DREAM WEDDING AT HONEY HORN PLANTATION
Both competitive golfers, Colleen Cully and Justin Imel met on a golf course in Jupiter, Fla., in May 2019.
Originally from Indiana, Justin had moved to Florida to play professional golf. Colleen was working for a golf club at the time. The two hit it off immediately.
Later that year, Colleen and Justin moved to the Lowcountry, where Colleen had grown up. The couple wanted to be closer to family. At that time, Justin was working for Cintas, and he was able to easily transfer to a local position.
Shortly after moving to the area, Colleen and Justin decided to have their photos taken in front of the chapel at Palmetto Bluff for a Christmas card. Colleen hired Christi Clark Photography to do the photo shoot.
Little did Colleen know, Justin had planned a big surprise. While the two were posing for photos, Colleen turned around to find Justin down on one knee.
Of course, Colleen said yes, and the couple began planning their big day. They were to be married May 30, 2020, at Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island.
Then came COVID-19, and everything changed.
Long Cove Club canceled all weddings and was not booking any new events due to the pandemic. The couple had to find a new venue.
“I joke now that the only thing that stayed the same was my dress and my husband,” Colleen said. “I planned the wedding multiple times.”
Thankfully, the couple was able to book Honey Horn Plantation for their wedding, which was pushed to Sept. 6, 2020. They also decided to scale down their number of guests from 200 to 75.
While it was a bit of a roller coaster planning a wedding during a pandemic, Colleen remained calm and relied on her trusty wedding planner, Ashley Rhodes.
COVID-19 ended up changing much more than the date and venue of the Cully-Imel wedding.
“We made it as COVID-friendly as possible,” Colleen said. “My mom has an autoimmune disease so we were very cautious about what needed to be done.”
The couple changed the way they planned to serve food, spaced out the tables, and made sure plenty of masks and hand sanitizer were available for their guests.
As an interior designer, Colleen knew what she wanted. She wanted the wedding to have an earthy, rustic farm — yet romantic – feel to it. Because Honey Horn is such a beautiful setting, it didn’t need a lot of extra flair.
The colors were sage and blush. The wedding planner incorporated a lot of greenery, such as eucalyptus and olive leaves, rather than flowers. Guests sat at wooden farm tables, which were adorned with handcrafted wooden basket centerpieces from the Imel family’s company called Union Farm Goods. The flower girl also carried a basket made by Union Farm Goods. The bride’s bouquet included roses and succulents. Bridesmaids carried bouquets of baby’s breath.
A violinist entertained guests during the ceremony and the cocktail hour. The Hot Sauce Band from Charlotte, N.C., played classic rock and fun 90s songs at the reception.
Since there was nowhere for the bride to hide before making her grand entrance, a friend of her father volunteered his vintage car. The friend, Bob Gregory, drove Colleen and her father to the ceremony in his 1930s Packard limousine, which they exited just prior to walking down the aisle.
“The benefit of COVID was I got to make it a more personal experience with each of my guests,” Colleen said. “I get nervous with public speaking and things like that, so being the center of attention in front of a huge crowd wasn’t really ideal to me.”
While the couple were disappointed their grandparents and Colleen’s brother couldn’t be there, and they had to postpone their honeymoon to Hawaii, they still got the wedding of their dreams.
“It was exactly how I imagined it,” the bride said.
Honey Horn Plantation, Robin Swift
Christi Clark Photography
The Flower Shop of Bluffton, Lauri Leber
Hair and Makeup:
May River Made Up, Kim Harrison/ Embellished Salon
Amazing Event Rentals, Devin Van Bortel
Bob Gregory, Private Collection
Union Farm Goods
Seth G (East Coast Entertainment)
Hot Sauce Band (East Coast Entertainment)
Jessica Kent with Bloom Custom Cakes
The Chocolate Canopy, Nancy Paris
WToo Bridal from White Magnolia Bridal Salon, Savannah
Berlin's Men's Clothing, Charleston