Destination Wedding

Stress-Free Destination Wedding Planning

Wedding Packing List: His & Hers

Planning a destination wedding can be overwhelming, but that’s where we come in! At Intrigue, our mission is to handle all the details, allowing our couples to fully enjoy their wedding weekend. We provide customized checklists as well as packing lists, ensuring you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.

Our planners create tailored checklists and packing lists based on your wedding destination and overall weekend itinerary. After all, your suitcase will look different for a wedding in Italy compared to one closer to home.

One of our favorite moments is seeing the wedding day photos of our couples’ personal details captured by the photographer. These elements reflect their unique style and personality. To ensure nothing is forgotten here is an example of a comprehensive list of the day-of items we are sure you will want captured.

We also recommend organizing all necessary items in a box. This way, everything stays organized, and we can ensure the photographer has everything they need to capture those special details.

With Intrigue, you can relax and focus on making memories while we handle the rest. Let us help you create the perfect destination wedding experience!

Most of these items will (or should) be present already, but we have added a few more details. Something we also always recommend is having your planner or chat share your design board and color palette with your photographer so that they can plan their style mats and other details accordingly. 

Items to Pack for Your Wedding Day Detail Photos

Hers

  1. Dress and veil
  2. Invitation suite (2 copies of the full suite)
  3. Shoes
  4. Jewelry
  5. Perfume
  6. Something old, new, borrowed, blue
  7. ALL 3 rings – if all 3 are with you, your photo team will be able to photograph the full set. The planner will be able to give them to whoever will be holding them afterward.
  8. Bouquet and/or loose florals – many florists are great about including a few loose blooms for styled detail photos. Don’t assume that they will automatically do this if you don’t ask. It’s also important to coordinate that these florals arrive by the designated time that these detailed photos will happen.
  9. Wedding Vow Book
  10. Any extra ribbon, accents, or items of significance that represent the day
  11. Guest Welcome Bags or Favors
  12. Any gifts or notes from one another

His

  1. Suit
  2. Tie
  3. Cuff links
  4. Watch
  5. Cologne
  6. Shoes and socks
  7. Handkerchief
  8. Belt/suspenders
  9. Invitation suite (2 copies of the full suite)
  10. Boutonniere
  11. Wedding Vow Book
  12. Any extra ribbon, accents, or items of significance that represent the day
  13. Guest Welcome Bags or Favors
  14. Any gifts or notes from one another

We love photographers who love styling details! 

Check out our free downloadable checklists and start planning your wedding day details! 

His & Hers Wedding Detail Checklist

Organizing Your Wedding Inspiration

Guest Post from Aisle Planner

How to Clean up Your Wedding Inspiration Boards so You Can Find Your Perfect Wedding Style.

Wedding Inspiration and Planning

Oh to be an engaged couple freely pinning on Pinterest. Pinterest is this beautiful shiny black hole that you can easily enjoy getting sucked into. After all, long gone are the days where couples had to create wedding inspiration binders with clippings from magazines, now you can be flooded with grand and gorgeous images and with a click of a button. Regardless, you will find your Pinterest board full of a hodgepodge of color palettes and styles. For instance, having mint and coral beach wedding flowers found right next to the warm-colored cottage backdrop. Pinterest is your best friend until it is not.

With so much inspiration, it can be difficult to pinpoint the direction and focus you want for your wedding. However, this is confusing for you and your wedding planner. Wedding planners receive hundreds of photos and wedding inspiration boards. How will you or your wedding planner ever know exactly what you want? It’s time to clean up your inspiration boards and create style guides that will tie your wedding aesthetic into a pristine bow.

 

Getting Excited 

After all, you and your partner are complex humans with so many likes and sources of inspiration. However, it is common to have similar aesthetics or opposite ones that complement each other. Either way, most couples do not know exactly what they want for their wedding and that’s okay! Besides, there is so much to choose from and so many fun options. How can you only pick one!? Maybe you do not have to pick just one. You may be able to find a middle ground or blend styles to make a wedding uniquely yours. Think of a forest, rustic, rooftop wedding. It’s possible!

First Things First 

But first things first, at the beginning of the process, you are all bright-eyed and inspiration hungry. Nonetheless, everything looks so good and the world is full of possibilities, so it’s appropriate to go a little wild. See something you really like that definitely does not match your previous five pins? Save it! You are on a journey to finding the style that best represents your relationship. This is the first step to finding your wedding style. After all, every masterpiece had to begin somewhere and from a pool of ideas. Consider this your time to fill your wedding pool so you have ideas to work with.

Consider This 

But getting excited is such fun! First, there are no restraints, everything is good and all is imaginable. However, you realize that maybe you can not have it all and that having it all may not actually be what you want. In this case,  may feel overwhelmed with all of the options, but take a step back and take a deep breath…you got this. Now that the foundation is set, you can comb through your wedding inspiration and choose the ultimate favorites.

