by David Jakubiak
Whether you are a lifelong resident of the area or you are a visitor who has decided to make Hilton Head Island the pristine setting of your destination wedding, any couple getting married in the Lowcountry can take advantage of Southern traditions.
Southern weddings are about much more than groom cakes and blinding white bridal veils. They incorporate a deep celebration of family and community, food and drink, beautiful settings, and, of course a party to be remembered. That said, here are five ways to add a little Hilton Head to your vows.
Hilton Head Island and its surrounding communities are used to welcoming guests. Still, don’t leave your out-of-town guests clueless. When developing your wedding website, include links to some of your favorite area attractions. Don’t forget to include information about things like beach access points and turning out beachfront lights for turtle hatchlings. Think about speaking with the owners of rental properties and finding ways guests can rent homes together.
Few elements of Southern culture have grasped the conscience of Americans like Southern cuisine. And while the idea of having a barbecue pit within inches of your gown may be a bit too much to take, there is no reason at all that Friday night’s rehearsal dinner or Sunday’s brunch can’t incorporate Lowcountry fare. Wow them with a Lowcountry boil; it’ll fill ‘em up and get ‘em talking. Seize their culinary imaginations with shrimp and grits. Trust us, once those groomsmen get their eyes on a plate of local oysters, the party will accelerate like a tropical low.
Add a Party
If there is one thing that makes Southern weddings stand out, it is the seemingly endless schedule of bridal showers. One great thing about having lots of guests in from out of town is that, well, most of those folks probably weren’t able to make it to your earlier showers. Have one more party for all the folks who haven’t seen you since way back when. It’ll give you a chance to talk with them and give them a chance to really be a part of the action.
Take Things Outside
Be honest. There is no reason to come to Hilton Head if all you are going to do is stay inside. The oceanfront, marshlands, creeks, live oaks, sea grasses, dunes, golf courses and beautiful homes offer backdrops that will make your wedding album seem fit for a Charleston gallery. Talk to your photographer about their favorite spots in the area, then go, go, go!
Think about offering your guests a tasty, cool non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy during any outdoor activities. Set up a sweet tea station, or offer some lemonade. Or better yet, line up the Arnold Palmers and enjoy. You’re getting married on Hilton Head! Enjoy, y’all!