Libby Krueger and Connor Savage’s relationship started out as strictly platonic: The pair met as freshmen at the College of Charleston in 2011, and they maintained a close friendship throughout all four years there. However, a month after they graduated, Libby and Connor decided that they wanted something more, so the duo tried their hand at dating—even though Libby was living in Washington D.C. and Connor was residing in Charleston. After six months doing long distance, Connor moved to D.C. to be closer to Libby.
One dreary day in December 2019, the couple headed to the Constitution Gardens in D.C., which was where Connor was planning on popping the question. As fate would have it, just 15 minutes before the pair arrived, the previously unrelenting rain stopped, and blue skies and sunshine emerged. Luckily for them, the somber weather had deterred other people from visiting the spot, so Libby and Connor had the whole place to themselves (besides a man reading on a bench, who happened to be a photographer). After Connor got down on one knee, he took Libby to Hotel Monaco to celebrate. “I walked into the restaurant there and was welcomed by our closest family and friends for a beautiful engagement party,” Libby recounts. “Connor had been planning it with my mom for weeks. I cried like a baby.”
Since Libby is an event planner, she immediately started mapping out the details behind her big day. A few months after the proposal, the coronavirus pandemic began, which forced the couple to postpone their original wedding date. But that wasn’t the only wrench in their plans—just 24 hours before their nuptials in Charleston, Libby and Connor had to find a new ceremony location; a storm had interfered with their original outdoor venue.
The afternoon before the duo was set to tie the knot, their wedding planner, Haley Kelly of Haley Kelly Events, found Summerall Chapel at The Citadel, which could accommodate their 135 guests and whose staff agreed to squeeze the couple in between two other weddings if they could finish in an hour. They signed the contract the night of their rehearsal dinner and quickly shot a text to their guests, updating them on the last-minute change. Luckily, their reception location at The Governor Thomas Bennett House was unaffected—except, they had to add a cover to the top of the tent, which wasn’t their first choice. “So many guests asked me how I wasn’t in tears or losing it the day of the wedding, and my honest answer was that rain or shine, I was so excited to marry that man, and I felt even more loved and blessed to have such supportive friends and family trekking through mud and floods to celebrate us,” Libby shares.
Read on to see how the couple made the most of the rainy forecast and ended up throwing their dream wedding on November 6, 2021, which wouldn’t have been possible without planning from Haley Kelly Events and the bride’s mother, Laura Krueger. Everything was beautifully captured on camera by Stetten Wilson Photography.
For their nuptials, Libby and Connor envisioned a formal southern garden party engulfed in flowers. To introduce their aesthetic and color palette, the couple designed a stationery suite with illustrations of greenery and blooms in green, purple, yellow, gold, orange, red, and ivory tones.
Upon their arrival in Charleston, guests were greeted with welcome boxes filled with canned cocktails, candies, and a weekend itinerary.
When the bride-to-be went dress shopping with her mom and sister, she was on the lookout for a ball gown. “I thought to myself, ‘When else in my life will I be able to wear a true, formal, dramatic ball gown?’” she recalls. “But I wanted to make sure it was classic and timeless.” When she found this strapless silk gown embellished with floral appliqués by Carolina Herrera, it checked all of the boxes—not to mention, it perfectly complemented the garden aesthetic. “I felt so confident and comfortable in it,” she says.
To match the romantic feel of the dress, the bride pulled her hair back into a loose bun, affixed with a silk-trimmed veil. She also accessorized with minimal jewelry—a thin diamond bracelet and a pair of diamond and pearl drop earrings—and chose natural makeup to let the dress shine.
Libby carried a small assortment of white blooms and greenery featuring pops of purple to create the illusion of being “effortlessly pulled from the garden,” according to their florist, Blossom Day.
For his look, Connor sported a classic custom tuxedo from BLVDier, complete with black velvet smoking shoes and a black bow tie. Since Libby attended every appointment with Connor, the customization process was “one of our favorite bonding moments of the wedding process,” Libby reminisces.
After the couple got ready, they saw one another before the ceremony during their first look. “I was so giddy to see him—I think I had a huge grin on my face when I saw him for the first time, and I couldn’t wipe it off the rest of the day and evening,” Libby remembers. “The two years of planning and changes and pivoting all led up to this day, and it was so much fun to start the day early by seeing him first.”
