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A Spring Wedding Weekend with Irish Touches in the Lowcountry

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Aaron Delesie

|Planning by 

John Gandy Events

Rainey Lancaster, who works in marketing for Apple TV+, and Sean Hoag, who works in business development for the startup Range, first met thousands of feet above sea level, when they were seated next to each other on a flight to Florence. They were both studying abroad in different cities and happened to be traveling to Italy at the same time. However, the flight attendant moved him to a different seat at the last minute, and the two didn’t reconnect until three years later, when they were both living in San Francisco. 

On their four-year anniversary, Rainey and Sean made their annual trip to Half Moon Bay to celebrate. Before heading to what she thought was just a special date night, the two went to take a photo on the cliff overlook. After the image was snapped, Sean got down on one knee. Rainey was shocked, and after she said yes, he surprised her again with both of their families waiting to revel in the exciting news. “We all danced, watched the sunset, and listened to bagpipers at the resort play until the sun went down,” Rainey remembers.

The bride-to-be actually grew up a few hours away from their wedding venue in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, and the couple was excited to host a big spring weekend for their guests. To help bring their vision to life, the couple hired designer Mindy Rice Design and planner John Gandy Events. And Yonder Design set the tone for the celebration with a beautiful invitation suite.

For her wedding weekend wardrobe, Rainey looked to stylist Cynthia Cook Smith. “It was so fun to switch up the looks for every event of the weekend—between designers and hair and makeup,” the bride shares. 

Thursday morning, the couple had a small ceremony with their family in the chapel. The bride wore an Emilia Wickstead dress and held a bouquet wrapped in a vintage silk grosgrain ribbon from the ’30s that Mindy Rice lent her—the perfect “something borrowed and something blue.”

Later that day, an Irish welcome party was thrown to honor St. Patrick’s Day and the couple’s Irish families. “We called it an ‘Irish Welcome to the Lowcountry,’ and encouraged guests to wear green,” Rainey explains. The bride herself wore an Oscar de la Renta mini with emerald earrings and Manolos.

The next morning began with a bridesmaid’s champagne cruise on the May River followed by brunch. “I decided to go with a more feminine look with a Markarian white midi, the Jennifer Behr Virginia bow, and Jimmy Choo shoes—also with bows!” Rainey recalls.

That evening, the bride wore a Brock Collection custom floral Quarrie dress to her rehearsal dinner, hosted by the groom’s parents. “Sean’s parents did an incredible job,” Rainey gushes. “The evening was complete with oyster shucking, country music, and a traditional Lowcountry boil. Even with the unexpected bit of rain that came through, it was a magical Southern night, followed by bowling at the nearby sports bar.”

On the day-of, the bride got ready with Meg McMillion, Julie Morgan, Patrick Navarro, and BeautiGlow, who gave her a glamorous beauty look, and her mother, who lent her earrings for the ceremony. “My mom was such an integral part of the planning process and sharing the day and the first moments in my Oscar de la Renta gown with her was beyond special,” Rainey says. “She also had a stunning custom Oscar de la Renta gown!”

On March 19, 2022, a tent was put over the ceremony space, due to rain. “We ended up loving how this turned out, creating an intimate, magical feel with the gorgeous flower arches and aisle from Mindy Rice Design and Blossoms Events,” Rainey remembers. 

The bride walked down the aisle arm-in-arm with her father and stepfather to one of their favorite songs, “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, played by a string quartet. Rainey’s older, identical twin brothers did an incredible job officiating the service, and the couple got the chance to exchange their own handwritten vows. “I was overwhelmed with emotion during the ceremony,” the bride shares. “Between hearing Sean’s vows, my older brothers officiating, seeing all of our loved ones in the audience, and reciting my own vows—I was an emotional wreck!”

Once the couple was announced as husband and wife, a Second Line parade led guests to the cocktail hour. Dinner was set under a sailcloth tent, from Skyline Tent Company, overlooking the May River, and Party on the Moon kept the dance floor packed all night long. The newlyweds had their first dance to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole. “We loved how upbeat it was, and it is from my favorite movie of all time—The Parent Trap!” Rainey exclaims.

To cut the cake by Vanilla and the Bean, the bride changed into an Oscar de la Renta halter-neck gown, while Sean put on a white tuxedo jacket and Stubbs & Wootton Celebrate slippers.

After the reception, the after-party kicked off in “Rainey and Sean’s Lucky Clover Saloon,” complete with western decor, light-up cowboy hats, and neon signage for their favorite sports teams. Together with their guests and DJ Scooter, the new mister and missus danced until the lights came on.