanting elegant and fun! Boy, did Stephanie deliver! Everyone who attended commented about how wonderful The Gadsden House looked and felt … It was perfect! The day went off without a hitch, or if there was one, we did not know about it… PERFECT! Everything was amazing and I would do every single step over again from start to finish…
How about that wedding day?
Greatest day of our lives! From the amazing city and people of Charleston to The Gadsden House and the after party at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Rooftop… to the best weather I could have ever asked for… and finally to all our family and friends who were able to make it… I don’t think we even dreamed that day would be so magical. I am not sure any day can top that one in our lifetime.
Tell us about your overall feelings at the end of your wedding day.
Insane happiness! Ok, a little exhaustion too. But, really just didn’t want it to be over. We were having the time of our lives!!!!
What was your favorite design detail?
The colors! They were me (maybe I should say us)! Everywhere I looked that day felt like how we envisioned it… from the flowers to the tablecloths to the couches. I was amazed at how beautiful everything looked. And the seating area created with couches and chairs, loved the coziness of how The Gadsden House felt. We received so many comments after about our amazing venue…. The renovation of this house by Luxury Simplified and King Street Hospitality Group was incredible. They kept the historic feel with all the modern flair… How Viva L’Event put my favorite colors against that backdrop, just felt like home to me.
Were there any obstacles you faced?
I debated at the beginning to hire a videographer and decided against it in the end. Well, in the last 2 weeks leading up to the wedding we had 2 close family issues that caused 2 special couples not to be able to attend our wedding. This was devastating to them and us. I reached out to Stephanie and said, “Any chance we can get a videographer?” I knew it was a long shot and felt bad even asking. She didn’t even miss a beat and was like “No problem, let me see what I can do”. Of course, as usual, Viva delivered! This is amazing as now I will be able to share this video with people who mean the world to us that weren’t able to attend. Bonus is now we also have a memory of our amazing day! Thank goodness both of these amazing women will be ok, which is really what matters most.
Let us know about any unique aspects of your wedding!
Made our ceremony personal – after we did our traditional vows, we did a Pinky Swear, very important to seal the deal with something that everyone can relate to…and VERY serious consequences if broken, as we all remember from our childhood. It was a surprise to a lot of people and it really made our ceremony fun.
Also, the Chicken and Waffles Late Evening Snack – HUGE HIT! Great suggestion by Stephanie to send into the crowd later in the evening and amazingly prepared by Maybank Catering! Yummy Goodness is all I can say!
We are so happy to share these photos done by Cara at F8 Photo Studios, that highlight the perfect details of Jodi and Dan’s wedding. The cafe lights that hung over the elegant furniture, and deep, beautiful colors are sure to be “pinspiration” for any bride-to-be!
Planning, Design and Floral- Viva L’Event
Photography- f8 Photo Studios
Venue- Gadsden House
Videography- Anchor Films
Ceremony & Reception Music- Jon of Bunn DJ Company
Linens- CE Rental
Officiant- Rev. Kristen Barner
Hair/Makeup- Pink Dot Beauty Bar