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It’s Hip To Be Cool

Urbane couples call for urbane wedding venues. Check out these three downtown hot-meets-haute spots

Belmond Charleston Place [left] image by Virgil Bunao, Gaillard Center [center] image by Liz Banfield, and The Cedar Room [right] image by Catherine Ann Photography

September 19, 2017

It’s Hip To Be Cool
Urbane couples call for urbane wedding venues. Check out these three downtown hot-meets-haute spots

Written by Middi Joyce

There’s something so dreamy and enchanting about a downtown Charleston wedding. Maybe it’s the church bells ringing as you exit the chapel, those horse-drawn carriages everywhere, or even the sweet smell of the harbor breeze rushing in from The Battery. And while traditional locations (think columned manses) dot the landscape, there are other more traditionally urban options that will give you a distinctly local and romantic Big Day, too.

Belmond Charleston Place
The luxurious Belmond Charleston Place  is known for being a stunner of a setting (think enormous chandeliers and towering floral arrangements in the grand lobby) with white-glove service to match. A killer spot with indoor-outdoor ceremony options, a private courtyard cafe with seriously (we mean seriously) fine dining, and suites perfect for honeymoons make it a no-brainer. Check out one of our favorite to-dos there, here. And need a few more reasons why it’s a winner? Check out these boons.
• Keep it in-house. Having all the festivities an elevator-ride away from your hotel room makes any wedding weekend more relaxing for you and your guests.
• Know that bigger isn’t always better. Have a modest guest count (i.e. under 100 or so)? The banquet chefs who cater events at hotel’s The Palmetto Café can make everyone’s dinner to order.
• Take advantage of a one-stop shop. Belmond Charleston Place can supply a Big Day’s florals, linens, cake, catering, and bar, and Rick Burton—the hotel’s chief concierge—to officiate your ceremony.

Gaillard Center
Just a block from Marion Square, The Gaillard Center is primed for couples with larger guest lists. Part grand theatre, part exhibition hall, part ballroom central, the flexible site can accordion to suit your needs. Though it was built recently, it has all the grandness and gravitas of Charleston’s iconic landmark buildings. For one of the most fetching weddings we’ve seen there, click here. Read on for why this venue is such a star.
• Pick a central location. Being downtown means guests can walk to your fête from their hotels.
• Consider parking. There’s a public parking deck next to the Gaillard, with handicap accessible walks and elevators leading to the center.
• Pay mind to your vendors. Want an extensive menu? A large, well-equipped indoor kitchen, like that at the Gaillard, is critical for caterers.
• Personalize a large ballroom. Custom carpet, garlands, and draping can make the massive ballrooms  more intimate.
• Soften a stately setting. Add a flickering touch to austere facades with rows of lanterns marking outdoor paths.
• Mind Mother Nature. August and September are in the peak of hurricane season, and the Lowcountry is notorious for pop-up showers, so a super-sturdy indoor venue provides peace of mind. (In fact, the Gaillard also houses the command center for Charleston’s government should an earthquake or other natural disaster strike.)

The Cedar Room
Beat the heat and stay cool in The Cedar Room, located in downtown’s recently refurbished 1861 Cigar Factory. To see one of our favorite Cedar Room weddings, click here. Here are some takeaways for a stellar event in this chic space.
• Play with shapes. Use curvy elements—like renting a round bar—to offset the site’s boxy layout.
• Wave goodbye to valets. Since parking downtown is notoriously tricky, consider a venue with a built-in solution: The Cedar Room offers on-site parking after 5 p.m.
• Dress to impress. Add a feminine touch to the industrial space with chandeliers, statement linens, and sweet cake designs.
• Seat yourself. Save cash by opting for a mixture of lounge settings, bistro tables, and pub-style rounds with barstools rather than tables and chairs for all.


2017-09-21 00:00:00