Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vintage Style in Modern Times

When Mikey and Chris decided to get married in Charleston, they took advantage of our Charleston Wedding FAM's guided tour on wedding venues. It was clear to them from the moment they saw the Governor Thomas Bennett House why it would be the perfect venue to hold their vintage-themed wedding. It had enough rustic design and historic charm as well as delicate touches of grace and sophistication.

Mikey chose to use A Charleston Event's signature custom print design idea of pulling from the property's wrought iron work and carrying it through their wedding day. Mikey, being a graphic artist herself, also put her own touches on the idea and if you look closely enough, you'll see their initials scrolled into the wrought iron design on the invitations. That combined with their initials on either side of the logo, Mikey claimed personalized the design to reflect their wedding day.

The bride wore an ivory 'Lela Rose' vintage lace wedding gown from the Gown Boutique of Charleston, with small cap sleeves. She carried a colorful arrangement of blues, golds and oranges, mixed with green berry and foliage. Kumquats were incorporated into her bouquet for the extra pop of orange color and a bit of extra fun.
Mikey wore this beautiful handmade vintage look head piece.
Guests were treated to mouthwatering passed hors d'oeuvres by Iverson Catering, such as these adorable shrimp and grit pears (which by the way is one of ACE's favorites) as well as lowcountry style food stations which were set up under the tented reception site.

Both inside and outside the house, the bride's mother supplied old milk glass that had been collected within their family for years, along with her grandmother's handmade doilies. Flowers were kept simple and scattered throughout the Thomas Bennett House to accentuate the natural beauty of the surrounding antique candelabras and chandeliers.

A friend of the family made the cake as a wedding gift for the couple and tiny bud vases were hung from the trees around the outside of the property.
Large green and white wreaths were hung on entrance-ways and doorways to the property to welcome guests as they arrived.
If ever a perfect beginning were to be described, Mikey and Chris's wedding day would be it. We wish Mikey and Chris a lifetime of happiness and look forward to keeping in touch with this delightful couple.
The fabulous Heather Forsythe captured the true love of the couple on the day as well as all the intricate details throughout the wedding site. I wish we had room to showcase all the photos. It was so difficult to choose. Thanks to Heather for allowing us to feature these in our Blog.

Photography ~ Heather Forsythe Photography
Planning & Design ~ A Charleston Event
Wedding Flowers ~ Charleston Florals
Invitations ~ A Charleston Event

Venue ~ Governor Thomas Bennett House
Catering ~ Iverson Catering
Enertainment ~ Permanent Vacation
Bar Service ~ ICE BOX
Rentals ~ Snyder Event Rentals, A Charleston Event
Wedding Gown ~ The Gown Boutique of Charleston

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What to do with your gown after the wedding?

August 22nd, 2010

Don’t trash that dress, let us consign it for you! Did you know there is a new shop in town called White House Bridal? We are an upscale wedding gown consignment boutique located inside of OK Florist in downtown historic Summerville, South Carolina just outside of Charleston.

The space is a grand old home that was built in the mid-1800’s. With it’s striking grandeur, beautiful dressing rooms, an extensive, state of the art wedding consultation room, White House Bridal redefines traditional elegance for today’s modern bride. We believe every bride should be able to fulfill her dream of finding the “perfect dress” without having to sacrifice style because of budget in these tough economic times.

Expect to find the dress at an unbelievable price! White House Bridal offers new, sample and gently worn wedding gowns off the rack by some of today’s hottest designers. We look for gowns that are no more than five years old and range in price from 30% to 70% off retail. We also carry an extensive line of jewelry, handbags, veils, hair accessories, some flowergirl dresses and special attaire for the ringbearer! Visit us online at www.whitehousebridal.com.

Can I afford a Wedding Planner?

The economy has taken its toll on a lot of individuals, not only in our own country but abroad as well. A lot of people are out of jobs or are in the middle of changing careers. There are also the rest of you who have just graduated from college and are already up to your neck in student loans.
The economy still has not affected the number of couples getting engaged and who are ready to tie the knot, either in their home town or as a destination wedding.
This my friends is a fact of life. So, the age old question always comes up about whether or not you should hire a wedding planner or even if you can afford one.

