Hope everyone enjoyed their Lowcountry, holiday weekend! We’re taking a little bit of a field trip today to swoon over a beautiful, New York wedding captured by the talented Sasha Felix Photography. With the Catskills Mountains in the distance, the Ashokan Dreams Bed & Breakfast was the perfect backdrop for Heather + Ryan’s Fall wedding. Heather dazzled in timeless, Nicole Miller gown with classic, lace straps, while Ryan, dressed in J. Crew, sported a bow tie and his late grandfather’s hat. My favorite part of this wedding is the ceremony. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but these two are just adorable. The images are precious (and oh, so pretty!)…one very, happy couple!
Whether you’ll be spending your 4th of July in Hilton Head, Charleston or Myrtle Beach (or somewhere in between!), the crew from A Lowcountry Wedding wants to wish you a happy (and safe!) holiday week/weekend. I’ll be kicking it on Shem Creek tonight, sipping on something cold and watching some fireworks, which means you won’t hear from us until Monday. I know, how will you ever survive, right? Don’t worry, we’ll be back at it with a beautiful Charleston wedding to kick off next week….so until then, enjoy the sunshine, this crazy heat, and good times with friends and family.
One thing we love to share with our Lowcountry Brides (well, besides stunning, jaw-dropping wedding inspiration, of course!), is tried and true tips straight from our horses, I mean, brides’ mouths. Our gal, Brittani, is back today to give us a few pointers about what she’s learned thus far as she navigates her way to her big, Charleston wedding day!
Image via Kelly Sauer
Yay it’s time for another ALW update! Last time I dropped by, I updated the fantastic ALW readers on my DRESS! That was such an unexpectedly exciting part of the process and I actually go for my first fitting in just a few weeks! I cannot WAIT to get back into my beautiful wedding dress, cowboy boots and all! The last few months since making that big decision have been CRAZY! I have been blown away by how quickly the time has gone, and I’ve learned a lot about wedding planning. Phew! I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned you probably want to do, and some of the things you probably don’t want to do…
Do hire a wedding planner! Ugh, what a mistake it was thinking wedding planners aren’t always necessary. As a wedding photographer, I of all people should know how important it is to have someone running the show. Oops! If I could do-over, that definitely would have been the FIRST vendor I would have hired!
Image via Riverland Studios
Do be realistic about what weddings cost. I LOVE weddings, trust me…there’s nothing more exciting and special and exhilarating than a wedding day. BUT, having said that, there is SO much that goes into a wedding. I was the bride that wanted to be able to spend big on the things that were most important to Dustin and I (photography, the venue, and food), and DIY and save as much as possible elsewhere. I’ve learned that’s not really realistic, at least for me and my lifestyle. When you have a full-time job, wedding planning is a whole other full-time job. That’s why planners are so important! There were so many “great big ideas” we had to save money but there’s just no TIME to make these things a reality. Life happens, and you have to be realistic about how much time you can really put aside to manage, create, and plan all of these things that seem so easy to do yourself.
Image via Tim Will
Do start whatever DIY projects you are doing early. In my mind, August was going to be wide open (the hot summers are usually my slower time work-wise), so I could do sooooo much DIYing then. Wrong. August is already halfway crazy for me. I’ve started tackling some projects now but honestly at the end of the workday, I just want to relax! I know some brides are so into crafting for their weddings and it is their way to relax at the end of the day, but between taking care of my dogs and horses, trying to work out (gotta look good for the big day!), cooking dinner, cleaning, regular household and farm chores…there never seems to be enough time at the end of the day.
Image via Carolina Studios by Gillian Reinhardt
Don’t get too caught up in Pinterest. Used the right way, Pinterest can be such a great tool for planning your wedding and coming up with fun projects. BUT, the trick with Pinterest is to not feel like your wedding has to look like someone elses’s. The whole point of getting really creative with your wedding is to make it a true representation of you and your fiancé and the things that are most special in your relationship. It’s so easy to look at pin after pin and think “that’s perfect!” but you should really start with a list of unique traits or themes you want to include in your wedding and search out inspiration from there. For us, since we were long distance for so long and spent a LOT of time flying and driving, travel is going to be a big theme. We’re also super dedicated to our farm and both grew up with horses, so that’s a big shared passion. We love our dogs like kids, so of course the dogs and being a blended family (Dustin has a 5-year-old son) are also very “us.”
Image via Richard Bell Photography
Maybe this is just me, but if I had to do it again, I would not try DIYing invitations. I work with a really good print lab because of my business, so I totally thought I could handle this on my own. Invitations are important, but to me they weren’t one of the biggest priorities. In reality, invitations are basically the first impression you are giving your guests. It’s worth it to invest in a talented designer (I love Sarah at Dodeline Design) who gets what you’re going for and can handle this for you. Invitations have Stressed. Me. Out. You can even find TONS of great invitation suites on Etsy, if going through a designer isn’t for you. At the end of the day, by weighing the pros and cons, spending another $200 or so on invitations would have been totally worth it, rather than dealing with the headache I’ve caused myself.
Image via Dodeline Design
Don’t lose sight of what your wedding is really about. There are going to be things you want to do but won’t get done. There are things that aren’t going to go as planned. Don’t forget what the day is really about…you and your new husband, your new life together, and the opportunity to have all of the people you love the most in one place at the same time, celebrating together. What will be, will be.
Image via Girl in the White Dress by Kelly Sauer Photography
Hopefully those little tips are helpful in some way or another. There are definitely some things I wish I could re-do but we’re this far in and we’ve just got to roll with the punches! I know the next three months are going to FLY, and although I can’t wait for the day to be here, I don’t want the days to fly by too fast because I don’t want our actual wedding day to fly by too fast! I know that no matter what happens, the day will be wonderful and I really look forward to the celebration!
