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Welcome back to our Southern Hospitality feature! Each month, we pick a Southern city and an expert host. Our host shares their favorite items custom to that city that would be perfect packed into a welcome bag for family and friends at a weekend wedding. There’s nothing like Southern hospitality, especially at a destination wedding!

What better city to pick for our next Southern Hospitality tote than Charleston, one of, if not THE, most popular wedding destinations in the South? More importantly, Charleston is home to as much Southern history and culture as the skies are wide! Fortunately, I’ve been able to travel to Charleston many a time for weddings, photo shoots and visiting family who live in the area. In fact, I’ll be dropping by Charleston to board my cruise next week (literally counting down the minutes until water and sunshine)!

We asked our friend Charlotte, of Charlotte Elizabeth Photographer, who Emily bumped into at Engage last fall, to be our expert this month, and she did a fabulous job! See her picks below, and, Charleston natives, be sure comment with suggestions of what you might add!

A. Bar of Sweeteeth Chocolate. Local chocolatier, Johnny Battles, whips up small-batch chocolate bars that are to die for! Charlotte’s absolute favorite is the “Sea is for Caramel” bar. The wrapper has adorable little drawings to boot. ($5.00 for 1 bar)

B. Sweetgrass Palmetto Rose. The Sweetgrass baskets have been a part of Charleston/Mt. Pleasant culture for more than 300 years! Throwing in a palmetto rose would be a cute touch! ($10.00 for 6)

C. Copy of Charleston Magazine. I can’t think of a better introduction to this beautiful and vibrant town. Charlotte subscribes to this mag and reads it cover to cover every month. There is an extensive calendar of events at the back of the mag that your guests can use as a guideline for their weekend. ($7.95 for 1 magazine)

D. Copy of Charleston Art Mag. It’s the best guide to Charleston’s creative scene, including information about Charlotte’s favorite aspect of town: The French Quarter Art Galleries. (free)

E. South Carolina Magnet. A South Carolina or Charleston specific magnet would be a cute souvenir to throw in your hospitality tote. You could even look into printing custom magnets or stickers. (price varies)

F. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. Crafted in a small still on Wadamalaw Island (say it with me now: wah-dah-maw-law), Firefly tastes like sweet tea but has a big kick! Charlotte and her husband keep a bottle in the fridge during the summer for when unexpected visitors pop by. They serve it over ice with a splash of water and lemon. ($20.00 for 1 liter, but can purchase airplane bottles for sampling)

G. Charleston Tea Plantation Loose Tea. Charlotte’s personal favorite is the peach. This would be especially perfect for the couple that marries at the tea plantation! ($9.95 for 1.6 oz. of tea)

H. Carolina Plantation Stone Ground Grits. Need I say more? It’s the South, y’all! Attach a personalized recipe card to add a touch of personalization. ($6.00 for a 1 lb bag)

I. Benne Wafers from Olde Colony Bakery. No hospitality tote would be complete without Benne Wafers. Benne, which means sesame, was brought from East Africa and planted extensively throughout the South. These sweet and salty wafers have been unique to the Low Country since colonial times. They are delicious and buttery! ($3.50 for a 5 oz. bag)

J. Custom Map from Studio R. I love it when a hospitality tote includes a menu of events or recommendations of places to eat and drink chosen by the bride and groom. Why not come up with your own map of things to do and places to see as well as an itinerary of where to be and when? Charlotte’s friend, Rachael Blessinger can help you come up with a one-of-a-kind illustration. (prices vary)

K. Tickets for a Bicycle Taxi Ride. Why not coordinate 1 free Rickshaw Ride for your guests with one of the local pedicab companies? Design your own “pedicab pass!” ($5.00 for 15 minutes, not including tip)

You can check out even more of Charlotte’s favorite things here!

We paired these expert picks with a tote design by Sarah Reed of Dodeline Design. Is this not just adorable? You can download it here to take to your local screen printer for a tote of your own. Thank you, Sarah!

From the Charleston area and have additional suggestions to add to our tote? What did you love about Charleston if you’ve visited before? Have a city in mind for future posts? Comment below and let us know!

Dodeline Design is a member of our fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Check out past totes:
Nashville
Atlanta
Austin
Richmond
Emerald Coast

Written with love by Sierra
12 Comments
  1. avatar Carly Totten reply

    Oh my!! I can’t even begin to talk about my love of Charleston – it’s big, y’all! I’m from outside of Philadelphia, and I am so lucky to be able to travel to Charleston quite frequently, including a trip this past weekend. I have to add pralines from Market Street Sweets to your list of items to include. They are beyond delicious (I die!), and there are shops selling these sweets throughout the city. Market Street Sweets has to be my favorite place to purchase them though. The tote designed by Sarah is awesome and so is she!

  2. avatar charlotte reply

    Thanks so much for including me for this cute little post! I had so much fun contributing! :-)

  3. avatar Theresa reply

    Can you do a feature on Hilton Head Island?

  4. avatar Sheila reply

    I’m proud to say I’m a native of Charleston. And I love the selections. The tote bag is great and Sarah’s designs are beautiful and representative of Charleston.

  5. avatar Jenny Clark reply

    Loved the tote featured in Tara Gerard wedding yesterday. Any chance I can get the template for that design?? Thanks!!

  6. avatar Southern Hospitality: Charleston Tote by Southern Weddings | Olde Colony Bakery | Home of the Original Charleston Benne Wafer | Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, USA reply

    […] http://iloveswmag.com/2012/02/29/southern-hospitality-charleston-tote/ […]

  7. avatar Christine reply

    I’m looking to make a welcome basket for an event being held in Charleston and was interested in including palmetto roses. The link above that said you could get six for $10 doesn’t seem to be working. Would you happen to know if they are still being sold? Thanks!

  8. avatar Kristina Weatherlow reply

    please help, I would really like this download for the tote bad but I cant get it to work. do you still offer the file?

  9. avatar Melissa reply

    Love it! Any chance that the file for the tote is still available? I’d love to use it!

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