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5 Ideas For Clean Bachelor Parties

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts

So you are getting married or you are the best man of the soon-to-be groom and what does a wedding mean…that’s right the time honored tradition of the bachelor party.  In years gone by, the bachelor party usually meant lots of drinking and of course strippers.  But in recent years men and women alike are waiting to get married a little later in life and the college “daze” mentality of drinking all night, watching women take their clothes off, and nursing hangovers well into the next night has been giving way to more tame nights out with the guys.  Just because your bachelor party doesn’t include hangovers, strippers and parts of the night that can only be recalled through blurry cell phone pictures doesn’t mean it needs to be tame.

Many times the best man wait until the last minute and takes the road of least resistance, well who really wants that path to haunt them for years to come?

What if there was a clean version of the bachelor party where your friends were thanking you the next day rather than asking where’s the Advil? Imagine if you could not only talk about the bachelor party with your soon-to-be wife, but could share the pictures from the party.

Here are 5 ideas for a bachelor adventure that can take care of all of the above.

DSC 6141Whitewater Rafting and Camping
If the soon-to-be groom is a fan of the great outdoors why not an adventure with the boys under the open sky.  Of course you can pack as much beer as needed but don’t forget the essentials or let your adventure planner take care of that for you. On Purpose Adventures organizes weekday and weekend trips throughout the country and can make sure everything is thought of so you can just enjoy the weekend. While on your great outdoor adventure, spend the day with your buddies hitting the rapids.  All experience levels can be accommodated and the thrill is something you’ll be talking about long after the trip.  Why not throw in engraved Swiss army knives or an engraved compass, groomsman/bachelor party gifts that are sure to come in handy on the adventure and have them remember the time every time they see the gift.

phoca thumb l IMG 4490Paintball Wars
What better way to relieve a little pre-wedding stress than shooting your buddies in the back…..with paintballs of course.  Private parties are easily arranged with your adventure planner and equipment, drinks, food, photos, and video can all be included in your adventure.  You can mix things up by playing scenario games like capture the flag or last man standing or go all out and try your hand at some night paintball.

Weekend-Fishing-Trip-to-the-LakeWeekend Fishing Trip to the Lake
How about just a relaxing weekend with boys in a cabin on the lake?  Food, lodging, fishing guide, photos and video call all be provided by your adventure planner however the fish are up to you.  You might want to go a little more adventurous and spring for some quail hunting or even alligator hunting depending on the season but no matter how you pack the weekend it’s sure to be fun and relaxing……you can worry about who is sitting next to who at the reception when you get back.

skydivingJumping Out of a Perfectly Good Airplane
You’re about to take the plunge figuratively so why not try it literally.  Nothing like free falling towards the earth at over 100 mph.  Tandem jumps are offered at most places for those who have never been before.  Sure your wedding video is going to be amazing and you are your soon to be wife will watch it and show it off to your kids.  But this a bachelor party video that you won’t be able to wait to post up to Facebook.  An adventure planner can make sure everything goes smoothly and you will have lots of photos and video as a keepsake.

ropes-courseChallenge Course
Why celebrate your passage from bachelorhood to marriage with a day on the high ropes course.  Challenge, or ropes, courses are a great way to connect with your buddies and see if you have what it takes in problem solving, cooperation, patience and mind-over-body focus.  There are plenty of things to do surrounding this adventure and your planner can take care of everything from lunch to setting up the post challenge celebration.  Of course being able to show of the pictures of your bachelor party to your new father-in-law may score you a few extra points as well.

Let On Purpose Adventures plan your next bachelor party.
Contact Us at 843-580-3757 or at


Simply Bridal~ What Does Your Silhouette Say About You?

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts


“Today’s guest blog is brought to you by Simply Bridal. Not only will you find every wedding dress style under the sun, their blog is fresh and informative! Be sure to check them out!”~ Charleston Wedding Studio


We choose clothes according to our personality and selecting our dream wedding dress is no different. You know what you like, but what does your choice say about you? Here we break down the most popular wedding dress silhouettes and what they say about you.


Sheath Dress

sheath wedding dress

Brides that choose sheath dresses are elegant, sophisticated and unfussy. These brides have a knack for making a simple jeans and tee look flawlessly elegant, while at the same time going gaga for the most minimal jewelry. The sheath dress allows the bride to shine and maintain her simple style, especially since it requires very little adornment.

Bridal Inspiration: Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy



A-line Dress

a-line wedding dress

Love a gorgeous A-line dress? Well, you’re not alone. A-line brides are classic, traditional, and well grounded. The A-line bride loves her pearls and cardigans and never places a foot wrong. Is it no surprise that Princess Grace wore an A-line dress to be married to her Prince Charming? We think not.

Bridal Inspiration: Princess Grace of Monaco




Trumpet or Mermaid Dress

mermaid wedding dress

A woman that loves a mermaid dress is no shrinking violet.  She wants you to know when she enters the room and dresses for the occasion. She belongs on the red carpet and good luck trying to take a bad picture of her because she has mastered the art of taking the perfect picture. Even in her downtime she incorporates a bit of glitz and glamour through her love of luxurious clothing and jewelry.

