Tips for Planning a Wedding in Charleston

Last year the Post and Courier reported that 5000 wedding licenses were issued in Charleston County... What that sounds insane, but it's true. With so many weddings and so many wedding details to look after, it gets difficult to time hiring decisions. But don’t worry, I've got you covered! Most couples that get married in Charleston, SC take at least a year to plan their weddings. So, I've gathered some resources and put together a tentative timeline to help you decide on when and how to hire your vendors. So let’s get started!  

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12 MONTHS BEFORE
Wedding planner: Wedding planning can be fun, but it’s also a trying process, requiring a lot of patience and research. If you don’t want to handle everything by yourself, let the professional planners share in your responsibilities.
Wedding venue: Your wedding venue is one of the most critical decisions. Choosing and acquiring your dream venue requires diligence because days fill up fast. So, find your venue first thing and set a date!

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10 MONTHS BEFORE
Photographer: We can only handle one wedding a weekend and some weekends are especially popular in Charleston. Get us booked ASAP before another wedding couple snatches us up. 
Florist: Research your favorite florists and get them onboard as early as possible as well.
Caterer: Your venue may handle your catering needs, but if not, get recommendations from the venue staff. Schedule a tasting as well, this is one of the fun parts of planning!! 
Musicians: Finalize your favorite band's availability and music selection before the wedding to ensure no last-minute mix-ups.

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8 MONTHS BEFORE
Engagement portraits: This is a significant step in your life you are combining families. LIt's important to document this time and get to know your photographer.
Officiant arrangement: No officiant, no marriage. So start interviewing them to find the best fit.
Wedding dress: Finding the perfect dress takes up a lot of your time, energy and patience. So you can even start earlier with your search, especially if you want a custom-made dress!
Guest accommodations: Research your hotel options for any discounts or wedding-packages, and book a block of rooms.
Save the dates: Inform your loved-ones well ahead of the wedding date to ensure that no-one misses your special day.

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7 MONTHS BEFORE
Cake: Even with a small cake for cake-cutting, cake tasting, and designing is one of the most fun activities. Don’t rush this excellent wedding detail.
Bridesmaid dresses: Plan a day out with your girls to choose their outfits for the big day. It’ll be a relaxing, fun activity to take your mind off of any wedding stressors, too.

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6 MONTHS BEFORE
Invitations: Send out the wedding-invitations by now to set aside time for RSVPs and confirmations.
Guest accommodations: Research your hotel options for any discounts or wedding-packages, and book a block of rooms.
Hair & makeup appointments: Get your favorite makeup artist booked ASAP before he/she is snatched away.
Rentals: Your venue may handle these but if not, get the reception décor and dining arrangements sorted by now. Think tables, chairs, serving ware, and linens.
Transportation: Think about you and your guest's transport needs at the wedding and make arrangements accordingly. Trolleys and rickshaws are favorite modes of traveling around downtown Charleston. 

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5 MONTHS BEFORE
Men’s attire: Suits or tuxes? Get it sorted soon.
Accessories: Details like the veil, shoes, and jewelry can be finalized when you find the wedding dress as well. Choose whenever convenient.

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3 MONTHS BEFORE
Bridal Portraits: Are an opportunity to work with your hair and make-up team, florist and photographer before the big day and take creative portraits. 
Wedding favors: Put some thought into your wedding favors to make your guests feel special. Local snacks, bottled water, a list of your favorite Charleston restaurants are a few fun details to include!

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Amanda & Preston Dole
Venue: The River Course on Kiawah
Wedding Coordinator: A Charleston Bride
Invitations: Studio R