It happens sometimes: a young woman meets the man of her dreams her freshman year in college. Perhaps they are in the same classes or they bump into each other and the rest is history. For Meg Evans, it happened at a Wofford Halloween party. “He was a KA and I was a KD,” says Meg. Mutual friends introduced them, and for Meg and Weston Bates, that was only the beginning.
Lynn Evans, Meg’s mother, recalls Meg calling after her first date with Weston. “She said he was so polite. He opened doors for her and treated her like a lady. Meg said that it was a perfect first date,” says Lynn. The week after they met, Weston invited Meg to the KA Mountain Weekend. “It was so fun,” Meg says. “After that, we went to every event together and always had such a great time. I knew he was a very driven person, like me, and we had similar career goals.”
Weston graduated from Wofford a year ahead of Meg and moved to nearby Greenville to work in finance. After Meg graduated, she went to Clemson to pursue her master’s degree in accounting. “I love the upstate and being close to the mountains, so I moved into a house there with three other Wofford girls,” she says. Meg and Weston continued to date and grow closer.
“Our two families really gelled,” says Lynn. “Weston’s family invited Meg to their family beach house, and she enjoyed spending time with his family.” Weston also met with the approval of Shaw, Meg’s father. “They share a love of sports and the outdoors,” Lynn explains. “They often talk about football, hunting, and fly fishing.”
In June of 2021, Weston paid a visit to Shaw, professed his love for Meg, and asked for her hand in marriage. “He was really sweet and traditional,” says Lynn. Weston waited six months to propose.
“I was caught very off guard by the proposal,” says Meg. “We’d talked about getting married and I’d sent him pictures of rings I liked, but I wasn’t expecting it on a Wednesday.” Meg credits Weston’s thoughtfulness, saying, “I found out he took the whole day off to set everything up! He picked up the ring that day because he was afraid of losing it. He couldn’t have been sweeter with his proposal.”
As with the relationship itself, wedding planning was easy because Meg knew what she wanted. After growing up going to Trinity Cathedral and to Forest Lake Club, Meg’s venues were obvious choices. Meg and Lynn trusted Martha Morris with the invitations. “They were traditional, double-fold, engraved invitations with the Trinity cross blind engraved at the top,” says Lynn. “Meg questioned why we didn’t want reply cards. I reassured her that friends would reply and write a response to the invitation. Wait and see. And they did.”
After invitations, it was on to dress shopping. “I’d heard stories about how long it takes to get a wedding dress, so the next thing we did was schedule visits to two bridal shops in Charlotte,” says Meg.
“We went to Hayden Olivia Bridal,” says Lynn of their first stop. “She came out in her first dress with a smile on her face. She knew it was the one.” While she tried on others at Hayden Olivia and went to the second store, only that first dress would do for Meg. “It was classic and timeless. I didn’t expect to love a strapless dress, but I did. We came back two weeks later and bought a lace bolero for the ceremony.”
Lynn gave Meg a beautiful family heirloom diamond brooch. They took it to Heathcliff’s Jewelers to have it made into a comb for Meg to wear in her hair on the wedding day.
“Meg was so thoughtful,” says Lynn. “After we found her dress, she looked at me and said, ‘What are you going to wear?’” Lynn had her dress custom-made by Nardos in New York City. “I wanted a specific green, the color of Camden Hunt Country cushion moss, a color I see when riding my horse. Not kelly, not emerald. Cushion moss green.”
Wedding and reception flowers were one of the most important aspects to Meg. “I love flowers and making flower arrangements,” says Meg. “I’ve learned a lot from Mom over the years.” The colors and flowers Meg decided to use came from a crest designed for the wedding by Janie Price, a Charleston artist Meg and Lynn met at A Bar A Ranch in Wyoming. It features pink camellias, white snapdragons, white, pink, and peach roses, ranunculus, smilax, and maidenhair fern. “Julianne Sojourner chose flowers from the crest and added ideas of her own, including branches of a blooming apricot tree from her own garden,” says Lynn. The bouquets featured these flowers, while the men’s boutonnieres were made of ranunculus and duck feathers that Shaw had gathered from hunting trips before the wedding.