Find Your Wedding Style 

  • First, you will begin to notice a trend in your pins. Follow that trend and you will find that you and your partner are likely leaning towards a theme already.
  • Then, gain some perspective by thinking about the fact that all of the glamorous shots you are looking at were all staged to look perfect to engage couples like yourself. That delectable five-tier cake is probably not budget-friendly. Additionally, neither is the glass covering every inch of the table and chandeliers. Most of these images are not the most realistic and there is comfort in knowing that you can emulate parts that you like without feeling the pressure to have perfection.
  • In fact, trust each other and trust your instinct. Choose whatever brings you the most happiness and is a reflection of your love.
  • Finally, create specific boards and captions. This is the time to organize and clean the aftermath of the wild. You have your style chosen, stick to it, and organize by creating boards for every aspect of your wedding: favors, bridesmaid dresses, linens, flowers, etc.

 

We Have Your Back!

Now, you can organize on your own but having assistance from a wedding planner can go such a long way. Intrigue Events offers virtual planning so you can plan wherever you are and at any stage in the planning process. By giving you access to virtual consultants that walk you through the planning process, along with access to the Planning Tools, you can find the guidance you need. Also, as a helpful alternative to hiring a full-time planner, they can assist you in using and organizing your inspiration while incorporating both you and your partner’s personalities and styles into your wedding design.

We love using these tools to teach you how to focus your thoughts and ideas. Uniquely, you can use multiple boards, comment on photos, and even add other vendors! We are proud to be able to provide this service and guidance so that you can have your dream wedding style.

Reeling in your inspiration is a very doable and very satisfactory step that will get you closer to having a wedding that feels uniquely true to your love story.

Navigate Our Virtual Wedding Planning Program

Intrigue offers full-service wedding planning and has thoughtfully designed a virtual wedding planning program to help you navigate wedding planning.  Since 2008, Intrigue has planned destination weddings all over the world. As destination wedding designers, our norm is assisting our couples from afar. Now we extend our services to assist more couples by creating customized virtual design & planning packages.  

Our packages are here to help couples that may be working with a full-service venue, hired a Month-of Planner, looking for design assistance, or planning a small elopement.

Our Virtual Wedding Planning  Program Design Consultants are here to get to know you. We come to recognize your personalities, assess your needs, budget requirements, and bringing together your overall wedding vision. However, not only do we offer guidance, but we also offer the necessary tools through our wedding planning software. This allows you to organize your thoughts, designs, and vendors. Ultimately, creating a fun stress-free planning experience. 

Virtual Wedding Planning Program

It may feel like one notebook is not going to be enough as you start your wedding checklist.  Especially, for the next 12-months, 6-months, 3-month, or even the next 30 days. Our virtual wedding planning program consulting packages include access to our planners and the amazing wedding planning tools you need. Virtually Wed has you covered. We walk you through how to organize your budget, review vendor contracts, and customize your checklist. Not to forget, working through your wedding weekend timeline.

When working through the initial design process, we find our couples are overwhelmed by Pinterest. If you are one of these couples then our design consulting package is the perfect fit for you. Pinterest is a great resource for gathering inspiration, but can also seem like a wedding rabbit hole. 1 am Pinterest pinning, the uncertainty of not knowing which direction to go can cause of some overwhelming stress. However, this is what our Virtual Design Consults are here for. We will assist you through this process to organize your thoughts in order to create a cohesive design.

Virtually Wed Design Studio 

This is something we can not live without. We love this tool because we can take all of your ideas and separate them out by categories! This is great because it allows us to separate your ideas and concentrate on each individually. Additionally, there is a comment section to leave us a little note about what you like about the picture. We can share your design board with vendors to make your meetings with them more efficient. 

What is next? How to get started? How much time is needed with a Virtual Consultant? 

These are questions that we receive all the time. Your time and investment mean the world to us. We do not want to waste any time before we get down to the details. We are happy to set up a  FREE 30-minute consultation with you and your fiance. During the consultation, we will ask you a series of questions in order to get to know your personalities. Such as, where you are in the planning process and your planning stressors. From there we will determine which packages fit your needs best. 

Love is not canceled, and we are here to make sure you have the day you have always envisioned. 

Bridging the Gap

Connecting With Generation Z in a Language They Understand

Today, young individuals wake up and immediately scroll through their favorite apps as if they are reading the morning paper.

Social apps are the present-day newspaper to a generation that has grown up immersed in technology. It is how the most important decisions are made: where to go, what to eat,  what to watch…inevitably who they want to hire for their wedding! We have to keep up with change, and become more creative and original with our digital and social media marketing.

Ok we have pinpointed where to Cater Towards Gen Z, but how can we take this knowledge to the next level and how to use these  digital platforms to our advantage?

Here are some tips on how to connect to your growing younger audience.

