Receptions: Fabulous Outdoor FĂŞtes - Flight of Fancy
A touch of whimsy for a garden party.
Number of guests: 70
Estimated cost: $12,500
Charleston is such a popular destination for weddings that it can often be a challenge for even local couples to find a venue. One creative bride decided to bypass a swanky locale in favor of a personal paradiseâ€”her own backyard. A local artist who resides in Mount Pleasantâ€™s Old Village, she asked Lisa Thomas of Out of Hand to design an evening to remember in her favorite setting.
Thomas created an avian affair, a nod to both the garden setting and a common motif in the brideâ€™s paintings. The custom invitations featured watercolors of birds on Italian paper in a single chocolate folder with a pocket. â€śI like to weave the brideâ€™s personality into the event,â€ť says the veteran planner. â€śThe bird theme was subtle but tied everything together, showing up on the invitations, throughout the dĂ©cor, and on the cake.â€ť
SETTING & DECOR
The quiet front walk under a canopy of oaks became the aisle, and the front porchâ€”each column and shutter swathed in Monstera leaves, blue hydrangea, and glowing lanternsâ€”the altar. â€śInstead of chairs or benches, we had signature Charleston seatingâ€”joggling boardsâ€”for the ceremony.â€ť Following their vows, the newlyweds invited their party to join them in the side garden for dinner and festivities.
There, the reception went to the birdsâ€”elegant and colorful birds, that is. Thomas found antique alabaster birdbaths for centerpieces and vintage china painted with birds for the place settings. â€śModern brides have many choices besides traditional gilded white china; for smaller weddings, borrowing china can really stretch a budget and create a personal feel and conversation point for guests,â€ť she says. â€śAnd for larger parties, using different china at each table adds a unique touch.â€ť
FOOD & DRINK
For the garden bar, Thomas lined one of the brideâ€™s three-tiered iron planters with Spanish moss and filled it with bottles of sparkling water, white wine, and beer. For a colorful and sparkly specialty drink, she served the aptly named â€śBird of Paradise,â€ť a delicious concoction of Prosecco, fresh mango juice, and blueberries.
Before the newlyweds flew the coup for their honeymoon, they enjoyed a plentiful buffet dinner with guests. The menu from J.B.C. Catering was as colorful as the dĂ©cor, starting with a nest of crab and mango relish with a tortilla â€śspoon.â€ť Guests then enjoyed paella studded with shrimp, mussels, clams, and chorizo over saffron rice and tantalizing tapas, including roasted cauliflower salad, artichoke tomato confit, roasted peppers, and a bean salad.
An elegant event doesnâ€™t always have to be costly, says Thomas. She recommends borrowing china from your mother or grandmother or a joggling board from a neighbor. â€śItâ€™s the simple but unexpected touches that make the most impact.â€ť
- Design & Florals: Out of Hand
- Coordination: Monique Semper Flynn
- Invitations: Create Ink
- Ceremony Seating: Charleston Joggling Board
- Tent & Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals
- Food: J.B.C. Catering
- Cake: Village Bakery