Laura Zwiener & Patrick “Skip” Murphy
March 5, 2016
French Huguenot Church & Lowndes Grove Plantation
Laura Zwiener may not be Southern, but as she planned her wedding to Patrick “Skip” Murphy, her inner belle blossomed. “So many traveled so far to support us, and we wanted them to experience true Southern hospitality,” she explains.
A Connecticut native, Laura met Skip (and got her first taste of the South) at Duke University. They dated until their careers pulled them in different directions and they reluctantly parted. Five years later at a friend’s wedding, they caught eyes and that was that.
As for Laura’s Lowcountry obsession, that sprouted the first time she came home from college with Skip, a Kiawah native. And given she’s worked in San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle, and now, as she puts it, “ping-pongs” between New York and their home in Las Vegas, planning a long-distance wedding was second nature to her. “After living a bicoastal life for the last decade, planning a destination wedding fit right into the travel schedule,” she laughs.
Laura began with booking a lineup of events at the Lowcountry’s finest venues—from a William Aiken House welcome party to a French Huguenot Church ceremony and Lowndes Grove reception—ensuring that invitees would get a full taste of the city’s offerings. From there, she trusted Tara Guérard Soirée to cater to guests’ every need. “We never wanted them to wait in line for anything, be it food, drink, or transportation,” says Laura. When wedding-goers stepped off the shuttle at Lowndes Grove, gloved and tuxedoed waitstaff offered glasses of bubbly garnished with white orchids, alongside the couple’s signature drink: a St-Germain and champagne spritzer they named “The Hummingbird.” Tara’s team even set up a cell-phone charging station
and passed ladies’ heel protectors (great for traversing the lawn) on silver trays. Monogrammed glasses doubled as seating cards and favors, and were even delivered to guests who had forgotten them at the next morning’s farewell brunch.
And in the midst of all the pampering, Laura and Skip took a few moments for themselves as well, from swapping gifts (Tiffany cufflinks for him and an emerald eternity ring for her) to savoring the sounds of local gospel choir Voices of Deliverance. Says Laura, “All the incredible details—and we enjoyed every single one—made us feel like we were in a fairy tale.”
Wedding design, florals, linens: Tara Guérard Soirée, www.TaraGuérardSoirée.com
Photography: Corbin Gurkin, www.CorbinGurkin.com
Location: Lowndes Grove Plantation, www.PPHGCharleston.com
Catering, bar and wine service: Fish Restaurant, www.FishRestaurantCharleston.com
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal, www.WeddingCakesbyJimsmeal.com
Rentals: Snyder Events, www.SnyderEvents.com
Porch swing: Ooh! Events, www.OohEvents.com
Stationery, signage: Lettered Olive, www.LetteredOlive.com
Bride’s attire: Monique Lhuillier, available in Charleston through Maddison Row, www.MaddisonRow.com (gown); Peter Langner, available in Charleston through Betty Bridal Atelier, www.BettyBridalAtelier.com (veil); Dolce and Gabbana, www.DolceGabbana.com (shoes)
Bridesmaids’ attire: Jenny Yoo, available in Charleston through Bella Bridesmaids, www.BellaBridesmaids.com (gown); Zappos, www.Zappos.com (shoes)
Bridal dresser: Cacky’s Bride + Aid, www.CackysBrideAid.com
Beauty: Lashes and Lace, www.LashesandLaceCharleston.com
Menswear: Calvin Klein through Men’s Wearhouse, www.MensWearhouse.com
Photobooth: TapSnap, www.TapSnap.net
Photobooth backdrop: Fabric, www.Fabric.com
Transportation: Carolinas Executive Limo Line, www.CELimoline.com
Getaway vehicle: ACW Limo & Rolls Royce, www.acwlimo.com
Music: George Hiatt, www.CharlestonOrganist.com (ceremony organist); Voices of Deliverance, www.ArcherMusic.com (ceremony choir); Simply Irresistible, www.EastCoastEntertainment.com (reception)
Videography: Siegel Films, www.SiegelFilms.com