All you need for the perfect wedding

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A lot of bridal guides will try to tell you what you “must have” to make your wedding day a success.

While it can be exciting to see all the edgy new trends that brides and grooms are incorporating to make their wedding days the best ever, we think the only thing you “must have” for a successful soiree is love. If you have that — and we’re certain you do — then everything else is just icing on the cake. (Unless you’re serving pie, in which case, mmmm, ice cream!)

Planning a wedding can seem like a stressful undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. The Lowcountry has a ton of skilled wedding planners, caterers and club managers who have the experience and expertise needed to make sure your special day is free of stress but loaded with memory-making moments.

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What planning a wedding should be is fun, and gathering ideas based on current trends, traditions you love, and other people’s weddings is a super fun way to start planning your own. The stress creeps in when brides continue to pore over Pinterest until just before they walk down the aisle, always worried they’re going to miss out on the next great idea.

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Our advice is to start with the brainstorming and page-turning early, then pick your favorite handful of ideas and hire the right experts to help make those touches a special part of your day.

To get you started on your journey, here are some of the latest trends and ideas we love. Some are cool, some are classy, some are unconventional — but hopefully they’ll spark something in your imagination that will end up being the second-best thing about your own wedding day.

Because the best thing will be the love.

#nuptialnicknames are #helpful

perfectweding5Wedding couples are using hash tags early and often, typically one mashup that combines the bride and groom’s names and at least one other fun hash tag that speaks to the theme of the wedding. This is a great way to help organize and search for wedding-related pics on social media, so get your bridal party and guests on board from the get-go.

Digital tools and applications can help keep you organized and on track — and maybe reduce some stress. They’re called “smartphones” for a reason.

HERE ARE SIX APPS THAT CAN LEND YOU A HAND

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Make the cocktail hour count

The cocktail hour used to be nothing more than a time-filler while the wedding party took pictures and the staff readied the reception space for dinner. Now it’s a crucial part of the party, often with special live music and a signature cocktail. To kick the hour up a notch, hire a caricature artist, barbershop quartet or street performer to entertain the masses while they mingle. Or have a few cornhole stations set up for people to play a quick game while they sip.

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Use technology to wow the crowd

Want to transform your reception space into an oasis? Use projection technology to create a cool digital background for your festivities. Or change the scenes — and the mood — to fit the different stages of your reception. It’s a cool tech tool that can help take your party virtually anywhere you want to go.

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Make the naked cake more modest

The trend of unfrosted cakes is still strong, but more bakers are being asked to create a “translucent cake,” in which a thin layer of frosting is used. That gives the cake a bit more sophistication but leaves the cake layers visible — a look that’s down-to-earth yet chic.

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Giving back can be your wedding’s gift

In lieu of favors, select a few charities close to your heart and make donations in the names of your guests. (Be sure to let them know using a place card at the table.) And after your reception, deliver the flowers or centerpieces to an assisted-living facility or hospital in town. Instead of a guest book, have your guests sign postcards from your hometown that you can send to troops overseas. 

Get a little sentimental

Honor the great loves of your families’ previous generations by reading something that was included in your parents’ nuptials, displaying your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dresses, or surprising your parents by having the band play their wedding song at the reception. 

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Let them eat … again

The late-night noshing trend is strong, with food trucks, ice cream bars and gourmet coffee stations becoming end-of-the-night staples. Want an unconventional take? Offer a late-night cereal bar, with healthy and indulgent options as well as different types of milk. (Soy, regular, coconut, chocolate.) Who wouldn’t want a Cocoa Puffs-Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch combo at 11 p.m.?