Crafty Thinking

Crafty Thinking | Homespun and handmade details decorate this Big Day at the Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation

Abby Warnert &  Dwayne Cosby

September 5, 2013, The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation

After Abby Warnert’s surprise birthday trip to Paris turned into a proposal from then-boyfriend Dwayne Cosby, the Minnesota residents returned stateside to plan their Big Day. Boone Hall Plantation won out “because it is so vast and beautiful,” says Abby. “Plus, we’re both a little spotlight-shy,” she adds, “so we loved the idea of a venue that would capture and keep everyone’s attention.” With help from event coordinator Sara Hosch of Southern Protocol, Abby took on the planning and décor, and enlisted Whitney Randall of Branch Design Studio for florals. The team centered the palette around a color Abby dubbed “Antique Turquoise,” a mix of Tiffany blue and what she calls Martha Stewart blue, then tackled the rest bit by bit. “As soon as I started thinking in components (stationery, wedding party attire, ceremony décor, the dessert table, etc.), all I had to do was find one key element for each to plan the other details,” Abby says. The result was a curated setting that looked effortlessly cohesive without suffering from a case of the matchy-matchies. For a couple whose recessional was to “Don’t Stop Believin’,” making their own stamp sounds just right.

Tip: Hosting a wedding with a handmade vibe? Add that aura to your cake, as Twenty Six Divine did here with piped icing that looks crocheted.

MIX & MATCH: Make a potentially “dead” space vibrant by adding a multitude of shapes and texture. Here, topping a pennant-fringed table with a tiered cake, apothecary jars, and a wooden sign kicks off the action. Overhead, a flock of tissue pompoms and lacy fans create an aerial pattern.

TEXTILE SHOW: Add embroidered linens, like these eyelet Mr. and Mrs. banners from BHLDN, to lend rentals a singular style.

Tip: Use mercury glass, with its streaked, mirrored surface, to dress up a rustic location without overpowering it.

HI, COTTON: A wedding at the Cotton Dock begs for a fluffy boll boutonniere. To tie the iconic element to the rest of the florals, it was bound to a rose.

Tip: Give fans that double as décor. This polka-dotted accordion-folded number (which matched the program by dodeline design) looked smart anywhere guests left them.

METAL HEAD: Gilded accents outlined shapes and emphasized texture to make the tablescapes dynamic. For proof, see the hammered finish candelabras (topped with greens and blooms) and gold-tipped plates.

HOLD STILL: Lavender roses are the bride’s favorite bloom, so bouquets and arrangements were dotted with them. Here, sprigs of astilbe and seeded eucalyptus give the formal flowers a relaxed look.


Tip: Embellish, but with a light touch. See-through crystals dress this dessert stand, while eclairs sport drizzled stripes of icing.


Baker: Twenty Six Divine,

Bird Cake Topper:  Ann Wood Hand Made,

Bridal Gown: Alvina Valenta,

Bride’s Reception Dress: Nicole Miller, available in Charleston through Maddison Row,

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale, available in Charleston through Bella Bridesmaid,

Caterer: Cru Catering,

Ceremony Music: Charleston Brass Trio

Event Coordinator: Sara Hosch of Southern Protocol,

Florist: Branch Design Studio,

Groom’s Attire: Suit from Kent Wang (; shirt and tie from Heimie’s Haberdashery (

Groomsmen’s Attire: Vest and suit trousers by Alfani; shirt from Brooks Brothers (; cufflinks and ties from Thomas Pink (

Hair: Updo Charleston,

Makeup Artist: Nancy VanThorre,

Lanterns: Wish Lantern,

Linens & Rentals: Eventworks,

Lounge Rentals: Snyder Events,

Monogramming: Initially Yours,

Photographer: Paige Winn Photography,

Reception DJ: Phil Constantin

Specialty Decor: Southern Protocol,

Stationery: Dodeline Designs,