Intimate Southern Backyard Wedding


January 27, 2021
Words by Nicole Soto
Photos courtesy of Meredith Ryncarz Photography

Ben and Katie have always dreamed of a southern, outdoor wedding. When the pair visited Ben’s parents’ house in South Carolina, Katie fell in love with the massive Oak tree in the backyard that arose from the ground and boasted thick, beautiful branches. The couple knew this was the perfect place to have their wedding, and it was decided—they would say “I do” in a place that was far away from home but felt like home in their hearts.

“We have lived in several cities up and down the East Coast, but both of our parents live in South Carolina. While it was a destination for many of our friends, this felt more like home to us than our current city,” the couple says. 

Originally, Ben and Katie planned to have a large wedding with 300 guests. However, due to COVID-19, they decided to pare down the guest list and have an intimate ceremony with just 22 of their closest friends and family in attendance.

Staying true to the personal feel of the venue, Ben and Katie planned most of the wedding themselves. They utilized wedding websites sites like WeddingWire and The Knot for wonderful ideas and advice on how to make every detail of the event appear exactly as they imagined. 

However, they weren’t on their own. The couple’s loved ones also jumped in to help, contributing creativity, personal possessions, and hard work to help make their vision come to life amidst the flourishing backdrop of the South Carolina yard. 

“We brought in pews from a local church; the table décor included plants from the island; the place settings included a mix of our wedding China, borrowed dishes/glassware, and family silver.; Ben and his parents made the arch; flowers were done by family friends; etc. We looked for creative ways to use what we had access to,” the couple says.

Ben and Katie visited the lush and vibrant destination several times to meet with vendors and make sure everything would go according to plan. 

“While time-consuming, it was helpful to meet face-to-face when possible,” the couple explains.

On the big day, everyone gathered around the magnificent oak tree, and the bridesmaids wore crimson dresses which flawlessly accented the red and white roses that decorated the enchanting yard. 

They dined on gourmet food catered in from Jeremy Halker, the Spring Island Club Exec. Chef, and finished with a beautiful, ethereal cake made by Tammy May.

The couple even had a vintage cream-colored Plymouth parked outside, poised to whisk them away to their happily-ever-after.

When reflecting on their magical day, the couple has a few words of advice. “Doing the wedding yourself is less expensive and quite fulfilling but requires significant work for you and your families. Be thoughtful about how much help/outsourcing is right for you,” the couple says.

With a venue filled with love and warmth, Ben and Katie’s wedding was everything they dreamed of and more. 

“Despite being away from home, hosting the wedding on Ben’s parent’s property made it feel exceptionally personal,” the bride says.

Vendors: Photographer: Meredith Ryncarz Photography; Event Planner: Swanson Signature Events; Hair Stylist: Posh Hair & Makeup Artistry; Caterer & Cake: Spring Island Club; Officiant: Say “I Do” Hilton Head Weddings; Stationery: Minted; Gown Designer: Casablanca; Groom & Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Generation Tux; Bridesmaids’ Clothing Designer: Lulus

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