Instagram is an ever-growing and thriving platform, that will only keep evolving and attracting new users. Unlike Facebook, who’s more often used by older generations, Instagram is heavily dominated by the youth. The Instagram story feature, launched in 2016 and heavily influenced by Snapchat, has become widely popular and frequents the most views. Users can edit pictures and videos and even provide links within the story, to engaged with your followers. To capture and create more engaging Instagram Stories, by upping your Instagram aesthetic and using these 14 Apps For Creating Gorgeous Instagram Stories. In return, this will bring more traffic and clickthroughs to your website. Post on your profile and increase your reach.

What kinds of things are worthy of posting and recording?

Gen Z loves a behind the scenes sneak peek, time lapse videos, before and after, and anything that encourages interaction.  There’s something satisfying about watching a professional do what they do best. This can be done with anything. Wedding décor, wedding day set up, all of the works. Imagine how fun it would be to get to watch a sped-up video of a wedding coming to life!? It’s content like this that catches the most eyes and gets shared more often.

 

A recent survey shows that “59 percent of Gen Z respondents said they use their YouTube app a lot more than they did a year prior.” In return, YouTube is still growing and attractive new users everyday. Video is the new article.  Like Instagram, think of parts of your work that would be enjoyable to watch. Make it personal, record all of the big moments in the planning process.

Pro-tip: Another memorabilia your clients can look back on.

You can share these videos so future clients can see how you can help make their dreams a reality too. Visually and emotionally charged content tends to have the most impact. Weddings are not just the end product! There’s so much that happens in between the proposal and the “I do.” That’s where you come in!

What is a “TikTok“? Some say it is the new Vine of the internet…But what was a Vine?! Young audiences want to be wowed and entertained with visual stimulus, and nothing better comes to mind than short, entertaining videos.  The short video format that Vine was, and TikTok now has is perfect to grab a Gen Z viewer’s attention. With 500 million active users worldwide, this app ranks ninth among social-networking sites, ahead of LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. TikToks are becoming the most shared across platforms. If it starts on TikTok, it will makes its way to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

You have a variety of talents and gifts that you can share as content. Teach and show your audience something that you excel in. Get creative. Content like this increases likability and recognition. You’re putting your work out there and slowly creating a reputation that people will remember when they’re look for a wedding pro.

Get started on filming your Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok videos. You don’t have to be a pro at filming to improve your digital presence. You already have what it takes and what makes you stand out. All you have to do is share it with the world!

5 Ways to Accommodate for Traveling Guests

It’s time to polish up the champagne flutes and pop open a bottle of bubbly because you’re getting married! You’ve finally bought your dresschose your venue, and sent out those gorgeous handmade calligraphy invitations that express you and your fiancé perfectly. 

But even if you feel that you’ve figured out all the details of your wedding, you still have out-of-town guests to think about. Because chances are, even if your guests have visited the destination previously, they’ll be looking to you for guidance on how to spend their time when they’re not involved in wedding festivities. 

It may feel like yet another stressor to wrangle family together and make everyone happy. But accommodating for traveling guests doesn’t have to push you to elope after all. Read on to learn how you can make everyone feel right at home on your wedding day.

Provide Your Guests a Welcome Bag


When your guests arrive, be sure to have a welcome bag prepped for everyone at the first event. Include items like a map of the local area, snacks, or a bottle of bubbly alongside your wedding itinerary and a personalized note thanking your guests for making it to the wedding. You may also consider including a personalized item like a monogram tote bag or a local magazine sharing the best things to do in the area, 

Whether you provide a welcome bag right at check-in or simply wait until the rehearsal dinner, this simple but lovely gesture will help your out-of-town guests feel right at home.

Invite Your Guests to The Rehearsal Dinner


Regardless of where or when you have the rehearsal dinner, you don’t want to skip out on having one if you have lots of out-of-town guests arriving for your wedding. Although your main event may leave you with plenty to do, guests who aren’t in the wedding need to be entertained.

It may also be a good idea to make sure there isn’t too much time before the rehearsal dinner. And, if you’re having a cocktail hour or meet up ahead of the rehearsal dinner, don’t leave too much time between the two events. Keeping your guests on a consistent schedule will make the weekend even more exciting for everyone.

Provide an Itinerary


You don’t want your guests feeling confused or out of the loop. Even if you provide your guests with a wedding itinerary in their welcome bag, make sure to check in with everyone individually if possible. 

If you’re having a larger wedding and it isn’t possible to speak with everyone ahead of the wedding, make your wedding website available for people to access the calendar of events. You may also consider putting members of your wedding party in charge of checking in with everyone to make sure they’re settling nicely.

Coordinate a Hotel Block

While some couples simply recommend places for their out-of-town guests to stay, it’s even better to take the extra step of coordinating a hotel block so everyone can stay in the same place. This is among the best ways to make sure your guests feel included in every activity. 

Plus, if other guests want to get together and do sightseeing, all they have to do is meet up in the lobby. We recommend using Hotel Planner to coordinate a hotel block. Make sure your hotel is in a fairly central location so it’s easy for guests to enjoy all the area has to offer!

