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Click a banner below to check out some local-flavored inspiration, go behind the scenes at a couple of awesome island weddings, pick up a few pointers on Pinterest, and learn how to handle the dreaded Naughty Groomsman. It's all at your fingertips in our Bridal Guide.

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weddingplanner_brideToday’s bride is a savvy one. She’s a bit older than her peers from previous generations, so she has a little more dough to spend and a more refined style to showcase. She’s a tech-savvy pinner who has solid DIY intentions but Hollywood wedding dreams. She also has a full-time job, a sizable social circle and a lot on her plate, even before The Question was popped. In short, she’s the perfect client for a wedding planner.

“A big benefit of hiring a wedding planner is the convenience factor,” for brides who wish they could do it all but know they can do it better with help, said David Wood, president of the international Association of Bridal Consultants. “Your wedding should not be a learning experience. It’s like a one-night Broadway show, and you want to get it right the first time.”

That show is something that takes just the kind of planning, timing and attention to detail that certified wedding planners are trained to provide. There’s a lot a wedding planner can bring to the table, but first and foremost is “making the event happen on time and under budget, because these things spiral out of control,” Wood said.  “Weddings are a very emotional business, and you can generally benefit from having a cool head involved in the planning process.”

The wedding planner’s first job is to sit down with the couple and find out their vision for the day:  The dates they’re looking at, the number of guests they’d like to plan for, the style, and a rough budget for the whole shebang.

Wedding planner Ashley Rhodes helps merge love and location

“Stay local, buy local goods for favors and embrace Lowcountry style and settings,” said Ashley Rhodes. Rhodes has planned a score of Lowcountry weddings, and is full of ideas for making your local wedding one-of-a-kind.

Details abound, such as the sweet potato butter from Lowcountry Produce given out as wedding favors. “They were listed in Oprah’s favorite things four years ago,” Rhodes added.

How wedding planner Serena Crumley made a few new friends

“I still play Words with Friends with them. When they come back in town to visit, they call me,” said Serena Crumley when talking about the wedding party at the Mallory Weaver/Andy Milford nuptials shown here.

That personal connection was forged during a wedding that called for a lot of thinking on Crumley’s feet. There was, for example, the not-trivial detail that no one in the wedding lived on Hilton Head or had ever been here before.

Wedding planner Julie Miller made one couple’s big day a masterpiece

“When Tiffany called me, I got this classic traditional feel. Then I met her and Mitch and right away I was struck by one thing: They were both very fun people,” said wedding planner Julie Miller.

That insight into her clients led to a wedding where each quirky detail belied a playful sense of humor, but those details added up to a stunningly elegent wedding.

And while some bottles wore custom-made Koozies, one bottle contained a very unique idea.

“Tiffany brought in this antique bottle and had everyone put a message in there for the couple,” Miller explained. “And they’re going to read all of them on their first anniversary.”

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.

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You know you live in a beautiful area when it’s on the list of top destination wedding sites in the United States. Brides from Maine to Michigan choose Hilton Head Island as the locale for the most important day of their lives, and with that decision comes a significant amount of special circumstances and unique wedding planning decisions.

To avoid any etiquette missteps, here are a few tips.

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When you think of weddings, there are certain fabrics that come to mind:  satin, lace, silk, linen. Burlap?

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Photo by Hunter McRae Photography

Wedding planning by Weddings With Leah

We live in a society of instant gratification, where the value of even the most important event in our lives is measured by the time it takes to upload and the number of “likes” it generates.

 

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Women have come a long way toward being appreciated for their inner beauty and intellect above all else. But let’s be honest: When a bride daydreams about her walk down the aisle, she just wants to take everyone’s breath away.

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Last year’s big winners at Hilton Head Monthly’s Bridal Show give us a look into their magical day.

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.