Baby it’s Cold Outside | Our Winter Weddings

Winter was an exciting season for us at The Old Cigar Warehouse! Even though it was cold outside our couples warmed everyone’s hearts! We are excited to share all of our Winter Weddings to show you our breath-taking brides and handsome grooms. So enjoy these highlights. We even have a true Winter Wonderland Wedding!

January 

January was HUGE! We could not have imagined a better way to ring in the new year than with Back-to-Back weddings! This month was amazing and definitely exceeded all our hopes and dreams! 

Molly + Brian

On New Years Day, The Old Cigar Warehouse was transformed into an elegant winter wonderland in celebration of Molly and Brian. Throughout the day this couple beamed with happiness and excitement! They had a beautiful intimate ceremony surrounded by their close family and friends. This couple began 2016 with a grand celebration and you can view highlights from their wedding day below!

Cheers to Molly and Brian!

Meet the team of professionals behind Molly and Brian’s special day!

Baker – Mug & Muffin, Caterer – Smoke on the Water, Band – Men of Distinction, Florist – Joy Somersett, Photographer – Casey Edwards Photography

Katherine + Eric

Katherine and Eric’s special day was full of excitement, fun, and of course LOVE! This couple met at the beautiful Furman University! Katherine was such a breathtaking bride sweeping everyone away (especially Eric!). These two were beaming the entire day! They had an intimate ceremony that truly showed us the definition of love. Then the couple moved into a fun reception that included wonderful band music and delicious food!

Take a look at the happy couple!  Congratulations Katherine and Eric!

Meet the team of professionals behind Katherine and Eric’s special day!

Baker – Cakes by Jeanie, Caterer – Smoke on the Water, Band – Carolina Party Professionals, Florist – A&B Florist, Photographer – Ciji Ann Photography

Kaylin + Steven

Snow is a rare occurrence here in Greenville, but Kaylin and Steven were lucky enough to have a winter wonderland outside the day of their wedding!

This fun-loving couple opted out of the first look, but exchanged love letters before the ceremony.  In front of all of their family and friends, Kaylin and Steven tied knot! Their ceremony was full of laughter and joy! Then the wedding party along with the Bride and Groom danced the night away!

When it was time to head out, the couple’s family and friends lined the walkway and ushered the two lovebirds into their getaway car via a tunnel of bubbles!

What a fun night! Congratulations Kaylin and Steven!

Meet the team of professionals behind Kaylin and Steven’s special day!

Baker – Publix, Caterer – Lauren’s, DJ – Scott Arowood, Florist – Expressions, Event Planner – Candy Holiday, Photographer – Chad Lane Photo 

Sarah + Forde

These high school sweethearts tied the knot over at Daniel Memorial Chapel at Furman University, then made the trip over to The Old Cigar Warehouse to celebrate with us! They spent the rest of their celebration enjoying time socializing and dancing with family and friends! Their beautiful January wedding was the perfect finale to their dating and engaged lives, and an inspiring beginning to their life together as husband and wife!

Congratulations Sarah and Forde!

Meet the team of professionals behind Sarah and Ford’s special day!

Baker – Kathy & Co, Caterer – Good Life Catering, DJ – DJ Crazee Crane, Florist – Simple Stems, Event Planner – Mary Hearne, Photographer – Chelsey Ashford Photography

February

In February, Valentine’s Day is on everyone’s mind, but this romantic holiday is even more special for us here at The Old Cigar Warehouse.  When it comes to all things love and weddings, we can’t hold back our excitement! We just love love!

We had four incredibly special couples come through our venue in February and we definitely have crushes on all of them! Take a look back at their special days with us!

Amanda + Zach

To kick our month off we were able to witness Amanda and Zach celebrate their love in front of all their family and friends! This couple lit up the room with their beautiful smiles and their love for one another! Their ceremony was intimate and there were definitely happy tears from not just the bride and groom.  The couple and their guests danced the away! The wedding was supported by an A-team of vendors!

Meet the team of professionals behind Amanda and Zach’s special day!

Vendors: Baker – Art Eats Bakery, Caterer – Good Life, DJ – Aufego Entertainment, Florist – Dahila’s, Photographer – Lisa McCoy

Bethany + TJ

After a long distance relationship followed by months planning their perfect day, Bethany and TJ tied the knot in a gorgeous ceremony at the Old Cigar Warehouse.

Bethany began her day surrounded by love with her friends and family by her side as she prepared to walk down the aisle.  Bethany and her father shared an emotional first look, and then the photo shoots commenced!

The couple opted for the traditional route of waiting to see each other until Bethany walked down the aisle, but that didn’t stop them from enjoying a much-needed meetup around a wall to calm the nerves but preserve the tradition.  They exchanged presents, prayed over each other and their marriage, and went their separate ways to prepare for the ceremony!

After a beautiful ceremony, Bethany and TJ jumped right into the first dance, and then a touching moment between Bethany and her father, and TJ and his mother.

Bethany + TJ’s magical day ended with one last celebratory moment surrounded by family and friends before their romantic send off!

Meet the team of professionals behind Bethany and TJ’s special day!

Baker – Brick Street Café, Caterer – Good Life Catering, DJ – DJ Chris Scott, Florist – Culpepper Design, Event Planner – Culpepper Designs, Photographer – Photography & Design by Jenny

Alysha + Zach

Alysha and Zach’s big day was the perfect representation and celebration of their relationship. The love between the happy couple and the love of their wonderful family and friends who were so eager to celebrate the happy couple was inspiring and touching.

The two met in small group and immediately bonded over their love of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.  To propose, Zach reenacted the couple’s first date! How cute!

After a night full of dancing, dining, and yes, Star Wars, the happy couple rode away to their own happily ever after in a romantic horse-drawn carriage.

Congratulations Alysha and Zach!

Meet the team of professionals behind Alysha and Zach’s special day!

Baker – Kathy & Co, Caterer – Smoke on the Water, DJ – Erica Berg Music Collective, Photographer – The Olivers

Kaitlyn + Andrew

Kaitlyn and Andrew inspired us all on their beautiful day! Planning from afar was a piece of cake for these two with the love and support of their family members. Hailing from Ohio the colors tastefully represented the grooms love for the Buckeyes adding just another personal touch to their celebration. Their incredible family and friends enjoyed a delicious dinner, danced the night away, and the bride was surprised by a special visit from Clemson Tiger!

At the end of the night after their February, Fairytale wedding, the happy couple headed out into their own happily ever after!

Congratulations Kaitlyn and Andrew!

Meet the team of professionals behind Kaitlyn and Andrew’s special day!

Baker- Buttercream Bakehouse, Caterer – Larkins, DJ – Charles Wartley, Florist – Expressions, Planner – Crystal Williams, Photographer – Josh Wilson

March

We are so lucky to have experienced our March couples! They were such a joy to work with and we are excited to share their weddings! We aren’t sure if any of our couples were Irish this March, but we certainly felt like they were our lucky charms!

Geralyn + Lucian

Geralyn and Lucian had a wonderfully intimate wedding with us! Family and friends gathered to celebrate the newlyweds and wish them well on life’s next adventure!

Fun fact, the groom was all about the wedding planning! We were pleasantly surprised with his fun ideas and impeccable taste!

Congratulations Geralyn and Lucian!

Meet the team of professionals behind Geralyn and Lucian’s special day!

Baker – Publix, Caterer – Chef 360, DJ – Jumping Jukebox, Florist – Barretts Flowers, Photographer – Amy Randall, Videographer – Daniel McKinney

Mary + Reece

Mary and Reece’s wedding encapsulated pure, elegant, romance.  From the stunning red roses the bride carried down the aisle, to the look on the groom’s face when he first laid eyes on his wife-to-be, love was in the air all night long

Mary and Reece met in high school and dated on and off until they realized in college that they were meant to be!

The couple’s family and friends were so excited to help Mary and Reece celebrate tying the knot! After a night full of good food, loving friends, and fun dancing, the couple made their exit  beneath a hundred red and white pom-poms and were whisked away in a romantic horse-drawn carriage!

What a night! Congratulations Mary and Reece!

Meet the team of professionals behind Mary and Reece’s special day!

