Kathryn Clay Dunnan and Grover Cleveland Maxwell IV met through a mutual friend, when Grover transferred to the College of Charleston the summer before their junior year. Six months later, they were dating and never turned back. After eight years as a serious couple, Grover proposed during an evening harbor cruise on his family’s boat.
For her big day, Clay knew she wanted to look like herself and be comfortable. She selected a Monique Lhuillier creation and paired the gown with royal blue moonstone and diamond studs by Temple St. Clair, which was a gift from her grandmother, and a veil that has been passed down on her mother’s side to every woman since 1895. “I was the seventeenth bride to wear it. The Flemish, ivory rose pointe lace was originally sewn by nuns in Belgium,” she says.
Even though the bride hails from Rye, New York, she considers Charleston, and specifically, Yeamans Hall Club, as her second home; it was the perfect choice for the reception. “You feel as though you’re stepping back in time when you go through the gates—it still has dirt roads, and the abundance of moss-lined oaks is absolutely magical,” Clay explains. They set the date for May 18th, 2019, and their event planners and designers, Easton Events, created an aesthetic that highlighted the natural beauty of the spaces.
The pair held their ceremony at Grace Church and were married in a traditional Episcopalian service, officiated by the bride’s uncle. Clay was more nervous than she had expected, but Grover was too. “The first thing he whispered to me when I got there was, ‘I’m sorry, I’m so nervous,’ so I was glad to know we were on the same page!” she remembers.
After their first kiss as husband and wife, they exited through the big church doors to bells ringing. Then everyone headed to Yeamans and strolled down a garden path to the club’s “backyard” space, where a tented party was waiting. The band, Life of the Party, was already on stage playing upbeat music.
The newlyweds had their first dance to “Pretty Young Thing” by Michael Jackson. “I don’t think we left the dance-floor for more than twenty minutes the entire night,” the bride says.
For their exit, they ran through a shower of flower petals and jumped in a golf cart headed for the Hotel Bennett, where they had a nightcap with close friends. “We didn’t want the perfect night to end!”