Plan an unforgettable //DESTINATION WEDDING//
With post-pandemic trending terms like “minimony” and “sequel wedding,” it’s hard to know how to begin planning your destination wedding, but fortunately Lowcountry experts have offered their insightful expertise. “When you have a vendor who translates for a Lowcountry feel,” Beth Baldwin of Beth Baldwin Weddings said, “it ‘marries’ the elements of the evening in perfect harmony.” The top advice for maintaining harmony: Hire a wedding planner.
“Particularly for a destination wedding,” Baldwin adds, “you need someone who knows the ins and outs of where you’ll be, down to traffic patterns and whether you can get guests from point A to B at a certain hour.” Owner Aimee Fennessey of Amanda Rose Weddings agrees. “You can tell an event has been planned professionally. They have a person in charge, and there’s clear direction, moving the day seamlessly from one part to another.”
WHETHER LEAVING YOUR DAY TO THE PROS OR GOING IT ALONE, THESE ARE TOP “BEST BETS” THAT WILL SET YOU ON THE RIGHT FOOT:
• Weather the Wedding Season: Your sweet spot is April through June, with bonuses in March, September, October and November. Avoid July and August for outdoors and measure the tides and times for waterfront views and photography.
• Leverage Local: “Mini-bottles or growlers from local distilleries or treats like chocolates and macaroons are always popular,” Fennessey said. “Add some sparkling waters and a What to Do on Hilton Head book and you have something guests love.”
• Vet your Vendors: “Be careful about your vendor selection,” says Baldwin. “I’m always surprised when I hear ‘I found them on Instagram’ because there’s a lot of misinformation on social media.” Working with a planner guarantees a network of world-class artists and “your vendor team sets you up for success.”
• Tackle the Ticky-Tacky: “Couples assume you can get [the license] whenever you want and right away,” but Fennessey cautions you need an appointment, spots are limited, and there’s a 24-hour waiting period after application. For outdoor events, add comfort items to gift bags like paper fans or travel bottles of bug spray as a small way to change an entire evening.
• Care for Covid: “You want to gauge if anyone is being very cautious but still wants to attend,” Fennessey said. “Most guests who RSVP ‘yes’ are comfortable in groups. Keep vendors in mind. If you want masks worn, communicate that. Communication is key. Speak to a local planner; they’ll know if there are restrictions with size, venue specific details, and what local wedding pros are doing regarding Covid concerns.”
When all is said and done, don’t forget why you’re there: Love one another.
“Wedding day is busy,” Fennessey reminds, “everyone will tell you how quickly it goes by. It’s important to take moments throughout the day to look at each other and breathe.”
FINAL TIP: Book now.
Reservations for venues and planners are pushing out to 2022 and in some cases 2023.
“Things are back, and with more momentum than I’ve ever seen,” Baldwin said.
The advice here is lean in, plan ahead, hire a pro if you can, but most of all, set your sights on an unforgettable Lowcountry destination.