Wedding festivities began on Thursday, with a drop-in featuring Champagne, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert at the Evans’ home. Friday morning, Melanie Glenn hosted a bridesmaids’ luncheon at her home. After the rehearsal, a dinner and welcome party was held at the Palmetto Club by Susan and Kendall Hiller, Weston’s mother and stepfather, and Michael Bates, Weston’s father.
On the morning of the wedding, the bride, her attendants, and Lynn arrived at Forest Lake Club at 8 a.m. to get ready in a private room together. “It takes a long time for hair and makeup for that many people!” Meg says with a laugh. Then, Southern Valet whisked the ladies to Trinity Cathedral for the ceremony. Everything that day was organized and kept on schedule by Pam Harrison, the wedding day coordinator, who had also created personalized bags for all the bridesmaids with various essentials inside. “It was really sweet of her to do that for us,” says Meg.
After Lynn and Kate helped her get ready, Meg had a first look moment with Shaw. “He looked so proud when he saw her,” says Lynn. “It was so sweet, and he looked so handsome.” Then Shaw led the bridal attendants in to see Meg, after which she went down to the cathedral courtyard for her first look with Weston. “It really took the pressure off to do that beforehand,” says Meg.
Music is very important to Meg, and after singing in the choir for so long, she wanted Jared Johnson, Trinity’s canon organist and choirmaster, to play the music. “When we were planning, Jed met with us and played the hymns we selected. It was very special. After hearing Highland Cathedral played on bagpipes at my graduation from Heathwood Hall, I knew it would eventually be the hymn for my procession. I thought I was going to boohoo as soon as the bagpipes started,” she says, “but Dad whispered funny things to me before we started to walk down the aisle.”
Following the ceremony, the celebration continued at Forest Lake Club. Self-described foodies, Meg and Weston wanted the food to be unique. When guests arrived, they enjoyed Champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres, including bacon-wrapped quail, fried oysters, and Palm Beach cheese bites. In the lobby in front of the fireplace was the four-layer wedding cake made by Bonnie Brunt, draped with a large fondant bow and surrounded by camellias gathered by Lynn and Shaw. At executive chef Robert Meitzer’s suggestion, guests were treated to the sight of pasta being made in front of them and served with a selection of sauces. He also suggested a twist on traditional shrimp and grits by making shrimp and grit cakes. Beef tournedos with sherry mushroom sauce replaced a carving station, and the Pink Room was dedicated to Asian food, including Asian spring rolls, pork dumplings, and seared ahi tuna on wonton crisps. Two signature drinks were offered — an espresso martini named after Harper, Meg’s mini Bernadoodle; and the “Major,” an Old Fashioned, named for Weston’s golden retriever.
Meg and Weston stole away downstairs for a quick tasting of food before returning for their first dance to Nat King Cole’s Everlasting Love. Meg and Shaw danced to Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy by the Tams. Susan and Weston danced to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. Obligatory dances out of the way, Meg and Weston greeted their guests. “I knew I would need to spend an hour or two talking to guests because after that I would be on the dance floor, and there would be no getting me off,” says Meg. “The Band Punch crushed it. They were so fun and included multi-colored stage lights with their performance. We gave the bartenders light-up ice cubes to add to the drinks when the overhead lights dimmed.”
Toward the end of the night, Meg, her bridesmaids, and Lynn were pulled onstage with the band to sing Shania Twain’s Man! I Feel Like a Woman. Before they knew it, the band was playing the last song, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Everyone rushed to the center of the floor to sing and dance. “Suddenly I realized the band finished playing and everyone was making a line at the door,” says Meg. “I grabbed Mom and ran downstairs to change clothes,” says Meg. She changed into a white jumpsuit with sequins and a cropped, white fur coat. She and Weston jumped into Bob FitzSimmons’ antique Morris Minor convertible. While everyone shook colorful wands, Meg and Weston rode away through the circle in front of the club dragging ribbon-tied Miller Lite cans in their wake. The guests went wild when Bob decided to do one more lap around the drive. “It was just crazy,” says Meg with a laugh.
After spending the night at the Graduate Hotel downtown, Meg and Weston left on Monday for a week at St. Lucia’s Cap Mazone. Finally returning home to Greenville, Meg, Weston, Harper, and Major are settling into normal life.
“I’m really glad we hired a videographer so we can relive it all,” Meg says. She and Weston love to reminisce about their beautiful, bloom-filled day.