Now this is a theme wedding done right – really right! After their outdoor I-do’s, the new Mr. and Mrs. celebrated with family and friends at a derby-worthy fete. The best part? Guests, thinking they were joining the couple at a low-key Derby Party, did not know they would be witnessing Mary + Brian tie the knot between races! (Did you notice the authentic Kentucky Derby post draw?) Want a repeat of this fun wedding? Check out Olivia Griffin’s blog post here and here!
Describe your wedding cake: When we first got engaged I went to one cake tasting and the woman held me hostage for two hours. Everything she let me try had fondant icing. I’m into how a cake tastes, not how it looks. It was not a positive experience. Brian’s mom volunteered to take charge of the cake. She is a fabulous baker, so I trusted her completely. She hired a lady in Kingstree, and I never saw the cake or tasted it until it was time to cut.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Keeping it a secret! 460 invited guests and only ten knew that we were actually going to exchange vows at our “engagement party.” Even the people who helped with food and decorations didn’t know. We didn’t tell the best man andmaid and matron of honor until the day before. When I think about how many people pitched in without knowing they were helping prepare for a wedding it is really overwhelming. It was an honest example of just how loyal and giving our family and friends are.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
The ceremony. So often you ask someone about a recent wedding they attended and they start describing the reception. Our ceremony was so unexpected that it became the highlight of the day. The weather was perfect. We only set up a few chairs for family, so everyone else was standing. How often do you get to drink liquor and eat friend chicken during a wedding ceremony? We rolled out a red carpet and the band’s trumpet and saxophone players played processional music. The horses in the adjoining pasture gathered around and hung their heads over the fence to take-in the event. It was all unrehearsed and very natural
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I actually didn’t try on any traditional wedding gowns. Annabelle LaRoque designed a white silk sundress for me. I wore a blue sash during the party and changed into a white sash monogrammed with my new initials before the ceremony. Of course, I also wore a hat!
Describe your wedding flowers: My godfather’s wife took the lead on all the flowers. They were beautiful. One of the only things I requested was a bouquet of red roses; it was the day of the Kentucky Derby after all! She used hydrangea and greenery in silver loving cups for the table centerpieces. Three small arrangements sat on the table at the end of the receiving line beside the guest book. No one ever suspected those would later become our bouquets.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Right now, we’re trying to figure out where we are going to live. Brian’s house and job are in Greenville and my house and job are in Columbia. Once we live under the same roof, we will start thinking about starting a family. One thing is for certain: we will have a South Carolina address!
Congratulations, Mary + Brian! You two win the award for most surprising and fun wedding – ever.