Invitations—chocolate brown calligraphy on handmade deckle edged paper—reflected the unassuming air of the fête and the tiny town of Rockville that hosted it.
After Anna and Britt shared a private first look, they reconvened with their wedding party and everyone headed to the yacht club for ice-breaking cocktails before the ceremony ... and a look around the bedecked space.
“It was one of my favorite moments of the day—to have that time with my bridesmaids before the evening really went into hyperdrive,” says Anna, pictured here with her sister, Sarah West, on her far left. “I really was shocked at the transformation. I knew it would look great but didn’t imagine how much I would love it!” The oyster shell chandeliers were a love-at-first-sight surprise, she says.
The groomsmen, along with 350 other guests, were shuttled by golf carts over a single-lane bridge to the secluded ceremony site.
Bride Anna walked down the aisle to the classic march “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clarke, which was played al fresco by the string quartet Charleston Virtuosi.
Anna says her wedding designer Blake was “the planning genius” who found a location for their vows that met all the couple’s requirements: amazing views of the Wadmalaw marsh; room for hundreds of guests; and high ground that wouldn’t flood, even though the fading day saw a full moon and flood tide.
"The bride and groom were raised in Charleston and they embody every aspect of the city’s character,” says planner Blake Sams, “so the vibe of the day was quintessential Lowcountry—beautiful without being flashy.” The aesthetic, he says, “was restrained and timeless, slightly handsome with soft details.” The way the yacht club’s deep porch was styled epitomized just that.
A classic Charleston reception centers around a buffet of Southern favorites rather than a sit-down dinner. Anna and Britt went with the modern version of that time-honored tradition: small food bars placed throughout the yacht club, like this one. Of all that was served by Salthouse Catering, the bride says her absolute favorite treat was the chicken biscuits.
The antique watercolor palette seen throughout the floral arrangements and décor was inspired, says Blake, by the fall colors of the Lowcountry. Here, Charleston Stems paired rusty in-season cymbidium orchids (which have a sturdy shelf life that makes them prime fodder for events) with fluffy, feminine fare. Chocolate ticking draped bars and tables and formed the curtains that hung along the span of the club’s waterside deck.
“Persimmons are a great autumn option that you can order on the branch,” says florist Anne Bowen of Charleston Stems. “The few surrounding the cake were the rebellious ones who preferred to participate in the wedding off the branch.” Christen Reese of Chocolate Cake—a go-to for townies looking for special occasion treats that are utterly, divinely homemade—stepped out of the cocoa realm for this three-tiered confection.
A full moon cast a soft, soothing glow on the porch of the club, where the bride has spent many weekends, shucking oysters and gazing at the boats that pile in for the annual Rockville Regatta.
White, biodegradable “Ecofetti” rained down on the newlyweds before they headed off to their honeymoon in Costa Rica.
Images by Anne Rhett Photography