When Alexa Meany first heard a friend describe a New Year’s Eve wedding as the best wedding he’d ever been to, she was “totally in love with the idea,” she says, “and I knew it 100 percent was what we should do, if the timing worked out.” That “we” she referred to equaled the Hilton Head native and her then-beau, William Crowell, whom she had been dating for a few years. And while there might not have been a ring on her finger when that NYE Big Day idea was planted, one was surely on the way.
Alexa and William met as students at the College of Charleston, where they were both active in Greek life. By senior year, they were dating, and after graduation, they kept up a long-distance romance, even over the 16-month stretch that found her here in the Holy City and him in Washington, D.C. When William moved back South to be in the same town as his sweetheart, Alexa says they both knew that they were on a path to the altar. The next thing you know, it’s Labor Day weekend, the couple was at William’s family’s lake house in The Poconos, and there he was, catching her off-guard and proposing. That kicked off a celebratory few days full of champagne and planning, says Alexa, whose family—another surprise—joined everyone for the fun.
If the family-friendly proposal sounds cozy, it was. Both the Crowells and the Meanys are tight-knit, and Alexa was bent on representing both sides at their New Year’s Eve nuptials. “Anyone who knows me and my family,” she says, “knows we are all in black and white the majority of the time—we even say those are the Meany family colors.” Given that, there was no question what her palette would be grounded upon. Then? Because Williams’ side of the family is from New Orleans, they went with gold accents. The tie-in: The New Orleans Saints’ team colors, of course.
From there, things fell into place and on December 31, 185 guests joined the happy couple in the newest ceremony venue at Montage Palmetto Bluff
, Somerset Chapel. The vows began at 5 p.m. and the merrymaking? That lasted until at least 1 a.m. thanks to the after-party that the newlyweds had set up. Following the reception (which included Alexa’s dad stepping up to the mic amid an exploding confetti cannon and the same song Jimmy Fallon starts his show with), those who wanted to ring in 2019 followed the second line band from the tent to the nearby River House, where a DJ was already spinning in a ballroom prepped for a 1,000-balloon drop at midnight. “You probably can see in the images,” says Alexa, of the 7,000-plus photos that their photographers took, “but it was just a really, really great party!”