bridalcontestHere come the brides!

We asked couples who attended Hilton Head Monthly's 2016 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."

With 612 "likes," the winning couple was Jason Johnson and Carolyn Harvey. The big date is set for Sept. 24, 2016. We will feature the wedding in an upcoming special bridal section.

Thanks to all who voted!

Palmetto Bluff wedding a true family affair

The Oct. 17, 2015, wedding of Michelle “Shelly” (Caskey) and Charles “Trey” Fore, III was a storybook Lowcountry event. The destination wedding for the couple, who live in Greenville, SC, and 100 family members and friends began on Friday evening with a Lowcountry Boil at the inn’s Moreland Landing, which guests attended via the trolley through Wilson Village in the picturesque Palmetto Bluff. Hosted by the groom’s parents, the night included dinner and live entertainment by a duo, with a special serenade from the bride to her groom.

Sea Pines Beach Club the perfect venue for North Carolina couple

Meredith and Patrick Richling’s beach wedding at Sea Pines Beach Club was picture-perfect, right down to a well-placed cloud.

The Fayetteville, North Carolina, couple, who married June 6, 2015, chose Hilton Head Island for its accessibility to both sides of the family — hers from Georgia and his from North Carolina. But after 15 months of ironing out details with wedding planner Beth Baldwin, a sudden storm cloud threatened to douse their beach dreams.

New York style meets Lowcountry charm at the perfect Westin wedding

Jerome Clark and Michelle Hall knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding — “Manhattan chic meets Southern charm.”

So when it came time to choose a location for their nuptials, Hilton Head Island seemed like the perfect fit. And after months of planning, their special day finally arrived. On May 23, 2015, Michelle and Jerome joined each other in love and matrimony at an intimate ceremony at The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa.

Wedding trends don’t jump drastically from month to month or even year to year. But there are subtle shifts in colors, styles and menu choices that keep things fresh from season to season, allowing each couple to shine a new light on an age-old tradition.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your nuptials on trend but uniquely yours, try a few of these tips to give your guests — and yourselves — a day to remember.

Anyone who knows Gina Jacobs knows she loves to cut a rug...

Since her husband, Rob, is a pastor at LowCountry Community Church in Bluffton, she gets to go to the weddings he performs, which ends up being seven or eight a year. 

“When people ask Rob to perform a wedding, they say, ‘Hey, is your wife going to come?’” the Bluffton Middle School guidance counselor said.

Getting married in the Lowcountry is a classic decision that never goes out of style. Sunsets on the beach, live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, Southern plantation clubhouses overlooking perfectly manicured grounds — couples would be hard-pressed to find more romantic wedding venues than the area we’re lucky enough to call home.

Threat of rain unable to spoil the big day

Kelly (Schuler) Hackman’s biggest wish for her wedding was that it take place outside. She and her groom, Dan Hackman, chose Colleton River Plantation Club — and the Lowcountry in general — for its breathtaking backdrops and gorgeous greens, which the Northern Kentucky natives were familiar with after vacationing here for many years.

But 2015 was a rainy year on Hilton Head, and the couple’s June 29 nuptials were nearly washed out.

Lowcountry the perfect destination for Arkansas couple

Tracey Mancini has been a wedding coordinator for 25 years. She’s seen countless brides walk down countless aisles. But some weddings — like Hayley and Jake Jackson’s — stay with her long after the “I dos” have been done.

“There are certain ones that absolutely stick out that I fall in love with, and Hayley and Jake’s wedding was one of them,” says Mancini, senior wedding and events specialist for Celebrations Catering & Events. “Hayley is beautiful, she was a stunning bide, but also so organized in the planning that she made it heavenly easy for me.”

Golfers find love off the course

Kendra Collins was on Bluffton High School’s golf team when she met J.D. Allison, a native of Houston who was attending the International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island.

“He said he saw me and fell in love with me,” says Kendra, who married her high school sweetheart at Windows on the Waterway in Hilton Head Plantation.

On the following pages, we’re going to dazzle you with trends and tips on how to pull off the perfect Lowcountry wedding in 2016. We’ll tell you what colors are hot, and how to use technology to take your nuptials from now to wow! We’ll share real wedding stories from brides and grooms who tied the knot last year using many of the amazing vendors we have right here on Hilton Head.

Once your engagement is announced, the planning process begins. This timeline will help keep you on track when it comes to planning a stress-free wedding. (Yes, it’s possible, right?)

While most toasts are for the bride and groom, may also be celebrated. The newlyweds may toast their bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well as their families, friends and guests. Make a toast sweet and short, try to include something personal, and consider throwing in a famous quote that will make those in attendance smile and or laugh.

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