Charming Charleston "I Do's"Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Ava Moore Photography
Danielle and Rob never doubted they wanted to host a destination wedding, it was just a matter of picking a location. “I had to convince Rob we should keep the wedding within the United States, so I spent a couple of days researching U.S. destination wedding cities online,” explains the bride. “Finally, I came across Charleston – which had an entire website dedicated to weddings! I found four potential venues, booked flights down and, by the end of the trip, we had a venue.”
The bride is a professional event planner, so she was accustomed to making quick, tough decisions. Not surprisingly, she opted not to hire a wedding planner and instead handled all of the details herself. When asked about her experience planning her own wedding, Danielle said, “It was seamless. We got engaged October 2013, and booked the Rice Mill in December of that year. I spent the next couple of months interviewing our VIP vendors (photographer, DJ, florist, etc.) and we spent two weeks down in [Charleston] in April of 2014, half wedding planning and half vacationing. From there, everything seemed to fall into place and all our vendors were extremely accommodating to us being out of state.”
The couple opted for a wedding away for the most popular reasons and, thankfully, their vision came to life come W-Day. “We wanted to keep the wedding smaller and more intimate and also turn it into a weekend celebration rather than one day. We chose Charleston because it was easy for our guests from New York to get to, without having to leave the country."
When it came to inspiration, Danielle took another very popular route: Pinterest. “I used Pinterest to compile all my ideas. One Pinterest tip I’ll give to brides planning their wedding – don’t search too early. I only searched for items/ideas when I was fully ready to make a decision. This way I didn’t overwhelm myself and all my ideas were grouped together on the single wedding Pinterest board and in one place.”
Looking back, Rob and Danielle have no doubts they made the right decision to get married outside of New York. Not only did they get a gorgeous, Southern wedding, but there were added perks of a destination wedding. “If we had had our wedding in New York, we easily would have had 300 people, so in that sense we definitely cut our costs. As for the vendors, all the prices were slightly lower or comparable to New York.” Doubling their guest list for a hometown wedding would have also cost the couple the intimate event and atmosphere they desired.
When asked for some final words of advice for other couples currently planning their destination wedding, Danielle said, “Don’t forget to take some time and enjoy it all. It’s alright to stress and over-confirm with your vendors up until the very last moment, but when you wake up on your wedding day, have confidence you’ve done everything you could to make sure things go smoothly and just enjoy it!”
Vendors: Photographer: Ava Moore Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Historic Rice Mill Building in Charleston, South Carolina, Flowers: Whole Foods Market, Cake: Cakes by Kasarda, Hair & Makeup: Lashes and Lace, Gown Designer: Allure Bridals, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Jim Hjelm Occasions/Men’s Wearhouse
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