Finally! The Southern Protocol Boutique is here!

As Southern Protocol, premiere wedding and event planners of the South, we are pleased to announce the opening of our retail location, Southern Protocol Boutique. The shop will open in September 2014 and be located in the King Street Shopping District at 164 Market Corner in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

Our new boutique will combine the finest wedding gown and formal accessory designers – each new to Charleston and available exclusively at Southern Protocol Boutique – with specialty event styling and event planning. The boutique will include an elegant and refined collection of accessories and products for the well-appointed bride, formal event dressing, and entertaining at home.

We are pleased to announce the initial group of designers available at Southern Protocol Boutique, all making their first appearance in the Charleston market including Lea-Ann Belter, Matthew Christopher, Carol Hannah, Haute Bride, Ivy & Aster, and Nicole Miller, Custom Lula Kate, among others. Southern Protocol Boutique will maintain an assortment of incredible new styles and products from design houses in the United States and Europe unavailable anywhere else in Charleston. We will provide everything a bride or event guest needs to attend a celebration in gracious, individual style. As we know, from Carrie Bradshaw, the dress can change the whole feel of the wedding and set the bar for design!

Monroe (1) IMG_2774 website_nim_hk0006_backSouthern Protocol will continue to provide the South’s most original and timeless wedding and event planning services with a new event design studio, also located at 164 Market Street; A gracious and beautiful new studio in which to meet and create the celebrations of a lifetime.


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The Flagship: Carol Hannah

10472976_10202015526458478_117245417_njbrnd3000412560_q1_1-0_336x596How much do we love Carol Hannah?
Let us count the ways. Reason #1: The Alliette Bustier made of silk faille and lamb skin leather. The bustier is not only for the fashion forward bride but could transition & be worn with black tuxedo pants to stand out at any gala!


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Celebrate! Lowcountry Love with Lizzy & Timmon…

We are so thrilled to have quite the spread in Celebrate Magazine~ Lizzy & Timmon’s charming Lowcountry wedding had all the perfect touches; Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley River, a beautiful lace dress, seersucker suits, some of the most beautiful peonies you’ve ever seen, monograms, lanterns, beer pairing at each of the chef stations by our “go-to” Cru Catering~ all captured by the ever incredible Alice Keeney!
Pick up a copy of this fabulousness! http://www.celebratemag.com/



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All Things Vintage

I am a sucker for vintage pieces. I love vintage jewelry, furniture, and I’m actually in the process of convincing my husband to let me get this 1970′s Land Cruiser. There’s just something about old pieces that brings me joy.

Last week, I talked about the vintage inspired Collette Dinnigan wedding gowns that I love so much. Now, I’m going to share with you my love for vintage wedding decor. I’ve always been a huge fan of incorporating vintage items into weddings, and Sarah Murdoch from 428 Main is my go to gal for these beautiful items. She caters to anybody looking to add a little vintage flair to their wedding or party, and she makes sure it looks fabulous! Here are just a few of my favorites that we’ve used in our past weddings…


I love everything about this… from the ice blue velvet sofa to the lovely bride and groom.


I love an unexpected pop of emerald green!


Of course you don’t have to add a big vintage piece… these nice copper cups make for a great center piece!


I’ve been known to use this ‘cocktails’ sign a time or two…

What do you think? Would you add vintage pieces to your wedding or party?


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TBT to Summer Weddings

Throwing it back to some summer weddings to help get us through these chilly winter days!


This sweet picture is from a wedding back in 2011. The couple pictured are Kelly and Mike, and I remember thinking during their first dance that I had never seen a couple so genuinely excited to be married!



This is a setup at a wedding that took place at Lowndes Grove Plantation. Lowndes Grove is one of many venues in Charleston that offers the perfect back drop to any summer wedding.


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Cold Weather Soups

I am all about some soups during cold winter months, and this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup ladies and gentlemen is probably my new favorite. It’s sort of like chicken noodle soup… but better. I mean anything that calls for white wine can’t be bad, right? The recipe makes 14 cups and only takes about an hour start to finish. Make room in your refrigerator because you will want to have the leftovers for lunch the next day!


Southern Living


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Welcome to Engagement Season

With engagement season in full swing, it has been crazy town here at Southern Protocol. We’ve been getting inquiry’s left and right while also trying to finalize Spring weddings. This past weekend I was busy with three clients doing tastings, design meetings, logistics, and going over floral arrangements. Below is a picture I snapped between bites at a tasting at The Mills House for a rehearsal dinner. We ate short rib, mahi, grouper, and pork which were all insanely good. We even had an ongoing joke with the bride, who is from the North, and the groom, who is from the South that the ghost of Robert E. Lee will be making a guest appearance at the rehearsal dinner.

Wait until you see what Sara and Hannah were planning with their fabulous clients as well~ but I think we’re going to need a champagne break soon!



