Carolina Bride

Clemson Casual

While visiting her grandparents’ community pool in Ballantyne, the last thing on Sarah Clark’s mind was meeting a guy. Then, he introduced himself. “Hi, I’m Clark.”“When he said it, I couldn’t believe it,” Sarah recalls. “His name hit me like a pile of bricks. This tall, dark and handsome guy’s first name was my last name! Later I heard him talking about his plan to move to New Jersey and I thought, I have to get to know him before he leaves.”Clark did in fact move north, but not too long after he arrived did the couple decide they had to be in the same city. “We decided to take a leap of faith, so Clark quit his job and moved back to Charlotte,” she says. “We just knew that it was right.”In early summer the couple visited Charleston to attend a friend’s wedding. While Sarah was occupied with the bride-to-be, Clark was on a mission to scope out the perfect proposal spot. They decided to stay another day and spent a casual Sunday shopping in the market, walking around the Battery and sightseeing. After dinner, Clark asked Sarah to take a walk by the water, and while they sat on a bench to enjoy the sunset, he proposed with the antique-inspired engagement ring he selected from Diamonds Direct. When Sarah started planning, she immediately called Kristin Vining Photography. “Her work shocks me every time, and I knew I had to use her. Clark and I agreed that our goal was to make the wedding and reception reflect exactly who we are: casual and fun. So we decided on the Palisades Country Club for the ceremony and reception to create a fairytale backdrop but added in our own unique style.”The couple’s signature style was most obvious in the Clemson-inspired color scheme of eggplant purple with pink and orange accents. “Clark went to Clemson,” Sarah explains, “and the more we thought about the colors, they were perfect!” To reflect their relaxed style, Sarah and Clark had an outdoor ceremony on the lawn of the Palisades with small flower arrangements hanging from the chairs and rose petals scattered down the aisle – designed with the help of Creative Solutions. Sarah’s flowers by Carey Roberts Design and diamond white, silk and chiffon gown from Mecklenburg Bridal perfectly fit her mood for the day. “It was just so comfortable, and I loved how I felt in it.” And for a sentimental “something borrowed,” Sarah wore her sister’s veil designed by Jet Taylor. Her “something new” were beautifully handmade earrings by her mother. Perhaps the most special gift she carried that day was the “something old:” a handkerchief with her initials in blue, in memory of a dear family friend. Additional attire was provided by Belk. After a rehearsal dinner at Fish Market Seafood, Bar and Grill and the ceremony, the no-fuss reception was the perfect setting for the party that lasted all night thanks to good food, a great band and a fun bride and groom. To encourage guests to mingle and to create a more casual feel, the bride opted not to have formal place settings. “We wanted people to really relax and enjoy themselves. We decided on a very casual menu that reflected foods we actually enjoy eating, including mini barbecue sandwiches, chicken fingers and a wonderful salad bar.” The couple both agree the late-night pizza was a perfect snack for guests that needed a break from dancing. “Our main goal was for everyone to have a great time and feel comfortable,” Sarah says. “Mission accomplished!”

Featured vendors


Kristin Vining Photography



Carey Roberts Design Co.



Mecklenburg Bridal




Jet Taylor Bridal Jewels & Custom Wedding Veils at Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery



Diamonds Direct SouthPark


Rehearsal Dinner

Fish Market Seafood Bar and Grill



Creative Solutions Special Events