A Grand South Carolina Wedding on John's Island

This fashion designer and her groom sure know how to party!

Updated 06/29/17

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Though they live in New York City and met during college at Brown University in Providence, Nedenia Hutton Craig and Reed Gray Edmiston were married November 7, 2015, in front of 268 guests on John’s Island, South Carolina. The groom is southern, and the bride, a fashion designer and cofounder of Dee Hutton, says they’re both formal and love to party so Charleston was the perfect fit. "Reed and I are obsessed with Charleston and know we will live there at some point in our life," she says.

The pair fell in love with Fenwick Hall’s brick facade and landscaped garden and knew it was their perfect venue. "It had all the elements of ultimate low country beauty, charm, and warmth mixed in with the formalness and grandness of a private home from another era,” Nedenia says. That feeling of grandeur was also evident in her gown, which she designed herself with a showstopping train for “serious wow factor—royal wow factor, even.” And though the entire event was quite dramatic—her procession of bridesmaids was essentially a runway show—they maintained a lighthearted air that made the day a runaway success. “I wanted the style to be simple, elegant, and timeless, but with a little drama and flair. I am a ‘go big or go home’ type person by nature,” she says.

Planner Tara Guérard of Tara Guérard Soirée created such atmosphere by incorporating decor in shades of greens, gold, and ivory. Keep reading to see how Corbin Gurkin Photography captured this South Carolina party, perfectly!

<p>Fenwick Hall</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

As only a fashion designer can do, Nedenia conceived her own dress, which was actually two pieces: a strapless gown with a drop waist and panels of fabric in the back to add volume without “puff,” and a "ball coat" with gathered off-the-shoulder straps and a seven-foot train that, when spread out, was 13 feet wide. “When I had them both on I was wearing more than 200 yards of silk faille,” says Nedenia.

The bride’s jewelry all held special meaning. She wore matching diamond Cartier bracelets from the 1920s that had been her great-grandmother’s, and yellow gold and diamond twisted horn earrings from Verdura, a wedding present from her grandparents who could not attend due to health reasons—“so they could hear the whole thing,” she says. Nedenia also drew an ‘R’ for Reed on her hip in blue marker just before walking down the aisle when she realized she was missing the “something blue.” To go with her simply elegant gown, Nedenia wanted a statement bouquet, which incorporated long-stem white garden roses with camellia leaves, hand-tied with vintage ribbon.

Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

<p>Bridesmaids</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

“I really didn’t want an ordinary bridesmaid line, I wanted it to feel more like a runway show,” says the bride, who designed each of the silk faille, georgette, and Alençon lace gowns and picked the colors specifically for each of her 11 maids.

Boutonnieres

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography; planning & floral design by Tara Guérard Soirée.

Groomsmen at Cocktail Hour

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Reed and his groomsmen looked classic in black tuxes with white boutonnieres.

<p>Bride and Groom Exit Ceremony</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Nedenia's brother-in-law served as the officiant for the ceremony. After traditional vows, the bride and groom exited to a gospel choir singing “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne—a surprise from Nedenia’s mom. “It was incredible," Nedenia says. "She had them follow and sing to us while we took pictures!”

<p>Wedding Guests at Cocktail Hour</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Cocktail hour took place under oak trees dripping in Spanish moss.

Elephant Escort Cards

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography; Design by Tara Guérard Soirée

<p>Elephant Topiary</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Nedenia worked with Charleston-based planner Tara Guérard to design her dream wedding, which was elevated but with an underlying 'party animal' theme.

Candles Outside Tent

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Reception Tent with Candles

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

The key element of the couple’s dinner decor was candles in brass candelabras and votives.

<p>Table Setting With Pear</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

<p>Wine Carafe Table Numbers</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Unique tabletops included a pear at each place setting (a surprise idea from Tara) and calligraphed wine carafes. After dinner, guests moved into the lounge, where Tara created life-sized gold giraffes that stood on either side of the band, a touch meant to play off Reed’s height and the very underlying theme of ‘party animals.’ "We love to party," she says.

Bride and Groom First Dance

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

The couple’s first dance was to an original song called “My Last Best Friend,” written and performed by Nedenia’s brother-in-law and one of Reed’s best men. “It was something I’ll never forget,” she says.

Nedenia’s number-one takeaway: “Make sure you have a videographer. They were the first people I emailed Sunday morning because the wedding went by so fast I hardly remembered it!”

Venue: Fenwick Hall || Planning & Design: Tara Guérard Soirée || Caterer: Cru Catering || Bar: Spike by Snyder || Cake: Publix Bakery || Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals || Bride’s Dress & Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dee Hutton Bridal || Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford || Hair: Kristy Cuthbert || Makeup: Deidre Outlaw || Music: Charleston Virtuosi; Eturnity Star Band || Audio Visual: Production Design Associates || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Verdura; Tiffany & Co.; Cartier || Photography: Corbin Gurkin Photography || Videography: Siegel Films || Transportation: Carolina’s Executive Limo Line || Photo Booth: TapSnap || Restroom Rentals: Nature’s Calling

Related Stories