Knot 100 Most Inspiring People Names Calder Clark

The Knot 100 Most Inspiring People of 2017 Names Calder Clark to its Exclusive List

Knot 100 Most Inspiring People
Knot 100 Most Inspiring People- what? What an amazing accolade to receive! We are humbled beyond belief to be included in the latest list of The Knot Wed 100. I only hope our contribution to the industry continues to be inspirational to folks, and that we raise collectively the level of art we produce for the fabulous group of people we all call clients.

One of the most touching parts of the letter included Director of Education & Industry Innovation Anja Winikka’s thoughts on what makes this list great, and it made me stop and think for just a moment. She said, “Great work is a given with you. But it was equally important to us that everyone on this list be an open and honest person – willing to teach others and lift up our industry in the spirit of community.”

This job, like many, has its peaks + valleys, its crazy vicissitudes. It can be grueling and thankless; it can be invigorating and blissful. At the end of the day, a rising tide lifts all boats . . . and we are thrilled to be a part of the rising tide, to lift up our peers and be lifted by their ingenuity as well.

Charleston Weddings Spring 2017 – Ladies Who Lunch

Charleston Weddings Spring 2017 – Ladies Who Lunch

Charleston Weddings Spring 2017 is out on stands, and we’re just thrilled they feature our lovely bride Meggie, as well as an inspiration shoot we designed called “Ladies Who Lunch“. Below are all the great tidbits directly from the article, as shot by Gayle Brooker.

Luncheon Place Setting; Gayle Brooker; Planters Inn; Charleston Weddings Spring 2017

The Backstory

When we ask featured brides what they loved most about their weddings—aside from actually tying the knot with their beloved—they talk about the time spent with friends and family; it’s something they often say they wish they had indulged in more than just on the day itself. We’ve all fallen into the trap of getting caught up by to-do lists rather than catching up with loved ones during the final countdown. But that’s where a bridal luncheon comes in, creating an oasis of sentiment and sanity amid the melee. Typically (especially in the South) hosted by a bride as a thank-you to her wedding party, mother, mother of the groom, and close female relatives, the gathering is usually held the day before the nuptials.
For this springtime fête, we called on Charleston-based event guru Calder Clark—named one of the best planners in the world by Vogue, a top U.S. planner by Harper’s Bazaar, and one of the best planners in the country by Martha Stewart Weddings (accolades all from 2016, no less)—to craft a get-together at a hidden gem downtown: the Planters Inn courtyard, where the iconic Peninsula Grill caters stellar affairs. For the models, we enlisted a troupe of CharlestonCharleston Weddings, and Charleston Fashion Week® interns past, one mother of a former intern to pose as the MOB, and a fabulous wild-card MOG.
Calder says small outdoor parties like this are no-brainer winners. “I’m convinced we don’t do this enough,” she says. “Everyone loves a light breeze and a little nosh outdoors—it’s like an elevated picnic.” Read on for her tips and takeaways for a gorgeous milestone celebration that only happens during this very special chapter in your life.
Pretty Bridesmaids; Planters Inn luncheon; Calder Clark; Gayle Brooker; Charleston Weddings

What They Wore

(above, from left): Brelyn in Elizabeth and James’ “Annaline” top and “Aisling” skirt in rose from Beckett Boutique; choker from V2V; STEVEN by Steve Madden’s “Vienna” pumps from Belk; Santi clutch from Berlin’s for Women. “Bride” Hannah in Self Portait’s trumpet-sleeved shift dress in white from Hampden Clothing; gold bracelet, earrings, and diamond and gold ring from Croghan’s Jewel Box; gold and gemstone rings from RTW; Kate Spade wedge sandals from Belk. Berna in Finders Keepers’ “Real Slow” dress from Sapphire Boutique; Steve Madden’s “Stecy” pumps from Belk. (on table) Whiting & David’s “Dimple Mesh Minaudiere” clutch in pewter from Shoes on King.
Read more in the latest Charleston Weddings, or keep digging below!
Cheree Berry Stationery Suite; Bridesmaids' Luncheon; Gayle Brooker; Planters Inn; Cheree Berry Paper

Aubergine Tidbits

A tucked-away courtyard—like that at Planters Inn—is the perfect backdrop for an intimate spring fête. Aubergine, as seen on the luncheon’s Cheree Berry Paper invitation, was the starting hue of the design’s palette. “Nail down a lead color from the beginning, then riff off that in ombré shades of it,” suggests Calder. Transform a salad into easy-to-eat passed hors d’oeuvres, like Peninsula Grill’s team did with these two takes on salade niçoise.

