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A Hoppin’ Good Time

Written By

Written By: 
Jacqui Calloway

Photos By

Photos By: 
Corbin Gurkin
A furry friend inspires a celebration of eccentricity and elegance

Martha Rhodes & Charles McLendon, Jr.
October 4, 2014
Yeamans Hall Club

“We wanted our wedding to be special but not a spectacle,” says Martha McLendon, reflecting on the day less than a year later. “We were both very conscious of making sure that it was about our marriage and future together, and about celebrating with our close friends and family—not just about a big, fancy party.” Lucky for Martha and Charles “Charley” McLendon, Jr., the couple hit the jackpot with sincerity and style reigning side-by-side as king and queen of their ebullient milestone.

Ask anyone who knows the downtown residents and not a one is surprised they pulled off such magic; after all, neither has ever met a stranger and a nose-twitching, sweetie pie of a bunny happens to be at the heart of their love story. The bride best explains that last bit: “Charley’s family has always had rabbits, and the first Easter after we started dating, he brought home this tiny brown thing with a white nose and white feet and announced that she was for me. I went from shock to panic to bunny-crazy in short order,” laughs Martha. “Now I think more people know me as Lightfoot’s mom than as Charley’s wife.”

By Christmas, their “love child” had inspired a commissioned portrait rendered in oil by good friend (and renowned Charleston-based painter) Jill Hooper. Months later, after Charley proposed to Martha on a beach blanket on Sullivan’s Island, she knew she wanted to work their pet into the wedding somehow. Jill was recruited again, this time to sketch Lightfoot so the little one could grace a most charming—if unusual—invitation suite and set of welcome totes, too.

But it doesn’t end there. The couple chose Anne Dabney of Charleston Stems wedding florist not only for her deft touch, but also because she, too, is an enthusiastic rabbit parent. Anne then suggested Easton Events to bring the couple’s dream of an English garden party at Yeamans Hall Club to life and the rest fell into place. In the end, says Martha, the Easton Events crew felt like relatives, and the couple’s 170-some guests fêted till two in the morning. As for Lightfoot? To this day she’s the kicking belle of the quirky ball.

Vendor List:

Wedding design: Easton Events,

Locations: St. Stephens Episcopal Church (ceremony),; Yeamans Hall Club (reception),

Florals: Charleston Stems,

Photography: Corbin Gurkin Photography,

Bar, catering, place settings, chargers: Yeamans Hall Club,

Wine service: Grassroots Wine

Tables, chairs, plates, silver, napkins: Festive Fare,

Supporting rentals, glassware: Snyder Events,

Linens: La Tavola,

Tent: Sperry Tents Southeast,

Lighting: Technical Event Company,

Cake: WildFlour Pastry,

Stationery, signage: Sideshow Press for mac & murphy,,

Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones,

Rabbit illustration: Jill Hooper,

Bride’s attire: Monique Lhuillier (available locally through Maddison Row),; Laura Pearce Ltd. (earrings),

Hair: Tease Blow Dry Bar,

Makeup: BlueMercury,

Bridesmaid dresses: BHLDN,

Menswear: Martin Greenfield Clothiers (suit),; Hermes (tie),

Velvet ribbon: MOKUBA,

Stamps: My Vintage Post Office,

Music: The Pat Patrick Band,

Transportation: Absolutely Charleston,