Caroline Murnane had been friends with Hunter Louis’s sister for years, but it wasn’t until December of 2015 that she met her friend’s brother—and immediately hit it off. So much so, in fact, that Hunter and Cari only dated for six months before he popped the question on a weekend trip to Wyoming! And just as finding each other and falling in love were easy for Hunter and Cari, planning their wedding was too. “I went to the University of Georgia and my mother’s family is from Georgia, so we loved the idea of a southern wedding,” says Cari. They found their dream venue at Montage Palmetto Bluff in the heart of South Carolina's Lowcountry and tapped local planner Ashley Rhodes to plan a classic blue-and-white wedding at the beautiful setting. “Hunter and I loved getting to travel down to Charleston to visit the venue and sort out the details,” Cari says. “Everything came together perfectly!”
On June 3, 2017, Hunter and Cari hosted 174 guests for one epic destination wedding in South Carolina, as photographed by Carrie Patterson. Keep reading to see how it all came together!
“I loved having my grandmother, mother, sisters, and niece all there for the shopping experience,” Cari remembers.
Cari’s Romona Keveza gown was perfect for the grand location. The silk ballgown had a southern vibe with a major hoop skirt (rather than layers of crinoline) that made it easier for the bride to move around.
Cari paired her gown with a bouquet of garden roses, anemones, peonies, and greenery. She also opted for a classic "something blue" in the form of Manolo Blahnik pumps!
Instead of traditional bridesmaids’ dresses, Cari found embroidered Needle & Thread dresses for them to wear while traveling to London and Paris for work. “I work in merchandising at Victoria’s Secret Pink, and was so lucky to have our VP of concept help me find the perfect dresses for the occasion,” says the bride. The girls carried full nosegays of overblown white peonies.
The ring bearer carried an embroidered pillow and wore velvet Stubbs & Wooten slippers that matched the groom's pair.
The ceremony took place on the village green at Montage Palmetto Bluff, where Cari’s brother-in-law officiated a traditional ceremony in front of the site's ruins. “He has been a part of my family for over ten years, and it was incredible to have him be a part of our ceremony,” says the bride. And funny story: As Cari and Hunter went to repeat their vows, they kept losing their place—and ended up reading their vows from the officiant’s papers! “It definitely lightened up the seriousness of the ceremony,” Cari says with a laugh.
After the vows, guests wandered the grounds around the ruins as they sipped on cocktails and enjoyed views of the May River.
The focal point of the reception's design was definitely the blue-and-white Chinoiserie vessels, which were used on the bar and at each dinner table. Bare wooden tables were surrounded with wooden cross-back chairs, creating a relaxed yet formal environment. Clusters of peonies and hydrangeas were arranged beneath hanging wreaths of greenery.
A single white peony topped the couple’s wedding cake. “We went with a Charleston classic, a 12-layer coconut cake from the Peninsula Grill at Planter’s Inn,” says Cari. After cake, guests headed inside the River House for a late night of dancing. Looking back, Cari had this to say: “Do your best not to stress about planning! It’s not worth it, and can take away from the fun!”
Wedding Planner: Ashley Rhodes || Venue & Catering: Palmetto Bluff || Bride's Dress: Romona Keveza || Bride's Veil: Sara Gabriel || Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride's Jewelry: Cartier || Hair & Makeup: Bride’s Side Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Needle and Thread || Ring Bearer Attire: Makie Clothier || Wedding Bands: D.C. Johnson LTD || Floral Design: Em Creative Floral || Paper Products: Alexa Pulitzer, Lowcountry Paper Co. || Catering: Palmetto Bluff || Cake: Peninsula Grill || Ceremony Entertainment: Charleston Virtuosi || Reception Entertainment: The Rivertown Band || Rentals: Ooh Event Rentals; EventHaus; Technical Event Company; La Tavola Fine Linen || Transportation: Lowcountry Valet || Photography: Carrie Patterson Photography