I wasn't sure what to expect as I headed out to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens last Thursday for The Eco Bridal Book & Film Release Gala put together by Rachel Gordon and Sarah Poe. Everything about this event felt very fresh and new conceptually, and perhaps this was the curiosity I needed to really embrace this movement in our city. My expectations were superseded by the many layers of this non-conventional gala. As I neared the event driving through the beautiful landscapes of Magnolia Plantation, I was greeted by the fully spread tail feathers of a peacock.
Now I'm not the nature girl by any stretch of the imagination, but this was just stunning! Walking up over rocky walkways I could hear folk music playing in the background as well-styled children ran barefoot through the open lawn. Models walked around wearing ReTulled tutus and gowns by Rachel Gordon. Did I walk into another era? Or perhaps on the set of a romantic film? It felt very much like a Kodak moment, or should I say... Instagram! Inside the cabin house were wall-to-wall vendors selling everything from hats, accessories, and clothing to succulent plants. IceBox kept all drinks refreshed as guests wandered about sampling merchandise, some getting massages from One Respe, others enjoying touchups from Jonny Cosmetics or floral hair braiding by Natalie Errthum. Outside, the lawn area was surrounded by beautiful torches and the fire pit kept the bugs away for the moment. The guests were dressed perfectly for an outdoor gala, showing up in a variety of styles, from rompers to floor-length light fabric gowns, and the men sporting many hat styles.
Now to one of the highlights of my night and also the holder of much of my attention... the FOOD! There were some incredible passed vegan treats by Maya Morrill as well as plenty of sweets from WildFlour Pastry, but my vice for the evening was The Smoking Pot! This genius company who is fairly new on the scene is a seafood catering service. In other words, they show up to your outdoor event and provide nonstop oysters, blue crabs for the picking, and endless Lowcountry Boil. Let me be clear what I mean when I say "nonstop." Let's just say I was planted at their custom-made community seafood table eating during every rotation of oysters and crabs for close to three hours. At some point I called out to the Emcee of the evening, Marcus Amaker, and beckoned him to pull me away. This only backfired and he ended up joining me!
Finally, the film saved us all from over-indulgence and we cozied up to each other on blankets to watch the short film shot for the Eco Bridal Book by the talented Jade Sullivan of Pistil Films. The night ended beautifully with the sultry sounds of Cary Ann Hurst and the Shrimp Records family band of musicians as they serenaded their dancing guests under the stars. Picture perfect would not be too strong of a description as it was truly a stellar event, and if I say so you know it's true because this fashion girl isn't one with the outdoors! I literally ran to my car over rocks in heels for fear of what creature was rustling in the bushes. Hey, I can be eco and still love nature... from a distance!