Some brides worry about whether or not their future husbands will respond well in a crisis. Not Margaret Deans Fawcett Grantz, who married Derrick Grantz at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral this past June.
In October 2015, just two months after the pair started dating, they found themselves stranded in Margaret Deans’ house by rising floodwaters. “One minute we were just hanging out, and the next, before we knew it, there was no way for Derrick to leave,” says Margaret Deans. “Three days later, when the water finally receded, we knew that if we could get through that we could get through anything. You really get to know someone when you spend that much time together.”
But Margaret Deans was not surprised that she and Derrick were able to survive their first crisis. “We clicked immediately when we met, but after our first date, we were inseparable,” she says. “He has a great big heart.”
As the couple’s relationship deepened, Margaret Deans became even more convinced that Derrick was the one. “His nephew was just a year old when Derrick and I met, and I was blown away by how attentive and loving Derrick was to him,” she says. “He is sweet to his parents, too, which is super important.”
Deans Fawcett, Margaret Deans’ mother, agrees. “My husband, Peter, and Derrick’s father, Jeff, worked together, so we’ve known him and his wife, Jill, for many years,” she says. “Among other things, he treats his mother beautifully so I knew he’d be a great husband to my daughter.”
Margaret Deans says that marriage began to creep into the couple’s conversations after about a year of dating; by the fall, their future together had become a more regular topic.
But Derrick wanted to get engaged on his own terms. “He wanted to surprise me, so I really had to wait,” says Margaret Deans.
Her first test of patience took place at Christmas, when Derrick told Margaret Deans that he wanted to open their gifts alone. Anticipating a ring, Margaret Deans opened her beautifully wrapped present, only to discover a sweater from the boutique Anthropologie. “I loved it, but it was every girl’s worst nightmare,” she says. “He knew I’d be disappointed, so he’d included a note with the sweater that said, ‘I know this isn’t what you wanted. I promise it’s coming,’ so I knew that it was. But I still called my mom crying.”
Derrick held on through New Year’s Eve as well. “We were at the beach with friends,” says Margaret Deans. “I love the beach, so I figured our parents were staying elsewhere, just waiting for the call from us, but New Year’s Eve came and went with no proposal.”
What Margaret Deans did not know was that Derrick had already asked Peter Fawcett for permission to propose and that Deans had booked a few tentative dates at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and Forest Lake Club. “As soon as I knew that Derrick would be proposing, I went ahead and lined up a few days,” says Deans. “Finding a date where they’re both open can be a challenge, and I knew Margaret Deans and Derrick wouldn’t want to wait forever to get married.”
Derrick’s parents, Jill and Jeff Grantz, were also on board. “Margaret Deans and Derrick are so good for each other,” says Jill. “They have such a great time together; it’s a real gift to see your child find the right person and be so happy.”
On Jan. 3, when the proposal finally came, it was worth the wait. Derrick called Margaret Deans and asked if she would pick him up so they could meet some friends for dinner. When she arrived at the house and tooted the horn to let him know she was there, he texted her to please come in. Opening the front door, Margaret Deans was greeted by the sound of the Temptations singing “My Girl,” a giant bouquet of roses, and Derrick in a suit holding a tiny velvet box. “As much as I knew it was coming, it still caught me totally off guard,” says Margaret Deans. “And, of course, I was not dressed very cute. I had on my glasses and a big puffy jacket.”
The couple celebrated later that evening at the Fawcetts’ home, with friends, family, and a spread of some of the couple’s favorite foods: sushi, chicken fingers, Mexican dishes, a cheese board, and cookies inscribed with “She Said Yes.” They also found out about Deans’ behind-the-scenes planning and chose a wedding date that was just five months away. “We didn’t need a long engagement,” says Margaret Deans. “We were ready to get married.”
Just days later, Margaret Deans and Deans were sitting with wedding planner Cricket Newman, who had asked Margaret Deans to bring her Pinterest board along to the meeting. “I can’t even log on to Pinterest,” says Margaret Deans. “I told her that the only things that were important to me were to have a flower wall covered in hydrangeas, to have a cake that looked similar to my parents’ wedding cake, and a great band. Other than that, I totally trusted Cricket.”
Margaret Deans put her faith in Cricket, knowing her dedication to creating a wedding that looks just like the bride. “I wanted guests to walk in and say, ‘This looks just like Margaret Deans,’” she says. “When I asked her to describe her dream wedding in three words, she used ‘breathtaking,’ ‘special,’ and ‘unforgettable.’ We went from there.”
The wedding weekend began at Hay Hill, where Jill and Jeff hosted a cocktail party-style rehearsal dinner. “Those two have so many friends and love to visit with people, so a stand up party made the most sense,” says Jill.
The next day, after brunch at the home of Tracey and Lock Reddic; a bridesmaids’ luncheon at the home of Margaret Deans’ maternal grandmother, Betty Anne Richardson; and a hair and makeup session at Pout! with Process Hair Salon, the wedding party set out for Trinity, where they would take photographs and give Derrick an early glimpse of his bride-to-be. This modern tradition means that photographs of the wedding party can be taken before the wedding instead of afterward. Even better, what used to be an hours-long delay before newly married couples would arrive at their own reception has been pared down considerably.
Featuring lovely solo renditions of “Ave Maria” and “The Lord’s Prayer,” the 6 p.m. ceremony went without a hitch. “I cried during the vows,” says Margaret Deans, who wore her grandmother’s diamond earrings, an ivory lace dress, and her mother’s veil, which had been embellished with lace from the dress. “Derrick must have known that would happen because he had a handkerchief ready and wiped away my tears.”
In an effort to get the party started, Margaret Deans and Derrick cut the cake, a modern version of her parents’ wedding cake, which sat on a table draped with Margaret Deans’ great-grandmother’s lace tablecloth. They danced their first dances within 40 minutes of arriving at Forest Lake. Official duties out of the way, they were back on the dance floor soon after the band, Party on the Moon, started.
“The best wedding receptions are the ones where the bride and groom are having a ball,” says Cricket. “Once I got them onto the dance floor, they didn’t get off until it was time to go. Everyone had so much fun!”
The newlyweds’ getaway in a firetruck amid sparklers and pompoms was one for the books. “My dad bought a firetruck some years ago to help promote Fireball whiskey, which is one of the brands he sells,” says Margaret Deans. “We decided it would be fun for our exit, so that’s what we did. We threw mini bottles of Fireball to the crowd as we left.”
Margaret Deans and Derrick’s dramatic firetruck exit was not the only first at Forest Lake. Cricket also found unique ways to embellish the club by placing four urns in the corners of the anteroom and a pair of tall urns by the door and filling them with tall crape myrtles that arched over the entrance. Hung with white orchids, it created a striking first impression. Inside, garlands of lemon leaf, asparagus fern, and pittosporum draped from the soffits in the foyer ballroom softened the ceiling; massive wreaths decked with more greenery transformed the lighting fixture in a side room with a bar.
But the most inventive innovation of the night was the bar. “Peter Fawcett is in the beverage business so it was very important to him and to Deans that no one wait for a drink,” says Cricket. The challenge was that Margaret Deans and Derrick’s reception would be quite large, reducing the amount of space available for a bar. In the end, a massive bar with room for 10 bartenders was set along a wall in a small room adjacent to the ballroom. Closing off one set of doors and removing another allowed traffic to flow freely to and from the ballroom. “I can’t believe no one ever thought to do that before,” says Cricket. “It worked incredibly well.”
“It was the wedding of our dreams,” says Margaret Deans. “Everyone had so much fun. Cricket made it beautiful. I wouldn’t change a single thing. It was truly the best day ever.”
Ceremony: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
Reception: Forest Lake Club
Planner & Florist: Cricket Newman Designs
Hair & Makeup: Process Hair Salon/Pout!
Video and Photography: Lucas Brown at Kickstand Studio
Cake: Parkland Cakes
Decorative Lighting: Ambient Media
Band: Party on the Moon by East Coast Entertainment
Dress: Modern Trousseau from Hayden and Olivia
Transportation: Southern Shuttles