Courtney Pierce Design Co.


Emilea + Kyle | Greenville, South Carolina | Winter Wedding Inspiration

Imagine a week where Christmas and your wedding day happen only days apart. For Emilea and Kyle, this wasn't an imaginary game—this was reality! But a wedding close to the holidays isn't stressful when the details are finalized well in advance... and this couple was on it. They knew they wanted a simple, intimate gathering to celebrate with their most cherished people and wouldn't let anything stand in the way of that happening.

For Emilea and Kyle, the sacrament of marriage was the most important element of their day because they knew that the decision to marry was an act of God, a grace from God. And they hit the mark entirely—because marriage, in and of itself, is indeed a holy act. This is why we prepare, why we show up in our best, why we must take it seriously, (and why we celebrate!). When a marriage begins out of thankfulness, humility, and grace, it shows off how truly good God is. 

Emiliea had an early wakeup call on the morning of December 29—as there is quite a bit to be done before a 10 a.m. ceremony! The kitchen of her parents' home became a salon for makeup and hair. The master bedroom a bridal lounge. She and Kyle wouldn't be seeing each other until Emilea walked down the aisle of a poinsettia-filled church surrounded by their closest friends and family. And Kyle's reaction was just as it should be: overwhelmed, fully in-love, and albeit a little teary!

What was your most memorable part of the ceremony?
It was so special being able to hug everyone in the church, and then take Kyle's hand as we went back up the aisle for communion. It was amazing to immediately share the joy of being very newly married with everyone, it instilled in me such a deep feeling of family.

When having a morning wedding, a brunch reception is nearly inevitable. And man, they had it all: waffles, eggs, bacon, coffee, biscuits, champagne cocktails,—even a grits bar with all the fixins! The window-filled room at Green Acres Country Club offered so much natural light and allowed guests to gaze out at Paris Mountain any time they pleased; it was idyllic. So many sweet moments happened during their reception. Like when Kyle's dad gave a surprise speech that brought tears to his son's (and everyone else's!) eyes. And when Emilea's parents joined in at the tail end of the bride and groom's first dance—it got so many other couples on the dance floor too!

Their reception was indeed intimate and heartfelt. Once the celebrations were wrapping up, their guests lined up outside to send Emilea and Kyle off to Hotel Domestique via a tunnel of bubbles. Emilea truly looks so happy in those pictures, and I absolutely love it!

What advice would you give to someone currently planning their wedding?
Right after I got engaged, I wrote down my vision for the day. I wanted the day to be peaceful, a joyful moment for the families, and allow Kyle and I to focus on the sacrament rather than the logistics. [This] helped guide me, Kyle, and everyone involved in reminding us what was important and what we really wanted.

Pro Tip for those planning now: if you want to save money and energy on your venue decor, choose a date close to Christmas! Many venues have decor they put up around the holidays—which means your decorating can be very minimal! (Plus when they already have decorations in place, that means you don't have to fuss with setup and you don't have to worry about cleanup!) Full disclosure: you must be okay with pine, red, Christmas lights, and more than likely, poinsettias. For Emilea + Kyle—the church was filled with poinsettias, free of charge. And the country club? Yeah, it had a 20+ foot tree and pine garlands draped on the chandeliers with Christmas bows dressing up the wall sconces.

And shoutout to all dads.... for being dads. 


per usual, a great team made this day possible:

All Photography / Burt Green Photographs
Ceremony Venue / St. James Episcopal Church
Reception Venue + Catering / Green Valley Country Club
Dress / The White Magnolia with designer Willowby by Watters
Shoes / Modcloth
Veil / Amazon (amazing right!?)
HMU / Rebecca Illsley
Menswear / Joseph A. Banks
Coordinating / Courtney Pierce Design Co.
Florals / Kay Greene
Cake / CakeSmith