Get an exclusive peek into the world of Patrick Properties — we share a few of our favorite moments from recent events and happenings.
Is it any wonder we swoon for the new Great Gatsby Glam? F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic whispers romance, champagne and stars into every detail of this top wedding trend for 2013 – from swishing silk gowns and glittering jewels to rich linens, heirloom cocktails and decadent nods to a bygone era.
Patrick Properties Hospitality Group’s historic Charleston wedding venues offer an ideal stage for putting on the ritz – and in one case in particular, we mean quite literally.
With its vintage details and regal Art Deco architecture, The American Theater ushers guests into iconic Hollywood beneath dazzling marquee and handmade milk-glass chandeliers. These luxe ballroom affairs are straight from the pages of Fitzgerald’s margin notes, framing one of life’s greatest scenes against a stylish backdrop on Upper King Street.
Something old is nothing new for sophisticated soirees at The William Aiken House and Lowndes Grove Plantation, either. Take a peek at a few favorites from our Charleston wedding receptions that range from elegant garden parties to over-the-top affairs.
Inspired by Great Gatsby Glamour? There’s more on our PPHG Pinterest page!
For every couple – and, often, their guests – expectations run high when planning the wedding day menu. Caught somewhere between tradition and personal taste, quality and expense, it’s little wonder that the decision of what to serve and how can become quite daunting.
At Patrick Properties Hospitality Group, we believe there is one fundamental a couple should embrace during this process:
“The only rule is to have food people like to eat.”
Translation? Steak is not consigned to the obligatory potato, and a three-course, two hour plated meal is in no way prerequisite to changing your last name.
True, these ideals stem from a long line of success and are rooted in the reality that sharing good food brings people together. And while there is something very beautiful in the tradition, we believe couples can personalize a menu that tells their story as expressively and creatively as they wish.
As you’re planning, keep in mind a few tips to mix up your meal - straight from the professionals behind PPHG’s celebrated culinary program:
1. Turn a plated dinner into a tasting menu
Love the idea of an elegant plated dinner, but cringe at the monotony of soup, salad and entrée? Try a tasting menu! This style breaks the traditional mold with four courses and smaller portions that afford more flexibility in menu planning. Even better, you can rest easy knowing the options will appeal to every guest’s taste.
2. Redefine the buffet
Forget any negative associations this word conjures. Instead, why not enjoy the personal service of chef-attended stations? Our historic Charleston wedding venues create beautiful spaces for guests to socialize and celebrate by your side. Customized stations allow them freedom to explore while being treated to freshly prepared cuisine. Think outside the buffet with options like braised short rib and Charleston traditions like shrimp & grits or Lowcountry boil!
3. Don’t miss the opportunity for fun extras
Some of our most memorable wedding menus are dreamed up by couples with the “anything is possible” mentality. Heirloom family recipes, a His & Hers station, even the menu from a first date – all are great sources of inspiration! Get creative with sweet treats - a s’more station or hot chocolate with donut hole dunkers - or pass nostalgic late-night snacks, like mini-milkshakes, chicken biscuits or French fries.
Bottom line: set aside the expectations. Your wedding is the time to fully embrace the title of “creative director” - and enjoy every delicious moment of it.
We just love a bright New Year jam-packed with the promise of good things to come - especially for the girl who happened to unwrap one very special, very sparkly gift this holiday season!
To all of our newest brides-to-be, we just can't say it enough: "Congratulations!" You're moving toward a new chapter in your life together, surrounded by the warm glow of joy and excitement even the coldest winter cannot dampen. This is a moment to celebrate - and we're here to make sure you do!
As you settle into your new engagement, you may be asking yourselves, "What's next?" Sure, you have the gist of steps ahead: a white dress to be found, invitations to send, flowers to arrange. Each of these will be important elements of your wedding, of course; but before you tumble down the Pinterest rabbit hole, let's start with the basics.
Our very own Patrick Properties Hospitality Group pros are here to help get the conversation started, with a few first steps for couples to consider:
Timing is everything - 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. Be open-minded to dates you might not have initially considered. Remember that many venues offer varying rates depending on peak months, as well as day of the week. Short-term or seasonal promotional discounts also abound. 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 want to extend their stay to enjoy a long weekend that includes your wedding - allowing you to be more flexible in considering a 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 to 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. Our historic Charleston wedding venues offer scenic locations for 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 + 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.
Plan with impeccable 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 food + beverage 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.
Enter the wedding coordinator - 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. Ask about our in-house planning services!
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 of the way! The right vendors will provide peace of mind so you don’t lose sight of the entire reason for the day.
With Thanksgiving just days away, we can't think of a more perfect occasion to talk gratitude - because when it comes to your big day, there's just so much to be thankful for!
Topping that list are the family + friends who cross towns, state lines and sometimes even continents to celebrate by your side. Your Charleston wedding wouldn't be the same without their warm smiles, candid champagne toasts, late-night dance trains and the countless moments you and your new Mr. will cherish for a lifetime together. Your guests are a reminder of how very much you're loved; so when it comes to saying "thank you," why not find a personal way to show them just how special they are to you, too?
Wedding favors are a great way to express your unique couple style with gratitude from the heart. Best of all, a thoughtful gift doesn't need to equal a big expense. We love simple keepsakes that reflect the newlyweds' sense of humor, favorite pasttimes, family traditions and most of all, the sweet love story that brought them together.
At our historic Charleston wedding venues, simple down-home parting gifts are true tokens of Southern hospitality. Opt for lowcountry favorites like old-fashioned grits, local honey & biscuit mix, sweetgrass baskets, prailines and signature cocktail recipes, like Firefly sweet tea vodka & lemonade.
Take a peek at more of our wedding favor-ites, but just remember: the best gifts are the memories your guests will take with them - and those just can't be bought.
