New York style meets Lowcountry charm at the perfect Westin wedding
Jerome Clark and Michelle Hall knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding — “Manhattan chic meets Southern charm.”
So when it came time to choose a location for their nuptials, Hilton Head Island seemed like the perfect fit. And after months of planning, their special day finally arrived. On May 23, 2015, Michelle and Jerome joined each other in love and matrimony at an intimate ceremony at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.
The bride and groom, who live in Manhattan, wanted to choose a location that spoke to their shared and unshared life experiences.
“Jerome was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and neither of us wanted to get married in those places, so we were looking for a middle,” says Michelle. “We were looking for a venue that was close enough to (our) homes and close enough to New York City, without making it feel like we were sacrificing pieces of ourselves, and Hilton Head Island really captured that for us.”
Jerome and Michelle worked from afar with the staff at The Westin to pull of their special day.
“The outdoor wedding venues at The Westin make it easy to create absolutely breathtaking vistas for my couples for their special day,” says Ashlee Fleming, catering sales manager at The Westin. ”Every one of my couples is different, each with a unique vision for their wedding day — rustic, coastal chic, nautical, elegant. I love seeing our venues transformed into something unique and special each and every time.”
“[Fleming] knew what we were looking to do, and helped us to make it happen. We just found everybody at The Westin to be really helpful,” says Michelle, who shares a 7-year-old daughter with Jerome. “Ashlee felt like a good friend, and it felt like we were getting married in a much more intimate setting than it was.”
The Westin hosted the ceremony, and Jerome and Michelle hosted a pool party there the next Monday to unwind with their guest and their families. Like any major event, it takes the work of several different vendors and wedding professionals to pull of the perfect day. Photographer Michel Berda of King Street Photo Weddings documented the wedding for the couple, his images telling a beautiful story of love.
“I am a true storyteller because I photograph from my heart,” Berda says.
“I think everything really hit the mark. I can’t really think of anything we would have done different. I think Jerome and I were really happy with the venue and the way everything came off,” says Michelle, who chose coral, peach and silver as her wedding colors. “It turned out more beautifully than we could even had hoped. Just perfect.”
Jerome and Michelle recently celebrated their one-year anniversary with a relaxing trip to St. John, one of the three U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We had a really great time on St. John, and we’re excited to be married,” says Michelle, her voice rising and suggesting a smile as wide as the retreat’s crystal-blue waters. “I love it.”
As the ceremony wound down, it became clear that the ceremony had attracted an overflow audience. Several Westin guests had been watching the ceremony unfold from the balconies of their rooms, and at ground level on the sprawling property. It must have felt like a backstage pass — or stadium seating — to watch the most special day of a couple’s life.
“It was just the most bizarre thing. All the guests at the hotel were actually looking on at the wedding, and [they] clapped when we kissed, and as the minister announced us husband and wife,” says Michelle. “It felt like everything there was part of the party, and it made us feel very special. It was a very good day. A very good day.”
The Rev. James Singletary
Music, Ceremony & Reception:
Ross Brown, DJ
Welcome Reception Host:
Amazing Event Rentals
Hair/Make Up/Bridal Party:
The Westin Spa