Someone somewhere said “YES!” and now there’s a wedding in Charleston to plan. If you are like the other 3,000 plus people who got married there last year, you might be wondering about some tips and tricks to plan the perfect wedding in the Holy City.
The inception of Brackish began 15 years ago as a groomsmen gift, so we know a thing or two about weddings. We’ve created the ultimate guide to weddings in the lowcountry. From modern and sleek to boho and beach, we’ve got the recommendations to help you get your big day details squared away.
Classic Black Tie Affair
A black tie wedding is a classic yet refined event deep-rooted in traditions– and nobody does traditions quite like the south.
When planning this wedding theme, there are many factors to take into consideration to execute a night that will make you and your guests feel like royalty - starting with the dress code. Black tie style abounds with tuxedos and floor length gowns. While the classic black or white bow tie is a dependable option, opt for our Rice or Carew for timeless texture and rich, solid color. Complete your wedding party with other black and white styles for an overall cohesive, yet intricately detailed appearance. For the groomsmen, the River Wind, St. Pierre, or Guinea. For bridesmaids, the Jane, Parades, or Gault statement earrings are the perfect complement to the men’s bow ties in a striking and memorable silhouette.
Now that you are all dressed the part, let’s talk venues. A Black Tie wedding venue should be nothing short of grand. It should encompass high ceilings, natural lighting , and ample space for formal seating arrangements. Some of the best black tie wedding venues include art centers, ballrooms, halls, libraries, and banqueting houses.
We listed a few of our favorite Charleston venues that exude opulence, glamor, charm, and elegance– all of which come together to create the perfect Black Tie wedding.
Located in the heart of the Historic District, Charleston’s premier art museum offers a setting rich with history and charm for unforgettable events. The Gibbes’ Beaux Arts building boasts impressive architectural details and unique spaces with soaring ceilings.
Fans of The Notebook will recognize the circa-1942 Art Deco movie house from Allie and Noah's first date. Celebrate in Hollywood style with cocktail hour in the lobby and a reception in the venue's glamorous ballroom. And best of all? You and your groom can put your name in lights on the theater's old-school marquee out front.
The recently renovated performing arts center in the middle of downtown Charleston is ideal for brides who have long dreamed of an elegant and traditional wedding reception. A formal lobby with a grand staircase makes for picture-perfect photo opportunities, and the various ballrooms provide couples with plenty of venue options.
If you embrace minimalistic designs and would rather your big day feel bright, beautiful, and chic, then a modern wedding in Charleston is perfect for you.
Modern weddings embrace current trends while simultaneously creating their own. It is your chance to break past boundaries that are tied to the traditional ideals of a wedding. One way to do this is through the details and accessories. For the groom, opt for the Jared, the traditional black and white hues with a modern and geometrical twist - or go bold with the Hammock or Flintlock. For the groomsmen, keep it simple with matching feather pocket squares.
As you’re considering your modern wedding venue, try to avoid spaces with a tight and cluttered feel. This type of wedding theme is all about open spaces and minimalism. You’ll want a venue that feels contemporary and spacious, inclusive with high ceilings and bright lighting. Some of the best modern venues may include an elegant rooftop, a spacious brewery, a magical garden, or a large, industrial location. Here are some of our lowcountry favorites with a modern feel:
One of Charleston's newest—and most celebrated—hotels, The Dewberry is a modern setting of remarkable warmth and elegance that evokes old Charleston in attitude and aesthetic. A Viennese cast brass palmetto chandelier and oversized gilded antique mirrors set the mood in this stylish space. White Oak parquet floors reminiscent of Versailles, as well as works by Charleston artist Douglas Balentine commissioned for the hotel, add to the room’s opulent atmosphere.
Hotel Bennett offers the ultimate setting for spectacular, unforgettable wedding celebrations. Featuring over 12,000 square feet of the most luxurious and flexible event space in Charleston, this one-of- a-kind destination provides an exceptional backdrop for your upcoming nuptials. High above the city, the Observatory and the Piazza offer expansive skyline views of downtown Charleston – serving as a stunning wedding location.
The Fresh Outdoors
Outdoor weddings are rapidly growing in popularity and for good reason. There is something magical and romantic about being married surrounded by nature and all your closest loved ones. It allows the opportunity for adventurous planning and a personal touch that otherwise may be limited by the 4 walls of an indoor venue.
Outdoor weddings evoke feelings of lightness, airiness, and all that Mother Nature has to offer. Bring Mother Nature's paintbrush into all aspects of your wedding from the built-in decor of spanish moss to the accessories worn by your wedding party. Our feather designs are made to honor the beauty found in nature. For the groom, the Royal bow tie paired with the matching Sonada lapel pin for all the groomsmen is the optimal combination for a light and whimsical outdoor wedding. Gift the bridesmaids matching earrings of the Blushing Bride or Snow Queen for your wedding party to have a unified look.
