The City Magazine Since 1975

Locations, Locations, Locations!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marion's in the French Quarter on East Bay Street. Photographs by King Street Studios

January 25, 2010

Locations, Locations, Locations!
Offbeat spots to say I do and celebrate

WRITTEN BY Melissa Bigner

Me (right) with Charleston Weddings magazine consultation winner Shakeera.

Two weekends ago, I had the lucky chance to visit with Charleston Weddings readers Shakeera and Tony, who had won and hour of Big Day consulting with me during our January Weddings Week of Giving. They were terrific! Even after having driving in from Atlanta in the wee hours of the night thanks to late work hours, Friday night traffic there, and icy roads they had notebooks, lists, and laptops at the ready for us to work out the questions they had about getting married here in the Holy City.

Like most couples, they were struggling with how to stretch their dollars, and I gave them the usual tips: try a non-Saturday wedding; buffet or food stations instead seated meals; brunch instead of dinner; specialty cocktails instead of a full, open bar, and so on. One of the biggies we discussed? A minimal-d cor-needed location where they could both hold the ceremony and host the reception in order to save set-dressing costs, plus time, travel, and venue expenses.

To that end, they had some great leads of their own (The Historic Rice Mill Building, Lighthouse on the Creek, and McCradys were front runners). And using the mags resource guide, we came up with some other offbeat options: The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon; The Confederate Home & College (843/722-2026); a host of houses downtown (like the Wickliffe House and church grounds (like Circular Congregational Church with its Lance Hall); park-owned areas like Founders Hall in West Ashley and the Cooper River Room at the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.

When they grew open to trimming their guest list, possibilities blossomed even more. I launched into other locations, like these newbies: Marions in the French Quarter on East Bay, which offers dining and ballroom space, both flooded with natural light and wrapped in exposed brick walls dating to 1873. And over at Coming and Cannon, floral design studio stems now welcomes events. Its sleek white brick walls, cement floor, and pendant lamps suit mod-minded showers, luncheons, rehearsal dinners, or weddings for 120 or fewer guests. And for a stunning, airy, light, and charming St. Philip Street single house (we shot a feature for the next issue there recently), I love the now-rentable Hope and Union Coffee Co. for an intimate to-do.

As we tossed around styles (edgy urbane: eyelevel art; 10 Storehouse Row; or rustic: Ravenels Hyde Park Farm & Polo Club) we started laughing at the possibilities. All this to say? When it comes to location, location, location, Charlestons got it all!

Know of a great new or offbeat location? Let us know!

For more great locations, visit our vendor directory!