In the wake of recent events, we want to take a minute to help guide you through a few key things to consider when planning your Charleston wedding. From flower arrangements to seating charts, the list of details to coordinate is long enough without additional thought to all of the “What If” scenarios. However, if there was ever a time to prepare for the unexpected, it is now.
Your wedding is one of the biggest investments of your life – not just financially, but also in the time and energy you devote to bringing your loved ones together in celebration of your special day. And just like any investment, you need to protect it.
Our team is dedicated to helping you create the occasion you’ve always envisioned at any of our historic wedding venues in Charleston. That’s why we want to make sure you’ve taken the right steps to prepare for any circumstance that might pop up when you least expect it.
Here are a few tips from the PPHG event pros that will help ensure you’re never caught without a back-up plan:
Know your contract before you sign on that dotted line, especially when it comes to cancellation policies, property fees and food & beverage clauses. Many venue rental deposits, including those for PPHG properties, are non-refundable and non-transferrable, including in the case of unfortunate circumstances, and apply only to the date specified in your contract.
A back-up plan should always be in place for every scenario. Make sure to have this conversation with your coordinator, who will be able to help you consider all of your options - from rain plans to outdoor heaters to reserve on stand- by for chilly evenings.
Purchase event insurance that will cover what you haven’t thought of – from travel delays and inclement weather to natural disasters. There are a variety of plans available with different levels of coverage at very affordable rates. While we do not endorse our plan over another, we do highly recommend event insurance be considered.
Work with reliable vendors who will help you through these situations. We are happy to recommend vendors who have established relationships with our Charleston wedding venues.
We know it may be just another detail to add on your list – but in so many ways, it is also the most important. Having a solid plan will give you peace of mind in the days leading up to your wedding, allowing you the complete freedom to enjoy this special day as it was meant to be.
For more helpful tips on contingency planning, check out this guide on TheKnot.com.
Love is sweet. Especially in pillowy layers of whipped buttercream.
No one knows this better than our pastry chef Susie Ieronomo. Susie creates delicious wedding cakes, pastries and sweet treats for all four of PPHG’s historic wedding venues in Charleston – and believe us, there’s a lot of love in the mix. For Susie, the wedding cake is the highlight in celebrating a couple’s unique personal style. Her couture confections range from traditional elegance to fresh and modern, with hand-placed sugar petals and frosted details almost too stunning to slice.
We say almost, because Susie’s light-as-air cakes are every bit as delicious as they look. Vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet are classics, but we love to see guests pleasantly surprised by tiers of almond, coconut, lemon, hazelnut and spice. Each is layered with rich mousse and buttercream, in flavors like white chocolate, peanut butter, key lime, passion fruit, ginger or chocolate ganache (we know you’ll want to lick the plate, but just try to remember your surroundings).
With so many tasteful wedding cake options to consider, we asked our expert for a few of her favorite trends - and Susie was happy to weigh in. Sweet as sugar, that one. Have a look!
1. Best Dressed – Matching the cake to the wedding gown is a long-running tradition, from laced piping to these flower details Susie modeled from a bride's sash.
2. Design Star – Think monograms and bold patterns. This cake is a modern complement to one stylish couple’s indigo quatrefoil design motif that also accented the stationary suite and tent décor.
3. Sweet Succulents – These lovely garden accents give a fresh pop of green to clean white tiers.
4. Great Heights – Susie loves the contemporary look of uneven wedding cakes tiers, which adds dimension and room to be dressed up in pretty petals like this one.
5. Top Notch - Cake toppers are making a comeback, from family heirlooms to hand-painted charicatures of the newlyweds. So cute!
Autumn has officially arrived, and with just days left in September, we’re pulling out a last-ditch hurrah to send this month off in a nod to one gem of a wedding hue.
We’ve been sweet on sapphire long before its appearance on Kate Middleton’s left hand – and not just because the royal blue birthstone is a symbol of love and wisdom. It also looks pretty darn smashing nestled in a ring of diamonds.
Just when we thought we couldn’t love sapphire more, our ever-so-chic couples go and dazzle us by taking the color outside the jewelry box in everything from dresses to décor, cake tiers to centerpieces. Bold and modern, these true blue accents are anything but traditional. Case in point: peek-a-boo Choos beneath a white flowing gown give a girl reason to kick up her heels.
Take one look at a few favorite shots from our Charleston wedding receptions, and you’ll agree: When it comes to wedding day details, sapphire in September has never looked better.
Pink is the color of flamingos and bubble gum, cotton candy, and Barbie’s jeep. It is also the color of the day on June 23 every year. While the origin of National Pink Day is a little bit ambiguous, every girl knows you don’t need an excuse to appreciate the perfect shade of pink. Of course we’re all about weddings here at PPHG but I’m going to refrain from the obvious photo of the “blush” and “bashful” draped church. Instead, here are some perfectly lovely ways some of our brides have incorporated pink into their Charleston plantation weddings.
Satin Bows made this happily ever after fit for a princess. I’m practically drooling over this pretty-in-pink accent.
Sugar and Spice and all things nice, that’s what wedding cakes are made of. And by “all things nice” we of course are referring to the blooms of color that add just the right touch to this confectionary beauty created by Fish restaurant Pastry Chef Susie Ieronemo.
As for the guys, this groom proved once and for all that real men really do wear pink. And I have to hand it to him, he does it well!
The view from the River House at Lowndes Grove contrasted beautifully with the precious shade of pink chosen for the tabletops. This is why we love Charleston plantations!
We agree with these ladies, there is not a “right way” to use pink. Incorporating opposite ends of the color spectrum, these weddings were featured in Southern Living Weddings 2012 and The Wedding Row with bridesmaids that looked absolutely tickled pink for the ceremony!
Photos thanks to