A Modern Charleston Wedding with a Blue-and-White Color Palette
Christina Zapolski was no stranger to white gowns. The model and former Miss South Carolina had posed in dozens of ornate wedding dresses. "But I hadn't laid eyes on 'the one,'" she says. So when her boyfriend of five years, Matthew Sundberg, a commercial real estate broker, popped the question on a weekend getaway, the search was on. Her friend and wedding-gown designer, Kate McDonald, reminded her about a hand-painted dress that their friend, photographer Corbin Gurkin, had commissioned from Charleston artist Natalie Taylor. Inspired by Russian Gzhel porcelain, the artist had decorated McDonald's silk-mikado gown with lattice and floral patterns in blue paint. Christina jumped at the chance to wear it: "It was a dream come true to wear something so unique, that had so much love put into it." The gown became a visual inspiration for the entire wedding.
The couple decided to wed in Charleston, where they'd met at college seven years earlier. Matt had been a junior playing basketball for the College of Charleston, Christina a freshman, when a full-court press from her suitemate—a member of the girls' basketball team—brought the duo together. Though they'd since relocated to California, they wanted a southern celebration—and to give it a contemporary twist, they enlisted Los Angeles–based event team Duet Weddings.
On June 3, 2017, 280 guests assembled by the water at the Lowndes Grove. After the wedding party slowly filed out of the main house, the bride surprised everyone—groom included—by making her entrance from behind the altar, walking down the 700-foot dock (at the end of which she'd stationed herself earlier). "It was a jaw-dropping moment," says planner Brandy Curry.
Post-ceremony, the bride changed into a different Kate McDonald showstopper, this one a solid white silk-crepe backless sheath. The reception kicked off with a raw bar and segued into appetizers and a strolling dinner, with stations offering shrimp-and-grits and spicy maple fried chicken, as well as a bacon bar(!). "That was a huge hit," says Matt, recalling the chocolate-covered bacon strips, BLT skewers, and bacon-and-cake "piggie pops." The décor and food helped create a laid-back vibe for the day. "We wanted a mix—where you could come in a full-on gown or wear a sundress and still feel great," says Christina. Their primary goal: for everyone to have a fun time. "People came from all over the world to celebrate with us," says Matt. "There's a lot to be thankful for."
The invitations by Amber Moon Designs unfolded to reveal lyrics to the Nat King Cole ballad "L-O-V-E."
The Bridal Bouquet
Seasonal greens, whites, and blueberries served as inspiration for this bouquet, by Charleston Stems, which included peonies and campanula.
Getting Ready in Style
Christina gifted her ten bridesmaids with these two-piece rompers from Tobi to wear while getting ready. Her own crop top and shorts were from Tobi, too.
A Hand-Painted Dress
Programs printed on onion-skin paper were tied with marbled silk ribbon.
The Flower Girl
Niece Mackenzi shared flower-girl duties with Christina's sister Cate.
Here Comes the Bride
The property's 700-foot dock, served as the aisle which Todd Zaploski walked his daughter down.
The Waterfront Ceremony
"We chose Lowndes Grove because it's spacious, comfortable, completely private, and luxurious," says the bride.
The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" played during the recessional.
Sealed with a Kiss
The newlyweds shared a post-ceremony kiss along the waterfront.
Sliced berries added a festive flair to the celebratory Champagne coupes.
Keeping the Theme
The guys' lapels were dressed up with small boutonnières of wild blueberries tied with white ribbon.
Matt and his mother, Joni Sundberg, couldn't help but smile during the celebration. Matt wore a blue Calvin Klein tuxedo. The ready-to-wear style fit as if it had been custom-made.
Blue and White Details
Dancing with Dad
Christina and her father shared a dance to "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw. Matt and his mother danced to "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder.
The Modern Wedding Cake
Simple white chocolate-buttercream frosting concealed hazelnut, strawberry, and vanilla cake layers.
A Sparkler Send-Off
As the evening drew to a close, sparkler-wielding guests stood at the dock as Christina and Matt, holding sparklers of their own, walked down the glittering path.
Aboard a Seafox "getaway boat," the couple rode off into the night.
For the Morning
Guests took home cheesecloth-wrapped fresh blueberry muffins from a local Charleston bakery.
Location, catering, and cake, Lowndes Grove
Event planning and design, Duet Weddings
Flowers, Charleston Stems
Photography, Corbin Gurkin
Officiant, Pastor Jason Surratt
Stationery, Amber Moon Designs
Hair and makeup, Ashley Brook Perryman
Bridesmaids' earrings, Hart
Groom's tuxedo and shirt, Calvin Klein
Lighting, Innovative Event Services
A/V, Fox Audio Visual
Hand-painted bow ties (for fathers of the bride and groom), Natalie Taylor Humphrey
Ring box, The Mrs Box