Katie and Miles

May 17, 2014: Historic Rice Mill, Charleston, S.C.

Photographs by Leigh Webber Photography

Katie Sparrow and Miles Hedrick first vacationed together in Charleston, and it made for the perfect romantic location for the Charlotte couple’s opulent destination wedding. With traditional organ and trumpet music and a moving homily by the Rev. Dr. W.T. Guerry, the ceremony was held in the French Huguenot Church downtown. 

Guests rode the trolley to the reception at the historic rice mill on the Ashley River, where they were greeted with crab cakes, sweet potato biscuits, and barbecue. Good Food Catering prepared the groom’s favorite, a macaroni-and-cheese bar with lobster and lump crab, as well as shrimp and grits and a mixed grill station. Planner Jacqueline Volz with Sweetgrass Social created a beautiful design with giant glass vases of river willow, purple roses, blue hydrangea, purple stock, and purple mokara orchids. Snyder’s Events added gold Chiavari chairs and purple and gold textured linens, and Volz hand-made the gold sequin throw pillows and table runners. The room glowed with gold mercury glass and hurricane lanterns, and even the marina-view porch was draped and tented in gold fabric with crystal chandeliers.

After Katie danced with Miles to “Hey Pretty Girl” and with her dad to Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel,” the couple’s favorite six-piece Charleston party band, Plane Jane, got everyone dancing to classic rock. Guests lined up with personalized N.C. State Wolfpack foam fingers to howl the Wolfpack chant as the couple left for their honeymoon in Italy and Germany. 

This pair lived parallel lives, growing up in the same hometown and attending NC State, but didn’t meet until her senior year of college. And then, Katie says, “We always knew. It was so perfect, too good to be true … never difficult or hard.” Miles surprised Katie with season tickets to the Panthers: the last ticket read, “Will you be my wife?” 

Katie’s silk taffeta Ines di Santo dress from Hayden Olivia Bridal included a strapless sweetheart neckline and a voluminous bubble hem. Ruched throughout and accented with crystal beading and handmade flower embellishments, the double-tiered cathedral length veil was trimmed in Chantilly lace. The bride added chandelier earrings and gold Jimmy Choo peep-toe slingbacks.

Jacqueline Volz with Sweetgrass Social designed a sumptuous reception in gold and purple, from the Chiavari chairs to the towering purple centerpieces, even hand-sewing the table runners herself. 

Modeling the cake décor after the gold Studio R. stationery, Luke Manlove of Charlotte designed the handmade anemones, gilded in edible gold, to top the brown sugar and red velvet cake, frosted in French buttercream, and wrapped in gold buttercream beads.

The bride’s niece performed perfectly, even tapping people with her flower girl wand to remind them to bow their heads. 

Guests could watch boats sail from the Ashley River while dining at tables draped in purple and gold, and lit with gold pillar candles and votives in gold mercury glass.

The Historic Rice Mill was lit up for the festivities. 

Studio R designed the custom invitations in gold and purple with embossed scenes from downtown Charleston. 

The bride chose bridesmaids dresses from LulaKate, adding Stella and Dot necklaces and earrings from Handpicked in Charlotte. Miles and his groomsmen went classic black with Jos. A. Banks tuxedos and suspenders.