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A 2020 marriage brings romance into 2021

By Laura Hipp

Jon and Olivia married at St. Philip's with Brian McGreevy officiating. His three sisters and her two were bridesmaids.

Olivia Breyer Hipp and Jonathan David Black entered into the holy banns of matrimony on December 19, 2020. They were married at St. Philip’s Anglican Church on Church Street where the bride was christened and confirmed and sang in the children’s choirs from the Cherub Choir, age two, through high school in the Canterbury Choir. She wore her mother’s veil, not worn since Laura and Preston married at St. Philip’s on April 9, 1988.


Jon Black graduated from the College of Charleston after growing up in the Episcopal Church in Greer, South Carolina. He speaks German and was an exchange student in Germany in high school. He had been traveling extensively in German speaking countries before meeting Olivia, with the intent of working and saving in Charleston to travel again.


Six years ago, Olivia and her parents were invited to a small garden party at 57 1/2 Legare St. for the present owners, Lisa and Glenn Kline, to introduce their College of Charleston daughter, Liz, to Olivia. This is where Olivia and her parents, Laura and Preston Hipp, lived when Olivia was born 28 years ago. Years after selling the Legare Street property, several owners later, Laura had voluntarily ventured to plant the window boxes for the unknown owners, which Preston had built when the Hipps lived there, and left a note for the owners to water them. The Klines live full time in Houston. From this bold beginning came the introduction to the man Olivia would marry six years later, who delayed travel after meeting Olivia. Instead, he saved for a diamond ring, honeymoon and home.


Jon and Olivia have bought together 998 Ashley Ave. in Wagener Terrace. Jon loves his work in real estate coding for BoomTown. Olivia teaches French at Ashley Hall where she graduated. She obtained her bachelor of arts degree from Rhodes College in Memphis and has enjoyed studying, teaching and living in France.


The wedding reception for their two families was at the bride’s home at 194 Tradd, with summer zinnias still in bloom down the walkway, and white pansies and petunias. The reception was in the front and back garden with passed hors d’oeuvres until the serving of a flaming hot dinner catered by Cru. Ten cups of Sea Island Red Field Peas grown in 194 Tradd’s back garden were included in the hot succotash served with thick chunks of beef tenderloin and roasted beet and goat cheese arugula salad. Small tables for two and four were scattered around inside and out.


There were toasts following dinner with the cutting of the cake, calamondin orange cream cheese pound cake, made by the mother of the bride in a “runaway oven” that heated only to 250; the same recipe minus calamondins was her wedding cake made by Albertha Stokes, the late Flower Lady on St. Michaels Alley and Meeting.


The couple honeymooned in Bermuda at the old family estate, “Somerville” owned by “Uncle Hartley” Watlington. Hartley had come to every play and graduation going back to kindergarten; naturally, he could not miss Olivia’s wedding. Since he had been there for every event of her life, he accompanied them on the plane to their honeymoon as well! With the virus breaking out in Bermuda for the first time, Christmas Eve services were canceled. Hartley led them by boat and land to serenade friends and relatives at safe distances from their front doors with Christmas carols, with Olivia singing descant, bringing some to tears as Christmas was brought to them when “Christmas was canceled.”


They also enjoyed a week bringing in the New Year with Olivia’s Rhodes College friends including ice skating on a lake in Maine. Jon says they are now on honeymoon phase three, living alone together for the first time!


The bride wore her mother’s wedding veil. (Zoom in on Lola’s expression upon seeing the bride for the first time.)
The reception was dinner and dancing at the bride’s home on Tradd decorated with smylax and white camellias.

The calamondin orange cream cheese pound cake was made by the mother of the bride, Laura Wichmann Hipp, and was the recipe for her wedding in 1988 to Preston made by the Flower Lady, Alberta Stokes, who sat at the corner of St.Michael's Alley. She baked it often in appreciation for Laura’s tours who would buy her baskets to help support her daughter with sickle cell anemia. This wedding cake was baked in a “runaway oven” that only got up to 250. It was iced with buttercream by Robert Dickson of Robert’s restaurant.


Flower girls were Hope Pridgen and Lola, niece of groom, Jon Black. The twins were the ring bearers, Caleb and Luke Pridgen, with big brother Whitfield. (Their father, Matthew Pridgen, is Preston’s nephew, who survived 18 hours swimming in the ocean.)

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