Al Fresco Table Setting; Gayle Brooker; Calder Clark. Planters Inn; Charleston Weddings Spring 2017

The Tabletop Setting

“The tabletop design was a modern take on Old World elegance,” says Calder. Vermillion, eggplant, gold, aubergine, quartz, butter, and leaf green made for a distinctive palette, but textures and shapes—from marbled linens to vintage octagonal glass plates, and hand-blown flutes—were the elemental “ribbons” that ran throughout the design.

Berry Herb Spritzer; Calder Clark; Gayle Brooker; Planters Inn;

Greet guests with colorful, seasonal cocktails, like this berry and herb spritzer. “There’s nothing more festive or special than a ladylike cocktail crafted just for the occasion,” says Calder. “It says ‘I spent time on you’ and ‘J’adore.’”

Bridesmaids' Luncheon details; Gayle Brooker; Calder Clark;

Layered Details

What she wore: Imani in Likely’s knit dress in “cerulen” from Copper Penny; Iradj Moini necklace from RTW; gold bangles from Croghan’s Jewel Box; “Harris” suede clutch in demin from J.McLaughlin. Whiting & David’s “Dimple Mesh Minaudiere” clutch in pewter from Shoes on King.

When planning your menu, include seasonal colors wherever possible. “I just knew the fresh basil oil and coulis would make for a bright springy pop in the soup course,” says Calder.

Smaller gatherings make using formal china more feasible. “You’d be surprised who may have a fabulous collection and wants to share—like your future mother-in-law,” says Calder. “Most of us agree—we don’t break it out enough!”

What they wore: “MOG” Linda (second from left) in BCBGMAXAZRIA’s “Sheridan” dress in elm from Belk. Molly (third from left) in Alice + Olivia’s “Tammin” kaftan in dusty rose from Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant; Sara Simpson Design tassel earrings from Bridal House of Charleston.

More details from the luncheon; Charleston Weddings; Calder Clark; Gayle Brooker

More Scoop

The scallop and lobster entrées added color to the tablescape while quartz place card holders (which were gifted as surcies to attendees) and antique mix-and-match salt cellars made it entirely unique.

For alfresco parties (especially those in warm months), time your serving to preserve delicate displays. “Set out dessert buffets no sooner than as the last course is served,” says Calder to Charleston Weddings.

Be sure to include mothers, aunts, and close female mentors on your luncheon guest list. What they wore: “MOB” Rosemary (left) in Catherine Regehr’s blue plum wool crepe dress from Rapport; David Yurman earrings from REEDS Jewelers.

Sweetly wrapped boxes from A Signature Welcome held luxe gold earrings; calligraphed nametags lent a bespoke touch to favors.

Dessert Buffet Bar; Planters Inn; Calder Clark; Gayle Brooker; Peninsula Grill;

Save the Best for Last

“The surprise and delight of entertaining means we often go overboard just for the show of it,” says Calder. “No one wants to see an itty-bitty cake that serves five, right? Opt instead for a fabulous display with cake and stunning one-bite sweets. Just give guests to-go boxes so it doesn’t go to waste.” This showy spread included Peninsula Grill’s Ultimate Coconut Cake along with chocolate mousse and caramel bites with gold-foil flakes, petit fours, petit choux, verrines, and stacked square sweets.

Thank you Charleston Weddings for supporting our work as always! 

InStyle features Our Top Rehearsal Dinner Tips

Rehearsal dinner tips from yours truly are featured by InStyle!

As Dobrina Zhekova reports on top rehearsal dinner tips, “Your wedding is your big day. You’re saying “I do” to your S.O. and that’s one of the most special events in your life. Chances are you’ll spend months planning it to the smallest detail to make sure it’s perfect. And while most of your resources and efforts should go towards putting your wedding day together, you should also spend some time organizing a fun rehearsal dinner.

Wedding etiquette usually calls for inviting only your closest friends and family (together with their plus ones) who will be in the wedding to the rehearsal dinner but, of course, it’s good manners to extend the invitation to your out-of-town guests.

