Vendor Spotlight – Upstate Ceremony Sites

With so many wedding ceremony spots all over the Upstate, it can be hard to choose where you’ll be saying your vows. In your church? On-site before the reception? Somewhere else? This blog post may help you narrow down your list as you figure out the perfect place in Upstate South Carolina to host one of the biggest moments of your life. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ceremony spots. Enjoy!

Glassy Mountain Chapel

Our first suggestion is famously known as one of the most elegant spaces in the area. Tucked up in the hills, the Cliffs at Glassy Mountain house the graceful and sophisticated sanctuary known as Glassy Chapel. Glassy Chapel has so much to boast about, between the 75-mile views off Glassy Mountain and the natural rustic charm of the gorgeous chapel interiors. If you don’t already have a wedding director or day-of coordinator, The Cliffs have their own expert team of event planners that you can take advantage of to get the perfect wedding ceremony. During the day, the chapel holds multiple weddings, so there are time slots you must abide by…but it’s worth it! The Glassy Chapel is just a 50 minute drive from our The Old Cigar Warehouse, so we suggest securing shuttle transportation for your out of town guests to get from the ceremony to the venue.

Glassy Chapel, The Cliffs at Glassy Mountain - Landrum, SC
Glassy Chapel, The Cliffs at Glassy Mountain – Landrum, SC

Symmes Chapel/Pretty Place

Originally constructed in 1941, the Symmes Chapel overlooks the beautiful rolling hills of the Upstate. This ceremony spot has been lovingly renamed by the locals as Pretty Place, because–why else?–of its spectacularly pretty views, no matter what the season. One popular option is using this venue as a sunrise spot and having a breakfast reception. This chapel is similar to Glassy Chapel also hosting multiple weddings during the day, so time is of the essence. With such scenic views over Greenville, the Symmes Chapel is over an hour away from your favorite venue, The Old Cigar Warehouse, so you’ll definitely want to shuttle your guests for their comfort and to cut down on any confusion on the big day.

Pretty Place, Symmes Chapel - Cleveland, SC
Pretty Place, Symmes Chapel – Cleveland, SC

The Kroc Center

Located just two minutes (IF that!) from The Old Cigar Warehouse, the Kroc Center stands as a multipurpose recreational center for the Greenville area. Within the center sits the Fred Collins Performing Arts & Worship Center. This space offers plenty of secluded spots for a bridal party to get ready along with a control room for lighting, sound, and projection for a more personalized ceremony. The Worship Center can hold 340 of your guests and is close enough to your reception that no one gets lost. The grounds around the center are not as picturesque as the interior but rather suited for recreational activities; but it provides as a wonderful space for a wedding ceremony.

The Kroc Community Center - Greenville, SC
The Kroc Community Center – Greenville, SC

Rock Quarry Garden

Tucked in between downtown Greenville’s bustling Cleveland Park and the surrounding historic neighborhoods, sits the a beautiful area known as the Rock Quarry Garden. You may have passed this tiny island before and been intrigued by its rolling creek, waterfalls, and the well taken care of landscaping. Wouldn’t you want to get married somewhere that captivating? Well you can! The Rock Quarry Garden is a five minute drive from The Old Cigar Warehouse and offers wedding ceremonies the great outdoors, with a bit of seclusion amid the busy city. You never know what the weather will do though, and keep in mind that the park does not allow tents to be staked into the ground. The space only holds 100 guests, but provides a lovely and intimate ceremony for you wedding.

The Rock Quarry Garden - Greenville, SC
The Rock Quarry Garden – Greenville, SC

Grace Church Downtown

Of course, your personal church might be the perfect spot for your nuptials, but we have noticed that Grace Church, or Downtown Baptist Church, in downtown Greenville fits well for a lot of folks. This church is one of many in the Upstate that you can use for a wonderfully traditional ceremony space. This gorgeous and elegant venue provides the vintage church feel you’ve always wanted. Like most churches, Grace does have a few requirements for new couples, as well as premarital counseling. Only 2 minutes away from The Old Cigar Warehouse!