Baker – Art Eats Bakery, Caterer – Holmes, DJ – Formal Affair, Florist – Twigs, Coordinator – Emily Peck, Photographer – Jacob Dean photography, Photo Booth – Shutterbooth

Jessica + William

Jessica and William were an inspiration to all of us! This pair of lovebirds are also avid crossfit fans. The two of them support each other in the gym and in life!  Their whimsical wedding was a perfect representation of their love for one another. While getting ready for the day both Jessica and William enjoyed time laughing with their wedding! The bride looked absolutely breath-taking as she walked down the aisle toward her now husband. Their ceremony was full of happy tears and laughter! This couple danced the night away with their loved ones and then jetted off to a fun Honeymoon!

Congratulations Jessica and William!

Meet the team of professionals behind Jessica and William’s special day!

Baker – Spartan Bakery, Caterer – Holmes, DJ – Erica Berg Music Collective, Florist – Willow Florals, Coordinator – Emily Peck, Photographer – Abby Funderburk

Ashley + Chris

Ashley and Chris are one of those couples that leave their mark on everyone they come into contact with.  Theirs was one of those weddings that you could honesty feel the love in the room.  Ashley and Chris were full of unconditional love for one another and had the most supportive friends and family.

Every detail of their wedding reflected the couple’s love for one another.  Their love story from both perspectives was framed and placed as a centerpiece, and their favorite things about one another were framed and displayed for everyone to see.

Congratulations Ashley and Chris!

 

Meet the team of professionals behind Ashley and Chris’s special day!

Baker – Kathy and Company, Caterer –Holmes Catering, DJ –The Erica Berg Collective, Florist – Greg Foster, Photographer – Linda Connor

Niki + Colby

To close out our Winter weddings, we celebrated with Niki and Colby! This couple has an intimate first look in our courtyard that was just adorable! This wedding was the perfect transition to spring with not only the bright smiles, but the bright colors. Along with their family and friends, we watched the couple express their vows to each other and dance together as husband and wife for the first time. After an evening of delicious food, fun music, and yummy deserts the couple left The Old Cigar Warehouse through a tunnel of bubbles and cheering guests!

Congratulations Niki and Colby! We are so excited for you two!

Meet the team of professionals behind Niki and Colby’s special day!

Baker – Publix, Caterer – Good Life, DJ – Upstate Platinum Sound, Florist – Greg Foster, Event Planner – Jennifer Dennis, Photographer – Kayla May

Thank You | A Year at Old Cigar

What a year 2016 has been!

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We are always incredibly touched whenever a couple lets us celebrate their special day with them, so we wanted to take this time leading up to Thanksgiving to say thank you to all of the beautiful brides and dashing grooms we have seen this year.

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 These amazing pictures were taken by The MondaysMaryn Graves Productions, Red Apple Tree Photography and Southern Jewel!
2016 has been our biggest year to date, and we are so grateful for every couple, every guest, and every vendor who has walked through our doors.  We know how important and special weddings are for everybody involved in the day, and we have truly enjoyed playing our part!
These wonderful guests shots were captured by Magnolia Studios, Famzing Photography and Video, and Red Apple Tree Photography.
Every wedding is incredibly special and we feel so honored by the opportunity to host each and every one of them.
Every love story is so special, so we decided to highlight them all so that everybody can feel as blessed as we do by the fairytales we at The Old Cigar Warehouse get to experience almost every weekend!
These first looks were amazing! Jessi Nichols Photography, Ryan & Alyssa, The Mondays, and Holly Czuba did a wonderful job at capturing these sweet moments!
We are so excited to see what is next for each of the wonderful couples who have celebrated their special days within our walls, and we want to wish them all the very best!
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 Jennifer Stuart and Famzing Photography and Video did a fantastic job at capturing these couples!
 Words cannot describe how thankful we are for the opportunity to be a part of it all, nor our excitement to continue sharing the beautiful moments that happen in The Old Cigar Warehouse.

Wedding Trends | Brunch Reception

Whether you’re an early bird who wants to have a morning wedding or someone who is a firm believer that breakfast food is the best kind of food, the 2016 Brunch Reception wedding trend is for you!

Food

The possibilities on what to serve as the main dishes for your brunch reception are endless! Utilizing a buffet (or build your own biscuit station or cereal bar) can give your guests the opportunity to try everything that your reception has to offer. But you can also have a plated receptions well! Allow your guests choose which omelette, crepe, waffle, or pancakes ingredients and toppings they would prefer and have waiters serve them at their table for an elegant feel.

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Cake

It’s no secret that deserts are an integral part of wedding receptions. Thankfully, there are many different cake options for your brunch reception that work beautifully! Have a cake of stacks of delicious breakfast foods or consider asking a your baker for a muffin batter cake!

