Sometimes, you can use tradition to your advantage, like when it comes to the catering menu. When I found out what the cost was to upgrade the meals to steak and chicken instead of something else and chicken, I found it comforting to know that since a lot of our guests were coming in from out of town, they might appreciate a little lowcountry cuisine. We served shrimp and grits along with our chicken dish and saved a bundle. Overall cost for our catering was about $6,900, but included all rentals (linens, plates, forks, glasses, etc.) and even the full bar tab as well.
This was actually a recommendation of Elaine at Hamby Catering [shout out!]. She said a great way to serve steak would be in the passed hors de oeuvres during the cocktail party, after the ceremony, but before the actual meal (basically this is “picture time” for the bride, groom, and wedding party). And so that is what we did. We served some of our favorites, albeit pricey, bacon wrapped scallops, beef tenderloin crustadas, and she-crap soup in demitasse cups.
Another popular local item is a palmetto rose made by kids around the market area in downtown Charleston. I commissioned a young boy to make 15 small roses [$3 a piece] that I added ribbon and pins to so they could be used as boutonnieres and corsages [seen in the above picture]. This became a keep-sake for the wedding party as these won’t wilt and die like a flower will. It gave a great look and feel for our lowcountry wedding.