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If you’ve never heard of Montage Palmetto Bluff, BOY do I have a treat for you today!

When John and I first visited this magical Southern destination a few years ago, it really did feel like we were stepping into another world — one where the light dripping through the Spanish moss is always perfect; everyone you meet is friendly, helpful, and relaxed; and each building and street is more adorable than the last. Since our first visit, things in Bluffton have only gotten more beautiful and accommodating, thanks to a recent multi-million dollar expansion and renovation.

It is truly my pleasure to give you the scoop on this Southern gem today, so let’s go take a tour!

Nestled within a lush 20,000 acre coastal nature preserve between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, Montage Palmetto Bluff delights guests at every turn. The property includes:

— 200 guest accommodations, including private cottages, guest rooms, and suites
— six dining experiences
— three distinct pools
— a spa
— a vibrant village and marina
— and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf course

Combined with all of the other available recreational activities and the sheer pleasure of walking Montage Palmetto Bluff’s grounds, your guests will never run out of things to do during their stay!

Top two photos by Rach Loves Troy from this wedding, middle two photos by Perry Vaile from this wedding, and bottom photo of the Sommerset Chapel

Most famous of Montage Palmetto Bluff’s wedding offerings is the May River Chapel – you’ve likely seen it in past weddings we’ve featured, like Jennifer and Kerby’s and Leigh and Steve’s. I truly think it is the most picturesque chapel in the South! The Sommerset Chapel is a newer, equally beautiful addition to the property, and it has a slightly larger capacity (up to 185 guests).

Photos by Rach Loves Troy from this wedding

For your reception, venue options include beautiful lawns and green spaces, including the Village Green with the iconic ruins of the Wilson Mansion. These spots are perfect for tenting, and can graciously host up to 500 guests. I love the history behind these locations, which once hosted some of the most fabulous Southern parties of the early 1900s while the mansion was still standing – quite the legacy!

Photos by Perry Vaile from this wedding

There are two beautiful ballroom options for indoor affairs, as well. I love that even the indoor options incorporate Palmetto’s lovely surroundings, with large wraparound verandas and gorgeous windows.

Photos by Rach Loves Troy

Once you arrive, trust me, you and your guests are not going to want to leave, so thankfully there are wonderful rehearsal dinner options on property, too. From a romantic wine cellar to the fire-pit dotted May River Lawn to the open-air pavilion at Moreland Landing, perfect for an oyster roast and complete with a five-story tree house wrapped around a centuries-old live oak tree (!).

Montage Palmetto Bluff has you covered in the beauty department, too, with Spa Montage. There, you can indulge in a couples massage, take a dip in both hot tubs and cold plunge pools, and get your hair and makeup done for the celebration itself in their full-service salon.

Curious to see more of this Southern wedding wonderland? Take a peek at a few past Montage Palmetto Bluff weddings we’ve featured:
Jennifer and Kerby: married on the Village Green with a tented reception at the Village Green
Leigh and Steve: married at the May River Chapel with a reception at Moreland Landing
Janelle and Paul: married at the May River Chapel with a reception in the Oak Ballroom
Caroline and Wyatt: married at the May River Chapel with a reception under a tent on the Village Green and dancing in the Oak Ballroom

Of course, you can always head to the Montage Palmetto Bluff website for the full scoop,, including their wedding brochure and contact information. And P.S: Even if you’ve already planned your wedding at another location, there’s still hope! Montage Palmetto Bluff makes the PERFECT honeymoon destination :)

This post is brought to you by Montage Palmetto Bluff. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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There are countless benefits of throwing a destination wedding: it provides a fun getaway experience for you and your guests, it takes some of the pressure off of you when it comes to handling the details, and you can easily move from your wedding day right into your honeymoon. But what to do when you and your groom want a destination feel without leaving the familiarity and convenience of the South? To answer that question, we turned to Starwood Hotels and Resorts, who offer plenty of options for a resort destination wedding that will be just a quick plane or road trip for you and your loved ones. Along with keeping travel costs to a minimum and ensuring that you can show your guests the utmost in Southern hospitality, Starwood Hotels and Resorts also offers some great perks to Starwood Preferred Guests, like bonus Starpoints you can redeem on your honeymoon!

