Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Charm of Charleston: Annual Events & Festivals

Lately, we've been receiving lots of inquiries from from out-of-town brides-to-be about what Charleston has to offer. We adore our charming city and would love nothing more than to share some of its best attributes with you! With the Spoleto Festival kicking off this weekend, what better way to start than with annual events and festivals?!

There is always something going on in Charleston, so we're going to focus on some of the biggies.

Spoleto Festival USA: May 28- June 13, 2010

The world-renowned Spoleto Festival USA is recognized as America's premier performing arts festival. The festival takes pride in filling historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with theater, dance and music performances from emerging and prominent artists alike. Where else can you see a German punk band, a marionette opera and an all-male ballet troupe in drag? Check out the Spoleto Web site to purchase tickets today!

Holiday Festival of Lights: November 12, 2010- January 2, 2011

The holidays are a magical time in Charleston. Each year, James Island County Park transforms into a winter wonderland with over half a million lights. We may not have mounds of snow, but with train rides, marshmallow roasts and a carousel, there's no doubt that you'll get into the holiday spirit!

Lowcountry Oyster Festival: January 31, 2010

If there's one Charleston dish that you cannot miss, it's oysters. Don't get us wrong, we love she crab soup, shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, but there's nothing like sitting outside with your friends, listening to some great live music, shucking oysters and cracking open a cold beer. And, as the largest oyster roast in the world, we can think of no better place than the Low Country Oyster Festival!

Who doesn't love food and wine? The Food+Wine festival is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "is to enhance Charleston's culinary reputation and support important charitable endeavors by focusing national attention on the entertainment, education and gastronomical gratification opportunities presented by world class culinary professionals and wine experts." We, of course, we love any opportunity to help out the community while tasting delicious dishes. Check out our thoughts on this year's festival.

Charleston Fashion Week: March 22- 27, 2011

Each spring, Charleston Fashion Week puts on dozens of runway shows, an Emerging Designer competition and a plethora of posh after-parties (not to mention, a killer bridal show!). It's a great way to discover new, local talent and it makes for some glitzy nights out on the town with the girls. Don't miss our post from this year's festival.

Cooper River Bridge Run: April 2, 2011

If you're an avid runner, it seems as though there is always some sort of Charleston race to participate in. The Cooper River Bridge Run, however, is the king of all runs. It's a 10-k foot race over the famed Arthur Ravenel, Jr. bridge. This is a huge event, capped at 40,000 participants, but even if you aren't inclined to walk or run, the city goes all out with live music and, in true Charleston fashion, great food.

Family Circle Cup: April 2- 10, 2010

If you're a tennis enthusiast, you won't want to miss the Family Circle Cup. The event began in Hilton Head in 1973 and moved to the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island in 2001. Since it's a professional tennis tournament for women, you're bound to see some heavy-hitters (no pun intended)! During the off-season, the venue hosts tons of great concerts. This summer, Zac Brown Band, Hootie & the Blowfish and Train will all be making appearances.

Click here for a complete list of annual events and festivals.

Whether you're athletic, fashion-forward, or just love some good food, Charleston has something for you. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about our beautiful city! In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy a relaxing and sun-filled Memorial Day weekend with your family and friends!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Engagement: Lara and John

Lara and John first met during freshman orientation at the University of Rochester. They became acquaintances, but didn’t spend much time together. It wasn’t until two years later, when they both spent their summer vacations working on campus, that sparks began to fly.

As Lara puts it, "I guess it can be described as love at second sight." Since that time, Lara and John have been inseparable: they are best friends and are always found with big smiles across their faces.

For their four year anniversary of dating, John gave Lara an “indestructible” umbrella as a gift. To Lara’s surprise, something fell to the ground when she opened the umbrella. John got down on his knees to see what fell and it turned out to be a ring. Before Lara knew what was happening, John was proposing!

Lara and John currently live in Philadelphia PA and will travel to Charleston to tie the knot on October 10. We can't wait to share in their autumn festivities!

Lula Kate Trunk Show This Weekend!

If you're searching for some fabulous, fun and flirty frocks, look no further.

Bella Bridesmaid, located on King street in downtown Charleston, is hosting a Lula Kate trunk show this weekend, May 21 and 22.

The even better news? Lula Kate is offering an extra 5% off your order! That means if you're already getting 10% off, you'll now get 15% off. What a deal!

Based in Charleston, Lula Kate
creates unforgettable cocktail and bridesmaid dresses.

