Real Luxe Party: The Knot Market Mixer

Pure Luxe Bride was honored to have been asked to design and plan The Knot's Charleston Market Mixer for the second year in a row! The event took place March 19th, outdoors behind the Gibbes Museum of Art in downtown Charleston. Pure Luxe Bride's very own Francesca and Blake dreamed up this incredible design, layout, and decor and worked with some of Charleston's top vendors to make this vision come to reality. Over 250 of Charleston's wedding industry professionals attended the event and we couldn't have been happier to see so many familiar faces supporting us. Let's hear from the girls at PLB themselves...."When deciding on a venue, we knew we wanted it to be completely outside with open air. The Gibbes was the perfect place for this as it is truly a blank canvas. Our inspiration for this event came from a color palate that's not often used for weddings and we were dying for some bright hues. We created this 'Moroccan Glam' look based off of a bold color palate with touches of sparkle and gold. One of our favorite ways to incorporate unique design elements into an event is by adding custom fabric that can be mixed into all décor aspects. The 'kaleidoscope' fabric that we chose for the front panels of the bar is what we used to create the vision for the entire event. You can see this pattern integrated in all of our stationary and design details. For this event, we really wanted to express our individual design style as you can see in the table arrangements, tabletop chandeliers, fuchsia seat cushions, and station displays. We decided to go a different route with our station signs by using plates with mini easels as a way to show what's being offered which we are really loving! Take a closer look at these images to really get an eye for Pure Luxe Bride design."

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Mosaic catered the event with the most delicious, Moroccan cuisine-inspired stations. At the Meatball Bar, guests could choose from Classic Beef, Chicken, and Potato meatballs, with Classic Tomato Sauce, Spicy Teriyaki or Gorgonzola Cream, topped with either Crispy Basil Leaves, Savory Onion Straws or Crunchy Rice Noodles. The Mediterranean-inspired Antipasti table was a plethora of roasted vegetables like zucchini, carrots and asparagus; squash, okra, artichokes, and tomatoes. The Antipasti was complemented by hummus, pimento cheese, tzatziki sauce and green olives, all offered on the side. What Moroccan themed event isn't complete without a flatbread station?! With three delicious options to choose from at this station, all of our guests were sure to find something yummy to munch on throughout the event.

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To compliment the Casablanca cocktail fountain, Squeeze On Site created two scrumptious Sangria recipes for guests to enjoy. The first was Sweet Honey White Sangria; the other, a Mixed Berry Limoncello Sangria - both were filed with color! The circular maude bar was decked out with colorful cocktail stirrers, hand-painted napkins and paneled with specialty fabric!

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Without help from all of our wonderful vendors, The Knot Market Mixer wouldn't have been the same! We must thank Aaron Nicholas Photography and Film Anywhere Productions for capturing every unique detail and moment on film! Everything from the gold sparkly table runners to the custom-made hot pink seat cushions, from Connie Duglin, complimented the Moroccan-inspired evening perfectly. Rewined Candles set up next to the registration desk and offered free candles to the first 25 guests to arrive. Meghan and Demi from Pink Dot Beauty Bar offered their makeup expertise via their "smooch bar". Tabbuli set up hookahs at each of our fabulous lounges; with the assistance of "hookahristas", guests enjoyed flavorful hookah and hookah bubble blowing all night long! Wed on Canvas stood by our rockin' band, Charleston Groove Factory, and captured the entire evening in a painting which was auctioned off for charity at the end of the evening. The stunning invitations, bar signs, programs and more were created by The Silver Starfish. Our rental and technical teams deserve a huge shout out too: Snyder Events, Innovative Event Services, and Stage Presence Event & Production Rentals.

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And lastly, you can see the entire day unfold through this incredible video by Film Anywhere Productions.

The Knot 2014 Charleston Market Mixer from Film Anywhere Productions on Vimeo.

Fabulous Vendors from This Event: Planning & Design: Pure Luxe Bride Venue: The Gibbes Museum Catering: Mosaic Bar Service: Squeeze On-Site Flowers: Wild Flowers Inc. Rentals & Lounge: Snyder  Cake: Declare Custom Linens: Connie Duglin Entertainment: Charleston Groove Factory / Other Brother Entertainment Photography: Aaron Nicholas Photography Videography: Film Anywhere Productions Paper Goods: The Silver Starfish Smooch Bar: Pink Dot Beauty Bar Hair & Make Up: Ziba Salon Hookah: Tabbuli Live Painting: Wed on Canvas Favors: Rewind Candles

To "First Look" or "Not to First Look".. That is The Question?

