We have so many updates to share with all of you, and we don’t want you to miss a thing, so listen up! Today, we’re going to share some of our surprises and let you in on more exciting additions to Bliss & Bokeh, which by the way, is happening in just a little over a month! We’ve been eagerly anticipating this event and the chance to meet all of you since January, so for us, it simply can’t get here soon enough!

While some of our speakers are still fine-tuning their presentations, and some decisions are still being made, below is a pretty complete picture of your time spent at Bliss & Bokeh!

Sunday, October 6

4pm Meet and Greet Social, Charleston Place Terrace
5pm Meet your Roommate & Settle In
6pm Dinner at Charleston Grill
8pm Speaker: Whitney English {Authenticate: Goals, Dreams & Envision Extraordinary}

Monday, October 7
8:30am Breakfast at Charleston Place
9am Speaker Presentations
Tara Guerard {Working with Elite Planners}
Angela Marcaccio {Top Mistakes Most Photographers Make}
12:00pm Small Group Lunches*
1:30-4pm One-on-One Critiques & Free Time
4:30pm Cocktail Hour at Zero George
Speaker: Lynn Easton Andrews {Making Connections through Social Media}
6-8:00pm Private Dinner at RiverOaks Charleston
{This dinner will be held at the gorgeous Charleston wedding venue along the banks of the Wando River, hosted by their very gracious owner, Marianne}
Speaker: Melissa Bigner {Editor, Charleston Weddings Magazine}
Headshots by KT Merry {optional}

Tuesday, October 8
8:30am Breakfast at Charleston Place
9am Speaker Presentations
KT Merry {Getting Published, Marketing to Destination Brides & Film}
Leigh Webber {Staying Inspired & Side Projects}
12pm Lunch {to be revealed}
1-2:30pm Free Time
2:30pm Leave for Middleton Place
3pm Speaker: Joy Thigpen {Working with a Stylist & Process of Creative Direction}
4pm-7pm Styled Shoots**
8pm Dinner {to be revealed}

Wednesday, October 9

9am Special Farewell Breakfast
Speaker Presentations:
Emily Newman {Once Wed, Editor’s Perspective}
Becky Hoppman {Gracious Brands & Smitten Magazine}
12pm Say our Goodbye’s

*Small Group Lunches*

On Monday, attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a small group lunch with one or two of our speakers and 4-6 other attendees. This will be the perfect opportunity to get to know one of our speakers and one another in an intimate setting and to enjoy one of Charleston’s best restaurants!

**Styled Shoots**
On Tuesday afternoon, attendees will have the chance to venture to Middleton Place for an afternoon of shooting models and gorgeous tablescapes alongside a couple of incredibly talented and experienced photographers as well as a group of new friends. The exciting news is that instead of two styled shoots, attendees will actually have the chance to shoot THREE unique and beautifully styled shoots while on property; designed by Joy Thigpen and Emily Newman of Once Wed, Lynn Easton Andrews of Easton Events, and a fun surprise addition styled by Melissa Bigner and the team from Charleston Weddings Magazine! Attendees will be divided into groups of 6-8 and will rotate through each shoot, spending 45 minutes at each shoot. This time will be well organized and structured to allow for both instruction and time to shoot the various elements, without simply fighting everyone for a shot. As we announced Friday, you will also each have the chance to shoot film with a Contax 645, (film and processing provided by Richard Photo Lab and equipment rental by Contax Rental). The cameras will be available at the shoot with KT, as well as during some free time to explore downtown Charleston!

If you are still considering joining us, we have five spots remaining, and registration closes tomorrow! Please feel free to email us,, if you have any lingering questions! To our attendees, thank you for believing in this experience and making the commitment to join us! We are so grateful to each of you for contributing to Bliss & Bokeh your talent and creativity and most of all, your desire to learn and be a part of this community!

35 days and counting…




{image by Leigh Webber}



While my husband was born and raised in the lowcountry, I didn’t make my move from North Carolina to Charleston until after college (Go Tar Heels!!), 3 days after graduation to be exact. One thing we both whole heartedly agree on is that there is no place in the country with as much overall charm and beauty as Charleston (yes I’ll probably say something along these lines in every post). You are just going to have to see for yourself, but there is something about the heavy, humid lowcountry air that grips you and draws you back.

As much as I love the lazy days of summer, I have to say that October is “where it is at” in Charleston.  There are often days in October it’s still warm enough for beach time, but also evenings with a slight nip in air. Either way, it is the perfect month to be outside all day long. And what better way to enjoy the calm weather AND the sights of our holy city other than a rooftop bar?

Market Pavilion Bar | Located atop the swanky and sophisticated Market Pavilion Hotel this rooftop will not disappoint.  This place will always be near and dear to me because my husband and I visited this bar right after he proposed on the waterfront.  But I know you’ll love it for the delicious cocktail and food menu.  You can enjoy sipping your refreshment while you take in the sights of the Charleston harbor and nearby Market Street.  It must be the sparkling blue fountain pool that makes me feel like I am somewhere exotic while I’m dining here. Dare I be the hotel guest that would lounge in my swimsuit while loads of visitors come and go, but to each their own! Visit:  {website}

 The Rooftop at Vendue Inn | Located in the heart of downtown this is Charleston’s original rooftop bar.  You will always find a good crowd here, from locals who have been patrons for years to the visitors that quickly learn about it.  Rooftop at Vendue has been voted the best rooftop by Charleston City Paper for the last 8 years.  It offers a casual, relaxing atmosphere while providing exquisite views of Waterfront Park and the harbor.  I love the subtle twist on classic drinks their cocktail menu provides; Pear of the Dog, Moscow Mule or White Wine Spritzer?  Who’s ready to join me now? Visit: {website}