As a wedding designer and planner of long standing, of course I would suggest you hire a professional. This is not only because I would love your business. Its because if I had a dollar for every story that I heard where the bridesmaids or relatives and friends of the couple were held to ransom to help on the wedding day, I'd be a very wealthy woman.

Think about it and it makes common sense. Sure, your bridesmaids can be there to support you and help with pre-wedding plans. But there is nothing special or even nice about cleaning up the reception s
ite after a wedding, after the wedding day celebrations, and especially after a couple of alcoholic beverages have been consumed. This is not to say it can't be done as I'm sure there are couples all over the world who DO manage to have lovely affairs in just this way. Instead, consider these basic rules of thumb when hiring a professionally trained, experienced, licensed and insured wedding planner:
  1. A PLANNER'S CONTACTS - A wedding planner can be worth her (or his) weight in gold with the number of professional relationships they have formed along the way. Planners with experience have taken years to establish their credentials and build up their portfolios of wonderful service professionals. They have lists of service providers in every category of weddings and events and even more lists of people who provide services that you may not have even thought of. Their contacts are the foundation of their business and they rely heavily on reliable, trusted and experienced vendors to ensure their clients are totally taken care of.
  2. A PLANNER'S TRADE DISCOUNTS - Because wedding and event planners work with service providers all the time, they are in a better position than the average bride to negotiate special rates of discounts. Its a trade secret weapon that is sometimes used as leverage to solidify a contract. Most vendors are happy to offer discounts to wedding planners because they know the planner will refer them on to other clients in the future if they are flexible. That's more business and job security for our industry as a whole.
  3. DIFFERENT PLANNER RATES - Different planners charge different prices. Beware of wedding planners that will plan your wedding for FREE or for a token amount. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Do your research. Ask for references, both from past clients and vendors. Above all, make sure a wedding planner has experience you can trust. Just because someone helped their cousin or girlfriend plan their wedding, doesn't make them a wedding planner.
  4. NOTHING IS FREE - Nothing is free in the reputable business world and one way or another you are going to pay for it. If someone tells you they'll plan your wedding for free, you'll no doubt pay double or triple the amount on your vendor services because things will be marked up beyond what you could have imagined. This is not a crime. As a matter of fact, as long as you are aware that all your vendor services will be marked up, its perfectly logical. But...wouldn't you rather know up front that the costs you are going to pay for a planner are up front and allocated for in the beginning?
  5. AVERAGE PRICING - Most reputable planners will sit down with you and go over the services they offer. They will determine how much time will go into planning the wedding, and whether its a full service wedding planner or perhaps just someone to help you the week of and on the wedding day that you'll require. Together you will discuss their fees and how they work. Some planners charge a percentage of the budget (between 10 and 25%) and others will charge a flat rate. If a company charges a percentage rate, then you should incur savings from wedding vendors that they work with. For instance, our company charges 20% of the overall budget. However, the discounts that we acquire from wedding vendors on your behalf is anywhere between 15% and 25%, therefore helping to offset the planning fee. Our discounts are passed on to our clients which just makes sense. All the vendors we work with form an integral part of our team. However, we work for the client, not the vendors and our vendors know that we will be asking for the best possible prices. Its called professional ethics. And at the end of the day, some things are just priceless, like having trusted professionals handle all the details of the day so you can enjoy the day and those cherished memories.
  6. FOOTWORK & TIME FACTOR - The time and footwork it takes to pull a wedding together can be anywhere from 20 hours to 18 months. It will however take a lot of research, contacts, negotiation of contracts, setting up payment plans, appointment scheduling, budget analysis, liaison between all the professional parties and the sites, creating check lists, floor plans, rental and decor option selections, more scheduling, tastings, more correspondence, site surveys, RSVP management and so much more. Then there is the wedding day itinerary and flow of events to work through, ensuring the delivery times, the vendor contact updates, staffing liaison, being present to oversee the setup and execution of plans that were made. A professional wedding planner can do all this for you and reduce the time factor by setting up appointments and utilizing strict time management skills so you have time to enjoy other things like your engagement parties, bridal showers, luncheons and selecting invitations.
