An Elegant Garden Wedding at Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, South Carolina

Katie Morton (29 and a lawyer) and Derick Thranhardt (29 and an IT salesman) met during their last year of college through a common friend. Over the c

Katie Morton (29 and a lawyer) and Derick Thranhardt (29 and an IT salesman) met during their last year of college through a common friend. Over the course of several years, law school, dating other people and a spontaneous trip to Costa Rica, their friendship slowly evolved into much more. Katie and Derick hosted an elegant garden wedding with a laid-back feel echoing the decor from the elaborate proposal that Derick had executed in their new home. “We knew at the end of the day we'd be just as married as we would if something went wrong with the planning, so that put us at ease,” Katie says. Blooming white hydrangeas were used everywhere, navy linens covered the tables, and twinkling cafe lights illuminated the night under the clear-top tent. The lush gardens of Thomas Bennett House, lined with century-old oaks covered in billowing Spanish moss, offered Katie and Derick breathtaking decor for their garden ceremony and reception. Staying true to low-country Charleston, South Carolina, culture, the menu included an extensive raw bar while also including local seafood in paella. “The cake was pretty amazing,” Katie says. “We had several flavors, including yellow almond with key lime mousse and graham cracker filling, strawberry pound cake with cream cheese filling and hummingbird, and the backup sheet cakes were banana chocolate chip and lemon with buttercream icing.” Staying true to the classic color scheme, the bridesmaids wore navy blue J.Crew dresses and carried verdant bouquets of hydrangeas, while the men’s boutonnieres of peach ranunculus elegantly contrasted their streamlined gray suits. Katie’s chic lace fit-and-flare dress looked stunning and was comfortable enough for her to enjoy the big day. “For the last hour of the reception, we just cut a rug, and it was fabulous.” Juliette Cheatham

Katie was a classic beauty in her ivory lace, Alvina Valenta fit-and-flare gown. “I modified it a bit, so the long sash that came with it was cut and shortened to instead fit more like a belt,” she says. The look was completed with a long, dramatic butterscotch-colored veil.
To capture the charm of the antebellum South, Katie and Derick used the gardens and spacious wraparound porch of Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, South Carolina. Spanish moss, elegant white columns and ancient brick pathways created a whimsically intimate space.
Each bridesmaid selected a different flattering silhouette for their dress in the same navy blue color. The J.Crew cocktail-length dresses were effortlessly elegant and matched the navy blue dinner linens to perfection.
A large navy monogram took center stage on the Southern-inspired programs given to guests upon arrival. To follow the motif for their big day, Katie and Derick’s monograms were simple in design yet elegant with billowing cursive.
Katie and Derick knew they wanted to keep their wedding casual in an outdoor setting while still remaining elegant. The breathtaking antebellum gardens of Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, South Carolina, offered the perfect location for a lawn ceremony and reception and cut down on decoration costs.
During the ceremony, the aisle was lined with glass jars of fresh flowers in lavender and peach tones. Each jar hung from the side of a guest’s chair by a satin ribbon for a whimsical yet simple touch.
Derick and his groomsmen dressed in gray suits from MH Frank paired with navy ties and a white pocket square. Peach ranunculus boutonnieres were used for a pop of color against the neutral palette.
Hydrangeas (Katie’s favorite flower) were the focal point of all bouquets and flower arrangements, while vibrant greenery added a pop of color. For her “something old,” Katie wrapped her mother’s old wedding handkerchief around the handle of her bouquet.
To display beverage choices to their guests, Katie and Derick had each wine, beer and liquor option set out on a distressed wooden shelf under a funky wooden “cocktail” sign. Letters were roughly cut and assembled in a relaxed, jagged manner.
At the reception, each table was covered in navy and ivory linens while mercury-glass candles and dramatic hydrangea centerpieces sat atop. Cafe lights were strung throughout the trees and along the clear-top tent to create a romantic garden atmosphere.
For wedding favors, Katie and Derick had peach koozies made with the outline of South Carolina printed in white, complete with a heart over Charleston and a cute message: “Let love brew.”
Four round tiers were iced in white and decorate with fresh peach and white flowers cascading downward with greenery. To ensure enough cake for all the guests, backup sheet cakes of banana chocolate chip and lemon with buttercream icing were added to the dessert table.