By Rachel Jones / Photographs from Corbin Gurkin Photography

Thanks to some sneaky coordination with her coworker, James Affinito surprised Kelly Broad with a weekend away in Charleston, S.C. Their trip began with James proposing in the historic town on Saturday morning. Then, they celebrated with a lunch at High Cotton, complete with presents from Kelly’s presents, which they had left for the couple during their visit to the town the week before. At dinner, James surprised his new fiancé yet again, this time with plane tickets to Pittsburgh so she could share the news with her family in person. Exactly 364 days later, their wedding dreams came true in Charleston. “It was so special because we got engaged in Charleston,” Kelly says. “We wanted a destination wedding, and we thought it was a great way to celebrate that moment.” The couple spent the weekend with friends and family, exploring the town and visiting their favorite local hotspots, before the First Baptist Church of Charleston ceremony and Runnymede Plantation reception. “Having a destination wedding is wonderful because you bring all of the people you love to one city for the entire weekend,” Kelly says. “That town will always be a special part of your life, so pick someplace you can fully immerse yourself in.”

James Affinito and Kelly Broad, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

“I loved it,” Kelly says of her lace wedding gown. She found the Vera Wang number in New York, and fell for the bow on the back and long train.

James Affinito and Kelly Broad, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

The couple’s classy color scheme of navy with gold and light pink accents really popped against the greenery at the outdoor reception space.

James Affinito and Kelly Broad, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

“James and I love coconut cake, red velvet cake, and carrot cake,” Kelly says. “We did a layer of each, plus one of vanilla with chocolate ganache, too.”

James Affinito and Kelly Broad, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

The couple’s 200-plus guests received this sweet welcome box at the hotel.

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