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Christi Ascue & Sean Kershaw; April 11, 2009, Boone Hall Plantation
Christi Ascue and Sean Kershaw first had eyes for each other in 2000, at the very beginning of their freshman year at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. A few months later, a mutual friend introduced them, and the pair’s fast friendship evolved into romance.
Eight years later, Sean sat next to Christi’s father at a family meal and asked for her hand. “Everyone started clapping,” laughs Christi. “It seemed like we began planning our wedding that week.”
A loan auditor by day, Christi became her own event designer by night. But it wasn’t much of a stretch. As a niece of Charlotte Jenkins, the maven behind Mount Pleasant’s Gullah Cuisine Restaurant, Christi had grown up learning all about food, events, and service while working for her aunt.
So Christi began by picking a venue. An Awendaw native, she spent years passing Boone Hall Farms and “dreamt of having my wedding where they picked strawberries,” she says. But when the guest list, which included a substantial slice of the Awendaw community, swelled to 700, she opted to hold the ceremony on the porch of Boone Hall Plantation’s manor house and reception on its back lawn.
In the end, it was a truly local affair, with friends and family pitching in to pull off the day with panache and plenty of Lowcountry seasoning. Christi’s father drove her up the long oak allée in his red ’68 Buick convertible. Then, hand-in-hand, Christi’s and Sean’s aunts, uncles, and close cousins proceeded down the aisle. Family was followed by 14 bridesmaids, 15 groomsmen, two flower girls, and a ring bearer. After the ceremony, the couple joined guests in a tent filled with white linens and well-wishers. From jumping the broom into a new life together to the fireworks that capped off the evening, it was a celebration that Christi, Sean, and all those who attended recall whenever they roll down Highway 17 and pass Boone Hall.
Cake: Sweet Creations by Gwen Simon
Catering: Gullah Cuisine by CJ’s Catering Service Inc. and Joe’s Catering by Buckshot’s Restaurant
Cigar Rollers: Coastal Cigars
Fireworks: Firecracker Bill [(843) 216-8141; firstname.lastname@example.org]
Flowers: Forget Me Nots by Lee Horst Puckaber and Ruthie’s Wayside Florist, McClellanville, (843) 257-2649
Gown: Sposa by St. Pucchi from Bel Fiore Bridal & Special Occasion Salon (Marietta, Georgia)
Rentals: Ruth’s House Inc., Holly Hill, S.C. (1-866-788-4431)
Stationery: Kia Faison Brown, Columbia
Tuxedoes: Reuben’s Mens & Boys Wear [480 King St.; (843) 723-5421]
Wedding Design and Planning: Ascue’s Unlimited
Wedding Design: Christi Ascue-Kershaw & Pearl V. Ascue