Kamella and Derek: A True Love Story Between Rivals

The biggest rivalry known to just about every South Carolinian is between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. Football games and beyond, these two schools go head to head in all aspects of the collegiate world. But just like Romeo and Juliet coming from opposing families, what if two people from these opposing teams could come together as one? Well, meet Kamella and Derek. Kamella earned a degree in Special Education at Clemson, and Derek graduated from USC with a degree in Higher Education. Like all wonderful stories of true love, this duo met in a most fateful way. Kamella’s roommate at Clemson is Derek’s cousin, so eventually they met and the rest is history! Although their schools have been (and always will be) long time rivals, it didn’t get in the way of their love which was clear to all when they tied the knot on July 19th, 2014.

Kamella and Derek fell in love with our venue during it’s early days of construction. Once they saw the venue, they decided to book us for both their rehearsal dinner and wedding day. It was perfect for getting double use out of their rentals! This future bride-to-be had an eye for detail from the start and took her time planning out colors and decor. We were so happy that she took advantage of all our bridal open houses by bringing in family and friends for brainstorming sessions. The rehearsal dinner came down to a soft palette of chocolate brown and lace, while the ceremony and reception was graced with mint green, soft pinks, gold, and ivory. These colors really stood out in the floral arrangements provided by Fairytale Florist. Some specifically special pieces that guests encountered included gorgeous gold antique chargers and antique china from Professional Party Rentals.

Kamella’s creativity didn’t stop there. She wanted the ceremony to face our grand staircase while the bridal party (20 people total!) lined up on the stairs behind them. Guests witnessed this awesome sight as the couple performed a lovely unity candle ceremony and tie the knot thanks to a long time family friend of the bride. Also, flashback to the getting ready process…Kamella wanted a unique shot that we are starting to see more and more: a bridesmaid reveal photo. Fun! That shot and all these other photographs were captured by Lisa Carpenter Photography.






After Kamella and Derek officially professed their love to one another, it was time to celebrate. First dances commenced with both smiles and happy tears. Weddings can work up an appetite, so it was a good thing Smoke on the Water was there to cook up some amazing Southern delicacies.We’re talking fresh fried green tomatoes–yummy! Liquid Catering was also there to serve all things, well, liquid! Beer, wine, and of course, champagne. And you can’t go wrong with personalized koozies! Dessert was compliments of Buttercream Bakehouse, a deliciously classic cake with modern decorating techniques.

All we can say is that the rest of the evening went off without a hitch. There was plenty of good times to go around complete with dancing, dancing, and more dancing. Rain poured earlier in the day but you know what they say…that’s good luck on your wedding day! Before we knew it, the newly-weds were on their way. We had such a memorable time with Kamella and Derek all throughout the booking process and wish them the absolute best moving forward. Cheers to this darling couple!







Vendor Spotlight: Brenda Owen, Wedding Officiant

One of the more frequently overlooked parts of your wedding can be the person who officiates your wedding. It is not something that brides and grooms typically think of over their decor or venue selection. However, it is an extremely important part of your special day and one that Brenda Owen, aka Wedding Woman, does not take lightly.

Brenda Owen is one of the most experienced wedding officiants in the Upstate area whom we have worked with often and trust because of her complete professionalism and wonderful personality. As she says on her website, “The ceremony is the heart and soul  of your wedding day and will likely be your most personal memory of your special day.” Brenda loves what she does and will take the time to get to know you as a couple in order to customize your ceremony to your specifications. Her ceremonies range anywhere from large weddings with an unlimited number of guests to smaller weddings to elopements with just the bride and groom.


Wedding Woman also offers personalized ceremony inclusions such as unity candles, broom jumping, wine box and love letter, blessing stones, and many, many other options centered around various traditions. She will do just about anything to make your ceremony everything that you could ever imagine. And if you don’t understand something or your bridal party is confused on what to do? Have no fear–Brenda will work with everyone during the rehearsal so that every aspect of the ceremony is understood. Come wedding time, everyone will know what needs to happen and you will have fun doing it!

If you’re recently engaged and clueless on what direction you want your ceremony to go, we encourage you to take the time to look through Brenda’s website to see all that she can do. So get to it and call her today! Oh, and be sure to check out this video featuring a few of her weddings. Yours could be just as beautiful and featured next!