What are three little words we never get tired of hearing here at Patrick Properties?
“We’re getting married!”
That’s right, bride-to-be – we couldn’t be more excited for you & your Mr. in this brand new season. It’s your time to celebrate, daydream, cover any square of blank paper in your future monogram… but most importantly, embrace each day together before the one that matters most – your wedding day! And we’re here to make sure that you do.
As you settle into your engagement, you may be asking yourselves: “What’s next?”
Here’s where the experts of our PPHG events team can step in to help get the conversation started. It’s easy for couples to get overwhelmed at the start of the process, so let’s start with the basics and a few first steps to consider:
Talk Timing – When it comes to planning your big day, the first step is to decide when that will be! What time of year do you prefer – spring, summer, winter or fall? Is there a season that makes the most sense for fair weather, travel calendars and yes, even college football schedules? All are important questions that will help determine your flexibility. Seasons vary for every destination, and some afford better value than others. Be open-minded to dates you may not have initially considered, including days of the week and short-term, which could also translate into savings with other wedding vendors, as well as hotel rooms for your guests. The best part is that Charleston is a top travel destination that’s also easily accessible. Between the scenic beaches, historic downtown attractions and vibrant dining scene, your guests will be eager to extend their stay to enjoy a long weekend that includes your wedding – allowing you to be more flexible in considering a Thursday, Friday or Sunday date.
Location, location, location – Now that you have a few dates in mind, the next step is to find the ideal backdrop for your wedding and reception. Acting fast is key here, especially in top wedding destinations like Charleston, where venues are booked between 14 – 18 months in advance! Start with your unique couple style: are you more comfortable outside or indoors, traditional or more relaxed, coastal or rustic? As you look for a venue, be sure not to forget about the ceremony location, as many churches book just as quickly as the venues themselves. Choosing a venue within walking distance of your ceremony and accommodations can save on transportation, and our historic Charleston wedding venues offer scenic locations for the ceremony and reception hand-in-hand.
Look who’s coming to dinner – You got it: the guest list. Get a jump on putting together your list of attendees early, as guest count can determine the size of your wedding and reception venue. Be sure that the venue is versatile enough to accomodate a slight increase or drop in attendance, since final guest count is likely to fluctuate in the months leading up to your wedding. As a venue, we also provide you with a good idea of budget and are willing to work with you on sample proposals.
Show off your good taste – Food and beverage is one of the highest-price ticket items of your wedding and arguably the most difficult to coordinate. It is also the one component your guests are most likely to remember. When inquiring with potential venues, ask about a preferred vendor list or if the properties work with an exclusive caterer. Ideally, your venue will have an exclusive caterer already in place so that the menu is already taken care of and automatically scheduled when you book. Our in-house chef and culinary team save couples hours of time and stress with the convenience of personalized menu planning, dedicated tastings and the assurance of restaurant quality cuisine and exceptional service. Your venue should be just as accommodating to provide you with sample proposals and recommendations on local vendors.
Enlist the planning pro – Once the date is set and your venue is booked, it’s time to hire a professional wedding planner. Whether recommended by your venue or available as an in-house service, your coordinator is the point-of-contact to arrange and secure the best rates for all other vendors, from florists and musicians to local transportation. The hardest part – nailing down the venue, food and beverage – is over. From here on out, you can relax knowing the details are in your planner’s capable hands.
Throughout this process, keep your eye on the big picture: your wedding is about celebrating the first day of your new life together, surrounded by the friends and family who love you most! Don’t be overwhelmed in the details. Instead, have fun and enjoy every step! The right vendors will provide peace of mind so you don’t lose sight of the entire reason for the occasion.