Picture it: a small town South Carolina boy falls in love with a vivacious East Alabama girl on a cruise ship in paradise. Nearly eight years later, they laugh, cry and dance down the aisle to the billowing refrain, “Oh Happy Day,” sung a capella by a full-blown Southern gospel choir. To quote Dean Martin, “Memories are made of this.”
From the moment they met, Lindsey Brown and Tyler Priester were in love — the insanely mad, young love that makes men blush and women giggle. The kind of love not even distance or time can extinguish. In the fall of 2003, Lindsey embarked upon her freshman year at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., as Tyler studied eight hours away at the University of South Carolina. Lindsey knew she wanted to be with Tyler more than anything, and in February she saw a light at the end of the tunnel. The University of South Carolina held auditions for scholarships in music, so Lindsey auditioned, was awarded a scholarship and subsequently, joined her love in Columbia. Seven years later, Tyler surprised her with a proposal in Charleston and even arranged for her entire family to be there to celebrate the moment.
Then add the wedding bells. Though most little girls might dream of white horse-drawn carriages and the releasing of doves, for Lindsey and Tyler it was all about being themselves and inundating every moment with a personal tidbit of who they were and what they loved. The entire wedding was a unique blend of shabby chic, mixing French countryside with rustic, deeply Southern flair. The ceremony was held at the traditional and historic St. Luke’s Chapel in Charleston, featuring the music of the amazing Charleston Southern University Choir. The reception site could not have been more perfect: Boone Hall Plantation’s Cotton Dock Barn, home of centuries-old live oaks, Spanish moss and Jenny’s famous plea, “Run, Forrest, run!” from the movie Forrest Gump.
With the expertise of Keli Moore and Rachel Atkinson and family friends Joan Asbury and Debbie Whitley, Lindsey combined rich hues of ruby, violet and peacock with images of antique sheet music, striped bird feathers, and raw cotton accented with baby’s breath, moss and branches. From ceremony to reception, each aspect was shrouded in Lindsey’s love of music, Tyler’s passion for bird hunting, and their mutual zeal for rustic, laidback Carolina. The whole affair urged guests to kick off their stilettos, pull on a pair of boots, and have a ball dancing as the crickets chirped and the sun set over an inlet on the coast. Kids munched on popcorn and jumped in an inflatable bounce house. Lindsey’s grandfather even found a chair in which to rock.
The site was filled with laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, and all in pure joy that something new and special had been created on Feb. 26, 2011: Lindsey and Tyler, a union of two people blessed with love, family and friends. It was a time and place branded into their minds and hearts forever.