All weddings are special in that they join two people on the path toward a wonderful future together. But Katy Bristow and Richard Patrick created a wedding steeped in tradition and history, with ties to family that made it even more memorable.
Katy’s family lineage in Columbia can be traced back to the 1800s, so she was happy to be married at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, walking down the same aisle her grandmother had in 1952. With the groom and his party dressed in white ties and tails and the spiritual sounds of the Trinity Cathedral Choir, bagpipes and organ filling the air, the formality of the wedding was beautifully apparent to all in attendance. And while many brides may say their greatest memories were from their receptions, for Katy, it was the church that she fondly remembers. “During the ceremony, when Rich and I knelt at the altar and the Trinity choir was singing a hymn, we took a moment to take a breath, look around, look at each other and take in the whole experience. Even with hundreds of people around, we felt like we had a private moment.”
Special moments were plentiful once the wedding party and guests arrived at the reception, which was held on the grounds of the Hampton-Preston Mansion. “The mansion had not been used by any of our family or friends before,” says Anne Bristow, mother of the bride, and, accordingly, it provided a unique environment. A garden setting was created underneath a large, clear-topped tent that was illuminated by clear Italian lights. Personal effects, such as marble statues acquired by Katy’s great-grandparents on a tour of Europe in the 1920s, were incorporated into the garden elements, adding a strong personal touch.
Special touches were also on display in the evening’s drinks. Richard is the owner of Bottletree Beverage Company, a distillery in Jackson, Miss., and he fittingly created a special drink for the reception with his Cathead Honeysuckle-flavored vodka. “He also created and distilled Bristow Gin in honor of Katy’s grandfather and debuted it at the reception,” Anne says. The gesture certainly was not lost on Katy. “Having Richard make Bristow Gin in honor of my grandfather was really exciting,” she says.
Bridal party members, out-of-town guests and family and friends who had hosted parties for the bride and groom received gift bags that included items of significance to the bride and groom – peach jam from Richard’s home state of Georgia, biscuits made with Adluh flour from Katy’s hometown of Columbia and a bottle of Cathead vodka from Richard’s distillery, among other memorable items. The bags were even adorned with a sweetgrass rose from Charleston, an emblem of the city where Katy and Richard first met. “I think the amount of personal details in our wedding made it really special,” says Katy. “We really tried to have a special connection to every aspect of the day. As food and beverage are very significant in our lives, we put particular time and attention into those aspects.”
Katy and Richard took great strides to work with the caterer to develop a menu that was unique and hearty. With choices ranging from chicken potpies to barbecue chicken tacos, no guest left the reception with an empty stomach. The evening’s music was also a big hit with guests, with blues musician Shelton Powe playing during cocktail hour and Columbia favorite Ross Holmes entertaining during the reception, crooning hits like “South Carolina is My Home.” The dance floor was filled with a whole new energy once guests received tambourines and sunglasses mid-evening.
No detail in the Bristow-Patrick wedding was overlooked, down to the guest book, which featured photos or artists’ prints of each of the locations in which the bride and groom had lived their lives. It also included wedding photos of Katy and Richard’s parents and grandparents. “Guests could sign on the page opposite the photo or print of the person or place that identified them with the bride or groom – a childhood friend growing up in Columbia, a college friend, a friend of the bride’s grandparents. It was very special,” adds Anne.
And of course, the wedding cake wasn’t to be outdone – an heirloom porcelain bride and groom were delicately placed on top, further testament to the sweet memories made and the wonderful partnership that lies ahead.