Quick summary of the wedding- ceremony and reception at same site, Saturday evening 4/17, about 85 guests, all from out of town (as were the bride and groom).
Venue and Caterer: Wickliffe House & Mediterra Catering—A+++ The Wickliffe House event space and Mediterra Catering were absolutely phenomenal and I cannot recommend them highly enough! The service Wickliffe House provides is top notch from start to finish. They work very well with out of town brides (I live in NYC), I never waited more than a few hours for a response to an email, they coordinate all rentals and day-of deliveries for you, assign one person to manage the event and be your point of contact throughout the planning and then assign another, equally fantastic person to coordinate the event on the day of, who was just a delight to have as part of the wedding, along with the other event staff. They set up everything, take it all down, and do all the cleaning They also packed up a generous amount of food for us to take, which we needed! Speaking of the food, people were very, very complimentary of all of it, some saying it was the best shrimp and grits they’d ever had and there was plenty of it to go around. We could not have been happier.
Officiant: Chaplain Doug Farmer—A++ Doug was awesome—exactly what you would want in an officiant—he created a beautiful, personalized ceremony for us, handled the rehearsal extremely well, esp. with 7 kids in the wedding, and was patient and responsive throughout.
Photography: Gary Killough of Sandlapper Photography—A++ Gary was, for us, perfect. We had limited interest in posed formal pics (we spent about 20-25 minutes total on them) and asked Gary to focus mainly on capturing the day with fun, informal shots, and he did a tremendous job, really recording the event step by step, which was especially great b/c we did not have a videographer. The pictures are incredible. In addition, Gary’s package pricing is very reasonable.
Band: Fowl Play—A++ Adore them! No idea why they’re not booked every weekend! Not only are they the most reasonably priced band in Charleston, but they are awesome in every sense—so much fun, good reading of the crowd, very responsive to emails, flexible, and did everything we asked in terms of announcements, getting the first dance song on their iPod, etc. I think they took 2 short breaks the entire night and people were dancing up a storm!
Make-up: Mollie Shorter—A++ Mollie is just starting her business and she did a tremendous job—I was very concerned that, while it would be great to look nice (of course), I also wanted to look like me. Mollie hit an absolutely perfect note and was also just great to have there while getting ready! She doesn’t have a website yet, so feel free to contact me for further info or to reach her.
Hair: Linda Casorio of Generations of Design—A++ I loved my hair and it held up so well on a very windy day! Linda is new to the Charleston area but had previously been doing wedding hair for 20 years in Connecticut. She was great and flexible (even coming to Columbia, SC for my hair trial for only a small extra fee) and took it in stride when I decided the week of to change the style slightly, as well as managing to do a fantastic job in a tiny hotel room with lots of other opinions being given!
Cake: Cakes by Kasarda—A++ Cake was fantastic, we had 3 layers with different flavors and they were all delicious. In addition, Tammy Kasarda was great to work with, even arranging for a traveling tasting that a friend brought to us in Columbia from Charleston.
Flowers for ceremony: Tiger Lilly Florist—A- I loved the look of the flowers themselves, the design and color were great. My complaint was that the bouquets started losing petals (not a lot, but a few on each bouquet) almost as soon as you picked them up. I know next to nothing about flowers, but that seemed off.
Harpist: Judy McCoy—A+ Judy’s music was just perfect, she played everything we requested, and was extremely patient with our inability to choose the music we wanted until the week before. She was professional, prompt and very nice.
Transportation: Charleston Black Cab Co—A
Prompt and reliable, they were they when they said they’d be and were responsive to phone and email; also, they are cheaper than a limo.
A/V equipment: Fox AV & Backline Rentals—A
Just in case you need a recommendation—great email response, they were on time and professional, plus I found an internet coupon that they honored.
Hotels: The family stayed at the Francis Marion and it’s nice, but quirky (my mom’s fairly small room with one king bed had 2 full bathrooms); the staff coordinating the hotel block was pleasant and responsive. Nice bar to gather in and we had an impromtu meet and greet there, which the bar staff was kind enough to tolerate. For the wedding night we stayed at Aloft b/c it was near the airport and seemed cooler than a Holiday Inn. It was OK, but the rooms are pretty small and they only give you 2 pillows total, which seemed weird (we both like to have more).