Love in the Lowcountry

January 2019
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Images by Heidi

Katy and Kurt were inspired to have their own Gone with the Wind wedding

Katy Parks & Kurt Gerald
May 5, 2018 • Kingston Presbyterian Church and 104 Laurel

When parents attempt to play matchmaker for their children, there’s always an extra wariness that creeps into this parental powerplay.

But today, Katy and Kurt Gerald couldn’t thank Katy’s dad any more for his intuitive fatherly intervention. Dad actually first job hunted Kurt down to work for him and, three phone calls and an interview later, Kurt was hired and the two became fast friends.

“I think I just hired the perfect guy for you, Katy,” she says he told her.

Katy realized that father knows best when Kurt showed her the months of support she needed via text and phone calls during her complaints of her dead end job in her hometown of Statesville, N.C.

“My parents were living in North Myrtle Beach, and one day I just decided to quit my job, pack my suitcase, and move to South Carolina,” says Katy. “I just had a feeling that Kurt would be the one, and there was nothing holding me back from taking the chance and finding out.”

The two had their first date three days after she moved, and that was all it took.

“We were never apart after that!,” says Katy. “When you know, you just know. I never felt like I had to be anyone but myself, and I could blurt out whatever was on my mind.”

The next step, in Kurt’s mind, was to ask Katy to marry him, which he originally planned to do at one of the sunsets on the couple’s trip to Key West in June 2017. But Katy found out later that his nervousness got the best of him because Katy’s mom made him believe that TSA would riffle through his suitcase at the airport and confiscate the ring.

“So he ended up proposing in the kitchen as we stood there with our suitcases walking out the door to leave for the airport,” she laughs. “Honestly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I didn’t need elaborate sunset proposals, I just needed the look on his face and the feeling of him putting the ring on me with his hands still shaky from all the nerves. It was such an intimate and purely sweet moment for just the two of us.”

The North Carolina native dreamt of a sweet, South Carolina-style wedding ceremony, which came true at Kingston Presbyterian Church near the Waccamaw River in downtown Conway on May 5, 2018.

“In North Carolina, we don’t have the live oaks with the Spanish moss,” says Katy. “It’s such an aesthetic that is so different and I fell in love with that. I think I’m a Scarlett O’Hara at heart. The location just felt right.”

Before the ceremony, showing one of the many reasons Katy’s Rhett Butler swept her off her feet, Kurt surprised her with a special gift.

“We both had said, ‘no gifts,’ but he gifted me with a beautiful set of diamond earrings and a matching necklace with the sweetest handwritten note on the back of a church bulletin,” says Katy. “It really showed me what a thoughtful person I was marrying, because he knows how sentimental I am and how much that would mean to me.”

The special day continued at the reception, held at 104 Laurel in downtown Conway, a lovely, historic venue that exuded the vision from the bride’s Lowcountry wish list with its exposed brick walls and original hardwood floors.

“I didn’t want a reception in a conference room with green carpet or something that looked like it could easily be turned into a medical conference,” says Katy.

Instead, the historic backdrop was made even more romantic and intimate with white lights wrapped around the wooden ceiling beams, ivory and blue mist linens (that complemented the bridesmaids’ gowns) draped over the tables and topped with greenery and Spanish moss and lantern centerpieces that glowed with ivory pillar candles. At the bridal party’s table, the mother of the bride’s collection of antique brass candleholders were lit and showcased along a beautiful 25-foot garland of greenery that was laced with cream roses and gold votives.

Guests were treated to a feast of traditional Southern fare, including shrimp and grits, a biscuit bar with homemade butters and jams, bourbon-glazed pork, mac and cheese and she crab shooters. The wedding cake topper even depicted the bride and groom standing under a live oak.

“They always say that your wedding day flies by and you don’t remember any of it, but I told myself that I would make it a point to look around the room every chance I got and just take an inventory of all the love and laughter surrounding us,” says Katy. “There were still people dancing after we made our sparkler exit! It truly was the perfect night.”

Katy and Kurt still revel in Conway, their place of residence and Kurt’s hometown. Katy works as a pediatric nurse at Little River Medical Center and Kurt works as a sales engineer and training specialist for Select Security.

Key Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: Kingston Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue: 104 Laurel
Photographer: Images by Heidi
Planner: Stunning & Brilliant Events
Catering: Buttercream Cakes & Catering
DJ: Play That One DJ
Florals: Sam’s Club
Men’s Attire: Joseph A. Bank
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
Bride’s Dress: Dixie Divas Boutique
Hair/Makeup: Madison Avenue Salon and Spa