A Pretty Southern Wedding for a Pair of Foodies
Melany and Drew
The temperature was in the mid-'70s, with an off-shore breeze, no bugs, and no rain. Almost perfectly sunny despite a forecast predicting rain. The weather couldn't have been any better on April 10, 2015, when Melany Bundy and Drew Robinson became husband and wife. 80 friends and family members joined the Birmingham, Alabama-based couple on Wadmalaw Island, just miles from Charleston, South Carolina, a town the twosome considers their home away from home.
Two years prior, Melany (the founder and CEO of Polished Pig Media, a hospitality and lifestyle public relations firm) and Drew (the executive chef of Jim 'n Nicks BBQ restaurants) met through work and started dating. A little over a year later, they got engaged, in a way befitting someone with such culinary prowess—Drew used the refrigerator to propose. He was laid up on the couch with a torn calf muscle, and asked Melany to grab him a La Croix. She opened the fridge door to find it cleared out except for a rose, a bottle of sparkling rosé, a lovely letter, and the ring.
That same sentiment was applied to their big day, which began at the Rockville Presbyterian Church and moved on to a small neighboring island, where the food was local, the music was lively, and the atmosphere was equal parts easy-going and magical.
John Reburn at Appalachia Press designed all of the couple's stationery, starting with a unique save-the-date jar. It was a play off the quintessential southern condiment—Duke's mayonnaise.
Designed to mimic the feeling of being under an oak tree and offer a glimpse at the wedding location, the letterpressed invitations also drove home the idea of the solid foundation that the couple was building on as symbolized by the tree.
A Favorite Detail
"The open back was probably my favorite part," Melany says of the dress. "I just loved that it was different."
"It was magical," Melany says of the Rockville Presbyterian Church.
Melany's father escorted her down the aisle of the church to "Amazing Grace" performed by a vocalist, fiddler, and banjo player.
During the service, each of the bride and groom's brothers read a piece of scripture that the pair had selected, the priest led everyone in an Episcopal-style service, and Melany and Drew exchanged traditional vows before recessing up the aisle to "I'll Fly Away".
The Little Ones
Drew's nephew, Henry, and Libby, the 11-year-old daughter of Melany's dear friend, served as ring bearer and flower girl. Libby actually doubled as the maid of honor too—since she and Melany are close and every summer the bride plans what they call "Camp Aunt Mel" which included adventure on the ocean and learning life lessons. Libby delivered a speech at the reception and read those life lessons back to the bride. "It was so special," Melany recalls.
With Champagne in hand, the couple led their guests from the church to the reception area down a sandy road lined with Spanish moss and live oaks. Halfway through the walk the flutes were topped off.
A bar set in front of the live oak tree that inspired much of the design and style of the event provided the backdrop for cocktail hour.
Melany and Drew worked closely with their bartenders to make sure there were plenty of Southern favorites, like Cathead vodka, on hand.
Seating by the Water
The dock begged for something special during cocktail hour, so their planner, Lisa Thomas of Ooh! Events, brought out a leather couch and a pair of velvet chairs.
Passed canapés by Chef Sean Brock spotlighted some Southern staples—like Benne wafers with pimento cheese and Carolina blue crab with yogurt, cucumber, and nasturtium.
"The photos on the dock are our favorite," Melany recalls of the result of them slipping out of the reception for some alone time.
Smilax vine gathered from the woods around Charleston was strung over the dinner tables in the reception tent.
Arrangements in brass compotes held coral charm peonies, blush and peach garden roses, burgundy dahlias, soft pink ranunculus, scabiosa pods, hellebores, chocolate cosmos, air ferns, scented geranium leaves, seeded eucalyptus, and California bay leaves. Petite vintage glasses flanked each side and held single blooms or herbs.
A menu with calligraphy and a classic font outlined the family-style meal, which was dubbed a Lowcountry Wedding Feast. The groom chose five different wines to pair with the chef's food.
The Place Settings
Mixed vintage plates and glassware were set out and custom, hand-stitched dinner napkins by Alabama Chanin completed the place setting. Post-wedding the newlyweds used the linens on a daily basis.
The Place Cards
Drew cooks barbecue. Melany runs a pig-themed company that's about liking things polished but not being afraid to get down and dirty. So there are a lot of pigs in their life. The bride and groom didn't set out to have pig paraphernalia at the wedding, but one subtle detail—incorporated by their Ooh! Events—was added, gold place card holders in the shape of the animal from Out of Hand.
Dinner Is Served
A salad of vegetables, shoots, and leaves from the island and from McCrady's rooftop garden was topped with buttermilk dressing.
A Swingin' Lounge
A tree swing was added to the lounge area for guests of all ages to enjoy.
Though there wasn't an official first dance, the couple still hit the dance floor. And perhaps the most memorable dance was to the dueling tunes of "Rocky Top" and "Sweet Home Alabama" for all of their Tennessee and Alabama football fans.
After digging in to hand pies and Alabama chocolate stack cake, guests later made s'mores at the fire pit by the dock. Since Melany feels you're never too old to make s'mores, and wanted to play up her and Drew's love of the outdoors and camping, it was a natural fit for the end of the festivities.
Under the Stars
Dancing took place in a navy tent with star details, which was decorated with hanging lights that brought the night sky in.
Photography: Brandon Lata
Ceremony Location: Rockville Presbyterian Church
Event Planning, Lighting, Décor, and Rentals: Ooh! Events
Flowers: Out of the Garden
Officiant: Callie Walpole
Stationery: Appalachia Press
Tabletop Rentals: Polished! Tabletop
Tent: Sperry Tents
Hair: Colleen Demers of Gibson Hair and Makeup
Makeup: Anna Stephenson
Transportation: LowCountry Valet & Shuttle Co.
Wine: Grassroots Wine