I moved from Chicago to Charleston in 2004. During the first couple of months, my mission was to “become a Charlestonian”. I subscripted to Charleston Magazine. I bought tea, wine & shrimp on Wadmalaw Island. I planted sweetgrass, confederate jasmine and azaleas in the yard. I loaded my home with every decorator item that screamed “Lowcountry”. I loved my new city and wanted to become one with it.
I tried not to go overboard but after bringing home the 100th shell and sand dollar from the beach I realized I was drowning in Lowcountry accents. After giving most of the stuff away to family and friends visiting from “up North”, I soon had an appropriate amount of Charleston decor throughout my home. I was settled in and lovin’ my Charleston.
If you are getting married in Charleston, it’s a safe bet that you like and want to incorporate the Lowcountry into your wedding. You want to expose your guests to the sights, sounds and smells of the area. Examples of why you wanted to get married here in the first place. Little reminders of the special place that is Charleston.
Here are a few suggestions regarding how to incorporate the Lowcountry into your wedding (and not go overboard!):
Joggling Board – First created in the midlands of South Carolina in the mid-19th century, the joggling board became a must have feature on the piazzas and porches of the Lowcountry. Victorian morals meant young lovers should keep their distance, so the joggling board also called a “courting bench” was the perfect seat. Sitting at the ends of the board kept one in the proper sitting position but as they moved closer and closer together the board would get closer and closer to the ground making for an uncomfortable and awkward position thus keeping the unmarried apart. Today, it makes for a fun addition to your Lowcountry decor. Your Charleston Wedding Photographer will love to pose you and your guests on this iconic Lowcountry bench. It also makes for a unique guest book at your reception.
Sweetgrass Baskets – The art of weaving baskets of sea grasses was brought to Charleston by West African slaves who worked on the local plantations. The skill and craftsmanship as been handed down through the generations.
Palmetto Roses – Another example of weaving, these roses made of fronds from palmetto trees date back to the Civil War. The story goes that before going off to war, wives would give a palmetto rose to their husbands as a sign of their true love. The legend may just be marketing spin but it makes for a great love story. And these roses make a great takeaway for your guests.
From The Sea – Regardless of the setting of your wedding (beach, church, plantation, etc.) include sea shells, starfish, sand dollars and all your favorite things from the sea.
Local Spirits – Charleston is now the home of several distilleries proudly creating vodka, rum, gin, bourbon and very strong moonshine. And don’t forget Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka originally created on Wadmalaw Island.
Fans – As we all know, it can be hot and buggy here in the Lowcountry. Your guests will surely appreciate a fan and is another great wedding favor.
Southern Cuisine – Long before Charleston was know for it’s world class culinary scene, the Lowcountry was know for it’s classic southern cuisine. Fried green tomatoes, shrimps, chicken & waffles, crab cakes, pulled pork, and a Lowcountry boil to name a few. Your guests are sure to enjoy a taste of the old and often updated examples of Southern cooking.