Since most of your guests will likely stay more than one day when traveling for your wedding, give your guests some options of fun things to do outside of wedding festivities! Not only will your guests feel valued, but they’ll also have something fun to do while you’re prepping for the special day.

There are many ways to communicate the activity ideas to your guest. One easy way is to simply include a list with the welcome bag you provide for your guest. You can also include a “Traveling Guest” section on your wedding website in case you do not provide a welcome bag. If you are feeling a bit more creative, try to make a scavenger hunt or a check list of all of you and your significant others favorite places for your guests to visit. This will keep things fun and meaningful.

It can be stressful to figure out how to make all your guests happy but making their stay a little more fun will make the whole wedding experience even more fun for everyone. Of course, the best way to accommodate your traveling guests is to let them know how much you appreciate them. A simple thank you goes a long way!

Blog Contribution – Amanda Moore amandalmoore65@gmail.com

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Advice for picking rentals from a pro at EventWorks

You’re getting married. It’s official. Woo!

It’s time to make your vision of the perfect day come to life, and that all starts with the rentals. Between the essentials such as chairs, tables, bars, and dinnerware to unique crowdpleasers like games extra decor pieces, possibilities are endless and can make decision-making a bit overwhelming. We asked Ashely Von Rosenberg of EventWorks for some tips when picking rentals. According to Ashley, the most important thing when picking rentals is to make choices early in the process and order in advance.

“Items are available on a first come, first serve basis,” she said. “While we have a large inventory with depth due to our three locations, some items we have limited quantities available. It’s important to lock in your items, which can be done by paying a deposit to reserve an order. At EventWorks, our deposit is 25%.”

Beth & Brian’s wedding at Legare Waring House in Charleston, SC. Photo by Kaitlin Poirier.
Beth & Brian’s wedding at Legare Waring House in Charleston, SC. Photo by Kaitlin Poirier.

We’ve used rentals in fun ways, such as making crescent bars into a 360 bars and using greenery walls as backdrops and overhanging bars. When thinking about your rentals, take pieces that can have many uses into special consideration.

“Clients have used our bookshelves to display escort cards, used our Wood Serving Blocks as centerpieces, or even our Bohemian Beaded glasses to serve small salads. Be creative with your search!” Ashley said. “Even some of our lounge tables have doubled as unique cake tables! We love seeing clients plan and design beyond the norm.”

Drew & Frankie’s wedding at William Aiken House.
Drew & Frankie’s wedding at William Aiken House.

Do you need a tent? This is one of the most discussed details when it comes to rentals. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the venue and the season. Each venue has it’s own policies for tenting as well as unique perks and challenges, such as space limitations and how they affect design or what parts of venues are allowed to be tented. Seasonal weather is probably the biggest factor to consider. In Charleston, for example, fall weddings can be the most susceptible to surprise weather due to hurricane season. Ashley said she always recommends that clients put tents on reserve just in case.

“We have a Rain Reserve policy, which is 35% of the total cost of the tent to hold for your date with the decision needed three days prior to delivery by noon,” she said. “I always recommend this because we have had many busy weekends where we are simply maxed out on tents and labor.”

Layne Johnson + Pablo Hofman’s wedding at the William Aiken House in Charleston SC. Photo by Amelia + Dan.
Emily & John’s wedding at Kiawah Ocean Course. Photo by Aaron + Jillian.

Rental setup can begin anywhere from days to hours before the wedding, depending on the size of the tent, amount of rentals, and your venue. Make sure you’re prepared in advance, so you can spend your wedding day enjoying your beautiful tent without worry.

 

 

Chasing After Charleston’s Adventures

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THE GEMS OF THE LOWCOUNTRY

With the ever-growing popularity of the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina, visitors are certainly greeted by boundless opportunities to explore during their time in the Lowcountry. From the enchanting Oak tree lined driveways to the historical cobble stone streets, the city’s remarkable ambience is sure to leave its guests dreaming of their next visit. To ensure that your trip, regardless of the occasion, exceeds all your expectations, read about some of our favorite activities and locations below!

Tour the Timeless Plantations

Step back into the past and uncover the plantation’s operations and elite family histories created on these historical grounds. Discover where the scenes captured in the famous romance movie The Notebook were held at the picturesque Boone Hall Plantation, wander throughout the mystical gardens (best in the springtime) at Magnolia Plantation, or pose for a photo in front of the breathtaking 1,000-year-old Oak tree at Middleton Plantation.

Stroll Down Legare Street

Lined with exquisite wrought iron gates and majestic private gardens, there is no wonder why locals consider this to be one of the most beautiful streets in Charleston. The Preservation Society has displayed informational plaques outside these grand houses that chronicles the events and people that once filled these homes with life. Reminisce in the rich history of this noteworthy street.

Revel Over Rainbow Row

Located on East Bay Street, this bold line of vibrantly hued, stucco houses captivate the artistic essence of the city to perfection. From spiraling shrubbery to colorful hanging flower baskets, the abundance of character each house displays will certainly make for an ideal photo opportunity.