We love the gorgeous hues, fantastic fits and timeless elegance of these beauties. Lula Kate has become a southern staple for bridesmaids and party-goers alike and with varying (and flattering!) silhouettes, you'll find a dress to suit any figure. Happy shopping!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Perfect Gift

With wedding season in full-swing, many of us are faced with the all-to-often daunting task of finding the perfect wedding gift.

You might not be the one getting hitched this year, but- chances are- you've penciled in a wedding (or two) in the near future. You've sent the reply card, picked out your outfit and jotted down directions to the ceremony, but alas- what are you going to give the happy couple? Of course, there are the obvious options: china place settings, various accouterments from store registries, gift cards and and a good, old fashioned check (what bride and groom wouldn't love cash?); but if you're looking for something more creative or, perhaps, personal, then we've got some stunning suggestions. Inspired by the June issue of Real Simple, we've picked out 5 go-to gifts that are simple to order, not to mention easy on the wallet.

It's no surprise that we love a good glass of wine (see our Uncork Your Creative Side post) and, as self-proclaimed wineos, it only seems fitting to share this adorable find. While wine glasses, "of-the-month" clubs and fancy corkscrews are great gifts, this one is a tad more unique and is bound to be a hit!

These toast-its would be perfect on the pair's favorite bottle of bourdeaux!

We're always searching for unique ways for couple's to memorialize their big day and these bracelets are just the ticket. They come in a multitude of colors and are sure to fit any personality!

These last three items come from Etsy- one of our favorite places to look for hand-made treasures. Monogramed towels are a newlywed staple, but why not spice things up and give these gorgeous pillows instead?

You can even get an embroidered phrase on the back... perhaps a favorite quote or song lyric?

This show stopper can be personalized to include inititals and/or a date in a few of the hearts. Who wouldn't want this displayed in their living room?

For a couple who enjoys a steamy cup of joe in the morning, these custom-made mugs. You actually send in profile photos and in just a few short weeks, voila; gorgeous drinkware that any couple would be proud to display.

No matter the couple, one of these ideas is sure to be a perfect gift. So, stop stressing and start shopping!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Engagement: Lauren and Chad

Lauren and Chad officially met in June of 2005 when Chad was interviewing Lauren to work for him- however, they learned their paths had crossed many times during their attendance at the University of South Carolina. They became a great team at work and quickly developed a strong friendship. Throughout their first year of working together, they spent more and more time together and the friendship turned to a relationship when Chad showed up unexpectedly in Edisto Beach over the 4th of July in 2006 to tell Lauren he wanted to date exclusively.

Their ability to be a great team at work translated well in their relationship as they continued to grow closer together. Toward the end of 2009, they both knew that this was it and that marriage was in their near future. First, they had some professional goals that they wanted to accomplish, so it was understood that the engagement would not come until later in 2010.

However, Chad managed to surprise Lauren when they were on their way to Anderson for her roommate's engagement party and he suggested they stop in Greenville to meet their close friends for an afternoon cocktail. They arrived at the Lazy Goat on a perfect Spring Day: live music, perfect weather and great friends. While Lauren was in mid conversation, she realized that something was going on and turned to find Chad on his knee! He proposed to Lauren in front of EVERYONE and took her by surprise. It was the perfect proposal and she was ecstatic! The rest of the day was spent celebrating and sharing the great news with friends and family.

The happy couple will wed in Charleston on New Year's Eve and we are delighted to be a part of their special day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Engagement: Erica and Brandon

Erica and Brandon's story began two years ago, when Erica started working for Carolina's Hospital. The two had noticed each other around and their courtship began during lunch in the cafeteria. It was the night before Thanksgiving when Brandon asked Erica what she was doing that evening. She shared that she and some friends were going out. Brandon mentioned that he'd be going to J. Michaels because there was a good band playing and casually suggested that she and her friends could stop by. Well, of course they went! Erica and Brandon had a few drinks and great conversation that night. They ended up having their first official date a week later and have been inseparable ever since.

The two started thinking about marriage in January of this year. They faced a few obstacles while looking for rings, but luckily, they would soon find the perfect ring- and have a fabulous story to go along with it...

On the way to work one morning, Erica heard a commercial on the radio advertising a “Diamond Race” that a local jeweler was sponsoring. She told Brandon that she thought it would be fun and who knows- maybe they would win the big prize: a $12,000 Hearts on Fire diamond engagement ring. Erica submitted their application and story on-line and they were chosen to be participants. Long story short, they won! When the jewelry store presented them with the ring, Brandon got down on his knee and proposed right then and there, in front all of the other teams. (sigh) Isn't that the sweetest?
We are so excited to be a part of Erica and Brandon's big day, which will take place next April in Florence, SC!

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