Weddings are, by their very nature, incredibly personal affairs – and even more so when couples write their own vows. For Becky and Mark, the thought of sharing such an intimate moment in front of a large audience didn’t feel right for them, so they chose to keep their wedding as private and personal as possible by scaling the guest list back to 50 of their nearest and dearest. The historic Rice Mill in Charleston, South Carolina served as the perfect ceremony backdrop and reception venue for the sophisticated and detail-laden nuptials complete with a gorgeous lit-up L.O.V.E. marquee sign.

We’re so thankful Paige Winn chose to share their stunning wedding with us today!

South Carolina Wedding

Becky, 27 & Mark, 27

Charleston, SC

Wedding Date: November 2, 2014

Number of Guests: 53

Wedding Ceremony Location: Historic Rice Mill

Wedding Reception Location: Historic Rice Mill

Love Marquee sign

wedding guest book

bride in fur stole putting on earrings

bride kissing groom on cheek

bride and groom kissing

bride and groom at wedding reception

bride and groom kissing at reception

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We decided to have a small wedding for a couple reasons. We wanted the focus to be on us starting our lives together and celebrating with our closest friends and family, and felt that as the group grows it becomes easy to lose focus of that. We also wanted to write our own vows and have a very personal ceremony, and only felt comfortable doing that in front of people closest to us.

wedding dress hanging up

bride and flower girl in robes

bride helping flower girl get dressed

bride getting dressed

bride holding ballet flats

bride getting ready

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

I would have to say the most difficult thing was finding the perfect venue. We had initially wanted a plantation wedding, and after visiting one, I felt it was too vast and our small group would get lost in the space. When we visited the rice mill we thought it would be perfect for our group size.

bride and groom portrait

bride and groom kissing on street

bride and groom portrait

bride kissing groom on cheek

bride and groom portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

Yes and no. The first thing that we did was write down who we felt we needed there; once we had that list we never changed from it.

groom dipping bride

bride and groom kissing at sunset

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Yes we did initially. We just stood our ground on the first guest list and everyone was very understanding once we explained ourselves.

historic rice mill wedding venue

happy tears wedding handkerchiefs

rose petals in basket

flower girl walking down aisle

groom watching bride walk down aisle

What were the highlights of the ceremony?  

The entire ceremony was perfect! Highlights were: Mike, Mark’s step father, as the officiant; watching Mark’s reaction as I walked down the aisle with my dad; our own vows and getting married!

rice mill wedding ceremony

bride and groom with heads bowed at wedding ceremony

rice mill wedding ceremony

brie and groom first kiss

bride and groom facing guests at wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Everything. Our entire reception was also perfect. The dinner was beautiful; we had two long tables full of garden roses, hydrangeas, candles, and mix-matched china plates. The delicious food and special imported champagne for the heartfelt toasts made for the perfect dinner. Another favorite was our dessert bar with a LOVE marquee sign – it was stunning! And of course, spending the rest of the night dancing; the band had learned our favorite song for our first dance which meant so much to us. We had the best day.

historic rice mill wedding venue

historic rice mill wedding reception

wedding table setting

wedding place setting

pink rose centerpiece

wedding cigar bar

white and gold weddingcake

pink wedding macarons

wedding brownies

wedding sign

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The best part was that we got to spend the whole weekend with everyone; we had a welcome dinner that included everyone and because of the small amount of people we both got to spend time with all our guests.

wedding reception set-up

wedding speech

guests raising glasses

bride and groom cutting cake

guests at wedding reception

bride and groom dancing

bride dancing with guest

groom dancing with groomsmen

sparkler exit

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

My advice would be to remember that it is your wedding, and to do a guest list for just yourselves first and stick to it – everyone will understand.

bride and groom kissing in car


Planner: Amanda Assey Lewis, Southern Chic

Baker: Delicious Desserts

Photographer: Paige Winn Photography

Videographer: Hart to Heart Media

Officiant: Groom’s Stepfather Mike

Macarons: Christophe Artisan Chocolatier

Hair and Makeup: Paper Dolls

Photo Booth: Coast Photo Booth

Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals

L.O.V.E. Sign: 428 Main Vintage Rentals

Florist: Charleston Blooms

Ceremony and Reception Music: Two 3 Ways

Ceremony Venue, Reception Venue, Caterer, and Bar: The Historic Rice Mill Building