The Bride's Embroidered Wedding Dress Inspired Every Part of This Red-and-White Charleston Celebration
Though Beverly hails from Charleston and Steve from New York, the now-newlyweds actually met, ironically enough, while she was living in Big Apple and he was residing in the Holy City. Beverly says that "there was definitely a spark" during their first interaction, which happened—of all places—at a wedding. Steve (one of the groom's law school friends) originally got Beverly's (who knew the bride from college) attention by making a joke about being a wedding crasher. "I totally fell for it and was about to tell him off—when the bride came up and threw her arms around him," Beverly recalls. His opening line, however, had worked. Though the distance originally prevented them from acting on that spark, they stayed in touch—and had their first date the following month, when Beverly came back to Charleston for yet another wedding.
They continued to see each other despite the distance; after five months, Beverly, a real estate agent, decided to pack up her Brooklyn apartment and move back to Charleston to give their relationship a real shot. Steve, a lawyer, surprised Beverly with a proposal about three-and-a-half years later, during a morning walk on the water with their dog, Riley. Beverly says that it was perfect—"simple and low-key," but still extremely special. Due to the couple's hectic work schedules, their family walks by the dock had always felt sacred (now, they were even more so).
Beverly and Steve were married on April 20, 2019, nine months after their seaside engagement. While just twelve guests witnessed their intimate outdoor garden ceremony, the rest of their 160 attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour at the historic South Carolina Society Hall before they were joined by the couple and their immediate family for a fun-filled '90s-inspired dance party.
As a self-proclaimed non-traditionalist, Beverly initially envisioned more contemporary wedding invitations. She found a happy medium—classic-meets-modern—with the help of her mother, and says she "love[s] how they turned out." The paper suite, created by Studio R Design, incorporated delicate calligraphy reminiscent of vines to tie in the garden and greenery themes of the event to come.
Beverly's engagement ring once belonged to her mother (she had always admired the sapphire, which also happens to be her birthstone). The bauble, however, had broken about ten years prior—and once it seemed as if Steve might pop the question soon, Beverly's mother bequeathed the loose stone to her. Before proposing, Steve designed a new engagement ring using the sapphire; now, Beverly hopes that the newly-refurbished piece will become a family heirloom, passed down through new generations.
As for the bride's wedding band? The accessory is a replica of a vintage ring from Croghan's Jewel Box, an antique jewelry store located in Charleston's historic district. Steve's ring, on the other hand, was actually crafted by Beverly's cousin, Harriet, the owner of Casurina Jewelry.
Beverly found her wedding dress at the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2019 Collection runway show in New York City, almost a month after she and Steve became engaged (and long before she started wedding planning in earnest!). "I knew it was the dress as soon as I saw it," she says—and although she tried on other dresses later on, she "couldn't get this one out of my head." The cream-colored creation featured red embroidered blooms and greenery down the front of the column—which actually inspired the majority of the wedding's floral design.
Lady in Red (Heels)
The dress' red element also informed Beverly's shoe selection. The bride was actually dress shopping with her mother at Hampden Clothing when she stumbled upon these red block heels by Loeffler Randall and knew immediately that the playful hue would perfectly match the florals on the gown; the thick heel was ideal for an outdoor ceremony in the grass, too.
For her finishing touches, she borrowed her mother's pearl tennis bracelet and wore emerald earrings that brought out the green in her frock.
Originally, the bride had no plans to incorporate a veil into her bridal look, but when she came across this one while picking up her altered dress from the seamstress, she decided to make it a last-minute addition. She cherished the fact that this traditional element actually made her feel like a bride, especially since her dress was so nontraditional.
Beverly kept her Vero Designs wedding bouquet—inspired by Meghan Markle's—simple and classic; she wanted her gown (and shoes!) to be the true focal points of her bridal ensemble. The all-white mix included myrtle, lily of the valley, and forget-me-nots. As a special tribute to Beverly's mother's own bouquet, gardenias were also incorporated.
Though Steve didn't know what Beverly's wedding dress would actually look like, he did know that it was made by Oscar de la Renta—which is why he selected a bright-white Oscar de la Renta dinner jacket for his own ensemble, under the impression that the colors would align (based on the fact that they were made by the same designer). Beverly and Steve were both extremely amused when they found out—during their first look—that the colors actually weren't a match. "But I think they still worked together," says the bride.
A Red Bow Tie
A Young Bridal Party
The couple skipped traditional bridesmaids and groomsmen and opted, instead, for a wedding party comprised of just one flower girl and one ring bearer—another nod to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding. Steve's niece, outfitted in a white shift dress from the "Petit Bebe" collection by Anavini and a crown of baby's breath, served as the flower girl. Steve's nephew, the ring bearer, wore a white double-breasted button-down dress shirt with a club collar and white pants, both by Bailey Boys.
A Private First Look
Beverly and Steve's first look took place in the private garden where they would later exchange vows. The bride's biggest concern with this moment? A staged interaction—one that would force emotion for the sake of a photograph. "Anne Rhett, our amazing photographer, is my oldest and dearest friend and made it very easy for me to feel at ease during our first look," says the bride. "I didn't want to feel staged or watched and she knew how important that was to me!"
Charleston or Provence?
Initially, Beverly and Steve planned to elope in the French countryside, where Beverly had previously served as an au pair. The bride was hesitant to stay in Charleston, since it's become so popular on the wedding scene. "I wanted our wedding to feel a bit different—not like something that I'd already been to before or would potentially go to again," she explains.