Watch a Sunset at Sullivan’s Beach

Known for its spacious white sands and beautiful dune grasses, this beach displays a remarkable sunset show every night. Station 11 offers a direct view of downtown and the Ravenel Bridge, allowing for the city lights to compliment the soft, sweeping colors in the night sky. Lay out a blanket or walk the beach, we are sure you’ll be mesmerized by Charleston’s natural beauty.

Craft Your Own Candle Creation

Offering both BYOB workshops and unique shopping, Candlefish allows you to explore your creativity through concocting your own candle scents. The serene atmosphere and modern decor makes for the perfect place to unwind and be innovative. Stop by and create custom gifts for family and friends that will fill their homes with the fragrances of Charleston.

Dine on a Sunset River Cruise

There is no better way to combine waterfront dining, the Charleston sunsets, and live entertainment than climbing aboard the Spirit of Carolina. The staff of Spiritline Cruises bestows upon the guests’ exceptional hospitality while serving a traditional, southern inspired meal sure to satisfy any food connoisseur. Indulge in a romantic and tranquil evening you’ll never forget.

Venture Out into Shem Creek

A quaint and scenic area, Shem Creek is home to incredible seafood restaurants, shrimping boats, and winding boardwalks extending out to the Charleston Harbor. Get up close and personal with the spectacular wildlife Shem Creek shelters with one of Coastal Expedition’s thrilling adventures. With a wide range of kayak tours, SUP rentals, and boat tours, it is likely that a dolphin may swim by to say hello during your outdoor experience.

Run Over the Renowned Ravenel

This remarkable structure acts as the most stunning artery that links downtown to some of Charleston’s surrounding islands. Runners, bikers, and walkers alike can traverse along this scenic 2.7-mile-long overpass at their leisure. Capture panoramic views of downtown, the USS Yorktown, Fort Sumter, and even dolphins frolicking in the astonishing Charleston Harbor.

Witness Strand Feeding

Charleston is one of the few locations in the world in which Bottlenose dolphins utilize their echolocation and group work techniques to perform this astounding feat of strand feeding. Take a trip out to the pristine and lively beaches of Seabrook and Kiawah Island to see this spectacular event unfold before you.

A Gluten-Free Guide to Charleston

It’s no secret that Charleston is a foodie’s paradise, as top-notch dining options in the city are in abundance. There is no need to sacrifice flavor and ambiance of the area with Celiac or Gluten Intolerance; you just have to know where to go! Here is a complete guide to getting the most of the holy city’s cuisine scene while staying gluten-free, with help from Taylynne Duvall from Gluten-Free Near Me

Downtown

Quick Lunch: Brown Dog Deli

MAP IT

Almost everything on their menu can be made gluten-free. Every staff member who I talked to is super informed and walks me through what is safe and what isn’t. They even take precautions in the back to prevent cross-contamination (but still make sure to remind them to do so!).

My absolute favorite is the “Apple Butter Jeans”: Melted brie, sliced Granny Smith apples, local apple butter, fresh arugula, mesquite smoked turkey, honey ham, and applewood-smoked bacon. Oh yes. P.S. They have vegan options too!!

Burgers: Bay Street Biergarten

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Alcohol confession: I think it’s safe to say that my favorite drink I’ve found in Charleston so far is here, The Mexican Grizzly. Tequila, Aperol, and grapefruit juice. If you don’t like it tart, sit that one out.

I’m also in love with their Turkey Reuben, which can be made on a gluten-free bun. Since the frier is shared, I normally just get grilled veggies to the side. Delish.

Mexican: Minero

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Without a doubt, Minero belongs in the top of ALL gluten-free restaurants in downtown Charleston (and even the greater area). Not only do they have a gluten-free menu, they also have a CELIAC menu – all the items that do not come into contact with gluten-y ingredients. This includes celiac friendly corn chips. A real winner.

Everything I have ever eaten here is perfection, so try it all!

Thai: Basil Thai Restaurant

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I mentioned Basil Thai’s happy hour in my Charleston Date Night post. And I’m going to mention it again because it’s one of my favs. Their gluten-free Pad Thai is to die for. And I love their Blushing Buddha gin drink. There are not A TON of gluten-free menu items, but what they have is truly tasty.

And it’s not that easy to find restaurants celebrating global cuisines in Charleston. So win/win.

Sushi: O-Ku

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O-Ku is one of my favorite restaurants on King Street. First of all, the ambiance is great. It’s fun to sit at the large sushi bar or to try to snag the tables by the windows to people-watch (definitely call early to make the reservation – like DAYS in advance). Most of the sushi rolls can be modified for the gluten-free eater.They also provide gluten-free soy sauce!

 


Avondale

One of the fun things about living in or visiting Charleston is the mix of neighborhoods. The area truly is a conglomeration of many different neighborhoods with their own feel, their own style, their own perks. You have the hip Park Circle in North Charleston, the beach bum Folly Beach, the historic French Quarter, and the list goes on and on.

