Exclusive Interview: ‘Survivor’ Jaime Dugan Shares Wedding Details


“Survivor: China” castaway Jaime Dugan shares details from her Charleston wedding to Erik Huffman. Jaime talks about the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, planning a destination wedding and her upcoming Hawaiian honeymoon.

© Jarrad Lister Photography

“Survivor: China” castaways Jaime Dugan and Erik Huffman were married at Wild Dunes Resort in Charleston on April 4. The couple grew up 20 miles apart in upstate South Carolina but met while competing against each other halfway across the world in China. After returning to the States, their love blossomed, and Erik proposed in June on the Battery overlooking Charleston Harbor. The couple tied the knot in a Charleston-themed wedding courtesy of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, valued at more than $80,000.

We had the chance to talk to Jaime about her favorite wedding details, honeymoon plans and the sweet surprise she got from Erik on their wedding day.

Who or what inspired your wedding?

We knew we wanted something simple, sweet, and Southern since we are both from upstate South Carolina. We ended up going with a Charleston-themed wedding. Charleston is my favorite city in the whole world, and it has a certain elegance and charm to it. My amazing wedding planner, Sara Cavallon from Something to Celebrate, really helped pull it all together. Charleston is famous for its ironwork all around the city, so we pulled some of the ironwork into different aspects of the wedding-like the cake, lighting and decor at the ceremony site. We also wanted the wedding to be fun and interactive, so we had a photo booth, a cigar roller and a candy bar. They were quite the hit!

Jaime Dugan and Erik Huffman Rehearsal Dinner

© Jarrad Lister Photography

What did you enjoy most about having a destination wedding?

I think one of the best parts was that it lasted all weekend. We had a fairy tale rehearsal dinner at Middleton Place. It was absolutely gorgeous, and we were taken to dinner in old-fashioned horse and carriages. Then, on Saturday morning, the boys played golf at the Wild Dunes Resort, and the girl’s had a bridal luncheon at the Old Village Post House. On Sunday morning, we had a farewell cruise on the Charleston Harbor aboard the Spirit of Carolina. We had an array of yummy food to choose from, including a crepe station (catered by Spiritline Cruises). It was a great way to end the weekend and spend more time with our loved ones.

What was the highlight of the wedding?

Walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Erik waiting for me. I was so excited that I wanted to run down the aisle, hug and kiss him, and jump up and down. It was such a great feeling to know that I was going to get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. While I was standing at the end of the altar, I was able to look out and see all of our friends and family that love and care about us. It was amazing to see so many of our friends and family in one place together. It made us realize how much love and support we have.

What type of ceremony did you have?

We had a traditional Christian ceremony. We had an officiant from A Charleston Wedding perform the ceremony, and our mentor and dear friend, Al Andrews, delivered a personal charge. Then Leslie Nease from our “Survivor” cast shared memories and read scripture. Also, our friend Jessica French, sang “God Bless the Broken Road.” It was fantastic!

Erik Huffman

© Jarrad Lister Photography

Did you and Erik exchange wedding gifts?

Erik surprised me with an amazing wedding gift. He had his best man, Brian Smith, bring over a bag of gifts while I was getting ready. I sat down with all my bridesmaids around me and started opening the presents. Each gift had a card with a set of directions. The first gift was a book of daily devotions and a beautiful plaque for our new home. The second gift was a necklace from Tiffany & Co. It has a starfish to go along with the ocean theme for the wedding. The last gift was a video camera. There were three videos recorded on it for me to watch. Two had Erik talking to me about the big day, and the last one was Erik singing and dancing to ‘Let’s Get It On.’ He said he wanted to give me something that would help me shake off any last minute jitters and make me laugh — and he definetly did just that. I was cracking up but crying at the same time. It was so sweet!

Where will you honeymoon?

When Erik’s done with his spring tour, we plan on going to Maui. We are going to stay at the Four Seasons. I am thrilled. I know we really want to go scuba diving, parasailing, and get a couple’s massage. I can’t wait!

Do you have any wedding advice for future brides and grooms?

If I were to give any couple wedding advice, I would tell them not to custom make dresses. I know that’s a random piece of advice, but we tried to get the girls’ bridesmaids dresses custom made and it was a complete disaster. It caused me more stress than any other part of the planning. I would also tell the couple not to stress about the small things. The wedding day goes by so fast, and the most important part of the day is spending time with your loved ones.

See more of Jaime and Erik’s wedding photos.

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