Winter/spring 2017

$3.95

From the editor

Every issue of Carolina Bride, I notice a thread of similarity
tying all of our features together. This time, it’s the couples’
stories.
If you have a touch of cynicism about you, I can appreciate
that. But the couples we interviewed this issue are so smitten
with their new spouses and their plans for happy marriage so genuine that
you can’t help but cheer them on, wishing them a happily ever after.
This is an issue for your inner hopeless romantic.
We have lots of young love: Elizabeth, our cover bride (page 10), met her
husband, Christian, days after they started their college careers at Clemson

Our cover bride is Elizabeth Binnicker,
who married Christian Brown on Nov. 12,
2016 at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church in
Columbia. Read their story on page 10.
Photos by Liz Roberts

University. And they’re on the older end of our young-love spectrum.
M’Lee and T.J. (page 40) met when she was 14 and he was 16, and they
never looked back. I love M’Lee’s description of their relationship: “You
might say we didn’t really fall in love, but rather grew into love.”
Mary Lee and Hunter (page 18) have known each other since elementary
school. After cultivating a deep friendship, they started dating – cautiously –
their junior year in high school.

Volume 13, Number 1

|

Winter/spring 2017

Sara Johnson Borton
President and Publisher
publisher@thestate.com
Bernie Heller
Vice President of Advertising
bheller@thestate.com
Kathy Allen
Director of Marketing
kallen@thestate.com
Rebekah Lewis Hall
Special Projects Coordinator
rhall@thestate.com
Questions about content in Carolina Bride?
carolinabride@thestate.com or 803-771-8624
Questions about advertising in Carolina Bride?
803-771-8372

Jessi and Bryant (page 44) had a shy young love; they went to a high school
dance together “as friends” because neither would admit to a crush on the
other. (Spoiler: They eventually admit it, but it takes a while.)
Here’s another plot line: A girl sees a guy at a party. She thinks he’s out of
her league, but she walks up to him and introduces herself anyway. When
Carrie and Mitch (page 48) started running into each other in the Vista after
that, they weren’t strangers. And now they’re happily married.
And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a favorite.
In 2014, Sonya (page 36) went to the Dominican Republic with her
girlfriends and met Richard at the casino. She cried the whole flight home.
They eloped four months later, living in different countries while they
waited a year and a half for the government to process Richard’s visa. They
had a gorgeous celebration last fall at the Lace House after he joined his
Curl up with some tissues, and embrace the romance.

Carolina Bride, a publication of The State Media Company,
is not associated with the editorial department of The State
Media Company. Carolina Bride is printed twice yearly. All
contents © Carolina Bride magazine. All rights reserved.
Reproduction or use of the contents, in whole or in part,
without prior written permission of the publisher, is strictly
prohibited. The magazine is not responsible for unsolicited
manuscripts, photography, or artwork.

3

bride in the United States.

Contents

in this
issue
Elizabeth & Christian................. 10
Mary Lee & Hunter..................... 18

Lowcountry insert

4

Rosalie & Rob............................. 24
Missy & Scott............................. 28
Katelyn & Ian.............................. 30
Lowcountry Reception Venues.32
Sonya & Richard........................ 36
M’Lee & T.J................................. 40
Jessi & Bryant............................ 44
Carrie & Mitch............................. 48
Advertiser Index......................... 55
Reception Venues...................... 56

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Danielle Rivers and Keith Coles were
married Sept. 17, 2016, at Central Baptist
Church in Columbia. A reception
followed at the Capital City Club.

7

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Laura Leigh Photography

Kayley Dodson and Parker Kenney were
married Oct. 15, 2016, at Rock Bottom
Pond in Ridgeway.

Wedding Album

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8

Amber Rucker and Mike Bradbury were
married May 27, 2016, at Stone River in
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farm, so they incorporated a branding
ceremony into their wedding.

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9

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Elizabeth

& Christian

Their next
chapter
By Lezlie Patterson

B

Special to Carolina Bride

10

y the time a beaming Elizabeth Binnicker
walked down the aisle on her daddy’s arm,
by the time Christian Brown loudly and
clearly pledged his devotion to his bride, and
by the time the couple danced the night away at an
elegant reception, Elizabeth and Christian already
had a lot of shared memories.
They had stories, funny and sweet. They had a
favorite place, mutual friends and promising
careers. And their Nov. 12 wedding created
more.
Elizabeth and Christian met within days
of arriving at Clemson University their
freshman year. During those first days of
college, they fell in with a group who
remained good friends throughout their
time at Clemson, and who stood up
with them at their wedding.
Some of those friends were also
the ones to encourage Elizabeth to
ask Christian to be her date for her
sorority’s cabin weekend getaway
in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
“We were supposed to take a
date, and some of my friends
said I should ask Christian,”
Elizabeth recalls. “They
helped me write a text, asking him to be my date. I
sent it, then we all sat
there waiting for him to

Photos by Liz Roberts,
Liz Roberts Photography
lizroberts.com

reply. It was very dramatic.”
Mostly because Christian took several hours
to respond “yes.”
“I honestly wasn’t sure how to respond to
her text and thought about it for a few hours
before texting back,” Christian says. “Most of
my friends remembered her as the ‘nerdy’ girl
in school, but I got to know her as a confident
and boisterous college freshman. I said I would
go with her, and it’s all history after that.”
That was in February 2009. They look back
on photos from that trip and laugh about how
young they were.
“By the end of that trip, we were dating,”
Elizabeth says. “We never went out with anyone else.”

E

m

11

lizabeth spent one semester abroad but
returned to spend the summer with
Christian at his family’s home on Avery
Island in Louisiana. After they graduated from
Clemson in 2013, Elizabeth took an office job in
Washington, D.C., and Christian worked at an
outdoors business in a small Colorado mountain town.
“We couldn’t have been living two more different lives,” Elizabeth said. “We made it work,
but after a year, we decided we wanted to live
in the same city.”
That city ended up being New Orleans,
Christian’s hometown, where he is employed
with Iberia Bank. Elizabeth got a job with
SMG, which manages facilities including the
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Saints
host NFL games, and the adjacent Smoothie
King Center and Champions Square. She made
new friends and embraced the city.
They talked about getting married, and
Elizabeth knew Christian would ask her soon.
But his timing was a complete surprise.
“I did not see it coming that weekend,”
Elizabeth says.
Christian made up an excuse to take
Elizabeth to a picturesque spot on Avery Island
in Louisiana, where his family’s hot sauce company, Tabasco, is headquartered. Avery Island
is a special place for Christian because of his
family ties and childhood memories there. It
was special to Elizabeth because of the summer she spent there with Christian.
“The surprise was a group effort on both
sides of the family,” Christian says. “It was a lot
of trickery on everyone’s part.
“I made up something about how I had to be
at a dinner with family members that Saturday
night. She, of course, took the bait and wanted
to join me for the weekend.”
But the subterfuge didn’t end there.
“Right when she was finishing getting ready
Saturday afternoon, I asked for her help in
running a quick errand for my uncle (who was

12

waiting nearby with my aunt and a camera). I
told her we had to wait on him at the boathouse, a shed where my uncle keeps his boat
that has a perch on the top of it overlooking the
marsh.”
At that point, Elizabeth actually contributed
to the cause. “I was about to suggest we go up to
the perch to watch the sunset when she took the
words out of my mouth, which probably contributed a lot to the surprise,” Christian says.

T

m

he sunset was incredible, Elizabeth
says. “I had him taking pictures because
it was so beautiful. Then I turned
around, and he had my ring.
“I immediately started bawling and tried to
say yes at the same time!”
“When she began sobbing, I knew I had successfully pulled off the surprise,” Christian says.
Then Christian, whom Elizabeth says is not
good at keeping secrets from her, started tell-

ing her all of his surprise plans for the weekend. Her family had arrived in New Orleans to
help them celebrate with a big family dinner.
“It was more than I could believe,” she says.
“I’ve joked with him since saying, ‘That was so
much fun! Let’s get engaged again!’ ”
Elizabeth did not want a long engagement. “I
was too excited,” she said. “I couldn’t wait.”
The proposal was in February, and the wedding followed nine months later.
“I had a vision of what I wanted my wedding
to be,” Elizabeth says.
The problem: Elizabeth lived in New Orleans
and was planning a wedding that would happen more than 650 miles away in Columbia.
The solutions: Elizabeth’s mother, Kim
Binnicker, and wedding planner Cricket
Newman Designs.
“Cricket Newman took pictures I sent her in
a million emails and put together an amazing
wedding, just what I wanted,” Elizabeth says.
“They are seriously amazing! Planning from

so far away in a short time frame is difficult, but
they made the process so easy and fun. And of
course, I could have never done it without my
mom.”
Kim Binnicker enjoyed the process from
beginning to end.
“There is not one thing we would change
about the entire weekend,” Kim says. “It was
such a perfect weekend. We wanted everybody
to just have a good time. And I think that was
accomplished.”
Sara Eaves, the wedding planner from
Cricket Newman, said the Binnickers made
planning the wedding easy.
“They were such a sweet family,” Eaves says.
“It was a very elegant, beautiful winter wedding, the type of event that could convince
anyone to get married in the winter.”
Finding a place for the wedding was easy –
Elizabeth and Christian got married at Forest
Lake Presbyterian Church, where her parents,
Jeff and Kim Binnicker, are active members.

Finding a venue for the reception
wasn’t as easy.
“That was tough,” Elizabeth says.
“We looked at a lot of places, and I
wasn’t loving anything.”
Until she walked into 1208
Washington Place.
The historic former bank building
in downtown Columbia, with its
recessed textured ceilings, vintage
floors and chandeliers was exactly
what Elizabeth had been waiting for.
“It was exactly what I had in mind,”
she says.
The rehearsal dinner, also planned
by Cricket Newman, was held at City
Market in the Vista.
“It was magical,” Elizabeth says.
“There were so many toasts. I cried
the entire time, I was so happy. All our
closest friends and family were in one
place.”
The food was delicious, she said,
and included recipes and favorite
dishes from Christian’s family.
Her wedding day brought more
magic. Elizabeth and her seven bridesmaids spent the day at an upstairs
ballroom at 1208 Washington Place.
Staff members from Pout and Blue
Orchid came and fixed the girls’ makeup and hair.
“It was super relaxing,” Elizabeth
says. They had visitors stop by
throughout the day before they left for
the church at 4 p.m.
With daylight saving time ending
the week before, the 6:30 p.m. wedding was a nighttime event. Elizabeth
liked that.
“It gave it an elegant tone,” she says.
“I loved it was dark.”
Kim Binnicker will always remember the moment when she saw her
daughter walking down the aisle on
Jeff’s arm.
“A calm came down on me,” Kim
Binnicker says. “I saw her look at her
daddy and saw the look on her face.
She was so happy.”

