By Tess Malijenovsky
Growing up in Beaufort, Christin Hirleman never thought “the one” would be a military man from her same small town. “Never say never,” Christin’s mother Cheryl always told her.
Then one night, on the 4th of July, Christin’s best friend from high school dragged her out to Saltus where she met Justin Daubert, Operations Officer of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion.
Talking all night at the bar, never once suspecting love, Justin asked Christin to walk along the
waterfront. The next night they met again; and again the next day, bringing sandwiches from Alvin Ord’s to Old Sheldon Church before parting ways to two different cities. After three weeks of talking back and forth, Christin visited Justin in Georgia and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
Often, the two would visit vineyards in the countryside, which is why Justin dropped down on one knee in the middle of their favorite vineyard with a ring he had custom designed. The date of their spring wedding was chosen according to the availability of photographer Amy of Elev8 Studio. “That was the first thing I booked,” said Christin.
“We wanted a Lowcountry wedding,” Christin said. Justin’s family has lived in Beaufort for over 30 years. It was only natural that they’d have their wedding ceremony in his mother Barb’s backyard — one often compared to the likes of Southern Living magazine — sprawling with flowers and live oaks that corner the river. As tradition, this would also mean six different engagement parties: an engagement party at Christmas, an oyster roast in January, a “stock the bar” shower in February, another shower in March, a bachelorette party, and a rehearsal dinner.
Jody Miller of Fandango Productions gifted her creative services to Justin, her good friend from high school. Antique washed windows hung from the oak where Justin and Christin said their vows. Coral chandeliers hung from the white reception tent with accents of burlap and a monogrammed dance floor. Comrades in military uniform bridged a path for the newlyweds with swords.
After so much preparation and celebration, the big day came and went. Yet the fleeting wedding day marked the journey of the newlyweds’ everlasting love. When she least expected it, to whom she least expected it, where she least expected it, Christin found love within her Southern roots.