LONG COVE CLUB WEDDING
JESSICA & MICHAEL
November 12, 2016
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Tell us how you met: We’re a modern-day love story: we met on an online dating app! Both recently out of long-term relationships, we were using the site as a way to practice/get back in the dating game. Little did we know it would lead to marriage! Our first date took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Afterwards we strolled through Central Park amidst some snow flurries.
Proposal Details: Michael proposed on another stroll through Central Park on an early spring evening.
How did you select your venue? My family has vacationed in South Carolina since the early 80’s, and my parents now own a home on Hilton Head Island. I was eager to introduce Michael to the special place has that informed so many of my happiest memories (and, as avid golfers, to take advantage of the great golf courses on Hilton Head!). We chose Long Cove for its special family significance, as well as the ability to customize nearly every element. The Events staff was extremely accommodating and gave us total flexibility in our planning.
Tell us about your dress shopping experience. My mom accompanied me to several salons in New York City on one very wet and rainy day. On our second stop, we visited Lovely Bride in Tribeca. I liked the curated feel to Lovely’s collection. The stylists took care to explain each designer’s aesthetic. I ended up loving a gown from Australian designer Sarah Janks: the silk dress had a simple, flattering silhouette and an overlay of delicate beading that reminded me of constellations. I paired it with an elbow-length tulle veil with a raw edge. As a surprise, my seamstress monogramed a “J” into the bodice of my dress using blue glass beads from a bracelet that belonged to my beloved late aunt – a special ‘something blue’ and memento of her to accompany me on my wedding day.
Describe your hair and makeup: I went for a loose/undone yet elegant updo and classic, natural makeup. Christine Stephens from Karisma Salon was able to interpret the various images I had pulled to create a lovely look that lasted the whole night. She also recommended false lashes: they were extremely comfortable… and showstoppers on film!
Bridesmaids Attire: Our maids chose navy dresses of their style preference from Nordstrom’s nouvelle Amsale collection. They were cohesive yet unique. Our flower girl wore a white tulle dress from David’s Bridal with a navy sash.
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Michael’s navy suit, white shirt, maroon tie, and shoes were from Ted Baker. His pocket square was from J.Crew. The groomsmen were advised to wear a navy suit and blue or white shirt.
Did you decide on a first look? We did not do a first look, choosing to have our first glimpse of each other as I walked down the aisle. In retrospect, it would have been nice to spend more time with our guests at cocktail hour.
The night before our wedding, we hosted all our guests for a Laux-Country Boil (a spin on the bride’s maiden name: pronounced L-O-W despite its French roots)! A local caterer served sausage, shrimp, potatoes, and corn while a local bluegrass band provided entertainment.
The Invitation + Paper Details: We were fortunate to work with Lynda Campbell, owner of Saltbox Press, and a dear family friend. Lynda works on a 60-year old Chandler & Price Pilot press to letterpress custom invitations. Lynda located an antique magnolia image that served as the basis for our invite and suite of paper goods. She designed our invitations and hand-mixed inks to develop entirely custom a rich burgundy and a creamy-yellow hue. My cousin also designed, sewed, and calligraphied our custom event signage.
Guest Count: 80
Ceremony Site + Personal Details: Our ceremony took place at the Long Cove Marina overlooking Broad Creek. We chose to orient our ceremony in front of an old, gnarled, live oak tree. An over-dyed area rug served as our vow-exchange area, and was flanked by rustic lanterns and a pair of very large sandstone urns filled with gorgeous local foliage.
I walked down the aisle to our string duet’s rendition of “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper – a nod to Michael’s 80’s music obsession, and a preview of the reception entertainment to come!
Michael and I decided to write our own ‘personal statements’ to follow our vows, which was by far our favorite part of the ceremony and remarked on by many guests. Despite not sharing them beforehand, our statements included similar themes of respect and adventure, punctuated with both humor and sentimentality. My statement was addressed not only to my husband to-be, but to my 5-year-old step-daughter Lucy, who stole the show as our flower girl. Pledging vows to her was one of the more emotional parts of the ceremony.
Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-be: A friend offered this advice to me: ‘once you make your way down the aisle, pause for a moment to look out at all the people came to support your union and celebrate your love.’ The day is a whirlwind; taking a moment to ingrain that image in my memory is something I think back on with appreciation.