13

O

m

ne of Elizabeth’s favorite
moments was when Christian
said his vows.
“He was so clear, so loud and very
direct. He just did an awesome job.
That was the highlight of my entire
day.”
Christian nerves had been settled
once he saw Elizabeth appear at the
other end of the aisle.

14

“I was a nervous wreck for about
the three hours up until the
ceremony,” Christian says. “Once I
walked through the doors and toward
the altar, everything seemed to wash
away. Seeing Elizabeth walk through
the doors at the other end of the
church was probably my favorite
moment from the wedding.”
Photographer Liz Roberts caught it
all for the Browns.
“She captured some amazing photos,” Elizabeth says.
Christian had 10 groomsmen, and
Elizabeth had seven bridesmaids.
Elizabeth veered away from vibrant
color, opting for more neutral, elegant
colors. The bridesmaids dressings
were platinum, and flowers were
white and green.
Elizabeth had wanted camellias, a
flower Christian’s great-great-grandfather had cultivated on Avery Island.
But the flower was out of season, so
they used the foliage from it.
The bridesmaids’ bouquets had
Sahara roses.
Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother
had passed away, but she made sure
her presence was felt at the wedding. In
her bridal portrait, she wore her grandmother’s fur stole. She wore pendants
on her veil from her grandmother’s
wedding dress, and she had a swatch of
fabric from her grandmother’s dress
sewn into her dress, with her initials
and the date embroidered in blue.
She also used the lace from her
mother’s wedding dress on her custommade gown. On a pearl bracelet, she
wore a pendant that had been passed
down from her great-great-grandmother. All of the women in her family
have worn it on their wedding days.
Photographer Roberts loved the
traditional touches.
“At the reception, they drank champagne from a cup that had been drunk
from at many weddings on the groom’s
side,” Roberts says. “These are absolutely beautiful people on the outside,
and they are genuinely as beautiful on
the inside.”
Elizabeth’s dress was designed and
created by Suzanne Perron in New
Orleans. She wanted a long train for
the ceremony (“Every young girl
dreams of walking down the aisle with
a long train”) but she didn’t want to be
encumbered with a bustle during the
reception. So she took off her

removable train after the
wedding ceremony.
“That was perfect,” Elizabeth
says. “It was the same dress, but
had a totally different look.”
And it worked. Elizabeth and
Christian danced until the end of
the reception. “People were literally dancing all night long,” she
says.
“It was most certainly a party.
The band, The Company Band, was
so awesome. And so much fun.”
Christian says seeing all of their
friends and family from around
the world all in one room together
was a highlight.

“I distinctly remember thinking
during the reception that this was
probably going to be the only time
this would happen,” he says.
Elizabeth and her father, Jeff,
danced to “Brown-Eyed Girl” for
the father-daughter dance. “I have
dark brown eyes, and my sister has
blue eyes, so this was one of my
dad and my favorite songs when I
was growing up.”
Southern Way catered the reception, incorporating New Orleans
dishes such as fried shrimp po’boys
as the late night snack.
“It was an elaborate, big party
but also warm and relaxing,”

Roberts says.
Elizabeth and Christian left to a
canopy of sparklers. And then it
was time for Elizabeth’s second
favorite moment of the day.
“It was when we were in the
getaway car,” Elizabeth says.
“Christian and I were cheering. We
were just so excited. Excited we
were married. Excited that we
pulled it off. It was just the two of
us in the car, and we were cheering
the whole way to the hotel.”
It was a shared favorite moment.
“We pulled up to the hotel after
the reception, and I thought, ‘It’s
just us from here,’ ” Christian says.

“That was an extremely exciting
but humbling moment for me.”
They boarded a plane a few
hours later – a 6 a.m. flight – for
their honeymoon in Palm Island,
St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“My favorite memory (from the
honeymoon) was waking up in our
villa on a private beach and opening up the doors to a turquoise
ocean just feet away from the end
of our bed,” Elizabeth says. “It was
amazing and the most relaxing
week. We also loved traveling to
get there. We were in multiple
planes and boats, and getting to
the island was half the fun.”

15

Be a
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&Brandon

Amanda

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&Brandon

Amanda

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Elegant, historic
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2-page spread package*

&Brandon

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*Packages not drawn to scale. Pricing for
full-color announcements in Carolina Bride
magazine: half page, $500; full page, $800;
2-page spread, $1,500. Contact 803-771-8624
or marketing@thestate.com.

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Mary Lee
Hunter

18

&

Photos by Katie Hart,
Palmetto Duo
palmettoduo.com

Faith and friendship
By Lezlie Patterson

M

Special to Carolina Bride

ary Lee Free’s wedding
was not the one of
which she had always
dreamed. But it still
ended up being her dream wedding – mostly because she married
the man of her dreams.
Mary Lee always had wanted to
get married in Charleston, but when
it was time to plan her July wedding,
she decided that wasn’t practical
and opted to stay in Columbia.
She wanted an outdoor wedding. A last-minute thunderstorm
changed that plan.
But Mary Lee and her husband,
Hunter Coultrap, loved every second
of their indoor Columbia wedding.

When Hunter heard about the
storm, he worried that his bride
would be disappointed.
“I knew that she was so excited
about the pictures, and outside was
so pretty,” he says. “I called her on
the phone and told her everything
was going to be OK. And once I
stepped into the new inside space, I
knew ... this place was gorgeous, and
everything was going to be fine.”

H

m

unter has known that all
along.
Mary Lee and Hunter
met in elementary school. They
grew up as childhood friends in
Raleigh, North Carolina, and
evolved into high school pals before
they began dating their junior year.

“Early in high school, we became
very good friends,” Mary Lee says.
“We lived in the same neighborhood and would take walks together. And talk.”
During those walking talks, they
discovered that they both wanted
religion and music to be a big part
of their lives. Still, Mary Lee was
reluctant to date Hunter, fearful
that if that relationship didn’t
work out, she would lose the
friendship she treasured.
“I didn’t want to break up and
miss the friendship I valued,” she
says. “So we went into it like, ‘We’ll
see how it goes.’ ”
It went fantastically.
“It was always so easy,” Mary Lee
says. “It was never awkward.”

Hunter was never worried.
“I knew that we were best
friends before we were ever
romantic toward each other, so I
figured with friendship as the
foundation, then we could build
the romance and affection on top
of that,” Hunter says.
Mary Lee grew up in a Gamecock
family and knew she wanted to go to
the University of South Carolina.
She was thrilled when Hunter decided to pursue a music degree at USC.
“What is cool for me to see now is
that God was working all things for
me to be close to Mary Lee, close to
an awesome church that brought
us closer together, and surrounded
by friends and people that continued to build us up,” Hunter says.

20

After dating for six years,
Hunter proposed to Mary Lee at
Asbury Hills, a United Methodist
Church camp near Greenville in
the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mary
Lee had spent time there and
shared it with Hunter as one of her
“favorite places in the world.”
So in December, following their
May 2015 graduation from USC,
Hunter took Mary Lee to Asbury
Hills.
“I kind of knew it was coming
soon,” Mary Lee says of the proposal. But she didn’t think it was
coming when it did. Hunter made
sure of that.
The proposal, which Hunter
calls the “long game,” took about
18 months to plan.
“Mary Lee told me that she
didn’t think that I could ever surprise her,” Hunter said. “And I
thought, ‘challenge accepted.’
“I know that she has a highly
analytical brain and is amazing at
noticing and anticipating details,
so I figured I would have to have a
plan that seemed to be going
nowhere in the day-to-day.”
Unknown to Mary Lee, Hunter
had driven from Columbia to
Charleston to have dinner with
her father and ask for his blessing.
“Not everything went as planned,”
Hunter says. “The camp where we
went was technically closed that
week, but I pleaded with the groundskeeper to let us in. I also got a phone
call from my photographer ... that he
overslept and was an hour behind
us on the trip, so I had to make some
small adjustments in timing on the
way to the mountain.
“But as a whole, I couldn’t have
asked for a better result. I love the
story.”
Hunter took Mary Lee before the
big cross at Asbury Hills, played
worship music, told her how much
he “enjoyed doing life together” and
asked her to marry him.
She said yes.

T

m

hey had a short engagement, getting married
July 16, 2016.
“We’re both teachers and knew
we wanted to get married in the
summer,” Mary Lee said. She
teaches music at St. Joseph’s

Catholic School, and Hunter
teaches at Conder Elementary.
“I had it in my head that I wanted an outdoor wedding,” Mary Lee
said. She liked the idea of being
able to have her outdoor wedding
in a picturesque setting and then
have a climate-controlled reception at the same location. Senate’s
End fit the bill perfectly.
And that climate-controlled
space turned out to be important.
At the end of the rehearsal the
night before, when everyone was
anxious to get to the dinner, Mary
Lee’s father insisted that they do a
quick run-through of “Plan B” – the
just-in-case-it-rains plan. Everyone
who moaned and groaned appreciated it the next day when the thunderstorm struck about 20 minutes
before the wedding.
“It was amazing how quickly the
staff at Senate’s End moved the
chairs and decorations inside and
made it a beautiful wedding spot,”
Mary Lee says. “It ended up being
so pretty.”
And Mary Lee got her outdoor
photos.
“What is really cool is that the
sun came out after our ceremony
so we were still able to get pictures
taken outside, which is what I
wanted the most for her,” Hunter
says.
Photographer Katie Hart of
Palmetto Duo snuck Mary Lee and
Hunter outside during the reception.
“I love being a part of weddings at
Senate’s End because the venue has
so many pretty, photogenic spots,”
Hart says. “They have the garden
area, the woods behind the venue,
the river and the downtown skyline
within walking distance … and the
Hall itself is stunning, with the
brickwork and hanging lanterns.”
Mary Lee and her bridesmaids
spent most of the day at Senate’s
End. They started the day at home
with coffee, watching “The
Princess Diaries.” Then at 11 a.m.,
they went to Senate’s End, where
they decorated the venue, had
lunch, and had Image Makers
Salond do their hair and makeup
before the 6 p.m. wedding.
Mary Lee put framed photographs of Hunter and her through
the years around the reception.

T

ceremony, which was really good
for my nerves,” Mary Lee says. She
stood on one side of a door, Hunter
on the other. They reached around
and held hands while he prayed.
“He stayed with me until he
made me laugh,” Mary Lee says.
“We got to connect. I needed that.”
Hunter said he could tell Mary
Lee was a bit overwhelmed by the
people, details and wedding chaos.
“She is a rock star, so I knew
everything was going perfectly ...
but I wanted to calm her nerves by
reminding her that at the end of
the day, God is still worthy to be
praised and we would be husband
and wife,” Hunter says. “I couldn’t
see her behind the door, but I told
her that her hand looked nice and
she laughed.
“I have this thing in our relationship that when she is upset, we
can’t leave the moment until she
smiles, and that’s how I wanted to
leave her.”