Libby’s bridesmaids wore one of three dresses from Jenny Yoo, which the bride specifically curated to coordinate with the garden feel. The first two choices were a silk gown, either in champagne or sage and a one-shoulder cut or a V-neck with spaghetti straps, and the third was a light green and blue floral dress. “I think the addition of a floral option made the bridesmaids look less matching and added a bit of a pop in the pictures,” Libby shares. They also held bouquets that matched the bride’s.
Connor opted for a clean and classic look for his groomsmen, who wore black tuxedos, white shirts, suspenders, and cummerbunds. They paired their attire with white feather bow ties, black and silver shirt studs, and black and silver cufflinks, which the groom gifted to them on the big day.
To kick off the ceremony, Libby walked with her father down the aisle of the chapel to “Edelweiss” by Richard Rodgers from The Sound of Music, which a string quartet performed. The bride selected the tune since it was her grandfather’s favorite song and her father’s favorite movie. Although Libby’s grandfather couldn’t attend the wedding due to health issues, he was able to witness the moment via FaceTime.
Once Libby joined Connor at the altar, flanked with two large urns overflowing with white flowers and greenery, they exchanged personal vows. “I do not like to speak in front of a crowd, but for some reason, I wanted our family and friends to hear my love, admiration, and vows to Connor,” Libby says. “And most importantly, I wanted to eloquently voice my feelings and love over the past seven years to him.” After they were pronounced husband and wife, they recessed to “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve.
The couple’s planner and florist planted paper escort cards, creating the illusion as if they were growing from the ground. Surrounded by greenery, the setup channeled a garden-like feel.
Due to the weather, the couple and their vendor team shifted cocktail hour from outdoors to inside of the historic home. “I actually think our guests loved being inside of the home and on the traditional southern porch more, as I had many guests say how much they loved the décor of the home,” Libby points out. Friends and family sipped on old fashioneds—Connor’s cocktail of choice—and a concoction of St. Germain, Crème de Violette, lemon juice, and Topo Chico, which was Libby’s creation.
One of Libby’s non-negotiable details for her wedding was an open-air tent, but since the universe had other plans, they had to install a clear top. Fortunately, the couple was still able to achieve their garden vision through their décor. Vines and garlands of greenery outlined the ceiling and covered three gold chandeliers, while dark green velvet fabric was draped over the walls. “The draping made the tent feel cozy and romantic,” Libby expresses.
Each table exhibited “colorful, loose, and romantic” floral arrangements, according to Libby. Instead of one long floral runner, platters of charcuterie were interspersed with the blooms, so guests felt like they were dining with friends in a garden. “I am the cheese and charcuterie gal,” Libby says. “I have a habit of making boards for every occasion.” Dark green taper candles matched the draping surrounding them, while gold-rimmed chargers added an ounce of opulence.
In addition to charcuterie boards as a starting dish, the bride and groom served an heirloom carrot salad for an appetizer. For the main meal, loved ones chose a glazed beef filet with broccolini and a short rib ravioli in creamy tomato sauce, a white fish with succotash and shrimp and grits, or pimento cheese tomato pie and friend cauliflower in pepper jelly sauce with black eyed peas. “We wanted to nod to southern cooking in a creative and exciting way,” Libby explains. “We still have wedding guests tell us how fantastic the food was!”
Friends and family then polished off their meal with a slice of caramel layered cake with vanilla buttercream. A cascade of all-white blossoms tied the three tiers together and added texture to a white canvas. In true garden fashion, they presented the confection on a bed of greenery.
After the newlyweds had their first dance to “Joy of My Life” by Chris Stapleton, the dance floor was raging all night—all thanks to their live band, Punch. “They played for three hours straight, and when I tell you our guests did not stop dancing the entire time—I mean the police were called on us three times for noise complaints,” Libby recalls. “So, yes, they were fantastic.”
While Libby and Connor had to shift gears multiple times during the planning process, their wedding ended up being better than expected. “I think our monsoon weather was pretty memorable,” Libby remarks. “Although it caused a lot of pivoting and changes, I wouldn’t change it if I could. It showed me how much our family and friends just love and support us no matter what.”