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Conway connection: Couple weds in Historic Savannah, Georgia

Posted: April 25, 2013 - 8:31am
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JACOB SLATON PHOTO  Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Eric Rockwell  Jacob Slaton
Jacob Slaton
JACOB SLATON PHOTO Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Eric Rockwell

Savannah, Ga., was the historic and romantic venue for the intimate two-ring marriage ceremony of Casey Lane Carder to Rodney Eric Rockwell, at noon, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.

Wedding guests were transported to the Whitefield Chapel on the grounds of the Bethesda Boys Academy by the well-loved Savannah trolleys.

Parents of the bride are Mr. Larry and Dr. Sheri Carder Gunter of Lake City, Fla., and Mr. and Mrs. George Carder III of Searcy, Ark. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. William E. Thompson, Sr. and the late Mr. Thompson, and Mrs. George Gunter and the late Mr. Gunter, all of Conway, Mrs. Frank Carder, Jr. and the late Mr. Carder of Searcy, and Mr. and Mrs. Raymon Pulley of McRae, Ark.

The groom is the son of Mr. Rod Rockwell and Mrs. Claire Rita of England, Ark. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Baisel Newton of England, Mr. and Mrs. Sue King of Humnoke, Ark., and the late Jessie Farrell Rockwell.

The 100-year-old chapel’s doors were enhanced with bouquets of palmetto fans tied with ribbons as guests entered. Magnolia garlands laced with roses and bay leaves graced the chancel, and pew bows of tiny palmetto fans with scattered rose petals on the antique brick floors lined the aisle. Classical music was provided by Leslie Adair, harpist.

Escorted by both her father and her mother, the bride wore an ivory A-line designer gown of Alencon lace and pearls over silk peau de soie with a strapless sweetheart neckline and chapel train. She wore her mother’s cathedral-length veil of silk tulle. In her shoe, she wore the same six pence from her mother’s wedding.

Her hand-tied bouquet was designed from Sahara garden roses, and white tulips, freesia, mini calla lilies, fragrant stock, wax berries, and dendrobium orchids. Her wedding jewelry was a sapphire drop necklace set in diamonds. The bride also wore her grandmother’s garter.

George Frank “Beau” Carder, IV, of Dallas, Texas, the bride’s brother, was her man of honor. Bridesmaids were Kate Dougherty of Houston, Texas, Ginger Cheek of Bryant, Ark., Casey Hawkins of Searcy, and Nicola Hodge of Brisbane, Australia. The female attendants wore floor-length navy chiffon gowns with strapless necklines. They carried smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet.

The bride’s party also included Michelle Anderson, and Jennifer and Lesley Burleson, all of Little Rock; Cecilia Ashcraft of Malvern, Ark.; and Ray and Kelly Owens of Sherwood, Ark.

Wesley Higgins of Natchitoches, La., was best man. Groomsmen were Ty Jordon of Shreveport, La.; Elliot Guidroz of Natchitoches, La.; Schuyler Van Doren of Little Rock; and Michael Dawodu of Austria.

Following the wedding, the guests reboarded the trolleys and were regaled with a narrated, guided tour of historical Savannah as they returned downtown for the reception at the Olde Pink House, constructed in the 1700s.

The bride’s uncle and aunt, Steve and Caroline Thompson, renowned designers from Santa Barbara, Calif., created the setting in the ballroom of the Olde Pink House. Guests sat at banquet tables covered in white linens with chocolate underskirts.

The tables contained candlescapes in white and navy, interspersed with multiple vases containing Sahara garden roses and white hydrangeas, calla lilies, and tulips. Menu cards in navy, white, and gold served as place cards for guests. Guests were served traditional Savannah repasts.

A dance followed the formal seated dinner. In lieu of party favors, the bride made a donation to her late grandfather’s preferred charity, Soaring Wings Children’s Ranch in Conway.

The bride and groom left the reception under a canopy of sparklers and were driven away in one of the charming pedi-cabs indigenous to the historic district of Savannah.

Other weekend guest activities preceding the wedding included a welcome southern dinner at the historic Mrs. Wilke’s in Savannah, as well as a traditional low country boil and oyster roast on Tybee Island, hosted by the groom’s parents; a ghost tour of the city at night; and a scavenger hunt of historic downtown Savannah ending with an ice cream event at Leopold’s.

The bride has a doctoral degree in educational leadership, a master’s in public service from the Clinton School, and a law degree.

She also graduated in 2003 from Hendrix College.

She is the Deputy Director of the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board.

The groom holds a bachelor’s degree from Ouachita University in business administration. He is a Regional Representative for the ASC Insurance Agency and is an entrepreneurial land developer.

Following their wedding trip to Spain and Portugal, the couple is at home in Little Rock.

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