Charles Carmody actually married the girl next door—he just didn’t meet her for decades! “We lived side by side every summer for 10 years but never met each other,” says Mary Rebecca “Becca” Barnet, who grew up visiting a neighboring house on Lake Summit in Tuxedo, North Carolina. “Our houses are literally next door to each other but up a mountain, so we share a driveway to go up but there is no reason to go the opposite way!” Their paths finally crossed in Charleston in 2013, when they met through friends and then bonded when Becca, an artist, was hired to do an installation at the Charleston Music Hall, where Charles is the director. And even then: “We were friends for four years before we started dating,” adds Becca.
When it came time to say “I do” on October 13, 2018, the couple knew exactly where to hold the big event: a venue on the shores of their go-to summertime destination. They chose Camp Greystone for its proximity to the lake, but also because Becca grew up going there as a camper. “We thought renting the camp was a perfect way to bring our friends and families back together at a place where we spent many wonderful summers,” she says.
Becca and Charles worked with Mary Mac Wilson to design the invitation suite. Together they created a custom font and logo that they wove through to the day-of details, down to the signage around the summer camp.
They asked their 380 guests to glamp in the cabins for the weekend and created an itinerary that included everything from a hot chocolate–filled welcome party to an afternoon of hiking and zip-lining. “We loved the idea of throwing people together to hang out, especially the people we thought would like each other but would never have met otherwise,” Becca says.
The events kicked off with a welcome party on the camp's lawn, where guests were free to explore and even canoe in the lake nearby.
Activities also included lawn games (personalized with the couple's logo, of course) and a crawfish boil.
After a more casual welcome, everyone dressed up for the night's rehearsal dinner, which took place in the camp's main dining hall. The bride wore a Molly Goddard smocked dress, Dries Van Noten boots, and a Billy Reid cloak for the occasion.
Wearing her favorite color (yellow) was a must for bride Becca, so she found a Costarellos design featuring sheer panels and yellow lace online via Net-a-Porter. She accessorized with earrings by Erica Weiner, Martiniano heels in blue velvet, a veil by Sara Gabriel—and a bright red lip!
The groom wore a light suit and floral tie from ASOS, and the couple’s dog Gus acted as their “flower pup.”
The bride gave her bridesmaids a palette of six colors, then let them choose their own dresses. "They chose dresses that they were excited about," she says. "I wanted to make sure that everyone felt especially beautiful."
Lily Peterson of Flower Shop created the bridal bouquet, which featured chocolate cosmos, smoke bush, and ferns tied together with Silk & Willow ribbon. "Lily and I are friends and she did a wonderful job! It’s great working with people who know you and get your style," adds the bride.
The ceremony was set within the camp’s council fire, a platformed area surrounded by trees. The space was dressed up with a lush altar and ombré-suede-topped benches.
For Becca and Charles, every detail of the ceremony had purpose and meaning. The bride entered on the arm of her father to find her groom "ugly crying" as she walked down the aisle. "He’s a sweet and emotional guy, but I didn’t expect him to cry like that," she admits. "He was so overwhelmed with love and seeing everyone. I think his head exploded a little bit!" From there, the couple surprised guests with a lighthearted and sometimes comedic ceremony featuring vows they had written separately and then combined as one “super vow.”
Katelin Gibbs made Becca's engagement ring, along with both of their wedding bands; Charles’s ring has "Mary Rebecca Barnet 10.13.18" engraved inside.
Cocktail hour took place on the lawn outside the dining hall, where guests enjoyed deviled eggs and bourbon cocktails. "The entire weekend was gluten-free, serving only locally sourced items," adds the bride.
Guests found their seating assignments for dinner on a patterned table topped with calligraphed cards alongside taxidermy-inspired elements, green moss, and natural grasses.
Dinner followed in the camp’s elegantly draped dining hall, which held a mix of rectangular and round tables. "The reception decor started from five Pantone colors that I liked (Rust, Flax Yellow, Ochre, Curry, Cognac)," explains the bride. "We used these colors as the starting palette, adding complexity with marbleized papers, velvet textures, and layered lighting."
Highlights of the five-course meal included a duo of local whitefish and crispy duck breast, basil sorbet with crystallized ginger pearls, and carrot cake with toffee-walnut crumble.
"We worked with the caterer to provide a menu that was warming and hearty," says the bride.
In addition to their cutting cake and plated dessert, Cru Catering created edible mushroom macarons, mushroom meringues, and botanical inspired popsicles with herb-infused liquor atomizers. Afterward everyone followed a candle-lit pathway to the nearby pavilion, where dancing followed and the groom hopped onstage for an impromptu performance of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.”
In the end, everything came together to create a memorable experience that never lost sight of the couple’s goal: to keep it playful and comfortable. “We so wanted people to feel at home even though they were in the middle of the woods,” Becca says. “Everyone was having the best time.”
Wedding Planner: Gregory Blake Sams Events
Venue: Camp Greystone
Bride’s Dress: Costarellos
Hair & Makeup: Meg Ann Workman
Groom’s Attire: ASOS
Groom's Tie: Catkin Jane
Catering: Cru Catering
Paper Products & Signage: Mary Mac Wilson
Calligraphy: Erin Boyce of Prairie & Sage
Lighting Design & Sound Support: Technical Event Company
Entertainment: Dallas Baker and Friends, DJ Party Dad, Joel Hamilton, Motown ThrowDown
Photography: Olivia Rae James
Videography: Zach Hellmuth Studio
This story originally appeared in the April/May 2019 issue of Brides, on sale beginning February 26.