Bridal Inspiration: Beyoncé



Ball Gown

ballgown wedding dress

Every little girl dreams of becoming a princess some time in her life. Chances are the only time that dream will come true is on her wedding day. Every princess worth her salt knows that a ball gown is necessary to make her fantasy come true. No princess is complete without her diamonds, so don’t forget to adorn yourself with some diamonds.

Bridal Inspiration: Jacqueline Kennedy


Whichever type of bride you are, there is a silhouette to match. Whether you want a sleek and simple dress or a gown worthy of the red carpet, you can find it. Just stick with us and we’ll help you get there.

Posted by Anna K. from SimplyBridal.

style icones


Image Source:
Grace Kelly:
Carolyn Kennedy: wikipedia
Jacqueline Kennedy:

Charleston Wedding Venue | Folly Beach

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Folly Beach Wedding



Thanks to Melissa Hart of for sharing her expertise on Folly Beach Weddings with us!



“There’s no better place to take a leap into the future than on what the locals call the Edge of America.

Folly Beach offers a dream setting for anyone looking to get married either in the town itself or right down on the beach. So to plan the perfect beach wedding the biggest question couples need to ask themselves is this: What kind of wedding do I want?

To begin with, think about location. Do you want to get married on the beach itself so that when you say your vows you’ll feel the sand beneath your feet and hear the waves as they lap at the shore? Or would you rather get married near the beach?

For instance, many people choose to get married in front of their favorite beach rental home or in a location that provides an incredible view. Others choose to get married on the beach nearest to Morris Lighthouse – this location is gorgeous during low tide and provides plenty of room on the beach for the wedding party and guests.


Wedding Folly Beach

Wedding Flowers by WildFlowers Inc.



Other locations include the Folly Beach County Park where couples can get together in one of the shelters. The shelters provide a place for the wedding and reception all while maintaining the feel of a beach wedding. The shelters can be rented for the day or day and night. Fees begin at $450 for the shelters. For more information about the park and shelter rentals call 843-795-4386.

After a couple decides on a location, all of the other bells and whistles that go along with a wedding must be considered. This includes the need for stylists, florists, wedding planners, photographers, caterers, and anything else the bride and groom need or require.


bride on folly beach

Photo courtesy Richard Bell Photography


As far as places to stay, there are several homes and condos for rent and hotels that can accommodate any budget on Folly Beach. Another benefit is that Charleston is just a 10-minute drive away and full of hotels, bed and breakfast establishments and historic inns, all of which are perfect for wedding guests. As always, book well in advance to make sure accommodations can be made for the big day.


the folly boat at folly beach wedding

Painting the Folly Boat is a Tradition


Folly boat Wedding


After securing a location, place to stay and organizing everything else to make sure your dream wedding on Folly Beach goes off without a hitch, make sure you don’t forget the most important thing you will need for the big day:  your marriage license.

Licenses from the State of South Caroline are $70 and can be obtained from the county courthouse in Charleston located at 100 Broad St. in suite 469. Licenses can be obtained between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 843-958-5182 for more information about what documents you’ll need to obtain a marriage license.”


Groomsmen on Folly Beach

Photo courtesy Robbie Silver Photography


Richard Bell Photography
Robbie Silver Photography

Flowers: WildFlowers Inc.

St. Michael's Wedding



Couples don’t get much cuter than this!

Earlier this spring I was honored to be a part of Caroline & Preston’s amazing wedding celebration! They were married at St. Michael’s Church in historic downtown Charleston. The jam packed reception was held at South Carolina Society Hall. Enjoy these images courtesy of none other than the fabulous Mell Bell of Richard Bell Photography, accompanied by Wanda Cavazos.


Wedding at St. Michael's



Guest Book Charleston Wedding

Guest sign a page of Charleston Artwork for a special Wedding Guest Book.



Wedding St. Michael's



A delicious spread was provided Tom Smith Catering.

Tom Smith Catering


Tom Smith Catering



Artistic Cakes by Linda

The cake by Artistic Cakes by Linda was delicious!



Mercury Glass Votive


The flowers and decor were provided by Elizabeth Huggins of Summerville, SC


Tall pilsner flower arrangement.



The champagne pored all night! And a great time was had by all!!!

Champagne Toast

A special hand-painted champagne bottle for the bride & groom!



No one wanted to leave… but we sent the couple off with some super long burning wedding sparklers!


Sparkler Sendoff


Band: The Entertainers


Charleston Wedding Planning | Photo Guest Books

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts

Today’s guest blogger is Dixie Fanning with Design from Dixie, a commercial graphic design studio in Charleston for printed media such as brochures, flyers, newsletters, logos, vehicle wraps, annual reports, postcards, pocket folders, invitations and designs for promotional items.


Photo Guest Books get noticed!


