Happy at Home

Happy at Home | Host a reception where you grew up? Sure! This Charleston bride shares how she squeezed 300-plus guests into her parent’s Ansonborough abode
Coleman Short and Tom Hawkins
Summer 2017
“The thought of having my wedding at home was so incredibly special to me that every other venue I looked at, no matter how beautiful, never felt right,” says Charleston-native Coleman Short, who tied the knot with Tom Hawkins last summer. “Home is where all of my memories had been made, so when my parents gave me the option to have the reception there, it was a no-brainer.” The bride, whose family has resided in the same Hasell Street house for 30-some years, and Yoj Events went to great lengths to pull off the impossible: a seamless, massive yet personal party downtown. Read on for tips.
Coleman’s Can-do Approach to Hosting at Home
Be a good neighbor. Coleman’s family invited their block to a cocktail party to ask for approval to host the wedding at home, and then invited attendees to the Big Day. On the weekend-of, neighbors on outlying streets received champagne, ear plugs, and thank-you notes. The couple got permits to shut down the street and abided by the neighborhood association’s 10:30 p.m. noise ordinance.
Spread out. Caterers set up in a next-door driveway, while the guests roamed from the garden to the piazzas, home, and beyond thanks to seating, food tables, and bars that were placed to create party flow.
Stretch your space. In lieu of traditional seats for all, cocktail and lounge setups, small tables and chairs, joggling boards, and more provided respite. Virtually invisible ghost chairs placed on the lawn kept clutter at a minimum; draping masked an upscale outdoor rental restroom.
Plan for parking. Guests were encouraged to Uber or hire pedicabs, while those who drove were given parking maps.

Design, coordination, draping: Yoj Events 

Photography: Clay Austin Photography 

Venues: The Parsonage House (bridal party preparation venue); The Charleston Place (groom’s party); First Scots Presbyterian Church (ceremony); private home (reception) 5Church (wedding after party)

Florals: Stephanie Gibbs Events 

Catering, bar service: Cru Catering 

Cake: Ashley Bakery 

Rentals: Ooh! Events (chandeliers, tables, bar stools, keg bar); EventWorks (tables, ghost chairs, linens, china, glassware, flatware, tents, dancefloor, fans); Production Design Associates (stage, cafe lighting, main bar, generator); Nature’s Calling (restroom trailer); The French Eclectic (rugs); Nüage Designs (guest tables, cocktail table linens)

Bride’s attire: Anne Barge from White on Daniel Island (gown); Croghan’s Jewel Box (earrings, bracelet, necklace); Badgley Mischka (shoes); Nadya D. Studio Design & Alterations (alterations); Cacky’s Bride Aid (dresser)

Junior bridesmaids’ attire: The Dessy Group 

Beauty: Lashes and Lace 

Groom’s attire: Hart Schaffner Marx (tux); Cole Haan (shoes); Bonobos (bow tie and cummerbun); King Jeweler (cufflinks)

Videographer: Paragon Filmworks 

Lighting: Production Design Associates 

Calligraphy: Loco Calligraphy by Leaha Gathing

Stationery: Chatham and Caron Letterpress (save the dates); Elaine Bergman (invitations); Dodeline Design (programs)