Salty air, ocean breeze, muted hum of the margarita blender running…what’s not to love?! This past May I had the privilege of rounding out my event season with four days of events scattered throughout Kiawah Island for Melissa and Tom’s wedding. It was the perfect cherry on top as I prepared to kick up my heels for the last two months of my pregnancy, which hadn’t slowed me down yet. So with a restful break in sight, I’d say we went out with a bang.
Melissa and Tom chose to host the rehearsal dinner and welcome party at The Beach Club on Kiawah Island. A members-only oceanfront pool and restaurant, the location felt like home as Melissa and her sister spent many happy summers here with their parents and grandparents. With so much family coming in from out of town and meeting for the first time, it was important to the couple that the setting be as laid back and comfortable as possible. Beyond the setting itself, we made an effort that the food was equally as casual so that everyone felt at ease. It was a carefree and fun way to roll into the wedding weekend.
Melissa and Tom know a thing or two about food – Tom serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Levy Restaurants – so to say that they are foodies doesn’t do it justice. Toss in Melissa’s Italian blood and it’s clear that the importance of food and a good meal shared among friends and family is of the highest importance. Melissa and Tom had some fun with the menu.
Designing it with the chef from scratch, we sought to feature each city that represented Melissa and Tom: New York, Chicago, and of course Charleston. Our “Taste of New York” menu included New York style hot dogs, potato knish, Waldorf salad, mini pastrami sandwiches, and mini New York strip sandwiches. For a “Taste of Chicago” guests could choose from Chicago style hot dogs (which I had never had before, delicious!), garbage salad, and a selection of Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizzas (the real deal, shipped directly from Chi-Town). Representing Charleston at its best was 167 Raw with an impressive raw bar manned by two men complete with oysters, cocktail shrimp, littleneck clams, and ceviche bites consisting of Maine Dayboat halibut and local grouper…YUM! A Chicago based chalkboard artist, Chalk-Out-Loud, designed two sandwich board signs to serve as table top menus.
The intimate dinner took place on the deck with entertainment from the soulful McKenzie Eddy with Elliot Smith on the keys. Because of the ocean breeze, no linens were used. Rather we stuck with the Beach Club’s wooden tables and brought in pub height farm tables for guests to perch during cocktail hour and afterwards at the dessert reception. Melissa requested florals with greenery and pops of yellow in planted containers. Lanterns lined the entry steps to the club and large white orbs were sprinkled along the pool deck creating an edgy party vibe for once the sun went down.
Toasts capped off dinner and the party opened to all guests for a welcome dessert reception. Melissa and Tom served some of the club’s specialties: homemade oreos, ice cream sandwiches, and lemon squares. I may or may not have had at least one of the ice cream sandwiches (did I mention I was eight months pregnant?!). In addition, we flew in from New York a custom Baked by Melissa cupcake display of miniature cupcakes in the design of the couple’s initials, M+T.
Guests enjoyed more drinks, sweets, and live music under the moonlight while snapping away with custom SnapChat filters that evolved throughout the weekend with each event. It was an easy evening and a happy way to roll into the the wedding day to follow, so much so that no one wanted to leave – the father of the bride was the last to get the “boot!” After all, he needed his beauty rest for his surprise jam session with the band the next day, but that’s a story for another day… 😉
Cheers to the Funks!