Photo Guest Book


Wedding Reception guest books are often just an after thought, and sometimes it is hard to get your guests to remember to sign it. But your guest book could do so much more – give your family and guests a place to express their happiness for you, give advice, or just express remembrances of the day.


Wedding Photo Guest Books have photos of your guests on each page with plenty of space to write a message to you. Before the wedding, each family or guest sends a picture of themselves, then Design from Dixie creates a lovely custom hard-bound Photo Guest Book for you. Each page has one picture with space for your guests to write their message (some blank pages are also included). You can use it at events held before the wedding and at the reception. Since they will be looking for their own picture, everyone will want to see the Photo Guest Book and remember to sign it. The Photo Guest Book encourages them to express personal messages to the bride and groom that will be cherished for years to come. Long after the wedding cake is gone and the honeymoon is over, you will have one keepsake that can be enjoyed every year on your anniversary and bring back memories of the people who shared in your happiness on that special day.


Let Design from Dixie create a custom Charleston Wedding Photo Guest Book for your special day.

Contact Dixie at 843-860-8246 or



PaperDolls ~ Charleston Wedding Hair & Makeup

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts


Today’s post is courtesy of Carrie McLeod of

PaperDolls – Wedding Hair & Makeup


From the Red Carpet to the Aisle: Hollywood Hair Inspiration for Brides
The 2012 Awards season is in full force with the granddaddy of all red carpet events just a few days away. Of course, I’m talking about the Academy Awards.
Whether you’re a fan of the hoopla surrounding these events or not, they are a fabulous resource for hair inspiration – especially for brides! As a matter of fact, I’ve already had several brides request looks straight from the red carpet this year.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular styles that have graced the awards shows this season…
The big stunner from The Golden Globes was Charlize Theron and her gorgeous headband.

Charlize Theron_GoldenGlobes


Photo Source:

This look is great for weddings in that it has all of the elements of a great updo – sparkle, glamour and romance. It’s pretty without being over-the-top and versatile in that you could use any headband that suits the feel of your wedding – pearls, color, crystals – the possibilities are endless.


Another fabulous look comes from Diana Agron at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Braids have been super hot for a while now, and Diana mastered the look with this beautiful, whispy updo.

Diana Agron_SAG

Photo Source:

The fishtail look of this braid makes it look super-modern while the slightly mussed finish helps keep it romantic. Plus, because this style is purposely less-than-perfect, it will still look great after three hours on the dance floor!

A slightly more rock ‘n roll look emerged from the Grammys (go figure), which would be perfect for the bride that wants to cop a little more attitude with her bridal ‘do.


Photo Source:

This super retro style is a lot of fun and can be played up or down as much as you want. It would also look very cool with a little sparkly clip or comb added to give it more of a bridal flair.
Of course, the most glamorous of all Hollywood parties is just right around the corner and I can’t wait to see what inspiration will be gracing the red carpet on Oscar night. I encourage all brides-to-be to take note of the hairstyles and see what trends speak to the theme and feel of their wedding. The red carpet is one of the best free resources for finding that perfect look!
Do you have a favorite look from the red carpet this season? Any style you wish you’d see more of?


Charleston Wedding Attire | Custom Bow Ties!

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Our guest blogger today is Frances Barry, owner, designer, artist and business woman. She owns Barry Beaux. I fell in love with both Frances and her line of custom made bow ties, neckties, pocket squares, cummerbunds and more for the Bridal Party. On more than one occasion I have had a bride tell me they could not find the perfect tie for the men. I’m so excited to be able to share Frances’ info with them. Look no further for a fun and unique way to integrate your personality into your wedding attire! Though her custom created items are sold to anyone in the world, I think they are just the absolute perfect touch for a Charleston Wedding! If you are planning a lowcountry wedding, read more about Barry Beaux below.


Barry Beaux Custum Bow tie


Barry Beaux was started in 2009 by local designer Frances Barry. Frances Barry was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, SC and has always had an interest in Fashion. Frances started Barry Beaux while studying Fashion Merchandising at Georgia Southern University. Barry Beaux features all handmade bow ties, neckties, pocket squares, cummerbund sets, and even bow ties for the little ones, as well as a line of skirts for the ladies. The name comes from Barry her last name and Beaux meaning handsome in French as well as a play on words for bow.


Barry Beaux Custom Bow tie


At you can find an array of products and unique designs. Also if you want something more personal or customized, you can get custom orders. Just contact Frances at and she can find the fabric for you or she can design your very own fabric to ensure a true one of a kind bow! Barry Beaux now sells internationally and does wedding orders as well as Fraternity orders. Be sure and check out Barry Beaux and support your local and handmade designers! You can also follow Barry Beaux on FaceBook and Twitter.


Elegant by Design Bridal ~ Custom Designed Bridal Jewelry

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts


Bridal Jewelry


Why have silver-plated items with faux crystals that have luster that will not last?  Why, when you can have items custom-designed, long-lasting, quality pieces created for you and your bridal party? Choose your design today that can be your one-of-a-kind piece and someday heirloom.

