Madeline Derse and Cooper Mead met during their freshman year at Bucknell University, but it wasn’t until they were both interning in New York City a few years later that they began seeing each other. After graduation, Maddy and Cooper spent several years in a long-distance relationship between New York City, Washington D.C., and eventually Charlottesville, when Cooper attended business school at the University of Virginia.
In June of 2020, Cooper and Maddy continued their Fourth of July tradition with a trip on Nantucket. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until Cooper’s brother left the family festivities to “go to the Cape.” While strolling by the water, on the way to grab drinks, Cooper completely surprised Maddy with a proposal. When they later entered the restaurant, both of their families were already waiting for them. It turns out Cooper’s brother’s story about traveling to the Cape was a cover. In reality, he went to the airport to pick up Maddy’s brother and best friend.
Maddy’s parents moved to Charleston in 2013, and ever since she saw the city’s French Huguenot Church, she knew that would be her wedding venue someday. Selecting Yeamans Hall Club for the reception was also an obvious choice. The tent on the lawn behind the clubhouse with its beautiful live oak trees and Spanish moss just perfectly overlook the golf course. Maddy and her mother, Athalie, are both interior designers who shared the same vision for the wedding, which made planning fun for the duo.
Finding her dress was just as straightforward. Maddy saw a photo of Carolina Herrera’s Greta dress years prior and realized that was the one for her. “The fit, simplicity, fabric, neckline, and off-the-shoulder design were exactly what I wanted in a wedding dress,” she shares. Maddy paired the ivory silk mikado gown with a Carolina Herrera veil with a satin edge and delicate floral beaded Bella Belle heels. Cooper’s parents gifted her floral diamond cluster earrings with a pearl drop from Zwikker & Zacher that brought sparkle to her bridal ensemble.
Later in the evening, Maddy changed into a vintage floral lace A-line Happy Isles dress from Over The Moon. She confides, “I was actually originally considering this as my rehearsal dinner dress but thought it would be more fun to wear leaving the wedding and for the after-party.” Patrick Navarro arranged Maddy’s hair in elegant half-up, half-down fashion. Meg Workman kept Maddy’s beauty look natural and simple. For the wedding weekend, she styled the bride in a manner that was both understated and glamorous.
Maddy’s bridesmaids beguiled with their ivory silk, bias-cut midi length dresses from Shona Joy. They also wore pearl hoop earrings Maddy gifted them before the wedding. The sole flower girl charmed in her silk taffeta dress from Isabel Garretón and a flower crown the florist, Anne Bowen, crafted specially for her. And the mother of the bride looked elegant in an Oscar de la Renta dress.
The groom wore a custom blue suit with a subtle check pattern from Sid Mashburn and slipped on dark brown Belgian loafers. He and his groomsmen all sported the same green silk Sid Mashburn tie with a refined horseshoe pattern. The groomsmens’ suits from Suitsupply came in a similar color as Cooper’s light blue outfit. Cooper’s finishing detail was the Nantucket-based jeweler Susan Lister Locke whale-shaped cufflinks—a gift from his parents.
On October 9, 2021, Maddy’s father walked her down the aisle. The couple wanted to keep the ceremony short and poignant, so their vows were traditional and Maddy’s cousin, Kate, gave a reading. Maddy points out that they let the architecture of the church speak for itself, “It really did not need much, with its charming pink stucco exterior and light-filled interior. We kept it simple with two large flower arrangements at the altar.”
Maddy and her mother wanted the reception decor to keep to a green and white color palette with bright pops of color. Gregory Blake Sam Events brought their plans to life. Oversized lanterns populated the space in shades of orange. Tables’ centerpieces were a smattering of William Yeoward cut crystal hurricanes, green tapered candles, topiaries, potted ferns, and plants next to a beautiful cachepot of flowers. Anne Bowen’s arrangements also incorporated shades of orange and coral florals, something unlike anything the couple ever saw at other weddings.
The newlyweds were in awe when they drove into Yeamans Hall. Maddy still remembers the feeling, “I was completely blown away by how everything looked—totally beyond my wildest dreams, and it was so exciting to finally see everything come to life, especially under the most incredible sunset.”
The Headliners flew in from Miami to serenade the crowd. “I have to give my in-laws all of the credit on this one,” Maddy confesses. “They had seen them at a wedding a few years prior to ours and suggested them. It was one of the first vendors we booked, and I am so glad we did—they were truly incredible and kept our guests on the dance floor until the end of the night!”
After an outfit change and a sparkler exit, Cooper and Maddy reconvened with guests for an after-party at the Blind Tiger. The newlyminted Mr. and Mrs. Mead left for their French honeymoon shortly after.