Written by Madison Roberts // Photography by KMI Photography
Morgan Pope and Andrew Carson met in Charleston, SC, while she was studying to be a physicians assistant. Andrew's brother, who was in the same program as Morgan, introduced them. After 10 months of dating, Andrew proposed--the day after Morgan's birthday. Morgan said she had a feeling a proposal was coming soon but didn't expect it to be right after her birthday. "We went out to dinner, and I was really tired and not really in the mood. I kind of wanted to go home, but he ended up surprising me," Morgan says. He took her to Battery Park, a well-known area in Charleston, where one of the couple's best friends had their dog in the gazebo--wearing a dog tag that read: Morgan, will you marry me?
The ceremony, planned with the help of wedding coordinator Charyl Williams (Social Butterfly Events), took place in the middle of a thunderstorm on June 27, 2015. It was thundering but surprisingly sunny during the whole wedding, which Morgan said added to the already historical and elegant aspects of the Brooklyn Arts Center. There were 220 people in attendance, many of who traveled to Wilmington from cities all along the East Coast. Morgan walked down the aisle, accompanied by her father, to the song "Free" by the Zac Brown Band, played by a live, wedding cellist. "Me and my dad have always been really close," Morgan says. "He has always supported me in everything I've done through sports and academia, and for him to walk me to my soon-to-be husband--words can't describe how special it was." The day was emotional for Andrew, too, who lost his father eight years ago. In order to honor Andrew's father and other loved ones who had passed on, the couple included them in the program, mentioned Andrew's father in the opening prayer, and had photographs displayed on the 130-year-old, BAC piano.
The bride wore a Justin Alexander fitted gown with a mesh-lacy back and a cathedral veil with a thin laced trim. "I always thought I would be in a huge puffy dress, but I ended up going with a fitted dress, which I absolutely loved," Morgan says. The bridal party wore navy dresses, accentuating the wedding color scheme of navy, blush pink, and gold. Floral accents by Jeff Bryant (Design Perfection) complimented the ceremony. The couple wrote their own vows and read them aloud as eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen stood by. Gordon Wright, the pastor at Masonboro Baptist Church, Morgan's home church, officiated the wedding. Morgan and Andrew, die-hard, college sports fans, decided to add a little piece of college football to their wedding: Morgan wore a personalized garter--half NC State (her alma matter), half Clemson (Andrew's favorite team). During the bouquet toss, the crowd sang the NC State fight song, and during the garter toss, they sang the Clemson fight song.
The reception was Charleston-themed. Each place setting included a Charleston, sweet grass rose, and every table featured the name of a place that was special to the couple in either Charleston or Wilmington. The wedding was catered by Middle of the Island Catering Company, and Imaginary Cakes created a traditional white cake with four-flavors, paisley designs, and the couple's monogram. A cookie bar accompanied the cake because, Morgan says, "My husband is obsessed with chocolate chip cookies." For the father/daughter dance, Morgan and her father choreographed a mash-up to "Dirt" by Florida Georgia Line, which is significant to both of them because her father is a developer and contractor. "It's a song that spoke to both of us when it first came out," Morgan says, "because my dad deals with dirt all day, and there's such a special meaning behind it." They then finished their ensemble by shagging to "Carolina Girl" and dancing to "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. The reception was complete with a ribbon-wand exit, and the couple drove off in a Corvette that her grandfather had restored.
The newlyweds postponed their honeymoon so that Morgan could finish PA school and pass her boards, but their Jamaican honeymoon is right around the corner. "It will be a nice get away before I have to start working at the hospital," Morgan says.
Morgan and Andrew now reside in Wilmington, where they are renting a home. Andrew works for Castle Branch, a background check and screening company, and is pursuing a Masters in education with hopes to teach 2nd or 3rd grade. Morgan will begin work at New Hanover Hospital in November as a physicians assistant. "Right now, we are just kind of enjoying each other, and I am getting better at making homemade meals," she says, laughing. As for the entire experience, Morgan says she wishes she could relive it "without having to spend all the money. It was a day full of love and laughter, and I'd do it again if I could."