When Crystal Hardwick’s best friend was nervous for her first face-to-face with an online suitor, Crystal faithfully tagged along as her wingman. Turns out great minds think alike: the guy brought along a friend, too—Matt Herring—and the second stringers hit it off. “We each knew we had met someone special,” says Crystal, “and we’ve been together ever since. In a few short months, I realized Matt was my soul mate.”
One May afternoon, the couple, who lives on Daniel Island, was taking a stroll downtown with their shih tzu, Lily Ann, when Matt suggested they stop to sit on a park bench near Colonial Lake.
The pleasant break turned into a heartfelt proposal with a ring, but the surprise wasn’t over. “Matt had made reservations at Halls Chophouse, where we’d celebrated our one-year anniversary,”
explains Crystal. “Everyone at the restaurant met us at the door with champagne and congratulations. It was perfect!”
When it came to wedding planning and décor, Crystal wanted romance, lace, and pearls. She decided on a venue—the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island—and a palette of blush, champagne, and peach. Then she entrusted Tara Guérard Soirée to take care of the big picture while she got crafty with the personal details, like vintage music sheets (for the ceremony programs), old frames (for family photos), and lace doilies (for table runners). As guests arrived at Kiawah on the Big Day, they were greeted with champagne and chocolate chip cookies, and after the “I dos,” everyone took their seats for a dinner at sunset. Says Crystal, “The entire day was a dream come true.”
As lace makes a bigger statement in bridal couture, Jean Brueser, owner of Jean-Paul’s Creative Cakes, artfully incorporated the intricate, delicate, and oh-so-feminine embellishments to these inspired confections.