Life of the Party

Life of the Party | He came back from a debilitating coma to walk the aisle. She was right by his side every step
Kaitlin Fitzgerald & Allan DaPore
April 21, 2018 • The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island
Before they got engaged, Kaitlin Fitzgerald dubbed her now-husband “Super Allan” with good reason. Reason one: When the Charleston native miraculously stirred from a month-long coma after a traumatic brain injury, he gave everyone a thumbs-up from his hospital bed at the Medical University of South Carolina. Reason two: When he transferred to a rehabilitation center in Atlanta, he learned to breathe, eat, talk, and walk all over again. Kaitlin stuck with her hero, who she met at the College of Charleston and had dated for six years before his accident, for every milestone, even moving to the ATL to be by his side. “Freckles” is what he calls her.
When Allan’s vitality slowly but surely returned, he graduated from rehab and the pair had an epic homecoming to the Holy City. Shortly thereafter, he invited Kaitlin to a third-story balcony of a house overlooking the Folly Beach shore, where they had met as freshmen. Hundreds of candles warmed up the February night and Kaitlin says she answered the easiest question of her life. “Having gone through so much together,” she says, “we felt like we were already living our vows.”
Another breeze? Selecting their venue, Kiawah Island. After a family vacation there, Kaitlin chose CofC, which eventually put her in Allan’s path. Continuing in that “natural fit” vein, she enlisted two pals she had met volunteering through the Green Heart Project—Margaret Roberts of WED, along with Sara York Grimshaw of SYG Designs. (For the curious, Green Heart uses vegetable gardening to teach city students about science, math, and character.) The vendor-friends took the bride’s “Anthropologie meets Boho meets California” vibe and transformed the conservative, preppy venue into just that, resulting in a magical island oasis. Blues, greens, and corals paired with tropical elements like rattan, sweet grass, and bamboo and made for a seaside setting as abundant in color and texture as it was in pure joy.
“We were just so grateful to experience the day in good health with all the love and support surrounding us,” says Kaitlin, admitting that next to those gifts, “the little details were just joyful noise.”
Wedding design: WED

Photography: Caroline Ro

Venue, catering: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

Florals: SYG Designs

Rentals: Snyder Events (farm tables, plates, gold flatware, glassware, tent, solid

linens, dance floor); OOH Events (chairs)

Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal

Stationery, calligraphyCitrus Press Co (invitations); Dear Jane Designs

Linens: Nüage Designs (shabori linens)

Lighting: Technical Event Company

Music: Ashley Hunter Music (ceremony); Mr. Potato Head (reception)

Bride’s gown: Hayley Paige from White on Daniel Island

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Show Me Your Mumu

Beauty: Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Makeup

Groom’s attire: The Trunk Club (suit); Brackish Bow Ties (bow tie)

Groomsmen’s attire: Generation Tux

Transportation: Lowcountry Valet

VideographyThomas Brothers Productions

Photo Booth: Little White Box