The Time of Their Lives

January 2019
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Carmen Ash

Caroline and Austin’s love story began at the perfect moment for the pair

Caroline Boineau & James Austin Thomas
June 2, 2018 • Brookgreen Gardens

Timing is everything with many things in life, including love and relationships. And such was the case for the timing of Caroline and Austin Thomas’ love story, which has a fairy tale ending.

The two actually first met through their parents—longtime friends who often joked about introducing Caroline and Austin. That introduction would actually end up happening while they were each dining with their parents at Wahoo’s, the cool waterfront hangout in Murrells Inlet, one evening. There was an instant connection, but the timing just wasn’t right. Second attempt: a triple date for dinner out with their parents, which ended with phone numbers being exchanged and Austin asking Caroline out for drinks a few nights later.

“And that was the start of this beautiful relationship,” says Caroline.

It would continue as a three-year courtship, culminating with Austin popping the question on one of their typical Friday beach walks in Litchfield on December 22, 2017, with their German shepherd puppy, Barry White.

“It was one of those nice, warm days with our new puppy and I had my camera because I was obsessed with taking photos of our dog,” says Caroline. “Then Austin went running off with the dog in front of me and pretended to fall with the dog on top … When I caught up to them, he got down on one knee.”

And that opened the next chapter of Caroline and Austin’s love story: planning their wedding.

Caroline always loved The Secret Garden, so she set out to stage her own special, romantic garden wedding. The summer date was set for June 2, 2018, at The Holliday Cottage at Brookgreen Gardens.

“I wanted to take advantage of the natural beauty at Brookgreen, with added greenery, lanterns and candles,” says Caroline.



Pretty cafe lights were strung underside the roof of the reception tent and above white linen tables set with blush glass goblets and a photo of the couple’s fur baby. While their pup wasn’t able to attend the wedding, he was still part of their special day in the form of 12 different photos on the tables and seating chart.

Caroline was stunning in a dramatic silk organza V-neck gown with full skirt by Anne Barge. Her bridesmaids complemented the romantic garden theme in various Jenny Yoo blush and floral blush dresses.

“I found the style of gown I wanted right away on Pinterest,” she says, “and then it was one of the first dresses I tried on at White on Daniel Island and I just knew that it was the one. For my bridesmaids, I didn’t want everyone to look the exact same; I wanted the girls to look unique, modern and elegant.”

While the newlyweds posed for wedding photos amidst the majestic sculptures and live oaks of Brookgreen, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour of coastal delicacies like fried oysters, bacon-wrapped scallops and grilled shrimp and avocado canapés. Dinner featured a marinated flank steak carving station, wild mushroom ravioli, potato-crusted salmon fillets and more.

Guests were gifted with a memory of Caroline and Austin’s big day by way of handcrafted slate coaster wedding favors printed with “You’re the First, The Last, My Everything,” a song by Barry White. The coasters were a gift from Caroline’s three uncles, who own and operate a slate quarry in Pennsylvania founded by her late grandfather. Barry White (the artist) even made his way into the celebration with the couple’s first dance to “Just the Way You Are.”

Caroline says her highlight memory of her wedding day was, “walking down the aisle and seeing Austin at end of there waiting for me, and Austin’s dad, who is in a band, getting up and singing, ‘Sweet Caroline.’”

The couple lives happily ever after in Murrells Inlet, where Caroline works as a real estate agent and Austin is an attorney.

Key Vendors:

Venue: Brookgreen Gardens
Photographer: Carmen Ash Photography
Planner: Della Ramsey
Dress: Anne Barge from White on Daniel Island
Hair/Makeup: Stox & Co.
Cake: Incredible Edibles
Florist: Greenskeeper Florist
Catering: Austin’s Ocean One
Entertainment: Finesse
Videography: Hart to Heart Media
Equipment Rentals: EventWorks
Invitations: The RSVP Shoppe
Getaway Car: Carolina Limousine
Ceremony Music: Strand Strings & Class Brass, LLC
Officiant: Reverend Walter Cantwell of Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet