Each week, Palmetto State Weddings will introduce our readers to one of the talented vendors from around our beautiful state through the Spotlight On series. If you're interested in being featured, please contact us.
Tucked away on a treelined street in Moncks Corner is an eye-catching columned historic house. This charming property (which dates from 1940) invites brides and grooms to become a part of the Arch venue family as they celebrate their big day.
Today, we're chatting with Mary Tairney Wilson, the meticulous mastermind behind all of the Arch's wedding and events. Since December 2016, she and her staff have been working tirelessly to make their brides and grooms enjoy every aspect of their weddings at The Arch. With a background in catering, Mary knows a thing or two about keeping everyone happy, and her attention to detail and love of the Lowcountry shines through in every event she helps plan.
Tell us a little bit about your path to success. What led you to this profession? Did you always want to be in the wedding industry?
I was in banking for many years and was tired of the everyday 9 to 5 rat race. I stepped out on a wing and prayer and opened my own catering business, Artistic Catering LLC Jan 31, 2008.
I fell in love with being in the wedding industry and dreamed of owning a venue. When I was approached about the home and the possibility of making it a wedding venue, I was so excited. I knew immediately it would be named The Arch.
I made sure The Arch was a blank slate so there could be a vintage, rustic, modern, southern elegance or any wedding the coupled dreamed of. They come in the morning, get ready, relax in the vintage home, while our team prepares the grounds, the pavilion and the gardens into the wedding of their dreams.
The Arch can be a one stop shop, if the couple so desires. We have a team of great people who can do all of the wedding or just a part. The Arch is where memories are made.
(photo via Facebook)
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the SC wedding industry?
It's a tough market, so take your time to build your reputation. Never take short cuts. Get to know your local vendors.
What's one thing that you wish all clients knew before booking you?
I am pretty much a perfectionist. I pay attention to the smallest detail. Knowing that I get only ONE shot to make their day, just what they are dreaming of.
The catering staff at The Arch prepares for an event.
What's a surprising fact that most people don't know about you?
I worked EMS and Rescue squad for years. The medical field has always been an interest of mine.
What is the best part about working/living in South Carolina? Are you a native? If so, what's made you stay? If you're a transplant, what attracted you to this state?
I am a native to South Carolina, actually born and raised in Berkeley County. Being here gives me the best of both worlds, since I love the water. I can be to the lake within 10 minutes or the ocean within an hour.
I stayed here in Berkeley County because of family and friends. I love the area and the natural beauty it has.
What has been your best moment working in the SC wedding industry so far?
I love the moment when I see the brides face, when she actually sees her wedding day unfolding.
But my single best moment is when I give away one wedding a year. It used to be just catering, but when we opened The Arch, I knew we could give someone their dream wedding. So, now we give a dream wedding away each February 14th. Couples write us a brief letter about them and why they feel they would like the dream wedding.
The local radio station selects our winners. They receive the venue, catering, cake, DJ, photographers, flowers, dress certificate, hair, make up, officiant, and limo.