Caroline Burton and Tucker Griffith were high school sweethearts. “We met met at Charlotte Country Day School as high schoolers,” says Caroline, a controller for a commercial real estate company. “Tucker and I sat next to each other in chemistry class—no joke. This was before cell phones were everywhere, so Tucker had to call my house to ask me out one Friday night. After that date, we both had the assumption that every Friday night from then on was our date night.”
The two saw each other for a few years in high school, and then the relationship became more serious when they were finishing up college. “It was Easter weekend, and we were headed to meet Tucker’s parents at his family’s beach house on Figure Eight Island, but when we arrived his parent’s weren’t there, so I began to have my suspicions that this might be ‘the’ weekend. He had set up an ‘Engagement Easter Basket’ with a few small gifts, a bottle of Champagne and my beloved childhood stuffed bunny—holding the engagement ring box in her lap. When I saw the basket, I lost it. I will never forget the moment he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We celebrated that night drinking Champagne and calling all of our friends and family.”
Caroline and Tucker knew they wanted to have their wedding reception at Charlotte Country Club, where Tucker’s parents celebrated their marriage in 1982. “I wanted a soft spring color palette with lots of traditional elements,” says Caroline. “Tucker and I just wanted a good old-fashioned wedding!”
The bride entrusted the bulk of the planning to Reagan Barnes of Events by Reagan and her mother. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” she admits. “I can be a bit of a control freak, but since I trusted them both, I was able to hand over many of the decisions. As a result, I wasn’t the least bit stressed on my wedding day.”
Caroline did a stint selling wedding dresses right after college so when it came time for her to pick one for herself she knew exactly what she wanted. “I fell in love with Vera Wang’s ‘Pandora’ gown because it had traditional lace but with an airy feel,” she says. “There are about four layers of different layers of lace and tulle on that dress. I wanted a full skirt and train for dramatic effect since I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to wear a dress like that again.” She accented the dress with sparkly Jimmy Choo heels, the same style her sister wore for her wedding five years earlier.
For jewelry, she wore aquamarine and diamond drop earrings that Tucker gifted her on their wedding day. They served as her something new and something blue. “I chose a simple veil, which photographed beautifully in the wind,” says Caroline. “I wanted my hair up in a classic bun and natural makeup. I added orchids to my hair for the reception and then for my going away outfit I changed into a blue and white Marchesa Notte dress. Not only did I want to keep with the tradition of having a ‘going away look,’ but my wedding dress would not have fit in the going away car: a 1967 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.”
Caroline walked down the aisle to a string quartet playing “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clarke. Reverend Lisa Saunders presided over the traditional Episcopalian ceremony, giving a beautiful homily, and then the string quartet played “Ave Maria.”
At the country club, the entrance was flanked by two large cherry blossom arrangements. Tablecloths were a mix of girard ivory and ice blue dupioni. “I was very specific about the flowers,” says Caroline. “Arrangements of pink tulips, orchids, blush garden roses, and peonies were scattered throughout the tables.”
For dinner, the couple chose to serve all of their favorites: shrimp and grits, fried oysters, seared ahi tuni, beef tenderloin, and potatoes au gratin. “My father gave a heartfelt speech welcoming everyone to the reception and also welcoming Tucker to the family,” says Caroline. The 12-piece band, Black and Blue Experience, kept everyone out on the dance floor. The couple’s first dance was to Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me.” “We wanted something classic and not too slow,” explains Caroline. “We are horrible dancers so we took lessons and learned a semi-choreographed dance. I’m pretty sure we were more nervous about the dance than actually getting married. Luckily, it came out mistake free!” In between spins on the dance floor, guests grab caramels and macaroons on tiered trays for dessert. “Tucker didn’t want to go on stage, but the band ended up getting he and his groomsmen to sing ‘My Girl,’ which was sweet,” remembers Caroline. “He later told me it was one of his favorite moments from the party.” Guests could then grab caramels and macaroons on tiered trays while taking a break from dancing.
After the reception, the newlyweds were showered with rose petals on the way out. “We got the driver of our getaway car to drive through uptown Charlotte so all the Saturday night partiers got to see the vintage car with our just married sign,” laughs Caroline. The next day, the two took and early flight to Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands for their honeymoon. “I didn’t flind out where we were going until the day of our wedding,” says Caroline. “Tucker planned the honeymoon all by himself and gave me a hotel brochure and a photography book of the island on the morning of our wedding. Before he planned it, my only stipulation was that we go somewhere tropical. He knows me well because he made a great choice. It was the honeymoon of our dreams—despite the 8:00 A.M. flight out—and the perfect ending to a wonderful and fun wedding weekend!”