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I think some of the loveliest weddings are those that effortlessly combine multiple sources of inspiration, and Kristen and Kevin’s celebration is a perfect example. With the help of their florist, Botanica, they married their love for the old Florida feel of The Gasparilla Inn with their memories of Monet’s country gardens, which they had visited during their travels to France. The result was absolutely stunning, as well as so sentimental to this sweet couple. The heirlooms they incorporated into the decor added even more meaning to this special day–Kristen’s parents’ cake topper and her great-grandfather’s moonshine bottles are a few not to be missed!

Thank you so much to Divine Light Photography for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Kevin and I first met through a mutual friend during a visit to New York City. At the time, I was working in Atlanta for the Atlanta Braves baseball team and had no plans of ever moving to the city. Five years and a career change later, New York became my new home. Kevin soon reached out on Facebook, asking to meet up. Since a girl’s gotta eat (and New York ain’t cheap, y’all), I said yes and he took me to a Yankees game. We sat first row, third baseline–he was trying to show off, and I guess it worked, because we’ve been together ever since.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed, blue, and old was my great grandmother’s cocktail ring, which is a blue sapphire with diamonds set in platinum. It’s one of my momma’s prized pieces of jewelry, so it was awesome that she chose it for me to borrow. My something new was a gift from my maid of honor, Lori. We lost one of our Tri Delta sorority sisters and best friends in February, so she gave me an embroidered pansy handkerchief with my and her initials. It made me feel like I had a part of Tiff with me as I walked down the aisle.

We wanted a destination-style wedding where both local and out-of-town guests could enjoy the weekend festivities. We chose the Gasparilla Inn and Club for its old world charm and sense of Southern hospitality. The town of Boca Grande (where The Gasparilla Inn is located) sits on an island off the Gulf of Mexico, giving us the seclusion we were looking for, but it also had the amenities to host an awesome party!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were AMAZING!! We wanted the flowers to look wild and as if they had been picked from a garden. The year before we got married, we visited Monet’s country cottage in Giverny, France, and were able to see his beautiful gardens and water lilies, which inspired our wedding and the flowers.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the moonshine bar. Our florist was able to incorporate my great-grandfather’s moonshine bottles and crocks my parents had collected from Tennessee into the decor. Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine provided the libations and gave the party an extra kick!

Describe your wedding cake. Our wedding cake was very simple. We chose traditional buttercream icing and three different layers of cake: red velvet, strawberry cream, and chocolate. The cake topper was the same one my parents had used when they got married.

Tell us all about the proposal! Kevin and I had just purchased our first apartment together in the city and were making a few updates before moving in. He told me to meet him at the apartment, because a contractor had a few questions for us. I showed up, and there was no contractor in sight. Kevin called me into the guest room, where I found rose petals all over the floor and him on one knee. I freaked out and started crying, and of course, said yes. After the proposal, he surprised me with a weekend getaway to The Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida.
When did y’all get married? June 29, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look because we did not want to miss our cocktail hour to do pictures after the ceremony. We wanted to enjoy the bluegrass band and play yard games with our friends and family.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? A bluegrass band, a moonshine bar, and some Hank Williams Jr. and Garth Brooks out on the dance floor!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a day-of coordinator. There is so much vendor coordination and so many little details that you can’t possibly remember all of them. The best money we spent on the whole wedding was Lindsay, our day of coordinator. She kept things on time, she dealt with last minute crisis and coordinated all of the vendors helping ensure things turned out the way we envisioned. Worth every penny!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Soon after our wedding, we were blessed with the news of a baby. Kevin and I welcomed a boy, Wyatt Drummond Wenk, on April 29, 2014. It was exactly 10 months after we were married. Marriage has been full of beautiful surprises and wonderful gifts of love!

Photographer: Divine Light Photography / Day-of Coordinator: Lindsay Jimison / Ceremony Venue: Boca Grande United Methodist Church / Reception Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Gasparilla Inn and Club / Florals, Decor, and Lighting: Botanica Florist / Tent: TentLogix / Band: Bluegrass Band Highway 41 South / DJ: DJ Inpulse Entertainment / Paper Products: Sophie Askew / Bride’s Gown: “Mia” by Mira Zwillinger / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bridal Salon and Veil: Mark Ingram Atelier / Makeup Artist: Carrie LaMarca / Bride’s Shoes: “N°Prive 120 mm” by Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Menswear: Joseph A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Kristen, I adore your gown! So fresh and spring-y :)

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    A cocktail hour with a bluegrass band and yard games sounds divine!