Describe your flowers and the blooms that were included: Floral designer Kim from August Design is a true artist! From our first interaction, I had complete trust in her abilities to create the most stunning experience. For my bouquet, I carried a loose arrangement of open cream and pale butter roses, burgundy dahlias, and other antique blush and ivory blooms. Foliage of pepper berry, eucalyptus, loropetalum and other seasonal herbs added rich texture. It was gorgeous – and heavy!
Our welcome baskets were stuffed with a sampling of some of our favorite local treats: popcorn from Island Kettlecorn, key lime cookies from Byrd’s in Savannah, and salt water taffy from the Salty Dog Café in Hilton Head’s South Beach Marina.
Personal Touches: A favorite personal touch was the miniature golf obstacles we assembled on the clubhouse putting green. My uncle, cousin, and brother contributed their craftiness in creating a lighthouse, the SC state symbol (palmetto tree and crescent moon) and an alligator nest as putt putt holes. We set up putters and golf balls so guests could work on their short game during cocktail hour.
Selecting Carrie Friesen as our photographer was one of our best vendor decisions! She was so sweet and professional and kind enough to refer us to many of the other amazing vendors we engaged. I loved her ability to capture the small, intimate moments. She provided us with so many gorgeous images,
How did you decide on your aesthetic + color palette: We let the fall season dictate our palette: we opted for rich autumnal hues and colors reflected in the low-country landscape.
Tell us all about the décor: Our reception space was filled a mix of long farmhouse tables, round tables, and rustic x-back chairs. Since alligators are native to South Carolina and commonly seen in neighborhood lagoons, our table numbers were placed in open gator mouths, and other gator decorations accented the space.
What was on the menu for the evening? We selected several delicious low-country-inspired items to include as our passed appetizers: buttermilk biscuits with ham, fried green tomato pimento canapés, collard green and pork spring rolls, and a bourbon glazed beef satay.
For dinner we started with an arugula, apple, and walnut salad, followed by an entrée of beef filet and shrimp Florentine, served with a tomato cognac sauce and au gratin potatoes.
We served three specialty cocktails: one for him (an IPA), one for her (a boulevardier), and one to memorialize Hurricane Matthew, which devastated much of the island and nearly thwarted our wedding plans only weeks before our wedding date (called Screw You, Matthew: a rum-based hurricane, obviously)!
For our dining tables, we mixed greenery garland with blooms and fruit (pomegranates, figs, blackberries, pears) nestled among the foliage along long grouping of farm tables. Several round tables were centered with low and loose asymmetrical arrangements in bronze pedestal bowls. Votives in clear, blue, and mercury intermingled on the tables.
Describe your cake: We had a multi-tiered cake with layers of chocolate cake with raspberry fudge filling and carrot cake with cream cheese filling, all with a vanilla buttercream frosting. It was topped with a few sprigs of coordinating florals.
What was your first dance song? Michael is a huge 80’s music nut, so fittingly we had an 80’s cover band, dressed in full 80’s regalia, play our reception. Our first song was REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight this Feeling.” For the father-daughter dance, my dad and I, along with Michael and Lucy danced to “Doing It All For My Baby” by Huey Lewis and the News.
Our wedding day would not have been as successful without the help of all our talented vendors. Leah and Maren from Weddings with Leah ensured that the final run-up to the wedding and the day itself ran smoothly (and provided much-appreciated sanity checks), August Design and Carrie Friesen Photography brought their A-games, and the entire Long Cove staff all helped in making the day incredibly memorable for us!
What are you plans and goals as a newly married couple? We look forward to settling into our new NYC apartment, lowering our handicaps, and growing our family: new addition is due December 2017!
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Long Cove Club llPhotographer: Carrie Friesen Photography llEvent Planning & Design: Weddings With Leah llFloral Design: August Floral & Event Design llGown: Sarah Janks llDress Boutique: Lovely Bride (New York, NY) llBridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale llHair & Makeup: Karisma Salon llMen’s Attire: Ted Baker llCatering, Bar & Cake: Long Cove Club llRentals: Amazing Event Rentals llInvitations: Saltbox Press (Wilton CT) llCeremony Music: Coastal Chamber Musicians llBand: The Breakfast Club from East Coast Entertainment llRehearsal Dinner: Shipyard Beach Club llOfficiant: Betsy Peterson, Say "I Do!" Hilton Head Weddings llTransportation: Sea Pines Plantation Transportation Company