Drinks

Making sure that your guests have appropriate drinks for your reception is a must! Coffee, hot chocolate, and tea bars are the perfect way to make sure your guests top off their delicious brunch food with some much needed drinks!

But what about Bloody Mary’s? Mimosas? Beer and wine? Liquid Catering‘s got you covered with their Wake-Up Bar! Give your guests the chance to enjoy their favorite alcoholic brunch beverages while enjoying the best breakfast foods!

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No matter what time of day, you can’t go wrong with a Brunch Reception! Visiting us for a consult soon? Be sure to tell us that you’re thinking about a Brunch Reception and we’d be happy to give some recommendations to assist you in your search for YOUR perfect vendor list!

Like these photos? Check out Cheryl and Phillip‘s brunch reception! Photos by Ryan & Alyssa Photography

Tips & Tricks | Love Your Bar

You have the dress. Your girls and guys know what they’re wearing on your special day. You’ve picked out your caterer, DJ, and florist. You definitely know what your colors are. Now comes one of the most important parts–the bar! Whether it’s a high priority on your list for your wedding or a detail that you decide on a month or two before, it’s important that you LOVE you bar!

A way to provide something extra to help your guests celebrate your love even more, your bar should have everything that you need for a good time and a good drink! Thankfully, Liquid Catering, the exclusive alcoholic beverage provider for The Old Cigar Warehouse, knows how to help you LOVE your bar!

1 | Keep it Local

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If you love your area, then showcase it to your guests! Feature local brews and wine for your guests to try and to demonstrate why your wedding location is better than the rest!

2 | Have a Signature Drink

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Signature drinks really bring an extra something to the table. Having a drink that is catered to your specific tastes or to match the colors of your wedding will really up the wow factor of your day! Giving the drink a cute and catchy name doesn’t hurt either!

3 | Pick Your Favorites

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The best part about choosing a package? Getting to pick your favorite beers, wines, and liqueurs! Choosing a package that matched your tastes and the tastes of your guests will not only make you and your guests happy, but will also make your night even more enjoyable!

4 | Have a Champagne Toast

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Even if you don’t have complete bar service or you opt for a mocktail bar, having a champagne toast will make kind words about you and your spouse even more special and will give you the opportunity to have some beautiful pictures of champagne flutes!

5 | Make It an Open Bar

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Having your bar be an open bar instead of a cash bar is the ultimate way to show your guests that you care about them having fun and also a great way to say thank you to them for coming! No matter what package you order, keeping it an open bar definitely goes the extra step to making your event a special one.

Wedding Trends | First Look v. Traditional Aisle

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In recent years, couples have been forgoing the tradition of waiting until the bride walks down the aisle for a more modern first look in the hours before the ceremony. With these two options, we think you can’t go wrong with either and below we have the list to prove it!

Pros of a First Look

A first look can be very beneficial for couples when it comes to saving time. Not only will a first look allow you to get pictures of the complete bridal party with ample time to spare, but it also allows you and your future spouse to have more time together after your ceremony to take pictures with family or to spend time alone together. The first look is also good for couples:

  • Worried about nerves getting the best of you? A first look is a great way to get the nerves out of the way.
  • Intimate, private moment before the excitement of the day.
  • Opportunity to get most photos done = more time to celebrate! Doing a first look allows photos with your wedding party and family before the ceremony. Always note that if you want formal photos with extended family, you may have to consider how big your family is and how much space you have for photos.

Pros of Traditional Aisle First Look

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There’s beauty in tradition and we love how that translates in our couples’ photos. The tradition of waiting to see each other allows you both to spend the last moments before being wed with your family and friends. Not to mention the possibilities of sweet photos that can be taken beforehand! Other pros to the Traditional Aisle First Look:

  • It’s exciting! You can’t beat the feeling of seeing each other for the first time as you are about to pledge your life to each other in front of your family and friends.
  • Genuine emotion from the bride, groom and parents of the bride and groom as the bride walks down the aisle.
  • Traditional parents or guests? This is a great way to please them!
  • Opportunity to reflect and reminisce about your journeys that special day.
  • Extra time with your girls and guys in the moments leading up to your ceremony!

Here are some of our favorite photos of both the modern first look and traditional aisle first looks!

