Sam Jones

Sam Jones, the renowned North Carolina pitmaster, last month officiated the wedding of Hannah and Chase Barton, who live in West Ashley. Provided 

On the night before her wedding, Hannah Barton got a text from the officiant, who had a wardrobe question.

“Should I wear any certain color or anything?” Sam Jones, the renowned North Carolina pitmaster, asked the bride.

She replied it was up to him.

It was totally random, then, that Jones’ blue suit and green tie matched the boutonniere that the wedding's florist had made for him from peacock feathers and pork skin she'd picked up from Sam Jones BBQ Restaurant.

So instead of a traditional flower, Jones wore a cracklin' rose on his lapel during the ceremony.

It made sense for Jones, as well as the barbecue-loving couple, who live in West Ashley and got married in late March at Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant.

“It was a fun way to pay homage to the barbecue world,” Barton said. “It’s our life. It’s what brought us together.”

The couple met while they were working at Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, where Hannah Barton is the catering director. Her husband, Chase Barton, is an owner of the soon-to-open James Island location of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint.

“I’ve been in the barbecue world for a long time,” Hannah Barton said. “It’s a community of people that have become a big part of my life." 

One of those is Jones, who Barton met in 2010 at a Charleston Wine + Food event.

“After we got engaged, I reached out to Sam and said, ‘I’d be honored if you would marry us,’ ” Hannah Barton said. “He got back to me and said, ‘Where and when?’ ”

When Jones showed up to the wedding, he was excited and surprised to see the pork skin boutonniere.

“I thought it was hilarious,” Jones said. “You know, classy hilarious.”

He posted about it on his Instagram, where he has 24,000 followers, calling it the “best idea ever!”

Of the “oodles of comments” on the post, one summed it up this way: “Oh now that’s next level.”

Jones said he has officiated a dozen weddings and only does so for couples he knows well.

“I count it an honor,” he said. “For a lot of people, it’s the most important day of their lives. For someone to ask me to take part of that is kind of a big deal in my opinion.”

And Jones rose to the occasion, the bride said.

“The ceremony can sometimes be the worst part of a wedding, if there is a worst part, because everyone is nervous and people are crying,” she said. “It can be sort of tense.”

Jones — and his signature sense of humor and one-liners — had the opposite effect.

“He made everyone laugh and feel comfortable,” Barton said. “He definitely added a colorful flair to the wedding.”

Jones’ pork skins were available to guests at the reception, which also included food from Coastal Crust, a pizza food truck, as well as fried chicken and oysters.

“Food was the main thing for us,” Barton said. “Everyone has something they care the most about at their wedding, I guess.”

Before Jones left the reception, he offered something else to the new couple. He sang a rendition of “Forever and Ever, Amen,” the love song made famous by country singer Randy Travis.

“We pulled up the chords on the internet,” he said. “We just winged it."

Reach Amanda Hancock at 843-937-5320. Follow her @Amanda1hancock.

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