Hart caught the moment.
“You could really see the emotion of the day on their faces,” Hart
says. “I love when Hunter kissed
her hand.”
Mary Lee’s wedding might have
been in Columbia, but she had a
whisper of Charleston with
sweetgrass and cotton in her floral
decorations.
“Our florist (Woolbright
Flowers and Gifts) knew that we
wanted to incorporate the
Southern, Lowcountry theme into
our decorations, so he added the
cotton,” Mary Lee says. The sweetgrass and cotton also were in the
boutonnieres.
“It was ... the perfect Charleston
touch we wanted.”
She saved the sweetgrass and
uses the cotton as décor in their
house. That isn’t the only wedding
keepsake adorning the Coultraps’
home.
During both the ceremony and

the reception, the newlyweds sang
together, with Hunter playing guitar. After saying their vows, they
sang “Jesus Paid It All.”
“We wanted to lead worship as
husband and wife,” Mary Lee says.
It was one of their favorite
moments of the day.
At the reception, they sang
“Meant to Be,” a song they listened
to Melissa Polinar sing while they
were growing up.
Hunter used two old guitars for
the songs. Guests signed those
instead of a book, and the guitars
hang in the Coultraps’ home.
“We had so much fun (at the
reception),” Mary Lee says. “It was
the fastest three hours of my life.”
They spent their wedding night
at the Inn at USC and left two days
later for Banff, Canada. The Rocky
Mountain resort town in Alberta
was a great escape from the hot
Columbia summer and a perfect
honeymoon spot.

21

he wedding party consisted
of six bridesmaids, six
groomsmen, a 9-month-old
flower girl and a 4-year-old ring
bearer.
The flower girl, Mary Lee’s niece,
Mary Dale, was pulled in a wagon
down the aisle by her father. “She
was more the bearer of cuteness
than flowers,” Mary Lee says.
The bridesmaids wore blush
pink dresses from Evelyn’s Bridal
(also where Mary Lee got her
dress), and the groomsmen sported slate blue bow ties with their
gray suits from Granger Owings.
Mary Lee and Hunter decided to
wait to see each other for the first
time until the ceremony.
“I actually teased Hunter and
told him, ‘You’d better cry when
you see me,’ ” Mary Lee says.
But they did spend some time
together prior to the ceremony,
sight unseen.
“Hunter prayed for us before the

22

23

From this day forward

&Rob

Rosalie

Denise Gonsales Photography

{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

R

osalie Bott didn’t want a wedding.
It wasn’t because she was struggling with
choosing vendors or colors, or making a guest
list and seating charts.
And it surely wasn’t because she had cold feet.
“I was really struggling with the idea of being
the center of attention,” Rosalie said. “At one
point Rob joked that he would carry me down
the aisle if he had to.”
But her doubts began to fade when she met
Jessa Overbeck, catering and events director at
the South Carolina Yacht Club on Hilton Head
Island.
“I think a lot of planners have it in their
minds what they think brides want rather than
reading their brides. Jessa’s ability to reassure
me that she could make the day low-key and
casual really put me at ease.”

An opinionated person by nature, Rosalie was
able to pick what she liked right away, making the
wedding planning experience relatively simple.
“I chose the colors blush, ivory and gold. And I
wanted to keep things soft and simple, so we used
a lot of garden roses, peonies and hydrangeas,”
she said.
Rosalie’s dress was layers of silk and tulle, and
adorned with delicate lace roses. She added a
hint of sparkle with a rhinestone headpiece and
ivory heels with crystal embellishments — her
favorite part of the outfit, she said.
Rosalie’s two sisters served as maid and matron
of honor and wore blush-colored lace dresses
with beaded belts.
Rob wore a navy blue tuxedo and black bow
tie, while two brothers wore matching navy suits
with rose-colored ties.

The couple exchanged vows at a 2 p.m. ceremony at Holy Family Catholic Church. A reception
followed at 4 p.m. at the Yacht Club, where guests
mingled outdoors enjoying a cocktail hour with
an open bar before heading inside to feast on
plated surf and turf dinners of steak and salmon.
“The menu was phenomenal. Food was one of the
most important things to us. Our No. 1 priority was
making sure we got to eat our meals,” Rosalie said.
The Yacht Club made the couple’s chocolate
layer cake, and each guest received homemade
pecan and caramel turtles, made by Rosalie.
The newlyweds shared a first dance before their
photographer, family friend Denise Gonsales,
whisked them away for a portrait session that
made the most of a beautiful Lowcountry sunset.

The next morning, guests were invited to Sunday brunch hosted by Rosalie’s parents at their
Hilton Head home.
“From the first day, one of the only things I
cared about was the brunch on Sunday morning.
It was by far my favorite part because it was more
my style,” she said. “It was relaxed and it was a
different setting where we could talk and catch
up with friends and family.”
At brunch, Rosalie put out the top layer of their
wedding cake and every guest took a slice as they
relived the memories of the night before.
“It’s important to remember your wedding day
is the first day in your new life together. It’s not
as much about that day as it is how you get to that
day. Remember to not pick fights or try to take
things too seriously.”

25

Rosalie and her husband, Rob Cameron, met
through a mutual friend while working toward
their MBAs at the University of Notre Dame. After
continually being pushed together, they gave in.
They dated two years – the majority of it long distance – before Rob asked Rosalie to marry him one
evening in November in after dinner in Boston.
“He was a complete basketcase. He was so
nervous he could barely pay at the end of the
meal,” Rosalie said, chuckling at the memory of
Rob, a Navy man, unraveling under the pressure.
“When he proposed on the walk home, he was
trying to tell me how much he loved me, but I
don’t know if any of his sentences really made
sense. Although, he did manage to say, ‘will you
marry me?’ ”

By Cate Fitzpatrick

cfitzpatrick@islandpacket.com

{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

By Britt Croft

he world of weddings has changed
so much in the past few decades,
even substantially in just the last
few years. I love when couples really
make their weddings their own and a
true display of what is most important
to them.
If you’re looking for a way to make
your wedding a little more unique, here
are a few things I’ve seen that aren’t
necessarily "traditions," but easily
could be.

WRITING LETTERS

While some couples write letters to
each other to read on their wedding
day, it’s not as common as I wish it was.
This is definitely one of the things I
would have done differently on my own
wedding day. I think it’s such a special
way to connect and it really drives
home the significance of the day.

DADDY-DAUGHTER FIRST LOOKS

The moment a dad sees his daughter on
her wedding day is very special. They
can be some of the most emotional
moments of the day. I love having these
moments captured for my couples. A
daddy-daughter first look can be very
candid, or more planned – similar to
bride and groom first looks.

BRIDAL PORTRAITS

Bridal portraits are a very Southern
tradition, but I think more brides
should take advantage of the opportunity to get in front of the camera before
their wedding day. The benefits are
endless, including getting a trial run of
your hair, makeup, and dress.
It’s also such an opportunity to slow
down and enjoy what’s coming. Having bridal portraits done before the
wedding means you and your photographer aren’t pressed to take quite as
many formal portraits of you alone on
your wedding day, which in turn frees
up time for other photos or more time
with your groom, friends, and family.
Britt Croft is a South Carolina and Georgia wedding and
portrait photographer. She is passionate about creating
real, timeless, and romantic images that tell a story and are
full of life. Contact her at www.brittcroft.com.

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dance and the parent dances. Siblings
play such a big role in our lives and a
wedding day is a big time for them too.
Sibling dances can be a great way for
a bride to honor her brother or for a
groom to honor his sister.

26

RECEPTION EXIT

Reception exits aren’t exactly uncommon, but I think they should be a thing
at every wedding. Since you have a
planner and/or a venue team taking care
of breaking down your reception, leave
with all the excitement of your friends
and family sending you off. It’s such a
great part of the night and it’s so sweet
to see couples soak in that moment as
they set off to their vehicle. Reception
exits can be as simple as bubbles, seeds,
or streamer wands, or as elaborate as

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{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

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27

{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

&Scott

28

Missy

Kim Branagan Photography

{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

Seaside elegance

It

was New Year’s Eve and Missy Kubasek
and Scott Bower were headed out to
dinner. At the door, Scott stopped and
tossed her a fortune cookie leftover from
the previous night's takeout.
“It read ‘you’re about to make someone very
happy in your life.’ I didn’t really think much
of it,” Missy said. “Then he threw me another
one. I opened it and there’s the diamond ring.”

Missy and Scott chose Shipyard’s Beach Club
on Hilton Head Island as the setting for the
light, airy, elegant wine-themed affair. The
venue gave the couple a space to have an outdoor ceremony with an ocean setting without
having to hold the ceremony on the beach.
Missy’s wedding dress mirrored the casual
elegance of the day. The sleeveless ivory
gown had a lace overlay and a corset back.
A dusty rose sash with a diamond broach
added to the elegance.
The couple participated in a wine ceremony
during their vows, each pouring their separate decanters of red and white wine into a
marriage decanter. The mixed wine was then
poured into glasses for Missy and Scott to
drink. A whiskey barrel tabletop was created
for this ceremony using wooden pallets.

About an hour before the wedding, and
just as vendors finished staging the outdoor
ceremony, Mother Nature surprised everyone with an afternoon thunderstorm.
Photographer Kim Branagan said the
sheeting rain and wind would be enough to
make any bride anxious, but not Missy.
“She could not have been more composed.
Rather than stress, she trusted her vendors
and, staying true to the wedding theme, had
a glass of wine,” Kim said.
About 30 minutes before the ceremony,
the rain subsided. And at 6:01 p.m., Missy
walked down the aisle under clear skies.

Elegance spilled over to the reception,
where five rustic farm tables were placed
end-to-end and set with chiavari chairs,
ivory and silver table runners, votives,
greenery, flowers, and tall vases topped
with pale pink roses and green hydrangeas.
Wine corks held place cards and dinner
was served family style under the warm
glow of cafe lights. Servers kept the glasses
full, pouring from a wine list specially
crafted by Missy and Scott.
As a show of appreciation, each of the
three dozen guests received an empty wood
picture frame and a thank-you note.
“During the reception we went around
and took photos with every guest. Then we
mailed each person a photo for the frame,”
Missy said. “That’s the great part of having
a small wedding. You can do very personal
things like that. There’s a lot to be said for
keeping your wedding small.”

