Caitlin & Thomas

May 26, 2013: Ballantyne Country Club
Bridesmaids wore sleeveless navy cocktail dresses with black lace yokes from The Dessy Group’s After Six collection.

Photography by Project:Life Photography


Most brides struggle to choose a wedding dress. They make appointments at boutiques, spend hours hunting online, and go through thousands of styles and cuts in search of the dress. Caitlin Sajbel endured none of it—her grandmother chose her dress for her 63 years ago.

The bride, a senior financial analyst, glided down the aisle of her family’s Catholic church in Fort Mill, in her ivory satin bateau gown with an illusion neckline and a basque waist. The chapel-length train and full A-line skirt were the same as when her grandmother wore the dress in 1951, although Caitlin removed the sleeves for the warm, spring wedding. To her something old, she added blue Badgley Mischka heels, a Laura Jayne veil from New York Bride & Groom, and a pearl bracelet borrowed from a bridesmaid. Thomas Harkins, a systems engineer at global-security company Northrop Grumman Corporation, and his groomsmen wore navy Calvin Klein suits from Men’s Wearhouse.

For the three o’clock wedding, the bride and her father entered to a trumpet voluntary performed by Gordon Hann. Caitlin’s godfather and Tom’s godmother read passages, and Father John Giuliani from Saint Philip Neri helped them recite traditional vows and spoke to them about how their marriage would affect the world and their family.

At the reception, guests sipped pink-lemonade cocktails and sampled mini crab cakes, sesame-glazed chicken, and coconut shrimp skewers with plum sauce. Arriving in a 1960 Rolls-Royce, the newlyweds were introduced by Jonah Pearl from Split Second Sound and shared their first dance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Michael Bublé. For dinner, guests chose from beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus, or coconut-curry salmon with basmati rice. Guests made a tunnel for the bride and groom to run through for their send-off to Antigua.

Categories: Real Weddings