In addition to being a favorite spot for foodies, vacationers and history buffs, Charleston has grown into a destination for weddings of all shapes and sizes. The historical architecture, coastal views and cobblestone streets serve as the perfect backdrop for couples looking to celebrate a marriage. For Katie Morton and now-husband Derick Thrandhardt, Charleston marked a place of convenience, memories and elegance for their nuptials this past spring. Below, enjoy the journey of their relationship, wedding planning and big day held at the Governor Thomas Bennett House.
About five years after they first met at a party in Athens, GA, Katie visited a friend in Jacksonville, FL, Derick’s hometown. Derick and Katie’s friend, Kelly, both attended the University of Georgia and this friendship brought Katie and Derick together. The three spent that weekend together in Florida, as friends, and after bidding each other farewell, Katie and Derick kept in touch. Months later, when both parties were single, Kelly, Derick and Katie took a trip to Costa Rica to celebrate Katie passing the bar. “Derick, being an awesome surfer, was invited along on the trip to enjoy the waves and hang out with Kelly and me. The three of us again had a blast, but at this point, Derick and I kind of knew we were more than just friends,” Katie recalls. After the memorable vacation, Katie drove to Jacksonville for a two-week stay before starting her job at a law firm in Charlotte, NC. At this point, Derick and Katie’s relationship moved from friendship to dating. They survived long distance for about a year before Derick sold his business in Jacksonville and made the move to Charlotte, where Katie worked. Shortly after his move, the couple bought a house in which Derick proposed (before they even moved in).
Katie remembers that night clearly: “As Derick (nervously) opened the front door to our home, I was met with the most beautiful glow of candlelight from all the candles around the perimeter of our living room, a fire roaring in our fireplace (it was a cold night in January) and a table for two set up in the middle of the living room, complete with navy linens and gold accents.
“Before I could process what was going on, Derick was on one knee, holding out a ring and telling me how he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together—and he included in his proposal a sweet speech about my beloved Westie, Stanley, who is kind of the love of my life,” she says with a laugh. “After of course saying ‘yes’ and getting over the shock, he told me he arranged for a private chef to cook us an amazing meal to celebrate our engagement. It was really a magical night.” About 15 months later, the couple said “I do” in a breathtaking Charleston garden.
On March 21, 2015, Katie and Derick invited about 210 friends and family to the garden wedding of their dreams in Charleston, SC. The Governor Thomas Bennett House wedding venue provided an outdoor setting that encapsulated elegance. The garden has been dubbed one of the most beautiful gardens in Charleston and on that spring day, the flowers and greenery in the garden and lawns were picturesque. In an effort to match the candlelit night Derick proposed, Katie incorporated candlelight, mercury glass and café lights into the ceremony and celebration—the soft lighting paired perfectly with the blues and creams the couple chose as their colors for the evening.
As guests made their way to the ceremony, they were offered refreshments, including celebratory champagne, and after the pair became husband and wife, the bar reopened with a full selection of drinks and appetizers: white truffle pulled pork, lump crab bonbons and fried green tomato BLTs. Cocktail hour segued into dinner with stations, offering a small-plate feel. Low Country offerings graced the menu, including a raw bar, seafood paella, beef tenderloin, fried chicken and grits.
Katie and Derick carried out the tradition of the first dance as the band played “We’ve Got Tonight,” by Bob Seger. While it was a romantic and awe-inspiring moment, Katie’s dance with her father was the real show. The family hails from South Carolina, which means dancing is in their blood (the “shag” is the state dance). Since the age of 6, Katie has been dancing with her father, and on the night of her wedding, they were able to show off the moves they had been practicing for about 25 years to the sounds of “With This Ring,” by The Platters.
This couple is eternally grateful that Megan Morgan-Finne with Mingle was able to take everything they wanted for their big day and make it a reality. The list of vendors, below, also helped the day come together seamlessly.
Wedding Planner: Megan Morgan-Finne with Mingle
Venue: The Governor Thomas Bennett House
Photographer: Hyer Images
Caterer: Bricklane Catering
Florist: Branch Design Studio
Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew
Bridal Gown: Alvina Valenta
Photo Booth: Charleston Photo Booth
Ceremony String Trio: Classical Charleston
Groomsmen and Groom Suits: M.H. Frank
Rentals: Snyder Rentals
Bridesmaid and Bridal Make-Up/Hair: Charleston Events
Band: Adrian Duke Band
Cake: Ashley Bakery