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.
Charleston is one of the country’s top-tier cities for so-called destination weddings, and any couple getting married here should expect far-flung guests to RSVP an enthusiastic “Yes” to their celebration, especially when this old-school boarding pass, designed by Studio R, debuts your wedding details in high flying style.