June 2013

Wedding Section: Seaquins Ballroom-A Venue Beyond Compare

Author: Kitty Bartell

A feeling of calm gently washes over you when you enter Seaquins Ballroom. It is as though you are walking onto Monet’s paint palette when the paint is fresh and his canvas is new. The possibilities are endless, but what you feel, without a doubt, is that your event will be spectacular.

Tucked back off of Fording Island Road in Bluffton, Seaquins Ballroom is a hidden gem—that is, for the time being. Like opening a fresh oyster and finding an exquisite pearl, this event destination holds a veritable sea of treasures. Husband and wife team Paul and Sondra Ammeen have created an event venue where elegant weddings, memorable parties, and meticulously-planned meetings take place.

Opened in December of 2010, Seaquins Ballroom is the result of the Ammeens putting on their dancing shoes. Seven years ago, retired and enjoying time on the golf course, Sondra won four dance lessons at a charity auction. They decided to, literally, give it a whirl. Taking to dance like Martha Graham to the Met, the Ammeens competed across the country, but it wasn’t until Sondra was doing a little real estate research to help their dance teachers find new studio space that the couple brainstormed a brilliant idea. Seaquins Ballroom became an outlet for their creativity and a template for their business acumen. “The original idea was: where does a bride go if she wants to have the most beautiful wedding of her life, but she can’t afford the large resort destination?” Sondra explained.

Filling an untapped niche in the area’s event planning options, Seaquins Ballroom, renovated from the ground up, is an affordable, flexible destination for weddings, receptions, events and meetings, fundraisers, luncheons and dinners, dances, or any imaginable celebration. A 3,000-sq. ft. floating wood floor anchors the main ballroom, with stunning Spanish chandeliers hovering above, providing dazzling sparkle from each of their 750 crystals. Lighting is paramount when creating the right ambiance and is achieved with the room’s panoramic windows, reflecting the chandeliers, backlit sheer drapes, mirrored walls, and dimmable lighting. The colors throughout the main ballroom, the foyer, and hallways are subtle and from the sea, with peaceful creams and whites accented with shades of green and blue. The entire space can be utilized or divided by sound-proof sliding panels into three spaces: the Waterfall Ballroom, the Crystal Ballroom, and the Reflections Ballroom.

Every detail of the décor and the facilities was meticulously planned to create a place where the outside world could melt away. From the stunning ballrooms to the elegantly appointed restrooms, luxury is ever-present.

Moving to a more intimate space, the Seaquins Ballroom, distinctly different from the rest of the venue, is a fourth event option. With richly colored red walls, this space is often used to stage the food service or bar set-ups for large events or for hosting luncheons and meetings. Flowing into the final event space, the Gathering Room is the perfect space for serving dessert or hosting smaller parties.

The acoustics and sound system throughout Seaquins are state of the art. Paul reports that bands who have performed there say it is one of the best spaces in which to play; and the bonus is that even when the band is in full swing, you are able to hold a quiet conversation at your table. Mother Nature has also been taken into consideration in this thoughtful space. The lighting is eco-friendly, there are individual air cleaners in each of the five ballroom spaces, and the lovely water wall that is seen and heard from the foyer as well as the main ballroom, is the type used in hospitals to take the bacteria out of the air.

Every detail of the décor and the facilities was meticulously planned to create a place where the outside world could melt away. From the stunning ballrooms to the elegantly appointed restrooms, luxury is ever-present.

“I went over the top,” Sondra said, describing the details of the women’s room and dressing area. Stunning tile carpets are designed into the floor, mini chandeliers caste a flattering glow, and a towering mirror turns checking a bridal train or cocktail dress into an indulgent event. The men’s room isn’t far behind with its mirror ball casting magical light across the walls and ceiling. Even the gentlemen feel pampered.

The highly flexible nature of Seaquins Ballroom is why affordable events are possible. As part of the cost for an event, the facility provides tables, chairs, tablecloths, and centerpieces, while the client provides the food, beverages, and decorations to suite their wishes and their budget. A catering kitchen is supplied with a commercial refrigerator, professional hot boxes, and an ice machine. An adjacent room provides ample space for plating and staging events for up to 350 people.

Bringing it all together is Vickie Buckley, Seaquins Ballroom’s events coordinator. Buckley understands that some clients will have caterers, florists, and decorators all lined up, while others appreciate her ability to make recommendations based on their needs and budgets. She is also available for hire as a wedding/event coordinator, bringing her extensive experience and creativity to everything she touches. When planning a wedding or event, Buckley recommends that the client choose one thing they have always dreamed of having or simply cannot live without, and plan from there. Along with the Ammeens, Buckley is a master at making dreams come true, and a venue like Seaquins provides the perfect place to begin.

As a happy bonus, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio followed their former students to this lovely new space, leasing time, on arguably the best dance floor in the area, to run their studio. This ongoing relationship offers Seaquins Ballroom’s clients the option to hire dancers for demonstrations as one of their entertainment choices.
Whether planning a wedding or celebration, putting together a business event or a luncheon, it is possible to exceed your expectations and stay within your budget at this spectacular Lowcountry oasis. “It’s a splash of elegance in a sea of options,” Sondra said. The possibilities are truly endless.

Seaquins Ballroom is located at 1300 Fording Island Road (Hwy 278), Bluffton. For more information, call (843) 227-5929 or (843) 837-2268. Please visit their website at SeaquinsBallroom.com.

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