By Marianna Barbrey
Photography by Thomas Love and Rob Kaufman

The Latest in Trends and Ideas: Lowcountry LooksReception

Personalize your wedding by creating sub-areas of your reception that are geared toward specific demographics. For example, since weddings are primarily feminine affairs, it’s becoming popular to include a “Man Cave” for the gentlemen. Make it an adjacent room (or area) and stock it with cigars, brandy, scotch and a flatscreen with the game on — you know, guy stuff.

If your guest list includes a lot of families, consider holding a minireception for the mini-guests. A kid-only reception can be separate from its adult counterpart and feature babysitters, pizza, movies, music and maybe even a special cake. This kind of reception can help put parents at ease, while allowing kids to have a great time in a comfortable environment — one way more fun than a grown-up party.

Nearly a year and a half in the making and laden with Southern style, the June wedding of Lauren Daniels and Dave Jarman was an event unprecedented in Palmetto Bluff history.

Inspired by the rustic charm of the surroundings, the event was planned by the Caitlin McGettigan and Julianne Austin of New York City-based outfit Cait and Jules Fresh Events, along with mother of the bride Lisa Daniels. Together the group developed a decor that used allnatural and indigenous materials, including birch bark, cotton pods, magnolia leaves and lots and lots of moss.

Phyllis Mauney: Have harp, will travelPhyllis Mauney: retired Marine, career musician and, most likely, the Lowcountry resident who has played harp for the higher number of presidents.

Retired U.S. Marine Corps E-9 gunnery sergeant Phyllis Mauney has never fired a weapon, but she wields a mean harp.

The 57-year-old Bluffton resident, who moved to the area in 2005, joined the Corps in 1978 after auditioning for “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. After years with the Marines and performing with symphonies, she’s now a freelance harpist. But she doesn’t carry her harp around in a hip holster; it’s a 75-pound, 46-string load that she delivers and sets up by her diminutive self. “It fits nicely into my van, but sometimes I call on a friend to help,” she says.

Having an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing style or elegance. Here are a few ways to make your wedding greener — but no less refined — while saving a good bit of money along the way.

By Marianna Barbrey

Get married green

INVITATIONS

Purchase invitations made from 100 percent recycled paper, partially recycled paper or postconsumer products. And consider minimizing the actual amount of paper used by eschewing paper liners or second interior envelopes. This will not only cut down on costs but also reduce waste.

Amanda and Case SpencerAmanda Spencer was born and raised in West Lafayette, Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Tourism Management. While attending Purdue she worked for Marriott International in Indianapolis, IN and Lexington, KY. Hospitality was a natural fit for Amanda.

In 2003 Amanda accepted the position of Event Manager for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Her responsibilities included planning meetings and events for Chamber members, business leaders and State Officials throughout the Bluegrass state.

Here's how to fix the inevitable Bad Bridesmaid Dress problem.

Last month, as we here at Monthly sat in the conference room brainstorming story ideas for the bridal section you now hold in your hands, we found that three words seemed to especially animate the ladies in the room: Bad. Bridesmaid. Dresses.

Many of us have seen them, some of us have worn them and all of us know that they've affected, in some way, weddings all over the globe throughout the history of time. And that got me thinking where such a strange, universal phenomenon could have come from in the first place, and how it could be demolished forever.

markstaffphotoWhat's new in greetings, gifts, bouquets, catering - and everything else

By Marianna Barbrey and photography by Mark Staff

GROOM/GROOMSMEN ATTIRE

The black and white tuxedo is still the quintessential wedding look for grooms and groomsmen, but classic doesn't have to be boring. Many grooms are personalizing their looks with simple touches that show off their personalities, like having the wedding date or the bride-to-be's initials stitched onto their shirt cuffs, or giving their groomsmen bright argyle socks to wear with their tuxes and special sunglasses to don immediately after the ceremony or when entering the reception. HaIR Let your hair down, ladies.

33pp_bottlefavors_2

Photography by 33 Park Photography

Of all the photos in a wedding album, few tell the subtle story of your special day with character and sentimentality like the close-ups of wedding favors. Whether they're candles with ribbons that carry on the colors of the day's decor or savory stuffed boxes of sweet take-home treats, these special gifts are a token of the couple's gratitude and happiness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

By Robyn Passante
Crab cake photo by Mark Staff
Other photos courtesy Sheri's Edible Designs

crabcakegroomcakeIf a wedding cake is Sunday morning - refined, subdued, classy - then a groom's cake is Saturday night. It's informal and amusing, a piece of personality on a plate. And

just like Saturday nights, the stakes continue to get higher for groom's cakes, local bakers say.

beachbrideBy Robyn Passante and Photography by Rob Kaufman

Here's the dream.
You and your groom are exchanging vows beneath a blue sky on a hilton head island beach, set against the intoxicating backdrop of a gentle sea breeze, the rolling surf and a gorgeous sunset.

Story/photography by Rob Kaufman

videographerLooking for something different in your wedding photo album? More couples are opting for fusion - the marriage of audio, video and film. There has never been a time when technological innovation moved so quickly. It seems like the latest, greatest "iThing" debuts every other day and most of us haven't even upgraded to Cool Toy 2.0 before Version 3.0 hits the shelves.

From inexpensive high-quality cameras to powerful image manipulating software, photography is at the heart of this modern technological boom. The advancements have allowed the creativity of great photographers to be unleashed - and brides and grooms everywhere are benefiting from the boost.

Here’s the dream.

Monthly’s 2011 Bridal Guide - PHOTO BY MARK STAFFYou and your groom are exchanging vows beneath a blue sky on a Hilton Head Island beach, set against the intoxicating backdrop of a gentle sea breeze, the rolling surf and a gorgeous sunset.

Here’s the reality: That gentle sea breeze is often called “wind,” and it can whip that sand, your decorations and your perfect hairdo all over the place. The blue sky is not always blue; in fact, sometimes it leaks water all over your wedding. The rolling surf can make it difficult for guests to hear you say “I do.” Oh, and if you want the sun to be setting over the water while you wed, you’re on the wrong coast altogether.

A wedding on the beach can be a truly romantic event, but couples who want such a wedding need to understand all that comes — and goes — with an event at the water’s edge. Here’s a start.

CRAB CAKES: Recent work by Sheri’s Edible Designs, which is featured this month on an episode of TLC’s “Fabulous Cakes.”If a wedding cake is Sunday morning — refined, subdued, classy — then a groom’s cake is Saturday night. It’s informal and amusing, a piece of personality on a plate. And just like Saturday nights, the stakes continue to get higher for groom’s cakes, local bakers say.

“It used to be simply a round cake covered with dark ganache and chocolate pearls, and maybe a ‘G’ for Georgia or something. Ten years ago that was pretty much it,” said Signe Gardo, owner of Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery and Cafe on Hilton Head Island. “Now it’s anything. Some of them get very, very involved.”

Of all the photos in a wedding album, few tell the subtle story of your special day with character and sentimentality like the close-ups of wedding favors. Whether they’re candles with ribbons that carry on the colors of the day’s decor or savory stuffed boxes of sweet take-home treats, these special gifts are a token of the couple’s gratitude and happiness. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Local favors (with local flavor)

EDIBLE FAVORS

We already mentioned probing palates with a sweet treat. Personalized chocolate bars, individual truffles, cake-shaped cookies, fresh fruit or slices of a groom’s cake — a Southern tradition — top the lists at the Wedding Channel. Try packaging a variety of diminutive desserts in a gift box wrapped with colorful ribbon.