MEAGAN & CHRIS
Oldfield River Club
Okatie, South Carolina
November 7, 2015
How they met: Chris and I both attended business school at the University of Virginia. Chris had graduated two years before I did but I never met him through recruiting or other alumni events while I was in school. Chris moved to New York after graduation and I also had landed a job there. I was on a walk with one of my friends from school right before I moved to the city and she told me that I should meet Chris when I moved. I didn't really think much about it as I was mentally preparing for a career in investment banking and a move to a completely new city.
The night I moved to New York I went out to dinner with some friends and we decided to stop by a bar called Village Tavern for a couple of drinks. I guess you could say the stars were aligned because Chris and his friends had the same idea. The people we were with knew each other and we all started talking. Chris and I were introduced, really hit it off and a couple weeks later went out on our first date. I didn't think it was possible but I literally met my husband the day I moved to New York!
The proposal: My family is from Texas and we used to celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico. Chris and I decided that it would be fun to honor that tradition and celebrate Christmas in Mexico with both of our families. On the Friday before we were scheduled to leave I had just gotten home from a canned food drive for work and was busy packing for Mexico. The apartment was rather clean and Chris looked nice but I didn’t think too much about it as we had dinner plans with our friends - plans that I thought I could get out of because I was super tired and couldn’t imagine having a big night before we get on our 6am flights for Mexico. I was in our bedroom packing when Chris asked for me to come help him with something. I stood there for a second thinking that maybe if I didn’t immediately respond he’d figure it out. Well he called for me again and I walked into the living room to find him in front of our little Christmas tree on one knee with maybe the most terrified look on his face! He asked me to marry him in our 600 square foot apartment with Frank Sinatra singing ‘Christmas Waltz’ in the background and it was perfect. We went to eat at Little Owl one of our favorite restaurants and spent the night celebrating with friends – and made our 6am flight to Mexico!
Tell us about your dress shopping experience: My sister and one of my bridesmaids went shopping in New York. We went to one salon at a larger New York department store and I had one of the first appointments of the day. When we got to the door there were a couple other brides there also waiting for their appointments. When they unlocked the door it was like a black Friday sale at Target – people were speed walking and throwing elbows. I don’t think I ever really recovered from that initial experience and didn’t really love any of the dresses. We then headed over to Mark Ingram and the experience was completely different. The consultant was wonderful and gave her opinion in a way that I truly appreciated. My sister and friend got to sit in the dressing area and everything just felt so much more relaxed. They were having a Peter Langner trunk show that day and when I put on one of his dresses it just felt right. My friend told me that she knew she had found her dress because after she tried it on she didn’t want to take it off. When I tried on this dress I got that same feeling and knew that I had found exactly what I wanted. Peter Langner was actually in the salon that day and after getting his approval and a photo with him and Mark Ingram I knew that I was done with the dress decision.
Describe your hair and makeup: We used Christine Stephens for hair and make-up. I loved how she did my hair and I feel like it stayed in place all night which is quite the feat given that it rained, was 80 degrees and we danced for a good 3 hours straight. I also just felt like myself and that was important for me.
Bridesmaids Attire: Adrianna Papell nude / blush colored long dresses with beading. I can honestly say that everyone looked amazing in them.
Did you decide on a first look? Chris and I both wanted to get married outside and it just so happened that the time had changed the Sunday before our wedding so it was going to get dark early. In order to have a ceremony and a reception at a time that we both agreed on we knew that photos would have to happen before the ceremony. We also wanted to spend as much time as possible with our guests and didn’t want to be off taking photos during cocktail hour! Ashley Seawell was so helpful talking through all the details and I really trusted her judgement when it came to timing and logistics for the first look. The actual first look was such an amazing moment and gave Chris and I the rare opportunity to spend a couple minutes alone just enjoying the day.
My amazing mother-in-law spent hours and hours creating the most amazing oyster garland. After we got engaged I remember showing her a photo of oyster garland and telling her about how cool I thought that was, she was able to bring the Pinterest image to life! She literally collected oyster shells from oyster roasts, restaurants, etc. and then cleaned them, drilled holes in them and strung them together to create this amazing oyster garland. In addition to the garland she had oyster candle holders and wreaths that were so beautiful and were perfect for our low country vibe. I also might have bought an oyster chandelier in the craziness of wedding planning. I’ll hang that in our house one day…right?
How did you select your venue? I grew up in Texas and went to the University of Georgia so I have a soft spot in my heart for the south. Chris grew up in Virginia Beach and spends most of his life fishing or thinking about fishing. We knew that we wanted to do a quasi-destination wedding that was in the US but also knew that we needed to be on the water as Chris always wanted to go fishing with his groomsmen the weekend of the wedding. I started doing a lot of research and spent a ton of time on various websites and reading through wedding magazines researching venues. When I saw Oldfield I immediately knew that was the spot. It is beautiful, on the water, has the most amazing people that work there and had the ability to house our entire wedding party on-site – something that was very important to us given the amount of time and money people from across the globe were spending to get to our wedding. We really wanted to take all the thinking out of it once people got there. We used all of the venues at Oldfield for our events and it worked out perfectly. They all have a unique charm to them and it made each event seem different!