29

It wasn't long after that the Ohio natives
decided on a July wedding on Hilton Head.
With six months to plan a destination
wedding, Missy knew she needed help.
That's when an online search for a planner
connected her with Lisa Kenward of Lisa
Kenward Events.
“Missy and Scott wanted their wedding
celebration to be an intimate event with
a touch of elegance. They wanted their
guests to feel welcomed and all the details
to reflect their personalities,” Lisa said.
Missy and Lisa chatted weekly by phone,
sorting out details such as lighting, linens,
floral, music, transportation, and timelines. Then, two months into the planning,
Missy’s mother was diagnosed with brain
cancer.
“We were an inch away from giving up,”
Missy said. “Lisa told us to take a step
back and she took the bull by the horns,
lining up vendors and sending us photos
of venues. If it wasn’t for her, the wedding
wouldn’t have happened.”

By Cate Fitzpatrick

cfitzpatrick@islandpacket.com

Relaxed romance
{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

&Ian

Katelyn

Reese Moore Photography

{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

By Cate Fitzpatrick

S

oftly crashing waves and a subtle ocean
breeze set a picturesque backdrop and
perfectly captured the relaxing spirit of Katelyn
Chiappazzi and Ian Fletcher’s intimate Sunday
afternoon wedding on Hilton Head.
“We kept the guest list to less than 20 of our closest friends and family,” Katelyn said. “Everyone was
so comfortable and it was wonderful to spend time
with the people we don’t often get to see.”

love with The Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa
and its bullhead lawn and deck space.
“This allowed us to have the ceremony near the
ocean without having it on the beach,” Katelyn
said. Another perk: The venue had a planner.
“She took care of everything,” Katelyn said of
Dawn Farrell, the Marriott’s event manager. “She
was the most down-to-earth person and I didn’t
stress. She was on top of it all.”
Once the big things were decided – venue, food,
and photographer (Reese Moore Photography) –
the details fell into place.

A small guest list meant the couple could treat
friends and family to a premium party.
“We have expensive taste, so we went all out,”
Katelyn said. Guests noshed on nearly a dozen
different hors d’oeuvres and sipped from a premium open bar. Dinner included, among other
things, a prime rib carving station and multiple
pasta stations. Dessert featured treats from
Sweet Carolina Cupcakes and wedding cake
decorated with colorful chocolate seashells.
On the tables, centerpieces of white hydrangeas and glass bowls of sand and candles sat
atop shimmery gold-and-white chevron runners
Katelyn's wedding gown was actually a bridessprinkled with shells and votives. Place settings
maid dress. It featured a romantic lace overlay and included gold chargers topped with navy linens
contoured cap sleeves that continued around to a with gold starfish napkin rings.
keyhole back. She added a hint of sparkle with a
The couple left the music to Pandora ­— “We
beaded belt. The bride carried a bouquet of white put it on shuffle and it was perfect,” Katelyn
hydrangeas tied together with gold jeweled ribsaid. — and shared their first dance to George
bon. Her maid of honor wore a knee-length navy
Strait’s “Give It All We Got Tonight.”
lace dress and carried a similar bouquet.
“Our wedding was so intimate and everyone
Across the aisle, the groom and his father wore felt like they had a place. Having a small wedding
navy pants and vests, blue-and-white checkered made the day feel so much more real. I would do
shirts and gold ties.
it again in a heartbeat,” Katelyn said.

31

North Carolina residents Katelyn and Ian were
dating two years before he surprised her with an
engagement ring.
“Ian proposed one afternoon while we were
fishing on the dock. I cast my line near his and he
pretended to get annoyed when they got tangled,”
Katelyn said. “So I went to the other side to fish
and when I turned back he was down on one knee
with a ring. I honestly thought it was a joke!”
Ian’s timing was thoughtful and perfect. He
knew Katelyn wanted to get married on Hilton
Head and proposed a week before they were
headed to the Lowcountry on vacation.
After visiting a few venues, the couple fell in

cfitzpatrick@islandpacket.com

{ Hilton Head Island • Bluffton • Beaufort • South Carolina }

32

Reception Venues
Advanced Sail Catamaran
843-686-2582 • 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island •
www.hiltonheadislandsailing.com
Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
843-686-3945, ext. 207 • 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton
Head Island • www.artshhi.com
Beach House Hilton Head
843-785-5126 • 1 South Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head
Island • www.beachhousehhi.com
Belfair Plantation
843-706-4633 • 200 Belfair Oaks Blvd., Bluffton • www.
belfair1811.com
Berkeley Hall
843-815-8493 • 366 Good Hope Road,
Bluffton • www.berkeleyhallclub.com
Bluffton Oyster Factory Park
843-706-4500 • 63 Wharf St., Bluffton • www.townofbluffton.sc.gov
Callawassie Island
843-987-2155 • 176 Callawassie Island Drive, Callawassie
Island • www.callawassieisland.com
Celebrations Catering & Events
843-689-7526 • Hilton Head Island •
www.wecelebrateyou.com
Colleton River Plantation Club
843-836-4400 • 60 Colleton River Drive, Bluffton • www.
colletonriverclub.com
Country Club of Hilton Head
843-681-2582 • 70 Skull Creek Drive, Hilton Head Island
• www.hiltonheadclub.com
Dataw Island Club
843-838-8428 • 100 Dataw Club Road,
Dataw Island • www.datawcatering.com
Elegant Events Hall
843-422-4948 • 491 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort •
www.eleganteventshall.com
Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort
888-741-8974 • 2119 Sea Island Parkway,
St. Helena Island • www.frippislandresort.com
Golf Club at Indigo Run
843-689-3500 • 101 Berwick Drive, Hilton Head Island •
www.thegolfclub-indigorun.com
Hampton Hall Club
843-815-9336 • 170 Hampton Hall Blvd., Bluffton • www.
hamptonhallsc.com
Hampton Lake
843-836-7475 • 20 Hampton Lake Drive, Bluffton • www.
hamptonlake.com
Harbour Town Yacht Club
843-671-1400 • 149 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island
• www.harbourtownyachtclub.com
Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park
843-525-7070 • 1010 Bay Street, Beaufort
• www.cityofbeaufort.org
Hilton Head Beach & Tennis Resort
843-842-4402 • 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head Island •
www.hhibeachandtennis.com
Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa
843-686-8466 • 1 Hotel Circle, Hilton Head Island • www.
marriott.com/hhhgr

Honey Horn Plantation
843-689-6767 ext. 224 • 70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton
Head Island • www.coastal
discovery.org
Hunting Island State Park
843-838-2011 • 2555 Sea Island Parkway, Hunting Island
• www.huntingisland.com
Oaks Plantation
843-263-9756 • 66 Godley Road, St. Helena Island •
www.theoaksplantationsc.com
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
843-522-1712, 843-379-0016 • Old Sheldon Church Road,
Yemassee • www.theoaks
plantationsc.com
Oldfield Plantation
843-645-4622 • 10 Oldfield Way, Okatie
• www.oldfield1732.com
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
843-341-8063 • 23 Ocean Lane, Hilton Head Island •
www.omnihotels.com/hotels/hilton-head
Oscar Frazier Park
843-706-4583 • 11 Recreation Court,
Bluffton • www.townofbluffton.sc.gov
Oyster Reef Golf Club
843-681-1747 • 155 High Bluff Road, Hilton Head Island
• www.oysterreefgolfclub.com
Palm Key
843-726-6524 • 330 Coosaw Way, Ridgeland
• www.palmkey.com
Palmetto Dunes Resort
843-686-9142 • 4 Queens Folly Road, Hilton Head Island
• www.palmettodunes.com
Palmetto Hall Plantation
843-681-1747 • 108 Fort Howell Drive, Hilton Head Island
• www.palmettohallgolf.com
Port Royal Golf Club
843-681-1747 • 10 Clubhouse Drive, Hilton Head Island •
www.portroyalgolfclub.com
Rose Hill Mansion
843-757-6046 • 199 Rose Hill Way, Bluffton • www.
rosehillmanion.com
Sea Pines Country Club
843-671-2345 • 30 Govenors Road, Hilton Head Island •
www.seapinescountryclub.com

Sequins Ballroom
843-277-5929, 843-837-2268 •
1300 Fording Island Road, Bluffton •
www.seaquinsballroom.com
SERG
843-715-0344 • Hilton Head Island, SC • awolfe@serggroup.com • www.serggroup.com
Shipyard Golf Club
843-681-1747 • 45 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head Island •
www.shipyardgolfclub.com
Shipyard Plantation Beach Club
843-842-3507 • 150 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head Island •
www.shipyardhhi.com
Sonesta Resort
843-341-1888 • 130 Shipyard Drive,
Hilton Head Island • www.sonesta.com/
hiltonheadisland
South Carolina Yacht Club
843-681-4844 • 10 Yacht Club Drive, Hilton Head Island •
www.scyachtclub.com
The Beaufort Inn
843-379-3470 • 809 Port Republic St.,
Beaufort• www.beaufortinn.com
Montage Palmetto Bluff
843-757-0126 • 476 Mount Pelia Road, Bluffton • www.
montagehotels.com/
palmettobluff
The Sea Pines Resort
843-842-1495 • 32 Greenwood Drive,
Hilton Head Island • www.seapines.com
The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort
& Spa 843-681-1022 • 2 Grasslawn Ave., Hilton Head
Island • www.westinhiltonheadisland.com
Vagabond Cruise
843-363-9026 • 149 Lighthouse Road,
Hilton Head Island • www.vagabondcruise.com
Wexford Plantation Club
843-686-8810 • 111 Wexford Club Drive,
Hilton Head Island • www.wexfordplantation.com
Windows on the Waterway
843-689-7526 • 5 Waterway Lane,
Hilton Head Island • www.wecelebrateyou.com

Lisa Kenward, PWP
843.338.7883

LisaKenwardEvents.com

Hilton Head
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35

WEDDINGS | SPECIAL EVENTS | MEETINGS | REHEARSAL DINNERS

701WHALEY.COM
Photo credit: Mark Green

| 803 771-0101

MARRIED IN THE MIDLANDS

&

Sonya Richard

after starting our relationship.
She gave me the yes, and within
three months of our relationship,
she told me to set the date because
she could not spend more time
without me. I asked if she would
like to come live with me in my
and she said yes. That
When did you know your spouse country,
was a wonderful answer. We later
was the one?
decided to live in the United States,
S: When my friends and I arrived at where we could have a better life.
the airport to return to the United
In the year and a half we waited for
States, I could not stop thinking
my visa to be processed, we were
about him. I cried the entire flight. separated. My wife visited every
R: Two hours after I met her, she
two months, and every time, we
had stolen my heart.
grew closer. When there is true
love, a chain can break open; seas
Tell me about the proposal.
and mountains can be crushed.
S: We knew it would be a challenge with us living in separate
What was your favorite part of
countries, and we knew that we
the wedding day?
were made for one another and
S: Hearing my husband say his
did not want to prolong our time vows in English. He had written
apart. So, we decided to get marhis own vows and memorized
ried after dating for four months. each word. I knew he had worked
R: I proposed marriage two months hard to do this.

