April 2018

First Comes Friendship: Christa and Doug

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: Willie J. Rice


Sometimes, love shows up out of nowhere, sweeping us off our feet in a kind of romantic state of temporary insanity. Other times, it simmers over time under the guise of another set of feelings. For Doug Socie and Christa Prescott, it all started in the fifth grade when they became instant friends. Christa, who was from Hilton Head Island, was Doug’s first friend when he moved here from Virginia Beach with his family, and the two remained close friends throughout their school years. Surprisingly, it was only when they neared the end of their college careers that the relationship transitioned from friendship to romance. Neither could put a finger on the exact moment they knew they were in love.

“We were compatible from the beginning,” Socie said, and observing one another navigate life and other relationships helped them get to know each other even more intimately, yet without the distraction of the infatuation stage.
“We really were just friends for many years, but once we kind of jumped in and went for it, it all clicked pretty quick,” Prescott said, admitting that she was the one who was more guarded at first, not wanting to risk their friendship. “There’s no way to tip-toe into a relationship with someone you’ve known for that many years. It’s kind of all or nothing, but it didn’t take long to realize it was the right thing.”

It didn’t hurt that they were both huge Gamecock fans, Socie said. Both Socie and Prescott attended University of South Carolina, so, it was fitting that he popped the question on the fiftieth yard line of the Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. Pulling that off as a surprise was quite a feat, requiring some creative storytelling and a collaborative effort among friends, but it was all worth it in the end when Prescott responded with a resounding yes.

By this time, the couple was living in Wilmington, North Carolina, but when it came time to select a wedding venue, there was no question they would return to the Lowcountry to tie the knot. Thinking back to some favorite moments of their youth, including golf outings and weekend trips to Daufuskie Island, Socie and Prescott decided the secluded little island would be the perfect place to gather friends and loved ones for their ceremony and celebration.

The original wedding date was set for October 15, 2016, but Hurricane Matthew roared in the week before, “rearranging” the entire Lowcountry landscape, leaving many areas in the dark, without power or potable water.

As the happy couple saw their dream day turn into a logistical nightmare, instead of wallowing in disappointment, they put away their formalwear, packed their work clothes, and traveled to Hilton Head Island to help with storm recovery efforts. Because they had already taken the time off from work, they could have gone on a vacation instead, but their choice was to help restore their beloved hometown community, postponing their wedding to May, 2017.

They selected a glorious VRBO, Sea Oak Manor, as their wedding venue, planning an outdoor ceremony and reception (with a large tent on hand, a.k.a. Plan B). As it turned out, even their alternate arrangements would not save them from the torrential downpour that blew through the area on their wedding day. The entire ceremony and reception had to be moved indoors, where, after a rainy ferry ride to Daufuskie, friends and family shook the mud off their shoes and banded together to transform the living room of this old house into a stunning space for what turned out to be an intimate ceremony beyond the couple’s wildest imaginings. “It was really cool to look out and see all 120 of our guests standing, huddled in the living room, surrounding us,” Prescott said.

The bride and groom both expressed deep gratitude to Prescott’s dad and stepmom, Roy and Becky Prescott, who catered the wedding (Roy’s Place Cafe & Catering) and handled much of the planning and arrangements from beginning to end. “Our entire plan that we had for the wedding all year and a half that we were engaged had to be changed to go with something else inside the house. It was just unreal,” Prescott said. “Many of our friends pitched in and acted as same-day wedding planners, helping decorate and make the last-minute changes in all the chaos that accompanied it; our wedding videographer was incredible, too, helping us adjust to the changes. We were just really fortunate to have everyone pull together and help us. It definitely took an army.”

In spite of all the obstacles along the way, Doug Socie and Christa Prescott celebrated their union with unmitigated joy. The firm foundation of mutual respect and admiration that began as a fifth-grade friendship is now unquestionably true love in full bloom. It seems pretty clear that, together, Mr. and Mrs. Socie will find the rainbow behind every storm.

  1. OFCOARSE I WAS THERE !!!IT WAS TRULY AN AWESOME DAY THANK THE LORD ABOVE THE RAIN DID STOP .A GORGEOUS WEDDING !!!!!


    — CAROLYN DEGLER[NANA]    Apr 9, 11:27 am   

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