Emily Mungo & Travis Frank
February 22, 2020 - Grace Church Cathedral & The Gaillard Center
Through a stunning entryway swathed in generous curtains of sheer white, the couple emerged into the dazzling cocktail lounge. Velvet sofas, rattan seating, and smooth jazz hinted at a mid-century mindset, a vibe underscored by his merlot velvet dinner jacket and her chic-classic off-shoulder gown. Stepping into the wholly transformed Gaillard Center ballroom as the band introduced “Mr. and Mrs. Travis Frank” for the first time, “I was completely taken aback,” remembers the bride. “The space fit our style to a tee.”
While many Big Day planners create Pinterest boards filled with photographs of dream dresses, aisle styles, and real-life event examples, interior designer Emily Mungo’s winter wedding vision wasn’t so black-and-white (though her palette would be). “My favorite aesthetic is one of cool graphics paired with greenery,” explains this modern missus.
The distinctive ideas that Emily presented to prolific event designer Tara Guérard seemed more a fine-tuned collection of patterns, from interesting foliage to unexpected fabrics. “As a commercial designer, I know how to seek out these details,” says Emily, an Art Institute of Charleston graduate. During the year and a half they were engaged, Emily and Travis literally looked high and low for inspiration, taking cues from terrazzo flooring for their mosaic cake, a polished tile medallion at Hotel Bennett (where the bridal luncheon took place) and cherry-paneled walls at The Dewberry (the rehearsal dinner venue) for their various paper goods, and the starry sky under which they’d met three years before for their chandelier lighting. Guérard also gathered the bride’s favorite greenery into a stunning pressed-leaf invitation studded with gold pins, while the couple’s two Corgis, Walter and Queenie, debuted on a hand-illustrated crest with additional cameos in a whimsical pooch motif. Even the wedding date—02/22/20—fit the pattern play.
The ceremony maintained a traditional feel, with Travis sporting a trim tuxedo and Emily radiant in a Modern Trousseau gown and lace-edged chapel veil. “I always envisioned walking down the aisle at a beautiful Episcopal church,” she says. After the pair exchanged vows in the soaring sanctuary at Grace Church Cathedral, the party moved a few blocks to the Gaillard Center, where Guérard’s talented team transformed ballrooms into a glamorous banquet room and lamplit lounge.
“The Gaillard has a gorgeous backdrop, but we could still create our own atmosphere with a modern flair,” says Emily. In the dining room, deep green fabrics, dramatic foliage, and white blooms underscored more eye-catching black-and-white designs to achieve a moody, monochromatic look. “I had this idea to mingle our initials in a stylish font along the border of the chevron-patterned dance floor.” Beneath a ceiling of inverted white tulips, the chic party space achieved the “wow factor” they desired.
Design, coordination: Tara Guérard Soirée
Photography: Liz Banfield
Florals: Tara Guérard Soirée
Venue: Gaillard Center
Catering: Cru Catering
Bar service: Spike Bar
Cake: Jim Smeal
Rentals: Snyder Events
Décor, custom linens, draping: Tara Guérard Soirée
Lighting: Tara Guérard Soirée; PDA
Dance floor: Tara Guérard Soirée; Lettered Olive
Invitations: Lettered Olive
Bride’s attire: Modern Trousseau (gown),
Christian Louboutin (shoes)
Beauty: Meg Workman
Groom’s attire: Knot Standard