Red, White, & True Blue

Red, White, & True Blue | Lauren Chobanian & Michael Madigan; May 26, 2007, St. Mary of the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church & Middleton Place

When Tennesseans Lauren Chobanian and Michael “Mikey” Madigan visited their former high school, Mikey proposed to his sweetheart on their favorite lunchtime bench. She happily accepted, and the nostalgic couple decided they wanted a wedding loaded with Southern charm. Because the pair now live in Boston, a destination wedding back in the South was in order. And having vacationed in Charleston—and having “loved everything!” about it, says Lauren—there was no question where the festivities would take place. “We first considered a beach wedding,” says Lauren, “but it just didn’t work out as a location.” So instead, event designer Kristin Newman brought beachy aqua to their inland affair and married it to a vivid red—the latter inspired by the red M&Ms Mikey used to leave for Lauren in her school locker. The colors first showed up in the invitations and then in the bedecked welcome baskets for guests, which contained local classics such as benne wafers and a keepsake watercolor book about Charleston. On the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, wreaths of red roses tied with aqua ribbons hung on the gates of St. Mary of the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church, announcing the ceremony. There, in the oldest Catholic church in the Carolinas, the service played out, with a full mass, the veneration of Mary, and a serenaded rendition of an Irish blessing. After the ceremony, the wedding party boarded a trolley stocked with champagne for the ride to the reception at Middleton Place. As the breeze rolled in off the Ashley River, the newlyweds and their guests commemorated the new union with cocktails, dinner, and dancing in a grove of the plantation’s majestic live oaks.

Location: St. Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church & Middleton Place; Planner: Kristin Newman Designs; Photographer: Banner Photography; Florals: gathering: event + design; Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal; Catering: Duvall Catering & Event Design; Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals; Calligraphy: Elizabeth Porcher Jones