The Perfect Setting

The Perfect Setting | From on the water to above the city, these new venues set the tone for celebrations of all sizes and styles
Ciao, Bella!
In search of a bridal suite for your big day? Primp in style at Sorelle. The swanky Italian spot may have been this year’s hottest table, but its location—just a stone’s throw from a number of downtown’s churches and historic venues—and sumptuous decor make it a natural setting for wedding day prep. The intimate third-floor space has room for 20 and offers some stunning views of beloved Holy City steeples and bustling Broad Street below. Designed by Meyer Davis Studios, the interior includes a 10-person marble dining table and lounge area with a velvet couch, while the outdoor terrace is filled with comfortable furnishings and a gas fire pit. Nosh on a smattering of finger foods from the kitchen (cacio e pepe arancini balls and focaccia with burrata, anyone?) while sipping bubbles from the restaurant’s impressive 300-bottle wine cellar.
Such Great Heights 
Couples seeking a sleek blank canvas—and a killer vista—need look no further than The View at Morrison Yard.  Perched atop the city, the minimalist-chic space boasts a 180-degree view of the Charleston Harbor, with the regal Ravenel Bridge rising dramatically in the foreground like a page from a pop-up book. Guests can gush over the jaw-dropping scenery while sipping cocktails along the 1,185-square-foot terrace. Inside, matte black and weathered wood lighting and a polished concrete floor play nicely with decor of all stripes, while natural light spills through floor-to-ceiling windows that stretch the length of the building. With seating for 160, it’s nicely suited for a rehearsal dinner or reception.
And yet, chief among the reasons to set your soirée here is the crew behind the venue: the beloved Indigo Road Hospitality Group, whose Charleston-area restaurant roster includes Oak Steakhouse, Indaco, and Brasserie la Banque, to name a few. As such, couples planning an event can lean on some of the city’s foremost hospitality pros for unforgettable food and beverage options—not to mention in-house event coordination and planning expertise.
Waterfront Stunner  
Charleston Harbor Resort’s Sunrise Terrace & Deck checks a whole lot of boxes. A breathtaking setting. Convenient location. On-site accommodations. Indoor-outdoor setup. Just across the water from downtown, the Mount Pleasant venue offers more than 2,500 square feet of open-air covered space and boasts an impressive 180-degree view of the harbor, marina, and historic downtown’s steeple-dotted skyline. 
With room for 150 seated or 250 cocktail-style, it’s an excellent option for a rehearsal dinner that flows seamlessly into a welcome party, or an unforgettable waterfront reception—perhaps following a ceremony at Charleston Harbor Resort’s nearby private pier or Harborside Beach venues. You’ll have the peace of mind that your alfresco celebration won’t be compromised by inclement weather. And your guests can conveniently stay on the premises, choosing between the resort’s two hotel options (and price points), which each include complimentary shuttle transportation downtown.
Under the Oaks
With its charming Georgian-style home and sweeping oaks rising from expansive manicured lawns, Cotton Hall is steeped in Lowcountry character. It’s located in Yemassee—60 miles from Charleston, 50 miles from Savannah, and 20 miles from Beaufort—and set among an unspoiled landscape. The property spans 760 acres, allowing it to accommodate celebrations of virtually any size across multiple ceremony, cocktail, and reception spaces. Exchange vows beneath one of the grounds’ majestic moss-draped oaks—many date to the 1700s—before boogieing down with your guests into the night (its secluded setting means the revelry can easily extend until midnight). After the last dance, escape in style in a vintage Rolls Royce getaway car, included with all rentals.
In addition to Cotton Hall’s in-house planner available for booking, a real bonus is its historic home, which functions as a four-room bed and breakfast for a maximum of 10 guests. In staying on-site with their families or closest friends, couples can feel they’ve secured their own personal estate for their wedding weekend.
The Fresh Catch
Sitting sidecar to Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, the unabashedly old-school Charleston fish house Hank’s Social Hall takes a cue from its older sibling in the art of historic district hospitality. The rustic, industrial loft space exudes a certain Holy City charm with its vaulted ceilings, handsome dark bar, and exposed brick and beams, both original to the turn-of-the-century building. At 2,140 square feet and with capacity to seat up to 120, it’s a great spot for showers, bridal luncheons, and engagement parties. With catering exclusively provided by Hank’s, you can expect the restaurant’s classic Lowcountry fare and famed white-jacket service—events are worked by the same staff who sling vespers and seafood towers next door.
Hip & Central
Just minutes from the heart of downtown Charleston is an industrial-cool venue that marches to a different (read: less traditional) beat. The Refinery is a mixed-use campus for all matters of creative industry, from office space to food and beverage outposts to an amphitheater that hosts concerts and community events. As the setting for your bash, it’s a flexible, accessible venue with unique offerings. 
The Platform, an open-air rooftop deck, can comfortably host up to 200 guests—perfect for wedding welcome celebrations. (Of course, should you want to go big and stage a wedding in the Refinery’s Amphitheater space, that’s on offer, too.) From either, couples can make their festivities hyper-local by featuring the vendors right on-site; currently, that’s craft beer collective The Whale and Sweet Grass Vodka distillery, while a restaurant is slated to open this year. Outside caterers can also easily set up shop on the premises—as can your choice of food trucks.
A Spirited Celebration
The distillery that made a name off its now-iconic sweet tea vodka, Firefly Distillery provides private events with blissful scenery and peaceful vibes in a central location. Located at the gate of North Charleston’s happening Park Circle neighborhood, it sits conveniently off main artery Spruill Avenue. But tucked back from the road, buffered by greenery, and surrounded by grand oaks and marsh views, it also feels strikingly removed from the hustle-bustle of town. 
While the distillery’s regular operating hours until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday make it tricky to swing an on-site ceremony, it’s perfectly positioned for other festivities. All feature the 30 plus spirits that Firefly handcrafts on the premises, and couples can choose from several available venue spaces to configure an inside-outside celebration that suits their style and specifications. The Firefly Room + Back Porch is an open concept with twinkling drop lights and capacity for 150 seated across both spaces, while the adjacent Tasting Room is anchored by a custom-built copper bar, making it natural for cocktail hours. The full distillery can also be booked for any celebrations exceeding 250 or requiring more than two venue spaces. 

Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards, Laura Saur, Matt Peacock Photography, courtesy of Sweet Grass Vodka, the venues & Bella Natale