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Old Cigar Warehouse Wedding | Caroline + Cody

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Check back soon for more on first looks featuring parents, children and your wedding party!

 

Real Wedding | Daniel + Morgan

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Daniel + Morgan’s wedding day was not only a celebration of this sweet, gorgeous couple, but a celebration of love and family. Getting to work with them was like getting to work with friends as we stayed in touch over the various details that made their April 22, 2016 wedding celebration. And a celebration is was! Daniel + Morgan’s reception only event at The Old Cigar Warehouse was nothing short of exciting, loving and down-right fun!

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After a beautiful ceremony off-site at First Presbyterian Church, the newlyweds and their 19-person wedding party snapped some unbelievably stunning photos with the talented duo that makes up Ryan & Alyssa Photography. While Daniel & Morgan snapped the first photos of their newlywed life, the 280 guests traveled to The Old Cigar Warehouse and entered into our space that was decorated with stunning florals by Twigs (did you see Morgan’s bouquet? – beautiful!) and our in-house uplighting. With 2 open bars provided by Liquid Catering, hors d’oeuvres and dinner provided by Saffron’s Catering and ice cream provided by Brusters, guests were happy and ready to celebrate!

Not before long, the new Mr. + Mrs. were ready to start the celebration. The Old Cigar Warehouse Wedding Director Emily Peck lined their excited wedding party up on the deck while they all conversed on what dance moves they would do for each of their grand entrances. The Party Machine introduced the wedding party down the grand staircase and introduced Morgan’s father, who had the honor of welcoming his daughter and new son-in-law into the party (how fun!). Clearly Daniel + Morgan were just as excited as their guests (see below)…

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Daniel + Morgan, along with their parents, certainly knew how to set the tone for the party. Daniel and his mom danced to a medley of  classics that had everyone ready to dance! They mingled with friends and family as guests were encouraged to continue dinner before cutting into the stunning and classic creation from Holly’s Cakes.

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After their 4-tier cake had been sliced, everyone hit the dance floor. Our bride and groom, their family AND their guests all brought their A-game dance-moves and danced until we had to kick them out! With their grand exit off the deck, guests waived goodbye with ribbon wands as they made their way to their special ride as husband and wife, a horse-drawn carriage with Whispering Winds.

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What an amazing night for these two incredible people and their families. Daniel + Morgan, thanks for choosing to celebrate with us on your special day. Cheers to the happy couple!

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Daniel + Morgan | Vendors

Baker: Holly’s Cakes

Bar Service: Liquid Catering

Caterer: Saffron’s Catering

Ceremony Site: First Presbyterian Church

DJ: The Party Machine

Florist: Twigs

Photographer: Ryan & Alyssa Photography

Transportation (Exit): Whispering Winds

Wedding Director: Emily Peck, The Old Cigar Warehouse

Real Wedding | Erica + Isaac

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We are pretty lucky to know some fabulous people that work in our space from time to time. It’s even better when someone we see working events with us gets married with us! So needless to say, we were all pretty excited to see Erica, of The Erica Berg Collective, and fiancé Isaac get married at The Old Cigar Warehouse on December 4, 2015. There is nothing more beautiful than a bride and groom in love and Erica + Isaac were gorgeous! The love they share is undeniable to anyone that crosses their path. Don’t believe us? Just look at these stunning photos from their wedding day! There is no doubt in our minds that these two are meant to be.

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The couple choose to do a first look on our deck before their wedding party joined them for some stunning pictures captured by Red Apple Tree Photography. As their pre-ceremony photoshoot came to an end, Erica + Isaac said goodbye momentarily as they both prepared to be married in front of all of their friends and family. To music provided by the oh-so-wonderful WireWood, the wedding party began to take their places at the altar alongside Isaac as he waited for his beautiful wife-to-be. Always beautiful, a particularly stunning Erica descended down the staircase on her father’s arm as they walked together in a space so familiar but somehow so different all in that instant. Following an emotional moment shared as her father gave her away, Erica took Isaac’s hand and the two shared their love for one another with their friends and families as witnesses.

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After being announced as husband and wife for the first time, Erica + Isaac retreated to the Bridal Suite along with their wedding party to celebrate their union. Before being welcomed into their reception, Red Apple Tree Photography stole them for a STUNNING session of the couple in front of their ceremony and reception backdrop! How cute are they?!

