It may be hard to concede that anything good could ever come out of a Gamecock loss, especially in the conference championship, but for Lockey and Adam Plyler, they would not have had the 2010 SEC Championship game go any other way.
Lockey and Adam first met during a night out in the Vista following USC’s loss to Auburn at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. An avid Gamecock fan, Adam and Nick Watson, his friend, had just driven back from the game and were keen to dwell on more pleasant thoughts. When Lockey introduced herself to Adam and asked if he would dance with a friend of hers, he conditionally consented if she would dance with him afterward.
“We danced, and the rest is history,” Lockey laughs. “If the Gamecocks had won that night, we may have never met!” Adam adds.
With evident instant chemistry, Lockey and Adam got to know each other through many walks on the USC campus, the Columbia City River Walks and state parks. “We fell in love with each other in the great outdoors,” smiles Lockey. “We were outside swimming, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, walking our dogs and fishing together as we grew closer. It may be a bit cheesy, but I once read the quote, ‘He who loves me will also love my dog,’ and this was very true. Our dogs helped us fall in love.”
After two and a half years of dating, Lockey traveled for a week in July 2013 to chaperon a church trip to John’s Island. Adam took the opportunity to ask Lockey’s parents, Elizabeth and Paul Powers, over a bag of boiled peanuts for permission to wed their daughter. He also showed both his family and hers the diamond he had arduously striven to select. He settled on a glittering round solitaire with a yellow gold band.
After Lockey returned from John’s Island, Adam asked her to keep him company while he started working on a new flower bed in her front yard. “It was so hot and buggy,” remembers Lockey. “I had had my fill of hot and buggy on John’s Island and quickly asked Adam if he minded if I went inside. He was hesitant and offered to go inside and get some bug spray. I knew I didn’t have any bug spray, so after about two seconds I headed inside after him. Adam had quickly escaped to the back porch where he had a rose from a bush he planted for me in the spring in one hand, and a gorgeous solitaire diamond ring in the other!”
After telling family and friends their exciting news, Adam was not about to miss playing in his Columbia League soccer game. It comes as no surprise that they won their game that night!
After the proposal, Lockey was immediately ready to plan. As a teacher, Lockey knew she would have the most time that summer, so she and Elizabeth went the very next day to look at venues and talk to their church, Saint John’s Episcopal. “In the Episcopalian Church, you can’t get married during Lent,” Lockey explains. “February 22 was the next to last Saturday before Lent, so there we had it. Also, I had to have a winter wedding because I wanted to wear my grandmother’s dress, and it is long sleeved.” They booked both the date and the reception venue that same day.
Festivities began with a lovely rehearsal dinner hosted by Adam’s parents at Senate’s End. For the reception, the Palmetto Club was just what Lockey and Adam had in mind. “They made planning very easy,” says Lockey. “We loved going to taste all the foods we chose for the wedding; it was a wonderful double date with my parents.” It was perfect for a winter wedding venue and could comfortably fit about 200 people in the upper ballroom. The location was also ideal as their guests were within walking distance of the Sheraton, and their friends were right by the Vista.
In planning the flowers, Chad from Rosewood Florist knew exactly how to achieve the ideas Lockey had pictured in her head. She wanted the bouquets and flower arrangements to have an organic and whimsical feel, so Chad created her bouquet out of small white bridal roses, white hydrangeas and white mountain lilies enhanced with a touch of white genista and a touch of flowing greenery.
Ever since Lockey was a little girl, she saw herself getting married in the 1950s dress that both her mother and grandmother wore on their wedding days. A true classic, the round neckline is accented with alternating cutouts of diamond-shaped netting, bordered with beading. The tapered bodice culminates at the waist, and the ivory satin then flows down to a four-foot train. The long sleeves hide a row of covered buttons at the closure near the wrist. Lockey also slightly altered and wore her mother’s veil for the ceremony, then a hairpiece for her reception made out of fresh roses and baby’s breath by Rosewood Florist.
“I saw a picture years ago of a girl with a short dress for her reception, and ever since was in love with the idea,” Lockey explains. “We looked everywhere for a short winter wedding dress but all we could find were going away dresses, more casual than what I wanted.” A family friend came to the rescue by recommending Juanita Johnson at Juanita’s Tailored Originals on Main Street. Lockey brought Juanita pictures of the different pieces of various dresses she liked and explained her vision.
“She drew the picture of my reception dress as if she could see the image I had in my mind!” Lockey explains. Juanita not only made her reception dress, but also made the bridesmaids’ dresses and altered her grandmother’s dress.