Their destination wedding was set to be held on a vineyard in the Luberon region of Provence, with only close family in attendance, when they had a change of heart. "We ultimately decided Charleston would be easier logistically. It gave us the chance to have all our loved ones attend to celebrate with us! I am from Charleston, after all, and it has really shaped who I am. It's also where Steve and I fell in love and built a life together," adds the bride. They compromised by holding their ceremony, attended by just 12 guests, in a dreamy outdoor garden space with Old-World European vibes—then hosting a larger reception afterwards.
In the Family
Beverly's younger brother, Lawton Burris, handled the ceremony music, creating soft melodies on both his guitar and ukulele. For the processional, Beverly planned a special surprise for Steve: She asked Lawton to learn "Alone" by Trampled by Turtles (they saw the band in concert early on in their relationship and they have gone to their shows several times since).
And This Is Why I Love You
In South Carolina, the only legal requirement for becoming an officiant is obtaining your notary license, so Steve's father was able to assume that role for the couple, furthering the family-only aspect of the service. To craft their personal ceremony, Steve's dad provided the couple with questions before the wedding, asking them about what they love about each other. Before overseeing their traditional vows, he read aloud some of their responses.
Post-ceremony, the family had a Champagne toast to the newlyweds before heading to the reception.
Beverly was already familiar with South Carolina Society Hall, since she had attended a cotillion there as a child; when she brought Steve to visit the property, Beverly says he "fell in love with it," so "it was an easy decision" to hold the remainder of their wedding—a cocktail party and reception—there. They were particularly drawn to the historic architecture and the fact that it had recently undergone a complete restoration. Another plus? They hadn't attended a reception there, which catered to their vision of a unique wedding.
Contemporary Cocktail Party
As the duo's ceremony unfolded, the rest of the evening's festivities were already underway: Guests congregated on the first floor of the South Carolina Society Hall for cocktail hour. Cru Catering provided passed hors d'oeuvres and Seth G, one of Beverly's high school friends, played renditions of contemporary songs on the violin. The couple and their family briefly enjoyed cocktail hour, which included rosé and Champagne, before all the celebrants headed upstairs for the reception-turned-dance-party.
Fun and Formal
Inspired by their garden ceremony venue, Beverly initially wanted the reception décor to revolve around a green-and-white palette. Megan of Vero Designs, however, suggested incorporating red elements as a tribute to the bride's dress, which Beverly and her mother particularly enjoyed. To offset the stately, historic venue, Haley of Haley Kelly Events worked with Megan to find furniture and linens that reflected the bride's aesthetic of fun, but formal. Vines and other greenery were intertwined around the venue's internal columns and staircase; banana leaves and ferns, along with additional red florals, were placed in Delft pottery.
Pops of Red and Delft
At small tables (draped in cream-and-white striped linens), gold chargers were placed under Delft-patterned plates; red napkins helped tie the whole look together.
The tabletop's floral arrangements included red poppies, blush garden roses, and other classic white blooms.
In Front of the Fireplace
Similar decorations carried over into the duo's lounge space, which was positioned in front of a fireplace mantel; a flower arrangement (in the reception's signature colors) and two Delft vases added color to the relaxation area.
A Taste of France
Initially, Beverly and Steve didn't want a wedding cake (they wanted to forego expected tradition as much as possible in favor of their own priorities; a cake-cutting ceremony seemed like too much of a fuss). Then, at the last minute, they decided a sweet treat was in order—and commissioned a confection-meets-macaroon-hybrid from Ashley Brown Cake Designs, as a nod to their original destination wedding plans (and Beverly's favorite pastry!). The cream-colored treat was decorated with ferns, attached lengthwise.
'90s Dance Party
The newlyweds initially bonded over a shared love of music; they would often forego a night out to have a '90s dance party at home with their pup. They knew that one major priority for their wedding was the band, and, luckily, Beverly had just the one in mind. She'd been a longtime fan of the The Bayside Tigers (also known as Saved by the 90s)—she'd see them whenever they played at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett.
The couple worked with the band on the setlist, which included classics like "Wonderwall" by Oasis—they even learned "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Céline Dion, since it's one of Beverly and Steve's favorite songs. Funnily enough, the power ballad resulted in one of the most powerful memories of the night: "It turned into one of those special moments when everyone was standing in a circle around us, holding each other and swaying as they belted out the lyrics," recalls the bride.
The band's infectious energy carried on throughout the remainder of the celebration, as guests jumped around and sang along to their favorite throwback hits. "The Bayside Tigers had a huge impact on the theme and success of our wedding," adds Beverly.
The duo's official favors were navy matchbooks, embossed with the couple's initials in gold foil. But attendees were also given large, pink-sequined bunny-ear headbands during the band's second set, as a reference to the upcoming Easter holiday.
Glow-in-the-dark face paint—a tribute to a club Beverly used to frequent to when she lived in New York City—was passed around at the end of the evening, as well. Bunny ears in tow, face-painted guests continued the party at the historic Blind Tiger Pub, a popular after-party bar in Charleston. The bride and groom met them via rickshaw.
Photographer, Anne Rhett Photography
Event planning and Design, Haley Kelly Events
Flowers and Stylist, Vero Designs
Reception Venue, South Carolina Society Hall
Catering, Cru Catering
Linens, La Tavola Linen
Rentals, OOH Events
Lighting and AV, Fox Audio Visual
Stationery, Studio R Design
Cake and Macaroons, Ashley Brown Cake Design
Transportation, Charleston Rickshaw
Bride's gown, Oscar de la Renta
Bride's wedding band, Croghan's Jewel Box
Lashes, Lashes and Lace
Ring bearer attire, Bailey Boys
Flower girl dress, Petit Bebe from Anavini Collection
Groom's wedding band, Casuarina Jewelry