We have the following high-quality materials to create your elegant jewelry piece:
-We have over 100 shades of SWAROVSKI crystal.
-Fresh water pearls in any shape you could think of, in natural shades, as well as quality dyed pearls in over 30 shades.
-Your choice of sterling silver or 14 kt gold filled findings

Are you thinking of using more than one shade for your bridal party?? That is one of my favorite things to do to even create one-of-a-kind, unique pieces for each person in your bridal party. This is a gift that they will cherish forever.

I stand behind my work, and in over 7 years I have had only one item needed to be adjusted.
I will even go with you on your final fitting to make sure your items are the length you will be happy with.

I work by appointments that are yours only. Give us a call and set up your appointment today. I need at least 4 weeks notice to place your order.

Call: 843-821-1144  today and ask for Debra

Elegant by Design Bridal on facebook

Elegant by Design Bridal web-site

I did, then I didn’t, but now “I do”!

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 1 thought response

red flowers white cake

I was married the first time at 22; my wedding was all that everyone around me influenced it to be. I even dared to order a wedding cake with chocolate icing (very daring for the 80’s) of course the moment came when I saw my wedding cake that it was WHITE! My mother had gone back to the baker and changed to order letting them know that I had clearly made a mistake.

Needless to say over the many years since my first wedding there were a plethora of things that I would change, however I never thought that I would have the opportunity to do so. I had meant the vows that I took with all my heart, my 22 year old heart. My vows are not something that I took lightly and what I found at the end of my marriage I had not only lost my marriage, I lost my faith in my own ability to trust my heart. If I meant the vows with every fiber of my being at 22 and I was wrong how I could trust my heart to make that decision again.

I met a man and we fell in love; however my inability to believe in my hearts decision made our courtship a little longer then most… ok a whole lot longer then most… 168 months or Fourteen Years. Imagine finding someone willing to stay with you and love you despite your obvious issues. Something clicked and I finally decided I could trust my hearts decision making abilities. So let the Wedding plan madness begin!

What a difference it is planning a wedding at 40 something than 22. We picked a date…. everyone wanted a date right away… our date was chosen around our sons hockey schedule, of course the super bowl and it was a cool date. 02/08/2008. There were clearly more thing to take into account when planning this second that were not factors in my first.

The exciting part came after the date was chosen and we were able to sit down and talk about what “we wanted”. We batted around so many ideas and finally decided on the feeling we wanted for our wedding, we wanted relaxed, music oriented party, with great food and great friends. Our wedding was a 1950’s Cocktail Party. The theme was a jumping off point, my daughter was 19 and she was a tremendous help in finding the different websites we needed to pull this wedding off. We choose to do it all our selves our friends helped and our wedding became very personal and intimate event. I designed my save the date cards to set the mood for our 50’s cocktail theme.

Wedding dress shopping was a depressing nightmare, I was not 20 something and I was not a size 4, it left me overwhelmed. Then I found the dress of my dreams… well the pattern for the dress of my dreams, 1958 Vogue Vintage Cocktail dress pattern on an online auction for less than $10.00. I bought my fabric and found a dress maker and the dress of my dreams became reality. For a fraction of the cost of a wedding dress I was able to have my dream dress made.

We talked to 6 caterers telling them the theme and waiting to hear back on a menu for a “Swanky 1950’s Cocktail Party Wedding” I was stunned by the lack of creativity all but one had Pigs in a blanket, and the prices were shocking at best…for pigs in a blanket! Then there was Carla her menu was unique and delicious with a very reasonable price.

Music was important to us, in fact we complied more then 8 hours of music between the two of us. We took hours upon hours to pare it down to the perfect compilation of songs we loved. We painstakingly checked the order of the songs ensuring the mood of the music was just what we wanted. It was worth every moment since we had created the soundtrack to our wedding perfect.

The cake was another learning experience… as someone that doesn’t really care about sweets I wanted to make sure that everyone had something they liked. Once the photo of the perfect cake was found we decided on the flavors. Italian Creame for my daughter, Kahlua Chocolate of all the chocolate lovers & Butter Pound cake for everyone else, all covered with the very best Butter cream frosting. The photo of the cake I fell in love with had ribbon on it, while talking with the baker a fellow transplanted Yankee. We hit on the idea of replacing the ribbon with Chocolate sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles are hard to find here, up north they are everywhere. My baker and my cake far exceeded my expectations.

We had a candy bar that featured red and brown candies complete with Swedish fish. red hots, snowcaps, retro candy cigarettes and my favorite Chocolate covered Potato Chips. I had ordered inexpensive Chinese food take-out boxes and the girls and I adorned them with out wedding logo, ribbons and a thank you charm. The guests loved taking their favorite candy home with them.

My bouquets were amazing, I wanted retro and I was referred to a well established yet modest florist and when we met and discussed my wishes she was thrilled. She first opened her floral business in the early 1960’s and remembers doing bouquets similar to my vision. She created beautiful vintage carnation bouquets; mine was full or red carnations with a beautiful white satin ribbon that I adorned with a vintage red brooch that was a gift from my bridesmaid. The girls carried white carnations with red satin ribbon; it looked stunning with their chocolate brown cocktail dresses. Our flowers like everything else proved to be not only beautiful & retro they were also affordable, classic bang for our buck!

