The William Aiken House
456 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
View their website
Average Base Cost: $35,000
Average base cost for a William Aiken House wedding is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list for a 6-hour event rental of the property on a Saturday night featuring top-shelf bar options and a seated meal. Transportation to venue, entertainment, decor, and flowers are not included. Average price includes 21% gratuity and 10.5% state sales tax. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.
How it breaks down:
Facility Rental Fee: $5,900 Saturday night venue fee covers 4 hours. Monday-Friday rentals are $3,700, and Sunday’s are $4,800.
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Catering: Their exclusive caterer is Fish Restaurant. Sample food options include: Appetizers:
- Oyster Roast: $150 set up. $200 for 100 oysters. Chef recommends 6 per person if doing it along with other food stations (12/pp if not).
- Sushi: $9/pp
- French Cheeseboard: $5.5/pp
- Soft Taco station: $8/pp
Seated dinner (3 course minimum):
- Soup: Tomato Basil-$7/pp
- Salad:Roasted Fennel-$8/pp
- Main Course: Duo of Beef Fillet/Golden Trout-$38/pp
- Vegetarian Option-Stuffed Portabellas-$19/pp
- Wedding Cake: $5/pp
Bar Packages: Full bar packages start at $17/per person per hour plus $5 each additional for the Silver package. The platinum bar package includes Ketel One, Maker’s Mark, Tanqueray, Mount Gay, wine, champagne, beer, and other premium brands for $25/per person for 3 hours, then $3 each additional hour.
Party On! While downtown Charleston has a noise ordinance that says events must end by 11 p.m., the William Aiken house is located in the business district closer to the center of downtown, so some staffers say that events have been known to go until midnight or 1 .a.m., so I wouldn’t be too worried about the 11 p.m. cutoff. Additional hours outside your 4-hour event time frame will cost you $500/per hour. (If you have an on-site ceremony, that’s considered an extra hour outside the standard 4.)
What’s Included in the Venue Fee? Use of the house and grounds as well as set-up, break down and post-event cleaning.
Space Type: Inside and Outside. All dj’s/bands must be set up outside.
Size: Inside can accommodate 64 (seated) guests in the main ballroom, 32 guests in the adjacent ballroom, and 64 guests on the second floor piazza (the covered balcony area). The outside areas can accommodate up to 288 people total. Click here to see the seating capacity chart. The entire property can accommodate up to 500 people (not all seated).
Food Service Type: Buffet or Seated
Bridal Suite: Two guest suites are available in the Carriage House for you or your friends/family to stay in. One for $175/night and the other for $195/night.
How Will Grandma Get There? Downtown hotels are very close by, such as the Francis Marion and a Hampton Inn, so guests can easily hop a cab to and from the venue.
Parking: Parking is available on street and nearby lots and garages.
Security: This is required by the venue, costs $35/hr.
Located in Charleston’s Upper King Design District, the house was built in 1810 by James Mackie, and sold to railway entrepreneur William Aiken. His son, former Governor William Aiken Jr., inherited the house in the 1830’s. The house became the headquarters for the Southern Railway roughly 50 years after it was built, and stayed that way for more than century. For all you Notebook movie buffs, the house was apparently used for the wedding dress fitting scene.
Woman Getting Married Says
If you’re looking for the classic Southern wedding venue, this is it. I can imagine guests sitting in the courtyard saying, “Well, I declare!” Charleston, South Carolina is a great destination wedding spot as well. The only downside (for me) to having a wedding in a house like this is that a group larger than 65 is going to be broken up into different rooms. And since you cannot have your music set up inside the house, you’ll have to have your dance-floor outside as well. However, with a house this beautiful it might be worth the trade-off. BONUS: I love how organized their website is, which makes me think their entire operation follows suit.
Click here to see pics from an adorable real wedding there. Note that they got married in a tent outside. More pics of the venue below.