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Merchants Hall: Charleston's Newest Wedding Venue By The Historic City Market

10 February 2019

The rich, historical backdrop of Charleston continues to make it one of the top wedding destinations in the country. Destination brides and grooms from cities like New York, Chicago, and Boston love choosing the Holy City as their choice for their dream wedding location.  In the downtown area (also known as the peninsula), you'll find cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, historical homes and buildings making it a very idyllic setting for brides and grooms looking to tie the knot in Charleston.  Many of these historical homes and buildings have been transformed into wedding and event spaces during the wedding industry boom that Charleston has experienced over the past decade. Merchants Hall opened back in the spring of 2018, and is quickly growing in popularity for truly beautiful Charleston weddings and private events. Located on the second floor at 36 North Market Street,   this brand new event space offers a very picturesque view of the bustling City Market.

In this post, we'll answer some of the important questions that newly engaged couples may have about having their wedding at Merchants Hall.  But before we get into those questions that will be answered by Houston Pearce, who is the managing director of Merchants Hall, let's delve into a little history behind this historic building in Charleston.  The earliest history of Merchants Hall dates back to the mid 1850s when German immigrants Johnann Christian Heinrich Claussen, and his brother Frederick Claussen bought the area which would be constructed into 36 North Market Street.  Upon it's completion in the summer of 1856, they would open a number of bakeries in this Market Street area, as well as a steam bakery, which would be at the 36 North Market Street address.  Being a longtime resident of Charleston, it was very interesting to see the second floor of 36 North Market Street transformed into such a classy wedding and event space. During the better part of the past two decades, this space served as a variety of nightclubs.  The King Street nightlife boom over the past decade caused a spike in nightclubs on bars on that side of the city, thus seeing one of the last nightclubs to close on Market Street, making way for the opening of Merchants Hall.  For more information on the history of Merchants Hall, click HERE

When did Merchants Hall officially open? Merchants Hall officially opened on April 24, 2018.

How did the idea for Merchants Hall originate?  The space at Merchants Hall was unoccupied for quite some time and it was decided to transform this historical building into a classy event space. About two years was spent readying the second floor location to become an events venue. This included structural work to make this historic building's second floor be able to hold upwards of 200 guests.  There were also tons of important alterations that discretely introduced today's modern conveniences to the 1856 structure.   Finally, there were some luxurious finishes that Merchant's Hall is best known for - especially those signature chandeliers.
Merchants Hall Window View
Photo Credit: Andrew Cebulka

How many weddings and events are held at Merchants Hall each year? Since the venue has not quite been open for a year, an exact number of bookings was not available for this post.  With the calendar currently very busy for Merchants Hall, the future is very bright, especially since they have not celebrated their one year anniversary as of yet.

How many guests can Merchants Hall holds for a wedding or event? The ballroom can accomodate upwards of 200 guests.

Merchants Hall Styled Shoot
Photo Credit: Michel Berda

What separates Merchants Hall from all the other gorgeous wedding venues and event spaces in Charleston? Merchants Hall honors the history and charm of it's setting while also offering every modern convenience. The finishes you see are as luxurious as they come, and all of this juxtaposition of perfect preservation and modern luxury really creates the perfect canvas.  Merchants Hall also boasts having the most spectacular views of the City Market, making this the perfect location to infuse the best of Charleston with your event.

Do couples require a wedding planner / coordinator on contract when booking their wedding at Merchants Hall?  It is required that clients do have a planner / coordinator, but it's not required to have one on contract prior to booking.  Wedding planners love taking the "historical blank canvas" that is Merchants Hall and transforming it into the classiest of soirees and receptions. 

Merchants Hall Event Venue Tables Chairs
Photo Credit: Catherine Ann Photography

What all is provided when booking your wedding at  Merchants Hall? Included with each booking are 150 gold Chaivari chairs, 15 60" round tables, 2 custom-built bar carts, and two 8 foot buffet tables.

Does Merchants Hall provide in-house catering? Merchants Hall does not provide catering in-house, but this afford significant flexibility for clients to select any caterer of their choce. Be sure to check out their preferred list for some of the finest caterers in Charleston.

Merchants Hall Wedding Ceremony Setup
Photo Credit: Merchants Hall

Do couples need to purchase any insurance when booking their wedding with Merchants Hall? Couples are not required to purchase insurance, but it is recommended to each couple to purchase event insurance.

Can couples bring their own wedding vendors or are they required to use vendors on your preferred vendors list? Aside from booking their bar through the venue, couples can use whichever vendors they would like. This is another way to offer to our clients the flexibility to create their perfect event,  verus restricitng their vision by forcing them to work with certain vendors.

Merchants Hall Evening Shot From Outside
Photo Credit: Andrew Cebulka

I'd like to have my wedding at Merchants Hall, how do I save my date?
Head over to their website and then fill out a contact form to inquire about setting up a visit 

If you are sitting in your loft apartment in New York City or Chicago on a cold winter's day and have picked Charleston as the place you'd like to say your I-Dos, then Merchants Hall should be on your list of venues to check out before making the decision on where to have your wedding.  It was not mentioned when I spoke with Houston, but I found out when doing the research for this post that you can also have your wedding ceremony at Merchants Hall. The ability to have your wedding ceremony and reception at the same location (especially downtown) allows you and your guests reduced stress with trying to find extra parking spaces a second time. 

After You Book Your Charleston Wedding At Merchants Hall, You Should Then Book Your DJ
If I had to put an order of importance on bookings when it comes to your wedding, obviously your venue is Number 1 because you need a place to have your party, but then you need to seriously consider hiring your DJ, because the best DJs will stay busy, and their dates will book sometimes as much as a year in advance. After all, your wedding entertainment is the part of your day that YOU and YOUR GUESTS will remember the most for many years after your big day.  Don't be hasty about which DJ you hire, but in the days and weeks after you get engaged, be looking at DJs before you get bombarded by all the other details. Thank you very much for making it to the end of this blog post. I feel it's my duty to provide my prospective clients one of the most informative wedding DJ blogs on the web.  Please feel free to take a look at my blog and you'll find in it much more DJ tips and music ideas.  If you got engaged over the holidays or think you'll be doing so soon, be sure to check out the following links down below.
The 2nd Edition Of The Complete Guide To Finding Your DJ
5 Great Reasons To Get Married In Charleston, SC

Wanna check availability of Mike for your wedding date right now? I love to talk with couples about their music.  It's a passion of mine to create an incredible soundtrack that will be remembered for years and years. I'd love to talk to you. Fill out a contact form and let me know some of your preliminary details. If you are not in Charleston, we can set up a Skype or Facetime to do a quick meet and greet. I look forward to tlaking with you soon.