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What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Caitlin & Ryan’s Rehearsal Dinner in Charleston – Part I

A couple of months back, we had the privilege of attending and coordinating a beautiful weekend for Caitlin and Ryan in Charleston. The two met there while they were both living in the city, and though their lives have since taken them all over the country, to them, it only seemed right to head back to where it all began to start their forever together. 

When Caitlin had initially asked us to be a part of the weekend, our hearts were aflutter for various reasons: having the opportunity to visit the charming South, help a dear friend, AND executing what was sure to be a beautifully planned event from a former wedding planner herself? Yeah, we basically were in before Caitlin could finish her question. 🙂 

As we were flying into the city for the weekend, we were chatting about what Mallory remembered from her short trip to Charleston a few years back, with Kirstie throwing in a few “must-sees” she noted on Instagram. We obviously expected history, charm, and gorgeous weather, and boy, did Charleston DELIVER. Looking through the photos from this weekend, it’s easy to see how much that city oozes hospitality, charm, and history. The William Aiken House, nestled right in the heart of the city of Charleston, was the perfect backdrop for the first event of the weekend: the Rehearsal and Welcome Dinner, or, as Caitlin called it, “Ryan’s Night.”  Once you see the incredible Groom’s cake made just for him, we think it’s safe to say that at least that part was all about him. 🙂 

The exterior and grounds of the William Aiken House are just as stunning as the ornate decor inside, so C&R decided to maximize the outdoor space and chose to have their closest family and friends dine al fresco just outside the home. Caitlin chose a simple, more masculine palette of grey, mahogany and green to complement the surroundings and Ryan’s tastes, yet incorporated just a few slight touches of cobalt blue and celadon green, a sneak peek of the bursts of color guests could expect at the wedding the following day. It was a gorgeous evening under the stars and cafe lights, and the perfect prelude to an even more beautiful wedding. Stay tuned for Part II, coming at you next week, and until then, enjoy these beautiful images from a lovely evening in the heart of Charleston! 

Wait a minute – how did THESE rowdy guests get let in!? 🙂

Venue: William Aiken House | Food and Beverage: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group | Photography: Sloan Photography | Coordinator: Elevate Events | Entertainment: Global Truth Entertainment | Lighting: Innovative Event Services | Rentals: Eventworks | Flowers: Framptons Flowers | Yeti Cake: Cakes by Kasarda | Charleston Welcome Bag Logo: Bree Moore Design | Magnolia leaf calligraphy:  SAM & Co. Calligraphy | Koozies, Napkins and Stir Sticks: SipHipHooray