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Big Day Brunch

Written By

Written By: 
Nicole Warren

Photos By

Photos By: 
Gayle Brooker
An Anglophile bride and her dapper groom entertain guests in a garden wedding with a Southern accent and English style

Elizabeth Hardwick & Matthew Hannah

May 11, 2013

William Aiken House

When Elizabeth (Liz) Hardwick looks back on meeting—and eventually marrying—Matthew (Matt) Hannah, one line sums it all up: “It came naturally,” she says. And it really did—from how quickly and easily Liz fell in love with Matt after they met in the orientation line at Virginia Tech to how the self-professed Anglophile chose an English garden theme for their wedding nearly seven years later.


For the bride, a Gaithersburg, Maryland, native whose family has a vacation house in downtown Charleston, only one venue would do: the William Aiken House. Beyond that, “I envisioned a small spring wedding,” says Liz, “with brunch food, which is Matt’s and my favorite meal.”  To make everything just so, Liz called upon Kristin Newman Designs and Gathering Events. 


And while the day Matt proposed was complete with real English weather (read: rainy), the skies were clear and robin’s egg blue on the couple’s Big Day. Following a solitary morning that began with her taking in the sun rise on her own, Liz donned a vintage-inspired Monique Lhuillier lace dress and met Matt under the William Aiken House’s vine- and bloom-adorned arbor, where they traded vows.


After celebrating with guests, dining on Southern brunch specialties (like an eggs Benedict with ham and fried green tomatoes) from Fish Restaurant, and sipping drinks (with properly curled pinkies) from the coffee and tea bar, the couple got one very sweet send-off—literally. The pair made their exit and, as they slipped into a British getaway car, they found goodie bags from Kristin’s crew filled with cookies and tarts for their honeymoon flight to (where else?) London.



Vendor List

Bridal & Bridesmaids Clutches: Nelle Handbags,

Bridesmaids Dresses: LulaKate,

Bridesmaids Earrings: Pearl Paradise,

Bridal Fascinator: Meyriel Edge from Meriel Jill Millinery

Bridal Going Away Dress: LulaKate,

Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier from Maddison Row,

Bridal Ring: Laurie Sarah Designs on Etsy,

Bridal Shoes: BHLDN,

Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal,

Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones,

Catering & Bar Service: Fish, Patrick Properties,

Ceremony Music: Music for a Moment Ensemble,

Fashion Stylist: Lindsay Nowak for Kristin Newman Designs,

Florals, Custom Furniture, & Specialty Décor: Gathering Events,

Groom’s Hat: Goorin Bros.,

Groom’s & Groomsmens’ Suits: Berlins for Men,

Groom’s & Groomsmens’ Socks: M. Dumas and Sons,

Groom’s & Groomsmens’ Ties: M. Dumas and Sons,

Guest Transportation: Absolutely Charleston Trolley ( and Charleston Style Limo (

Hair & Makeup: Stella Nova,

Limo: Vintage Limousine,

Photography: Gayle Brooker Photography,

Planning & Event Design: Kristin Newman Designs,

Reception Entertainment: Charlton Singleton,

Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals,

Save-the-Dates and Invitation: Sideshow Press,

Venue: William Aiken House,