Meant to Be

Meant to Be | An army lieutenant from Burlington, Wisconsin, and a fashion designer from Hickory, North Carolina, host a modern fête amid centuries of history

Micah Warntjes & Kathryn Patton
June 7, 2014
Fenwick Hall Plantation

“Twenty-four hours after we met face-to-face, Micah asked me to be his girlfriend,” says Kathryn Warntjes. “I refused because I thought he was kidding.” She had a point. The two (she’s a clothing designer, and he’s in the Army) had found each other online only a month prior to that first rendezvous, merely texted and phoned in the interim, and had just embarked on weekend date to a West Point banquet. Still, when tbe cadet asked her again a few hours later, she said yes. “We instantly connected,” Kathryn says now, “and we knew it was something special.”

A year and a half later, Micah offered up a second proposal, this one with a ring. Soon after Kathryn accepted, the bride-to-be spotted an online wedding that she also fell hard for. “I knew whoever did it could give me exactly what I wanted,” she says of her Big Day dreams. As it turned out, the designer, Calder Clark, was related to a family friend and from there, the pieces fell into place. The couple opted for Charleston because it’s where Calder calls home and, they say, it’s loaded with drop-dead gorgeous locations.

While touring those venues, Calder drove them to Fenwick Hall, a private colonial-era plantation on John’s Island that hosts a handful of weddings a year. “I cried when I pictured myself in the formal garden saying ‘I do,’” remembers Kathryn. As for Micah, who majored in history, the 1730s property suited his tastes perfectly as well.

From there, Kathryn shared her self-admitted “lengthy” Pinterest board with Calder, who then tackled a host of logistics as the property necessitates open-air or tented celebrations. Calder dreamt up a party that included a four-sided bar and a miniature tent to house the cake, among other things, and orchestrated a real-time en plein air painter to set up in the sailcloth reception tent. Moving parts aside, the end result was an event so beautiful that even a lieutenant groom couldn’t hold back his emotions. Laughs his now-wife, “Although he won’t admit it, he definitely shed a few tears.”

Vendor List:

Baker: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal,

Bar Service & Caterer: Cru Catering,

Bridal Accessories: (hairpiece) Shut the Front Door,;  (earrings) Oscar De La Renta,; (veil) BHLDN,; (shoes) Alexander McQueen,

Bridal Gown: Designed by bride, constructed by Bernardo Aguayo

Bridesmaid Attire: (light grey dress): BCBG,; (olive dress) Rachel Pally,; (light pink dress) Dolce by Dolce Vita,; (pink dress) Theory,; (dark grey dress) Gabriella Rocha,; (black dress) Rebecca Taylor,

Ceremony & Reception Location: Fenwick Hall,

Florist: Blossoms Events,

Getaway Vehicle: Absolute Charleston,

Groomsmen Attire: M. Dumas & Sons,

Hair Stylist: Stuart Laurence Salon,

Lighting: Technical Event Company,

Linens: La Tavola,

Musicians: (ceremony) The Archer Music String Trio,; (reception) Satin Finish,

Photographer: Gayle Brooker Photography,

Rentals: Snyder Events,

Stationery: Cheree Berry Paper,

Wedding Design & Coordination: Calder Clark,