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Been There, Done That

Illustration by Rebecca Hahn

november 2, 2009

Been There, Done That
Take these Lowcountry brides' advice and learn how to avoid the planning and party pitfalls they encountered


"I spent days and nights worrying about the details of the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception, and I was really nervous I wouldn't enjoy my own celebration."

"I got everything done two months in advance, assigned my friends jobs, and then forced myself to stop. I also remembered what my fiance said: 'At the end of the day, we're still going to be married.'"
-Ginny Stout Hairston, First (Scots) Presbyterian Church


"Wedding vendors work the same hours as me (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), and they were always booked for weekend events, too. I couldn't take a ton of time off work to meet with them, because I was saving days for our honeymoon."

"I scheduled as many appointments as I could for one day. After 10 minutes I knew if a vendor was right for me and if they were, we then did everything else-quotes included-online."
-Katie Sexton Ratliff, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Mount Pleasant


"Blessed with a ton of wonderful friends, I had a hard time figuring out how to keep my wedding party to a manageable number."

"I limited bridesmaids to family and friends I had known the longest. Other friends participated by reading at the ceremony and handing out Mardi Gras beads at our New Orleans-themed reception."
-Jesse Hendrix Inman, Unitarian Church in Charleston


"I became obsessed with my song list. For example, I told my DJ what slow songs I wanted played as background music during the sit-down dinner versus what songs I envisioned for dancing. I also sent him song spreadsheets and specific versions of what I wanted when a song had undergone multiple recordings and remixes. I even made CDs and forced my family to listen to them and act as judges!"

"If I did it again, I'd just make a list of songs by specific artists I wanted to hear during dinner versus during dancing. And I'd provide the DJ with a list of songs I absolutely disliked and trust him to do the rest."
-Whitney Alcott Okon, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Mount Pleasant


"We planned a ceremony overlooking the avenue of oaks at Oakland Plantation, but a tropical storm ruined that idea. I woke the morning of the wedding knowing that it would be impossible to hold the ceremony where we had hoped."

"My dad said, 'As the bride, your attitude sets the tone for the entire day.' In other words, if I were happy and acted like this were the best day of my life, it would be, and everyone would have a great time. Or if I were miserable, that would spread to the guests, too. So I smiled, hugged my sister, and texted my bridesmaids to prepare for 'The best hurricane party they'd ever been to."
-Emily Gregorie Padgett, Oakland Plantation in Mount Pleasant

Watch LowcountryLive this Thursday, November 5 at 10 a.m. on ABC! Charleston Weddings Editor Melissa Bigner will give you simple do-it-yourself tips to dress up cakes and desserts...without breaking the bank!




Bridal Tip
of the Week:

Autumn's definitely here, so check out for our FRESH, NEW lineup of real-life fall weddings, ravishing receptions, and easy wedding projects!


Amsale Bridesmaid Trunk Show This Week!
Call or e-mail for an appointment.
November 6-7, 2009
Bella Bridesmaid
341 King Street, Suite C
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 425-8079
Click here to email

Mon, 11/02/2009