Avondale is one of those unique neighborhoods. West of downtown Charleston,  you can find trendy restaurants and bars perfect for a night out on the town (or a fun afternoon). And you have SO MANY gluten-free options!

Here is a rundown of the gluten-free Avondale scene:

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Avondale Wine and Cheese

This spot is hands down one of my favorites in the whole Charleston greater area. I already mentioned it in the date night post. Everybody should visit, locals and tourists alike. Not only do you have lots of wine options (great for the weekend AND, my personal favorite, Wine Not Wednesday). Then you can build your own charcuterie board. They offer GF bread and the staff can superbly list any cheeses or tapas to avoid.

Mellow Mushroom

Without a doubt, Mellow Mushroom is one of the safest choices for gluten-free pizza in Charleston. I wrote all about it on my Charleston Pizza Guide. The GF crust is tasty, and they keep all the ingredients separate. The only downside it’s a bit overpriced. But you are getting what you pay for: tasty, contamination-free GF pizza.

Verde

Here’s another Avondale gluten-free winner. Verde actually showed up in my list of top gluten-free fast food places in Charleston. This salad bar is top notch – full of delicious, fresh produce. All signature creations and individual ingredients are clearly marked, so you will have no problem figuring out your gluten-free options. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner – perhaps before Avondale Wine and Cheese!

East Bay Deli

Sandwich shops can be hard for gluten-freers. But East Bay Deli actually takes steps to prevent cross-contamination (but still make sure to announce it as an allergy). Your sandwich can be made on Udi’s bread. And they have a convenient list of all the GF choices for your sandwich. I have eaten here many times and had no problem at all. In fact, I think it is one of the best gluten-free friendly delis I’ve been to – crisp deli pickle included!

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

I also mentioned Mex 1 in my Sullivan’s Island gluten-free list. I love this little cantina. My favorite choice is one of their bowls. But I have heard the corn chips are safe for gluten-freers. Let me know if you try them out!

Al Di La

Al Di La has been a local’s favorite for a long time. I love the fact they have outdoor seating, so you can enjoy an evening breeze while people watching. They have plenty of GF options including gluten-free pasta, salads, and entrees. They don’t have gluten-free bread, but I cannot find any Italian restaurant in the Charleston area with gluten-free bread.

 


Shem Creek

Shem Creek is in the Mount Pleasant, only a few minutes from downtown Charleston. Honestly, it’s one of my absolute favorite spots in the entire area. Beautiful marsh, beautiful water, and beautiful boats. I have spotted dolphins while out enjoying a drink. And the Shem Creek gluten-free options are surprisingly plentiful.

If you are visiting the Charleston area, I highly recommend making Shem Creek one of your stops. You should feel comfortable eating at any of the restaurants listed.

Have fun!

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Red’s Ice House

Red’s has a separate gluten-free menu (rare for the Charleston area). You can find multiple seafood options, salads, and many dips can be made gluten-free. I recently split the crab legs, and shrimp with Kyle. Both were tasty.

But the highlight of Red’s (for me) is their rooftop bar. It’s a fun place to grab a drink and watch the boats.

Water’s Edge

Once again, we have a gluten-free menu. Make sure to specify gluten allergy for as little contamination as possible.

Tavern & Table

Tavern & Table has a few items that can be made gluten-free, and they are all marked on the menu (which makes life so much easier for the gluten-freer and the staff!)

Shem Creek Bar and Grill

Here’s the deal, I haven’t eaten at Shem Creed Bar and Grill, but I did call. The employee told me there were “tons of gluten free options” – including fish, shrimp, veggies, salad, etc. I was impressed with her knowledge and lack of annoyance when I asked. Anyone been there? Let me know in the comments.

 

 


Sullivans Island

Sullivan’s Island is a lovely little beach town south of Mt. Pleasant/east of Downtown Charleston. It’s one of my favorite spots to go soak up the sun, jump in the waves, and take some beachside yoga classes! There’s a fun sandbar, plenty of sand, and free (though not plentiful) parking.

If you are looking for Sullivan’s Island gluten-free options – read on! While there are not a ton of restaurants on the island, you should be happy to learn there’s plenty of GF goodness.

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Gogogreens

I love everything about this place. I love that you can get healthy, delicious, fresh food right by the beach. I love that you can clearly see which ingredients have gluten and which do not. I love that they accommodate meat-eaters and vegans. I LOVE that they offer gluten-free bread to the side.

And they even have breakfast bowls and smoothies too?

Pure #winning!

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

(P.S. Same as the Avondale location!)

Mex 1 is delish. My favorite thing on the menu is their Baja Bowl – think a Chipotle/Moe’s/Qdoba bowl, but 10x as tasty. According to the staff, the corn tortillas are not fried in a shared fryer. So they should be good to go. I must mention, though, I haven’t tried them!