The planning was not free of drama however I feel like there was far less drama then there could have been. We were able to have everything the way that we wanted. Our vows were heart felt and honest; the music was perfect for us. We offered a signature cocktail with a limited bar and fabulous food for our guests. The only tradition that we adhered to was the cutting of the cake and that was perfect for our party. When the evening was over our friends and family were left with memories of a great evening with good friends, great food, cocktails, candy, music, cake, all of the things we wanted them to take from our unique and special wedding day.

Take the time to consider what is important about your special day. The traditions that are important to you should be the ones that you spend time on. Do not get wrapped up in the things that are unimportant. If you are unable to choose one cake flavor choose two or three. If you are unsure on flowers tell your florist the theme you are trying to create and trust their judgment. Whether you spend thousands of dollars or tens of thousands on your special day, or you have 30 guests or 300 guests, the important part is that you create an event that is as unique as you both are.   (launching March 2012)



Thanks so much to Brent Horner for inviting us a Charleston Brews Cruise tour. I found this the perfect opportunity to thank Vince for all his hard work for both Charleston Wedding Studio and WildFlowers Inc. (Vince likes beer and I think he is a budding beer aficionado :-)   So, I sent him to get the skinny on Charleston Brews Cruise as an option for Bachelor or Bachelorette parties. I also think this would be an awesome idea for an activity to line up for your out of town wedding guests. When you are planning your Charleston wedding, check them out!

Charleston Brews Cruise

They have cruises everyday that you can sign up to join. They are typically $45, depart from a Downtown location and visit up to four local breweries. They also have several specialty tours that include menu tastings. They can also customize a group tour. If you are a local, be sure to let them know. You can score a locals discount. Personally, I think a gift certificate would make a fine groomsmen gift. Heck, I think it would make a fine gift for any beer lover for any reason or day of the week!

Vince and the rest of the Charleston Brews Cruise “Crew” visited the following breweries:

Southend Brewery & Smokehouse

Southend Brewery

Ahren, the head brewer at Southend Brewery, educating us on the styles of beer being sampled. Thanks Ahren!

Read about the Ghost that inhabits their 3rd floor


Palmetto Brewing Company

Palmetto Brewing Company

Chris discussing the bottling process at Palmetto Brewing.


Westbrook Brewing Co

Westbrook Brewing Co

Westbrook Brewing Co Tasting Room



Additionally Charleston Brews Cruise visits the following locations:

Coast Brewing Company

Holy City Brewing

EVO Pizza

Liberty Tap Room & Grill


Thanks again Brent for the great time and great idea to share with our Charleston Brides & Grooms!



How Brittany became a part of my family reads a bit like a Hallmark made for TV movie. She’s my oldest son’s sister. I was so honored to be a part of her wedding day. I adore her and Michael.

Brittany did an amazing job planning her wedding. Best of all she gave us a ton of freedom when it came to her flowers & décor. Vince & I decorated her venue and provided her flowers on behalf of Charleston Wedding Studio & WildFlowers Inc. Below is the post as shared by Chris Smith of Chris & Cami Photography. I would also like to recognize Elaine with Lowcountry Eats. She did an amazing job setting up their buffet and the copper chaffing dishes and black kettle cauldrons were perfection for the setting!


Brittany & Michael at Old Wide Awake Plantation

Brittany & Michael tied the knot last weekend in a gorgeous celebration at Old Wide Awake Plantation. I absolutely LOVED their theme of an “elegant southern picnic”. :-) The plantation house was artistically adorned with rustic decor. Every detail was planned out, right down to the mason jars for drinks and candied apples for favors.

Brittany was an absolutely stunning bride with such a bubbly personality! And Michael, a chef on Kiawah Island, was a blast to work with! To see more of their photos visit

CONGRATULATIONS Brittany & Michael!!! May God Bless you as you begin this new journey together.

Charleston Weddings ~ Vincent & Ally at Azalea Park

posted by :: Beth :: 1 thought response


You may remember when Vincent surprised Ally with a marriage proposal during a photo shoot for Private Eyes Undies Bridal Line. You can revisit that blog post here.

You may also think that the son of a florist/ wedding planner would have a HUGE Charleston wedding. Well, he will. One day. See Vincent will be leaving soon to join the Navy. We are very proud of him. He is going to train to be a Navy Seal. So for now they had an intimate wedding, just the two of them, at the Azalea Park Gazebo in Summerville, SC. We share the images from their special day. Thank you to Mike Mizzell for the wedding photography and to Lesa Patton for being their wedding officiate.


Summerville Azalea Park

Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park

Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park


summerville azalea park


summerville azalea park


Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park


Summerville Azalea Park


WildFlowers Inc Wedding Bouquet


Bridal Bouquet: WildFlowers Inc.

