Nature’s Bounty

Nature’s Bounty | Outdoorsy does it for this Lowcountry pair who celebrated at home, family-style  

Hollis Johnston & John Lumpkin
October 11, 2014
Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church & Private Georgetown Residence

John Lumpkin and Hollis Johnston drove away from their reception last October with green garlands, deer antlers, and vintage duck decoys in tow, but the unconventional adornments raised nary an eyebrow among the 375 friends and family members who bid the couple farewell. After all, the bride, a Columbia, South Carolina, native, pens “The Bright Side of the Road,” a blog that she calls “a girl’s guide to hunting, fishing, and a love of the outdoors,” and the Georgetown, South Carolina, groom was raised as an outdoor-lover and fishing enthusiast. And if it weren’t for those shared passions, who knows if the two would have ever clicked?

It unfolded like this: in 2010, the Charleston residents ran into each other on Folly Beach two years after first meeting on a group deep-sea fishing trip off Pawley’s Island. Weeks later they headed to John’s parent’s home (known as Estherville) in Georgetown for skeet shooting and that was simply that. “Once we started dating all of our friends said, ‘Oh, obviously—how did we not see it before?!’” says Hollis. Three years later, the couple returned to Lumpkin family turf where, during an ATV ride across the property, John pulled up to “The Granddaddy” (an ancient oak), dropped to one knee, and proposed. “I immediately said ‘Yes’ and went for a hug, but my excitement made it more of a tackle!” Hollis laughs. “The rest was a blur.”

Thanks to some pre-proposal scheming on John’s part, the couple had a wedding planner (Calder Clark—Hollis had long been a fan) and a Big Day date locked down from the get-go. As for wedding venues, they simply looked homeward. “We always knew that Estherville would be the location of our reception,” says Hollis. Nearby Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church—where John’s parents and grandparents had married, as well—also called out as both a sentimental and practical ceremony site.  

When it came time for Hollis to join John at the church’s altar, bagpipes bellowed “Highland Cathedral” (a nod to the bride’s Scottish heritage) as she made her way down the aisle. After vows were exchanged, the couple and guests headed to the family home and celebrated with Southern fare and dueling Scotch bars beneath a sailcloth tent dressed in native greens and white blooms. “We wanted people to feel like they had walked into a homey, welcoming piece of who we are,” says Hollis.

As night fell and the dance floor filled, camouflage-hat favors were doled out and the moon—which, thanks to a rare lunar eclipse, was a stunning reddish-orange hue—cast a soft glow over the tent. As it rose, guests started to walk outside and watch, recalls Hollis, adding thoughtfully, “John’s father gave us a book for our wedding called Life’s Extras by Archibald Rutledge. And there, at our wedding reception, we had one of life’s extras that everyone was able to enjoy with us.


Vendor List:

Wedding design, lounge rentals, bar stools, and lamps: Calder Clark,

Venues: (ceremony) Prince George Winyah Episcopal Church,; (reception) private Georgetown residence

Florals, flower vessels, custom bar: Blossoms Events,

Photography: Tec Petaja,

Bar, wine service, catering: Cru Catering,

Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal,

Tables and chairs: Snyder Events,

Linens: La Tavola,; (napkins) bride’s family

Tent: Sperry Tents Southeast,

Stationery: Cheree Berry Paper,

Bride’s gown: Monique Lhuillier from Maddison Row,

Beauty: (hair) Stuart Lawrence Salon,; (makeup)

Kelly Martuscello

Bridesmaid’s dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids,

Menswear: Groom’s and groomsmen’s own tuxedos

Music: Palmetto Pipes and Drums,