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Destination I Do

A Charleston Destination Wedding Venue

Words by Courtney Kellar

Charleston is one of the United States’ top wedding destinations and it’s easy to see why. The quintessentially Southern city has all of the Lowcountry charm you would expect – genteel locals, Colonial Era mansions and balmy coastal breezes – plus, a thriving culinary and arts scene. If it’s timeless appeal you’re wanting for the location of your wedding away, then the city’s Historic District is an ideal choice. Conveniently located in the middle of it all, and only steps away from the City Market, is the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston.

This luxury, boutique hotel boasts 50 rooms and its French-inspired interiors are a far cry from the Historic District’s languid lifestyle. Despite having to meet the district’s strict building restrictions, the Grand Bohemian’s modest exterior gives way to a hip rooftop bar and rooms featuring crushed-velvet headboards and funky, local artwork. The hotel’s chic ballroom and chill outdoor terraces offer 2,400 square-feet of event space for modestly-sized weddings.

For pre-wedding to-do’s, consider hosting a welcome cocktail party at the Grand Bohemian Gallery. A signature of The Kessler Collection properties, the gallery features priceless pieces from the CEO’s private collection, as well as works by local artists. As a special treat for your guests, consider enlisting the help of one of the gallery’s resident artists, like Daniel Velasco, to create one-of-a-kind works of art to commemorate your event. Another unique way to mark a special occasion at the hotel would be to take a wine blending class. Build your own blend and then have it bottled to savor at a later date.

In a city known for its gastronomic exploits, it’s no surprise that the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston rises up to meet the culinary challenge. Élevé offers modern, American cuisine with an emphasis on utilizing the most local ingredients possible. “It’s familiar and it’s fresh,” says Executive Chef Ryley McGillis. It also offers one of the best Sunday brunches in town. Once you’ve enjoyed bottomless mimosas, let Old South Carriage Tours do the driving and take a ride through some of Charleston’s most remarkable neighborhoods. If you’re looking to take advantage of the city’s coastal location, check out Charleston Outdoor Adventures for paddle boarding with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in local saltwater estuaries.

Charleston artfully balances its storied past with forward-thinking establishments like The Ordinary, a 1920s bank-turned-upscale seafood restaurant, and the small-batch botanical gin at High Wire Distilling, the city’s first distillery since the abolition of prohibition.

This city really does offer the best of both worlds for your destination wedding or honeymoon. Be sure to tell your guests to expect good ol’ fashioned Southern hospitality, but to come with a foodie mindset and their funkiest outfits.

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): The Kessler Collection (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 8th).

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2017 issue. You can order a copy here.

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