This Couple Brought a Touch of Jungle Glam to Their South Carolina Celebration
Kara and Scott say that their jungle glam wedding theme all started with these two words: "ostrich safari." And after a few more brainstorming sessions with their planner, Reagan Kerr of Reagan Events, the engaged pair had devised the style of their fall wedding, which would be a wild assortment of tropical animals, flowers, and patterns.
Now they just needed a location to display all of their adventurous ideas, and Kara's family's creekside house in Debordieu, South Carolina, was just the lush backdrop they needed. So, on October 12, 2019, the couple gathered 235 of their nearest and dearest along the property's marsh and exchanged Christian vows in a ceremony officiated by an ordained friend. (Their dog, Steele, also made an appearance!)
Nods to the theme appeared everywhere, from the invitation's crocodile print-embossed belly bands to koozie favors that featured a leopard wrapped around the couple's married monogram. Kara even wore spotted shoes underneath her white wedding dress. "We affectionately titled the wedding look #jungleglam and pulled upon Kara's love of pattern play, textures, and bold, tropical florals," Reagan says.
The duo also incorporated personal details, like a handmade handkerchief crafted from Scott's mother's wedding dress, which he wore in his suit that day. That, combined with the lush theme, made it a day they'll never forget. "Having all of our families and friends together in one place, feeling the tremendous amount of love we all have for each other is a such a special memory," Kara says.
Welcome to the Jungle
The green, white, and gold stationery suite introduced the day's theme right away. "Because the wedding weekend was a destination to DeBordieu, we included a 'Passport to DeBordieu' card with all of the information guests needed to make the most of their trip," Kara says. An alligator print belly band held it all together.
For her walk down the aisle, Kara clutched a loose collection of proteas, orchids, campanula, roses, gloriosa lilies, euphorbia, and snowberries with monstera leaves and palm fans. Gathering Events created the lush look.
A Serene Setting
To keep with with the day's luxe bohemian theme, Gathering Events created a an abundant arch filled with smilax, elaeagnus, palm fronds, curly willow, bleached ruscus, campanula, several different types of orchids, proteas, and various garden roses to frame the couple. A soft sprinkling of rose petals marked the spot where they would exchange vows.
Making an Entrance
Scott and his groomsmen arrived to the marsh-side ceremony on a boat that docked right by the altar. "It was a fun surprise for guests," Kara says.
During the processional, flower girls in ivory dresses with sashes from CCdoodle tossed petals as a version of "One Love" by Bob Marley played.
As a nod to the setting, Kara's father walked her down the aisle to a version of Otis Redding's "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay."
The I Dos
The couple exchanged traditional vows led by their best friend. He incorporated Christian tenets and read from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
Kara and Scott celebrated their newly-married status with a walk back up the aisle to "You Are the Best Thing."
A Fashionable Pair
The pair posed for portraits among the property's Spanish moss trees post-ceremony; Kara all smiles in her V-neck Anne Barge wedding dress. Her search was fairly simple, she says: "It was the first one [I tried on]—isn't that how it works?"
Kara brought the day's signature motif to her footwear, too. Her leopard Marion Parke sandals peeked out underneath yards of Italian silk on her way to the reception.
A sign that read "Swamp Water" displayed the evening's cocktails: a martini and a Manhattan, each riff inspired by Tommy, Kara's father. A real alligator head brought the day's theme home.
A Tropical Paradise
In the open-air dining tent, exotic plant installations dangled above the dance floor, while tables were dressed with teal blue velvet linens.
A mix of seating, including jute cushioned benches and teak wood chairs, reinforced the tropical theme.
Cheetah-printed plates and glasses added a jungle vibe to the table settings, where a menu wrapped in an embossed alligator band displayed the night's eats: roast pig, New York strip steak, and a seafood bar.
Birds of Paradise
An entire lounge with tropical murals and mirrored pendant lights set the stage for the three-tier Jim Smeal cake, which featured coconut layers and orange Cointreau filling.
For their first dance, the pair swayed to "Heavenly Day" by Patti Griffin, the bride's all time favorite song.
Creatures of Comfort
The appropriately-dressed crowd lounged among palm fronds during the reception.
A Love Tail
A custom "D" monogram appeared on the save-the-dates, jelly flip flops, and koozie favors, which guests took home at the end of the night.
A Dramatic Exit
The pair rode off in Scott's Bronco, which was filled with ice and named the "Bubbly Bar" during the party.
Photography, Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay
Event Planning, Reagan Events
Catering, Cru Catering
Flowers, Gathering Events
Videography, Hart to Heart Media
Stationery, Megan Bradley
Cake, Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal
Music, Calvin Taylor; McKenzie and Elliot Smith
Rentals, Snyder Events; La Tavola Fine Linen; Veil
Bride's Gown, Anne Barge
Bride's Shoes, Marion Parke
Hair and Makeup, Lashes and Lace
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Rodebjer
Groom's Suit and Menswear, The Black Tux
Groom's Tie, Bridgetown Bowties
Lighting, Technical Event Company
Transportation, Marquee Limo Co.
Oysters, Oysters XO