Laird and Ross's Festive Rehearsal Dinner With a Southern Buffet

Laird and Ross

Patricia Lyons Photography

In 2008, Laird, an event planner, and Ross, a financial analyst, met while watching a University of Virginia football game at a local bar in New York City's West Village. The Virginia natives tied the knot three years later on Sea Island, Georgia. The affair included a weekend full of events, and a festive, casual, and Southern rehearsal dinner, on Friday, August 12, 2011.

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The Invitation

Patricia Lyons Photography

To give guests a hint of what was to come, invites were printed on wood veneer. The rustic yet sophisticated pieces were created by Sideshow Press and calligraphed by Elizabeth Porcher Jones.

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The Location

Patricia Lyons Photography

The couple welcomed all 100 guests to their rehearsal dinner at the Boathouse of the private residential and golf community of Frederica on Sea Island.

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A Surprise Voyage

Patricia Lyons Photography

The pair and their bridal party went on an hour-long excursion prior to guests' arrival and enjoyed cocktails and quality downtime together.

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The Fashions

Patricia Lyons Photography

For their welcome celebration, Ross wore a Brooks Brothers blazer and linen slacks, Ralph Lauren shoes, and Astor and Black shirt. His bride-to-be donned a floor-length Ralph Lauren Collection dress, and vintage 1940's mother-of-pearl squash blossom necklace.

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Rocking the Dock

Patricia Lyons Photography

"There's nothing but around but water and nature surrounding the boathouse. The view is really serene," Laird said. Attendees were privy to this stunning lake view all evening long.

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Sips and Seats

Patricia Lyons Photography

Laird decided to serve lemonade that doubled as escort cards, after spotting the idea on the Martha Stewart Weddings site. The leaves were calligraphed with invitees' names by Elizabeth Porcher Jones.

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The Dining Room

Patricia Lyons Photography

A calligraphed menu sat at each seat.

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The Music

Patricia Lyons Photography

A bluegrass band entertained guests, who mingled outside before heading in for the seated dinner.

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The Dinner

Patricia Lyons Photography

Following a the first course of Caesar salad, guests went to the adjacent covered porch to load their plates with food from a Southern buffet. It included chicken fried steak, shrimp and grits, slow-cooked beef brisket, marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, creamy horseradish coleslaw, red bliss potato salad, green beans with almonds, and corn muffins. For dessert, a caramel cake was served. Laird often ate this sweet on her August birthday.

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Patricia Lyons Photography

Photography: Patricia Lyons Photography

Event planning and design: Kristin Newman Designs

Music: Marsh Grass

Hair and makeup: Valecia Lahr and Carrie Lafontaine of Magnolia's Salon and Spa

Cake: Sugarbakers

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