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Guests enjoyed dinner (and that adorable cake!) provided by Table 301 in the cellar where people continued to buzz about the food and of course, about the happy couple! As dinner finished and the newlyweds danced, Liquid Catering started pouring drinks as guests were ready to hit the dance floor with The Erica Berg Collective. And in true Erica fashion, the guests danced and sang throughout the night – a true testament as to what life with Erica + Isaac will be like on this journey together: a constant source of energy and love! The event went off without a hitch thanks to Love This Little City‘s Jennifer Dennis, making for a truly incredible evening for everyone in attendance (and working!).

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With this wonderful couple about ready to celebrate 5 months of marriage, we wish you both a lifetime of happiness. Congratulations, Erica + Isaac!

Erica + Isaac | Vendors

Baker: Table 301

Band/DJ: Erica Berg Collective

Bar Service: Liquid Catering

Caterer: Table 301

Ceremony Music: WireWood

Photographer: Red Apple Tree Photography

Venue: The Old Cigar Warehouse

Wedding Coordinator: Love This Little City

For more Real Weddings like Erica + Isaac’s, click here!

 

2016 Summer Wedding Trends

Summer is just around the corner and we could not be more excited about the summer weddings this year! With a new season comes new trends, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the summer trends that we’re excited to see in our space this summer!

Laid Back Live Music

We love live music here at The Old Cigar Warehouse, so we’re thrilled to see the trend of having laid back, live music playing during the cocktail hour! Whether it’s a lone guitar playing classics or a string quartet giving your guests a taste of classical music, having live background music adds so much character to your cocktail hour!

Wildflowers

Nothing says summer like wildflowers! Completing your wedding décor with some of these wild blooms will really make your wedding stand out and add extra dimension and color to your wedding photos without seeming overdone. We definitely are loving these natural looking bouquets being held by our beautiful brides!

Bringing the Outside Inside

The beauty of nature inside of a beautiful venue? Sign us up! We love the trend of bring foliage inside of venues! Have the best of both worlds by bringing a wedding that looks like it’s outside, indoors!

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Emphasis on the Couple’s Story

Your guests are already at your wedding to celebrate your love and commitment to one another, but allowing them to see even more into your love story is a trend that we adore. Hanging pictures up as decoration during cocktail hour, producing a timeline of major events in your relationship, making table numbers that mean something to you, or even writing your vows as your wedding altar backdrop are just some of the ways to make your wedding day more personalized and unique to you!

Wow Factor Backdrops

You and your fiancé are already going to look stunning on your big day. You’ll be getting married in front of all your family and friends, so why not step up your altar a little more? Backdrops that bring a wow factor to your big day  will not only draw everyone’s eyes to you even more, but will help create whatever atmosphere you want. TIP: Note that some of these gorgeous backdrops are not all elaborate. Sometimes a simple backdrop (consider the written vows) brings the WOW just as much!

Hanging Lights

One of the best features at The Old Cigar Warehouse is our hanging lights…they’re in every space! So it’s no surprise that we love the trend of hanging lights at receptions and ceremonies! Whether dimmed or fully lit, hanging lights can change the atmosphere of your event and really wow your guests.

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Planning Tips | Including Others Outside of Your Wedding Party

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It can be difficult to add all of the people important to you to your wedding party, and once you’ve come to a decision there are always people left that hold a special place in your heart but not yet in your wedding. Here are some other ways you can ask those special people to be a part of your wedding day!*

1 | Give a Reading

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Is there a poem, song, or section of a book that means something special to you and your fiancé that you would like to have as part of your ceremony? Have one of your close friends or family members who aren’t part of your bridal party give the reading at your wedding! If they’re a talented writer, have them write something to read during the ceremony that could hold even more emotional meaning.

2 | Play a Song

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Some of your close friends or family may be gifted with musical capabilities. Have them sing or play a song during your wedding! Whether it’s when you walk down the aisle or during a portion of your ceremony that doesn’t necessarily involve speaking (unity candles, hand fasting, ring warming, etc.), having a friend give the gift of music during your ceremony can be extremely special.

3 | Give Advice during the Ceremony

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Do you have married friends who you want to be part of your ceremony? Or maybe you want to include your parents or other family members in a way more suited to them. Have them stand up during your ceremony and offer a small piece of advice to the two of you that you can carry with you as you begin your marriage.

