OMG! You’re engaged? Congratulations! It’s so exciting, we literally can’t even.
Well, OK, we can.
We have to.
This South Strand summer wedding isn't going to plan itself.
With a sparkling ring on that finger and a lifetime with your beloved to look forward to, it’s easy to forget that wedding planning is hard work. But it can be fun, too, as long as you get organized, stay calm, and plan ahead — and remember that a summer wedding in the Myrtle Beach area is as beautiful as they come.
1)The date: Conventional advice says to set a date at least a year out, and we agree. Remember, the South Strand is a destination wedding locale, so venues, caterers and hotels book up fast — especially in the summertime. As soon as you have your mind made up, start making calls, but remember to remain flexible. The sooner you get the big things locked down, the easier the other planning becomes. In addition, plans made (and save-the-date cards sent) early means out-of-towners have ample time to make travel arrangements. So if you’ve just gotten engaged? Consider waiting until next summer to get hitched.
2)The dress: This is, arguably, the most fun part. First things first, though, establish your dress budget and stick to it. It’s easy to fall in love with a designer gown, but if selecting that means your guests are bussing their own tables, you might want to reconsider. Also keep your venue in mind. If you’ll be exchanging vows on the beach, a formal ball gown with a cathedral-length veil and Jimmy Choo stilettos will not only seem out of place, they’ll be a drag to wear (remember: wind, heat, sand!). Conversely, a church wedding with a country club reception? Not the spot for the barefoot bride treatment.
3)The law: Not all marriage license procedures are the same, so research what it takes to get married here and how. Also, for beach ceremonies, know that you don’t need a special permit to marry on the sand, but certain rules apply —i.e., you can’t reserve or block off any part of the oceanfront. See here for more. If you’ll be marrying in a church, be sure to speak to the pastor or reverend to ensure that’s possible —some places reserve wedding slots for parishioners or members only.
4)The pros: Planning a destination wedding means sometimes booking locales or selecting services sight unseen. Having a set of eyes (and ears and taste buds) working on your behalf can lift that burden considerably. Talk to our fine wedding planners here at the resort, or find an independent expert to help you plan your day. They’ll have all the inside scoops on vendors and can negotiate prices.
5)The guests: If, like you, your friends and family aren’t from around here, make sure they fell welcome. Consider a limo-bus service to shuttle guests from the airport to the hotel where you've blocked off rooms, or from ceremony to reception; provide maps and coupons for area restaurants and entertainment; book a catered rehearsal dinner that gives visitors a taste of the Lowcountry (frogmore stew, anyone?); pass out paper fans if you’re having and outdoor, inland ceremony. These little details go a long way with guests.
6) The stress: Even the most chill brides and grooms have their moments. Nip the jitters in the bud and get yourself a massage. It’ll leave you saying “Ahhhhh… do.”
Did you get married in the South Strand? Any advice you’d like to pass along to those planning their special day?