1) Rent out a Restaurant for your Reception. We rented out Toucan Reef (the restaurant near the aquarium) for our reception. Because it was a restaurant, it came with EVERYthing! We didn't have to pay extra for tables, chairs, linens, plates, glasses silverware and even the staff was included! We paid a tad extra for an extra bartender. Renting out a restaurant limits some of the stuff you can do but it makes it so much easier and cut the number of vendors I needed to use in half! It was great and they did a great job. 180 is too many for Toucan Reef but consider having your Rehearsal dinner there. Great views of the Harbor.
2) Skip the Favors and do something meaningful. Favors are typically a waste of time and stress the bride out b/c she has to assemble them.
Make a donation to a charity in honor of a family member. We did this and put cards on all the tables saying "In Lieu of Favors a donation has been made in honor of __________". Your guests don't have to know the amount but we donated $100 to the American Heart Association.
I just did chair covers-they can be expensive but I did the basic ivory with a gold bow and it looked great in the ballroom-I didn't like the chairs either. I got them from BBJ and they sent them and the hotel put them on and sent them back. I had exactly 180 as well. Which ballroom are you in? Who are you getting your flowers from? That's definitely where I saved. Lisa Ferguson does an amazing job and she was very inexpensive compared to the others.
I am just now planning a wedding in Charleston for next summer for my daughter and have no clue about vendors there .I am looking at the Francis Marion as well.Did everything go smoothly there?How big is the ballroom in reality with 180 people? were you crowded at all? How many tables did they set up? We might have 225.Did you check out Market Pavillion or Charleston Place too?I could get so taken to the cleaners b/c I do not know vendors.Any DJ you recommend? Vicki Bachman
Hi Vicki, Everything went relatively smoothly at the Francis Marion. They did change the "wedding coordinator" person on me but it wasn't a big deal. The ballroom was really tight with 180 people-I was in the one with the windows facing the front. Even though it was a little tight-it was perfect. 225 and you might need a larger room. Two of my best friends were married at Charleston Place and it was gorgeous but there aren't any windows in the ballrooms but it will hold a ton of people. However, the Francis Marion is much less expensive. CP raised their prices two years ago and its quite a difference. I would recommend the following vendors: Lisa Ferguson for Flowers-AMAZING AND REALLY AFFORDABLE. John Paul's Creative Cakes-Great tasting and beautiful Band-Hands Down the best band ever and I've been to sooo many weddings:"Rubberband" My family sTILL talks about how great they were. Francis Marion-Obviously the food was great and everything went so smoothly. Lines-BBJ-I had those shipped in-not a big deal and affordable. The hotel put them on and off. Photographer-Lacey Gadwill-words cannot express how great she was. Here are some more pics: www.laceygadwill.com/ROOF First Baptist Church of Charleston-beautiful and great to work with. Good Luck Planning!
Thanks for writing back-lots of good info.Was it the Goldroom?Thats the only one available.Its so hard to predict the attendence.How many invites did you send out?They all say expect 30% to not show up.