Surprise Twist

Surprise Twist | After nearly a decade together, a pair of Charleston lawyers invite 14 family members to the chicest of small weddings—and share one big announcement
Brooke Hurt & Graham Maiden
June 11, 2017 • Cassique at Kiawah Island Club
Brooke Hurt says she and Graham Maiden knew they were meant-to-be early on. “But we wanted to focus on school and our careers,” she says. So focus they did. Over nine years, the pair (who met the summer after she graduated from College of Charleston) sailed through their studies together at Charleston School of Law, locked down jobs at two different prestigious Lowcountry firms, went halfsies on a Sullivan’s Island home, and adopted their English Bulldog, Bambino. They’d been renovating their house for nearly two years when Brooke’s sister, Annie, flew down to see their progress. On her final night, Annie offered to take a photo of the couple under the beautiful oak in their backyard. “I was smiling for the camera when I heard Graham giggling,” Brooke says. “I looked over, and there he was, down on one knee.”
Truth be told, Brooke’s “Yes!” soon gave way to stress because the bride-to-be was five months pregnant and the wedding had to be sooner rather than later. “Even though we wanted a small wedding, I was still overwhelmed,” she explains of planning the festivities in less than a month. Luckily, she found a Sunday opening at her dream location—Cassique at Kiawah Island Club. The good fortune continued, as several of her hoped for vendors were booked solid that Saturday but were happily free on Brooke’s date.
Next, she asked longtime friend Mary Ruth Tribble Miller of Gathering Events to help her pull together the details. The big spin? An idea from the groom, no less: Reveal whether the baby was to be a boy or girl at the reception. Brooke and Mary Ruth embraced the twist and ran with it. The trickiest part wasn’t keeping the secret till then (even the bride and groom were in the dark); stripping down the guest list actually proved tougher. “I have twenty-three first cousins,” Brooke laughs. “If we didn’t set limits, it was going to get pretty big pretty quickly.” To compromise, 14 immediate family were invited to the ceremony, while the day before, other loved ones fêted the happy couple over a round of golf followed by cocktails (and mocktails) at a Kiawah cottage.
On the morning of their Big Day, the couple, their parents and siblings, and Graham’s grandmother gathered for a sweet ceremony at the Rose Garden outside the Cassique clubhouse. After the vows came champagne, which guests garnished with a blueberry or a raspberry to indicate their guess as to the baby’s gender. (Spoiler alert: It’s a boy!) As for their unconventional road to marriage, the couple wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s so easy to get caught up and forget the meaning of the day,” says Brooke. “But our wedding was about us, our love for each other, and our expanding family.”
Wedding design, florals: Gathering Events
Venue, catering, bar service: Cassique at Kiawah Island Club
Rentals: Snyder Events
Paper goods: Annie Hurt (design); Sas-E-Ink (printing)
Gummy bear favors: Sugarfina
Bride’s attire: Thurley Design (dress); Badgley Mischka (shoes)
Groom’s attire: Berlin’s for Men
Music: Charleston Virtuosi Trio
Getaway car: Bride’s father’s 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible
Officiant: Kasey King