When choosing an outdoor wedding venue, there are many things to consider but perhaps the most important part is the scenery which becomes your decor. Lucky for you, our city has picture-perfect places around every corner. Here are some of our top favorite venues for outdoor weddings in Charleston:
There are a variety of venues located within Boone Hall that are nothing short of breathtaking. The memorable Avenue of Oaks, a line of 270-year-old live oak trees stretching for almost a mile, provides a one-of-a-kind lowcountry scene. Spanish moss cascades from the arching branches to create a breathtaking natural canopy. Move further in and you’ll find the impressive Cotton Dock House along the marsh which offers plenty of space for dinner and dancing. Its gorgeous brick fireplace creates a focal point at one end, while the all-wood interior with its open-beam construction lends the space a rustic ambiance.
Lowndes Grove stands proudly along the oak-lined banks of the Ashley River. This beautifully restored estate offers an unparalleled backdrop for one-of-a-kind weddings and celebrations. Within this relaxed and refined setting, the scenic beauty of the Lowcountry unfolds with panoramic sunset views along the waterfront.
Whatever your vision—an intimate gathering under ancient live oaks, an indoor-outdoor celebration on the banks of the Ashley River, or an elegant reception on the porch of Magnolia’s nineteenth-century house, overlooking our magnificent Romantic-style gardens— Magnolia Plantation and Gardens can make it come true.
Located on Johns Island, this Charleston wedding venue features a quaint, old farmhouse nestled among centuries old, majestic oak trees draped in Spanish moss. The site has an elegant wedding tent situated on the banks of a placid, saltwater pond that’s sure to wow you and your guests.
Bohemian style evokes the feeling of freedom, effortlessness, and laid-back vibes. Think of ethereal accents of natural materials (like feathers, wink wink), flowy dresses, fairy lights, plenty of green leaves, ferns, and dried flowers.
For the groom, we recommend sticking with our naturally neutral options such as the Amur, Wallace or Grey Bobwhite. For the bride, the Bergan or Anna earrings would adequately tie in for a beautiful match made in feathers.
When thinking of a venue for a Boho themed wedding, the key is to find a place that brings in natural elements such as exposed wooden beams, large windows for natural lighting and warm, earthy tones throughout. Here are a few of our top recommendations in Charleston:
Whether you want to host the ceremony in the greenery-filled courtyard or boogie down with the band in the Trolley Room, where original exposed beams play up the building's history, the unique venue has a little something for everybody.
Imagine a bright, airy event space that can hold up to 550 of your closest family and friends. The exposed brick, wood columns, and hardwood floors show off the space's age and character, while enormous windows give guests views of the water and the city's iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (which also serves as the inspiration for one of our favorite ties - the Chuck-Town).
Located at one of Charleston’s most historic addresses, Camden Room makes its home in the circa 1856 Deans Warehouse. Featuring exposed brick, hardwood floors and original beams that accent 30’ ceilings, the copper roof and natural light from clerestory windows in the space epitomizes Southern Hospitality.
Calling all Beach Brides
Close your eyes for a second and imagine hearing the sound of gently crashing waves as you say “I do” surrounded by friends and family who love and adore you. Sounds pretty nice right?
There's nothing quite like getting married at the beach. A beach themed wedding should embrace bright and light colors such as blues and whites tying in the sand and the sea. Our Summerall bow tie is just that. It incorporates hues of blue and white with an airy texture that is perfect for a beachy wedding. Match the groomsmen with the Deas Hall pocket square or Hagood lapel pins for dapper gentlemen down the line. For the Bride and her bridesmaids, choose pieces from our White and Gold Jewelry Collection to complete the bridal party look.
The Charleston beaches are home to many stunning beach wedding venues to soak up the sun and welcome the warm ocean breeze. Here are some of our favorites:
For a destination-within-a-destination wedding, The Sanctuary is hard to beat. The five-star beachfront resort offers a quiet seaside escape for the wedding party and guests. Have your ceremony on the private beach in front of the hotel, or skip the sand (and keep the Atlantic Ocean views!) and opt for a ceremony on the hotel's lawn. Ballrooms inside open up to ocean views or gardens, depending on which one you book, so you can continue the indoor/outdoor feel through your reception.
Wild Dunes combines the charm of Charleston with the beauty of the beach. You can choose from an array of charming and picturesque ceremony and reception venues – including those with views of the pristine Isle of Palms shores. From the sandy beach to croquet lawns, to the Sweetgrass Pavilion and the Palmetto Hall, they have a special space to fit every bride's desires.
Whatever your wedding style may be, it’s always the perfect time to say, “I do” in Charleston.