Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary! | A Charleston wedding planner marks her 10-year milestone with a fab dinner party packed with ideas and a few surprises
Charleston wedding planner Haley Kelly of Haley Kelly Events says planning anything for herself always comes last. Which is why she secured her venue, South Carolina Society Hall, and must-have vendors well in advance and allotted ample time when planning a 10th-anniversary dinner party for herself and husband Dylan, as well as 25 of their nearest and dearest. While the dinner wasn’t anywhere close to the scale of their 180-person wedding, it was infused with some great surprise details and a level of sophistication that comes with age.
Kelly selected chartreuse and black with pops of hot pink and red for her color palette and enlisted Blossom Bay Design for florals and Prairie & Sage for invites, alligator-textured menus, and calligraphed labels that accompanied each guest’s favorite cocktail. Cru Catering created her 10-course menu—a reflection of the couple’s 10 years of marriage, including a bread service that represented Kelly’s pregnancy cravings and an egg yolk and mushroom ravioli recipe they perfected during the pandemic. The glamorous Oscars-inspired velvet photo booth created by photographer Gately Williams engaged friends that had traveled from near and far. And each guest even got their own personal heart-shaped Flowerchild cake emblazoned with the number 10. “Sitting at a table with that many people you love doesn’t happen all the time,” says Kelly. “Having your A-team around you is a great reminder of your love story.”
Party Tips & Tricks
- Add an element of surprise. Halfway through dinner, Kelly’s guests found a secondary seating chart underneath their plates and had to swap places to shake up the mingling.
- When planning your food, don’t think you have to pick what’s on the menu. Most caterers will accomodate what you want and relish the challenge.
- Trust your vendors. When you give them more free reign, you get a better product.
- Consider a day-of planner to take the pressure off as host. You’re able to let the timeline go and enjoy the moment when you put the logistics in someone else’s hands. 
- An interactive experience is the cherry on the cake. Kelly’s was the customized photo booth. 
- Don’t doubt that throwing a party for yourself is a grand idea. Do what you can to get your tried and true together to celebrate your lasting marriage.
Planning & Design: Haley Kelly Events
Venue: South Carolina Society Hall
Catering & Bar: Cru Catering
Photography: Gately Williams
Florals: Blossom Bay Design
Stationery & Calligraphy: Prairie & Sage
Cake: Flowerchild Desserts
Rentals: Lola Valentina, Snyder Events, Cheers Charleston
Linens: Nüage Designs
Reception Entertainment: Charleston Groove
Beauty: Ash and Co.