Our Story

Meet Ann E. Rice Ervin and Lisa S. Rice, Boutique Principals

Something New: Represents Prosperity and Optimism for the Future

On May 23, 2009, Ann E. Rice married her high school sweetheart, Tucker Ervin. A few short weeks
before walking down the aisle, Ann E. followed in her father’s footsteps by graduating from the University of
South Carolina School of Law. With the bride-to-be preparing for both a new marriage and her
new career, she turned to the artistic eye and event-savvy skills of her mother, Lisa Rice, to make her big day
come together with ease.

Ann E. still reminisces about cake tastings and carefully placed monograms. Lisa laughs over her mother-of-the-bride dress saga that happily ended with the perfect mint-colored Romona Keveza gown to suit her style. Interestingly Lisa and Ann E. both wore Romona Keveza for Ann E.’s big day. Ann E. likes to talk about balancing city chic with classy fun to pay homage to her and Tucker’s hometown – Charleston, SC. Mom and daughter giggle about serving fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts after the band’s final number as a nod to Daddy Rice’s sweet tooth.

Tents draped in silver, white and ice blue, walls laced with white roses, and delicate detail by the talented Tara Guérard and team made this grand affair the talk of the town. Chats between mother and daughter in the years after often returned to bridal themes as the Rice ladies realized that they longed to collaborate again on another big mother-daughter endeavor. The idea to open their own bridal boutique soon developed.

The catch would be finding the perfect setting and a visionary who could blend both Ann E.’s and Lisa’s unique tastes into a premier boutique for the top wedding destination in the country (some might argue world!). To combine Ann E.’s creative spirit, her draw to the Big Apple and Telluride as well as her passion for all things equestrian with Lisa’s sophisticated taste for art, fasion and style would not be easy. Friends, family, and associates kept their ears open for an opportunity and a special person who could mesh mother’s and daughter’s unique styles into a cohesive, contemporary boutique capable of wooing a dynamic blend of Belles. In late August, the call came. Enter Michelle Miller. When Ann E. and Lisa met Michelle, they both knew right away she was the leader to execute their vision for a unique, traditionally modern boutique that would marry classic southern style with a touch of sass and create an elegant, haven for ladies who are preparing to walk down the aisle; not only the bride but also the moms and bridesmaids.

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Meet Michelle Miller, Boutique Buyer & Manager

Something Borrowed: Shows Shared Happiness and Strength

Michelle Miller was always one to make her own way. After finding her heart in San Francisco, Michelle was dismayed when the search for her own wedding dress devolved into a series of stressful appointments, intimidating interactions, and frayed frocks. Michelle’s frustration prompted her to do something better. If she could not find it, she would create it.

As with most great stories, Michelle’s path to bridal couture was not linear. Her journey spanned far and wide from a stint in Japan soon after graduation from UCLA to London, Telluride (a first overlap between her, Lisa and Ann E.), Boston and finally back to California where she found her true love. Michelle knew early on her niche was with people – connecting with them and providing them with superior experiences. The trick would be finding the right job to couple her talent for customer service with her devotion to design.

Michelle and her family eventually took a leap of faith by moving from Napa Valley to Charleston, SC. Landing in the midst of the number one bridal market in the United States, Michelle knew the stars had aligned and it was time to make her dream come to fruition. On October 12, 2014, she opened Southern Protocol Boutique in the heart of downtown Charleston. From the hand-painted gold hangers to the glittered floors, Michelle’s little labors of love can be found in every corner of the boutique.

As a self-taught fashionista, Michelle is drawn to designers based on the quality of their work and their attention to detail. She seeks artists who delve into fine pleats, thoughtful drapes, and craft construction. She also partners with designers who are comfortable with customization and open to executing unique visions. Her mission has always been to provide her clients with the flexibility to be creative in French silk and couture lace, all for a comparable price.

As a client, Michelle wants to hear your story. Her motivation is to welcome you as a friend, she likens each appointment to hosting a party. Whether the gown for you is on one of her gold hangers, Michelle will have you leave the boutique encouraged, educated, and one step closer to your dream dress. 

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The Boutique

Something Old: Reflective of Continuity and Tradition

Located on Market Street in the bustling center of downtown, Southern Protocol Bridal was the fourth wedding boutique founded on the Peninsula. The light, open space sparkles with lovely golden mirrors and shiny floors that invite you to peruse its organized rows of silk, lace, and dazzle.

In the beginning, the boutique housed event planning as well as bridal outfitting. Southern Protocol Bridal has moved away from event planning to focus exclusively on gowns and accessories, while expanding its reach to serve brides, mother-of-the-brides and grooms, debutantes, and many more leading ladies.

The boutique features an array of designers (many of them local). Each artist shares a unique approach, acute attention to detail, and inspiration that would resonate with any lady shopping for the perfect gown for the perfect occasion. Each special gown melds tradition with a twist maintaining classic elements while introducing a bit of contemporary flair.

Southern Protocol Bridal stands out from other boutiques with its nod to southern influence, comfort with customization and special requests, warm approach- all with affordable prices for quality pieces.

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