Dawson Haynes, a senior event producer at Easton Events, and Morgan Head Mitchell III met while both attending the College of Charleston. “He was a few years older—and I will admit I knew of him WAY before he knew of me—I was just waiting for my moment!” she exclaims.
After six years of dating, they took a stroll together through their alma mater, and he got down on one knee in front of the clock tower. Once officially engaged, friends and family popped out from behind the bushes and hugged the bride-to-be, who was in tears.
While the couple grew up vacationing along Santa Rosa Beach in Florida, the locale wasn’t on Dawson’s “wedding radar” until after she had been proposed to—she had always assumed she would get married in her Alabama hometown. But the two fell in love with Marina Park, a property nestled within WaterColor, and booked it for February 5, 2022.
The wedding venue selection certainly influenced the event aesthetic, and of course Lynn Easton and her namesake company stepped in to plan everything. “At Easton Events, we always design to the place with great intention,” Dawson explains. “Every floral stem should feel indigenous to the surrounding environment, and your key decor elements—think: linens, bar, band backdrop, lounge furniture—should feel like they could be permanent fixtures in your home—or, in this case, vacation home!” To help bring that vision to life even further, Myrtie Blue elegantly executed the florals, design, and decor, and Dear Elouise set the tone for the day with a tropical invitation suite.
To find her wedding dress, Dawson went to bridal stylist Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride for help. “Funnily enough, I thought I had an idea of what I wanted until we walked into Carolina Herrera and found THE dress,” Dawson shares. She expertly completed her ceremony gown with white Prada heels. And on the morning-of, she got ready with beauty team Claire Balest and Kelli Patten, who made the bride feel like the best version of herself.
The ceremony look was the easiest part to plan—thanks to Julie. And the bride-to-be still spent many hours on Over The Moon and other online retailers to curate the rest of her wedding weekend wardrobe. “I always selected the dress first, immediately followed by the handbag, and then shoes. Depending on where I ended up, earrings were the icing!”
On a perfectly sunny day in early February, Dawson walked down the aisle with her father to “Bittersweet Symphony” and stood next to Morgan to begin the ceremony—during which the bride couldn’t stop happy crying. After exchanging vows and being announced as husband and wife, the reception—with hints of Moroccan design inspiration—kicked off in full swing with Élan Artists.
Under the sprawling white tent from Soho Event Rentals, a custom bar by Heath Alan Ray was surrounded by handmade tropical trees, while tables were spaced out and set with beautiful Stradley Davidson custom linens. Since the rehearsal dinner was the more formal, seated affair, the wedding reception featured stationed food options to keep it simple and fork-friendly and to maximize the party time. Once the five-tiered wedding cake by Sweetly Sisters was cut, everyone hit the dance floor.
Being called to the middle of the space introduced as “husband and wife” was a surreal but amazing memory for Dawson, and then the newlyweds had their first dance to “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. After the bride made a quick change into an Alexis two-piece set and plenty of dancing had taken place, the new mister and missus made their exit with friends waving streamers in the night air. Then, more celebrations continued at the after-party across the street at FOOW. Dawson’s parting summation of the day’s revelry is this: “Two words: Espresso Martinis.”