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South Carolina-Charleston

Destination Charleston Wedding

Hello! I am a kentucky bride who has always wanted to get married in Charleston. I am a little overwhelmed! Welcome advice for planning a destination wedding! I am trying to gather as many venues as possible. I'm already up to a dozen that I would be so happy with! 

Cost is obviously and issue, but we are planning on July 2013 (off season I believe?) so we have time to save for our dream wedding :)

I guess my question is where should I start? And what are the do's and don'ts of destination wedding planning in Charleston? Thanks!! Cool

Re: Destination Charleston Wedding

  • katydid2014katydid2014 member
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    You should first decide how much you can/want to spend.  Weddings down here can get really expensive really fast.  Charleston is second only to Vegas for weddings.  Since you are planning from afar, if you can afford a wedding planner then that would be a huge help to you.  Planners should be able to get you deals with vendors to make up most of their fee.  I used Yoj Events and loved them.  The planners here also know the wedding market and can help you find things or make decisions that you might find hard to do by yourself from so far away. 

    July is definitely the off season, but that is because it gets pretty insanely hot down here, so you want venues with AC for sure.  If you end up using one of the plantations, they usually have a pretty nice breeze in the evenings because they are close to water.  I was in a wedding on July 1 this year with the reception at Magnolia Plantation and it was nice outside at night, but dreadfully hot during the day. 

    The popular vendors here book really early.  The girl I used for hair, Affair Hair by Tanesha, said she was already booking into 2013.  And the cake girl I used at d'lish books up quick too because she only takes a few weddings per weekend.  You have plenty of time though since you have almost 2 years.  I would say to get what you want you need to book at least a year in advance. 

    Also narrow your venues down to a manageable number and then make a trip down here to see them in person.  Also just start looking at Charleston photographers websites to see how the venues look for weddings.  A great website is Richard Bell Photography.  They have weddings listed by venue.  They are also AMAZING photographers and surprisingly affordable compared to most around here.  I didn't book them because I assumed they were way out of my price range, but I found out after the fact that they actually weren't, but I did do some budiour with Mell through their mellbella company.  Mell is fabulous! 

    If you get your budget decided though and get a wedding planner then they should be able to help you find stuff to fit your budget.  Never be scared to ask questions though and always speak up if you do not like something they suggest.  They won't know unless you tell them and they are getting paid to make your day exactly how you want it!  Good luck!!!  Charleston is a fabulous place to get married!
  • edited December 2011
    PMed you
  • edited December 2011
    Thank You so much! This is a great start for me! I think the hardest part is going to be choosing different vendors without friends/family's opinion on them. These boards will hopefully replace that! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond!
  • edited December 2011
    As you come upon something in the process were you need rec's, ask the board. You will get several recommendations and you can go from there on who you choose and price range.

    Katie had some good points about the planner, but you can always do it yourself. I arranged mine from Ohio. And didnt see a thing till I arrived.
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  • Sabrinaf33Sabrinaf33 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Just a random side note. If you were to absolutely love a venue, but it is out of your budget...they offer extreme discounts for Friday or Sunday events. I  know that is not an option for everyone, but it works for us and our venue rental fee went from about $4750 to $1000.

    Good Luck!!
  • edited December 2011
    I know we decided to have our wedding in December to get off season pricing.  July should be alot less expensive than say April or May.  So, you'll have alot better chance getting the vendor you want.  I would make sure that you try to have as little outdoor activites as possible during that time of year.  That's what we've done as well since you never know if it will be 70 or 40 in December. 

    I'd start early with selecting your vendors especially photographer and venue.  Even using a wedding planner is a plus as it was for us.  We using D'lish as well for our cake so that's a good place to start for a cake.

    We are using Dale Wallace for flowers http:www.dalewallaceffc.com. We are using Chi at Chi Photography of Charleston as our photographer  http://www.chiphotographyofcharleston.com .  We chose Magnolia Plantation as our wedding venue.   Good Luck!!!
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