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February 2008

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Country Chic
Written By: 
Holly Burns
Photographs By: 
Peter Frank Edwards

Beloved memories and family treasures marry the present to the past


While getting married is about looking to the future, it’s also about turning back to the past. With that in mind, designer Luke Wilson took inspiration from family heirlooms and charming vintage pieces to create an intimate reception at the Stono River Stables on John’s Island.

Number of guests: 50
Estimated cost: $45,000
Event Design: Luke Wilson Special Events

While getting married is about looking to the future, it’s also about turning back to the past. With that in mind, designer Luke Wilson took inspiration from family heirlooms and charming vintage pieces to create an intimate reception at the Stono River Stables on John’s Island.

Setting & décor
The rustic barn played perfectly into Luke’s idea of
down-home comfort: he framed the entryway with elegant hand-sewn curtains and lit the area with candles set in Mason jars. A chic lounge area under an ancient oak tree boasted sleek sofas topped with cozy handmade quilts, which “everyone’s mother has a box of somewhere,” Luke laughs. For the flowers, he chose old-fashioned peonies and paired the blousy blooms with inexpensive flowers and Southern stalwarts like Nandina, “so that the peonies weren’t too overwhelming.”

Tabletop & bar
In the open-aired dining area, solid cherry tables teamed with pine chairs for a mix-and-match look, and hay bales flanked either side to form low benches. Luke spread out off-white table runners he’d sewn himself, and rather than using traditional napkins, he substituted colorful vintage dish towels in their stead. And to mimic the feel of “grandmother’s house,” vintage stemware and tumblers in everything from milk glass to hobnail glass and more dotted the tables set with sterling silver flatware.

Food & Drink
In keeping with the homey feel of the event, Luke wanted to serve Southern staples—things Mama would have made—with a decidedly stylish flair. So James Burns of j.b.c catering whipped up a spread that included appetizers of fried okra and shrimp and grits, as well as platters of flatbreads, crudités, and pimiento cheese placed tableside for munching.

The sit-down dinner—family-style, of course—started with blue crab hush puppies with creamy Clemson blue cheese slaw and fried green tomatoes and continued with a host of Lowcountry-tinged Southern favorites. Elisabeth Hanckel’s three-tier hummingbird cake sweetened things up with its South Carolina honey-laced icing. And to toast to the success of the night, local Palmetto Pale Ale, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, and Irvin House wines waited in a silver basin at the bar.




RESOURCES

Location: Stono River Stables, John’s Island;
Planner, florals, & rentals: Fleur-Luke Wilson Special Events;
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Elisabeth Hanckel;
Catering: j.b.c. catering;
Music: The Carolina Trio

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