  3. avatar Gasparilla Inn wedding Featured on Southern Weddings Blog reply

    […] style and we knew right away the SW Mag would be a perfect fit for Kristen & Kevin’s Gasparilla Inn wedding in Boca Grande, Florida. Everything about Boca Grande emanates the Old Florida style that is shared […]

  4. avatar 15 Awesome Ideas To Make Your Wedding Tent Shine! reply

    […] photo: Divine Light Photography // florals & decor: Botanica Florist // tent: Tent Logix // via: Southern Weddings […]

  5. avatar 11 Fancy Tented Wedding Decoration Ideas to Stun Your Guests – Blog reply

    […] via Southern Weddings […]

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Y’all ready for this? It’s swoon-time. I’m typically attracted to bright, colorful weddings, but Hillary + Kyle’s classically Southern wedding was full of the romance that also pulls at my heart strings. The delicate baby’s breath and rose wreath for the flower girl (who, by the way, is adorable) and the lush blooms that filled the bride’s bouquet are only the tip of the iceberg. Rows upon rows of gold chiavari chairs lined on the front lawn of the Pine Lakes Country Club look positively epic and gold tassels hanging from the monogrammed programs are so simple but so decadent. We’re so grateful that Pasha Belman was there to capture all of the beauty! There’s much more to feast your eyes upon, so I won’t give it all away.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Unlike many girls who have imagined for years what their wedding dress would look like, I hadn’t the faintest clue. I scheduled an appointment at The Little White Dress in Myrtle Beach, SC and asked my consultant to pull every silhouette. Little did I imagine that the very first dress I tried on would be the dress to which I said yes. The Justin Alexander Signature creation was a strapless sweetheart ball gown with silk flower details on the bodice, complimented by the lace-covered cathedral train. The waist was accentuated by rows of ivory bands.

Describe your wedding flowers: My bouquet featured pink garden roses, pink peonies, magenta ravel roses, green and white hydrangeas, salal greenery, cream freesia buds and seeded eucalyptus surrounded by miniature cream calla lilies. The bouquet was wrapped in ivory silk shantung. The flower girl wore a halo of pink tea roses and baby’s breath. The groomsmen boutonnières were ivory freesia with a base of boronia heather backed by loops of green bear grass. The mothers of the bride and groom carried a bouquet of five miniature calla lilies with salal and seeded eucalyptus tied with an ivory satin ribbon.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No. As a traditional Southern girl, I wanted my first look to be when the plantation doors opened and I saw my groom waiting for me at the alter. The wait was worth it.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Isaiah 55: 10-13 and Colossians 3: 12-14
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our signature music was played by noted harpist Becky Nissen and recording artist Wendy Jones. The mothers were seated to “The Prayer” by Hart/Corey. The wedding processional was Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” The bridal processional was to “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner. Upon presentation of the bride, the solo “Surely the presence” by Wolfe was played. After our vows were said and rings were exchanged, “Love of my Life” was sung. The recessional was “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn. Our first dance was Coffey Anderson’s, “Better Today.” A traditional shag to “My Girl” was a must for me and my dad. Kyle and his mom slowed it down with “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. We danced the rest of the night away to Tru Sol Band from Conway, SC.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The graceful Southern architecture of Pine Lakes Country Club, nestled in the heart of Myrtle Beach, dictated a traditional Southern wedding. Magnolia flowers festooned the railings of the plantation and an embroidered silk shantung flag announced the Hawks-Melvin wedding at the entry. We had gold monograms and selection of Southern flowers used throughout the wedding. The sweetheart table featured 1936 sterling silver toasting goblets, an heirloom from the Collier family in Whiteville. We served shrimp and grits, beef tenderloin, fried green tomatoes with mozzarella and pesto, macaroni and cheese, garlic green beans and pimento cheese biscuits. A Kentucky derby party was occurring in another section of the club and the revelers lifted their mint juleps in a toast to us.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: It was a five-tiered creation with a square bottom layer and four round layers. The cake designer replicated the lace on the skirt of my dress from a detail I sent her. The flower beading on the bodice was replicated in sugar. The middle layer featured tucking as appeared on the dress and the top layer was our monogram “HMK” created for us by my mother. The flavors were fresh strawberry mousse, key lime, hazelnut with milk chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse and for our anniversary topper, pineapple rum.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. A good friend’s relationship radar is sometimes better than your own. Such was the case with our relationship. A close friend of mine had known the three “Melvin boys” for years and was dating the youngest of them. She thought it would be pretty cool for best friends to be dating brothers! Kyle started shamelessly flirting with me through AOL and I eventually began to enjoy his messages and his tenacity! All in all, it took a close friend to know that our hearts were created from the same mold. Ours was not an instant romance but it is certainly an enduring one. I found a man who greets me with “Hey, pretty girl,” even when I’m not at my best, who will hold my hand and show affection in front of his friends, who likes to snuggle and will laugh and cry with me.
Describe the proposal. I had anxiously been awaiting a proposal from Kyle for quite a few months, so I thought the surprise factor was out of the question. As a pharmacist, I often work late nights and such was my work schedule on September 21, 2011. Something seemed amiss when I came home and walked in my door, finding my alarm system disabled. With trepidation, I entered, wondering what was going to greet me. To my surprise, there were candles everywhere and a path of rose petals that led me to my nervous boyfriend down on one knee. The words “marry me” spilled out and my answer was a resounding YES!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My mother created the intricate monogram for our wedding. Ferd Thering, a German wood artist then created twenty wood monograms that were used at the sweetheart table and on the guests’ chairs during the ceremony. They were painted gold and hung by satin ribbons.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Holding our breath while the weather radar was checked on a minute-by-minute basis, threatening to ruin our garden wedding. Luckily, the ceremony was at 5:30 and rain didn’t appeared until well into the reception.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photographer
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Wiping tears from my groom’s eyes at his emotional response to seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t think you have to have a year to create the wedding of your dreams. Having a mother who proved to be a great event planner and made sure every detail was taken care of made our day a success. Organization and time management is key to not being a bridezilla!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Currently, we face the challenge of having jobs in different states. I am a Walgreens pharmacy manager in North Myrtle Beach, SC, where I own a home. Kyle is a practicing lawyer for Womble & Campbell attorneys at law in Elizabethtown, NC. The commute is not ideal but we are both very fortunate to have such promising careers. The future holds lots of happiness for us. Our fairytale wedding was just the start of a life full of love and sharing.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Awww! They are so gorgeous together, and their story is so sweet! I love all of the flowers and incredible monograms. Beautiful :)