It’s a beachy, second story restaurant. I like sitting at the outside bar.

Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ

(P.S. There are multiple locations of this tasty grub, including Avondale (West Ashley) and downtown Charleston)

Fiery Ron’s Home Team is really really well done barbecue. GF eaters can basically have anything other than the bread and the Mac-n-cheese. I have eaten there multiple times with zero problem. Every staff member I’ve encountered was knowledgeable about gluten and helpful, which makes the ordering process a breeze.


Barbecue

Meat-Eaters unite! The lowcountry is known for its barbecue, and there’s plenty of great gluten-free options.

Fun fact: I actually eat vegan a few times a week. So when I do eat meat, I want it to be TASTY. As much as I love (and I truly mean love) fine dining and quirky hipster restaurants, I also love good down-home, casual barbecue joints.

All 5 of these gluten-free barbecue spots in Charleston are delicious and safe!

Lewis Barbecue

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Lewis Barbecue is one of the most gluten-conscious spots in all of Charleston – and it’s one of my favorite restaurants in general. The outdoor section is fabulous, especially when it’s nighttime and the tree lights pop on.

If you tell the staff that you cannot eat gluten, they will offer to get a clean carving board from the back that has not touched any bread. All their meats can be carved on that clean space. Then they will tell you which sides are good to go. All their BBQ sauces are gluten-free, so have a blast!

Fiery Ron’s Home Team

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All Home Team locations are super fun and laid-back. AND all of the meats and sauces are gluten-free. Most of the sides are fine (obvious ones like mac and cheese are a no-go) – their collards are delish, by the way. Just be sure to mention your gluten allergy, so they don’t put a piece of bread on your platter.

Helpful hint: They also cater, so this could be a great gluten-free catering option in Charleston!

Swig and Swine

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I’m gonna be honest with you for a second. Swig and Swine is not MY favorite gluten-free barbecue in Charleston. But I seem to be in the minority… especially considering it has won Best West Ashley RestaurantBest Ribs, and Best Summerville Restaurant for this year’s Charleston City Paper “Best of Charleston 2017”!

If you want to try out the local’s beloved BBQ spot, you are safe to do so. Most of their food is gluten-free and your waitstaff can help you figure out the menu.

Rodney Scott’s

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Rodney Scott is known for the slow-smoked “whole hog” BBQ. The entire Rodney Scott BBQ menu is gluten-free with four simple (and quite obvious) exceptions: mac and cheese, hushpuppies, cornbread, and breaded catfish. Everything else is good to go.

Poogan’s Smokehouse

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Settled right in the heart of downtown Charleston (which means it’s a super convenient spot for gluten-free tourists in Charleston), Poogan’s Smokehouse has a quirky industrial vibe that I quite enjoy. All of their meats and sauces are gluten-free. Most sides are gluten-free, as are their salads.


Brunch

Brunch is my favorite meal of the week. Breakfast foods + acceptable day drinking. Win/win. But I think Charleston has a far way to go in providing plenty of breakfast/brunch options for the gluten-free community. Let’s see more gluten-free pancakes and toast. What about GF cinnamon rolls (Atlanta, GA has THE BEST)?!

That being said, there are still some tasty spots for gluten-free breakfast in Charleston (and surrounding areas).

Read on, so you can get some good gluten-free breakfast in Charleston this weekend!

High Cotton

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High Cotton is one of my favorite brunches around! This high-end restaurant has a lovely dining room where you can eat your brunch with live music on Saturdays and Sundays. Plus, they actually have a printed gluten-free menu (a rarity in Charleston). We went this weekend. I had the corned beef hash and Kyle had the omelet with grits.

Plan to pay around $15 a person before mimosas/coffee.

P.S. This post’s photo is from that brunch at High Cotton!

Five Loaves Café

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Five Loaves Cafe is one of my favorite places to eat in Charleston. It’s fast, it’s inexpensive, it’s delicious. On Sundays, this little cafe chain opens early for brunch. Just let the kitchen know that there is a gluten allergy, and they will prevent cross contamination.

I would be lying if I told you there were an abundance of options, but what they have is yummy!

Three Little Birds Cafe

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First of all, I love the name. After living in Costa Rica for a year, I’ve developed a love for all things Bob Marley. I suggest that you choose to eat your brunch on the cute little outdoor patio area. There are umbrellas for shade, so I find it to be perfectly comfortable. Three Little Birds has gluten-free bread, and I love their omelets.

Kitchen 208

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Fun fact: this was the first place I ate brunch in Charleston. It’s a goodie. You order up at the counter, and then you can sit in their dining area or outside (again, I totally recommend outside.) My favorite thing is their GF egg sandwich. Absolutely delightful. Make sure to remind them if you have an allergy, so they can be super cautious about contamination!

Breizh pan Crepes

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Breizh pan Crepes is a little french creperie with breakfast, savory, and sweet options. Their savory crepe is naturally gluten-free. So you can have any of the breakfast/savory crepes as is, and then you can ask for the gluten free-crepe if you would rather go sweet. They seem to be very aware of allergies.

