AUGUST 6, 2020
If you’re looking for a wedding venue that boasts stunning architectural splendor and old-world romantic charm, the Francis Marion Hotel is the place for you.
People come to Charleston for its breathtaking natural beauty, genial Southern hospitality, and its rich history. One of the cornerstones of that historic past is the legendary Francis Marion Hotel. It’s named for Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, nicknamed “The Swamp Fox” because of the tremendous bravery he displayed as he led surprise attacks against the British along the Peedee and the Santee rivers.
Old World Elegance
The Francis Marion has been a cherished Charleston institution ever since it opened its doors for its first guests in 1924. Cutting-edge amenities such as automatic elevators, ice makers, and private bathrooms made it one of the most fashionable hotels of its time.
Since the very beginning, it’s been a vivacious hub of Charleston’s vibrant social scene.
In 1996, it underwent a multimillion-dollar restoration that brought the hotel into a new century while retaining all the distinctive sophistication that made it famous. Every one of the 234 guestrooms and suites was lavishly refurbished with plush furnishings and opulent marble baths.
When you walk into the lobby adorned with lush emerald ferns, crystalline candelabra-style chandeliers, sumptuously dressed floor to ceiling windows, and ornate neoclassical touches, it’s like you’ve been whisked back in time.
Weddings at the Francis Marion
Dining on divinely inspired cuisine, dancing in their well-appointed ballrooms, and relaxing in their tastefully furnished suites is all just a part of the unparalleled wedding experience at this fabulous hotel.
Engaging Event’s most recent wedding at the Francis Marion was for Bess and Matthew. They had their ceremony at Summerall Chapel, the ornate, Spanish-style chapel on the Citadel’s grounds. Cocktail hour was in the lobby of the Francis Marion, the bride’s childhood friend entertained guests on the beautiful baby grand piano. As always, food was an out-of-this-world culinary experience that the guests raved about! The hotel’s chef frequents the nearby farmer’s market to hand-select fresh ingredients for his imaginative dishes. Bess and Matthew hosted dinner in the Colonial Ballroom and the celebration continued with dancing in the Carolina Ballroom.
As a company, Engaging Events has been making sure to take every precaution when it comes to helping our couples celebrate. In July, we held a total of three weddings, with one at The Francis Marion. We’ve been sure to have both our staff and the venue’s staff wearing masks at all times. Temperature checks are required at the beginning of every shift, and we provide multiple hand sanitizer stations and masks to every single guest.
The dance floor has signs reminding everyone to practice social distancing. We’ve also been sure to add more dinner seating than a typical wedding; we’ve been seating families together, so that guests aren’t forced to sit with people that they haven’t quarantined with. Of course, we’ve been distancing dinner tables and ceremony chairs to ensure that people are able to social distance effectively.
Since no one has ever had to deal with a situation quite like this, we spent four months coming up with creative ideas to keep everyone safe so that your wedding will be everything you dreamed it would be.
Two of our amazing brides who held their weddings in July 2020 (one was held at The Francis Marion!), took the time to review our services during this unique time. Read what they have to say below!
The Hotel’s Three Ballrooms
The Francis Marion Hotel has several ballrooms to choose from for your wedding or reception.
The Gold Ballroom has been meticulously preserved, and today looks very much how it looked in 1924. It truly is a marvel of historical restoration. It’s adorned with gorgeous handcrafted trim and moldings. The ballroom’s most striking features are the hardwood floors, crystal chandeliers, and fireplace with antique mirror. The ballroom also includes a 3,010 square foot orchestra balcony with room for up to 130 people.
The 3,600 square foot Colonial Ballroom is the hotel’s original dining room located just off the grand lobby. Some notable features of this ballroom are the eight expansive Palladian windows overlooking Marion Square Park, offering beautiful natural light and a magnificent fireplace with breathtaking ornamental furnishings. The Colonial Ballroom holds 200 people.
The 4,500 square foot Carolina Ballroom was added to the hotel in 2004. It has a more contemporary feel without sacrificing the signature elegance that the hotel is famous for. Events in this ballroom hold a capacity of up to 300 people.
There is so much to do in Charleston, even within walking distance of the hotel!
When you exit the front doors, you’ll be on King Street. This lively hub of urban activity is filled with countless opportunities to do a little shopping, have an amazing culinary experience, or sample Charleston’s vibrant nightlife.
The hotel is within strolling distance of the dazzling gardens and world-class museums that have made Charleston one of the South’s crown jewels. It’s also right next to the College of Charleston and not too far from the South Carolina Aquarium and Charleston’s City Market.
Marion Square Park is right across the street if you want to soak up some sunshine or take in a festival. There’s a farmer’s market every Saturday morning from April to December.
Engaging Events and The Francis Marion Hotel
We love having the chance to work with all of the different venues in Charleston, and we’re so happy to hear that they’re happy to work with us, too. Here’s a sweet review that Gillian Crum, Director of Catering and Convention Services at the Francis Marion, said about working with us:
“I LOVE working with Engaging Events because they are very organized with every detail. They are always available when needed and provide for you all the details you need. They are extremely easy to work with throughout the planning process, during the Event, and after the Event. Every wedding that they have has every detail covered, and the flowers are always gorgeous.”
Given the fact that the Francis Marion hosts about 50 weddings each year, we consider that some pretty high praise! As a Charleston luxury wedding planner for the last 16 years, we’ve helped our satisfied clients plan over 500 wedding-related events; Click Here to view some of our past weddings that we’ve held at The Francis Marion Hotel. We’ll effortlessly guide you through the wedding planning process, creating a stress-free experience that you’ll cherish for the rest of your days.