Planning Your Honeymoon

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts


cruise planners


I am not a blogger although I hope to change that in 2012.  Mike & I have our own travel agency, Cruise Planners and we are fortunate to have one of the best jobs.  We help people with lifetime memories.  One of the most important memories is your honeymoon!

Where do you start?  It is important to start planning your honeymoon early.

Budget, Budget and Budget!

An average honeymoon is 7 days/6 nights.  The average cost is $5,000 per couple.  You are starting off your life together.  Make sure you take the trip you can afford.   Memories are priceless.  Pay attention to the “Must Have” and prioritize from there.  Stay real and no matter what your budget is you can still have a honeymoon filled with memories and NOT GO BROKE.  There are worksheets to help you start your budget.  I have included one for your reveiw…here

HOT TIP:  Remember that you can use our registry or a honeymoon registry so that family and friends can give you parts of your honeymoon as a present.

Now that you know how much you can spend, you can decide on the type of trip you want.  Do you want a destination wedding, an all inclusive resort, a honeymoon package or a cruise?

Destination weddings are becoming more popular.  You combine the wedding in a picturesque honeymoon venue.  The plus side is when you stay at the same resort you get married in you can start enjoying your honeymoon immediately.   No stress making sure you get home from the reception in time to catch that early flight the next morning.  The down side could be you might not get the alone time that you should have for a honeymoon.  Set ground rules for your privacy as you will have friends and family with you.    Just hope you get along with your in-laws as they will be there with you.  The destinations are endless.   Check out some from Bridal

All-Inclusive resorts are an easy way to go.  You pay for most of it up front.  Most meals, activities, tips and drinks are part of the price.  Top all inclusive honeymoon resorts…here.

Hotel packages may be less expensive if you are not a big drinker. There are several companies that will package your air, car rental, excursions and hotel together.   We have companies that price match should you find the exact same trip lower.   Just make sure to budget for food, activities and drinks.  Conde Nast offers a Gold List of resorts and  hotels.  They have a great place to start your wish list:  Conde Naste Gold List ..check it out.

If cruising is your choice,  the ship will be your home away from home.  Wherever there is water you can find a cruise.  Included in the cost of the cruise are your onboard meals and entertainment.  However add to your budget alcohol, shore excursions, alternative dining options and maybe the couples massage.  Cost of the excursions will vary depending on your destinations.  Cruise prices are at their lowest when they first are published 14 months prior to your travel date and increase the closer you get to sailing.  Starting early will give you better pricing.  Should the price go down, you can usually get the lower price prior to final payment.   A cruise in the Mediterranean will have you visiting Spain, France and Italy in 7 days.  Options are endless.   There is a cruise ship and destination for everyone.

Use the services of a Travel Consultant.  They work for you.  They are not order takers, but advocates.  You do not always get the best pricing going direct to resorts or cruise lines.  You know you can talk to the same person and they are there for you if something goes wrong.   A good Travel Consultant will take the stress off of you and let you concentrate on the wedding…here.  If you don’t have an agent you can find a certified agent at or

Remember, your honeymoon isn’t only a romantic trip.  It is also a chance to relax and spend time together after the wedding.  In fact, this is the time when your new life together really begins.

Diana Bogart, ECC
AMERICAN EXPRESS Travel Representative
843.695.0750 Toll free 877.627.1786

Charleston Wedding Planning | The Wedding Processional Order

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts


Today our guest Wedding Professional is Kathy Baxley, owner of The Charleston Bridal Show, The Charleston Baby Show and producer of My Charleston Wedding. Here she gives her tips on the Order of the Wedding Processional.


Wedding Historic Rice Mill

Photo by Juliet Elizabeth Photography


The Wedding Procession Order

When the mother of the bride stands – and the rest of the crowd follows her cue – the organist begins playing the wedding procession music a little louder, and the procession begins.
By this time, everyone should be in position, thus:
1. The clergyman or justice is standing in front of the seated guests, facing the back of the church (or the rows of chairs) where the procession will enter.
2. The bridegroom is standing to the minister’s left, a little forward of where he and the bride will be standing.
3. The best man is standing to the bridegroom’s left, a little behind him.
And now the procession begins:
1. The ushers enter first, walking in pairs.
2. The bridesmaids follow, walking in pairs if there are six or more. If there are fewer, or if there’s an odd number, it’s better to have them walk in single file.
3. Next, the maid of honor enters, waiting until a distinct space has opened up after the last bridesmaid.
4. After that, the ring-bearer enters, carrying a cushion with the ring sewn to it. It is best to use a fake ring rather than the real one, to prevent embarrassment if it’s dropped. The actual ring should be carried by the best man and by the maid of honor, if it is a double ring ceremony.
5. Now the flower girl enters, closely following the ring-bearer. You might have these children walk in side by side if they are particularly young or nervous.
6. At this point, the organist begins playing the wedding march at full volume. And then the bride starts down the aisle, her father on her left.
7. Meanwhile, the bridesmaids and ushers have arrived or are about to arrive at the altar where the ceremony will take place. They may have filed into the front row or pew, in which case the mother of the bride and the bridegroom’s family will occupy the second row on both sides. If you want them seated in the front row, the bridesmaids should be on the left and the ushers on the right. If the bridal attendants and ushers are going to stand with the wedding couple during the ceremony, they can arrange themselves in one of two ways:
(A) As they arrive, the ushers form a semicircle, leaving enough room between them so the bridesmaids can position themselves next to the usher they’ll be paired with for the recessional. Or…
(B) The bridesmaids line up on the left-hand side and the ushers on the right. If you choose this arrangement, the first bridesmaid to arrive at the altar should move to the farthest left, with others lining up to her right. The object here is to leave room for the maid of honor to stand next to the bride during the ceremony.
8. The bride and her father arrive at the front of the seating section or the altar. Now the bride takes the bridegroom’s left arm.
After a moment or two, the clergyman or justice should begin the ceremony. The usual practice is for both parents to then take seats in the front pew, although some authorities hold that the father should remain at the altar. At this point, you should relax, take a deep breath, and immerse yourself in the experience. After all, it is something you will probably remember, in detail, for the rest of your life.


