A Classic, Elegant Backyard Wedding on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina
Helen Shuman has a long-standing family history with Sullivan's Island, so it was the perfect destination for her wedding with Clay Pellisero. The festivities were introduced with an elegant invitation suite featuring calligraphy and watercolor artwork, and they officially began at a traditional ceremony at Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church. Helen's maternal grandparents also wed at the church, as did at least 10 other family members since the 1940s. Helen wore a simple satin dress with a V-neckline, which she paired with colorful bouquet of wildflowers, orchids, anthurium and leaves. Clay sported a traditional black tuxedo. After the ceremony, the couple and their guests had a "parade" to Brady's Tavern—a home that has been in Helen's dad's family for over 100 years—for a casual "backyard island wedding," Helen says. "The church and the venue are close in distance, so we had our family and friends walk with us between venues. It was one of my favorite memories of the whole day. My brother carried a flag with our wedding monogram on it, Clay's brothers carried sign that said 'Just Hitched' and our guest had ribbon wands to wave. Many people came onto their porches to watch the parade pass by." Cocktail hour on the lawn featured lounge furniture, string cafe lights and wooden bar-height tables with succulent centerpieces. The remainder of the reception was in an open sailcloth tent with a hanging flower installation. The couple also had a cake table with mix of single-tiered and multi-tiered desserts. Helen and Clay left the reception on bikes, and the bride changed into a jumpsuit and jean jacket embellished with "Pelli" (short for her new last name, Pellisero). "My mom and I made the jacket as a surprise for Clay to show that I was finally a Pelli. So much of the wedding was centered on my family, so I wanted to make sure Clay had something with his name on it," Helen says.