October 14, 2017 • Second Presbyterian Church & Lowndes Grove Plantation
When Kristian Perks was in the hospital recuperating from shoulder surgery and hopped up on meds, he finally found the nerve to text his one-time high school crush, Mallory Severs. It was a rather peculiar message: a selfie from his gurney accompanied by absolutely no explanation. “I think the medication finally gave him the courage to make a move,” says Mallory. Kristian’s special brand of boldness was just what the doctor ordered, though, and it led to a six-year long courtship for the two who met growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Most of their six years of dating were spent as road warriors, alternating weekends between Auburn, Alabama (where she was in school), and Chapel Hill, North Carolina (where he was in school), then back and forth from Charleston to Charlotte after they’d graduated. Holidays were spent traipsing through the Caribbean, visiting Kristian’s family throughout Europe, and relaxing at Mallory’s family’s Isle of Palms vacation home.
Then one day in 2016, Mallory found herself posing at Lowndes Grove Plantation for a work head shot. (At the time she was a planner at Charleston’s Sweetgrass Social Event & Design where her sister, Meredith Severs Tanton, is lead coordinator.) Aaron Osteen of Aaron & Jillian Photography suggested Mallory spin around to get the hair out of her face. “I thought it was odd,” she tells us, “but as soon as I spun around, there was Kristian on one knee. He scared me to the point I screamed! I had no idea he was in Charleston and definitely didn’t expect him to be on one knee behind me during a photo shoot.”
Once she recovered, the coordinating commenced. Since Mallory had always wanted to wed at Lowndes Grove, she followed Kristian’s proposal there with a wedding on-site. The bride-to-be of course teamed with Meredith, a wise move, considering her big sister had reserved the venue a year and a half prior to the Big Ask (she had a hunch). From there, Mallory’s dream of bringing West Coast flair to the East Coast via a vineyard-inspired celebration came together flawlessly. Proving that two heads are better than one (“Kristian gave his opinion but was a bit outnumbered,” Mallory says), the siblings focused on the spacious main lawn. There, they erected wooden arbors and decked them with cascading greenery and floral clusters to mimic a California winery. With lavishly set tables beneath and ritzy chandeliers hung from above, a magical al fresco reception was spirited into reality.
“Sitting underneath that great structure right as the sun was setting … I was in awe,” says Mallory. “Other than the ceremony, that was the most memorable moment.”