Boundless creativity makes a wedding that's nothing short of spectacular

The New York City-based design firm of Van Wyck & Van Wyck—mother, son and daughter—is known for show- stopping creativity and larger-than-life ideas, so when daughter Mimi became engaged, expectations were high. Her April 2007 wedding to Hamilton Morrison, in Charleston, SC, proved to be an event that no one wanted to miss; having invited 430 friends and relatives, they received only three regrets. Though Bronson, Mimi's brother, and Mary Lynn, her mother, have been throwing parties professionally for nine years, and Mimi with them for five, this would be unlike any event they'd planned.

Every wedding has its own inspiration. Mimi and Bronson spent their childhoods entertaining themselves on the family farm in Arkansas. “We were always creating fantasy worlds,” Mimi says. That background, combined with event-planning experience, sparked the big idea for her wedding: “I wanted a masquerade ball.” If anyone had the confidence and ingenuity to make it work, Mimi knew it was her family firm.

With Charleston, Mimi and Ham's future home, chosen as the location and the date set for April 28, 2007, the creativity flowed fast. “Everyone was throwing ideas out and making this collage,” Mary Lynn says. “This time we could do anything we wanted.” Each member of the family, including Mimi's father, also named Bronson, took charge of the elements he or she was most passionate about: Dad Bronson worked on the menu; Mary Lynn sought out musicians; brother Bronson dreamed up the decor; and Mimi wove all the pieces together. “We had complete trust in each other, and we knew the best vendors, so it was very easy,” the younger Bronson says. “But I saw and felt some of the difficulty in prioritizing that our clients feel.” In the end, the strongest ideas came together to create an event that combined a country sensibility and urbane formality, the rustic and the refined, all to spectacular effect.

Guests arrived at Fenwick Hall, a plantation just outside the city, in masks and full regalia. During the ceremony, Memphis-based R&B singer Ruby Wilson and her band played Motown love songs selected by Mary Lynn; Mimi walked down the aisle, escorted by her father and brother, to the Gladys Knight ballad “You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Following the vows, the couple and their guests danced through the cocktail hour right there at the ceremony site. Here, Mimi and Ham's masquerade-attired wedding guests sipped cocktails out of silver julep cups and then took their seats on bales of hay to await the ceremony.

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