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Fried Chicken and Champagne Were Served at Wedding Under The Live Oaks

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Leslee Mitchell

Theresa Ross and Patrick Hancock met on a crisp, fall night in New York City. “Mutual friends introduced us,” she explains. Then, they dated for “*ages*!” according to Theresa. “We had a lot of fun, and time flew by.”

When Patrick, who works in commercial real estate, eventually proposed to the Louis Vuitton buyer and merchandiser, he hid the ring in Theresa’s jewelry drawer, knowing that she would rummage through it while getting ready for the evening and be completely surprised.

Patrick has family who is in Savannah, Georgia, and early on in their relationship, Theresa fell in love with the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. “We wanted to entertain our friends and family in the most gracious way, and what better way to do this than in ‘The Hostess City of the South’?”

Save-the-dates were made to look like Victorian moth illustrations (a reference to Savannah’s history as a silk producer) and featured calligraphy by Traci Green, setting the tone for an October weekend in the Lowcountry. The wedding ceremony and reception took place at a friend’s home in Hardeville, South Carolina, fifteen minutes from downtown Savannah.

Theresa wanted her attire to feel ethereal and match the Spanish moss-strewn setting. “Think garden party under the oaks,” she says. “My approach was to remain feminine, while keeping it light, airy, and fluid.”

Her wedding dress was created by her friends, Oscar de la Renta designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, from pieces in their Spring 2019 collection. “The other items I found when traveling, mostly in Paris as I frequently visit for my job. My favorite item was the vintage diamond earrings from my impeccably chic mother-in-law, Linda. Patrick’s sister also wore these earrings on her wedding day over a decade ago. We hope to have our daughters continue the tradition.”

Servers greeted guests in vintage Battenburg lace aprons and escorted them to the ceremony, where a string quartet played as Theresa walked down. Fox Fodder Farm foraged the property for Spanish moss, palmetto fronds, and Low County grasses, and the aisle was bordered with these, garden roses, and puffs of baby’s breath. Bridesmaids were dressed to look like an extension of the garden in fern green Nili Lotan slip dresses bedecked with floral accessories, white buds, and trailing greenery.

During cocktail hour, bourbon old fashioneds were served while guests perched on a collection of vintage, pink slip-covered wrought-iron furniture that had been sourced from local antique stores. “There’s no need to reinvent Southern party food,” Theresa claims. “So we served pimento cheese Gougeres, corn cakes with caviar, local shrimp, and Virginia ham biscuits called ‘soakers.’”

Nina Simone’s “I Feel Good” projected across the lawn, calling guests away from cocktails and into the Sperry sailcloth tent for dinner. Inside, custom cocktail napkins, throw pillows, tray liners, and tablecloths were dressed in 400 yards of Floribunda, an heirloom floral print by Lee Jofa. In another homage to Savannah silk production past, eight-foot technicolor moths, hand-painted by artist Trish Andersen, were tucked within the foliage.

Patrick kicked off the evening by welcoming guests and explaining all of the moth references, saying that as a Savannah boy, he’s like a moth to a flame—and his flame is Theresa. Cue the tears and the heartfelt applause.

As the southern meal—complete with fried chicken and champagne served with heirloom silver—came to a close and nine o’clock approached, a drumroll sounded to reveal the band Just A Few Cats, playing “Get Down On It” under a brilliant full moon. The funk continued into the evening, drawing guests out onto the dance floor, and the bride eventually took the stage—after changing into a silk charmeuse dress by Galvan—for the band’s performance of “Crazy in Love.”

Just outside the tent, leading towards the garden, a satellite bar offered champagne and sweet treats. Lounge furniture nestled around the tent served as the perfect spot for guests to gather, kick off their shoes, and take in the evening as the night went on.

At midnight, the band started to wind down. “No one really wanted the night to end though!” Theresa says. The new Mr. and Mrs. Hancock made their exit through a sparkler-lit path to trolleys, and friends piled in. They all headed to El Rocko lounge in downtown Savannah, where they were awaited by martinis and more late-night mayhem.