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How to Plan the Perfect Charleston Wedding Weekend

How to Plan the Perfect Charleston Wedding Weekend

Have you heard? Charleston was rated the best city in the world by Conde Nast Traveler! Can you think of a better reason to not only host your wedding in Charleston, but make a true celebration of it by planning a fabulous wedding weekend in Charleston? Planning a stunner of a wedding weekend takes a bit of know-how, so please take our advice and hire a Charleston wedding planner! We recommend Lindsey Shanks of Tiger Lily Weddings; she is truly an expert and always executes an extraordinary affair. And watch out, she's smart as a whip too! Another fantastic wedding planner who will not only keep you on your toes but also supply with you with incredible ideas for your Charleston wedding weekend is Stephanie Gibbs of Sweet Grass Events. Stephanie's weddings in Charleston are always elegant, detailed, and a beautiful reflection of the bride & groom's personalities.

So let's start with Friday night. The guests are arriving and it's finally beginning to dawn on you: your Charleston wedding has arrived! Things are starting to seem real. Since many of your guests are arriving from out of town for this momentous occasion, I'm partial to the idea of skipping the rehearsal (I mean really, what is there to rehearse…right?) in favor of a wedding welcome party. (If you really feel like you need a rehearsal, consider having a rehearsal brunch the next morning. This way you can still give your guests a warm welcome!) All that's needed for a welcome party is great food, drinks, music, and your friends and family. Alright, maybe some lawn games too. When considering your venue choices for the welcome party, take into account what kind of venue you have chosen for the wedding day and go in another direction to show your wedding guests the many faces of Charleston. If you're having an outdoor wedding & have chosen a venue like Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, host the welcome party at McCrady's Restaurant in the French Quarter so your guests can get a feel for downtown Charleston's nightlife. Or perhaps you had a tough time choosing between a Southern plantation wedding or a beach wedding? Simple solution: host the welcome party at an oceanfront restaurant, like BLU on Folly Beach or, if you want a really great view, host the wedding welcome party on The Carolina Girl, a gorgeous yacht that's available year-round and accommodates around 150 people. There's even a dance floor AND a killer sound system. What's that I hear? You've just made your decision? Smart girl, you are. ;-)

On to Saturday: if you took my advice and skipped the rehearsal but still kinda want one, consider hosting a rehearsal brunch. Afterwards, you & your best girls should pamper yourselves & prepare for your Charleston wedding! Bellelina is a gorgeous upscale spa & makeup studio in downtown Charleston that offers a variety of massages at totally reasonable prices (a 60-minute massage for $70? Yes, please!) as well as skincare & body treatments and makeup application. As for your fiancé & his best dudes, suggest that they head out to Old South Barber Spa on State Street for professional shaves in this awesome barber shop decorated like an old world men's club, with mahogany & plush leather furniture to boot.

Thank you to The Pinwheel Collective, Richard Ellis Photography, and Juliet Elizabeth Photography for these images.

As for your wedding guests, make sure they're out there enjoying this great city! A trip to Charleston is not complete without visiting The Battery and White Point Gardens. Have them stroll through the park and take in the historic statues, 18th century cannons, the Charleston Harbor, mansions so beautiful it's bonkers, and those glorious live oaks. King Street between Broad & Spring streets has a ton of trendy boutiques & shops for the fashionistas in your family, and the open-air Old City Market, which dates back to the early 1840s, provides a totally different shopping experience with independent merchants selling their goods. If you're not getting married at one of the many plantations in Charleston, MAKE SURE your friends & family spend some time visiting these incredible places & indulge in some natural beauty… and spy on some chilled-out alligators.

For the day after, bid farewell to your guests and thank them heartily with a post-wedding brunch. If you've never been to Hominy Grill, you're gonna lose your mind when you taste their grits. And biscuits. And homemade jam. Mmm. Fleet Landing Restaurant overlooks the Charleston Harbor and serves up a killer brunch. If you just don't want to say goodbye yet, why not a group trip to one of Charleston's beaches?

These are just a few ideas for your Charleston wedding weekend. Get creative, speak with your Charleston wedding planner, and let us know how you celebrate The Big Day... or, excuse me, The Big Weekend!

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