  7. STRESS FACTOR - While stress plays a daily role in our everyday lives, shouldn't we try to limit it to a degree on something as important as the wedding day? There is no such thing as stress free. A bride might be stressed because she's worried about her hair wilting in the heat, or she's worried about tripping while walking in those new heals and that beautiful wedding gown. She may even be worried about the something else. However, she should not be worried about the elements of the day falling into place if she has a professional there to oversee the day instead of her, her parents or her bridal party.
  8. MOST IMPORTANT DAY - There will be other important days in your lives, lets face it. You'll buy your first house together, you'll have children together and the joys you will experience through life will be just as important if not more than your wedding day. Your wedding day is just the beginning of your lives together and there will be so many wonderful experiences for you throughout life, that you should not put all the pressure on this one day.
  9. DECIDE ON PRIORITY ITEMS - Deciding on weather or not you can afford a wedding planner should not be such a dilemma. Instead, decide on whether or not you can afford flowing champagne all night long or whether or not you can substitute the caviar for ham biscuits. Do you need to supply transportation for each and every guest? Perhaps that horse and carriage send-off can be replaced with a fun rickshaw ride to a local hotel and your site will be a convenient walking distance to neighboring hotel accommodations for guests.
  10. OTHER VENDORS PRETENDING TO BE PLANNERS - Other vendors may talk to you about their services and lead you to believe that they can also plan the wedding for you as well, therefore saving you money on an independent wedding planner. Truth is, a caterer and banquet manager manages the timeline for the food and beverage and while it is not unheard of for them to try and liaison with other vendors, they do not have the time or staff to look after each and every detail of the wedding itself. The DJ or Emcee is looking after the music selections and following a pre-printed itinerary. The florist is looking after the setup and decor of the ceremony and reception site. Your photographer is too busy trying to capture those special memories to organize what is going to happen next. And I've never witnessed a caterer holding the bride's gown while she needs to relieve herself before walking down the aisle. A planner will be there to hold your hand throughout the wedding planning process, design the itinerary with you, make sure the vendors and rentals are all in place on the wedding day and make sure that nothing is missed. Your planner will be there when your button pops, when your dress needs bustling, when a hem comes down, to let your father and best man know when the toasts are going to happen and also ensure the DJ and photographer is there beforehand to capture it all. Your planner will let the banquet staff know when to pour the champagne and be the 'go-to person' on the day so you're not worrying needlessly about small issues that will no doubt go unnoticed anyway.
  11. EMERGENCY & CONTINGENCY PLANS - A professional planner is trained in emergency plans and also has an emergency kit on her for unexpected little glitches on the day. Your planner will make the call to take action if inclement weather threatens to spoil your day. Your planner will act as referee, psychiatrist, wedding councilor, family councilor, sister, mother or even the bad guy if they need to be. He/she will be your advocate and see that your ideas and dreams are carried out on the day so you can be free to enjoy the day as the guest of honor. Your planner will handle all the plans so you can create memories of a lifetime. And, at the conclusion of your event, you can just leave. Yes....just leave and know that everything will be taken care of for you, right down to the last light turned off.
We know its hard to decide if one can afford a wedding planner. But when deciding on your wedding plans, you most certainly should look for someone to look after your interests right down to the sweet dreams service welcoming you back to your hotel room. Can you afford a wedding planner? In today's economy, you almost can NOT afford to be without one. Thanks to the following photography companies who contributed to the photos shown in this article:
A Charleston Wedding, Richard Bell Photography, Kim Gissendanner Photography. Copyrights on all above photos and all rights reserved for all photos featured in this article.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