How did you meet?

S: My girls and I were at the casino
in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Richard and I were introduced,
and it was love at first sight. We
kept in touch, and he dedicated
himself to learning English.

36

Sonya Capell was on an all-girls vacation in the Dominican Republic when she met Richard
Desena Bautista. Four months later, on Dec. 2, 2014, they eloped with only Richard’s immediate
family present. On Sept. 2, 2016, they celebrated their marriage – and Richard’s move to
the United States – with a big ceremony and reception at the Lace House. Sonya, 33, is from
Columbia and works in human resources, and Richard, 28, is a chef. They live in Atlanta. Sonya
translated Richard’s responses from Spanish; answers have been edited.
R: The brightest moment for me
was when I saw my wife arrive
with her father – such great beauty
and happiness that made me cry.

How has having different
native languages affected your
relationship?

S: We are constantly learning from
each other. In the beginning, I
thought it would be impossible,
but my husband did not want language to be a barrier. I usually talk
to him in Spanish, and he replies
in English. He will tell you that I
am fluent in Spanish since I can
communicate with him and he
understands every word; however,
I am still learning with the help of
my in-laws and my husband.
R: Before I met my wife, I knew
basic English for the performance
of my work. (After we met) I felt
her heart in the air; all the time
that we spent together, I began to
understand more of her language.

Love is the language that my wife
and I are both fluent in, so I am
able to understand and communicate with her very well.

Tell me about the first wedding
ceremony and why you did
them separately.
S: Our first ceremony was simple
and quick. My father wanted to
give me away; since I am his only
daughter, he was upset he would
not have that opportunity. Also, I
had always envisioned my “fairy
tale” wedding, so my husband
promised that when he could
come to the U.S., I would have my
American wedding. Needless to
say, that made my father happy.

What part of marriage are you
looking forward to?

S: I am looking forward to starting a family. I can’t wait to raise
bilingual babies. Richard will be a
great father.

BRIDE’S ATTIRE Bravura Bridal (Marietta, Georgia), Maggie Sottero gown;
TK Bridal (Atlanta), reception dress • GROOM’S ATTIRE Savvi Formalwear
(Atlanta) • WEDDING PARTY ATTIRE www.perfectbridal.com, Bill Levkoff •
BAR JW Bartending • CAKE Gardenia’s Custom Cakes & Catering •
DESSERT BAR My Dessert Bar • CATERER Simply Delicious Catering •
DECOR South Carolina Wedding Company • DJ DJ Babyface
(Aukeaus Solomon)• FAVORS/GIFTS LuckyDucks2650 on Etsy •
FLORIST American Floral • HONEYMOON Dominican Republic •
HOTEL BLOCK Columbia Marriott • INVITATIONS/PAPER GOODS Sandi Spells
Design (College Park, Georgia) • JEWELRY Jared and Kay Jewelers,
Vera Wang Love rings • LIGHTING Ambient Media • MAKEUP Kimberly Asia
Hall, Sarah & Co. Studio • OFFICIANT Rev. Anthony Bracy •
PHOTOGRAPHY Studio Two One Two • PLANNER Avila Dawn Events•
PRESERVATION Ed Robinson Cleaners • REHEARSAL DINNER Liberty Tap Room
• RENTALS Party Reflections; Lake Murray Event & Rentals •
SOLOIST Cyretta Crowell, The Root Doctors•
TRANSPORTATION First Class Limo Service • VENUE Lace House •
VIDEOGRAPHY MEA Entertainment

Photos by Patty Hallman,
Studio Two One Two
www.studiotwoonetwo.com

37

Wedding Album

Photos by Studio Two One Two

Saima Walima and Zeeshan Khaliq were married Sept. 24, 2016, in
Chicago. A groom’s reception followed Sept. 30 at the Columbia Marriott.

38

www.cityartonline.com

Palmetto Duo

Megan Gunter and Joey Pender were
married Sept. 9, 2016, at the River Road
House and Jasmine House.

Offering Wedding Registries and
Unique Gifts & Accessories for the Bride,
Groom & Wedding Party.
1204 MAIN ST. • NEAR GERVAIS ST. • COLUMBIA
803.661.7651 • WWW.UPTOWNSC.COM ECHiil

Historic Occasion
...because it’s a

39

Weddings | Receptions | Special Events

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE MUSEUM

301 Gervais Street, Columbia | 803.898.4901| scmuseum.org

Photos by Shandi Wallace,
Shandi Wallace Photography
shandiwallace.com

MARRIED IN THE MIDLANDS

&T.J.

M’Lee

engaged for two years. You might how beautiful everything was. I
say we didn’t really fall in love, but realized our dream wedding was
rather grew into love.
about to come to fruition.
T: Hearing the ukulele music
Tell me about the proposal.
It was our sixth year attending his begin and seeing my beautiful
bride-to-be walk down the aisle
family’s Easter lunch together.
and take my breath away.
This particular year, T.J. wanted
my family to join his family. I
What advice would you give a
bride or groom who’s planning a
didn’t think much about it because our families certainly knew wedding?
each other. (He wanted my family Plan for unexpected expenses
there for the proposal, but I didn’t because there will be some.
know that was why he invited
Your reception looks like fun.
them.) We always get in a big circle What’s your recipe for making
and pray. Right before the prayer, sure everyone has a blast?
said he wanted to say someKnow your audience, and try to
When did you know your spouse T.J.
thing. He called me out, got down
satisfy the majority’s taste with
was the one?
on one knee and proposed. This is food, beverages and music. Mingle
We were so young, but neither
another way that T.J. is so special
with all your guests, and let them
of us had any interest in anyone
to me – he included family.
know you value their presence. If
else once we met. Talk about
children will be at your wedding,
young love and childhood sweet- What was your favorite part of
involve them in some way. We had
the wedding day?
hearts – we fit the bill perfectly.
M: Arriving at the venue and see- the children circle us and blow
Prior to our wedding, we were
sweethearts for eight years and
ing all the vendors setting up and bubbles as we danced our first

How did you meet?

40

Childhood sweethearts M’Lee Grandy and Timothy “T.J.” Guy were married Sept. 16 at
Southern Oaks in Gilbert. M’Lee, a 22-year-old radiologic technologist from BatesburgLeesville, was just 14 when they met. T.J., 24, is originally from Saluda and works as a curing
operator at Michelin in Lexington. After M’Lee graduated from college and started her job last
spring, they bought a restored farmhouse in Batesburg-Leesville . “We have actually had a very
busy year,” M’Lee said. Answers have been edited.

We met at a friend’s birthday
party on Lake Murray when I was
14 and T.J. was 16. We realized
that we had common interests
and mutual friends. Although I
was attending King Academy and
T.J. was at Saluda High School,
we were surprised we had not
met before. We are both big
Harry Potter fans, enjoy playing
Scrabble, fishing, camping and
we both love spending time doing
things with family. It appealed to
me that he loves and appreciates
family as much as I do.

dance. Also, take care of the formalities – cutting the cake, toasts
and speeches – early, before your
senior guests begin to leave.

Newlywed life is...

... exciting and full of new responsibilities. It can take a while to
settle into a routine. There are
things we have both had to learn
about maintaining a home. We
are careful to let some things go
in order to have a “date night.”

What part of marriage are you
looking forward to?

We want children in the future
– just no time soon. We look
forward to landscaping our yard
this spring and other projects at
our home. Right now, we are a
content couple, enjoying living
together and being on our own.

What else?

Our last name is “Guy,” so our
hashtag was #ItsAGuyThing.

BRIDE’S ATTIRE Fabulous Frocks (Charleston), Wtoo by Watters gown, Erica
Koesler veil; Aldo, shoes• GROOM/GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE Kennedy’s Men’s Clothing
• BRIDESMAIDS’ ATTIRE lulus.com • FLOWER GIRLS’ ATTIRE popreal.com •
DJ Yarborough’s Entertainment • VENUE Southern Oaks, wedding, reception,
rehearsal dinner• CAKE Tina’s Cake Boutique • CATERING Hudson’s BBQ;
Southern Oaks • FAVORS/GIFTS Mary’s Cakery & Candy Kitchen (King George,
Virginia; transported by groom’s aunt), custom candy wrappers • FLORIST
White House Wedding Flowers • HAIR/MAKEUP Brooke Moseley, bride; Southern
Gentleman’s Barbering Co., groom • HONEYMOON Royal Caribbean •
INVITATIONS/PAPER GOODS Vista Print, save-the-date cards and invitations;
Nancey Keeler, calligraphy; UPS Store, wedding and reception programs;
foryourparty.com, napkins and custom matchbooks • OFFICIANT
Rev. Brian H. Coker (groom’s uncle) • PHOTOGRAPHER Shandi Wallace
Photography • PLANNER Pam Reeder, Southern Oaks • PRESERVATION/
ALTERATIONS Elite Alterations • REGISTRY Target; Bed, Bath & Beyond •
SPECIALTY CANDIES Nancey Keeler • TRANSPORTATION Ann Lyons Wedding Cars

41

ADVERTORIAL

Convenient location, competitive
costs at Orangeburg Country Club

T

he Orangeburg Country Club is a perfect
backdrop for the wedding you have always
imagined – and so much more. Situated between
Columbia and Charleston along the banks of the
Edisto River, OCC is not only exquisitely beautiful, but also
conveniently located and competitively priced.
Our on-site event planner, Lauren Gray, cares as much as
you do about making your wedding day perfect. From lush
flowers to elegant décor to a scrumptious menu, Lauren is
happy to discuss options to fit your budget
while providing you with impeccable customer
service. From the moment of your initial inquiry
until your grand exit from your spectacular
reception, our staff pays careful attention to
every detail.
Bride Shannon Upchurch shared her experience this way: “I
still can’t get over how perfect everything was for our wedding
day! The food was fabulous, and the staff did a phenomenal
job!”
You owe it to yourself to investigate this gem! One other
surprise: Membership is not required to schedule your
wedding or any other event at OCC! Visit
www.orangeburgcc.com or call Lauren Gray at
(803) 534-5988 to get started on your happily ever after.
LIFES TREASURES PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC

ADVERTORIAL

Capital City Club offers
weddings at highest level

A

t the Capital City Club, we have a
saying: “The only thing we overlook
is the view.”
With our executive chef executing
world-class dishes, our experienced
private events team delivering personalized
professional service, and our detail-oriented
staff meeting your every need, we never fall
short on delivering magical moments.
The Capital City Club is your one-stop shop
for the perfect occasion, with more than
25 years of wedding experience.
Capital City Club is on the top floor of the
tallest building in the state ‒ no one can offer
more romantic views, dramatic sunsets and
natural beauty. Our ballroom looks west and
offers sweeping 180-degree views of the
Congaree River and beyond.
Although Capital City Club is Columbia’s
premier private club, you don’t have to be a
member to host a wedding or other private
events. Contact Jacquie Lee at jacquie.lee@
clubcorp.com to plan your special day on top
of the capital city!
1201 Main St., Suite 2500
803-256-2000 | capitalcolumbia.com

experience begins here...

