Frances & Maximilian
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
THE ENGAGEMENT: Frances Stern traveled from her home in NYC to Hamburg, Germany to visit a friend. Little did she know she would also meet her future husband, Max Oehlschlägel. After seven months of dating, Frances found herself back in Germany to enjoy the holiday season. On December 23rd, Max persuaded Frances to go on a hike prior to dinner. As the couple reached the summit, admiring the glistening lights of Hamburg glowing below, Max began explaining the significance of the spot where they stood. It was here, in a place he frequented with his late father, that Max proposed to Frances. She, of course, accepted and the two made a beeline back to the car to enjoy a glass of champagne and get out of the cold.
THE VENUE: Frances knew she wanted her guests from Germany and New York to experience the beauty of the South and, in her opinion, “It doesn’t get better than Brookgreen [Gardens].” They reserved a late Summer date and enlisted Gigi Strong of Smells Like Peonies Events to plan an elegant Lowcountry evening for their international guest list of 200.
THE BRIDAL PARTY: Max and his groomsmen set the tone for the refined affair in the garden wearing morning suits—a German tradition—before switching into tuxedos for the reception. The ladies passed up the chance of an outfit change in favor of long, flowing blush dresses in the style of their choice.
THE CEREMONY: The couple exchanged vows at Pawleys Island Chapel—a small, rustic church overlooking the marsh—where only a small number of guests were in attendance. A quaint, private event, just as Frances had always imagined.
THE DRESS: After striking out on her first dress shopping outing, she turned to the internet to pinpoint a designer and style that fit her vision. The result was a strapless ball gown by Amsale with a natural waist and sweetheart neckline. She paired her hair, simple and natural in style, with a darker, bold eye and nude lip.
THE DECOR: Frances knew she wanted a color combo she hadn’t see before, so she selected a tried-and-true favorite, blush pink, with a deep orange for a fun twist for their Summer soirée. An oversized sailcloth tent—large enough to keep everything under one ‘roof’—set the stage for the lively reception. Tables were topped with a mix of tall arrangements of greenery and low vases with pink-hued blooms. Deviled eggs and crab cakes were passed during cocktail hour as guests sipped on rose-colored champagne, a tasty nod to the evening’s décor. Guests found their seat by way of chocolate mice name cards with pink and orange tails, a throwback to Frances childhood. For dinner, the crowd noshed on a local grouper and scallop entrée topped with a decadent lobster sauce. Dessert featured one of the bride’s childhood favorites—funfetti cake, slathered in buttercream icing.
Ceremony Venue: Pawleys Island Chapel ll Reception Venue: Brookgreen Gardens ll Photographer: Faith Teasley Photography ll Event Planning & Design: Smells Like Peonies Events ll Floral Design: Anne Bowen of Charleston Stems, Greg Foster ll Gown: Amsale ll Bridesmaids Dresses: Assorted Designers ll Hair & Makeup: Beautiful Salon & Spa ll Cake: Incredible Edibles Bakery ll Catering & Bar: Austin’s Ocean One ll Rentals: EventWorks ll Invitations: SAS-E Ink ll Ceremony Music: Coastal Chamber Musicians ll Band: The Secrets ll Officiant: Rev. Dr. Michael Hoyt
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