EMILY & JOHN
Ocean Course wedding
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
“We still argue about it,” says John Ware, on how he and Emily Horton first crossed paths. “I insist that I saw her first.” It was the first game of the 2011 South Carolina football season when the Gamecocks were taking on East Carolina in Charlotte. While he didn’t have a chance to talk to her initially, with the help of a mutual friend, he didn’t have to wait too long. After a few more tailgates and friendly gatherings, he finally got his chance on her birthday of all days. “I know hindsight is 20/20,” says John. “But what a birthday gift, huh?” There was an instant connection and they quickly began their relationship. Five years later, John surprised Emily with a Gamecocks-inspired proposal on the 50-yard line at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Without hesitation, Emily said ‘yes’ and the couple began planning their beachside wedding, starting with save the dates aptly designed in the shape of football tickets!
Emily was always certain that her wedding day would be by the beach and luckily, John felt the same way. But they were also hoping to infuse their oceanfront setting with a country-club atmosphere and found the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island to be a perfect marriage of the two. “Sure enough, as soon as the front doors opened to the Ocean Course Clubhouse we were in love,” remembers Emily. “It had everything that the two of us were looking for!” The couple decided on a late April date and brought on Chelsye Harp of Intrigue Design & Events to wrangle all the details.
They set out to create an idyllic ambiance with a nautical twist by using a color palette of mint green with coral, navy and gold accents. Their color story began with their invites, featuring a mint and coral watercolor and their custom-designed anchor logo, a hint of the outdoor festivities to come.
They set out to create an idyllic ambiance with a nautical twist by using a color palette of mint green with coral, navy and gold accents. Their color story began with their invites, featuring a mint and coral watercolor and their custom-designed anchor logo, a hint of the outdoor festivities to come. As the couple’s evening ceremony began, Emily’s bridesmaids, dressed in a long, mint green dresses, walked out to an acoustic version of “Here Comes the Sun,” by The Beatles. Emily followed, wrapped in an intricate Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija gown, which featured a halter top neckline and illusion back. She paired the lace design with her mother’s veil — her “something blue” — a low up-do and bold, red lip. She met John under a custom-built driftwood arch where they exchanged personalized vows and performed the God’s knot ritual — symbolizing the joining of their marriage with God as their focus. As the ceremony concluded, the newly-coined Mr. & Mrs. Ware departed to the sounds of “You’re My Best Friend,” by Queen.
The crowd of 180 gathered under the open-air tent and enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres, including shrimp & scallop ceviche, tuna tartare and lobster fritters. The space was set with silver chivari chairs that surrounded seating tables draped in an assortment of textured linens. Centerpieces were a cluster of clear bud vases filled with pink peonies, ranunculus, apricot tulips and callas lilies, or low arrangements of white hydrangeas, blush and peach roses and dusty miller. Mirrored bars, which added a touch of glam, stood in front of driftwood doors, while a mix of tufted and leather lounge furniture gave guests a chance to enjoy the perfect spring evening.
Delicious lowcountry specialties were the stars of the dinner menu as guests enjoyed classics like shrimp & grits, pan-seared pork tenderloin, and oak-smoked chicken. The design of the three-tiered wedding cake from Jim Smeal incorporated many personal touches including a replica of the watercolor scheme from the couple’s invitations and the lace pattern of Emily’s gown. Thanks to stellar tunes by band Super Deluxe, John, Emily, and all their guests spent the rest of the evening dancing under the Lowcountry stars.
CHARLESTON WEDDING VENDORS - Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort ll Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography ll Event Planning & Design: Intrigue Design & Events ll Floral Design, Drapery & Lighting: Loluma ll Gown: Anna Maier ~ Ulla Maija ll Dress Boutique: Nitsa’s Apparel ll Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie ll Hair: Ellen Smith Beauty ll Makeup: Lashes and Lace Bridal Hair & Makeup ll Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank ll Catering & Bar: Kiawah Island Golf Resort ll Rentals: EventWorks ll Linens: Nüage Designs ll Tent: Sperry Tents ll Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal ll Invitations: Salt and Shore ll Band: Super Deluxe ll Calligraphy Signage: Kristin Sheetz Design ll Videographer: VideoFilm Productions ll Photobooth: Sound Quest Photobooth ll Officiant: Dr. Steve Mays ll Rehearsal Dinner: Mingo Point