4 | Match the Wedding Colors

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Many friends will try to avoid matching your wedding colors so as not to be confused with people in your wedding. To make sure that your friends know they hold a special place in your wedding day, ask them to match your wedding colors! If there’s an overall color scheme, ask them to match it or choose a specific color that you would like them to wear to show their importance to you!

5 | Wear a Symbol of Your Relationship

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Yes, it would be great to include all of your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers and other school friends in your wedding. But having a bridal party of 20 or more girls and guys could be a bit overwhelming for some couples. For these close friends who aren’t in your bridal party, ask them to wear a symbol of their relationship with you instead!

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For your school friends, have them wear their class rings! There are so many cute photo opportunities with them all showing off their class rings while you showcase your wedding ring that will make great photos for them to share after the wedding.

Sorority pins, colors, flowers, or jewels are simple, yet meaningful ways to have your sisters recognized for their special meaning to you! You can even ask some of your sisters if you can use their pins for your bouquet as your “something borrowed”! And don’t forget about the guys! Fraternity badges and songs are also a wonderful way to welcome the new bride into their “brotherhood”.

6 | Ring Warming

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A trend popping up in recent years is having a ring warming during your ceremony. While many couples prefer to have all of the guest take part in the ring warming ceremony, having a few close friends seated near the front who take part in “warming” the rings will make the moment meaningful as well as take up less time.

7 | Ushers

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Asking someone to be an usher and escort guests to their seat is a great way to include males (especially younger ones) in your wedding! This can also take some pressure off of the groomsmen so that they can stay by the grooms’ side for the pre-wedding moments. But ushers don’t have to only be male. Female ushers are great too!

8 | Program and Guestbook Attendants

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To ensure that everyone gets a program, have a couple of your more outgoing friends hand out programs to your guests as they arrive. You can also ask some friends to be in charge of the guest book, making sure that everyone signs so you can you look through your guestbook for years to come.

No matter which route you choose to go, any of these options are special ways to make sure that you include those closest to you in your perfect day.*

*Be considerate of your friends’ feelings if you’re thinking of asking them to take part in a way that could be seen as “working” your event. Being a guest at your wedding is an honor in itself.

Planning Tips | Choosing Vendors

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How many hours have you spent browsing Pinterest in preparation for your perfect wedding day? With the amount of time that you’ve already spent thinking about your wedding, it should be easy to see it all come together seamlessly, right? But no matter how much you plan and research and dream about your wedding day, there is one factor that can make or break your day: your vendors.

Not only should you choose vendors that enhance your vision, but you should also choose vendors that you absolutely love, trust, and have an understanding with so that your perfect day is magical. We have a few tips for choosing your vendors so that your day is nothing short of perfection.

1 | Schedule Popular Vendors Early

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Are you considering using a photographer whose photographs you see weekly from different weddings? Or maybe there’s a specific venue that you know would fit you perfectly, but you also know that it books fast. Schedule to meet with vendors who book up quickly as soon as possible! You don’t want to miss out because they’re booked for all of your prospective dates!

2 | Meet Face to Face

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It’s important to make sure that you meet with your prospective vendors in person. Initial contact over the phone works wonderfully as does email (especially if you’re an out of town bride), but there’s nothing better that meeting face to face with your vendor so that you can get to know them better and see for yourself if this is someone you want to have an important role in your wedding day.

3 | Talk to Recent Clients

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Ask for referrals and check reviews on The Knot, WeddingWire, and even Facebook! People who have recently used your vendors will know what they offer and how they execute better than anyone.

4 | Accept and Stick to Your Budget

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Yes, you may really want a specific videographer to capture your day. But if it’s way out of your budget, you’ll either have to nix something else in your wedding or forget your budget completely. Find a vendor who knows your budget and accepts your budget. A great vendor will not try to talk you out of your budget, but will work with you on it. Keep in mind that these vendors are businesses. They understand, or at least should, the importance of staying within a budget!

5 | Choose Someone Who Gets You

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Probably the most important tip for choosing a vendor is to choose someone who gets you. Having someone who understands your personality and vision for your wedding day will ensure that your wedding will be everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more.

Need help finding amazing vendors in the Upstate? Check out our preferred vendors list!