Charleston Weddings….Make Our Legend Your Own

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When choosing the layout for your reception venue, one decision is where the bride and groom will sit.  They are usually set apart from the remaining tables, whether at a sweetheart table with just the two of them; or at a head table, including the entire bridal party.

In my experience, most couples choose to have a sweetheart table, due to the dates of their bridal party. Usually they do not want to separate the dates for the evening, or they do not have enough space to include them on the head table, so the sweetheart table seems perfect.  Choosing a sweetheart table will also give you a few moments to yourselves and soak in the day.  I also feel that it is more inviting for your guests to greet you, because they do not have to talk over a head table, or slide behind the head table.

Here are some examples of sweetheart tables and head tables at the Francis Marion Hotel:






It is common to offer wedding favors to your guests as a token of appreciation for their attendance at your wedding celebration.

Wedding favors originated from Europe centuries ago, and were named Bonbonnieres.  These were sugared candies in trinket boxes to show prosperity and royalty.  As time went on, sugar coated almonds, otherwise named Jordan Almonds, were given out as favors to represent health, prosperity, fertility, joy and longevity. The guests would receive 5 almonds each to share in the couple’s luck on their special day. Today, some couples share the traditional favor, while other’s give out personalized favors to represent their life together.

Some examples of wedding favors we have seen at the Francis Marion Hotel:

Cake Pop


Sweet Grass Rose (historical to Charleston, SC)

Sweetgrass Rose

Bottle Opener

Bottle Opener

Boxed Candy & Local Beer

Boxed Candy_Beer

Customized Wine Glass

Wine Glass

Wedding cakes symbolize more than just a delicious dessert served at your wedding. Wedding cakes are known to symbolize good luck, happiness and love. Throughout the years we have watched the typical wedding cake evolve! What better way to show off your new monogram then on the center of your cake.

We have also witnessed the trend of cake toppers- from the typical husband & wife statue to a cute phrase. We always are intrigued to see what our couples will chose for their cake topper and flavors!

Charleston is filled with charming, tasty bakeries. No matter what flavor, style, color, cupcake, or cake trend you decide- make sure you do not forget to pass around the champagne and enjoy a piece yourself!

Cakes by KasardaCakes by Kasarda

Ashley BakeryAshley Bakery


The Cake StandThe Cake Stand

This past winter, the Francis Marion Hotel underwent a refurbishment that we are very excited to share!

Not only did our guest rooms receive brand new carpeting, wall paint, draping, and bedding – but we also modernized our Carolina Ballroom located on the Mezzanine Level!

Our Carolina Ballroom was added to our historic property in 2004. This ballroom is by far our largest space measuring over 4,500 square feet and accommodating up to 400 guests for a reception, or 250 guests for a plated dinner. It was transformed from green and red color tones, to invigorating ivories, navy and light blues. With whimsical wallpaper and bold blue accents, it is the freshest, coolest location for your upcoming event!

The cocktail hour space boasts a standing balcony overlooking King Street and Marion Square Park. A great spot for your guests to breath in some fresh air and a fantastic view!

The simplicity of the ballroom offers wedding receptions a great opportunity to customize the set up to your preferences – from adding up-lighting, a monogram on the wall or dancefloor, to draping and lighting from the ceiling.

Below are a few pictures of recent weddings in our Carolina Ballroom this year!

IMG_2084 (2)





Place cards play an important role in a Wedding Reception. Not only do they tell the guests where they are sitting, but they also tell the servers what they are enjoying for dinner.
This gives the couple an opportunity to be imaginative with their wedding theme.
Whether it is creative font, dramatic colors, photos, pictures of the couple, or not your standard card- this is a great way to impress your guests.

Below are some fantastic place cards we have seen at past weddings at the Francis Marion Hotel!

Alex Place Cards

Tony & Alex – Tied Guests Names and Table Numbers to the stems of Champagne flutes.  Upon arrival, guests were greeted with cool, crisp Champagne to sip during cocktail hour.


Preston 2


Preston & Lilly – Featured different drawings of Charleston. Guests received drawings of rainbow row, palm trees, horse & buggy, or lanterns.




Neal & Julie – This couples wedding theme was travel. Their table names were cities and countries they had visited together. Their place cards resembled monogramed postage stamps.




Chris & Sarah – Chose Charleston postcards for their guests. The Charleston location featured on the postcard, corresponded with the table name, such as Angel Oak, Patriots Point, Waterfront Park, or Fort Moultrie.