To make sure the event is a complete success, we reached out to industry experts at Carats & Cake and asked them to share their best tips on how to plan the ultimate night before.”
Cheese and Cider Bar, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Make sure the party doesn’t upstage the main event

“You don’t want your welcome party/rehearsal dinner to overshadow your wedding, you want it to complement it. Keep things laid back and leave the high-octane partying to the actual wedding day. This will also ensure people are not too hungover to enjoy the wedding.”—Wendy Kay, owner & creative director, Birds of a Feather Events

String Lights over Rehearsal Dinner, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Later is Better

“Your guests will either have been working the day of your wedding, or traveling, so giving them time to unpack and rest, or go home and change, is a good idea. This gives you a chance to have a smaller, more intimate rehearsal dinner, then a larger welcome reception where everyone can be invited. Perfect for destination weddings!”—Adam Donovan-Groves, owner and lead planner, Donovan-Groves Events
Blackberry Farm's Yallarhammer Pavilion, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Use Food to Bring People Together

“The welcome party is the first impression, but people need to ease into what is likely to be a super fun and high energy weekend. Set a casual vibe by choosing a family-style meal with lovely wines and great background music.”—Calder Clark, owner and creative director, Calder Clark

Table Setting, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Bring on the Icebreakers

“We love having guests pick a number out of a hat to tell them which table they are sitting at. It’s a great way for your favorite people to get to know each other better, meet new friends, and kick off the weekend with the element of surprise.”—Jodi Moraru, owner, EVOKE

Signature Cocktails, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Give Your Guests Something to Talk About

“Kick-start the wedding weekend by creating a focus for your guests that will encourage everyone to strike up a conversation. Entertain in an innovative way! Some crazy musical entertainment to get everyone talking or a food station that simply everyone has to comment on.”—Lynn Easton, owner, Easton Events

Outdoor Seating Grouping, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Create A Welcoming Environment

“Position residential and eclectic lounge vignettes at your party so you create a casual environment that has a variety of seating options! Guests will love having these cozy furniture groupings at your party.”—Erin Sprinkel, co-owner, Sterling Social

Clambake Invitation, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Differentiate from the Wedding

“Keep the vibe of your welcome party or rehearsal dinner totally different from the wedding day. From the location, food, decor and atmosphere—you want to ensure it doesn’t upstage the wedding!”—Candice Coppola, owner and creative director, Jubilee Events

String lights over Rehearsal Dinner, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Capture the Moments

“Plan on hiring your photographer to work the rehearsal dinner and other pre-wedding events. This allows additional opportunities to get photographs with special guests that can easily get overlooked in the excitement of the wedding day. Another plus to getting some shots out of the way early—more time for you to spend with your honey on the dance floor!”—Kathleen Geiberger, lead photographer, Kathleen Geiberger Art

Toasting Bridesmaid, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Take Care of the Toasts

“Plan to have most of the weekend’s toasts given at your rehearsal dinner. Nothing kills a wedding faster than a string of toasts that lasts more than 20 minutes … but nothing makes a rehearsal dinner better than a string of short, clever toasts from all your dearest friends and family!”—Heidi Mayne, owner, Red25 Events

Umbrella Seating, rehearsal dinner tips

Top Rehearsal Dinner Tip : Keep Things Cohesive

“Even though the welcome party and wedding are two separate events, pull in similar elements in order to create a similar feel at both. The simplest way to do this is by using a similar color palette for both events—use the same base colors with different accents.”—Kelly McLeskey-Dolata, owner and creative director, A Savvy Event

Harper’s Bazaar names Calder Clark Top Planner in the U.S.

Harper’s Bazaar Little Black Book of Top U.S. Planners

The Harper’s Bazaar top planner list is out on stands, naming Calder Clark one of the best wedding planners in the country.
Harper's Bazaar top planner Calder Clark named again to its little black book.

Powerhouse Peers

What an honor to be named a top planner for the second year running! If you need a little more eye candy, you must visit these über-talented designers’ portfolios – Alison Events, Lisa Vorce, David Stark, and Laurie Arons. These folks are beyond cutting-edge and are the kind of planners who revolutionize the business with every event they produce. Oh- and they’re actually nice, to boot! (Wink.)

A Little Background

It is simply refreshing to garner this kind of acclaim. The media lambasts our industry for being superfluous and extortive, but we beg to differ! Wedding planning and design is ultimately very important to the fabric of our society. For starters, every wedding we design employs thousands upon thousands of wonderful people, creating its own micro-economy in resort-driven areas that are often severely lacking in job resources. Secondly, every event we take on is a celebration of love. These are momentous affairs we steward until the magical night comes and goes in all it seamless glory. Lastly, this is art. There is simply nothing wrong with flooding the world with more beauty.

The Tribe

Our team is incredibly dedicated, humble, and hardworking. They deeply deserve this credit of “best planner in the U.S.” and “top planner in the country”.  Thank you to our entire tribe (you know whom you are!) for layering sheer joy into our clients’ life narratives.