“She’s going to be a handful,” Chris Gefaell shares about meeting his wife for the first time. “My initial thoughts were that he was very tall, handsome and gregarious,” Lindsey Harper laughs. With multiple close, mutual friends in common, they were both optimistic about their first encounter on the Upper East Side where they met over drinks, followed by dinner.
It wasn’t long before the two began dating, eventually leading to Chris proposing one weekend while the couple were visiting a friend’s gorgeous estate in upstate Millbrook, New York. “We went for a walk, the ground blanketed with snow and several happy dogs running at our side,” Lindsey recalls. “At the end of the trail, Chris had set a fire for us and that’s when he got down on one knee.”
PALMETTO BLUFF RESTS BENEATH THE SHELTERING ARMS OF MOSS-DRAPED LIVE OAKS, EVOKING A SENSE OF TIMELESSNESS.
Growing up in the South, it was important to Lindsey to have a traditional Southern wedding, while Chris’s childhood was spent on a horse farm in Virginia and for the last five years before returning to New York City, he managed a dude ranch in Wyoming. When choosing a wedding venue, the couple wanted a location that reflected both southern sophistication and Chris’s love of the outdoors. They landed on Montage Palmetto Bluff, located along the May River in the heart of the Lowcountry between Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, and set within 20,000 acres of maritime forest.
With quiet streets, gas-lit walkways and wraparound porches, Palmetto Bluff rests beneath the sheltering arms of moss-draped live oaks, evoking a sense of timelessness. It was the perfect setting for Chris and Lindsey’s intimate wedding.
“We kept the palette pretty simple with greens, whites, and chocolate – all the colors found in the local landscape – and added pops of coral throughout the weekend,” Lindsey (an interior designer) describes. “I think my favorite décor aspect of the weekend were the 150 feet of chartreuse hydrangea runners for our rehearsal dinner.”
The food served throughout the weekend at the rehearsal dinner and wedding was classic Southern cuisine: deviled eggs, sugar-smack bacon and pimento cheese, combined with a true Lowcountry boil. Guests enjoyed the wedding cake, which featured fresh berries and whipped cream, although Lindsey adds, “I think the big hit of the weekend was the Little Brown Wagon bourbon cart on Friday night!”
On their wedding day, the couple chose Palmetto Bluff’s May River Chapel as the location for their intimate ceremony among close friends and family. As Lindsey states, the venue “seats almost 100, which was our wedding count, so that too seemed to be the perfect fit.” Immediately following the wedding, the couple stayed the evening in one of cottages at Montage Palmetto Bluff.
On Monday, Lindsey headed to the airport while Chris loaded Horton, their chocolate lab and ring-bearer, into a 1983 convertible he had driven down from New York City as a wedding present to his bride. The couple reunited at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee for their honeymoon and spent a few days reflecting on their celebration.
Location: Montage Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, SC; Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier; Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers