Connor Atkinson and Marshall Macon’s romance all started with a Tinder takeover. One Labor Day, Connor’s friends decided to commandeer her account while they were in Montauk for a girls’ weekend and when they saw a preppy guy pictured on the beach in a Masters visor, they quickly swiped right.
“It turned out that Marshall and I had several mutual friends through Charleston and University of Virginia connections, so I assumed Kristin and Kaley had not gone fully off the deep end for their own entertainment,” explains Connor. “Marshall started a ‘conversation’ over the app, which eventually died down as we were both enjoying the last official weekend of summer. About two weeks later, I got an unexpected message from him with a few witty lines that I couldn’t ignore. We met for drinks later that week in Bryant Park, where we figured out we had even more mutual connections, including the fact that I went to high school with his sister-in-law!”
Things got serious pretty quickly, and the two got engaged in March of 2015—about a year and a half after they met. It was early spring, and Connor had just returned to New York from a friend’s bachelorette party in Miami. “When I arrived at our apartment, Marshall wanted us to run some errands and pick up some custom shirts he’d ordered in Midtown,” remembers Connor. “It was one of the first nice days of the year, so after leaving the store, we strolled leisurely back to the subway at Bryant Park. I thought Marshall was simply soaking up the nice weather when he opted for the long way, so I was completely surprised when he got down on one knee just as we neared the spot where our first date had taken place. Tears filled my eyes so much that I couldn’t see the ring, which was stunning! Marshall had his mother’s diamond reset in a simple platinum band for me. It is so special to wear something that she wore and to know that I am the fourth generation to have that diamond.” Afterwards, Marshall took Connor to a bar nearby—the same one they’d gone to on their first date. There, he’d arranged for friends to meet them, and the two spent the rest of the evening reveling in the moment with everyone.
When it came time to book a wedding venue, there wasn’t much debate. It was practically pre-destined that Connor would have her reception at the Country Club of Charleston—she pretty much grew up there. “I spent my entire childhood playing golf and swimming at the pool all summer long,” she says. The church was an easy choice too as Connor and her family have been long time members of St. Philip’s in downtown Charleston. “It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and truly embodies so much of the charm and style that I love about my hometown,” she says.
Picking her wedding dress required a little more coordinating. “My mom and my matron of honor flew up to New York for a weekend of dress shopping at several boutiques,” says Connor. “I didn’t have anything specific in mind, but I knew I wanted something elegant and timeless—that I would look back on 50 years from now and still like.” At their first stop, Connor quickly fell in love with the bodice of an Amsale dress, but hated the skirt. The salesperson explained that she could easily swap the existing skirt for something else by doing a custom order. “As luck would have it, at my appointment at the actual Amsale boutique the following day, I described my favorite silhouettes from prior appointments to the woman assisting us, and she immediately said they had the exact dress in stock as a never-been-worn sample in my size,” says Connor. “As soon as I put it on, I knew I had found my dress.”
The Amsale dress drove Connor’s other decisions around beauty and jewelry. “I wanted my hair swept up in a simple low knot and my make up was just a more polished version of my every day look,” says Connor. To continue this classic aesthetic, Connor wanted to wear a beautiful pair of earrings with nothing around her neck or wrists. “Marshall surprised me at dinner one night a few months before our wedding saying he wanted to get me earrings that I could wear at the wedding, but he needed some help finding the perfect pair,” says Connor. “After looking at different options for several weeks, we found a pair of pearls I loved at a jewelry store in Charleston. I knew they would complement my dress and be a keepsake forever.”
Their ceremony was a traditional Episcopalian service. “St. Philip’s has a beautiful organ, so we chose classical music for the processional and recessional that took advantage of that instrument,” says Connor.
After the service, guests took trolleys from the church to the Country Club, located just on the other side of the Ashley River. While dinner was held inside, the balcony doors were opened up and guests mingled inside and out during cocktail hour. “We kept the décor and flowers simple, trying to draw people’s attention to the beautiful view of the golf course,” explains Connor.
In the dining room where dinner was held, everyone sat at small round tables decorated with brightly colored flower arrangements and linen napkins monogrammed with the couple’s new initials. “The floral arrangements were held in silver ice buckets and trophies collected by my father over the years through his competitive golf,” says Connor. “I love the idea of always using your nicest things when hosting people, so the silver ice buckets and monogrammed napkins were a personal touch that were really important to me.”
Connor and Marshall always felt strongly about having a seated dinner. “This is actually not the traditional route for many Southern weddings, but it was what we wanted to do,” says Connor. “We also wanted the food to be a reflection of our homes and families. Deviled eggs, fried oysters, and miniature tomato pies were passed during cocktail hour. And then for dinner, we started with a strawberry and feta salad, followed by an entrée of Lowcountry shrimp and grits, and then wedding cake as dessert. Shrimp and grits is one of my all-time favorite dishes, as well as one of the most famous meals for which Charleston is known.”
After dinner, guests moved across the floor to the room where The Crystal Clear Band of Atlanta was set up and ready to get started. “My absolute favorite part of the décor was the chandelier above the dance floor, which had been decorated with all sorts of beautiful flowers and greenery,” says Connor. “My florist was able to turn an otherwise dated brass chandelier into a stunning centerpiece for the party.” The couple got things going with “You’re All I Need (To Get By)” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. “We had several front runners and sought the advice of our band leader for what he thought would be best,” says Connor. “This was clearly his favorite, and the band executed it perfectly!” After dancing all night, the newlyweds ended the evening with a sparkler exit and then drove away in a golf cart decorated with a banner showing their new name and monogram.