Charleston Stems


Rice Mill


Harborside East

Can’t wait for  you to see pictures of the weddings and rehearsal dinners that will be taking place at The Mills House, Rice Mill, and Harborside East…stay tuned for #fabulousness


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Foodie Friday

There are still 3 days left of Charleston Restaurant Week, and trust me, you do NOT want to miss out! I chose Sermet’s for my Restaurant Week meal, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Just make sure you come with a big appetite! With restaurant choices like these, it’s pretty hard to go wrong! Head on over to Charlestonrestaurantassociation.com to find a full list of restaurant options as well as their menus for restaurant week.


Oyster lovers be sure to check out the Lowcountry Oyster Festival happening at Boone Hall Plantation next Sunday, January 26. Named one of the “top 20 events in the southeast,” this festival will include: live music, oyster shucking, wine & beer, and food from eight local restaurants. So, even if you’re not an oyster lover you will surely be able to find something to please your palate!


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Merging Households

If you’ve ever moved into a dorm room or apartment with new roommates you know how chaotic everything can be at first. Trying to declutter and make room for everyone’s stuff can be tiresome to say the least. Another major challenge is trying to deal with all the different color schemes and styles going on. Luckily, Apartment Guide has given some helpful tips to make move in day a bit less stressful. Here are some tips we found to be helpful…

Lay some ground rules. Does the starting sheet on the toilet paper roll go on the top or on the bottom? Does the toilet seat stay up or down? Who does the dishes and who takes out the trash? Deciding who will do which chores now will save you a lot of hurt feelings and nights on the couch later.

Money, money, money. If you’re going to combine your bank accounts, you’ll need to settle who will pay the bills. If you’re keeping everything separate, you’ll still need to decide who will pay the cable, who will pay the electricity, etc. Do this now so there aren’t any misunderstandings or cancellation notices in your future.

Redecorate together. Guys, that inflatable chair and milk crate ensemble might have been great for the dorm room, but you’re a grown-up now. Let it go. Ladies, no pink, flower prints or stuffed animals on the bed. If you have the means, buy your living room suite and other furniture together, picking out things you both like that will go well with your new abode

If you have the space, designate one room of the house or apartment as a place where your girl or guy can do whatever they wish, and you don’t have to see their collection of unicorns, neon beer signs or Pez dispensers.

After you are all settled in be sure to make use of the new dishware you registered for and host a party with some of your closest friends!


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What we’re Obsessing Over…

It’s hard to stay away from shopping all of the post holiday sales that have been going on online. Some of our favorite go to sites are: Gilt, Shopbop, & Revolve Clothing, which seem to always have great deals and steals! Shopbop also has a “wedding boutique” page where you can find anything from a beautiful white gown to hair accessories and shoes. They carry short and long dresses worthy of any bride’s budget. Here is one dress we would love to see a Charleston bride walking down the aisle in…


Found here.

We love the vintage inspired looks in these Collette Dinnigan wedding gowns… they’re nothing less of fun, flirty, and romantic!

What Lizz is obsessing over…

One of Lizz’s current obsessions, which came in great use during last week’s unusually cold weather, is her Ya Los Angeles brown winter fur coat which she purchased at GiGi’s in Bluffton, SC. She is also loving her new orange Kate Spade necklace (which she is waiting to wear when the post Auburn loss wears off) and her sassy cowboy boots!

photo 2-2

What Sara is obsessing over…

Her new brown leather booties which she purchased at the Nine West outlet have seen some love this month. The best part about these booties? You can dress them up or down! Sara has worn them to work, meetings with clients, and out to the bars. We love affordable yet stylish boots!


What Hannah is obsessing over…

We are swooning over Hannah’s new Tory’s she got for Christmas! A pair of tall leather black boots are a must for every woman of style!

photo 1-2

Hannah has her eye on this piece by Dolce Vita, which she hopes to pair with a fun necklace for an upcoming Charleston wedding! We love!


Dolce Vita Aaleya Dress


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The Blog is Back!

Happy 2014!!!

I know it’s been awhile since we’ve posted, but we are back up and running, and ready to share what 2014 has in store for Southern Protocol!

I hope everybody had a fab holiday and brought in the New Year with a bang (I know we did!) Here’s what we were up to over the holiday…

Lizz celebrated most of the holiday with her husband and three kids in Charleston where she got her second office mascot, Bandit, the precious Yorkie-Poo (see pics below!) She then made a quick trip up to North Carolina to her home town of Winston Salem where she got news that she’s going to be an aunt! Lizz rang in the New Year in Kiawah, which was sadly cut short due to catching the flu :(

IMG_3498Lizz with Bandit in tow as they go for a bike ride in Kiawah.


IMG_3473Lola and her new pink BB gun… precious!


IMG_3503Only the most appropriate sweater to wear on New Year’s Eve.


