(Closed) Less Expensive Charleston Vendors???

posted 6 years ago in South Carolina
Post # 3
Member
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@lindsay5589:  As a Charleston bride on a tight budget I have been researching vendors and comparing prices like crazy! What is the size of your wedding and when do you plan on having it!? 

Post # 4
Member
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@lindsay5589:  Charleston weddings are sooo expensive! I have been doing everything i can to cut my costs. 

Post # 6
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Well that has been my biggest issue planning our wedding.  We are having our wedding at The Rice Mill which I went over budget at least for the venue.  I’ve cut corners as much as I can and doing alot of my own favors and it’s helped.  It’s just so expensive to have a wedding in Charleston.  Here are a few that i’ve choosen and i’m still working on a few vendors.

 

I found an inexpensive caterer The Crazy Dutchman http://www.crazydutchmancatering.com 

I went with Winship Productions for my day of coordinator http://www.winshipproductions.com/

I went a little over my budget with my photographer Chi Photography of Charleston

http://www.chiphotographyofcharleston.com

I went with Cakes by Kasaarda for my Cake

http://www.cakesbykasarda.com/

 

I’m still looking at florist and DJ , but thankfully these vendors all have worked with me and so far so good!! 

Post # 7
Member
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@DorthaC:  Finding a florist was sort of a nightmare for me.  I don’t know why they are so flaky, I am calling them and trying to give them my business! I had spoken to four florists and then finally I found Debi at First Bloom of Charleston.  

Love her! Wish I read weddingwire earlier and talked to her first.  She is so amazing, she is affoardable, sends pictures all the time to make sure we are on the same page! Great experience!

http://www.firstbloomcharleston.com/

Post # 8
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Tiffner:  Thank you for passing that along.  I’m planning on sitting with my mom and going over a few things.  So, i’ll definitely take a look.  I’m actually hoping to have the last few vendors booked in the next few weeks!!!!  Thanks again!

Post # 9
Member
24 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@DorthaC:  You are using an outside caterer with the Rice Mill? I’m a Charleston bride as well, although we are still a ways out (pushed the date to spring 2014). Prices just keep going up in Charleston! 🙁   The Rice Mill is one of my favorite reception venues, but the catering estimates and “total event minimums” I have received are just too far out of my budget. I’m looking for around 150 guests. Did you have a catering or total event minimum that you had to meet? And was there a fee if you are using a caterer other than their own?  Also, are you at all concerned about the amount of space they have for room to dance?

We are getting married at the Citadel and I am looking all over for a good reception venue that is reasonably priced, preferrably not too far from downtown (we are on a pretty tight budget). Any advice y’all have would be so helpful!!

 

Post # 11
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@lindsay5589:  I looked at Yacht Club and they were super cheap in comparison to other places, I ended up going with the Old Exchange because I simply liked it better and loved the history behind it but the cost was really close to each other and at both places you could use outside catering.

I got my cake for super cheap from Wildflour – it’s a smaller pastry shop but it was AMAZING. I remember getting the quote and thinking she missed something.

Another amazing vendor was Whitney from Branch Design Studio. I told her flowers weren’t a huge part of my budget and she ended up completely blowing my mind with what she could do on such a little budget. I basically told her what I wanted (my dream vision) and then told her what I had to spend, all her suggestions were spot on and again she completely exceeded my expectations.

Post # 13
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@lindsay5589:  It actually wasn’t an issue at all. We got married at 4pm at the Citadel (service took about 1/2 hour / 45min) and had cocktail hour start at 5:30pm downstairs. The DOC, Florist, and catering company set up that area up first and then they set up upstairs during cocktail hour. The vendors in the area are very familiar with the rules there and made it a point to say they’ve never had issues so it was helpful in my decision. Everything turned out amazing. I couldn’t have been happier.

Post # 14
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Hi Everyone,

I am in the throws of planning my Charleston wedding and I am on a tight budget- which I am sure we all are!

Here are some awesome vendors I am working with, which I felt were very good deals.

Photography– Gene Ho Photography (Nadean Bruehlman). I am using her & an assistant for 8.5 hours, with full reporduction rights, album and some other goodies for $2300. Gene Ho is out of Myrtle Beach and they will travel up to 150 miles for free. They are amazing, I have had a lot of friends who have used them. I think they are affordable because they are out of MB.

DJ– Jay Maxwell Music By Request- $500 for 6 hours of music & lights. Also, they give military discounts and are really great to work with 🙂

DOC-Fraiche Designs (Ashley Garrett) She is amazing. Has been doing weddings for a few years, but not full time job. I am paying $750 for DOC services & she is doing all of our floral arranging. I simply have to pay for the cost of wholesale flowers & she will do the rest (I have to provide the containers for the flowers too) I am excited to work with her and she has already gone above and beyond to help me out.

Catering- Serve – I am still checking out caterers, but I think I am going to go with SERVE! who is new to the catering scene, but is so willing to work with my budget and food is great. I will update after our Tasting in November.

Finally, we are having out reception at the Hibernian Society, which was a giant splurge for us, but we are having 200 people, so I needed to accomodate for that.

I checked out the Yacht Club and really wanted to make it work, but it wouldn’t, due to space contraints, but the staff was amazing to work with, trying to help me find other spaces to accomodate guests. It is very affordable if you are having a reasonably sized wedding 120-130 guests. Also, they pretty much let you do whatever you want in the building, short of burning it down. They have two bartenders on staff that I believe only cost around $250 for the whole night- all you need to do is provide liquor & mixers. A huge cost saving!

Another option is the Charleston Visitor’s Center. It costs just $600 to rent. You can start setting up at 3:30 but can’t get in until 5:30 and you have to be out by 10:30 I believe. But check it out if you are on a budget!

I have other budget friendly venue ideas- I used to plan events in Charleston and I’ve contacted every venue known to man (and then some) when I was looking for our reception venue. There are some great deals if you are willing to go outside of downtown.

Post # 15
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@lindsay5589:  Harborside East is beautiful and has amazing furnishings. It is $4,000 to rent for your event- and you probably wouldn’t need to add any outside furniture. Alhambra Hall is kind of ugly from the outside, but I think the inside of the building is very beautiful and the views cannot be beat. It costs $2,500 to rent (or if you are a Mt. Pleasant resident, it is $1,500) and comes with tables/chairs, which is nice.

Have you considered Lighthouse on the Creek on Shem Creek?

Post # 16
Member
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Just another 2 cents here. Carolina Cocktails has awesome reviews for bartending service and they have really affordable bar packages. I know a lot of caterers do bar too but it might be worth splitting it up. We’re going to use them in our Spring 2014 wedding. We’ve also been looking at Cafe Catering as a caterer.

Reception venues–the Island House, depending on the time of year. Also, the Aquarium is awesome and not super expensive if you do it on a Sunday!

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