Jersey Belle

Jersey Belle | Northern transplants delight with their version of a grand Southern wedding

Amanda Dunne-Porter & Matt Romagnoli
April 25, 2014
Legare Waring House


Ask Amanda Romagnoli to describe her wedding in pop culture terms, and she calls it a mash-up of Jersey Shore and Southern Charm, “but with a little less Snooki and a lot more Cameran.” Now that’s a party we’d like to see! How did such an unlikely combo come to be? For New Jersey expats Amanda and Matt, it started when the two transferred separately but simultaneously to the College of Charleston. After meeting a few weeks in, they fast became partners-in-crime, and for years, Matt was Amanda’s chief confidante. “He was the one I went to when a friend or boyfriend made me upset,” she says. “Moving to Charleston, I hoped to meet a Southern gentleman, but I just kept meeting ‘frogs.’”

In 2007, the pair switched gears to coupledom, and by 2012, they were walking their dog at The Washout on Folly Beach when Matt told Amanda that he had known she was “the one” since they were introduced. With his maternal grandmother’s ring (given as soon as Nana heard Matt was going to propose), he asked for her hand, and the two commenced to plan a party down South for the ages.

“We fell in love in Charleston, and we fell in love with Charleston,” says Amanda, “so we wanted to share our love for each other and this city with our Northeastern family and friends.”
Initially Amanda thought herself a rustic-style bride (“simple lace sheath gown, cotton boll arrangements, farm tables, and a palette of ivory and nudes,” she outlines). But then she found the dress. Its Swarovski crystals, floral appliqués, and feathered organza ball gown skirt had event designer Jacqueline Volz of Sweetgrass Social Event + Design doing an about-face to combine the initial backyard wedding plan with Amanda’s newly awakened love for glitz and glam.

The merge first meant the Legare Waring House’s oak allée hosted a ceremony with crystal chandeliers floating high above. Next, a gospel choir led partygoers to a gilded cocktail hour by the lagoon. Then, guests returned to the oaks and pulled X-back chairs up to long alfresco tables that sat 75 guests each. Last, all retired to a tented dance hall with Louis loveseat lounges. The entire night, says Amanda, was made up of “pinch me” moments.

“And that’s our story,” says Amanda. “With me in search of a charming Charleston gentleman (and Matt in search of a Southern belle), we found each other.” No matter the zip codes, clearly these two were a meant-to-be happily ever after.

Vendor List:

Wedding design: Sweetgrass Social Event + Design,

Location: Legare Waring House,

Florals: Branch Design Studio,

Photography, cinematography: Timwill Photography,

Tent, tables, chairs, flatware, glassware, linens: EventWorks,

Specialty linens: La Tavola,

Specialty lounge décor: Snyder Events,

China: Heirloom Vintage China Hire,

Draping: Pure Luxe Bride,

Lighting: Technical Event Company,

Catering: Bricklane Catering,

Desserts: WildFlour Pastry,

Bar service: MIX,

Stationery, signage: Blue Glass Design,

Bride’s gown: Allure Couture from White on Daniel Island,

Hair, makeup: Paper Dolls,

Bridesmaid attire: (dresses) Amsale (available locally through Bella Bridesmaids),; (jewelry) Kate Spade,

Menswear: (tuxedos) Stephen Geoffrey from M. Dumas & Sons,; (pocket square) J.Crew,

Music: (ceremony) College of Charleston Gospel Choir, & DJ Maxwell,; (reception) The Charleston Wedding Band,

Getaway vehicle: Fingersnappin’ Entertainment,

Dog nanny: Dog Tired,