Diary of a Bride | Wedding Venues | St. James Episcopal Church | Historic Rice Mill | Melissa Lynn Hunt Photography

Immediately after we got engaged I began to think about where I wanted the wedding to take place. I grew up in Maryland, Carter in North Carolina, but Charleston-where we met and fell in love- was the obvious choice. It holds a special place in both of our hearts and I knew that our wedding had to be there. Charleston is a popular destination for weddings so I wanted to secure a venue as soon as I could.  I would be lying if I said this was an easy task for me. First of all, I was shocked at how far in advance things book up! If you are planning a wedding in peak season (May, June, September, October) get your venues nailed down as soon as possible. We initially wanted to get married October 2013 but dates were already taken everywhere we were interested in, so we decided to wait until May 2014.

There were also so many different beautiful options it was difficult to narrow down what I wanted. My vision of the ceremony and reception changed 3 or 4 times before I made a final decision.  I think the best advice I can give about selecting a venue is to just stay open minded and flexible!  I had my mind dead-set on one church, then my mom convinced me to ride by and take a look at another one she had found. I ended up falling in love with it!

In the end it took a lot of research, phone calls, and time but I am so happy and excited about our choices!

Our ceremony will take place at St James Episcopal Church on James Island. It is surrounded by live oaks which I love.

Our reception is downtown at The Historic Rice Mill. I love that it is right on the water but the interior is what really sold me. I am obsessed with the exposed brick and tin ceilings. So pretty!

Here is a template with great questions to cover when looking at venues :

http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2012/mwd-112-venue-documents.pdf