This Couple Planned a Modern, Tented Wedding in Charleston, South Carolina

hamida charlie charleson wedding couple
Gayle Brooker

Hamidatu Ravenel and Charles Patrick III first met in high school in Charleston, South Carolina, but it wasn't until ten years after they graduated that they started to date. Though they attended different colleges, their group of friends remained close over the years. Once the pair moved home after getting their degrees, Hamida and Charlie ended up spending a lot of time together. Some of their buddies were hesitant when the duo started dating, but Hamida and Charlie went for it and never looked back.

A year-and-a-half later, Hamida (a sales manager at Hampden Clothing) and Charlie (an attorney) were in Atlanta at the botanical gardens. "It was about five-times more crowded than I expected," he remembers. "I spent several hours wandering around with her, looking for a quiet place without other people." When they stopped inside at one of the greenhouse, Charlie popped the question.

A little over a year after that, on February 10, 2018, they celebrated their love with a wedding weekend in their hometown. The festivities kicked off with a welcome dinner at William Aiken House, a historic property in the heart of Charleston. Pops of yellow made for a bold color palette, and the night was tinged with hints of Sierra Leone. The following day, the couple and their nearly-300 guests gathered near the water at Lowndes Grove. Kristin Newman Designs helped bring fuse modern touches like hexagonal accents and a mix of finishes with the otherwise classic, Southern wedding.

01 of 27

A Bold Invitation Suite

hamida charlie charleson wedding invitation marble
Gayle Brooker

The stationery suite, by Megan Bradley Designs, was a combination of black and white paper with gold details done in a modern style. The save-the-date was a black card backed with a marble pattern and sent in a matching invite with an Oscar de la Renta stamp. The invite was foil-printed on white paper with the same patterned backer and edged in black foil. The response card and envelope were tucked into a black envelope calligraphed by Elizabeth Porcher Jones in mustard-colored ink with an African tribal print liner.

02 of 27

The Welcome Party

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome party invitation
Gayle Brooker

The invitation for the welcome party showcased the color palette and style for the celebration—dubbed "Charleston meets Sierra Leone." The mustard yellow, black, and white details were graphic and classic, while the addition of natural textures and textiles added a little extra interest.

03 of 27

The Happy Couple

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome party couple
Gayle Brooker

Hamida wore a dress made from fabric she found in the garment district of Nairobi when she and Charlie were in Kenya for her bridesmaid's wedding. She brought the fabric back to Los Angeles where she had a


create the dress based off of photos of others Hamida liked. Charlie wore a

Billy Reid

suit and skipped the tie.

04 of 27

A Colorful Welcome

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome party gate flowers
Gayle Brooker

The gates of the William Aiken House (with its buttery yellow façade fitting the color palette nicely) were decorated by Gathering Events with a pair of arrangements in baskets.

05 of 27

Hanging Escort Cards

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome party escort cards
Gayle Brooker

African mudcloth was hung from two poles and used as a backdrop for the escort cards which were die-cut and hung with waxed cord.

06 of 27

Under the Tent

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome tent reception
Gayle Brooker

Due to rain, the party took place under a tent. Square tables were covered with vibrant yellow velvet tablecloths and set with upholstered wood chairs.

07 of 27

Unique Centerpieces

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome party centerpiece dried
Gayle Brooker

Two different centerpieces anchored the tables—colorful groupings of oncidium orchids, pittosporum foliage, ferns, and magnolia pods. Here, the second style, showcased primarily dried versions of local elements, including painted palm fans, magnolia pods, dusty miller, kochia, and ferns. Modern smoked-glass hurricanes and hammered-gilded glass votives held candles, too. Mudcloth print napkins were bundled with leather napkin rings and sat atop matte black plates and off-white hand-shaped chargers. Brushed gold flatware added another metallic touch to the setting.

The plated first course of legume salad with a turmeric vinaigrette was followed by several dishes served Russian style: chicken-fried duck confit leg with blackberry barbecue sauce, cornmeal-encrusted grouper with marinated cucumber relish, creamy polenta with caramelized onions and mushrooms, shrimp stew, and lima beans. A candy buffet was also set up. "Hamida love candy," Charlie says. "Her dental bills can attest."

08 of 27

Lounging Around

hamida charlie charleson wedding welcome party lounge
Gayle Brooker

Guests got comfy in vintage tufted love seats, cognac-leather sofas, and calf-hair chairs, with African drum coffee tables and hammered brass coffee tables.

09 of 27

Black-Tie Style

hamida charlie charleson wedding couple
Gayle Brooker

Hamida tried on at least 20 different gowns before deciding on a lace Anne Barge wedding dress. She paired it with a veil by the same designer, drop earrings, a diamond-and-sapphire ring from her mother, and a gold bangle with ruby inlay that Charlie gave her as a wedding gift. The finishing touch? A bold lip thanks to Nars "Don't Stop" matte lip pigment. She carried an all-white bouquet of cattleya orchids, sweet peas, and lily of the valley.

Charlie went with an ivory dinner jacket, black pants, and a classic shirt custom made at Billy Reid in downtown Charleston. His bow tie was also local—from Jordan Lash—where all of the groomsmen's and usher's neckwear came from, too.

10 of 27

Fun Shoes

hamida charlie charleson wedding shoes tassel
Gayle Brooker

Hamida chose a pair of Aquazzura suede shoes with a teardrop-shaped cutout and tassel at the heel.

11 of 27

Dressed in Black

hamida charlie charleson wedding bridesmaids
Gayle Brooker

"I work in women's fashion, so I know the struggles," Hamida says of outfitting her bridal party. "My only requirements were that their dresses be floor-length and black. I wanted everyone to feel good in what they were wearing."

