A Romantic Garden-Party Wedding at the Millstone at Adam’s Pond in Columbia, South Carolina

Jamie Mayhak (22 and an accounting and media assistant) and Matthew Groen (23 and a teacher) met while living in the same hall and dorm as college fre

Jamie Mayhak (22 and an accounting and media assistant) and Matthew Groen (23 and a teacher) met while living in the same hall and dorm as college freshman. “I like to say it was love at first sight, but it took us four years to figure that out,” Jamie says. The couple threw a romantic garden-party wedding outside at the Millstone at Adam's Pond, under Spanish-moss-covered trees. The ceremony was set on the brick patio of the Columbia, South Carolina, estate just steps from the backyard and house where the reception took place. Jamie and her mother decorated the reception with many whimsical DIY creations. The two designed place card holders made from old wine corks, chalkboard signs, ceremony program cards, the guest book and a beautiful display of twinkle lights draped with hanging Spanish moss and florals installed above the brick patio. “For the guest book we had small cards printed where guests could write their name, address and a word of encouragement or congratulations,” Jamie says. More than a great keepsake, the guest book aided the couple’s daunting task of writing a multitude of thank-you notes to their loved ones after the celebration. To encourage guests to explore and enjoy the breathtaking Southern property, ladder ball, University of South Carolina Gamecocks-themed corn hole, and a disk toss were set up around the gardens. Instead of serving a traditional wedding cake, Jamie and Matthew offered an assortment of macarons, pecan-bourbon pies, Oreo cupcakes, salted-caramel cupcakes, cream cheese brownies, lemon bars and a family favorite: James's father’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. —Juliette Cheatham

Matt proposed with a repurposed halo diamond that he had set on a plain band purchased at a local jewelry store. Matt found the diamond in South Carolina and had Jamie’s parents ship it to South Dakota so he could create the perfect custom ring.
Jamie and Matt decided to splurge a little bit on stationery. “We had inserts that fitted to the inside of the invites so that when you opened it you would see this pretty floral print,” the bride says. Also purchased were envelopes that matched the design of the floral printed invitations.
Jamie wore a figure-flattering mermaid-style gown with tulle and lace detailing on the skirt. But the biggest decision of her bridal look was about her footwear. “Matt happens to be six-foot-five and I'm a staggering five-foot-two, so getting the tallest and most reasonably comfortable shoes was a definite necessity,” she says.
To match her laid-back garden-party theme, Jamie wore her hair simply down with added texture. Soft, relaxed waves framed her face to give her a natural style that wasn’t too structured or overdone.
The bridesmaids were dressed in simple cream lace tank tops paired with a dusty rose tulle maxi skirt. “It was such a comfortable skirt and had the flowy, laid-back style I really loved,” Jamie says.
Jamie gave her bridesmaids different statement necklaces that echoed their styles and personalities. Using mismatched jewelry allowed each girl’s personality to shine through without compromising the uniform look of the wedding party.
The groomsmen sported classic navy bow ties that contrasted with Matt’s polka-dot tie but kept a similar color scheme. Each groomsman also wore a pair of navy suspenders with his initials monogrammed vertically in white for a Southern touch.
The ceremony took place on the front brick patio of the Southern home, allowing nature to be the main focus of event. Draping fabric was hung on the back row of chairs to keep it simple and subtle, while a single tall floral arrangement was placed at the front of the altar.
Jamie initially purchasing a veil only because her mother insisted on it, but it became her favorite bridal accessory. “I loved walking down the aisle with it draped over my face and then having my dad lift it over my head as he presented me my groom for the first time,” Jamie says.
"The venue was so romantic with lots of trees and  flowers and gorgeous hanging moss everywhere!" Jamie says of the Millstone at Adam’s Pond. "And although it was right outside downtown, you would have no idea. It was perfectly tucked away and hidden in the trees. It was charming, romantic, beautiful, intimate—everything we wanted!"
Suspended over the dance floor was a display of twinkle lights draped in Spanish moss and flowers. The handmade installation added a dreamy feel to the reception, and the subdued lighting created the romantic environment Jamie wanted.
“My dad makes the best chocolate chip cookies, and we had to have them,” Jamie says  of this sweet addition to their extensive dessert bar. The couple also offered a tea and coffee bar to revive the guests after a long night of eating, drinking and dancing.
Jamie and Matt distributed small glass jars of local honey to their guests as a thank-you gift. “We have a lot of family and friends from the North, so it was really fun to be able to share some of my Southern traditions with them,” Jamie says.