ADDY & WILL
Island House Wedding
Johns Island, South Carolina
Addy Auten & Will Dwyer’s relationship is the product of a few sneaky friends that secretly set them up while Will was on leave in New York City. After a never-ending text exchange and a couple of great dates, the twosome realized they would have to combat the serious distance that stood between them. At the time, Addy was living in NYC and Will, a West Point grad, was in the midst of serving his five-year Army commitment in sunny Hawaii. Not ready to throw in the towel, Addy took a leap of faith and made plans to visit him in paradise a few weeks later. The trip signaled the beginning of their long-distance romance, one that included a one-year deployment to Afghanistan, followed by a memorable proposal in Santorini!
Even though the duo was residing in the Big Apple, neither was keen on having a city wedding, so they turned to the internet to find a venue that would fit their easy-going style. Addy had grown up in North Carolina and frequently visited the Carolina coast on family vacations. “I had always loved the Lowcountry for the nostalgia and romance it evoked,“ recalls Addy. “I knew Will would be smitten, too.” They scheduled a trip to Charleston to check out their venue finalists, and quickly discovered The Island House on Johns Island was their hands-down favorite. “Its laid-back vibe, waterfront views, quirky interior and, of course, those café lights made our decision really easy!” They secured the property for a late June date and, with the help of Katie Jean Events, began planning their purple-infused evening.
Not one for a big show, Addy took a different approach to dress shopping and started the process alone. “I actually went to my first few boutiques solo just to get a sense of what styles I liked,” remembers Addy. Once she had an idea of what she was looking for, her mom flew in to join her on the hunt. It was a Christos number from Lovely Bride that stopped her in her tracks. Delicate ivory in color, the silk chiffon gown featured a soft V-neckline and lace-trimmed, tiered skirt that won her over. For the big day, Addy completed her look with a vintage-inspired up-do, smoky eye and, for a pop of color, a peach lip.
Bridesmaids wore lavender dresses in a variety of silhouettes to match Addy’s long, flowing gown. Their bouquets were a textural combination of roses, dahlias, ranunculus, peonies, lisianthus and astilbe with touches of baby blue eucalyptus. Will did his groomsmen a solid and ditched the classic tuxedo in favor of much cooler (literally!) Haspel seersucker suits in navy, paired with custom-crafted boat shoes from Quoddy’s in Maine.
The couple chose minimal decor for their ceremony on the lawn. The gorgeous backdrop of the Stono River was picture perfect on its own. As the procession began, all eyes turned to Addy who made the long stroll from the back of the house to a cover of “Your Song” by Ellie Goulding. After exchanging heartfelt vows, the couple was officially pronounced Mr. & Mrs. Dwyer — that’s when the real fun began!
For cocktail hour the newlyweds worked with Hamby Catering to craft a Southern-themed menu serving guests a sampling of fried green tomatoes, watermelon with fresh mozzarella and petite crab cakes. The same purple color palette extended under the tent as a mix of natural farm tables and rounds draped in deep plum linens provided seating for the couple’s 70 guests. Low, garden-style arrangements from Heidi Inabinet of On A Limb Floral Studio in shades of cream, lavender, purple and plum adorned the tables and completed Addy’s whimsical vision.
“Everything she arranged was beautiful and really created the unstructured, dreamy look throughout,” says Addy. Later in the evening, dinner stations opened and the Southern trend continued with a full biscuit bar, Lowcountry boil, and a roadside BBQ station. To top off the already tasty evening, guests dove into the couple’s strawberry lemonade wedding cake from DeClare Cakes, along with doughnut skewers from Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts — Addy’s personal favorite — featuring cinnamon sugar, glazed, maple and chocolate doughnut holes.
As the evening came to a close, guests were gifted artisanal salt packets from Bulls Bay Saltworks, sending everyone home with a little local flavor. After the final song played, the newlyweds were showered with lavender as they hopped into a 1949 DeSoto Convertible and rode off to their new life together.
CHARLESTON WEDDING VENDORS - Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Island House ll Photographer: Lauren Jonas Photography ll Event Planning: Katie Jean Events ll Floral Design: On a Limb Floral Studio ll Gown: Christos ll Dress Boutique: Lovely Bride ll Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Nouvelle Amsale ll Hair & Makeup: Wild Ivory Beauty ll Men’s Attire: Haspel, Quoddy ll Catering: Hamby Catering & Events ll Bar: Spike by Snyder ll Rentals: Snyder Events ll Cake & Sweets: DeClare Cakes, Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts ll Invitations: Smitten on Paper ll DJ & Ceremony Music: David Fox of Bunn DJ Company ll Officiant: Reverend Ron Nelson ll Rehearsal Dinner: High Cotton