They always say love finds you when you least expect it, and that couldn’t be truer for Jerry in August of 2012 as he was enjoying drinks with friends at O-Ku, a sushi bar on King Street in Charleston, SC. When a beautiful, tall blonde walked in that evening. Jerry had made up his mind that he was going to introduce himself, but Catie and her friends left before he had the chance. Jerry, a law student at the time, had another chance one week later at a law school happy hour. The girl that got away just entered the room.  Catie, an attorney, walked into Mercury Bar, also in Charleston, that night for the get together and the rest is history. Catie and Jerry talked all night, exchanged numbers and had a fabulous time. Their first date was at the place where Jerry first saw Catie, O-Ku.  They sat chatting until the restaurant was ready to close.

Catie is a fun loving person who loves to laugh, cook, read, and play golf and tennis.  Jerry, also known as Jam, owns the Florence, SC Flea Market – something he is very passionate about! Jam loves to grill, play golf and relax with his family and friends.

The ‘long awaited engagement,’ as Catie likes to call it, started in July 2013 when Jerry locked her out of his computer, phone and iPad because he “didn’t want her to ruin any surprises.”  Catie assumed that he would be asking her to marry him within months – needless to say that did not happen. After Catie’s 30th birthday, Christmas, New Year’s and a celebration of their two-year anniversary, there was still no ring. Almost an entire year had passed. On August 29th, 2014, the couple had a 6:30 a.m. flight out of Charleston for the Notre Dame vs. Rice football game. Catie’s parents were already there and her brother, his wife and her cousin were to arrive for the weekend as well. She had a feeling a proposal might happen but didn’t want to get her hopes up. Before the two left the house, Jerry asked Catie to please get him a Diet Sunkist from the refrigerator where she found an empty ring box on top of the can. She turned around and there he was on one knee holding the missing ring! Of course, Catie said, “Yes!” as she jumped up and down with excitement. Their flight attendant even announced the good news in the air and gave the happy couple a bottle of champagne.

The marriage ceremony took place on May 16, 2015 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Johns Island, just a little way across a bridge from downtown Charleston.  Catie, along with her mother and bridesmaids, spent the morning getting primped and pampered on Kiawah Island in the Cassique Club locker room.  (Cassique was named for an Indian Chief of Kiawah who once hunted the Lowcountry.)  Catie had dreamed of preparing for her wedding in this very place.

Catie’s Modern Trousseau wedding gown was embroidered inside with her monogram and wedding date. The fabric from her maternal grandmother’s wedding dress was used to wrap about her white and pink rose bouquet and her paternal great grandmother’s Bible was carried down the aisle by the ring bearer.

Jam’s grandfather “Papa” was his idol and he decided to use his Papa’s wedding band as his own. Papa was a decorated war veteran who received three purple hearts and the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Carroll Campbell.  For our bride’s gift to her groom, Catie gave him a shadow box very like the one his aunt and uncle have of Papa’s medals (of which Catie had ordered replicas).   Now he can treasure his own memories of Papa along with the band he will wear.

What a lovely day it was for a wedding, there wasn’t a rain cloud in sight! The month before, the two had buried a bottle of bourbon at the church.  This old southern tradition claims that if you bury a bottle of bourbon upside down at the location of the marriage, it will not rain!  After the groom and his “staff” unearthed the bourbon on that sunny day, they toasted the groom and the weather.

With plentiful sunlight streaming in the large church windows the bridesmaids in white, the groomsmen in black tie with monogrammed cummerbunds (groom’s gift to them) walked down the wide church aisle.  The groom beamed as his saw his bride.  The traditional service was just what Catie and Jam had in mind.

The wedding reception with a seated dinner was held on Kiawah Island at The Sanctuary Hotel. Cocktails and a little music were first enjoyed on the lawn and patio.  The Adirondack chairs on the lawn are one of the symbols of the Sanctuary.  An elegant, white, gathered tent and crystal chandeliers covered the area for the dinner.  A variety of crystal vases: small dainty ones, tall elegant ones, round generous ones held white and pink roses and hydrangeas at all tables.   The monogram that was used for the wedding signifying Catie and Jam was one that Catie had drawn herself! It was featured on the cake, water bottles, welcome bags, cocktail napkins, menus and the programs!  The newlyweds shared first bites of their five-tiered wedding cake decorated with fresh flowers: white and pink roses and one white hydrangea.

During the reception, an artist, as a gift from the groom’s sister, painted the scene of the tent and the lawn in beautiful colors.  As the evening progressed, The Life of the Party band started playing.  Catie and Jam danced and swirled and turned around the dance floor and ended with a dip by Jam.  Jam and his mother had a sweet dance with looks of love between mother and son.  Catie and her father danced to “My Girl” which had been a favorite of those two since her high school days. After the father-daughter dance Jam said a few words and surprised the father of the bride with Happy Birthday sung by everyone for his 70th birthday!  These first dances set the tone for the celebration to come!  Dancing and having a good time have been a favorite way to celebrate in both families with their fun-loving friends.  The band, the singers, the dancers, the guests did not disappoint!!

As the bride and groom ran through a tunnel of sparklers to their get away car I couldn’t help to think that I was very blessed to have been a part of Catie and Jerry’s Wedding Day!!

Special thanks to Cameron Reynolds for assisting me!

(click on the images to enlarge & view the slideshow)

Ceremony: Holy Spirit Catholic Church | Reception: The Sanctuary Hotel – Kiawah Island Golf Resort | Wedding Coordinator: Hannah Grogan – Southern Protocol | Florist: Mary Lynn Drury | Caterer: The Sanctuary Hotel | Bride’s Dress: Modern Trousseau Charleston – Modern Trousseau | Bridesmaids Dress: Bella BridesmaidJenny YooHair: Hunter Johnson – Updo Charleston | Makeup: Pamela Lesch | Groomsmen Cummerbunds: Smathers and Branson | Cake: Chef Remy – The Sanctuary Hotel | Live Oil Painting: Wed on Canvas | Band: Life of the Party – East Coast Entertainment | Transportation: ACW Limo | Invitation & Save-The-Date Cards: Streater Meehan – The RSVP Shoppe