Pretty Preppy

Pretty Preppy | Michelle Christian & Edward Eakin; September 13, 2008, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church & The William Aiken House

In 2003, Hurricane Isabel shut down University of Richmond’s law school for an entire week, and fellow students Michelle Christian and Edward “Jeb” Eakin used the impromptu hiatus to road trip south. They ended up in Charleston and “had a wonderful time,” Michelle says. “It became the city we associate with falling in love. Five years later, it was the perfect spot for our wedding.” So just what kind of fête does one get when a globe-trotting Bostonian like Michelle weds a Virginia country boy like Jeb? In the case of these two, the answer was a day packed with gloriously funky features. “I didn't really have a vision for our wedding,” Michelle says. “I just wanted to have a relaxed, fun atmosphere with sophisticated and thoughtful details. And I wanted to make it ‘ours’—not a carbon copy of every one we’d been to before.” Thanks to an atypical color scheme of green, orange, and purple; a menu that included clam-chowder shots; a wedding party with not one, but three best men (one for the groom, two for the bride); and a fleet of servers in Boston Red Sox caps, the couple, who worked with Soirée by Tara Guérard, hit Michelle’s mark and then some. The food, Michelle says, took the most deliberation. “The main issue was reconciling my family’s Northern tradition of hosting a sit-down dinner with the more Southern tradition of serving cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres,” Michelle recalls. In the end, they settled for the best of both worlds. After cocktails in the garden of the William Aiken House, 145 guests enjoyed a seated dinner in the home’s ballroom and on its veranda, followed by plenty of dancing and lounging. Sounds like what started with a storm ended with a silver lining.

Location: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church & The William Aiken House; Planner & florals: Soirée by Tara Guérard; Photographer: Squire Fox; Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal; Macaroons: A Matter of Taste; Catering: Fish Restaurant; Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals; Music: Joe Clarke’s Big Band