Jenna and Haynes had been working together at a branding agency in NYC for several months, but it was only after a company happy hour and an impromptu late-night bowling game with co-workers that each of them really noticed one another. After two years together, he proposed at The Carlyle.
Bemelmans Bar is where they usually celebrate small and big milestones. “The night before our planned visit, I told Jenna I snagged a half off deal for a hotel room at The Carlyle on Hotel Tonight—The Carlyle is most certainly not on Hotel Tonight,” Haynes says. As soon as they entered their room, he got down on one knee.
Once engaged, the two decided to host their autumn wedding at Haynes’s movie-worthy, childhood home on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina. Jenna wanted to keep the florals and decor to a minimum to highlight the spectacular environment, and to help plan everything, they hired Haley Kelly Events.
The couple made sure that they had a first or second-degree connection with everyone who was making the day happen. “From the seafood caterer doing his first wedding, to the guys at Graft Wine Shop who selected our wine, to the DJ, to our photographer, it made the whole day feel like a bigger friend group,” Jenna says.
To meet his bride at the altar, Haynes chose a blue, brushed cotton suit from Drake’s—a luxury British menswear label based in London with a shop in Soho. “I would always visit, but never had the courage to pull the trigger on anything,” he says. “Getting married felt like the right time to splurge, though!”
“I ended up falling in love with the first dress I tried on,” Jenna admits of her Galvan London gown. “I’m not one for lace or frill, and this dress had the most beautiful pleated detailing that turned out to be even better in person.” Jenna took her sister and mother to see it a few weeks after she had decided it was the one, and they only questioned the long sleeves, as Charleston can still reach 80-degrees in October. But the bride says, “I was willing to sweat through it if I had to!”
On October 12th, 2019, the couple chose a spot in the yard that overlooked the river as the backdrop to their vows, and one of Haynes’s best friends, Alex, married the two. “I felt this sense of awe that after all the conversations, the budget spreadsheets, the ALL CAPS texts from my mom, the weather tracking—yes, I tracked tropical depressions off the coast of Africa for a bit—and prep, that it was actually happening,” the groom remarks.
Once officially announced as Mr. and Mrs. David, cocktail hour with local oysters on the half-shell began. “The light was perfect as sunset was approaching, and it made me so happy to see friends and family mingling and enjoying themselves,” Jenna remembers. “Not to mention, it was the first official hour of our marriage, and I knew it was a moment that was going to stick with me forever.”
Dinner consisted of more seafood and BBQ from Lewis Barbecue. The spread was a combo of pulled pork and brisket, corn pudding, collards, and coleslaw, while the seafood side was a lowcountry boil, (shrimp, corn, andouille sausage, etc.), clams, and steamed oysters. The newlyweds didn’t have a cake, but Life Raft Treats served ice cream that looked like chicken drumsticks, their take on chaco tacos, and seasonal flavors that everyone enjoyed.
As for entertainment, Duolan Li, owner of Xiao Bao Biscuit and Tu restaurants, performed as DJ Auntie Ann throughout the night and played everything from soul, funk, and rap. Jenna and Haynes had their first dance to “Can’t Nobody Love You” by Solomon Burke. She had added the cover of this tune by The Zombies to a playlist that she’d sent Haynes early on in their relationship.
And in another fun moment, Haynes, who loves karaoke, “was aggressively dragged into a huge circle of people, given a microphone, and forced to sing in front of 180 confused guests—usually it’s a room of six to eight people in Chinatown,” he says. “I proceeded to have an out of body experience, flailed around the floor a bit, and hit notes that didn’t make any sense…but the crowd all joined in. And most importantly, Jenna joined me to close it out. It was undoubtedly an all-time life moment.”
The last bus back to Charleston left around midnight. And the newly married couple stayed up for a bit with family, eating leftover BBQ in the kitchen. Jenna exclaims, “We crashed pretty soon after—the beauty of the venue being your home!”