A friend:  “Are you and your fiancé doing a “first look” at your wedding?”You: “No way!  I want the doors to open and him to see me for the first time as I’m walking down the aisle and think I look amazing, like a queen!”

If you’ve found yourself having this exact conversation, or day dreaming of the moment your fiancé sees you for the first time as you’re walking down the aisle towards him, please allow me to sit you down for a moment and tell you why you may want to reconsider!  … Brace yourself…  We’re breaking tradition here ladies!

View More: http://aaronnicholasphoto.pass.us/thefirstlook

So, what are the pros and cons to having a first look?!  Well, let’s start with the aspect of modern wedding photography and how it plays into the “first look”!  Back when the tradition of waiting to see your fiancé at the ceremony was created, wedding photography consisted of the bride and groom having one or two posed photos, typically standing at the front of the church after the ceremony!  That was it for posed photos of the bride and groom!  Don’t believe me, ask your parents to see their wedding photos!  Now wedding photography is more creative and photographers will sometimes even drive the bride and groom to another location off site and spend 30 minutes to an hour, capturing photos of the two of them together in the perfect sunlight with the perfect backdrop!  All of those gorgeous photos you’ve been pinning on pinterest take time to create!

My good friend Holly said it best when she said, “We waited until walking down the aisle… but wedding photographers are so much better now than 14 ½ years ago!

View More: http://aaronnicholasphoto.pass.us/thefirstlook

Now let’s talk about how many guests you’ll have?!   100? 150? 200?  And when’s the last time you saw some of them?  A year ago?  5 years ago?  10 years ago?  I’ll bet you’re excited about getting some good quality time in with them during the cocktail hour and reception, right?!  Well, without a first look, you’ll be busy doing photos with your entire bridal party together, family photos, and all of those gorgeous posed “pinterest inspired” photos you’re dying to have of you and your new hubby!  Hate to say it, but you may not make it to your reception for an hour or two while you get all of those photos in post ceremony!   However, if you opt for a “first look”, you’ll be able to do all of those gorgeous photos of you and your fiance together, as well as ALL of your bridal party shots and even some family shots before the ceremony, leaving those last couple family shots for after the ceremony!  To think, you could make it to your cocktail hour 10 or 15 minutes after your ceremony!  Amazing, right?!

My friend Dana said, “Back when I got married in 2007, I don’t think “First Looks” were “a thing” yet!  Looking back, I wish we had seen each other beforehand and had more time for portraits together.  Our reception seemed so short, so it would’ve been nice to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests!

View More: http://aaronnicholasphoto.pass.us/thefirstlook

One of my favorite parts of my own wedding was Aaron and I’s “first look”!   He turned around when I was 10 or 15 feet away from him and seeing his reaction as I walked towards him was the most amazing look I’d ever seen him give me!  It didn’t matter that I wasn’t walking down an aisle… He was seeing me all dolled up in a wedding dress!  That’d make any fiancé beam with pride and excitement!   No one else was around (except our photographer of course) and I was completely focused on him and him on me!   We had the most authentic, intentional, and sweet moments together for about 5 minutes!  He told me how beautiful I looked and how excited he was for me to be his wife, and I hugged and kissed him over and over again, telling him how lucky I was to be able to call him my husband!    We were ALONE, just him and I, and I couldn’t have been more happy to have had that time to re-focus ourselves and our minds on what the day was all about – US starting our life together!

My best friend Sarah said, “We did a first look and it was the sweetest, most special moment of the entire day!!!!!”

View More: http://aaronnicholasphoto.pass.us/thefirstlook

The ceremony was JUST AS SPECIAL, if not more, because we had already connected and had had time to calm our nerves!  While you’d think that the first look would ruin the excitement of him seeing you walking down the aisle towards him, let me remind you, he’s still seeing his future wife, the woman he loves, walking down an aisle in a wedding dress, to marry him!  He’ll be just as excited and may even shed a tear or two like my Aaron!

My friend Susie said, “We waited, but I specifically asked our photographer to get my husband’s face when he got a first look at me!  It’s my favorite pic!”  --- Just think Susie, your photographer could have had 2 chances to get that look on his face, one at the “first look” and again at the ceremony!

View More: http://aaronnicholasphoto.pass.us/thefirstlook

So, there you go… what do you think ladies?  Have we changed your mind? To “First Look” or not to “First Look”?

A huge thank you to our friends at Aaron Nicholas Photography for this fabulous post! We absolutely love a first look for more reasons than one, don't you agree?