Caroline Messier & Justin Rayman
April 22, 2017 • Lowndes Grove Plantation
Leave it to a mother of the bride to be extra-enthusiastic. Case in point: When Justin Rayman joined his then-girlfriend Caroline Messier and her family for their annual New Year’s Eve trip in the Florida Keys, he was all ready to propose at sunset, and with Mrs. Messier on board as the secret photographer. “My mom interrupted multiple times,” says Caroline, of the wayward shutterbug who couldn’t find her camera and kept running up and down the stairs looking for it. “She was not sneaky whatsoever,” Caroline says, joking that Justin has residual anxiety over the whole thing. Still, the momentous moment (or moments?) was a joyous one and all that MOB excitement worked in their favor, more than once, in fact.
You see, with Charleston’s most popular venues booked in many cases for years in advance, Caroline—who was set on a wedding soonish and here in her hometown—was in a pickle. That is, until her mother confessed she had already put a hold on a few venues “well before the proposal ever happened,” says Caroline. Luckily (thanks to Mom) Lowndes Grove Plantation
was an option and they moved forward with their Big Day planning.
But Caroline ran into another snag. As part of The Social Spool, a Lowcountry wedding décor company—she suffered from inspiration overload. “It was nearly impossible for me to nail down one idea,” says Caroline. So she turned to her former boss, Melissa Williams of A Charleston Bride
, to take over the planning. “Caroline’s not afraid to mix patterns and textures, so the overall event design was very colorful,” says Melissa.
And there were personal touches galore. From the couple exchanging their late grandparents’ bands to everyone snapping selfies with a cardboard cutout of the bride’s brother (who was deployed in Afghanistan at the time), it was a family affair. There was even a cameo appearance of the gown Caroline’s grandmother and mother had worn at their own weddings. Made of the parachute which saved Caroline’s grandfather’s life during WWII, it was displayed at the reception alongside the ripcord and his wartime love notes home.
Still, the pair, who clearly are at the center of a lively, loving set of families, made time for themselves. After the ceremony, they sneaked out of the cocktail hour to enjoy dinner à deux. “We wanted a moment to reflect on the vows we just took—and a chance to eat,” says Caroline. Clever moves, all around.
Planner: A Charleston Bride, www.ACharlestonBride.com
Photographer: Tim Will Photography, www.timwill.com
Venue, catering, bar service: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group, www.pphgcharleston.com
Cake: Jessica Grossman for Patrick Properties Hospitality Group,: www.pphgcharleston.com
Florist: Palmetto Bloom, www.palmettobloom.com
Linens: Snyder Events, www.snyderevents.com; The Social Spool (cake table linen), www.thesocialspool.com
Music: Bob Williams Duo (ceremony) www.charlestonduo.com; Charleston Groove Factory (reception), www.charlestongroovefactory.com
Rentals: Ooh! Events (chandeliers, gold coffee tables, lounge chairs, scalloped tent, diamondback reception chairs, lanterns), www.oohevents.com; Snyder Events (ceremony chairs, china, flatware, glassware, linens, herringbone tables, curved bar), www.snyderevents.com; Old South Vintage Rentals (arbor, seagrass runners, lounge sofas), www.oldsouthvintagerentals.com
Stationery, signage: Studio R Designs, www.studio-r-design.com
Calligrapher: J.Lily Designs, www.jlilydesign.com
Bride's attire: Liancarlo (gown), available in Charleston through Betty Bridal Atelier, www.BettyBridal.com; Jimmy Choo (heels), available in Charleston through Gwynn's of Mount Pleasant, www.Gwynns.com; Marlena Dupelle (accessories)
Bridesmaid attire: Amsale (gowns), available in Charleston through Bella Bridesmaids, www.BellaBridesmaids.com; Bourbon + Boweties (jewelry), www.bourbonandboweties.com
Groom's attire: Michael Kors (suit); Charleston Tuxedo (shoes, socks); Me and Matilda (tie)
Beauty: Paperdolls, www.mycharlestonweddinghair.com
Sea ray cuff links: Skelton Treasures (Etsy), www.skeltonstreasures.com
Ring bearer trucks: By The Seashore Décor (Etsy), www.etsy.com/shop/ByTheSeashoreDecor
Favors: Charleston Palmetto Roses, www.palmettorose.com