A Charming, Colorful South Carolina Wedding
Stefanie and Drew
Stefanie Dasher and Merritt Andrew McCullough grew up on Skidaway Island, off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, and even attended the same school. But it wasn't until after college that they started dating. Stefanie and Drew always kept tabs on each other and stayed in touch, and then one night in February 2014, the timing was right and they went on a date. The rest, as they say, is history.
A little over a year into dating, the couple bought their first house together in their hometown. One day, Stefanie came home to unpack some more, and there was a piece of art she had been eyeing hung on the wall with a letter stuck to it. She turned around to see Drew on bended knee.
Engaged and nesting, the operation managers for Stefanie's father's self-storage company set out to plan a romantic, elegant, and intimate affair about a half-hour from their home, at Palmetto Bluff. After their first summer of dating, Drew had planned a long weekend getaway at the resort, and it was then and there that Stefanie knew she wanted to marry him, and wanted their wedding to be held at that very location.
With help from planner and designer Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, the April 1, 2017, soiree was inspired by some of the couple's favorite things: blue-and-white china and the Beverly Hills Hotel's palm-print wallpaper, and was totally and utterly a reflection of the bride and groom. The 235 guests witnessed the ceremony in the venue's quaint chapel, enjoyed cocktail hour alfresco, were led by a group of musicians to the reception, and dined and danced the whole night long.
The Stationery Suite
The Welcome Bags
Guests were greeted warmly with gifts inspired by some of the couple's favorite things—Live Love Pop truffle popcorn, Tate's cookies, Moscow Mule ingredients, and Miraval rosé. A hangover kit, monogram koozies, and wine cups were also included in the blue bags, with a map designed by Colorbox Letterpress to help everyone find their way around while staying for the weekend.
The First Look
The couple first saw each other in their wedding attire under a beautiful oak tree canopy. They both agree that it was one of their favorite moments of the day. "Seeing Stefanie for the first time in her dress was surreal," Drew recalls. "Everything leading to the moment went by so fast. Things slowed down when I turned around to see her. I remember having the biggest smile and seeing the most beautiful bride ever. She was truly picture perfect!"
Drew donned a custom Hadleigh's navy shawl-collar tuxedo and slippers. The couple's wedding date and his initials were monogrammed inside the jacket.
The bride also had some special embroidery—her "something blue" was her new initials and wedding date on the inside of her gown, a Carolina Herrera lace number. This "Arianne" dress was the second one Stefanie tried on, and she paired it with a long, dramatic veil by the same designer, Mikimoto drop pearl earrings, and Manolo Blahnik white satin pumps.
A White Bouquet
Stefanie's bouquet was comprised mostly of Japanese ranunculus.
With These Rings…
With help from Pinterest, Drew sorted out that Stefanie was into classic engagement ring settings. He tapped his friend in Miami to design it, and it just so happened he had to travel down there at the time, so the two met, picked out the stone, setting, and colors, and settled on a yellow-gold band with platinum prongs for the solitaire-style stunner. "I learned a lot through the process and had fun doing it, knowing it would be for my soon-to-be wife," Drew says.
Stefanie's wedding band boasted diamonds all around, in another custom design, while Drew's was a traditional thick gold Cartier ring.
The Flower Girl
Clad in Joan Calabrese for Mon Cheri, Stefanie's parents' goddaughter took on the role of flower girl.
The Ceremony Spot
Todd Events painted the couple's custom crest onto the aisle runner, and as a special memento post-wedding, it's being framed to display in their home.
Here Comes the Bride
Stefanie and her father took a moment together outside of the church, before entering to the sounds of the Richard Wagner's traditional "Bridal Chorus."
The spiritual ceremony (officiated by Drew's neighbor since birth) included a reading of 1 Corinthians 13, an exchanging of vows, the blessing and exchange of rings, the lighting of a unity candle, and benediction, before the couple was pronounced married.
At the outdoor cocktail hour, just outside of the chapel, guests noshed on stone crab claws and other raw bar staples, as well as beef on endive and tuna tartar. Drink offerings were calligraphed by Ashley Curry onto big elephant ear palm leaves, tying in the custom crest, the tropical foliage used in the décor, and the surroundings.
A horn band guided everyone from cocktail hour to the reception, playing jazzy music along the way.
The Escort Cards
As guests entered the Wilson Ballroom, they walked under a blue beaded Ro Sham Beaux beaded chandelier.
A Custom Bar
The bar inside the reception space was dressed up with palm leaf wallpaper, which was also used to cover the wall behind the band to add a colorful focal point to the room.
The Reception Tables
The couple have blue-and-white ginger jars in their home, and love having fresh flowers on their dinner table—particularly hydrangeas. The tablescape was reminiscent of this, with some modern touches—like Lucite squares under several of the smaller vessels and sleek gold flatware. Happy Menocal calligraphed her colorfully-designed menus with each guest's name, and the couple's monogram was embroidered on to the linen napkins by Number Four Eleven. "We will use them for years to come in our home," Stefanie says of the customized linens.
Dinner is Served
The meal began with spring pea soup with nasturtium, arugula salad, and a crispy crab cake. Tenderloin of beef and sea bass with asparagus ribbons and pavé potato followed. And caramel shortbread and fresh strawberry bites started the dessert course—which included wedding cake and Momofuku Milk Bar cakes.
A Dreamy Ceiling
During the planning, a tent was discussed for the reception, but instead the plan was hatched to stay indoors. "We decided to drape out the ceiling like Chinese pagodas," event designer Todd Fiscus of Todd Events explains. "Colored paper lanterns and lighting allowed some illumination, and also made the room more intimate and cozy."
On the Dance Floor
The couple's crest dressed up the dance floor.
The First Dance
The newlyweds chose John Legend's "All of Me" as their first dance song.
The Wedding Cake
A pink champagne-flavored cake by Minette Rushing was dressed in fondant and velvet ribbon trim. The couple's monogram was hand-painted on, and sugar peonies topped it off.
The Photo Booth
Since the couple's wedding fell on April Fool's Day, a neon sign that read "Fools in Love" was the perfect addition to their photo booth backdrop, which was made of boxwood and also decked out with blue-and-white porcelain plates. The sign—one of Stefanie's favorite details—now hangs in the newlyweds' dining room.
Photography, Julie Livingston Photography
Location, Catering, and Cake, Montage Palmetto Bluff
Event planning and design, Todd Events
Videography, East West Production
Bar sign calligraphy, Ashley Curry
Escort card calligraphy, Nicole Black of The Left Handed Calligrapher
Bride's gown and veil, Carolina Herrera
Hair and Makeup, LB Rosser
Bridesmaids' dresses, Monique Lhuillier
Flower Girl dress, Joan Calabrese for Mon Cheri
Groom's tuxedo, Hadleigh's
Menswear, The Black Tux
Transportation, Old Savannah Tours
Photobooth, Dollface Photobooth
Dance floor decal, Signarama
Palm-print wallpaper, Tempaper
Neon sign, Neon of Dallas