Style & Substance

Style & Substance | After being set up by their vet, this couple embarked on a love story that led to one especially gorgeous and heartfelt day

Meredith Davis & Tate Hansom
April 10, 2015
William Aiken House


Sometimes puppy love leads to the real deal. So it went for Meredith Davis and Tate Hansom, who brought their beloved pups to the same Huntsville, Alabama, veterinarian, wound up on a blind date arranged by the doc, and wed at the William Aiken House three years later. They clicked, Meredith explains, because she, a hands-on owner of barre studios in four cities, found her can’t-sit-still match in homebuilder Tate. “He is such a hard worker,”  she says, “which was always non-negotiable for me.”

Those same “gitterdone” standards applied to Meredith’s criteria for a wedding planner, especially since neither she nor Tate had ever stepped foot in Charleston. But when the bride stumbled across Tara Guérard’s site, another search was over. “She even leaves the mother of the bride stress-free, her site said, and that sold me,”  Meredith says. Indeed, the bride reports, the process was a snap, from the choice of venue—Meredith fell for the downtown mansion’s breezy porches and picturesque grounds—to the flawless classic white and gold palette. As for the décor details, think massive wreaths of hydrangeas, ranunculus, roses, sweet peas, and painted gold leaves; white lounge furniture with gilded, footed side tables; and even a bridal bouquet wrapped in vintage French ribbon with metallic threading.

Best of all, though, says Meredith, Tara handled unexpected twists with ease, like when the initial guest count of 150 nearly doubled in size and indoor plans turned into al fresco ones. “We had to create the same glamorous feel of the house inside a tent,” Tara says. No sweat apparently, if you add voluminous draping, crystal chandeliers dressed in gold-painted greens, and gold chiavari chairs swagged in sheer white linens.

Sooner than they could have imagined, the couple was hosting an event that was as solidly rooted in their common values—faith, family, and their dogs—as it was stunning. From the couple choosing Meredith’s parents’ anniversary for their wedding date to having babysitters and a kids’ buffet in the carriage house, close friends singing and playing piano backed by Charleston Virtuosi and Voices of Deliverance, and a groom’s cake topped with replicas of the couple’s three dogs,  sweet details abounded.

“I tried to step away from each moment to really remember it,” Meredith says. Judging by these images, we think it’s a day she won’t soon forget.

Vendor List:

Wedding design, florals, linens: Tara Guérard Soirée,

Photography: Corbin Gurkin,

Reception venue, catering, bar and wine service: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group,

Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal,

Ceremony venue: First Baptist Church,

Tents, tabletop, furniture: Snyder Event Rentals,

Lighting, sound: Production Design Associates,

Stationery, signage: Lettered Olive,

Calligraphers: Claudia Engle Lettering & Design,; Elizabeth Porcher Jones,

Bride’s attire: Vera Wang, (gown); Cacky’s Bride + Aid, (day-of dresser)

Bridesmaids’ attire: Kate McDonald (available in Charleston through Kate McDonald Bridal), 

Beauty: Kristy Cuthbert, (hair); Diedre Outlaw,!diedre/cwtf (makeup); East Bay Nails, (843) 724-0856 (manicures, pedicures);  Lowcountry Bronze,

Groom and groomsmen's attire: Vera Wang (available at Men’s Wearhouse),

Music: Charleston Virtuosi,; Voices of Deliverance, (ceremony); Simply Irresistible, (reception)

Transportation: Absolutely Charleston,; Marquee Limo,; Palmetto Carriage,

Getaway vehicle: ACW Limo,

Videographer: Pen Weddings,

Babysitting service: Simply Southern Sitters,