A Thanksgiving Wedding Weekend at Montage Palmetto Bluff
Like many modern day couples, Alison Werber and Jacob Slevin met on Hinge; but humorously, “their paths should have crossed so many years sooner.”
Jake saw a photo of Alison smiling beside a full half of an open-face watermelon and immediately swiped right. He recalls being attracted to the photo because it just felt human and light-hearted rather than all the glamor shots other girls were posting.
And as soon as she swiped back, Jake immediately messaged her, teasing that watermelon gazpacho was one of his special dishes, which is actually true. Alison remembers thinking it was a sweet and original opening compared to what most guys say. At the very least, it certainly was not something he was copying and pasting to every other girl he’d matched. That was their “meet cute,” but there’s a funnier part of their story.
“That mellowness allowed me to genuinely enjoy each and every moment.”
An Overdue Meeting
Both attended Cornell University only two years apart (Jake ’06 and Alison ’08). In fact, Alison and Jake’s younger brother, also ’08 at Cornell University, were neighbors freshman year and mostly socialized amongst the same group of friends.
Fast forward over a decade. The first time Jake called Alison, he discovered her name and number were already saved in his phone because Jake and his brother had accidentally comingled their contacts back in the days when people regularly synced their devices with their desktops (or shared desktops in this situation). Jake remembers starting that phone conversation, “Not to be creepy, but is your last name Werber?” Alison cautiously responded, “Yes, how do you know that?” Jake replied, somewhat giggling, “Because you’re in my phone already!”
As they pieced it all together, they could not believe how they’d never met sooner at college. Even after college, Jake and Alison lived a block apart on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and never connected. So to say that matching on Hinge and finally meeting each other was overdue is the understatement of the century.
Still, Jake and Alison both agree, the timing must have been perfect as is evidenced by the fact that on the eve of their one year anniversary, Jake proposed on the 8th night of Chanukah with the ring hidden in a new handbag. Less than a year later, joined by only their closest friends and families during the Thanksgiving holiday, they married at the Montage, Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina on November 27th, 2022.
An Intimate and Distinctive Destination Wedding at Montage Palmetto Bluff
Jake and Alison both wanted an intimate and distinctive destination wedding. They immediately started searching the web for resorts and venues that are truly one of a kind – the types of places that are off the beaten path and that you’d seldom hear your friends talking about. Initially, they were leaning towards a vineyard in Southern California, but then came Omicron.
Having watched so many of their friends cancel and postpone weddings due to Covid the prior year, Jake and Alison decided they wanted everything outdoors, rain or shine, and additionally wanted a location that was drivable in the event of any future Covid spikes. Given their families and friends were mostly split between New York City and Boca Raton, they started focusing on Georgia and the Carolinas. Neither Jake nor Alison had ever visited the low-country, but upon driving through the gates of Montage Palmetto Bluff, Jake and Alison were blown away by the privacy, vastness and sheer beauty of the property. They both knew immediately that they’d found their venue.
After deciding on a location, everything actually came together quite quickly. Given the proximity to Savannah, GA, Jake and Alison wanted to do the rehearsal dinner in the city and selected a fabulous farm-to-table restaurant, Cha Bella, with a large, covered outdoor space. The couple laughs that it was the fastest decision they made and they’re happy that their guests were able to visit such a beautiful Southern city, in addition (and in contrast) to the low-country of South Carolina.
A Thanksgiving Wedding Weekend
For the main event, Alison and her mother designed the wedding experience in coordination with the wonderful staff at the Montage and Emily Wynn Wildes of EM Creative Floral Design. Alison believed that the property was already stunning without any intervention, so the intent was to minimally accentuate the existing landscape, as well as define “spaces” for each portion of the wedding amidst the somewhat boundless backdrop of grass, trees, and water.
As for the menu, Alison and her mother worked with the culinary teams at the Montage to take advantage of the delicious local cuisine, enhanced with wines specially selected by the onsite sommelier. The couple agrees that while all of the food was amazing, their favorite menu item was the Pilgrim Sandwiches on buttermilk biscuits served as hors d’oeuvres during cocktails commemorating their Thanksgiving wedding weekend.
Asked what he was feeling the day of the wedding, Jake explains, “the beauty of a destination wedding over Thanksgiving weekend is that it wasn’t just one day, rather a layered, multi-day affair with all of your favorite people somehow impossibly together to support you.”
Jake and Alison arrived with their families Wednesday with more and more family and friends trickling in throughout the weekend up until the actual ceremony on Sunday. Jake continues, “By the time it was Sunday, we’d all been living together for days, somewhat Summer-camp style, and everything just felt very normal. A really great, happy normal, but normal. And I think that mellowness allowed me to genuinely enjoy each and every moment of the ceremony and reception to follow.”
The Big Day
Alison remembers waking up to rain the Sunday of the wedding and surprisingly feeling it was a sign of good luck. It rained throughout the morning and even the first-look had to be re-located indoors. “It was still one of my favorite moments of the wedding,” says Alison. But moments later, the skies cleared and the sun pierced through the clouds. The weather was absolutely perfect for the remainder of the day and night.
Walking down the aisle with her mother and father by her side, Alison recalls pure excitement seeing Jake waiting under the chuppah. But her absolute favorite moment of the wedding was Jake’s surprise performance with the band, Diamond Empire, in which he re-wrote lyrics to One Fine Day, the song they’d used for their wedding website, ThankYouHinge.com.
Alison says, “It was just such a romantic and genuine moment. He even ended the song by announcing we’d be flying to Paris the next morning for a surprise honeymoon that he’d been planning, and honestly, I was already so in shock from his singing (and learning he actually had a good voice), that I could barely acknowledge a second grand gesture.”
The couple departed for Paris the next morning and remembered chatting about the wedding throughout the flight. Both agreed, there literally isn’t one thing they’d have wanted different. It was absolutely everything they ever wanted and so much more.
Location: Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC; Floral Design: Em. Creative Floral; Rentals: Event Works; Lighting: Tinker & Blaze; Wedding Dress: Galvan; Groom’s Attire: Hickey Freeman; Entertainment: Emerald Empire Band; Cinematography: Hart to Heart Media; Photography: Josh Wong Photography New York, NY