Getting Married?
Please join us for The Charleston Bridal Show this January 22nd at the beautiful Charleston Marriott's Crystal Ballroom. Over 70 of Charleston's most professional wedding vendors will be there to help you plan your special day.
Venues, florists, musicians, caterers, wedding dresses and tuxedos, wedding cake samples, fashion show and more.
You won't want to miss this unique Charleston Event!
Date: January 22, 2012
Place: Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Blvd.
Time: Noon till 5: p.m.
See you there...

Purchase a ticket here.


Today we welcome guest blogger: Tanis Jackson. Here she share her ides for saving money on flowers.


Manzanita Branch Centerpiece

Manzanita Branches with real candles and nestlings of seasonal roses maximized the arrangements for National Philanthropy Day at the Charleston Marriott Riverview. Photo by Leigh Webber. Centerpieces designed and donated by WildFlowers Inc.


  • If other brides are using the same wedding site  before or after your ceremony, approach them about splitting the cost of the ceremony flowers
  • Choose a site that is already decorated, such as a garden or a room that is decorated for the holidays
  • Make the ceremony flowers work for the reception too. Standing arrangements placed before each row of seats at the ceremony can be positioned at the door to the reception, next to the piano during the cocktail hour or in other spots where decoration is needed
  • Play up the shape. Less expensive flowers, such as daffodils or irises in well designed arrangements with interesting fillers like wax flowers or solidago can be just as beautiful as those that cost more
  • Use plants on guest tables (heather in moss-covered containers, ivy pots wrapped in tulle) instead of more expensive cut flowers
  • Scale down centerpieces and arrange candles around them or instead of one large arrangement per table, place bud vases and candles between every other setting
  • Put a small arrangement on every other table and a tall bouquet on alternate ones
  • Avoid scheduling the wedding near a flower giving holiday such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day when prices are generally higher
  • Shop around. Interview at least three florists before deciding on one. Have them put their proposals in writing so you can compare prices and styles. Do not share one proposal with another florist as this is considered unethical
  • To get the most effect from a modest floral budget,  put the bulk of the money where the guests will spend most of the time –  at the reception.
  • Buy in season. Flowers that have to be shipped in  can cost considerably more
  • Tanis Jackson
    Tanis J Events, LLC

Charleston Wedding Planning | Choosing Wedding Jewelry

posted by :: Guest Blogger CWS :: 0 thoughts


Congrats on your upcoming wedding!!! Whether you are just getting started in the planning process or almost at the finish line, you already know there is a TON to consider, do, create, ponder, etc, etc. Who knew a wedding would include this many details??! As an event planner by day, a bride in 2005 and a Stella & Dot stylist I totally know what you’re experiencing from 3 sides:)  Just remember to sit back at times & enjoy the ride!!

One thing that did trip me up and apparently is a bit tough for all brides, is the bridesmaid aspect. How many? What will they wear? Do you let them choose a color or specific dress or should the bride choose? I tried to tell my girls, ” I want YOU to choose your dress, I just ask that it be Chocolate Brown.’ They were not happy!! Each of them insisted that I pick out the exact dress, accessories, etc. Just when I thought I could delegate and check something off my list, NOPE!

As a Stella & Dot stylist, I help ladies find that special something whether it be for them or a gift. And guess what…I can HELP you check some things off your list EASILY!! We have outfitted a number of brides AND her bridal party in the perfect accessories, most of them being under $50. I always suggest earrings or a simple necklace as your bridesmaids gift and that way, you also have fulfilled the need for what they were the day of your wedding!!

