A couple personalizes their wedding in less than five months.

Photographed by The Oberports | Charleston | 12.29.17

Tricia Dever and Travis Durham met unexpectedly. Tricia, from Meredith, New Hampshire, had recently moved to Charleston and was buying groceries at Kroger. While waiting in line, she noticed that the man before her had an insane amount of Monster Energy cans in his cart. She made fun of him, they talked for a while, and they exchanged numbers before they left.

A few days later, Travis—a Princeton native who simply loves Monster Energy—sent her a text at 4 in the morning, which she was able to reply to because she was too sick to sleep. She was waiting for Kroger to open to go buy cold medicine. An hour later, Travis was knocking at her door. He’d volunteered to bring medicine, soup, and some Tudor’s biscuits. They talked for hours. He loves history. She loves books. They hit it off and now on February 19 they celebrate “Soup Day.”

After dating for a year and a half, Travis bought a vintage ring with a round purple amethyst stone—Tricia’s favorite color—and planned a picnic at Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted. They got to a hill, lay down a blanket, and set up the picnic. “He was so nervous, he forgot the bread,” Tricia laughs. “But I didn’t think anything of it.” When the time came, Travis tried to get down on one knee but he kept slipping on the blanket. They couldn’t stop laughing, until he finally asked the question and she immediately said yes.

A quick plan

When deciding on a date for their wedding, December worked best for their family members. It gave them a short five months to plan. Tricia and Travis first called The Oberports. “It was important for us to choose them as our photographers,” Tricia says. “We knew that everything was going to go by so fast. Things were going to get thrown away or boxed up, but those photos were the things we were going to hold on to.”

For their venue, the couple chose Woman’s Club of Charleston. They wanted a small wedding, and the Woman’s Club provided the ideal, comfortable room for their ceremony and reception.

The dress

Right from the start, Tricia knew her sister was going to make her dress. But in lieu of a white gown, Tricia wanted a colorful dress she could wear again and again. While looking for fabrics online, she came across a taffeta with a green, black, and purple plaid pattern. “I saw the picture and it was everything that I wanted without realizing that it’s what I wanted,” she says.

For her hair piece, Tricia chose the tiara she had worn for her sister’s wedding 15 years before. She completed her look by dying her hair purple. “It’s the color I feel most at home in,” she says. “So, I matched my hair to the shade of purple in the taffeta.”

A personalized wedding

Travis and Tricia’s wedding was unique. The flowers were handmade by Tricia, her sister, and her closest friend. The roses were book pages from Tricia’s favorite book, A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. Her sister made the burlap flowers on the drive from Tucson, Arizona, and she helped Tricia make the purple tweed roses a few nights before the wedding. The couple also had their favorite books as part of the décor.


They were married by Travis’s father. Travis will never forget the moment those doors opened. “I hadn’t seen the dress her sister made,” he says. “I just thought it was absolutely amazing.”

The reception was comfortable and cozy. The couple shared their first dance to “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. The father-daughter dance was performed to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and later turned into a mother-son dance when Tricia’s two boys jumped in to dance with her. For dinner, guests enjoyed pizza from Pies & Pints. The purple wedding cake was a spice cake with cream cheese frosting from Rock City Cake Company. Tricia’s sons and nephew were the designated cake bearers.

As wedding favors, Travis and Tricia bought books for each one of their guests. They didn’t want to give them something that would be tucked away and forgotten in a junk drawer. “We took the time to pick out an individual book for each guest that kind of reflected something about them,” Travis says. It was one of the most unique elements of their wedding.

In the end, even if it was for one day, Tricia and Travis finally had their families together. Everyone was laughing and dancing. It was their ideal wedding—personal and unforgettable.

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Bride’s Parents
Elizabeth Blacker
John & Melissa Dever
Groom’s Parents
Cathy & Gary Durham
photographed by
The Oberports

Bride’s blouse
Express, Charleston
Bride’s Skirt
Handmade by Kari Cadenhead
Bridesmaids’ Dresses
Skirts handmade by Kari Cadenhead
Christina Hornyak, Alchemy WV, Charleston
David’s Bridal, Jacksonville, FL
Groom’s Attire
Men’s Wearhouse, Charleston
Handmade by Kari Cadenhead, Patricia Dever, and Valery Namay
Black Sheep Burrito and Brews, Charleston
Pies & Pints, Charleston
Rock City Cake Company, Charleston
Christopher Cadenhead
Taylor Books, Charleston
Homeward Bound Books, Charleston
Woman’s Club of Charleston, Charleston