If you’re getting married in South Carolina, what better place to get married than in the state capital of Columbia?!
If you’re from Columba, then you know just how many wonderful places and vendors there are – but if you’re a transplant, you might be spinning around in circles trying to make your picks. Luckily, since Katie is from the area and we shoot lots of wedding in the Columbia area, we want to help you out!
We finished our guide to getting married in Anderson, SC earlier this year, and we have heard so much great feedback. We figured we should do the same for Columbia because of how many brides we have getting married there this year and next.
For most couples, the first big decision they have to make is WHERE to get married.
Columbia has no shortage of incredible wedding venues. Through the years, we’ve shot several weddings in Columbia and we’ve loved all of them. But, if you’re looking for something beautiful and unique, then we have your top choice.
One of our favorite weddings EVER was at this venue (and not just because it was my cousin getting
married). 1208 Washington provides one of the most unique venues for a wedding you’ll find in Columbia.
Within this venue, you can get every type of look you want. From a classic ballroom with tons of window light, to an old vault!! in the reception space that you can use for your open bar, to a gorgeous open air ceremony space outside. You can have your ceremony outside in the open area or you can go for a classy indoor look. They can modify the venue to meet your needs.
After the ceremony, you’ll have PLENTY of room do bust a move as your wedding band plays your favorite songs!
One of the coolest things about the venue is the vault door – it makes for some pretty amazing pictures! Speaking of pictures, the venue is right in downtown Columbia just seconds from the statehouse, which gives you TONS of places to do portraits.
If there was an award for “most unique history” of a wedding venue, 701 Whaley would win for sure! The building was built WAY back in 1903 as a hub for the textile mills in the city.
It quickly became a place for the whole community to gather. They had a bowling alley, a dance hall, a barbershop and much more. Everyone around just called it “the Y”. Obviously, it looks very different than it used to back then.
In the 2000’s, a large part of the building collapsed. The city of Columbia declared the place too dangerous for anyone to enter. A couple of years later, a man saw the potential the building held, and 701 Whaley was born.
Today, the building is one of the most popular wedding venues in Columbia. 701 Whaley is used for more than just weddings, it’s also used for art shows, music events, or corporate events.
Their rental rates and packages allow you to rent out several different rooms based on your needs. Each rental will come with some of the basic necessities, like bar height tables, round tables, chairs, and more.
To say that Bonnie Brunt has a lot of experience is an understatement. She’s been making cakes for quite a while.
Cake making just started as a hobby for her, but thankfully, it turned into something so much more. The best part of getting a cake from Bonnie Brunt is it’s not only going to taste amazing (which is a must), but it’s also going to look beautiful.
On top of it all, the whole cake ordering process is so simple! You’ll be able to meet with staff, taste cakes, and then build your dream cake.
Now, I don’t want you to think Silver Spoon Bake Shop is JUST a wedding cake baker – they are SO much more. I mean, just go take a look at their gallery and their daily menu. If you’re ever just having a craving, I highly suggest you give them a call.
Erin even went to New York to attend the French Culinary Institute, where she got a degree in the Art of International Bread Baking (now, that’s my kind of diploma!).
Okay, it’s time for me to be honest – when it comes to wedding flowers, I can be VERY picky. The bouquets and the flowers can make a wedding REALLY pop.
We’ve worked with a lot of amazing florists in the past, but American Floral is one of our favorites. Every single piece we’ve seen of theirs was done perfectly, with so much attention to detail.
If you look at her previous customer reviews, you’ll quickly see how much she cares about all of her clients. They are going to do EVERYTHING they can to ensure you have the perfect pieces for your wedding day.
According to their website, Deloache has been “Columbia’s Local Florist Since 1947” – YES, since 1947! Now that’s a LONG time to be a floral company.
Not only have they been around for a long time, but they also have rave reviews. They have over 300 reviews with almost a perfect 5-star rating.
Deloache does every kind of floral arrangement you can think of. Everything from birthdays, just because, to especially weddings. Because they’ve been doing this so long, you know you’re going to get great customer service and excellent quality.
We were blown away when we saw some of their work for the first time!
If you’ve been to enough weddings or events in the Columbia area, then you’ve had The Southern Ways catering before! They are one of the biggest caterers in the area, and there is a reason so many people love them!
As a company, they’ve been operating for more than 30 years! Now that’s a lot of cooking! They’ve been picked as Columbia’s Best Caterer for more than 10 years in a row! A whole decade of the city’s favorite.
Their website says it best,
Southern Way’s philosophy is to provide the client with the most delectable food, the most attentive service, the most memorable presentations, and the most pleasurable event experience.
I dare you to look at the food on their website and not have your mouth water. Not only is Capital City Catering’s food AMAZING to look at, but it’s also SOOO yummy.
They have a lot of experience in catering to large events or smaller weddings. Regardless of how many guests you have, they will be able to fill each of them up with some of the best food you’ve ever had at a wedding.
Unlike a lot of other caterers out there, you’re going to have A LOT of options when building your menu. Plenty of unique dishes to choose from – not your typical “BBQ and sides.”
There are a lot of dress shops in the Midlands of South Carolina. Honestly, if you were to search for a dress shop, you could spend ALL DAY going to different shops.
The dress is the most important part of the wedding (right ladies?!). You want to ensure you find the PERFECT dress for your body and your dreams. Now, going to the right dress shop can help you get there.
You need a place where the owner or rep can help you pick out different options, give you advice, and show you love while you’re there. Buying a wedding dress is more than picking something off the rack – it’s an experience.
First of all, Everlyn’s Bridal isn’t TECHNICALLY in Columbia, but their service is so amazing, we decided to include it anyway. Technically, the shop is in Lugoff – not far from Columbia at all.
Why does Everlyn’s Bridal make our list? First of all, they’ve been selling dresses for over 27 years. All of that experience shows when you go shopping.
Everyone you talk to is educated and is dedicated to helping you find the perfect dress, regardless of your style.
Another reason we put them on our list is that they are almost a one-stop-shop for all things wedding outfits. Not only can they help you find the wedding dress of your dreams, but you can also shop for bridesmaids gowns, mother-of-the-bride’s gowns, and even rent tuxes! Literally, you can get EVERYTHING you need here!
The debate between band or DJ is a hotly contested argument. BUT, if you decide to go with a band, you HAVE TO choose the Station Seven Band.
Now, there are a lot of great bands in the Columbia, SC region, but there are no wedding bands who as wonderful as Station Seven Band or who will make your wedding reception so much fun.
They have an incredible set of songs which will keep your guests dancing all night long. They have an amazing sound, great presence, and they are SO much fun. We can’t say enough great things about the Station Seven Band.
Last time we photographed a wedding where they played, it was VERY difficult for us not to just dance the entire time (don’t worry, we did a little dancing as well).
Columbia, SC is always going to hold a special place in my heart. Everything from Williams-Brice stadium to the statehouse – it all means so much to me.
If you’re looking for a wedding in the middle of the city or a more rural wedding, Columbia can provide both! It has EVERYTHING you could want for a wedding.
We hope this guide is going to help you as you’re planning your wedding. It can be a VERY fun season of life, but it can also be very stressful. Even if you don’t use us as your photographer, we want to make the process as stress-free as we can!