For the bride and/or bridal party these are ALWAYS my go-to earrings!! How stunning are these Deco Drop Earrings & just $44?! Seriously fooled me.
deco drop earings




Or these CZ stunners for just $39…and the matching pendant necklace for just $39, too, is a BEAUTIFUL combo for a bride or bridal party.
glint flower cz earings glint flower cz necklace



Some brides really love to incorporate pearls into their look. Stella & Dot has a few stunning pieces, but these are my most favorite!
sofia pearl bib necklace Sophia Bib Necklace maddie pearl earings Maddie Pearl Earrings pearl bouquet earingsPearl Bouquet Earrings





We’ve also created custom charm necklaces for bridesmaids, which include their initial (first or last name) and birthstone (theirs, child’s or even anniversary month) on a lovely chain. This is such a personal & heartfelt gift.


leaf initial charm Charm Collection




I’d be honored to help you outfit yourself and/or your bridal party for your special day!!! If you are local or near Charleston, I can schedule a special styling session with you to show you these pieces and you can always order through my website anytime, as well! Shipping will be a flat $5.95 and EACH piece comes beautifully gift boxed in our signature & stylist Stella & Dot logo boxes. Let me help you cross something off your list and I’m confident you & your girls will love their new jewels!

Leigh Ann

Senior Stylist, Stella & Dot

Like it? Shop with me!
Love it? Host a Trunk Show!
Want it all? Join my team!


We were so happy to be a part of their day! Check out more from Tori & Ben’s wedding on The Wedding Row

Please enjoy the full post HERE:


Wedding Rice Mill









See more of Tori & Ben’s Wedding Flowers via WildFlowers Inc.



Charleston Weddings~ Ryan & Deb at Founders Hall

posted by :: Beth :: 0 thoughts


I first met Ryan when my volleyball team, “The Setting Ducks” (Can I get a Quack Quack?), played his team “Really?”, yes seriously :-) . I liked him straightaway. So nice and so encouraging. (I wasn’t very good.) At the time I thought Ryan was just outta high school. I was quite wrong, but he is so very youthful and young at heart! I was so excited when I met Deb and they announced their engagement. The thing that strikes me most about them is how good of friends they are. I was so honored and blessed to be a part of their day! They picked some of Charleston’s Best Wedding Vendors and imported a few of their own.

A special thank you to Angelita Ballada Esparar of Angelita Ballada Photography for providing us with these awesome wedding images!


Wedding Ring Shot

Ryan and his men got ready at the Aloft Hotel in North Charleston. The men wore traditional Filipino Barong Tagalong (with Mandarin collar). Ryan’s was white the Groomsmen wore a soft silvery gray. Here they show off their mad skills!

Groomsmen jump for photo.

Heinz looks over his Mommies' shoes for her while she gets ready.


Picture of Bride and Groom Skyping

First Glance via Skype ;-)


Iglesia Ni Cristo decorated for wedding.

Iglesia Ni Cristo



Jewel Tone Bridal Bouquet

Beautiful Bright Jewel Tone Bridal Bouquet



White Barong for Groom



Ring Bearer wearing Barong carrying purple pillow.

Iglesia Ni Cristo Altar

1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud with Bride and Groom

On the phone and I am sure he already checked into Charles Towne Landing via foursquare.



Bride Groom Vintage Rolls Royce Legare Waring House

1963 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud



Jewel tone bouquets for purple maids dresses.

The Maids got to choose their own dress. Just as long as it was purple!


charlestown landing bride and groom

This is my favorite! Love them.


Founders Hall Centerpieces

Purple & Silver with pops of jewel tones with a side of bling please.



Wedding Reception Founders Hall

Cupcake Tower by Cakes by Kassarda

That's 300 cupcakes folks! Cakes by Kasarda

Liezl Dela Cruz

Ryan and Deb with my teammates Liezl (aka NKTwixGirl) & Grace our team captain.

Porch of Founders Hall

The porch was so romantic when it got dark. The fire was blazing and lanterns lined the perimeter of the venue.



Purple fan favors



Centerpieces for Head Table.

The Maids bouquets were re-purposed to the Head Table.

Cru Catering

Cru Catering did a most excellent job, as always. Above and beyond!

Gray Barong Best Man Toast

Friends, Family and Church Members provided talent and entertainment throughout the evening.


Wedding Reception Founders Hall

And a GOOD Time was had by ALL...



Wedding Reception Founders Hall


Thanks you to all the great wedding vendors that made Ryan and Deb’s Founder Hall Wedding a huge success!

Coordination, Flowers & Decor: Me, Beth & Vince LeonGuerrero on behalf of Charleston Wedding Studio & WildFlowers Inc.
A special thank you to all our team members that made things run smoothly: Crystal (Also a Setting Duck. Didn’t you see that cupcake stand? It required a ride of it’s own, LOL), Sheri, Pam, Ally, Torre, Vincent (He was the muscle that got the chiavari chairs from the reception to the church and back again.) & Sara.

Wedding Ceremony: Iglesia Ni Cristo

Reception Venue: Founders Hall

Rentals: Event DRS

Cru Catering:

Cupcakes: Cakes by Kasarda

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud (Vintage Car): F/X Limousine Service

Videographers: M Squared Filmworks

Hair & Makeup: Ana Huynh – MUA at Studio One

Men’s Attire: Barongs R US