Nicole Bellissimo & Charles Jayne
November 7, 2020 - Lowndes Grove
Professional equestrian show jumper Charles “Charlie” Jayne knows a little something about the perfect approach; he’s headed to the Tokyo Olympics this summer to compete. But even out of the saddle, he’s equally a showman.
Just take it from The New York Times, which wrote about his engagement to fellow show jumper Nicole Bellissimo as one the best proposals of 2018. Charlie had orchestrated a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for Nicole’s 25th birthday and popped the question during a dog sled tour amid sparkling snow and the Grand Tetons. “It was truly magical,” Nicole says. “It felt like we were in Narnia.”
After returning to their home base in Wellington, Florida, the couple kept the momentum going and secured Lowndes Grove in the Lowcountry without hesitation. They’d already had the “warm-up,” vacationing in the Holy City five times after their first respite in-between competition weeks. “Charleston has the most welcoming feel to it. We also joke we decided to get married there because it is ‘Charles-ton,’” quips Nicole.
As far as the actual wedding planning, Nicole leaned heavily toward rustic simplicity (perhaps bound to happen when your family owns renowned international equestrian centers in Florida and North Carolina) but tasked the team at Soirée with adding polish to her understated vision. Mood boards were emailed, yays and nays were made, and planner Tara Guérard and company created an event that embodied their signature flourish and maybe even a little more “oomph” than normal. “What I remember most about this couple, and I’ve been doing this for over 25 years, is how much the groom loved and adored his bride,” says Tara.
The fated Saturday rolled around and everywhere guests wandered, intentional design was felt. A woven raffia ceremony runner divided the rows, custom pillows painted a watercolor design were spaced accordingly on benches at the head table, and a herringbone backdrop framed the band in the best way possible. As for the bride’s favorite moment of the day? “To our surprise, the band came in at the end of the dinner playing trumpets, and escorted us and guests from dinner to dancing. It was a moment and night we will never ever forget.”
Wedding design, florals, linens: Tara Guérard Soirée
Photography: Aaron & Jillian Photography
Venue, catering, wine, bar service: Lowndes
Grove, Patrick Properties Hospitality Group
Rentals: Snyder Events
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal
Stationery, calligraphy, favors: Lettered Olive
Custom watercolor: Hatch Cove Designs
Music: Charleston Virtuosi (ceremony, cocktail hour);
EastCoast Entertainment (reception)
Bridal gown: Tony Ward
Bridesmaids’ gowns: Jenny Yoo (available through
Beauty: Madison LeCroy
Day-of dressing: Cacky’s Bride + Aid
Groom’s attire: Joseph Abboud
Transportation: Lowcountry Valet