There was a time, not too long ago, when Lowcountry brides had to head out of state to find a specific kind of wedding gown. Whether couture or cutting edge, certain designers were nearly impossible to find within the confines of South Carolina. But as Charleston has grown into a premier wedding destination, so has its selection of bridal boutiques—Maddison Row being among the best.
There are few places in Charleston that combine the splendor of a Southern plantation house with the convenience and charm of a downtown setting. For couples that want both garden and grandeur, few will find a venue with more to offer than the Governor Thomas Bennett House.
It all started with a single, tiny starfish embossed in silver ink. The delicate echinoderm was designed by Kristen Guaglianone when she couldn’t find the perfect style for her wedding invitations. Friends and family raved about her creation, and she realized she might be on to something.
If you think wedding planning is overwhelming, imagine planning one of Charleston’s biggest and best parties, the annual Red Party for The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA). A few years ago, Christine Boykin of Mac & B. Events came on board as a volunteer with ACBA, but it was only a matter of time before her party-planning prowess led her to coordinate the entire event, the college’s main fundraiser.
Most brides pamper themselves from head to toe before their big day, but they often neglect a tiny little detail that can have a big impact: their eyelashes. While waterproof mascara has been the go-to standard for years, eyelash extensions are an increasingly popular way to add subtle glamour on special occasions.
One of Charleston’s oldest bridal boutiques, Jean’s Bridal in Mount Pleasant has been outfitting brides and their bridal parties since 1974. The welcoming salon features fit-for-a-princess bridal gowns by Mori Lee, embroidered stunners by Watters, intricate and graceful options by Paloma Blanca, elegant gowns by Mikaella and more.
There are all kinds of caterers doing business in the Lowcountry, but for a true Charleston wedding, there’s only one kind you want: the purists. Irving Peters and John G. Thornhill, owners of Charleston Bay Gourmet Catering, exemplify that category by offering a refined menu of traditional, distinctive and local cuisine.
After your guests have wiped their eyes from your sweet “I Dos,” whetted their whistles and feasted on fabulous fare, they are ready for one thing … to party! Studies have shown that 81 percent of guests say that entertainment is the most memorable part of a wedding. Charleston’s EastCoast Entertainment ensures that your band or DJ doesn’t disappoint.
If you hire Entertainment Charleston to handle the music for your wedding, prepare for a performance that is truly unique. “Our aim is to create not only a memorable atmosphere for your wedding day, but a concert experience,” says company founder and lead cellist, Andrew Wyly Mille. “We want to keep your guests guessing as to what we might play next.”
The crew behind Charleston’s SpiritLine Cruises doesn’t just call their fleet of yachts event venues; instead, they offer a complete experience. “Where else can you exchange vows with the backdrop of the iconic Arthur Ravenel Bridge?” asks director of sales and marketing Ian Harris. “Where else can you find an elegant banquet area with the ever-changing views of Charleston’s beautiful harbor? Where else can your guests dance the night away under the stars?”