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FRIENDSHIP FOLLOWED BY MARRIAGE IS A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS 

There is something to be said for marrying your best friend. Combining romance with companionship brings out the best qualities in both types of relationships. It seems couples that have this connection have it figured out — couples like Jennifer and Vinny Matalavage.

Jennifer and Vinny met in college at Penn State Hazleton, sitting next to each other in class and working together on group projects. They really connected as friends and when Vinny began looking for a roommate in 2014, he was excited to learn that Jenny had a job in the same area: “We cleared it with our parents first and then became roommates.”

BRIDE AND GROOM PLANNED A WEEKEND OF CELEBRATION

When a wedding invitation includes an entire weekend full of events including a beach day, you know it’s going to be a good time. And that was the goal for Bluffton residents Ashley Smith and Douglas Lindblad when they were planning their wedding after getting engaged in 2018.

Like many modern-day couples, the pair first met through a dating app. But Hurricane Matthew delayed their first date when Ashley and her children evacuated to North Carolina, and Doug, who was doing tree work at the time, stayed on Hilton Head Island to help in the aftermath of the storm. Doug was also a member of the National Guard and was waiting to hear if he was going to get called up.

FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES PITCH IN TO GIVE COUPLE THE PERFECT WEDDING

Rachel Eudy had always wanted a fall wedding. She loves the outdoors, so when she and her now-husband, David, decided to get married, they knew they wanted nature to play a big part in their September nuptials.

Friend Tim Wright offered to let the couple use the Lowcountry-style clubhouse at The Paddocks, a neighborhood nestled alongside a stretch of Hilton Head Island wetlands.

WEDDED BLISS AT WEXFORD

From the groomsmen arriving by boat to the sea glass blues and greens of the décor and dresses, Christine and C.J. Steedley’s wedding had a true coastal wedding vibe. And Mother Nature contributed with the very best island weather.

MARCH  19TH , 2017

Leah Bloom’s 2017 wedding was notable for its familiarity as much as for its novelty.

“Growing up as a rabbi’s daughter, I had been to many, many weddings, and I had seen my dad do what he does best many times,” said Leah, whose father, Rabbi Brad Bloom of Congregation Beth Yam, married his daughter and her beau, Michael Miller, on March 19, 2017. The wedding took place at Congregation Beth Yam on Hilton Head.

Casey Witkowski and Joshua Tierney are proof that you can get married in the sweltering Hilton Head humidity of July and not regret it.

“It was a hot, sunny day, but we knew it was going to be, which is why we had everything inside that could be inside,” said Casey of her July 14 nuptials. Luckily, between gorgeous venues like Saint Andrew Chapel, where they tied the knot, and Callawassie Island Clubhouse, where they celebrated with friends and family afterward, the Lowcountry can be a beautifully cool place to wed year-round.

When you grow up surrounded by the beauty of the Lowcountry, your life’s backdrop is already the perfect wedding setting. And Halle Boni Keiffer knew it.

“I didn’t want a ton of decorations,” the Bluffton native said of her May 27 nuptials to Nicholas Keiffer. “I’m very, very simple, I just wanted lots of natural stuff.  I love the oak trees, the moss, the leaves. I love the blooming magnolia trees.”

Generally speaking, wedding planners are a combination of personal assistant, event co-chair and fairy godmother. They suggest, assist, organize, double-check and generally get things done. But when Hurricane Matthew battered Hilton Head Island one week before Amy and Jason Loizides’ scheduled October 15, 2016 wedding, Celebrations Catering & Events coordinator Jackie Brino became more than a wedding planner: She became a miracle worker.

Maggie Lowther and Robbie Kelly were married September 3, 2016 at Honey Horn, a day after Tropical Storm Hermine blew through the Lowcountry, leaving debris and tree limbs in her wake.

Luckily, the easygoing bride took it all in stride.