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Welcome Home | A couple proves a backyard reception South of Broad (for nearly 400!) can be as gracious as it is blockbuster

Katie Morgan & Wes Lyon
June 13, 2015
First (Scots) Presbyterian Church & Private Charleston Residence


Talk about a meet cute: when Katie Morgan got separated from her friends (and found herself in a dead cell zone) after a University of South Carolina football game, she plopped down on a golf cart to wait it out. Then-stranger Wes Lyon struck up a conversation, and the two ended up chatting for hours until going their separate ways ... or so they thought. Later that night they ran into each other again at a party. “What are you doing here?” asked Katie. “This is my house!” answered Wes.

Four years and eight months after their “love at first golf cart ride,” as Katie calls it, Wes let their pup Oliver escape her family’s Rockville house. She chased outside after him and saw that his collar read “K8, will you marry me?” Moments later, Wes, his fiancé, and his accomplice retreated inside to another surprise: an entourage of congratulatory family and friends.

After that, the groundwork for their Big Day was easy—First (Scots) Presbyterian Church is the bride’s family’s home church and since Katie’s parents’ downtown house is just a few streets away on Murray Boulevard, it seemed like a natural choice for the reception. But a nearly 400-strong guest list was at odds with the couple’s wish: a celebration with an intimate feel. Enter Tara Guérard Soirée. While Tara and team dressed the church simply in ‘Million Star’ baby’s breath, they did an all-out transformation at the Morgan home—even covering the pool with a black-and-white dance floor with the help of scuba gear-clad staff from Snyder Events.

(If, at this point, you’re thinking an open-air party of such proportions might not sit well in the tony South of Broad area, rest easy. Neighbors were gracious, especially after each received party packages with earplugs, chamomile tea, and a personal note from the hosts.)

After an evening of drinks, dining, and loads of dancing, the open-air reception ended with the traditional departure—the couple hopping into a getaway vehicle. But this was not just any set of wheels: a few months before their nuptials, Wes tracked down the golf cart that started it all. It had been sitting broken down on a farm outside Atlanta for years, but the make-it-happen groom fixed it up, and today, they drive it all over their Avondale neighborhood. “You can see us cruising on it up to the grocery store or getting frozen yogurt,” laughs Katie.   


Vendor List:

Wedding, linens, florals: Tara Guérard Soirée, www.TaraGuerardSoiree.com

Venues: (ceremony) First (Scots) Presbyterian Church, www.First-Scots.org; (reception) private home

Photographer: Corbin Gurkin, www.CorbinGurkin.com

Rentals, bar service: Snyder Events, www.SnyderEvents.com

Caterer: Cru Catering, www.CruCatering.com

Baker: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal, www.WeddingCakesbyJimSmeal.com

Vintage plates: Polished!, www.PolishedTabletop.com

Stationery, signage, paper goods: The Lettered Olive, www.LetteredOlive.com

Ceremony Musicians: (ceremony) Classical Charleston, ClassicalCharleston.com,

(trumpet) Susan Sievert Messersmith (www.TrumpetSusan.com), (choir) St. Philip’s Church Children’s Choir, www.StPhilipsChurchsc.org; (reception) Big Blast and the Party Masters through East Coast Entertainment, www.EastCoastEntertainment.com

Bride’s attire: (gown) Amsale, custom altered by White (www.WhiteOnDI.com); (veil) White on Daniel Island, www.WhiteOnDI.com; (going away suit) Armani, www.Armani.com

Day-of bridal dresser: Cacky’s Bride + Aid, www.CackysBrideAid.com

Bridesmaid’s attire: (white dresses white with custom pink skirts) LulaKate, www.lulakate.com; (necklaces) Bauble Bar, www.BaubleBar.com

Beauty: (hair) Kristy Cuthbert, Sola Salon Studios, www.SolaSalonStudios.com; (makeup) Deidre Outlaw, STUDIO M, www.StudioMCharleston.com

Groom’s attire: (suit) Michael Kors, www.MichaelKors.com; (shoes) Gucci, www.Gucci.com

Flower girl attire: Southern Belles Children’s Boutique, www.SouthernBellesChildren.com

Fans: All-Mist Cooling System, www.All-Mist.com

Restroom trailer: Nature’s Calling, www.NaturesCallingInc.com

Transportation: Absolutely Charleston, www.AbsolutelyCharleston.com; ACW Limo, www.ACWLimo.com