From colors, cake, ceremonies and beyond, we have rounded up the hottest trends and classic ideas with a twist for planning your wedding in 2014/2015. 

tenweddingtrends2

While the last few years have been beautiful in the industry, expect design and traditions to be shaken up. Even the most classic brides are ready for something different, a little bolder and maybe a little more exciting. 

yourdayPersonalize your wedding with custom paper details

Despite living in our digital age with iPads, iPhones and hashtags, we are seeing a resurgence and popularity in paper at weddings. As brides look for a wedding they can truly call their own, many are looking at custom paper details. From the very first impression (the save-the-date) to the invitation itself, there’s an extensive list of other paper details to consider. 

pamperingWhen it comes to the bridal industry, we’ve all heard people say “it’s all about the dress.” However, as many past and future brides can tell you, a dress can only go so far when it comes to feeling that you look your absolute best on a day that will be captured in a lifetime’s worth of photos.

For many brides and grooms, the first step is to get in great shape for the wedding and the following honeymoon. Many personal trainers even offer bridal packages or couple packages in the months leading up to their wedding. This can be a great time to take initiative. Everyone promises themselves “this will be the New Year’s resolution that sticks!” But as time and life goes on, they often get left in the dust of January. An upcoming wedding date can be a great hard deadline to finally meet your fitness goals!

Hilton Head wedding venuesThe bride enters the room and walks down a long petal-speckled aisle. Waiting at the end is her husband-to-be. Everything is perfect in that moment.

But what will that moment look like? And where will it take place?

In the South, weddings are reunions. They are a weekend-long affair where friends and family on both sides spend the weekend dining, dancing and sharing memories. They often feel more like a mini-vacation than a one-day event.

cateringhhiYou can’t throw a spoon in a restaurant these days without hitting someone who has a food allergy, sensitivity or personal dietary restriction. Bringing a glutenfree dish to a dinner party or a batch of nut-free cookies to your child’s classroom is now the norm, not the exception.

So you can imagine how complicated it’s getting to cater a wedding.

The event planning publication Special Events recently polled 100 caterers about their changing business, and 95 percent said that in the past five years, the percentage of specialty orders they plan has steadily grown.

Your wedding day is so much more than just you and your spouse-to-be standing in front of God and family to declare your love for one another. It is a minefield of possible disasters that you must avert at all costs. It is a lovely chance to reconnect with family. It is a crisis-management gauntlet you must run while looking fabulous every step of the way. And it is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to express yourself. All of this, the good and the not-so-good, makes up your big day.

The wedding reception candy bar is a thing of the past. The make-your-own s’mores station has been played out. Mini cupcakes? So 2009.

So what hidden menu surprises are brides and grooms offering their guests these days?

The answer, oddly enough, is a late-night snack.

 

shrimpiesIf you have ever attended a wedding, or a formal affair, the meal is always that one aspect that will be remembered for being a hit or a flop.  Wedding food could and should be amazing; it should be something to remember when you and your guests look back on your wedding day.  In the overall wedding budget, the largest amount of the couple’s money will be spent in this category, so plan with care when selecting the caterer, the menu, and style of service for your wedding. 

When selecting a venue (see March column), you’ll notice some venues have their own exclusive caterer or in-house food and beverage department. Otherwise, a couple must research off-premises caterers to fulfill this position. 

weddingdress_amydaringWritten by Jen Leiti and Photo by Amy Daring

Are you one of the many brides guilty of having an addiction to “pinning”? Are you finding yourself on inspiration overload? For many brides and grooms, the abundance of creative ideas out there can be quite overwhelming! With so many ideas to incorporate into a single event, how are you supposed to narrow them down to a design concept that is fresh, innovative and personal without overdoing the details? Here are some tips I share with my brides to help them come up with the perfect concept.

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.