Insiders Only

Insiders Only | One of Charleston's top wedding designers weds downtown at The William Aiken House in a petite, posh affair with A-listers all around
Erica Cain & Charleston Missel
December 29, 2018 / William Aiken House
Although Erica Cain and the aptly named Charleston Missel both attended College of Charleston, it wasn’t until after graduation that the pair became a couple. “We both joined the same kickball team, and I made all the sweet treats after every game,” explains Erica. “He fell in love with my homemade desserts.” Three-and-a-half years later, Charleston was all set to ask for Erica’s hand in marriage when her role at Tara Guérard Soirée nearly thwarted his plans. “I was working a wedding and didn’t get home until midnight,” says Erica. “When I opened the door, there were thousands of candles (all about to burn out) and big red balloons, and Charleston pacing back and forth. He had been waiting all day.” On their own Big Day, an unseasonably warm December day, a guest list that read like a who’s who of local talent (trust us) descended on King Street’s William Aiken House for the festivities. “It was literally the best day ever,” says Erica.
Top Tips
• Save to splurge. Erica skipped wedding favors and splurged on a pale pink custom Kate McDonald gown instead.
• Pick a room, any room. “I did not have a Pinterest board,” says Erica. “I had one photo of a beautiful Charleston dining room [in mind]. All of my décor was inspired by that photo (lamps, pillows, fabrics, lounge and colors).”
• Play it practical. Erica carried hardy white lilacs instead of her beloved Lilies of the Valley, “[which] are so delicate and hard to get.”
• Embrace your signatures. Erica’s wild for cheetah prints, so it popped up on her invitations, bridesmaids’ PJs, and, in a blue-and-white hue to work with the décor, on reception pillows.
• Have fun. The Cain family Army Jeep (used for some 20 years by the crew and now operating as their beach shuttle on Sullivan’s Island, where the bride’s parents live) stood in as a getaway car and added levity to the formal affair.
Design: Tara Guérard Soirée,
Venue: William Aiken House, Patrick Properties Hospitality Group,
Images: Aaron & Jillian Photography,
Catering, bar service, sweets: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group,
Florals: On a Limb,
Rentals: Snyder Events (chairs, glassware, silverware, tables, tent),; Tara Guérard Soirée (décor, linens, lounge),
Music: Charleston Virtuosi (ceremony, cocktail hour),; The River Town Band (reception),
Paper goods: Lettered Olive (stationery, signage),; Paige Gemmel (artwork),
Lettering: Hatch Cove Designs,
Bride’s attire: Kate McDonald (custom gown),; Gianvito Rossi (shoes),; Cartier, Chanel (jewelry)
Bridesmaids’ attire: LulaKate (gowns),; Hart Hagerty (earrings),
Flower girl’s attire: Kate McDonald (custom dress),
Beauty: Patrick Navarro (hair),; Meg Workman (makeup),
Groom’s & groomsmen’s attire: Grady Ervin (tuxedos),; Gucci (shoes),; Tom Ford (bow ties),