Historic Rice Mill hosts first Charleston NotWedding

The NotWedding was not too shabby. Even better than some real weddings we’ve been to.

Posted by Kalyn Oyer, Charleston City Paper

Fake weddings might be even better than real ones. The NotWedding, founded by spunky Atlanta girl Callie Murray, hosted scrumptious samples of everything a bride-to-be might have her eye on when planning her own big day and threw a shindig to be remembered.

The Historic Rice Mill was a lovely venue for the event, looking out onto sunny skies glimmering against the breeze-blown marsh grass and rippling water of the harbor. Before the ceremony began, guests could be seen strolling along the docks, taking in some ocean breezes in cocktail dresses and suits.

The jackets came off and the sweat dripped during the outdoor ceremony, which was unfortunately on the opposite side of the Mill, where the wind wasn’t blowing. My date ended up fanning me with the wedding invitation as I snapped some pictures of the gorgeous hanging lanterns in the oak trees overhead. Everyone was staring longingly at the doors inside and, I’m sure, crossing off the idea of an outdoor summer Southern wedding in 90 degree weather. Not fun for anyone.

Luckily, the ceremony was short. Jack Johnson-esque music played as the bride and groom (really a couple renewing their vows) walked down the aisle past the vintage church pews used as seating that guests were ogling.  The bride had on a beautiful feathered wedding gown and some pearlescent jewelry. The I-dos featured a spoken word minister who read off the vows in poetry, my favorite personal touch. After the couple sealed it with a kiss in front of an innovative backdrop made of ombred paint swatches, guests were moved inside.

The Historic Rice Mill has a breathtaking interior, boasting a grand entryway, exposed-brick walls, and separate rooms for dancing, dining, and wandering. An antique chair stood out in the entryway, which was the perfect spot to escape and take pictures later in the evening.

The indoor space was packed with the 250 guests all scrambling toward the bar. The space wouldn’t normally have been so full, but one huge room was taken up with vendor tables that were moved inside at the last minute due to the intense heat outdoors.

My date and I decided to head to one of the three food stations set up first. We were pleasantly surprised with some adorable mini hamburgers and French fries. The other tables featured some flavorful pasta and mini tacos, and of course the champagne was flowing. By the time our plates were full, all the seating inside and outside on the deck was full, so we ended up setting up at a windowsill right outside with a great view of the harbor. The breezes were blowing, so the weather was pleasant and we got to admire the cute décor outside, which included Spanish moss hanging from the chandeliers, a very Southern touch.

Within the first hour the vendors were busy, as guests wandered through asking millions of wedding questions while nibbling on their half-empty plates. There were booths set up for everything from photography to hair and makeup to honeymoon ideas.

By the time the vendor tables were perused and the cake was cut, the band was in full swing and the dance floor was jamming. Charleston Groove Factory played the tunes, including their own rendition of “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore.

After doing some grooving of my own, I got to interview the “groom,” Harrison Trammell, who explained just what this event meant to him. “My wife and I were married January of 2012, and it’s great to be able to re-live our wedding in this environment. It’s a lot of fun and we are just glad to help out these vendors and just be a part of it,” he said, before heading off to answer questions about his spiffy floral-backed vest.

My absolute favorite part of the night was getting to be a part of the sparkler “tunnel of love.” Instead of throwing rice or blowing bubbles, the guests lit sparklers as the bride and groom made their escape. The couple ran through twice, making guests giggle, and then finally climbed into the getaway car, a super cute London Black Cab, with “Just Married” classically displayed on the back window.

Before everyone parted ways, cute sackcloth gift bags with bride and groom-topped bubbles and a candy kiss and hug inside were handed out. The Cupcake food truck provided some yummy red-velvet cake-pops for dessert.

Best fake wedding I’ve ever been to.