Allison + Ronnie © J. Jones Photography - www.joshjonesphoto.com
Grace Church – Downtown Greenville, SC

The Old Cigar Warehouse

Our favorite ceremony site yet! Very conveniently located (your guests will love you) right in your own reception spot, The Old Cigar Warehouse is the raw and vintage setting you’ve been waiting for. Built in 1882, the warehouse was originally the home for cigar storage and now, flawless wedding ceremonies. With three separate ceremony areas for use, the transition from the ceremony to reception is no trouble at all; especially since your guests only have a travel time of about 2 seconds!  The Old Cigar Warehouse has a fantastic team just waiting to work with you on designing your dream wedding day from ceremony to send-off.

The Old Cigar Warehouse - Greenville, SC
The Old Cigar Warehouse – Greenville, SC

Vendor Spotlight – The Party Machine

You’ve been there before: standing in the middle of that slightly awkward crowd with those few people that are jerking their way into dance moves, while everyone else is huddled into random groups in the middle of the dance floor, standing there, with their beers, reliving their high school days. It’s that all too familiar, horrifying-wedding-reception experience that completes the night with the embarrassing advances from the still-single groomsman during the pauses in between songs, and an old lady’s shove that puts you onto a silent dance floor for the bouquet toss. The whole experience still haunts your memories and scares you into planning a reception as if you were living in the town from Footloose. But before you scratch off partying completely, we have an alternative for you. One that alleviates those awkward, silent pauses in the middle of the reception, and helps continue the party train instead of those uncomfortable, chatty encounters in the middle of the dance floor. It’s called The Party Machine.The Party Machine 1

The Party Machine is a full service entertainment company that provides creative and fun options for your ceremony and reception activities. They’ve been in business for over 20 years and have won countless awards from sites like WeddingWire and The Knot. To make your decision process easier, they provide wedding packages for any length of reception you’re planning, as well as help with the planning process. With each package, you get online reception planning and a one hour consultation to help with the timeline and flow of the big night. Not only that, but you also have a music database right at your fingertips, to search songs and view the most requested songs for every occasion. Their website offers a music search and music list that provides you with the thousands of songs they offer that even Grandma can boogie down to. So now you’re thinking that The Party Machine only offers cool music? Wrong. With The Party Machine, you can get awesome add-ons like up lighting, customized monograms, HD video services, lighting effects, and even a photo booth. They know just how to keep the party going the way you want it and ensure that your guests will have an amazing experience celebrating your wedding. No awkward pauses. No bridal party confusion. No embarrassing microphone-stealers. Just one great night in your honor. Honestly, what more could you want? They provide the music, the lights, and all the entertainment your reception could need. So never worry about your reception with The Party Machine, they offer a little something for everyone and keep your party going all night long.  The Party Machine 4

7 Easy Ways to Save on Your Wedding

Have you set your wedding budget yet? The cost of the average wedding has grown exponentially in the past 10 years. Even 5 years! With hefty fees left and right, inflation, and Pinterest boards inspiring brides to keep wanting more, we understand that the budgeting process of a wedding can become complicated and frustrating. In order to keep things on a happy note the whole way through, we’ve come up with some simple ways to cut costs and make everything a little less stressful. Happy planning!

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1. Get great group rates on tuxedos and buy bridesmaids dresses together on sale – A lot of tuxedo companies can offer group rates on tuxedos, so make sure that your hubby-to-be and his groomsmen buy those spiffy tuxes together! Same goes for you and your bridesmaids. Shop the sales and see if the bridesmaid gown of your dreams has been marked down. Hopefully you can snag all of them at a great price!

2. Make your own invitations – There are so many websites, templates, and design ideas out there to assist you in making your invitations all by yourself. All you need is a little time, a printer, some nice paper, and plenty of ink cartridges. Done, and done!

3. Instead of wedding gifts, ask for help with the wedding/register with your vendors – Your friends and family want nothing else than for you two to be happy. Rather than register for wedding gifts, register with your vendors! What a great way to let the people who love you support you on your special day.