Courtesy of Life’s Treasures Photography, LLC.

A once in a lifetime

Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions | Rehearsal Dinners | Luncheons
Non-member bookings welcome. Call and schedule a tour today.

43

2745 Grif�ith Drive | Orangeburg, SC 29118 | www.orangeburgcc.com | (803) 534-5988

MARRIED IN THE MIDLANDS

&Bryant

Jessi

How did you meet?

44

We were introduced through
friends in middle school. (Bryant
attended E.L. Wright, and Jessi
attended Cardinal Newman.) We
became better friends in high
school when Jessi transferred to
Spring Valley, and we reconnected a few years after college.

Jessi Dickerson and Bryant Fuller were married Sept. 10, 2016 at the Lace House. They’ve
known each other since middle school, but they didn’t date until after college (though they
did go to a high school dance together. “We went as friends and were too shy to realize that
we both had crushes on each other,” Jessi says). Soon after they started dating, a promotion
transferred Bryant to Atlanta. Four years of long-distance love later, Jessi, 29, and Bryant,
30, live in Atlanta together. They plan to adopt a kitten soon.

up Black Mountain. There was no
one else I would have as much fun
with in a situation like that.

Tell me about the proposal.

B: Sept 9, 2015, at 15,000 feet,
hiking in Colorado. Freezing and
close to miserable. I had to ask a
couple days before I originally intended because I thought she was
When did you know your spouse going to kill me. I got the answer
I sought, but I don’t think she’ll
was the one?
ever go camping with me again.
B: It was more of an evolution than J: Bryant might be right – this
a lightning strike. I knew for about might have been my last off-trail
a year before asking, but gave it an camping trip. Although it was
extra year for good measure.
planned for a long time, we had
J: I knew the first time we went
no idea what we were getting
camping together. I grew up going ourselves into. About an hour
camping, but we always stayed
into the five-day hike, I was thinkon trail and had tons of preparaing, “What have I done, and why
tion – maybe even a camper or
am I doing this?” It was the most
two. The first time I went camping intense and strenuous thing I
with Bryant, we got a late start. It
have done in my life. Well worth
started snowing as it turned dark, it when he proposed overlooking
and we had to set up camp halfway a 15,000-foot cliff. I was on cloud

nine, and that is the only thing
that got me through the trip alive.

What advice would you give
a bride or groom planning a
wedding?

B: Try not to stress. It’s over before you know it and much better
than you could have imagined.
J: Hire a wedding planner – even
just for the day. Meagan Warren
was amazing and affordable. I am a
huge planner, so I thought I would
be able to do everything, but I
wanted to be able to enjoy it, too!

Whose war medals did you
incorporate and how?

J: I had a rosary, a Bronze Star and
a Purple Heart tied to my bouquet.
The rosary was handmade by
my maternal grandmother, who
I miss every day. She, next to my
mother, was the strongest lady
I have ever known. The medals
belonged to my maternal grand-

father, Jeronimo Garcia-Soto.
He was killed in action during
Vietnam. I wanted to honor them
for building the foundation that
established our family.

Your flower girls were adorable.
How did they enhance the day?

J: My flowers girls were so excited
and had been practicing their
roles for months. They took their
jobs very seriously! Olivia Kay
Hite is 4, and Margo Mae Dickerson, my niece, is 2. I will always
remember walking back down
the aisle after the ceremony and
hearing them yell, “Titi and BB,
wait for me!” as they were running to hold our hands.

Newlywed life is...

Better than people have warned!
People have told us the first few
months would be difficult, but
we are enjoying it! We love finally
living in the same city!

Photos by Becky Williamson,
Becky Williamson Photography
beckywilliamsonphotography.com

45
BRIDE’S ATTIRE Evelyn’s Bridal • GROOM/GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE their own tuxes
with Brackish bow ties • BRIDESMAIDS’ ATTIRE Bella Bridesmaids • BAND Men
of Distinction • CAKE Parkland Cakes • CATERING Southern Way • FLORIST Fern
Studio• HAIR/MAKEUP Jennifer Nolan Beauty • HONEYMOON Secrets, Maroma
Beach, Mexico • INVITATIONS/PAPER GOODS/CALLIGRAPHY Nalabe (Charlotte,
North Carolina) • LIGHTING Ambient Media • MUSIC, CEREMONY Columbia
Strings • MUSIC, COCKTAIL HOUR Chase Asmer • OFFICIANT Rev. Jacob Helsley
• PHOTOGRAPHER Becky Williamson Photography • PLANNER Meagan Warren
Weddings • REHEARSAL DINNER VENUE 701 Whaley • RENTALS Party Reflections
• TRANSPORTATION Southern Valet • VIDEOGRAPHY Earthswell

ADVERTORIAL

Golden Isles: A romantic
getaway close to home

F

ADVERTORIAL

ew companies specialize in
lighting design for
receptions and special
events, so Rufus Carson
and Joe Bates at Ambient Media
are literally lighting the way.
Dramatic lighting services for
weddings and receptions have
gained popularity over the past few
decades, letting couples control
the mood of their event ‒
illumination with a purpose.
Inspired to bring big-city pizazz
to celebrations in the Midlands,
Carson and Bates maintain high
standards of knowledge and performance among their technicians and
emphasize safety, knowledge of
electrical distribution, calculated
rigging of lighting and loads, and
professional courtesy.

O

R

ADVERTORIAL

iverbanks Zoo & Garden is an exotic alternative to the traditional
wedding venue, providing a magical backdrop for your special day.
They have two unique facilities and ceremony areas for weddings –
one located in the zoo and one set in the botanical garden.
“It was an absolute perfect day, and we had a fabulous time,” said Tracey
Hagerty, whose daughter recently married here, adding that the staff was
“easy to work with.”
They handle everything for the facility and catering – menu, bar, room
layout, chairs, linens, setup and tear-down – making the planning process
easy! Contact McKenzie Roland at 803-602-0847 or mroland@riverbanks.
org to get started.

500 Wildlife Parkway
planyourevent.riverbanks.org

n the Georgia coast, midway between Savannah,
Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, lie the Golden Isles,
made up of four barrier islands – St. Simons Island,
Sea Island, Jekyll Island and Little St. Simons Island – and the
historic port city of Brunswick.
The mild climate and southern hospitality, along with fine
restaurants and shopping, phenomenal golf and sundrenched beaches unite with modern technology and an
array of function spaces to accommodate groups of all sizes
and types: destination weddings, honeymoons and more.
The Golden Isles create a magical setting for any coastal
wedding or romantic getaway. Pristine stretches of beach are
punctuated by century-old trees draped in Spanish moss. The
breathtaking landscape, historic churches and landmarks
define an atmosphere of a bygone era filled with romance.
This stunning location will make your special day a
memory that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for
an on-the-beach, toes-in-the-sand ceremony, or a formal and
traditional indoor event, the Golden Isles have plenty of
wedding venues to choose from.
To learn more about the Golden Isles and available wedding
vendors, please visit www.GoldenIsles.com, or call
800-933- 2627.

www.dokomanor.com

The P erfect Place for Weddings,
M e etings, and Social Events.
• Seating Capacity for up to 250
• Tables & Chairs Included
• Set-up & Tear-down Services Included
• Attendant On-site
• Dance Floor & Stage Available
• State-of-the-Art Audiovisual Equipment
• Free Parking and Free WIFI
• Catering Kitchen

Located in Doko Meadows Park,
171 Langford Road, South Carolina 29016

Contact Steve Hasterok at 803-754-0501 or
hasteroks@townofblythewoodsc.gov for rates,
information, and tours.

47

Photos by Julia Murray,
Julia Fay Photography
www.juliafayphotography.com

MARRIED IN THE MIDLANDS

&Mitch

Carrie

48

Tell me about the proposal.

Mitch proposed Nov. 25, 2015, the
day before Thanksgiving. A few
days prior, he asked if I wanted to
put up the Christmas tree and go
to dinner. I didn’t think anything
of it because Mitch enjoys holiday
festivities. On the 24th, he confirmed our plans, but a few hours
later, my friend Kayla invited us
to a Friendsgiving. We put up the
Christmas tree and decided we
would go to Kayla’s. Right before
we walked out the door, Mitch
asked if I knew one of our ornaments opened. I replied “yes,”
which he wasn’t expecting! Then
he asked, “Did you look inside?”
When I opened the ornament,
there was a note inside that said,
“Will you marry me?” Mitch was
down on one knee, with a second
ornament with a ring in it. I’m not
even sure I said yes. I just grabbed
him and hugged him. After a few

Carrie Howle and Mitch Malyerck were married Nov. 12, 2016 at Wavering Place Plantation.
Carrie, 27, is a registered nurse who grew up in Columbia, and Mitch, 33, is a machine
operator from Ballentine. They met six years ago when Carrie introduced herself to Mitch at
a birthday party. “I remember thinking on my way home I would never have a chance with
someone as handsome or kind as he was – and now we’re married!” she said. They live in
Irmo with their dog, Goose. Answers have been edited.

minutes, I finally saw the beautiful
ring! (My father is a custom jeweler. Mitch and my dad made my
engagement ring together, which
is extremely special!) Then we
celebrated with our friends, even
though that wasn’t Mitch’s plan.

and we fell in love the first time we
walked the grounds. The grounds
and house are so beautiful that it
really makes decorating easy.

You had a table of sweets
instead of a big wedding cake.
Why? What kinds of sweets did
you have?

What advice would you give a
bride or groom who’s planning a We are not big cake people, but
we do love our cookies. Mitch
wedding?
Just sign the papers! ... Just
kidding! Let the small things go.
Everything is not going to be perfect, and everything is not going
to go the way you think it will. Let
it go. You’re surrounded by family
and friends who love you, and
they will never know that you had
the wrong chairs, or your brother
walked down the aisle before the
groom (true story).

Tell me about Wavering Place.

There is something romantic
about Wavering Place Plantation,

and I probably make cookies at
least once a week, maybe twice.
Don’t judge! So cookies are our
thing. We wanted the wedding to
be all about things that we love.
We met with Nicole Story from
Izzabee’s and tried an assortment
of amazing sweets and picked our
favorites! Nicole has so many great
ideas that I ended up giving her
some freedom. That was the best
decision! We did a small two-tier
naked strawberry champagne
cake to cut, sea salt chocolate chip
cookies, pumpkin whoopie pies,

brown butter Rice Krispie treats
and shortbread cookies. The
Rice Krispie treats and pumpkin
whoopie pies were to die for!