  2. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    Love the picture of the little girl asleep on the couch! This is about the most southern wedding y’all have ever featured! The cake and monogram are stunning and what a great dress! Also love the lula kates :)

    • avatar Emily reply

      I know, I loved that photo of the little girl, too! So cute!

  3. avatar Pasha Belman Photography: Featured in Southern Weddings Magazine | Pasha Belman | Myrtle Beach Wedding Photographer / Senior Portraits / Family Beach Photos reply

    […] that Hillary and Kyle’s Myrtle Beach Wedding at Pine Lakes Country Club was featured in Southern Weddings Magazine.  – CLICK HERE – to view full […]

  4. avatar Pasha Belman Photography reply

    We are super excited to see Hillary and Kyle’s wedding on your wonderful blog. Thank you so much for sharing our photography with your readers..

    Pasha Belman Photography

  5. avatar LulaKate : Blog Lovin’:SWMag Classic Southern Wedding reply

    […] see more of this fabulous affair, click here! Share < Previous Next […]

  6. avatar Michelle reply

    Would you mind sharing who did those adorable monograms for the chairs please?

    • avatar Hillary reply

      Michelle: hey Michelle! My mom designed the monogram and my aunts father is a woodworker and actually carved them for us! He is amazing!

  7. avatar Hillary and Kyle:: Pine Lakes Country Club Wedding in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina reply

    […]  Southern Pine Lakes Country Club Wedding in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has been featured on Southern Weddings Magazine Blog. Wedding Vendors who made this possible: Myrtle Beach Videographer: Hart to Heart Media / […]

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  9. avatar Kelly reply

    This wedding is beyond gorgeous. Would love to know if the bride used the monogram on their wedding invitations as well. I am considering using our monogram on many details as well.

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  12. avatar Brandi reply

    Would you mind sharing where you got the bridesmaids dresses? I love them!

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Brandi! They’re definitely a favorite around the office. They’re Lula Kate’s “Christy” design in capri.

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  25. avatar Connie reply

    I love, love, love the monogrammed programs and tassels. Where did you order the programs and tassels?

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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