Diana Kassen and Ezra Mehlman met at a Washington, D.C. consulting firm, where fate sat them at adjacent desks. “I started a few months before Ezra, so when he joined the team, I showed him the ropes,” laughs Diana. The two began dating, and over a six-year courtship they trotted the globe together, getting passport stamps for everywhere from Buenos Aires to Istanbul. Then, to celebrate their respective graduations from business school in May 2012, the pair jetted to Park City, Utah, to celebrate. There, Ezra asked Diana to go on a hike with him, and along the way she stopped to take a snapshot of the picturesque mountains. When she turned around, Ezra was down on one knee. “Of course, I said, ‘Yes!’” Diana says.
They found themselves in South Carolina for their wedding thanks to a favorite haunt. “We’ve been visiting Kiawah every summer and winter since we started dating,” says Diana. “It’s a special place to us. We wanted our friends and families to experience its magic, too.”
To max out that magic, the two, who now live in New York, entrusted Tara Guérard Soirée to organize a Labor Day weekend brimming with festivities. Saturday night, guests gathered for a rehearsal fête with live bluegrass and s’mores. The next evening, on The Sanctuary Hotel’s Grand Lawn, Diana and Ezra said sunset “I dos.” After a cocktail hour, everyone flocked to the dance floor for the hora and partied until the wee hours. The following morning, the newlyweds hosted a farewell brunch.
As lavish as the good times were, the company was even better, says Diana. “The very best part of the weekend was having so many people we love in one place.”
When a belle of an old-guard Charleston family opts for a pre-ceremony “first look” with her groom, it means times are changing. See why a sneak peek worked for Kathleen Hay and Andrew Hagood, and why you might follow suit