12 of 27

A Modern Ceremony Setup

hamida charlie charleson wedding asymmetrical ceremony
Gayle Brooker

Gathering Events conceptualized an asymmetrical, modern black structure as a unique take on the traditional ceremony arbor. Built by Technical Event Company and set just feet from the banks of the Ashley River, it picked up on the geometric touches used throughout the wedding. White spirea, delphinium, amaryllis, mini Phalaenopsis, and dusty miller popped against the black structure.

13 of 27

The Ring Bearer

hamida charlie charleson wedding ringbearer
Gayle Brooker

Kamden, the son of one of Hamida's best friends and college roommate, carried a velvet ring pillow with lily of the valley down the aisle.

14 of 27

The Flower Girls

hamida charlie charleson wedding flower girls
Gayle Brooker

The flower girls wore lace, just like the bride, and carried small baskets of petals to toss.

15 of 27

Here Comes the Bride

hamida charlie charleson wedding processional
Gayle Brooker

Hamida's father escorted her out of the house and down the custom-built aisle to the sounds of Handel's "The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba."

16 of 27

The Ceremony

hamida charlie charleson wedding ceremony
Gayle Brooker

"Our ceremony was religious, but not verbose," Charlie explains. Pastor David Woody from Providence Baptist Church officiated the service. To keep their vows between them, the bride and groom exchanged them via letter right before the ceremony.

17 of 27

Happily Married

hamida charlie charleson wedding couple dock
Gayle Brooker

After recessing to another Handel song ("La Rejouissance"), the couple took a walk on the venue's dock.

18 of 27

The Seating Chart

hamida charlie charleson wedding seating chart
Gayle Brooker

"That basically took two whole nights of planning and several bottles of wine," Charlie says of sorting out the seating assignments. "A lot of our charting happened at a restaurant down the street from our house."

Once the couple sorted out where everyone would sit they passed along the information to Elizabeth Porcher Jones to calligraph the names, which were then transferred to vinyl letters and applied on a large piece of acrylic.

19 of 27

Fancy Formalwear

hamida charlie charleson wedding groomsmen
Gayle Brooker

Most of the groomsmen were guys Charlie's known since high school, except for two who he met in law school and at his law practice. They all wore tuxedos from Snapsuits.

20 of 27

Custom Cocktail Napkins

hamida charlie charleson wedding napkin drawing
Gayle Brooker

An illustration of the bride and groom adorned paper napkins during cocktail hour.

21 of 27

Dressed to Impress

hamida charlie charleson wedding guests
Gayle Brooker

Guests looked chic at this black-tie affair.

22 of 27

The Tented Reception

hamida charlie charleson wedding tent black
Gayle Brooker

Kristin Newman Designs created the reception setup with a mix of long and square tables. And since 300 chairs in a room can be a statement in itself, they chose both black and gold for a more dynamic look across the room.

23 of 27

Black-and-White Details

hamida charlie charleson wedding place setting black and white
Gayle Brooker

Black velvet table linens and gold-rimmed marbled chargers added drama to the scene. Sleek brushed-gold-and-white flatware and a mix of traditional glassware and stemless water glasses completed each place setting. All the flowers under the dinner tent were white and arranged by Gathering Events. Some tables had abundant groupings of amaryllis and lilacs, like this one, while others had multiple centerpieces of orchids, ranunculus, hyacinth, and roses.

The engraved menus outlined the meal, which began with oyster Rockefeller, followed by a sweet baby lettuce, and then an entrée of ribeye filet and seared scallop.

24 of 27

A Gilded Cake

hamida charlie charleson wedding drip cake
Gayle Brooker

Patrick Property Hospitality Group created the confetti cake with salted buttercream icing in a marbled design that tied in to the marbled paper first seen on the back of the invitation. It was showcased on a gold-leaf table rented from Ooh! Events.

25 of 27

Dancing All Night Long

hamida charlie charleson wedding band
Gayle Brooker

The band played "Just the Two of Us" by Grover Washington Jr. for the first dance. The group kept guests dancing straight through to the after-party.

26 of 27

The Send-Off

hamida charlie charleson wedding getaway exit
Gayle Brooker

Charlie slipped into a pair of black-and-white checkered Vans that Hamida gave him as part of his wedding present, and she changed into a ruffled metallic Ulla Johnson dress and Tory Burch velvet bow pumps right before heading out to the after-party at The American Theater.

27 of 27


hamida charlie charleson wedding couple
Gayle Brooker

Photography, Gayle Brooker

Locations, Catering, and Cake, William Aiken House (rehearsal dinner and welcome party); Lowdnes Grove (ceremony and reception)

Event planning and design, Kristin Newman Designs

Florals, Design, and Specialty Lighting, Gathering Events

Videography, Hart to Heart Media

Stationery, Megan Bradley Designs

Calligraphy, Elizabeth Porcher Jones

Music, Charleston Virtuosi (ceremony); Mike Quinn Sax (reception); Bryan the DJ (late-night)

Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental; Ooh! Events; Snyder Event Rentals

Bride's gown and veil, Anne Barge from White on Daniel Island

Bride's shoes, Aquazzura; Tory Burch (after-party)

Bridal Dresser, Cacky's Bride Aide

After-party dress, Ulla Johnson

Hair and Makeup, Ashley Brook Perryman

Flower Girl dresses, David's Bridal

Groom's suit, Billy Reid

Menswear, Snapsuits

Groom's accessories, Jordan Lash (bow tie); Versace (shoes); Vans (after-party shoes)

Lighting, A/V, Altar, and Aisle, Technical Event Company

Transportation, Charleston Style Limo

Draping, Veil

Wine, Graft Wine Shop

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