I think the portions are fairly small. Don’t envision massively large stuffed crepes! We will either eat here if we aren’t too hungry, or we will share three of them between the two of us.

Gnome Cafe

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Ok, I need to be honest about this little vegan cafe. On one hand, it’s just about the cutest little cafe I have ever eaten in. On the other hand, it disappoints me a bit. I have been to two other vegan cafes (one in Vermont, one in Las Vegas) who have essentially made their entire menus gluten-free. I was hoping for the same. There are only 3 gluten-free breakfast options at Gnome (and one is only yogurt).

What they do have is tasty (and their coffee is good!), but I feel like a little extra effort could make more of the menu GF. If that were the case, I would recommend ecstatically it to just about everyone. It would probably be my favorite spot in town.

Hominy Grill

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The popular downtown Hominy Grill is a lovely place for brunch. While you are waiting, you can stop by their drinks window to order a curbside coffee, mimosa, or bloody mary. But is Hominy Grill gluten-free friendly?

There is a Hominy Grill gluten-free menu, but staff always mention how they cannot completely prevent cross-contamination. I ate there and left feeling slightly off.

Then I talked to another staff member and she informed me that the potatoes are grilled on the same exact stovetop as gluten items, even though they are listed on the gluten-free menu. So I went back, ordered an omelet, subbed fruit for the potatoes (apparently, you can have the grits too) — and I was perfectly fine.


Get more from Taylynne and Gluten-Free Near Me’s tips here!

Tying the Knot Abroad: Ten Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

With weddings planned and coordinated in Sydney, Toronto, London, and Cancun, Intrigue has no shortage of experience throwing a great party across the globe (not to mention countless destination weddings in Charleston!) To help you create a remarkable & unforgettable celebration, we have prepared a list of ten planning tips to make your visions come true.

An Intrigue wedding in Sydney, Australia.

 

1. Organize a detailed timeline

This includes for the day of as well as the days leading up to your wedding. If working with a wedding planner, collaborate with one another to create a timeline that makes the event move seamlessly and naturally. For meetings, calls, and appointments, be sure to use an intricate calendar to mark all your deadlines.

2. Send your invites out early!

By doing so, your guests will have enough time to RSVP and make travel arrangements. Additionally, getting a precise headcount will allow you to receive a precise quote from your vendors.

3. Contact vendors well in advance

With plenty of time to research vendors in the area, you will be able to compare their services and find those that are applicable for your wedding style.

4. Book accommodations for your guests

Be sure to block out hotel rooms and offer a few choices to ensure you meet the needs and budgets for all your guests.

5. Visit the location in person if possible

You want to ensure that everything appears as it does online. If you cannot, we recommend having your planner do a video walk through with you.

One of our many clients who picked Charleston as their location for a destination wedding.

6. Bring your dress on board the plane with you!

If it will be bunched up in a tight space, make arrangements for someone to professionally steam it upon your arrival at your destination.

7. Take into consideration the exchange rate if your wedding is international

Your budget at home can go a lot farther, or shorter, in another country. The customs in different locations will also be reflected in your budget (see #8).

8. If marrying overseas, learn the culture of the other country

You may want to add some of their traditions into your ceremony or reception. For example, Italy offers more orthodox wedding ceremonies while in Colombia the celebration lasts for an entire 24 hours! Adopting these rituals can alter your budget.

9. Consider all weather options

If you are getting married in an outdoor venue, be sure to have a backup plan in case of bad weather. Look at the potential indoor space and learn the layout to strategically plan for the set up of stations and seating to ensure your wedding runs smoothly.

10. Be relaxed and enjoy

This is the most wonderful experience of your life! By planning ahead, everything will fall perfectly into place that you and your guests will want to do it all over again!

An Intrigue wedding in Cancun, Mexico from 2012.

A Romantic Night Out for Two

Whether its a first date or an on-going ritual, all perfect date nights in Charleston must be romantic. In a city so saccharine, there’s no excuse for a night that leaves a bland taste in your mouth. So, let’s meet at a quintessential Italian eatery WAY North of Broad.

 Trattoria Lucca on Bogard Street features a vibrant array of authentic Italian cheeses, meats, wines and the freshest low country harvest. Let the owner and executive chef, Ken Vedrinski, do the cooking and tempt your taste buds with homemade pasta and riso like Tagliolini which features blue crab, anchovy, lemon & breadcrumbs.

If you’re not rolling out of Trattoria Lucca, hop on a pedicab to the bustling nightlife on Upper King and sneak into The Belmont for a night cap at a vintage themed bar. Their craft cocktails, such as their signature espresso martini, won’t disappoint and calls for a great end to the evening.

Local Tip!

 Trattoria Lucca is old school, so remember to call in order to make a reservation. Their menu changes daily, so every experience is unlike another. Buon appetito!

A few of our other favorites for an intimate date night: