Before Anna, a speech pathologist, had eyes for Jeffrey (Jeff)—an attorney at the firm where she was working as a paralegal—she crushed hard on Hazel, his Labradoodle puppy. A year into their relationship, Anna’s mom asked if her daughter was in love with the boy or the puppy, and she answered “both!” Three years later, Jeff proposed in the courtyard of the pair’s South of Broad townhouse. Sharing a connection to the sea—she grew up in Mount Pleasant, he in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey—they wanted a waterfront ceremony. When the two spotted a wedding at the Regatta Inn on the Folly River, Anna says they couldn’t imagine their own celebration anywhere else. On the big day, which included eats from Lewis Barbecue, Jeff’s father gave a toast focusing on the word “hallelujah” at the same moment a boat sailed by playing Leonard Cohen’s song of the same name. After the reception, the newlyweds rode a decked out golf cart to Folly Beach’s Irish pub, St. James Gate, for an after-party.
TIPS FOR A MARSH WEDDING
Make a marsh your magic spot
You’ll get the same stunning views as you would on a beach, but a marsh will offer a buffer from wind and an extra element of privacy. Anna and Jeff also liked that having grass—instead of sand or dirt—made it easier for guests to choose their attire and shoes. “We didn’t have to consider wearing flip-flops or going barefoot,” she says.
Create a rainy day plan
Anna’s advice: “Hope for warm, prepare for cool!” For peace of mind, the couple leaned on their planners—familiar with the vagaries of Lowcountry weather—to envision a way to rearrange the ceremony and reception without losing the look and feel of the day. They rented a back-up tent (clear, to preserve the view) and heaters in case it was cold. Rachel also helped advise the couple on what linens would do better in the wind.
Carve out a little couple’s time
While Anna was initially loath to leave her guests right after the ceremony, Jeff convinced her to take a golf cart to the beach with their photographer for some just-married portraits. “It was awesome to have that little bit of time to spent together before going back to the reception,” says Anna. “It was ironic that we were in the most public place we could be, but it felt like our own private respite from the rest of the day.”
Trust your professionals
“My sister, who is a remarkably creative person, gave me some of the best advice I got,” says Anna.“ She said to give creative people space and let them do what they do best. I tried to do that and I could not be happier with how well it worked!”