Preparation for the big day started months, maybe years ago … and it is finally here! The bride walks down the aisle to her smiling (or crying) groom and everything is perfect. But where will the biggest and happiest day of your life take place? And how do you choose?

Here in the South, weddings are more of a weekend getaway rather than a single day event. They can involve a rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and even a farewell brunch for the family and friends of the bride and groom. Because of the trending multi-event wedding, couples are booking at all-in-one venues more often to simplify wedding planning. An all-in-one venue is most often a full-service hotel, country club or private club that is capable of hosting all the weekend events the bride and groom are looking for.

After years of Pinterest trends morphing weddings into more casual or uniquely themed events, this summer’s weddings are returning to tradition in everything from décor to flowers to cakes.

Love in the Lowcountry

Allison Wessel and Nick Cuca wanted to treat their guests to an authentic Lowcountry wedding. Though Wessel grew up in the Lowcountry, her groom was from Chicago, where the couple lives, and for many of their guests, the wedding would be their first time on Hilton Head Island.

“We wanted to make it feel like you weren’t just anywhere, you were in the Lowcountry,” said Wessel, 28, a digital manager for the McDonald’s Corporation. “There’s no better place for that than Honey Horn. It being an outdoor venue was just perfect.”

Locals know it’s not uncommon to walk by three weddings on the beach on a typical Saturday in the summer. Locals also know that while the Lowcountry’s beauty shines through no matter the season, the summer gives us temps that hover in the 90s and humidity so thick it forces many of us inside. So what makes June, July and August so popular for destination weddings on Hilton Head?

HERE COME THE BRIDES!

We asked couples who attended Hilton Head Monthly's 2015 Hilton Head Bridal Show to submit an engagement photo for a chance to have their wedding featured in an upcoming issue. Photos were posted to our Facebook page and readers voted on their favorite couple using "likes."

When planning a wedding, one area you won’t want to overlook is the food. Next to how the bride looked or how great the entertainment was (or wasn’t), the food that is served at weddings is one of the top talked-about topics among guests. Your wedding reception is one giant party, and at your party, you want guests going home feeling full and catered to. If you are hosting a wedding on Hilton Head Island or elsewhere in the Lowcountry, rest assured that our local professionals have you covered with top-notch cuisine and innovative ideas. Get ready for your mouth to water (and be prepared to run to the kitchen!). Monthly has you covered with all the latest in food for weddings.

cater-love

3015-Bridal-PlanEarthFriendlyAs many people become more conscious about their environmental footprints, even brides and grooms are finding ways to go “green” at their weddings. Whether you’re incorporating just a few eco-friendly practices or you are planning an all-out eco-friendly affair, there are a variety of ways to have a “green” wedding. From flowers, décor, food, paper and even transportation, rest assured you can feel good about your wedding’s impact on the earth on your big day — and here are a few tips on how:

3015-Bridal-GreenWeddingsWhen you hear “‘green’ wedding,” does the image of a barefoot, hippie bride with a flower halo getting married in a field come to mind?  Think again. “Green” weddings — which incorporate environmentally friendly practices — are on the rise all over the country with all types of people. It’s not just for hippies anymore. “Green” is en vogue. Chic, even. And people are finding unique ways to be “green” in their nuptials.  Will “going green” be part of your wedding?

Alli Meany was born and raised in northwest New Jersey, but was drawn to South Carolina as a young adult and attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where she studied criminal justice. Even at an early age, Alli displayed a passion and aptitude for planning.

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