Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 39

A Late-Summer Lowcountry Wedding Celebration on Kiawah Island

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Anne Rhett

Caroline Brooke Englert, who works in product marketing at Quick Base, and Alex Englert, COO at IQBar, met while they were both attending the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Nearly a year into their friendship, she invited Alex for coffee and told him that she had feelings for him, and that was it! After a year-and-a-half of dating, he got down on one knee at The Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia on her 30th birthday.

The bride-to-be took to Instagram to gain inspiration for her wedding day look. Of course, she had Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s gown in mind and wanted something similar and simple. She fell in love with Alexandra Grecco’s Colette design and paired it with Stvdio Brooklyn’s Marina pearl hoop earrings and a Savannah Miller cape—“it typically isn’t sold separately from the gown, so I borrowed it from a family friend who wore the SM dress the weekend before my wedding! This was my ‘something borrowed,’” Caroline says.

The couple debated getting married in Caroline’s hometown of Richmond, but her identical twin sister had just done so the year before, so she wanted something different. On a whim, her mom suggested a destination wedding at the Kiawah Island Club’s River Course Clubhouse. “Kiawah is very sophisticated without being formal. It was perfect,” the bride says. 

As for aesthetic, Caroline focused on celebrating the colors and textures of the lowcountry. “I’ve always loved palmetto trees and wanted palmetto fronds to be a big part of the decor–there was a palmetto frond on the save the date, invitation suite, and ceremony programs. I also wanted to make sure we included sweetgrass baskets in the decor because of their organic beauty,” she says. To help plan and design everything, the bride and her mother worked with Engaging Events.

On the back lawn of the clubhouse, overlooking the marsh and Kiawah River, guests sipped on champagne and sparkling water and were handed fans to keep themselves cool in the low-80s heat. The a cappella group, Voices of Deliverance, sang to everyone as they arrived and made their way to their seats. Then, the bride walked down the aisle with her father to “Trumpet Voluntary,” played by a live trumpet from their wedding band.

The couple’s good friend from business school, Paul Bode, officiated the heartwarming service. “I was so excited and could not stop smiling! Alex got a little emotional, but I was just so happy and couldn’t believe it was actually happening!” Caroline says. Immediately following their first kiss as a married couple, they led everyone to a sunset cocktail hour.

That flowed into a “dinner hour,” where guests dined on several delicious food stations and could sit freely. “The flow was very natural—people ate at different times, but it felt very relaxed and not rushed (or dragged out). I don’t really enjoy getting up to dance between courses at sit down dinners, so we made sure that there was enough time for everyone to finish eating in time for the band,” Caroline explains. 

Somehow they ended up with three wedding cakes for dessert—the bride didn’t even want one, but her mom wanted the tradition of it. “I don’t know how it turned into three, but it looked nice! We made sure to have one small dairy-free cake for me, so I could enjoy the first bite,” the bride says. 

The Alabama-based band, Az IzZ, played for three hours straight, instead of intermittently, and the bride didn’t leave the floor all night. The newlyweds had their first dance to “September”—fitting for their wedding on the 21st night of the month.

We requested for them to end the night with a hip-hop set for the last hour, which was SO much fun. Things got a little rowdy, but it was great,” Caroline says. 

At the end of the night, the couple made their grand exit on a scooter. “I had a scooter in Chapel Hill during business school, and Alex and I had so much fun riding around town. We rented a white moped to drive off in style! Alex couldn’t get it started at first which was really funny, but we eventually zoomed off!”

The after-party wasn’t organized beforehand, but people naturally congregated at The Sanctuary Hotel bar to enjoy nightcaps with Caroline and Alex. “It was perfect,” they say.