FEATURED COUPLE: Victoria & Talmadge

You may remember our coverage of this lovely couple during their planning stages of their wedding. Victoria and Tal tied the knot on May 26 at the Governor Thomas Bennett House in front of their closest family and friends. As this was a Destination Wedding for the couple, their choice of venue was perfect. Historic southern charm served as the backdrop for their wedding ceremony and reception.
One of A Charleston Event's favorite elements to incorporate into any destination wedding planning is a little something about the property as part of the theme of the wedding day. Shown here is the original wrought iron work as displayed in the front of the Thomas Bennett House. This small window gives a view on to the covered porch way under the main house. Because the work is so beautiful, it is one of the elements we like to use to carry through the wedding theme. From the pictures taken, we created artwork of the emblem to tell a story of the property and tie everything together. Shown below, the couple used the artwork for their invitations, their wedding cake and even for the guest favors.
A Charleston Event specialty for our custom invitations, programs and all corresponding print needs.
Victoria's bold choice of beautiful bright fuchsias and pink tones were a perfect choice for the lush gardens at the Thomas Bennett House. Keepsake handkerchiefs for the mothers of the bride and groom with custom messages on them were given to the mothers on the morning of the wedding to start the day off right.
Even though men aren't always crazy about wearing flowers, especially PINK, these masculine boutonnieres were worn in confidence and adoration, knowing the bride took special care to select each and every element of this wedding.
The bride carried a bouquet of lush peonies, roses, hydrangea and lisianthus which was nestled into one of Charleston Floral's trademark cages of endearment. The bouquet was wrapped in ivory double faced satin ribbon to match the bride's dress.
The front courtyard of the grand house was staged for the ceremony, which faced the house and the grand entrance-way so all the guests could watch the bride as she made her way out of the house on her father's arm. Attached to the grand veranda is monogram letters of the couple's initials. Wrought iron orbs with hanging florals and fuchsia ribbon marked the aisle and the fountain was a focal point during the afternoon and at night when each glass cylinder was lit. They each held fresh rose petals and pillar candles with matching ribbon embellishments.

Fuchsia confetti linens were used to adorn the guest tables, while whimsical Bradford Pear branches were embellished with dendrobium orchids and fuchsia matching ribbon bows, while glass votives were hung for a romantic effect later on as the sun went down. Guests dined on a wonderful lowcountry menu created by the talented team at Iverson Catering. Shrimp and grit pears, mini sliders and sweet potato fries were just a sample of the items that were served. Flavored waters and sweet tea were a refreshing addition to the fully stocked bar catered by MIX Bartending services.
The bride created these sweet 'send-off wands' for her guests to bid farewell and their evening ended with them being whisked away in Charleston's Black Cab, which are replicas of London's traditional taxi cabs.
We'll miss the planning process with Victoira and Tal but are already keeping tabs on their next chapter. What an enjoyable wedding and what a perfect couple! Thanks for letting us be a part of your special day.

Design & Planning: A Charleston Event & Bridal Library
Floral Design: Charleston Florals
Photography: Lowcountry Photojournalism
Venue: Thomas Bennett House
Invitations: A Charleston Event
Catering: Iverson Catering
Wedding Cake: Artistic Cakes by Linda
Bar Service: MIX

Friday, August 6, 2010

CharlestonWedding FAM Series - Market Pavilion Hotel

As a part of our newly featured Charleston Wedding FAM series, we will be sharing some tid bits on our favorite choices for Destination Weddings in Charleston SC. Today its the beautiful Market Pavilion Hotel and to all you brides and grooms looking for a luxury venue to host your wedding celebrations, this venue will not let you down.
Located at 225 East Bay Street, it is situated right in the heart of this great city. Walking distance to all shops, the market, tour companies and of course all the 5 star restaurants, it is the perfect location to book your guest accommodations.
The Market Pavilion offers special wedding packages. Welcome cocktails and dinner, wedding day festivities and celebrations and Sunday brunch for the day after. Turn-down service with outstanding customer service and concierge guidance make this a wonderful choice for anyone visiting our city. Not just for weddings.
The view from the rooftop bar scans Charleston. known as the Holy Charleston, and is most beautiful in the evenings as you can see here. Locals frequent the rooftop to sip on their specialty martinis, while clients worldwide settle in for the vacation of a lifetime.
The ballroom's lavish furnishings and decor make it the perfect spot for hosting wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and all other special occasions. Once you've been treated to a dinner reception at the Market Pavilion, you'll want to return over and over again.
Lounge by the rooftop pool in the lazy summer afternoons or enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the rooftop bar by night. Perhaps go out on the town and organize your meeting point back at this wonderful venue for a night-cap. Whatever you're planning, you may want to think about putting the Market Pavilion down on your next 'point of interest' before coming back to Charleston.

The Market Pavilion will be featured in the next upcoming Charleston Wedding FAM weekend. For more information on Charleston Wedding FAM, click HERE. Or call A Charleston Event to schedule your own private Charleston Wedding FAM.

225 E. Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401. Our Toll-Free Phone: 877-440-2250.