School Crush

School Crush | Teenage sweethearts seal the deal with a church wedding in downtown Charleston and a plantation-set reception by the water
Emily Clark & Todd Jordan
May 20, 2017 • French Huguenot Church & Runnymede Plantation
You have to admire a young woman who truly knows her heart—in high school, no less. So it went with Emily Clark, who met Todd Jordan at a football game in their hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, when she was in the eighth grade and he was in the ninth. A year later, she found herself on her first day in Spanish class, a freshman looking about and not recognizing a soul, when in walks Todd, a familiar face. “I remember feeling so relieved,” says Emily.
Over the next 10 months, Emily says, they fostered a friendship like none other she’d known. “There was something so different about him that still is pure joy to be around,” she says. “He made me laugh harder than anyone and made me smile until my cheeks hurt.” By the year’s end, they were bonafide high school sweethearts. Flash forward to 2016 and Todd and Emily were staying at her parents’ beach house in North Carolina. Six years to the day he had asked her to go steady, he took her out for a surprise boat ride and, as the sun set, popped the question. The elated couple cruised back to shore (she said “Yes,” in case there was any doubt), and they were greeted at the pier by both their families, another surprise Todd had orchestrated.
The two, who had visited Charleston many times over during their courtship, picked the Holy City for their wedding so it would be an extra-special event for everyone. As their faith is foremost for them, they wanted a church wedding, and settled on the quaint French Huguenot Church. “Almost every one of our guests were from out of town,” says Emily, “so we loved that the church would be walkable for those staying downtown.” Next, they brought in Kristin Newman Designs (the same group who had organized Emily’s sister’s wedding), and on a site visit to Runnymede Plantation, a sprawling property just off the peninsula, Emily fell in love—again. “I stood under one of the huge mossy oak trees right by the water and tears filled my eyes,” says Emily. “I could just envision having all of our family and friends there to celebrate with us, experiencing this stunning place, sharing a delicious meal together, and dancing the night away.”
And so it came to be. Gathering Events adorned the picturesque church in wedding-white florals, while a series of sailcloth tents were erected at Runnymede and dressed with an elegant coastal aesthetic. While all was as pretty as could be imagined, Emily says what she’ll always remember is one particular, peaceful moment.“Todd and I walked out of the tent, just the two of us, and stood along the edge of the riverbank,” she says. “We looked over to see our family and friends—the people who have had such a major impact in our lives—all in one place and our hearts overflowed with so much joy.” 
Wedding planning: Kristin Newman Designs,
Florals, design: Gathering Floral + Event Design,
Photography: Nancy Ray Photography,
Church: French Huguenot Church,
Reception venue: Runnymede Plantation,
Stage backdrop: Blossoms Events,
Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals (tent),; Ooh! Events,
Lighting: Technical Event Company,
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen,
Catering: Cru Catering,
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal,
Music: Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters,
Invitation: Megan Bradley Design
Transportation: Charleston Style Limo,
Bride’s attire: Modern Trousseau, (gown); Stuart Weitzman (shoes), available in Charleston through; borrowed (veil)
Bride's dresser: Cacky’s Bride Aid,
Bridemaids’ dresses: Kate McDonald,
Mother of the bride dress: Kate McDonald,
Groom’s attire: JOs. A. Bank, (suit); David Donahue,; R. Hanauer (bow tie),
Videography: Hart to Heart Media,