Sara headed up to the wintry Midwest to be with her family for a long Christmas break, but luckily missed the Polar Vortex! After lots of good food, celebrating and warm fires, she came back just in time for a December 29 Cotton Dock wedding.  Guests enjoyed a hot chocolate bar, a build your own trail mix bar, and dancing on the dock under bulb lights in the unexpected warm (dry!) weather, amidst lots of candles and gold curly willow branches! It was a perfect wedding to end the year.

Instead of going to the big NYE parties this year, Sara hosted her own little soiree in her downtown home where friends enjoyed lots of champagne, shrimp, pigs in a blanket, and some homemade dips!

IMG_0393Sara looking glam in her sparkly mini on NYE.


IMG_5808Sparkly bar cart… a NYE must!


IMG_1489The lovely winter wedding of Jenn and Nathan Milhous

Hannah spent the holidays with her close friends and family in her hometown Columbus, Ga. Each Christmas Eve, Hannah and her family partake in an annual stocking exchange. Every stocking is labeled with a descriptive adjective, such as wild, smart, fabulous, etc. Her family votes on which one best describes each person based on their behavior all year. Hannah has been awarded “the good one” for the past two years, and we are not at all surprised!

Just a couple of days after Christmas, Hannah attended her sister’s debutante ball where she got to see her sister presented to society. For New Years Eve, Hannah got to enjoy being a bridesmaid in her good friend Katherine Brandon’s wedding. The wedding was held on the charming St. Simons Island in Georgia, at the Frederica Golf Course. Hannah was thrilled to watch her friend marry, not to mention enjoy a wedding that she did not have to plan! Certainly a New Years Eve for the books!

photo 2The Grogan clan posing with their Christmas stockings

photo 1Hannah with her sister, the debutante!

photo 3With the beautiful bride at the reception in St. Simons, Ga.

This New Year’s Eve Pamela went to the Snyder Grand Ball at the aquarium…talk about a great time! Between the delish food, fun music, awesome location and great friends it was bound to be one of the best New Years yet. After hours of dancing and seeing old and new friends the champagne was flowing and it was time to ring in the new year. The Grand ball was definitely a great way to celebrate the new year in style!

1559753_10201370198605621_496243669_nPamela ringing in the New Year with friends at the aquarium

1526672_10201353199980666_873195207_nNew Year’s selfies!

 photo-2The party crowd at the aquarium this year



Okay.. now let’s talk Golden Globes! I’m not sure what I was expecting this year, but I will say that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the only entertaining part of this year’s Globes. I sat down at 6 o’clock with my glass of wine to soak up some red carpet fashion, and picked out some celebs who I thought absolutely hit it… and some who absolutely missed it.


 It is crazy to see how J Law has blown up in Hollywood since her role in The Hunger Games. She also managed to take over social media last night as the term “Lawrencing” became a trending topic. I thought she absolutely rocked this black and white Dior gown and (thankfully) did not trip as she walked up to receive the first award of the night.


Leave it to Kerry Washington to look amazing (as per usual) as she walked the red carpet showing off her cute baby bump. I like how she kept her look neat and classy, while another soon to be mommy, Drew Barrymore, seemed to be dressed like Valentine’s Day from head to toe.


I wasn’t a huge fan of the dress… but Barrymore’s hair and makeup looked gorgeous!


Lupita Nyong’o looked stunning in this Ralph Lauren gown! She deserves SOMETHING for her red carpet look… she looked like a goddess.


The dress? Great. The hair? Beautiful. I used to say Heidi Klum can do no wrong… but I may have spoken too soon as she seemed to run into trouble with the tassel necklace she wore last night.


And last but certainly not least… my favorite gown of the evening goes to Cate Blanchett. This girl looked like royalty in her black lace Armani gown, and I love how she’s never afraid to take a fashion risk!

All red carpet looks found here


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Photo courtesy of jessicaNdesigns

I officially bought my first Christmas present yesterday, which is huge news; this may be the first time in my 26 years that I’ve started holiday shopping before the month of December rolls around, and now I have this urge to just knock the rest of it out! Imagine a festive holiday season free of “finding the perfect gift” stress, and in its place you have more time to watch Elf and sip pomegranate champagne cocktails. #perfectChristmas.

While moving on to shop for other members of my family, I remembered jessicaNdesigns, a website I mentally dog-tagged, thinking it would be a great place to find that unique gift for moms, sisters, grandmothers, etc. After taking a peek around the site again, I had to share it with y’all – the Southern Protocol office has been abuzz for the past 30 minutes ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all the adorable hand stamped items! I admit that I was immediately drawn to specifically the personalized jewelry section of the site, but the spoons, spreading knives, wedding section (calling all brides!) and key chains are equally charming.