Lockey went with her mother and grandmother to Mary Joe’s Fabric in Gastonia, N.C. to buy the materials for her reception dress. When they settled on an off-white silk organza and a silk dupioni, all that was left was the lace for the top and trim of the dress; however, the type of lace needed was nowhere to be found. “My grandmother saved the day by explaining our dilemma and gaining access to boxes and boxes of lace remnants from years past,” says Lockey. “We spent hours looking and finally found the perfect piece.”
The final dress was a lace and organza overlay on a silk dupioni bodice with a sweetheart shape underneath. The back was an open “V” with an organza overlay and scalloped edging, and the three-quarter length sleeves were also scalloped. A silk dupioni cummerbund with covered buttons in the back gave way to a full skirt with layers of silk, organza and dupioni. The top layer of organza had a full border of lace around the hemline. “It could not have been more perfect, and it fit my personality exactly. Both dresses showed a different part of me,” Lockey smiles.
In one of Lockey’s sparkly off-white shoes, she wore a sixpence covered in blue satin with a very tiny lace trim, also worn previously by her grandmother and mother in the tradition of the Old English rhyme, “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe.” “In changing dresses after the service, I nearly lost the sixpence! Thank goodness my mom was there and is the sort to pay attention to details,” she says. Just as with her dresses, she had two pairs — one of 4-inch heels needed for the length of the dress, and another set of matching flat shoes. “I knew I wouldn’t last long in heels and did end up changing about 30 minutes into the reception.
Lockey and Adam chose navy blue, white and gold as their wedding colors. The bridesmaids wore gold pumps with their dresses of a navy organza and dupioni. The dresses featured a sweetheart neckline, a V-back with an organza overlay and three-quarter length sleeves, finished with covered buttons. Lockey asked childhood friend Retta Hepworth to be her Maid of Honor and Katie Stinnette and Maggie Powell to be her other bridesmaids, both childhood friends. Adam also had three groomsmen with Grady Plyler, his father, as the Best Man, and his brother, Garrett, and childhood friend Clark Williams to complete the wedding party.
“I loved having a small bridal party. Adam and I truly love everyone that stood up there with us and know they will be part of our lives together,” says Lockey.
At 5:30 p.m. on February 22, Lockey walked down the aisle of Saint John’s Episcopal Church, which was decorated with candles wrapped in smilax.
“The weather was miraculously perfect, because Columbia’s second ice storm had been just the week before!” Adam says.
In honor of Lockey’s late grandfather, William Duncan, a charter member of the Columbia chapter of the Saint Andrew’s Society, they chose bagpipes for the processional, “Highland Cathedral,” and for the recessional, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” Lockey’s grandmother even donned a sash of the Duncan plaid. As Lockey proceeded down the aisle on her father’s arm to the bagpipes, Adam could not hold back the tears.
Caroline Plyler and Will Winters, Adam’s niece and nephew, were the proud flower girl and ring bearer. Elizabeth even made the ring bearer pillow out of the left over material from the reception dress. Lockey also invited her second grade class, Girls on the Run team, and girl’s Bible study to the wedding ceremony. The elementary students sat demurely sat on the back two rows until Lockey made it down the aisle when they then all piled into the aisle so that they could catch a glimpse of the action.
As guests made their way to the Palmetto Club following the ceremony, they were greeted by waiters in the lobby with hot drafts of cider. Smilax also decorated the banisters and windows, and the tables were draped with white table cloths, some with gold runners.
The earlier family food-tasting excursion resulted in success. The shrimp and grits were the uncontested favorite, complimented with lamb, ham biscuits, jalapeño poppers and crab stuffed mushrooms. Chicken skewers, smoked salmon, asparagus with prosciutto ham and a seven layer dip were also offered to the guests, as were cheese and fruit plates.
The main attraction, i.e., the cake, was a creation of Carol Sturkie with Parties to Go. She even piped a lace-like border at the base of each tier that matched Lockey’s dress. Rosewood Florist put on the finishing touches by placing fresh roses cascading down the side. “Adam was such a good sport and let me do what I wanted for most of the wedding,” says Lockey. “However, he tasted the almond cake made at Parties to Go and was sold!”
The Ross Holmes Band provided endless dancing to Beach Music and Oldies, and with Ross’s charismatic charm the floor was never empty.
“We could not have planned such a beautiful wedding without my mom,” says Lockey. “She was so organized — she made all the phone calls and organized everything. All Adam and I had to do was just decide what we wanted! She was just amazing, and I am so thankful for everything my mom and dad did to make our wedding perfect for us.”