We hadn’t even announced that we were a company yet, and an inquiry pops up in my inbox. A sweet bride named Emily Shook sent me (Callie) an email out of the blue saying that her photographers, the Rainsfords, recommended me as a wedding planner for Emily’s big day in March of 2022. I was astounded. How was it that we were already getting an inquiry and we hadn’t even created our Instagram account yet? We hadn’t even told the Rainsfords that we were open to booking clients. I guess the Lord has a way of bringing people to you at the right time, even when you don’t realize it’s the right time.
Emily first reached out to us in November of 2021. Only 2 and a half short months after we got approved for our LLC in the state of South Carolina. We didn’t even have our contracts or packages fully written out yet! When I got the email from Emily, I kicked our business plan into full speed ahead. Within 48 hours, I’d thrown together a logo & brand colors on my computer, set up accounts on various planning platforms, drafted an outline of our packages, roughly priced each of them, and built a contract.
During Emily’s disco call with us, I explained to her that I was still working a full-time job and hadn’t anticipated booking a client this early in our business building process. Graciously, Emily told me that she didn’t care if Toujours was my full time job yet, she still wanted to book us. A few days later, she signed with us and officially became our first-ever Toujours bride.
Planning with Emily was an absolute dream. From day one, she was gracious with me as I navigated what it looked like to plan a wedding under the Toujours brand. Although I came into Toujours with years of wedding planning experience, it all feels a little different when you start planning weddings under your own name and company. For the first time ever, I was able to make decisions and choices that I wanted to make, without having to check them with someone else first.
After 5 months of wedding planning with Emily, her big day finally arrived! March 26, 2022 was a magical day. Over the last 5 months, I had the opportunity to witness Emily’s love for Charles firsthand. The city boy meets country girl love story came to life through Emily & Charles.
Emily and her favorite ladies all gathered at Avenue’s bridal suite early in the morning to begin hair and makeup. When I popped in to say good morning, there was nothing but joy and laughter throughout the room. It was clear Emily was surrounded by ladies who loved her and Charles dearly. Not to mention, the sweetest little flower girls were smiling so big while they got their hair and makeup done and their flower crowns placed.
Just before all the girls got dressed, they took some precious photos of all of them in their matching blue and pink silk pjs. Emily’s mom and grandma were also a part of the morning and they joined some of the photo fun as well.
Then, came time for the bridesmaids’ first look with Emily. Let me just say, lots of tissues were needed. As the bridesmaids ooo’d and aww’d, Emily’s mom began to tear up, which obviously made everyone else emotional. Nothing like a first look with your girls to ruin your freshly finished makeup.
After the bridesmaids’ first look, came the first look with Emily’s dad, and, of course, more happy tears were shed. One of my favorite parts of a wedding morning are the tender moments when the bride gets to soak it all in with her closest loved ones, just before the rest of the day quickly flies by.
Speaking of tender moments, when Emily rounded the corner to walk down the aisle on Avenue’s stunning rooftop, the happy tears welled up again. Emily was the most beautiful, glowing bride, as she walked down to meet the love of her life at the altar.
Emily & Charles’ ceremony was so dear. They marked their union with private communion and at the end, when the officiant pronounced them husband and wife, the entire rooftop was overflowing with joy. To top it all off, the Rainsfords did an incredible job of capturing Emily & Charles’ “just married” smiles as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife.
The excitement for the new Hillers was tangible during post-ceremony photos. The bridal party tucked in around Emily & Charles with the biggest smiles we’ve ever seen. It was evident that Emily & Charles had chosen the perfect hype people for their bridal party.
The second half of the evening began with joyous introductions of the parents, bridal party, and the newlyweds. We then transitioned into emotional first dances. Not only was the Hiller’s first dance as newlyweds precious, Emily’s dance with her father, and Charles’ dance with his mom also tugged at our heart strings.
Later, toasts from Charles’ brothers, Scott & Ford, and Emily’s sister, Morgan, recounted hilarious stories of Emily and Charles throughout their dating and engaged life together. I think one mental image we’ll never forget is Charles standing in a field, holding a goat, in khaki pants because he literally didn’t own any jeans!
The night ended with lots of dancing and a passionate reenactment of the Taylor Swift song “Love Story” by the newlyweds.
“Marry me, Juliet
You’ll never have to be alone
I love you and that’s all I really know
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”
For the newlywed send off, Emily and Charles chose Clemson colored pom poms which created a colorful backdrop for some of our most favorite send off photos ever. And, to enhance the guests’ experience even more, Emily and Charles had specialty cookies made to go home with the guests with images created on them of significant moments in their love story including the Clemson paw (where they met), the Greenville Liberty bridge (to mark the city where they live), Santorini (where they got engaged), and a globe, an airplane, luggage, and scuba gear (to highlight their favorite activities – traveling and scuba-diving).
Needless to say, the Hiller’s wedding day was spectacular from start to finish. It was a day full of love and we were honored to play a part in it. We will always look back fondly at Emily & Charles’ wedding day as the first-ever Toujours wedding. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our brand story. Their wedding day reminded us why we even started Toujours Events in the first place – to bring memorable wedding days to life that celebrate a couple’s love story from first glance to forever.
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We will forever cherish our wedding day and we know firsthand how a great wedding planner can positively affect a couple's wedding. Our own love story is why we seek to create unique and effortless wedding experiences for each couple we meet and remains the driving factor
behind all we do.
Planners. Creatives. Visionaries.