Autumn's Splendor

Autumn's Splendor | A native son returns home to wed his beloved alongside the Ashley River

Jessica Gerrick & Jeffrey Zucker
October 21, 2012
Runnymede Plantation

When Chicago resident Jeffrey (Jeff) Zucker told his girlfriend Jessica Gerrick that he had a surprise for her, she thought little of it; after more than a year together, she was used to his adventures. But this outing was a little different: Jeff picked Jessica up early in the morning, took her to her favorite spot in the city (the iconic Buckingham Fountain), and then got down on one knee to ask her to be his wife.

Though the bride was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, they decided to marry in Jeff’s hometown of Charleston at Runnymede Plantation. “It seemed absolutely perfect,” Jessica says of the Ashley River spot. For the details, they turned to event guru Tara Guérard, who had designed Jeff’s sister’s wedding in 2006.  As for the Windy City couple’s wedding, “We pictured a brisk fall night on the water,” says Jessica, “under the old oak trees, surrounded by our loved ones, and celebrating the best day of our lives.”

The pair chose classic navy and white as their leading colors, then accented those with shades of peach, gray, and forest green, pulling from the natural palette of the surroundings—Spanish moss, salt marshes, and plantation ruins. When the day arrived, guests warmed themselves with offerings from a cocktail-hour soup station. By nightfall, candles, chandeliers, and cozy sitting areas added an intimate feel to the affair, despite the guest count of 400.

“I would give anything to do it all over again,” says Jessica. “It really is the only day in your life where everyone you love is
celebrating your happiness.”


Vendor List

Baker: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal,
Bridal Gown: Amy Kuschel,
Bridesmaid Attire: LulaKate,
Caterer: Tristan,
Flower Girls: J. Crew,
Groom, Groomsmen, and Ringbearer’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank,
Makeup Artists: Leslie Moore of Moore Makeup ( and Kori Mahoney
Musicians: Charleston Heartstrings Quartet (ceremony); Steven Fiore Trio (cocktail hour); The Maxx (reception),
Photographer: Orange Slice Productions,
Rentals: Snyder (event rentals),; PDA (generator, lighting and sound),
Wedding Designer, Florist: Tara Guérard Soirée,
Signage: Lettered Olive ( Elizabeth Porcher Jones Calligraphy (
Stationery: Lettered Olive,
Venue: Runnymede Plantation (
Video: Artistic Eye Productions;
Wine and Bar Service: Spike Bar,