Newlywed life is...

Mitch said “the bomb.” No, but really. We genuinely love being married. Some people may not feel
this way, but something changes
when you get married. You deal
with problems together easier,
you compromise, and you always
know you’ll work it out. Because in
the end, you are in this together.

What part of marriage are you
looking forward to?

We hope to buy some land, build
a house, and start a family there.
We can’t say what the future
will hold, but we know that we
are always going to get through
obstacles together, celebrate
together, and support each other
100 percent.

BRIDE’S ATTIRE Jo-Lin’s Bridal, Allure Bridal gown; Etsy, Mi Bridal Veil •
GROOM’S ATTIRE Belk, Austin Reed suit • BRIDESMAIDS’ ATTIRE David’s Bridal,
biscotti dresses • GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE Belk, Ralph Lauren suits •
CAKE Izzabee’s Confectionaries • CATERER Southern Way • DJ Butch Davidson
(bride’s uncle)• FAVORS/GIFTS Etsy, Sip Sip Hooray koozies•
FLORIST Patty Boykin; Marie Taylor• HAIR/MAKEUP Kathryn Langston,
Bombshell Beauty Studio • HONEYMOON Asheville, North Carolina •
HOTEL BLOCK Hampton Inn & Suites • INVITATIONS Etsy, P27Creative customdesigned; Mitch printed at his print shop • JEWELRY Howle and Howle Jewelers
• LIGHTING Ambient Media• OFFICIANT Scott Malyerck (groom’s uncle) •
PHOTOGRAPHER Julia Fay Photography • PLANNER Carrie said, “Myself!” •
REGISTRY Bed, Bath & Beyond; Amazon • REHEARSAL DINNER Hay Hill Garden
Market; Moate Backyard Caterings • RENTALS Party Reflections;
Thompson’s Rental Service • TRANSPORTATION Columbia Brew Bus

49

ADVERTORIAL

ROBERT CLARK

T

he charm and
uniqueness
of our
historic
building and
the hospitality of the staff
ensure that each wedding is
special in its own way.
What sets us apart is the
ambiance, the vibe of being in
a venue that is more than a
century old. Another
advantage is that each guest
is free to choose the catering,
bartending, floral and
entertainment business they
want for their special event.
Our goal is to provide
a space where memories can
be made – where people
come together to celebrate
life and love and in an
atmosphere of comfort,
excitement and joy.
Contact Tom Chinn at
803-771-0101 to start
planning your event.
701 Whaley St.
701whaley.com

W

ith more than
10 years in the
wedding industry,
the DJs at Big
Time Entertainment are no
strangers to carrying off a
successful wedding
reception.
The team’s attention to
detail and communication
with clients create seamless,
stress-free events for
couples. Big Time has won
WeddingWire’s Couples’
Choice Award for the past
six years.
According to one couple,
“Even the venue staff said
(Big Time was) the best
entertainment and lighting
company they had ever
worked with!”
Trust Big Time to read the
crowd and keep your dance
floor packed so you can
enjoy your celebration with
family and friends.
Contact Cameron Glover
803-429-6001 | WeAreBigTime.com

701 Whaley was the absolute perfect venue for our wedding. It was the best day of our lives,
and we are just so happy we experienced such amazing moments in such a beautiful location.
JAMIE AND MICHAEL FULLER | married December 2015

ADVERTORIAL

DJs • Musicians • Decor Lighting • Photo Booths
“The wedding was a
great success!

THANK YOU!

Even the venue staff said you
were the best entertainment &
lighting company
they had ever worked with.”

51

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

803.429.6001 • www.WeAreBigTime.com

L

et us take care of
the details – you
focus on making
memories.
Situated in downtown
Columbia on the scenic
campus of the University of
South Carolina, the Inn at
USC Wyndham Garden is an
elegant boutique hotel
offering a blend of historic
grandeur, modern living
amenities and Southern
hospitality.
The charming hotel
delivers impeccable services
and a perfect location for
out-of-town guest
accommodations, rehearsal
dinners, bridal luncheons,
send-off brunches and small
receptions.
Our 3,000 square feet of
agelessly romantic event
space can be arranged in
various layouts.
1619 Pendleton St.
803-779-7779 | www.innatusc.com
Jana Medlin, director of sales
Macy Hill, events manager

ADVERTORIAL

ADVERTORIAL

icture a storybook wedding on an intimate island against the
backdrop of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean with a pristine beach
and lush, subtropical surroundings, where wildlife runs free.
Add to that everything you and your guests could possibly
want to enjoy as you prepare for that magical day – two championship
golf courses, tennis, pools, chartered offshore fishing and even cocktail
sunset cruises. This is Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort, casual elegance
in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry.
It all starts with a phone call to our wedding team at 1-866-522-4399.
They would love to help you plan the most important day of your life.

Wedding Album

P

Laura
Macaulay
and David
Carlson
were
married
Oct. 8,
2016 at
Mount
Tabor
Lutheran
Church in
West Columbia. A
reception
followed
at Stone
River.

Studio Two One Two

ADVERTORIAL

Everything under the sun!

W

e offer a wide range of rental facilities, from beachfront
shelters, to indoor and outdoor park facilities, to lake houses,
to historic plantations.
Charleston County Parks include venues to suit all tastes and
price ranges.

Visit CharlestonCountyParks.com | 843-795-4386

D

ADVERTORIAL

oko Manor offers an elegant, serene setting for a wedding. The
unique facility is set in a 25-acre park and boasts fantastic
customer service and attention to detail.
The Manor offers indoor and outdoor spaces at reasonable
rates – which include tables and chairs, setup and tear-down, a bridal
room, WiFi and on-site attendants. Clients may choose their own
caterers, and a full catering kitchen is available.
Adjacent to Blythewood’s Town Hall, Doko Manor is easily accessible
from Interstate 77. The venue is an easy drive from two metropolitan
centers – 30 minutes from downtown Columbia and 75 minutes from the
Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Contact director Steven Hasterok or assistant manager Johna Sutton at
803-754-0501, or find Doko Manor on Facebook.

PHOTO BY RICK DEAN

www.dokomanor.com

Erin

54

AMY ARRINGTON PHOTOGRAPHY

&

Steve

The marriage of Erin Louise Taute and Steven Charles Eigenbrot was
celebrated May 14, 2016 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in the Golden
Isles of Georgia. The bride is the daughter of Debe Taute of Orlando,
Florida, and the groom is the son of Carol and Ed Eigenbrot of
Mantua, New Jersey.
Jekyll Island became a special place for the
bride and groom during their courtship. The
dog-friendly beaches and unique history of
this little island were among the many reasons
they love and ultimately decided to celebrate
their special day there.
The bride has a bachelor’s degree in
psychology and master’s degree in sports
studies from Miami University. The groom
received a bachelor’s degree in finance and
international business from the University of
Maryland, an MSA and MBA from Ohio
University, and a Ph.D. in higher education
leadership from the University of Nevada Las
Vegas.
The bride and groom are both employed
with the University of South Carolina. Erin
serves in the College of Education as the director of development,
while Steve functions as the associate athletics director for Athletics
Development. The couple resides in West Columbia with their dog,
Riley. They are proud Gamecocks.

TRAVEL

Your
Honeymoon
Expert

Sharing our family
recipes since 1946.

Advertiser Index

CATERING

(803) 584-4475
info@travelconnectionlive.com
www.travelconnectionlive.com

(803) 771-7385
www.SeawellsCateringSC.com

ENTERTAINMENT

VENUES

Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort

Happily ever after begins here.

Golf & Beach Resort

DJs • Musicians • Decor Lighting • Photo Booths
“The wedding was a great success!

THANK YOU!

Even the venue staff said you were the best
entertainment & lighting company
they had ever worked with.”

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016
2015 2015

803.429.6001
www.WeAreBigTime.com

1-866-522-4399 FrippIslandResort.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

REGISTRY

W: planyourevent.riverbanks.org

T: 803.602.0900

E: planyourevent@riverbanks.org

RENTALS

www.lakemurrayscvacationrentalsandweddingservices.com

SPRING VALLEY
COUNTRY CLUB
We believe it’s the details that make
the difference.

803-788-3080 x103
300 Spring Valley Road
Columbia, SC 29223
www.springvalleycc.com
Contact: Rhonda Stone
Clubhouse Manager/Special Events Coordinator

55

Lake Murray SC
Vacation
Rentals
and
Wedding Services
803-315-7668

Reception Venues

1208 Washington Place ▯ 1208 Washington St., Columbia ▯ restored bank building with two ballrooms, twin vaults and a library
events1@1208washingtonplace.com  www.1208washingtonplace.com  803-476-0285

403 North Lake ▯ 403 North Lake Drive, Lexington ▯ historic home with 1.5 acres of English gardens
Contact Marcie Huber or Rodney Huber  info@403northlake.com  403northlake.com  803-808-2992

701 Whaley ▯ 701 Whaley St., Columbia ▯ flexible space for large and small events
Contact Tom Chinn  701whaley@gmail.com  www.701whaley.com  803-771-0101

Agape Conference Center ▯ 1622 Main St., Columbia ▯ restored historic conference center
Contact Bob Lane  blane@agapesenior.com  www.michaelscafecatering.com  803-528-9556

The Big Apple ▯ 1000 Hampton St., Columbia ▯ historic grand ballroom, balcony, dance floor and banquet facility; dance lessons available
Contact Richard Durlach or Breedlove  bigappledance@gmail.com  bigappledance.com  803-518-6147

Ariel’s Special Events Facility ▯ 1734 Mobile Ave., West Columbia ▯ banquet hall with on-site catering
info@arielsspecialevents.com  arielsspecialevents.com  803-936-0505

Brookland Baptist Conference Center ▯ 1066 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia
Contact Marnie Robinson or Monique Flowers  www.brooklandbaptist.org  803-744-7909 or 803-744-7927

Buck Ridge Plantation ▯ 231 Gundog Trail, Neeses ▯ banquet hall, covered veranda, gazebo, and picturesque lake
Contact Melissa Clarke  www.buckridge.com  803-531-8408

Capital City Club ▯ Capitol Center, 1201 Main St., Columbia ▯ ballroom
Contact Pamela Richards  www.capitalcolumbia.com  803-256-2000

City Art ▯ 1224 Lincoln St., Columbia ▯ art gallery
Contact Wendy Wells  www.cityartonline.com  803-252-3613

