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A Laid-Back Kind of Love

Written By

Written By: 
Nicole Warren

Photos By

Photos By: 
Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay
At one of the toniest plantations in the country, this groom says "I do" barefoot while the bride's (haute) gown sports sequined fern fronds

Ryan Coverdale & Suzanne Kerns
May 16, 2015
Middleton Place


Ten years after Suzanne Kerns met Ryan Coverdale, they re-connected at a wedding and he soon followed her to Charleston, where she began a fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. “With each bike ride, sunrise run, surf session, and night out,”  says Suzanne, “our love for the city—and for each other­—grew.” A year later, on a lark, she tried on the bridesmaid dress that kindled their romance and turned around to find Ryan waiting with ring in hand. After that, the two batted around ideas and settled on a wedding motif. “Ferns symbolize new life,” says Suzanne, noting they are abundant where the couple has lived: New Zealand, Charleston, and now Seattle. Add that the bride found a fern-covered gown and teamed with Party.Love.Birds and Tiger Lily Weddings, and everything aligned. Months later, their Big Day at Middleton Place was as lush as the landscape and as rollicking as the couple themselves. 

TOP TIPS

Take It from the Kernses ...
• Reduce your ecological footprint. Middleton Place sources its produce locally or from organic farms, which was important for Suzanne and Ryan.
• Some venues charge a clean-up fee for flower girl petals, so try ribbon wands for a less expensive, less complicated alternative.  
• A traditional cake, garter toss, and even shoes for the groom weren’t important to the couple. Stay true to yourself, like they did with a dessert bar, heart-shaped piñata (filled with tiny liquor bottles and temporary tattoos), and bare feet (for him).
• Stick with a theme. Bridesmaids each carried a bundle of a different kind of white flower.
 

Event design, décor, signage, flower girl ribbon wand: Party.Love.Birds, www.PartyLoveBirds.com

Photography: Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay, www.SeanMoney-ElizabethFay.com

Venue, bar service, catering, cake: Middleton Place, www.MiddletonPlace.org

Florals: Tiger Lily Weddings, www.TigerLilyWeddings.com

Linens, rentals: Ooh! Events, www.TheArtOfCreating.com/OohEvents

Bride’s attire: Luly Yang (gown), www.LulyYang.com

Beauty: Gibson Hair + Makeup, www.CharlestonHairAndMakeup.com

Groom’s attire: groom’s own (suit), The Tie Bar, www.TheTieBar.com (tie)

Lighting: Technical Event Company, www.TechnicalEventCompany.com

Procession and cocktail music: Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, www.AnnCaldwell.com

Reception music: Electric Western Records, www.ElectricWesternRecords.com

Sound equipment: OtherBrother Entertainment, www.OtherBrotherEnt.com