4. Try to keep the number of guests to a minimum – This will be hard to do for some folks, but keep in mind that the more guests you invite, the more mouths to supply food and drink to (more $!). In order to keep costs down, really sit down and go through your list. If it’s a casual acquaintance who you sometimes bowl with, or a great uncle that you’ve only met once in your life, consider skipping them.

5. Don’t get married on Saturday – Saturday is the most popular day to get married because it is in the middle of the weekend and the most convenient day for out of town guests. Thus, of course, it is the most expensive day to get married. Consider having your wedding day on a random week day, Friday, or even Sunday. Simply put, many venues offer lower rates these day.

6. Send out e-save the dates – Rather than send magnets or paper save-the-dates, what about sending them out through email? You can not only save on printing and postage, but also provide a direct link to your wedding website and RSVP form. It is 2014 after all, and nearly everyone has a device within reach at all times.

7. Host your ceremony and reception in the same place – This can be huge for trimming your budget. You’re not paying for yet another venue or transportation, plus your guests will be thrilled. They don’t have to get in their cars and scramble to the next location! It is also ideal for the bridal party’s getting ready process.

Vendor Spotlight: Brenda Owen, Wedding Officiant

One of the more frequently overlooked parts of your wedding can be the person who officiates your wedding. It is not something that brides and grooms typically think of over their decor or venue selection. However, it is an extremely important part of your special day and one that Brenda Owen, aka Wedding Woman, does not take lightly.

Brenda Owen is one of the most experienced wedding officiants in the Upstate area whom we have worked with often and trust because of her complete professionalism and wonderful personality. As she says on her website, “The ceremony is the heart and soul  of your wedding day and will likely be your most personal memory of your special day.” Brenda loves what she does and will take the time to get to know you as a couple in order to customize your ceremony to your specifications. Her ceremonies range anywhere from large weddings with an unlimited number of guests to smaller weddings to elopements with just the bride and groom.

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Wedding Woman also offers personalized ceremony inclusions such as unity candles, broom jumping, wine box and love letter, blessing stones, and many, many other options centered around various traditions. She will do just about anything to make your ceremony everything that you could ever imagine. And if you don’t understand something or your bridal party is confused on what to do? Have no fear–Brenda will work with everyone during the rehearsal so that every aspect of the ceremony is understood. Come wedding time, everyone will know what needs to happen and you will have fun doing it!

If you’re recently engaged and clueless on what direction you want your ceremony to go, we encourage you to take the time to look through Brenda’s website to see all that she can do. So get to it and call her today! Oh, and be sure to check out this video featuring a few of her weddings. Yours could be just as beautiful and featured next!

Vendor Spotlight: Danielle Baker, Wedding Officiant

A typical wedding ceremony is only about 30 minutes long, but the words spoken at the ceremony are extremely important to the bride and groom on their special day. Finding the right person to officiate your wedding can be difficult, but look no further! Danielle Baker is one of the go-to wedding officiants for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and a popular choice among our clients.

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Danielle Baker prides herself on her professionalism and ability to customize your wedding ceremony to make your day that much more perfect. She has married over 200 couples throughout her career and works tirelessly with them to create a ceremony that your guests are sure not to forget.

She will take the time to meet with a couple, get to know them, and find out what they are looking for in their wedding ceremony. Danielle researches passages and prayers that fit the couple and writes a draft that can be rewritten as many times as necessary to ensure that it is exactly what you want. She allows unlimited phone calls and will even Skype with you if you are planning your wedding long-distance. Danielle goes out of her way to make any couple feel special and gives them the time that is necessary to make their dream a reality.

There are multiple package options that the couple can ranging from an elopement ceremony with only a few guests, an intimate ceremony with up to 20 guests, and a large ceremony with unlimited guests. Fun fact about Danielle’s services: she can marry you in a hot air balloon! How cool is that?

On her website, you can read testimonials from couples that she married and they all rave about how wonderful and detail oriented she was. Danielle will take the time to put those special touches into your ceremony. You will not regret choosing her as your wedding officiant!

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