Fly fishing would connect this couple with a lifetime of happiness
Leldon Peace McClary & Samuel Davis Elmer
February 22, 2020 • Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church and Frank’s & Frank’s Outback
It turns out that fishing can hook more than, well, fish. It reeled Leldon and Sam in a few years ago at the University of Georgia, where he walked into a bar wearing a Debordieu Golf polo shirt.
“I noticed the logo because I grew up in the area my whole life and, eventually, I worked up the courage to ask him how he ended up in a Debordieu shirt,” says Leldon. “Since he grew up in Asheville and his brother guides fly fishing trips in Cashiers, we made an agreement that I would take him back to Pawleys if he taught me how to fly fish.”
A couple weeks later, that agreement was fulfilled when the two reconnected at a Pawleys Island beach house Leldon’s parents (owners of Frank’s Restaurant & Bar) rented from a fundraiser. Leldon soon learned that Pawleys was a regular vacation spot for Sam’s family over the Fourth of July (and Sam’s birthday is July 5); his mom actually grew up coming to Pawleys and used to hang out with Leldon’s godfather, John Henry Whitmire.
“To this day, we still joke that we probably crossed paths at some Fourth of July party or pegged each other with water balloons during the float parades,” says Leldon.
Fast-forward a little more than two years and the couple would find themselves in the middle of a fly fishing spot in Whitewater River in Cashiers, N.C. Standing on separate rocks, Sam asked Leldon over to his rock so he could tie a different fly on her line.
“I fully expected some type of worm to come out of the box,” she says. “He then pulled a ring box out and got down on one knee in the middle of the river, in front of a small waterfall, next to a deep hole in the water. Needless to say, he held that ring box tight, I said yes, and the rest is history!”
Sam and Leldon tied the knot on February 22, 2020—right before the pandemic shut down the world—inside Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, where a young Leldon once served as an acolyte. She wore an elegant, lace, long-sleeved A-line Justin Alexander gown. Her vintage veil was an heirloom of Sam’s family, handmade in Brussels and previously worn by his mother and several of her relatives.
“The second I put on the dress, I knew it was it,” says Leldon. “… And I was thrilled to be able to incorporate the veil into my wedding day attire.”
Her bridesmaids were in sleek, steel blue, floor-length chiffon gowns. When they stepped foot outside the church, the ladies threw on fur shawls, a gift from the bride and groom.
“In addition, my godfather owns Whitmire’s Fine Jewelry and he crafted all of the bridesmaids some pearl drop earrings to wear for the ceremony, which I thought was a really sweet gift for him to do for us,” says Leldon.
Sam was dapper in a Brackish feather bowtie that was a Christmas gift from Leldon, and he bought his groomsmen Vineyard Vines bowties and cummerbunds that had matching champagne bottles and flutes.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds celebrated with their guests at Frank’s, of course, which was adorned in lots of greenery, blues and whites.
“For us, it was unique to have the reception at my parents’ restaurant,” says Leldon. “It was such a fun night and we loved getting to spend it with our closest friends and family, including our Frank’s family, some of which have known me since I was born and have been with my parents for 32 years.”
Highlights of the reception decor also included appearances of their adopted dog, Penny, such as in the shape of the giant ice sculpture towering above the raw seafood bar (a surprise from Leldon’s mom) and a watercolor of Penny on the koozie favors; a signing station, where guests signed two University of Georgia jerseys to pay tribute to the newlyweds’ alma mater; a black-and-white checkered dance stage; and several seated lounge areas lined with pillows printed with the couple’s monogram.
A handful of themed food stations throughout Frank’s Outback featured cold seafood, Asian foods, carved beef tenderloin, red wine and cheese, Mediterranean delicacies, and comfort foods. And a large format wine bar was stocked with magnums and double magnums of some of the couple’s favorite red wines. Maps of the station layout was even provided to guests!
On top of the custom-designed matches, koozie, cup and napkin party favors, guests received glow-in-the dark necklaces and glasses, as well as Mardi Gras masks and beads to kick off Mardi Gras the following weekend.
“I would say to future brides that anything can happen, and that’s OK,” says Leldon. “Enjoy the moment! I actually forgot to kiss Sam at the altar and my father walked over my dress when he gave me away. But it didn’t affect us getting married!”
Leldon, a commercial mortgage banking analyst, and Sam, a portfolio implementation specialist, currently call Charlotte, N.C., home.
Photographer: Rachel Red Photography
Ceremony Venue: Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church
Reception Venue/Catering: Frank’s & Frank’s Outback
Planner: Stunning & Brilliant Events
Dress: The Dressing Room
Hair: Oui Vey Salon
Makeup: Beautiful Salon & Spa
Cake: Pawleys Island Bakery
Entertainment: Liquid Pleasure Band
Transportation: Carolina Limousine
Jewelry: Whitmire’s Fine Jewelry
Calligraphy/Watercolor: Traci Green Designs
Videographer: Salt Glass Media
Ice Sculpture: Ice Age Ice Sculptures of Charleston
Restroom Trailers: Elvis Service Company
Equipment Rentals: EventWorks