The second time Annie De Mayo and Evan Huggins saw each another, Annie says people were already assuming they’d be together forever. “We were at a dinner party before we even started dating and another guest asked how long we’d been married,” Annie says with a laugh. Their first official date took place a few later—and after dinner, Annie told Evan she was going down to Dewees Island in South Carolina the next day. "Being Southern and overly polite, I extended an invitation," she recalls. But when she slipped out of his car that night, Annie realized Evan had been waiting to kiss her so she told him that he should have taken his chance.
“He may have missed it that night, but the next day he was on a flight to South Carolina to join our family getaway!” says Annie. They shared their first kiss in a grocery store parking lot shortly after he landed, and spent the weekend trying to convince her family they were “just friends.”
Three years later, in October of 2017, Evan popped the question—though it didn't quite go according to plan. “We had planned to go for a hike but there was a torrential downpour,” Annie remembers. “Evan convinced me to go anyway, resulting in a hike to an anticlimactic waterfall in the pouring rain. My umbrella blew away, and when Evan got down on one knee to propose, I thought he’d slipped!” Though not the most-wished-for proposal scenario, it was absolutely memorable and they soon set a date for May 12, 2018.
The venue? A private home on Dewees Island, of course. “We wanted to be outdoors, smiling our faces off, and surrounded by our community," Annie explains. The team at A Charleston Bride helped the couple plan the spring celebration, and 183 guests made the trip to enjoy gorgeous natural setting. Says Annie, “Figuring out how to have a wedding in a remote location with few local resources was a challenge, but our planners, my parents, and the island manager were such an incredible team!” Trust us: You don’t want to miss the sunny Southern details of this lowcountry wedding, as photographed by Olivia Rae James, so keep reading for more.
A month after getting engaged, Annie was in L.A. for work and made a beeline for The Way We Wore, a vintage shop owned by Evan’s grandfather’s friend. “She showed me a few Edwardian and Victorian pieces, and this dress was the very first I tried," she says. Made in the early 1900s, the white lace frock featured a sheer yoke, soft sleeves, and a blouson bodice–perfect for a modern bride with vintage style.To go with the dress, Annie asked Lily Peterson of Flowershop to create a gathered bouquet of Claire de Lune peonies, coral peonies, and white daisies.
“I wanted it to be small and feel wild,” she says.
The bride credits her sister with finding the perfect pair of shoes, blush Dolce & Gabbana Mary Janes finished with roses and butterflies. Her sisters also selected their own dresses—one wore Ulla Johnson, the other, Red Valentino—in different shades of soft blue.
Annie walked down the aisle arm-in-arm with both of her parents.
Evan’s father served as their officiant as the couple wed beneath a towering oak tree. “My dad chose readings for my sisters to share, then Evan’s sister read a passage, as well,” Annie recalls. They wrote personalized vows and sealed them with a kiss.
The groom paired his blue Italian linen suit from J. Crew with hand-sewn leather sneakers from Feit. Guests gathered for cocktail hour to sip Negronis on the lawn outside of the dinner tent.
Inside the tent, wooden tables were accented with cream chargers, white and gold flatware, and mint green napkins. “We wanted our décor to keep things simple and let the natural beauty of the surroundings shine,” the bride describes. The wild centerpieces paired branches and grass with peachy peonies and ranunculus.
For dinner, the couple embraced their lowcountry wedding setting and put an elevated spin on a lowcountry boil. “By elevated, I mean we served everything in bowls instead of newspaper on the tables!” Annie laughs.
“Love and energy were really flowing that night,” Annie says. “I’ve never felt so deeply connected to the people around me!”
The three-tiered wedding cake, topped with fresh blooms, featured three different flavors: vanilla cake with Swiss meringue and fresh strawberries, chocolate cake with Swiss meringue and chocolate ganache, and lemon cake with Swiss meringue and lemon curd.
After Annie and Evan shared their first dance, the bride and her father took a spin to “My Girl” by The Temptations. “When the song was done, I asked the DJ to play a Joe Tex song my dad had always played for me and my sisters when we were little to make us laugh,” Annie remembers. “My sisters rushed on the dance floor to join us, and I’ve never seen my dad smile bigger!”
“We had a sparkler exit, and Evan and I were both sure we’d catch on fire. He tucked me under his arm and we sprinted to our ‘Just Married’ golf cart, finished with ropes of seashells instead of cans. My sister was our getaway driver, and kept telling us to pretend she wasn’t there,” says Annie.
Wedding Planner: A Charleston Bride || Venue: Dewees Island || Floral Design: Lily Peterson of Flowershop || Bride's Dress: The Way We Wore || Bride's Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Valentino Red, Ulla Johnson || Groom's Attire: J. Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: J. Crew || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Erie Basin || Paper Products: Studio R Design, SAS-E Ink || Catering: Cru Catering || Cake: ABCD Cakes || Ceremony Music: Charleston Virtuosi || Reception Music: DJ Natty Heavy || Rentals: Ooh! Events, Snyder Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linens, Royal Restrooms || Lighting: Techincal Event Company || Transportation: Barrier Island Eco Tours, Charleston Style Limo || Photography: Olivia Rae James