Miss Maine USA Juliana Morehouse Marries at Historic Charleston, SC, Church
Juliana Morehouse and Taylor Reed-Locklear got engaged at Historic St. Philip’s Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a year before tying the knot there on April 29, 2023. The pair celebrated with 350 of their friends and family in a wedding planned by Sweetgrass Social.
Juliana holds the title of Miss Maine USA 2023 and will be the first married woman to take part in the Miss USA pageant. She will compete for the crown of Miss USA during the 72nd pageant in Reno, Nevada, this September.
“As the first Miss USA contestant to get married during her reign as a state titleholder, I hope to show women that it is possible to get married and still chase your dreams,” Juliana says. Until the 2023 pageant, married women and mothers were not eligible to compete in the Miss USA pageant. “Marriage is a wonderful institution, and I am pleased that the Miss Universe Organization is encouraging women to do both,” Juliana adds.
Southern Elegance at a Historic Charleston Venue
Juliana and Taylor chose Charleston for their nuptials as College of Charleston and Citadel graduates, respectively. For the pair, it was a no-brainer to tie the knot at the church that they attended and got engaged in front of. “St. Philip’s Church is one of the oldest churches in South Carolina and is iconic for its place in the Charleston skyline,” Juliana says. “Our church has played a significant role in the development of our relationship.”
The city also provides ample entertainment for out-of-town wedding guests. “Charleston is a city that’s rich in history, and provides lots of activities for wedding guests to do in their down time. From the dining and shopping to the historical tours and shorelines, there really is a little bit of something for everyone,” says Sweetgrass Social Creative Director and owner Meredith Tanton.
For couples looking to plan a Charleston wedding, Meredith recommends getting a jump on booking vendors as soon as possible. “Charleston is a very popular destination wedding city, so inquiring about dates and vendors well in advance in encouraged,” she says. “We often find that most [Charleston] venues will book well over a year in advance.”
Miss Maine USA Ties the Knot in Custom Pnina Tornai Gown
What could possibly be more glamorous than walking down the aisle in a lace ballgown fit for royalty? When that gown is a custom dress made by Israeli designer Pnina Tornai! Pnina’s work has been featured in “Sex and the City” and “Say Yes to the Dress.”
If you love a dramatic ballgown, it really doesn’t get much better! Juliana unveiled a mermaid style skirt for the reception.
Of course, before dancing the night away with friends and family, Juliana walked down the aisle – a moment that she says is her favorite memory of the day. “For me, time stopped,” she says, “The doors to our church sanctuary opened, and Highland Cathedral began to play. While the bagpipes and the trumpet echoed throughout the church, the moment felt very regal.”
A Blossoming Palette for Juliana and Taylor’s Celebration
“Juliana and Taylor wanted to lean into a spring palette focused on hues of lilac, violet and pink,” Meredith says. “Knowing that Juliana loved color, we didn’t shy away from having bold pops of it everywhere.”
Lively pinks and purples were the focus of floral designs by EM Creative, including Juliana’s bouquet. “[These colors] created that romantic ambiance that I desired,” Juliana says. Large arrangements decorated the reception venue, Hibernian Hall, a historic Charleston landmark that was constructed in 1840.
A Reception Fit for Royalty
Guests enjoyed signature cocktails inspired by the couple (“The Queen’s Rose” for Juliana and “The Gentlemen’s Old Fashioned” for Taylor). The couple also poured a Champagne tower for their guests to enjoy.
When it came to catering, “we wanted Southern comfort food to reflect the incredible food Charleston has to offer,” Juliana says. Food stations featured oysters, sushi, beef tenderloin with green beans and potatoes, macaroni and cheese with toppings and scallops with risotto.
For dessert Juliana and Taylor chose mini key lime pies and banana puddings to complement their four-tiered wedding cake that included vanilla with buttercream icing and carrot cake with cream cheese icing.
After dinner, Juliana changed into a third dress and added her Miss Maine USA sash and a light-up tiara to her reception look as a nod to her pageant career. Some of the couple’s guests who also have a Miss USA connection — including Juliana’s mom, a former Miss North Carolina – brought along their sashes to wear while dancing.
“There were a multitude of ways we personalized our wedding, but one of my favorites had to be that we gifted our guests with sashes and light-up crowns to wear as party props at our reception. … Each of the sashes had funny sayings on them like ‘Maine-ly here to party,'” Juliana says. Other guests danced with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Juliana winning her Miss Maine USA crown.
After the evening drew to a close, the newlyweds set off on a honeymoon trip with stops in Rome, Capri and Positano. They look back on their wedding day with joy. “Most of all,” Juliana says, “I hoped for a day that my husband and I could enjoy with our loved ones, and that we did.”