Clarion Hotel Downtown ▯ 1615 Gervais St., Columbia ▯ ballroom and smaller banquet rooms
Contact Stacee Davenport  sales@clarionhotelcolumbia.com  www.clarionhotelcolumbia.com  803-771-8711

The Club at Rawls Creek ▯ 2121 Lake Murray Blvd., Columbia ▯ banquet space and outdoor pavilion
Contact Jessica Duncan  www.golfrawlscreek.com  803-781-0114

Columbia Conference Center ▯ 169 Laurelhurst Ave., Columbia ▯ ballroom
Contact Kelly Beasley  www.columbiameetings.com  803-772-9811

Columbia Country Club ▯ 135 Columbia Club Drive West, Blythewood ▯ wedding ceremony and reception venue with full-service catering
Contact Heather Lathrop  heather@columbiacountryclub.com  www.columbiacountryclub.com  803-754-8100

Columbia Museum of Art ▯ 1515 Main St., Columbia ▯ museum, lobby, atrium, conference room, terrace and exterior patio
Contact Special Events Office  www.columbiamuseum.org  803-343-2212

Corley Mill House and Garden ▯ 221 Corley Mill Road, Lexington ▯ home with garden space
Contact Sheila Hall or Stephanie Hall  info@corleymillhouse.com  www.corleymillhouse.com  803-957-1818

Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC ▯ 630 Assembly St., Columbia ▯ banquet space

56

Contact events manager  www.marriott.com  803-726-1603

Doubletree by Hilton ▯ 2100 Bush River Road, Columbia ▯ elegant event space with a Southern touch
Contact Norine Morris  norine.morris@doubletreesc.com  www.columbiasouthcarolina.doubletree.com  803-744-0141

EdVenture Children’s Museum ▯ 211 Gervais St., Columbia ▯ museum, outdoor terrace, galleries
Contact Theresa Dozier  tdozier@edventure.org  www.edventure.org  803-400-1151

Embassy Suites Columbia-Greystone Hotel ▯ 200 Stoneridge Drive, Columbia ▯ two ballrooms
Contact Alexa Wegner  alexa.wegner@jqh.com  columbiagreystone.embassysuites.com  803-252-8700

EventUs, LLC ▯ 709 Woodrow St., Suite 307, Columbia
Contact Annette Hoover  803-608-2242

A sampling of sites for weddings and receptions near the Midlands
The Farm at Ridgeway  3248 U.S. 21 South, Ridgeway  rustic reception hall with outdoor ceremony venues
thefarmatridgeway21@gmail.com  www.facebook.com/pages/The-Farm-at-Ridgeeway/57371956941

Fort Jackson Officers’ Club  3630 Semmes Road, Columbia  outdoor wedding venues and elegant reception space
Contact Carol Neal  www.fortjacksonmwr.com/o_club  803-782-8761 or 803-751-4906

Fripp Island Resort  2119 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena  indoor/outdoor facilities including screened Creek House and Beach Pavilion
Contact Group Sales Department  www.frippislandresort.com  888-741-8974

Gibson Commons  140 Gibson Road, Suite C, Lexington  ballroom and outdoor gazebo
Contact Amanda Kammer  www.gibsoncommons.com  803-358-7122

Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens  1615 Blanding St., Columbia  indoor-outdoor ceremony and reception venue
rentals@historiccolumbia.org  www.historiccolumbia.org  803-252-7742, ext. 11

Hilton Garden Inn  434 Columbiana Drive, Columbia  ballroom
Contact events manager  www.hiltongardeninn.com  803-407-6640

Historic Lace House at the Governor’s Mansion  800 Richland St., Columbia  historic home with garden area
Contact Michelle Langdon  michellelangdon@gov.sc.gov  www.lacehouse.sc.gov  803-737-2235

HoFP Gallery  2828 Devine St., Columbia  urban art gallery with outdoor terrace
Contact Tensia Cassinetti  info@hofpgallery.com  www.hofpgallery.com  803-799-7405

Inn at USC  1619 Pendleton St., Columbia  elegant boutique hotel on USC’s historic campus
Contact Ashley Foster  events@innatusc.com  www.innatusc.com  803-231-3606

The Lake House at Lake Carolina  100 Lake Carolina Blvd., Columbia  open-air space with screen windows and doors
Contact Julia Burley  jburley@lakecarolina.com  www.columbialakehouse.com  803-461-0915

Leaside  100 E. Exchange Place, Columbia  ballroom, Florida room and secluded patio
Contact Alex Cebry  sales@thesouthernway.com  www.thesouthernway.com  803-783-9136

Lourie Center  1650 Park Circle, Columbia  flexible space in Five Points with two ballrooms and six classrooms
louriecentersc.com  803-779-1971

The Manor at Doko Meadows  100 Alvina Hagood Circle, Blythewood  banquet and reception rooms and a lakeside pergola
Contact Steven Hasterok  hasteroks@townofblythewoodsc.gov  www.dokomanor.com  803-754-0501

Marriott, Downtown  1200 Hampton St., Columbia  two ballrooms and a tremendous two-story atrium
Contact sales director  www.marriott.com  803-771-7000

McCutchen House  University of South Carolina campus, Columbia  restored home with Horseshoe as backdrop
Contact Carolina Catering  sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/hrsm/for_the_community/mccutchen_house_dining

 803-777-7919

The Medallion Center  7309 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia  banquet space with pavilion, grand ballroom, salons and spacious entry
Contact Brandi Owens  www.medallionconferencecenter.com  803-256-1222

Robert Mills House and Gardens  1616 Blanding St., Columbia  outdoor event rental space with beautiful gardens
rentals@historiccolumbia.org  www.historiccolumbia.org  803-252-7742, ext. 11
Contact Alex Cebry  sales@thesouthernway.com  www.thesouthernway.com  803-783-1061

Mitchell House and Gardens  421 North Lake Drive, Lexington  historic home with covered patio pavilion; full-service facility
Contact Phyllis James  www.mitchellhouseandgardens.com  803-359-5325

Mossy Oaks Farm  2986 S.C. 174, Edisto Island  creekfront pecan plantation
info@mossy-oaks.com  www.mossy-oaks.com  803-414-2898

Orangeburg Country Club  2745 Griffith Drive, Orangeburg  grand ballroom, banquet facilities and scenic ceremony options
Contact Lauren Gray  www.orangeburgcc.com  803-531-9673

57

Millstone at Adams Pond  5301 Bluff Road, Columbia  home with tentable areas, covered back porches and dining rooms

Advertiser Index

Palmetto Collegiate Institute and Leonard L. Price Gardens  104 Hendrix St., Lexington  renovated school and gardens
Contact Jennifer Dowden  www.lexsc.com  803-356-8238

Pine Island Club  331 Pine Island Road, Columbia  reception hall on Lake Murray
803-781-6491

River Center at Saluda Shoals Park  5605 Bush River Road, Columbia  park area, conference center and wedding gazebo
Contact Jennifer Cantey (River Center) or Angie Senn (outdoor space)  www.icrc.net  803-731-5208

The River Road & Jasmine Houses and Gardens  2204 North Lake Drive, Columbia  homes with garden space
Contact Sarah Christmus or Elizabeth Christmus  riverroadjasmine@gmail.com  www.riverroadjasmine.net  803-315-4953 or 803-781-3315

Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens  500 Wildlife Parkway, Columbia  botanical gardens, unique animal houses, Magnolia Room, Ndoki Lodge
planyourevent@riverbanks.org

 www.riverbanks.org/planyourevent  803-602-0900

Rock Bottom Pond  1530 Buck Hill Road, Ridgeway  outdoor ceremony area overlooking pond and enclosed reception shed with fireplace
rockbottompond.com  803-438-9788

Seawell’s  1125 Rosewood Drive, Columbia  banquet hall
Contact Cal Seawell  www.seawellscateringsc.com  803-771-7385

Seibels House and Garden  1601 Richland St., Columbia  indoor-outdoor ceremony and reception venue
rentals@historiccolumbia.org  www.historiccolumbia.org  803-252-7742, ext. 11

Senate’s End  316 Senate St., Columbia  hall, manor house, reception area and garden in unique Vista location on the Congaree River
info@duprecatering.com  duprecatering.com  803-748-4144

South Carolina State House  1100 Gervais St., Columbia  grounds, gardens, steps and rotunda
Contact State House events coordinator  scstatehouseevents@gs.sc.gov  803-737-3880

South Carolina State Museum  301 Gervais St., Columbia  main and planetarium lobbies, mezzanine, observatory, Vista Room
Contact Margaret Farish  facilityrental@scmuseum.org  www.museum.state.sc.us  803-898-4901

Southern Oaks  2401 U.S. 378, Gilbert  rustic home and barns; new 5,600-square-foot reception area; antique furniture and decor
Contact Pamela Reeder  southernoaks378@gmail.com  southernoaks378.simdif.com  803-647-4518

Spring Valley Country Club  300 Spring Valley Road, Columbia  country club and reception venue
Contact Rhonda Schock Stone  rhonda@springvalleycc.com  www.springvalleycc.com  803-788-3080

Springdale House and Gardens  3150 Platt Springs Road, West Columbia  house and garden pavilion
Contact Kathy Wright  facebook.com/pages/The-Historic-Springdale-House-and-Gardens/246450802864  803-794-5557

Stone River  121 Alexander Road, West Columbia  event venue, wedding planning
Contact Patti Ginther or Lindsay Colvin  events@stonerivercolumbia.com  facebook.com/StoneRiverColumbia  803-727-8047

T&S Farm  3500 Pond Branch Road, Leesville  banquet hall with beautiful grounds

Contact Sherrie Jumper  sherrie@shealysbbq.com  tsfarmweddings.blogspot.com  803-532-8135, ext. 213

Wavering Place Plantation  427 Adams Hayne Road, Eastover  house and gardens
info@waveringplaceplantation.com  waveringplaceplantation.com  803-269-7761

The Windermere Club  1101 Longtown Road East, Blythewood  ballroom and patio on golf course

58

Contact Bill Chandler  www.windermereclubsc.com  803-786-6088

Wintergreen Woods  1032 Corley Mill Road, Lexington  reception hall, covered veranda and two courtyards
Contact Casey Covell or Dixie Covell  www.wintergreenwoods.com  803-957-8888

Woodlands Country Club  100 Norse Way, Columbia  private dining rooms and banquet space
Contact Derrick Owens  www.woodlandscc.com  803-602-0253

Woodrow Wilson Family Home  1705 Hampton St., Columbia  outdoor event rental space with beautiful gardens
rentals@historiccolumbia.org  www.historiccolumbia.org  803-252-7742, ext. 11

To request that a venue be included in future publications,
or to update information for a venue listed here, contact marketing@thestate.com.

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