Classic Christmas Wedding at Sea Island Cloister

Classic Christmas Wedding at Sea Island Cloister

Erin and Patrick married in early December at The Cloister at Sea Island followed by a tented reception at Sea Island Beach Club in Georgia. Erin grew up spending special times at Sea Island and as the couple dated, the location became special to both of them. Together, with the help of Sarah-Allen Preston Designs, they planned a beautiful winter wedding with tasteful Christmas touches evoking warmth and cheer. / Images by Liz Banfield.

Says Erin, “My parents started going to Sea Island, Ga., back in 1985.  My sister and I grew up going there over the summers and we all just loved it there.  My parents bought a house on Sea Island in 2016. When Patrick and I started dating we started spending Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family at their home in Sea Island.  I always knew I wanted to get married at Sea Island one day and I was lucky it became such a special place to Patrick also over the years we dated!

I knew I wanted jewel tones of red and green without being too Christmas-y since our wedding was only 11 days before Christmas.  I love florals and wanted everything to be super lush and full with lots of greenery. I really wanted a classic, elegant and beautiful wedding.  The Cloister Hotel is so beautiful that it really made our vision come to life. It was the perfect backdrop for our wedding. We made sure to throw in some fun elements like green velvet, plaid pajamas, tortoise shell turtle ornaments as escort cards and LED Christmas bulb necklaces at the reception. Sarah-Allen Preston Designs and the Sea Island Wedding team, plus several other people, made our wedding day even more than I could have ever imagined.

Engagement Story | Patrick proposed on a private wine cellar tour at the Cloister Hotel in Sea Island. It was the day before Thanksgiving in 2019. He worked so hard with my mom and the Sea Island wedding team to make it the perfect proposal. He proposed down in the wine cellar, my parents and sister came in after the proposal, then our amazing Sea Island team brought my favorite sparkling rose to celebrate. The whole place was covered in rose petals. It was a dreamy engagement and one of my favorite days.

Tell us about the moment you knew you had found your dress. I had tried on SO many dresses and went to so many different boutiques.  There were a lot that I really liked, but none of them gave me that feeling. When I went to Nolte’s, we sat down with the owner and I told him what I had in mind. The first dress I tried on I knew was the one. I got all choked up and it was one of the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen. I got that ‘this is the one’ feeling and knew this had to be the dress I walked down the aisle in!  

Favorite memories? Getting ready with my mom and sister will always be something that is so special to me; My first look with my dad and then my first look with Patrick.  Feelings I will always remember; Walking down the aisle to Patrick and the whole ceremony; Everyone LOVING the reception and dancing into the night with all our family and friends!

Favorite special touches?
My mom had one of my grandmother’s handkerchiefs monogrammed with my grandmother’s initials, my mother’s initials and my initials.  It was one of my favorite special touches from the day.
We had a bagpiper lead all of our bridal party and guests from the ceremony, with a glass of champagne in hand, over to the beach club where dinner and dancing took place.
We had the most gorgeous custom monograms throughout the weekend.  During the reception we had custom cocktail napkins, hand towels in the bathrooms, and cups at the bar.  We also had custom koozies that were in our welcome bags for all our guests.
My custom veil.

Advice? Surround yourself with the best team of people while planning.  I could have NEVER done this without my Mom and our wedding planners.  It’s all about having a vision and it helps having creative people to help your vision come to life!  Plus, it cuts down on the stress of having to do everything yourself. Enjoy every second.  It all goes by so quickly, especially the wedding weekend.  It will be one of the most memorable times of your life. Live it up and enjoy getting married to the love of your life with your closest friends and family all there to celebrate with you!

Photographer: Liz Banfield | Ceremony Venue: The Cloister at Sea Island | Reception Venue: Sea Island Beach Club | Event Planning: Sarah-Allen Preston Designs | Florist: Vine Garden Market | Wedding Gown: Maria Farbinni | Wedding Gown Shop: Nolte’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Tip Top Tux | Bride’s Jewelry: Kenneth Jay Lane | Bride’s Veil: Maria Farbinni Haute Couture | Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ attire: Jenny Yoo  “Aria” in Mayan Blue | Wedding Stationery: dePLUME Stationers | Cake: created in-house by Sea Island | Caterer: Sea Island | Hairstylist: Maria Moore of Uberzoot | Make-up Artist: Patricia Kozak | Wedding Band: East Coast Entertainment | Tent: Beachview Event Rentals & Design | Lounge Rentals: Beachview Event Rentals & Design | Linens: LaTavola Linens | Videographer: Dual Mode Productions