Stars Rooftop | Stars is Charleston’s newest addition to the rooftop bar line-up.  It is located in the center of Charleston’s trendy Upper King Street District (there will be another whole post on that coming next).   One aspect you’ll love about Stars is that is definitely more a “local” crowd as it is separated from the busy area of Market & East Bay Streets.  Enjoy 360 degree views of the city from one of their whicker seats and sample from the huge selection of international tap wine, unique cocktails or craft beers.  I was sold with the Honey Suckle Shandy.  I must add that their small bites and dinner menu is divine {Bacon Tater Tots are sounding right up my alley, says the hungry pregnant girl}. Visit: {website}







We all love a trip to a beautiful spa {trips that are too few and far between, am I right?}, and the Spa at Charleston Place does not disappoint! With offerings like the “Ultimate Bliss” and their “Pampered Peach Pedicure”, my tired and overworked self is aching for a little me time. Care to join me?

{And don’t worry, we won’t tell if you sneak away for an hour to the Spa! It will be our secret!}




Charleston is the kind of place that can be visited over and over again. It’s the kind of place you leave anxiously wanting to plan your next visit. Perhaps it’s because you will discover something new every.single.time! It may be a restaurant, wine bar, local antique shop or clothing boutique, but mostly likely you will fall in love with the southern charm & hospitality that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. OK, if I didn’t live here then I would have just sold myself on this place.

When Betsy suggested I write a piece on a few of my favorite places in Charleston, I instantly thought “no brainer.” But, as I sat down to write I realized my sheet runneth over. So, I decided to narrow it down to a few of favorites that just so happen to be within just a couple blocks of Charleston Place.


Hands down “Bellini” from Thoroughbred Club, located (just as luck would have it) in the lobby of Charleston Place. This is pretty close to perfection for me. After a day of shopping and walking nothing feels better than slipping into one of the comfy leather sofas of this lounge and sipping from the chilled martini glass. I rarely make a trip downtown without making a visit here. Try it, trust me, you’ll thank me later. Visit Thoroughbred Club


Anthropologie. As much as I love supporting our one-of-a-kind local shops, I cannot leave this one off the list. How can one ever get tired of browsing this store? It is such a treat to explore everything about this colorful, fashion forward shop. Visit Anthropologie

Lily. This is a precious local store that I stumbled upon on my last visit to King Street. Had I not had my little ones with me I could have found myself lost in this small store for hours. I found this on their website and I think it describes it perfectly :  “Remember your childhood visits to Grandma’s house?  Sneaking into her room, that inner sanctum of beautiful, untouchable things.  You’d play dress up for hours clomping around in her high heels.  Well if your Grandmother was a French woman with exquisite taste then Lily in Charleston, SC will make you feel right at home.  This artfully curated boutique is run by a husband and wife team who’ve assembled a jewel box of interesting and chic finds.  They have vintage jewelry, gorgeous scarves, and a plethora of other finds.  It’s girl heaven.” -Ann Herndon, Travel Concierge Visit Lily

Stella Nova Esthetique & Make-Up Studio. This is a must-see make up shop. Walk in door and you be greeted with their impressive selection of make-up, fragrances, skin and hair care products and beauty tools for making every woman look and feel as beautiful as they born to feel! Make-up isn’t your thing? Even more reason to visit, they have professionals in house to help you select the perfect products for your color and lifestyle. Visit Stella Nova

Impeccable Pig. I also recently discovered this chic clothing boutique. I had seen several of their pieces in the latest edition of Charleston Magazine, and the thing that caught my attention was the amazing prices listed on the pieces. So when I stumbled upon it, I stopped in to check it out. The staff was super friendly and helped me pick out some pieces that would transition me into spring. Again, I was sold with the prices! You can easily put together an entire outfit, including accessories, without breaking your budget. Visit Impeccable Pig

Eat. (and drink)

Husk. Perhaps one of the most unique qualities of Husk is the daily menu changes based on the market. It is located in the heart of the historic district in a building that dates back to the 19th century.  The restaurant stands true to its word that if it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not going to be on your plate.  You are guaranteed a fresh, delicious meal… everytime.  “It is a neighborhood gathering place for friends, and a destination dining spot for travelers, with a little bite of the South for everyone’s palates.” Just visiting the bar of Husk is a treat in itself. Located in a smaller building next to the main dining room, you will find one of the most charming bars of historic Charleston, complete with exposed brick walls and cocktail & wine list that is sure to please. “The bar at Husk recalls a bygone era of Charleston nightlife, and Husk’s emphasis on classic cocktails continues the city’s historic tippling traditions.” Visit Husk




{image by Leigh Webber}



Template_2Happy Launch Day!

It’s with incredible excitement for each of us at Bliss & Bokeh that we finally introduce you all to the amazing Charleston-based retreat we’ve been carefully curating for months now! We’re still finalizing all of the pretty little details we have planned for our attendees, but we have no doubt this is an experience you don’t want to miss! We’d love for you to take a few minutes to browse our beautiful new site – thank you to our talented designer, Becky Hoppmann of Gracious Brands! A big thank you also to KT Merry for the beautiful images on our site! We’re tremendously grateful to each of our speakers, sponsors and contributors for making this opportunity possible!

Now, the reason we’re all here… With a limited number of registrations available, there is no time like the present to REGISTER and secure your spot to Bliss & Bokeh 2013! You won’t regret it!

Hope to see you all soon!