You are here

Home
Share this
Big Top Goes Black Tie

Written By

Written By: 
Jacqui Calloway

Photos By

Photos By: 
Liz Banfield
Charleston's Gaillard Center grand ballroom plays host to a wild, wonderful, over-the-top wedding to remember
Robert Brickman & Lesley Landrum
September 4, 2016 
Gaillard Center
 
Seven years after Lesley Landrum spotted Robert Brickman’s “ugly shirt” (her words) at a birthday party, the couple started planning a shindig of their own: their wedding. Their wish? For it to be “a grown-up kids bar mitzvah,” says Lesley. As they discussed their wishlist with planner Tara Guérard of Tara Guérard Soirée, an upscale carnival took shape and the Gaillard Center became a grand, black-tie big top for the day. After a ceremony in the venue’s lobby, the ballroom doors opened to Burke High School drum line’s infectious beats, silk aerialists twirling above bars, a magician, and even drag queen performances. “We threw out the rules about what a Southern wedding has to be,” says Lesley. “It’s OK to be a kid,” Robert adds. Case in point: though he skipped the ugly shirt this time around, he donned Lego cufflinks that had Lesley falling in love all over again.
 
FOLLOW THEIR LEAD
 • Pick a central location. Being downtown meant guests could walk to the fête from their hotels.
• Pay mind to your vendors. With a menu that was a nod to the couple’s love of travel—it ran the gamut from chicken piccata and chicken tikka masala to okra jambalaya and hand-rolled sushi—a large, well-equipped indoor kitchen was critical for catering prep.
• Personalize a large ballroom. Custom carpet was brought in to dress the setting in the couple’s palette. Garlands and draping made the towering ceilings more intimate.
• Beware of Mother Nature. August and September are in the peak of hurricane season, and Lowcountry summers bring plenty of pop-up showers, so an indoor venue provided peace of mind.
• Soften a stately setting. Metal lanterns added a summery touch to the classical entrance and cast a mellow glow after the sun set.
 
Vendor List
Wedding design, florals, linens: Tara Guérard Soirée, www.TaraGuerardSoiree.com
Photography: Liz Banfield, www.LizBanfield.com
Venue: Gaillard Center, www.GaillardCenter.com
Rentals: Snyder Events, www.SnyderEvents.com
Photo booth: TapSnap, www.TapSnap.net
Lighting, sound: Production Design Associates, www.PDAStage.com
LED bracelets: PixMob, www.PixMob.com
Catering: Cru Catering, www.CruCatering.com
Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal, www.WeddingCakesByJimSmeal.com
Bar, wine: Duvall Events, www.Fuvallevents.com
Stationery, signage: Lettered Olive, www.LetteredOlive.com
Calligraphy: Claudia Hanlin, www.TheWeddingLibrary.com
Beauty: Kristy Cuthbert (hair); Deidre Outlaw (makeup)
Bride’s attire: Oscar de la Renta (ceremony gown, available in Charleston through Betty Bridal Atelier), www.BettyBridalAtelier.com; Naeem Khan (reception dress), www.NaeemKhan.com; Cacky's Bride + Aid (day-of dressing), www.CackysBrideAid.com  
Bridesmaids’ attire: Alfred Sung (available in Charleston through Bella Bridesmaids, www.BellaBridesmaids.com)
Menswear: Berlin’s for Men, www.BerlinsClothing.com
Music: Charleston Virtuosi (ceremony), www.charlestonvirtuosi.com; Burke High School (cocktail hour), www.1BurkeBand.com; Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters (reception), www.BigSwingAndTheBallroomBlasters.com 
Drag queen performances: Alyssa Edwards, www.SayWhatEntertainment.com; Brooke Collins, misscollins@mac.com
Silk aerialists: Cirque Works via East Coast Entertainment, www.EastCoastEntertainment.com 
Magician: Matthew Furman, www.MatthewFurman.com
Videography: Artistic Eye Productions, www.ArtisticEyeProductions.com
Transportation: Carolina’s Executive Limo Line, www.CELimoLine.com
Getaway vehicle: Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle Company, www.LowcountryValet.com
Valet: Coastal Valet, www.CoastalValetOnline.com
Babysitting: Simply Southern Sitters, www.SimplySouthernSitters.com
Dog sitting: Charleston Dog Walking Company, www.CharlestonDogWalkingCo.com
Ketubah: Oren Loloi, www.PapercutsByOren.com