What’s going on next? I’ll be back pretty soon with some insight into the vendors we chose and some other fun details like bridal portraits and what we’re doing for bachelor/bachelorette parties! See ya soon ALW!
Because all of your guests will jump at the chance to head to the Lowcountry for a wedding (I mean, who doesn’t want to spend a weekend in Charleston, Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach!?!), more often than not, it turns into a weekend long wedding celebration…which is all kinds of fantastic. You may consider having a welcome party on Thursday, a bridal luncheon Friday, rehearsal dinner that evening and, possibly, a Bon Voyage brunch on Sunday morning..and you know I’ll encourage you to have every, last one of them! One thing that your guests will be expecting when coming to town for your big bash, is to experience and revel in the spirit of the Lowcountry. They want to put their toes in the sand, smell the salt water, enjoy the atmosphere and indulge in our one-of-a-kind, Southern cuisine…so you better give ‘em just that! One of my favorite staples of the South Carolina coastline is a big ol’ oyster roast which, luckily, works perfectly for a laid back, rehearsal dinner, and since Fall is right around the corner, you might as well get to planning…
Oyster Roast via Leigh Webber Photography
First thing’s first, you’ll need to pick the perfect venue that offers picturesque views and exudes that relaxed, Lowcountry vibe (and lord knows we’ve got plenty of them in Charleston, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach!):
Charleston Venue - Creek Club at I'On
Charleston Venue - Bowens Island Restaurant
Kiawah Island Venue - Cinder Creek
Charleston Venue - Lighthouse on Shem Creek
Pawleys Island - Pelican Inn
Bluffton Venue - Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Moreland Landing
Hilton Head Venue - Honey Horn Plantation
Besides a stunning, Lowcountry view, you’ll need to make sure you have a few key elements…
1) Some trusty oyster roast tables, with trash cans (of course!)
2) Oysters (duh!), gloves, saltines, cocktail sauce, horseradish and some Tabasco, for those that like it spicy.
3) Plenty of shuckers!
4) Last but not least, a bucket full of beer and some of your favorite koozies to keep ‘em cold!
5)…and if you really feel like celebrating, maybe a few Oyster Shooters!
It’s a question on every bride’s mind…what on earth am I going to give as favors? OR should I even going to spend money on favors? Now let’s be serious, we’ve all chunked many-a cheesy wedding favors in trash (and rightfully so!) but with all the inspiration the Lowcountry offers, there must be a handful of memorable (and useable) surcees your wedding guests can appreciate. For instance, maybe our Hilton Head brides can send their guests home with a little sweet tea for the road (Firefly, anyone?), or maybe your Charleston folks would enjoy some classic benne wafers or sweet pralines (I know I would!). What about some grits with your favorite shrimp and grits recipe for your Myrtle Beach affair? Take a look at a few of our favorites and leave us a note if you’ve got a local favorite we forgot!
Image via Southern Weddings Magazine
Image via Richard Ellis Photography
Image via Ruffled
Image via A Bryan and Veil and Bow
Image by Liz Banfield via Tara Guerard
Image via Garnish
Image via Southern Weddings
Image by Linda Chaja via Style Me Pretty
Image by Rebecca Gosselin Photography via Style Me Pretty
Good morning, my little Southern Belles! We’re going to get right to it this Monday morning with a sweet, farm engagement session from South Carolina based D’Attoma Studios.
Sherry and Jonathan met several years ago when she was a manager at Abercrombie. Jonathan was genuine and funny and was always asking her to join him at parties or out with friends. He would tease her at work, picking her up over his shoulders and carrying her around the store. She laughed with him, but mainly “stuck him the dressing room” where he couldn’t cause trouble. She chose to not join him outside of work, blaming it on the companies strict policy of not fraternizing with employees.
Jonathan stopped working at Abercrombie, and Sherry moved on to work in marketing and advertising. Time passed and she didn’t hear from him for awhile. Both were pursing lives and careers with different groups of people, and their paths didn’t really cross. Until one night. The phone rang, and it was him. He invited her out to eat with friends and to go watch a fight. Sherry used to do martial arts and instantly asked who was fighting. It happened to be someone she knew… and so she decided to join him that night. They didn’t skip a beat. They reminisced like long lost friends and connected as never before. From then on, they were inseparable.
We’re going to bid adieu to this fabulous Lowcountry week by spotlighting a gorgeous, beachfront wedding venue on Hilton Head Island. Thanks to it’s picturesque views, The Shipyard Beach Club is the Island’s most-sought-after oceanside venue that is ideal for brides who are hoping for an outdoor ceremony with the sand and the sea in the background.
Image via Landon Jacob
Couples can choose to have their ceremonies on the beach with the toes in the sand or on the elevated deck overlooking the water. Both options offer fantastic views of the Atlantic with that great coastal breeze!
Image via Landon Jacob
The recently renovated dining room and spacious lounge will provide your guests with a serene Lowcountry evening.
Image via Landon Jacob
The Rental fee is $2000 and it covers the cost of the venue with existing tables and chairs. To reserve The Shipyard Beach Club for your wedding reception, contact preferred cater Celebrations to assist you in securing a sponsorship for this stunning oceanfront location.
Image via Landon Jacob
If you’re looking for a Hilton Head venue that features the sand and surf with a classic Lowcountry feel, contact The Shipyard Beach Club for all your wedding day needs!