I noticed a little chance of rain around the time of our ceremony. Fast forward to our ceremony and I remember standing by the side of the house looking up at the sky right before I was supposed to walk down the aisle and telling my uncle that it was going to rain. The bridesmaids had all walked down the aisle and everyone was in their seats and I could feel the rain drops (my uncle continued to just say “It’s not raining”). 10 seconds later the sky completely opens up, I run into the house and sit in the bathroom as the entire wedding party and all the guests also run into the house to take cover. My bridesmaids came into the bathroom with me along with a couple glasses of champagne. The champagne got opened and all the guests had a little pre-ceremony cocktail hour as we waited for the rain to stop. I sat in the bathroom with my bridesmaids and we just laughed and had an amazing time. 30 minutes later the storm passed and the sky looked beautiful, we just picked up right where we left off and Chris still cried when I walked down the aisle! During the planning stages I was terrified of the possibility that it might rain that weekend but when it actually happened it turned out to be one of my most favorite memories of the day!
We got married outside in front of the main house at Oldfield and it was absolutely stunning. We used more traditional vows for our ceremony but took a nontraditional approach as my cousin married us. He works in advertising and is quite frankly hysterical. My dad had passed away about ten years ago and when he and my uncle would get together it was like you were at a comedy show. I knew that I wanted to have a ceremony that he would have enjoyed because he appreciated a good laugh better than most people. My uncle walked me down the aisle and my cousin performed a ceremony that literally every single person enjoyed - we knew that we wanted our ceremony to be special but also we wanted to laugh and enjoy this incredibly joyful moment! So many people came up to us (and him) after the wedding to tell us how enjoyable our ceremony was! He even ended it with “and now I have officially married my cousin”!
We had two readings during our ceremony. An excerpt from a Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and a quote from John Lennon: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” The John Lennon quote is written in chalk on the wall of one of our favorite coffee shops in Hatteras, North Carolina. Chris spent most of his life going on fishing trips in Hatteras and we were glad that were able to work in a special ode to that in our ceremony.
I LOVED our flowers. They were literally perfect. I saw them the day after the wedding before we left for our honeymoon and I think I took ten pictures of them because I hadn’t realized just how beautiful they were the night before. Julie from Garden on the Square was such a joy to work with. We had an initial session where I showed her some images that I liked and then I just let her run with it. I mean she lives and breathes flowers and weddings, I knew that I could trust her to make my vision a reality and she did not disappoint at all.
Personal Touches: We put up a number of old photos of other people in our family on their wedding day in the area where cocktails were served. It was fun to collect the photos and hear the stories behind them.
Cake: We used Minette Rushing for our wedding cake and the groom’s cake. For the groom’s cake I surprised Chris at our rehearsal dinner with a cake in the shape of a marlin. It was such a fun little detail and the actual cake part was to die for. Towards the end of the welcome dinner party on Friday night they were running low on the cake but they didn’t want to cut the marlin cake as they wanted that to stay as is for people to see. Well my mom who is a true sweet lover was just not okay with only getting a couple slices of cake that night. She stuck her finger in the marlin and looked up and said, “now you can cut it”. We were all dying and of course were excited that we all had more cake to eat! The wedding cake was perfect as well. Minette created a cake that was exactly like what I wanted. All of this goes back to my theme of trust the experts. I think that Chris and I really looked forward to our one year anniversary so we could eat the cake top because we didn’t get any at the wedding!
What was on the menu for the evening? We had the most amazing menu at all of our events at Oldfield that really made you feel like you were in the South. On Friday night we had a low country boil for our rehearsal dinner and then at the wedding we had southern staples like chicken and waffles, prime rib, pimento cheese on ginger snaps, raw bar and a mac n cheese bar! We also passed around spiked Arnold Palmer’s right after the ceremony in mason jars, it was a fun and tasty touch!
The Favors: I bought pashminas and flip flops – 80 degrees and a short down pour of rain meant that they made great umbrellas!
You are most likely not a wedding planner and do not host parties for 100 plus people on a regular basis. Trust the experts and listen to your vendors. Also, my biggest regret is not having a video of the speeches at our rehearsal dinner and of our ceremony. Even if you don’t have a videographer make sure you capture these moments on video!
FIND THE FULL SPREAD IN THE SUMMER/FALL 2017 ISSUE.
Meet Meagan & Chris's Hilton Head wedding vendors...
Photographer: Ashley Seawell Photography llPlanner: Embellished Events llVenue & Catering: Oldfield Club llFlorist: Garden on the Square llCake: Minette Rushing Custom Cakes llRentals: EventHaus llBand: Papa-Sol via East Coast Entertainment llStationery: The Wedding Library llGown: Peter Langner llDress Boutique: Mark Ingram Atelier llHair & Makeup: Christine Stephens ll Shoes: Jimmy Choo ll Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell llMen's Attire: Hickey Freeman ll Ceremony Music: Charleston Virtuosi ll Custom Map & Signage: Signet Sealed llCustom Monogram: Katherine Killeffer ll Transportation: Old Savannah Tours llEspresso Truck: Corner Perk llLive Painting: Elaine Burge