Catherine Galateria technically met Dylan Pritchard the very first night of her very first year at University of Richmond—whether he knew it or not. “Dylan was the shuttle driver that picked me up for my first party,” Catherine recalls with a laugh. “But I was shoved toward the trunk and Dylan likely didn't know I was in the car.” Over the years at Richmond, the two had overlapping friend groups and attended a lot of the same events, but “we didn't really hit it off,” they admit. “We both needed to do some growing up.”
Things took a turn post-college. “We reconnected in September of 2017,” the couple shares. “We were both living in New York, yet, as fate would have it, we both traveled to Dallas for the season-opening Giants versus Cowboys game. The details remain in dispute of who DM'd whom, but we [ended up] grabbing drinks.” Upon returning to New York, Dylan took Catherine on a proper date, and they’ve been together ever since.
It was a relationship unlike any Catherine had had before, and for that, Dylan got to experience a special part of her life. “My parents have a house in Haig Point on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. My family grew up spending the summers there,” she says. “Dylan was the first boyfriend to make it ‘on the island,’ and it grew to be a special place for both of us.” When COVID hit, they packed their car and headed south from New York to spend a few weeks there. “A few weeks turned into six months, and Daufuskie become a second home for us.”
The couple had actually gotten engaged just prior to the lockdown—on the High Line after brunch in February 2020—and quarantining on the island cemented the fact that it was the ideal destination for their wedding. “[Wedding planning] really became a family activity when there was nothing else going on in COVID. It was really special in that way, since we usually would have been planning from afar,” Catherine says.
The pair worked with local vendors to give back to the heavily impacted industry there, and leaned into the island’s vibe. "We wanted our guests to feel like they were spending any summer weekend with our family on Daufuskie,” the couple shares. “To have fun on Daufuskie, you have to buy into the fact that you are on an island, and some things you are used to are out of reach. But you come to realize, they are not necessary to have fun and enjoy such a magical place. We put a big emphasis on making every logistic easy for our guests so they could truly relax and have fun.”
Read on to see all the pretty details of their May 15, 2021, big day, planned by Tara Skinner Weddings & Events and photographed by Brandon Lata Photography.
“The island is so full of color and natural beauty, we wanted the colors to blend in without being too neutral,” Catherine says. They opted for a pretty palette of blue and white to emphasize the sea.
Dylan went golfing the morning of the wedding, but left the course a few holes early to get into his sleek wedding tuxedo. He accessorized with Crockett & Jones velvet slippers featuring a dinosaur motif—“Dylan really likes dinosaurs,” Catherine says—and cufflinks from his grandfather.
For her part, Catherine may have set a record in her dress selection, finding "the one" in under an hour. “I had long admired Mira Zwillinger dresses, and went straight to Mandi Jackson Bridal," she says. “When I tried on the dress, it sparkled in a way I didn’t think was possible. It was so light and fun, and the drop waist sold me. It all came together when I put on my mom’s headband.” She decided to don the same headband on the big day, adding it post-ceremony to change up the look for the reception.
The wedding party looked classic in their black-tie attire. Bridesmaids wore dresses of their choosing in deep navy blue hues, while the maid of honor stood out in a vintage dress. Groomsmen coordinated their floral boutonnieres with the groom.
No artificial backdrop was needed for the ceremony, set on the lawn against the Calibogue Sound, with two palm trees perfectly flanking the altar. “We let the view speak for itself and kept the ceremony décor very minimal,” Catherine describes. “We used groupings of baskets filled with florals and plants at the beginning of the aisle, and our guests sat in white Chiavari chairs.”
Catherine’s father walked her down the aisle to the tune of “Moon River,” with only one minor mishap. “My bouquet somehow got left behind,” the bride remembers. “We didn’t notice until the music was playing and it was time to walk down the aisle. My planner, Tara, handed me buds from a nearby cocktail table. It was so funny, my dad and I laughed the whole way down the aisle. I ended up loving the small flowers!”
The ceremony really encapsulated us as a couple.
They selected a friend, Will Harris, to officiate. “Will and Dylan lived together when we started dating, so he had really witnessed it all!” Catherine says. “He was an amazing officiant; he put so much thought and effort into making the whole ceremony seamless.” The bride’s mother did a welcome reading about Daufuskie Island, and a bridesmaid orated from The Alchemist before the couple exchanged traditional vows. “The ceremony was short, but it was perfect. It really encapsulated us as a couple.”
Their 176 guests noshed seared tuna crostini and silver-dollar crab cakes before finding their place cards. “We picked all the oyster shell place cards from the beach in Daufuskie,” Catherine says. “My mom and I painted them, and Lowcountry Paper Co. did the numbering.”
The reception was held under a stunning sailcloth tent with a custom floral arch entrance, illuminated by lanterns as the sun went down. “The design was full and natural,” Catherine shares. “Inside the tent, three rings were hung at staggered heights and covered with foliage, with clusters of blue and white florals. Down the middle of the tent were four custom wooden lantern chandeliers that measured over six feet tall and four feet wide.” Long estate tables featured more florals and oyster shell garlands, blue-green vases, taper candles in hurricane tubes, and greenery.
“The place settings were simple yet cohesive with the overall design,” Catherine says. “Each had a seagrass charger, white china, and a custom vellum menu.”
The most unique detail also provided some entertainment. “Hanging from the edges of the tent were custom-built wooden swings for guests to swing out overlooking the water,” Catherine says. “The ropes of the swings were also covered in greenery.”
Finally, a custom bar was covered in chic blue-and-white wallpaper by Anna French for Thibaut. The menu was written on large seaglass vases.
We cut out a lot of formalities to get straight to the dance floor!
“We like to host people, and every detail about the wedding was intended to reflect that," the couple shares. “We wanted to have fun—so we cut out a lot of formalities to get straight to the dance floor!” The newlyweds opened it up with their first dance, to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison.
Their watercolor cake reflected the sea-themed palette and natural beauty of the island. Inside, it was cannoli with mascarpone icing and chocolate chips.
The bride and groom booked an NYC band from Cafe Wha? to lend a personal element to the entertainment. “We used to spend a lot of weekend nights at Café Wha in the city; it’s a favorite for us and our friends,” Catherine says. “A week after we got engaged, and a week before the world shut down, we went to Café Wha and booked the band. They exceeded all our expectations." She adds, "There was nothing better than dancing to ‘We Found Love’ as the confetti cannon went off. After everyone being apart for a year, the energy was something I don’t think can be replicated.”
Looking back, their wedding was the perfect day. But, Catherine advises other brides-to-be, that isn’t necessarily what matters most. “It’s really easy to lose perspective when you’re getting married because there are so many details and expectations in a social media-driven world,” she says. “However, a wedding is not supposed to be the best day of your life—it’s supposed to be the start of all the best days to come!”
Venue Haig Point Daufuskie Island
Wedding Planner Tara Skinner Weddings & Events
Bride’s Gown Mira Zwillinger
Bridal Salon Mandi Jackson Bridal
Bride’s Hair and Makeup Emma Collins Beauty
Groom’s Attire Garmany
Floral Designer August Floral Event Design
Invitations and Signage Lowcountry Paper Co.
Additional Paper Goods Paper on the Avenue
Bar Wallpaper Anna French for Thibaut
Rentals and Lighting Amazing Event Rentals
Cake Bloom Custom Cakes
Music Cafe Wha?
Audio Visual Capital A Productions
Sparklers JLK Events
Accommodations The Sea Pines Resort
Photography Brandon Lata Photography