I am a big lover of rings, whether they be everyday or cocktail, so am always on the hunt for cute discoveries. So when I saw these darling “true love” stacking rings, I started thinking of all the people, myself included, who would love them! Perfect gift for newly engaged friends, don’t you think? The gold family necklace is also sure to be a hit with mom or grandma. Gifts that are personalized AND pretty are hard to come by, and these fit the bill!

And if the sweetly designed website and homemade charm of the products doesn’t convince you these pieces should be on your wish list this season, then maybe knowing that Lauren Conrad recently purchased them for her own wedding will push you over the edge ;)

Thanks to the fabulous Sarah Murdoch of 428 Main for being the one to clue me into this site – it’s one of her childhood friends behind the realm at jessicaNdesigns! Talk about crafty, talented friends, eh?



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Trends for 2014!

Alright ladies!! The verdicts are in. Fall Bridal Market was a huge success with designers revealing their freshest looks, couture beauties, and of course the trends for the next wedding season… and we are loving it.

Southern Protocol’s loveliest of fashion-savvy friends, Marie Claire Magazine, who once did a feature on our own Alexa Wyatt (read here), has a fabulous rundown of their 10 favorite dresses from the best of the best! From fluttering Monique to edgy Vera, these gowns will make any bride with an eye for fashion swoon.  See the runway rundown here.














Here are a few of my favorite looks from the Monique Lhuillier Spring 2014 collection. I could see a Southern Protocol bride in any one of these couture gowns! Whether she’s into a sleek silhouette, a feminine a-line gal, or an etherial lace type, any one of these would make a groom’s jaw hit the aisle… which let’s be honest, ladies, is the goal!

Okay, so here are a few trends to look for:
































































4. OMBRE (my personal favorite!)





















5. ABOVE-THE-KNEE (doesn’t everyone love a good Shorty?!)





















6. BLACK AND WHITE     (Imagine this stunner at a black-tie winter wedding… I die)






















See more examples of these trends here!

So needless to say, it’s looking like our 2014 brides are going to have a lot to choose from. St. Louis, Nashville, and Charleston better get ready!!!


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St. Louis! Keep your Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Give Me Vera!

It’s October, people! The month of changing leaves, college football, candy corn… oh, and copious amounts of beautifully crafted Fall weddings. However, while all of you ladies are talking about your Pumpkin Spice Lattes and new boots, the thing about October that makes my heart skip a beat is knowing that in just a few short days the runways of NYC will be filled with the latest bridal fashion masterpieces of the season! Thats right, it’s Market time. Finally, the secret creations of Vera, Monique, and Romona will be revealed in all their couture glory and we will be able to catch a glimpse of the trends that will determine the next year of bridal fashion.
I had the extreme pleasure of attending New York Bridal Week in Fall of 2011, and let me tell you, in that context, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. I was captivated! The colors, the silhouettes, the textures, the designers, the glamour of it all was simply incredible. Sitting front row in the Legends by Romona Keveza show was one of the many fashion highlights of that weekend. I was completely mesmerized as the hand beaded trims of gown after gown literally brushed my feet!
(Funny story, if you look at the photo below from the show, you can see my face right in front of that obnoxious iPad on the right side of the runway)

Andraya at the Romona Keveza runway

From the runways, to meeting designers, to the Martha Stewart Weddings party, that trip was pretty much perfection. But I must say, there is nothing that beats the feeling of seeing one of my brides in her gown for the first time. Regardless of whether it’s form fitting lace or full skirted taffeta, there’s just something about a woman putting on the most important outfit of her life, looking in the mirror for the first time and welling up with tears that just makes me love my job even more. On the runway the gowns represent  fashion and design, but once on a bride the layers of white and ivory material take on a whole new purpose!

Here are some of my favorite Southern Protocol brides’ wedding day fashions:

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I was so thankful for stores in Charleston like Maddison Row, Modern Trousseau, LulaKate and Gown Boutique of Charleston for providing our local and destination brides alike with abundant options of couture gowns to choose from for their wedding days. And now I have the joy of one day gown searching with brides in the best bridal boutiques in St Louis like Fleur de Lis and Town & Country Bridal Boutique!

I am so excited about getting Southern Protocol St Louis rolling! Expect big things.

So this weekend you better believe my fashion-obsessed self will be on pins and needles awaiting the visual verdict of what the Bridal Fashion gods and goddesses have decided to be the newest terms of fresh and beautiful for brides all over the world! It makes me that much more excited to see what my future St Louis brides will decide to wear on their special day.


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Lindsay & Adam at William Aiken House by Southern Protocol Weddings

Paige Winn Photography captured another beautiful Southern Protocol Wedding, this one by Sara Hosch at William-Aiken House in downtown, Charleston, South Carolina.

See all of Paige’s magnificent photos of the wedding here.

so pro paige


Wedding lighting design and audio by AV Connections of Charleston, SC.


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