Top two: The Westin Jekyll Island, bottom: The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa

We often say at Southern Weddings that one of the best things about the South is the range of environments to enjoy, and Starwood has resorts that highlight many of them. Beachy brides will love The Westin Jekyll Island and The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa (their Grand Ocean Terrace opening in spring 2017 looks incredible!), while couples dreaming of a garden soirée may find just what they’re looking for at The Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club in Frisco, Texas. I’m a city girl myself, so one of my favorites is The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, which overlooks the Savannah River and the historic downtown skyline!

The Westin Stonebriar Hotel & Golf Club

Many people automatically think of the Caribbean or Hawaii when they hear the words “destination wedding,” but as you can see, there’s no reason to let go of your dreams of a Southern celebration in order to enjoy the perks of hosting a wedding somewhere other than your hometown. I love the idea of choosing a resort in a place that’s already meaningful to the two of you (maybe a favorite vacation spot!), or picking a place you’ve always wanted to visit. Your wedding will undoubtedly turn it into one of your most beloved locations!

The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa

Starwood has been my family’s hotel collection of choice for many years, thanks to the great benefits they offer Starwood Preferred Guests, so I wasn’t surprised at all to learn that those perks extend to brides. If you host your wedding at a Starwood Resort, you’ll be rewarded Starpoints as soon as you sign your contract, which can be applied toward your honeymoon at a Starwood property anywhere in the world! You can learn more about the SPG Weddings benefits here.

Did you have a destination wedding? How did you decide where to host it? We’d love to hear!

This post is brought to you by Starwood Hotels and Resorts – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Arielle says she has known all her life that she would someday be married on the beach. When it came time to decide where she and Chris would tie the knot, Seaside, Florida was the perfect choice–this Austin-dwelling couple has visited Seaside every year since their first year of dating! While I’m quite the fan of their location choice, I think their vow selection has my heart (be sure to read their favorite lines). They pieced together phrases that fit their relationship perfectly, saying that “every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!” That’s the sweet stuff right there, y’all!

We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor, Dear Wesleyann was there to capture their lovely day!

I went to visit my family in Cincinnati and we went to the Reading Bridal District. I have a very boho style and have known all my life that I would get married on a beach, so it was a given that I had to find something wispy and light. We went into Yours Truly Kelly for our first stop, and there it was: a light tulle gown with little petals flowing down the train. It was too big, so my mom convinced me to try another shop, but I couldn’t get the dress off my mind! The next day, I went back and purchased the dress, and worked with a seamstress here in Austin to tailor it to my body, which required redesigning the bodice. We also added a belt made out of a hand-beaded fabric from a local shop in Austin.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We worked with the pastor from our church in Houston, Ecclesia, to piece together our vows. In my vows, I especially loved a phrase that said “I take you, Chris, to be my constant friend and faithful partner…I promise to love you unconditionally and support your goals from this day forward.” Chris loved this part of his vows: “I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the woman you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.” These phrases fit us so perfectly because we have really grown up together. Every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!

Chris walked my grandma down the aisle to “Edelweiss,” which is her favorite song. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World,” because he and I always listened to Eva Cassidy growing up, and we both love that song. Our friend played songs by Zac Brown Band on a ukulele while we did our knot-tying ceremony, which brought us back to our time in Nashville! Our first dance was to “Wagon Wheel,” because it was kind of our song when we first started dating, after lots of fun nights dancing and singing to it together at the bars with friends!

Describe your wedding flowers. I cried the moment I saw my bouquet. Marja from Florals by the Sea did the most incredible job using coral peonies, white anemones, white roses, lamb’s ear, and bright green foliage. It was breathtaking and looked so beautiful against the ocean and the sand.

If there’s one thing we heard most while planning our destination wedding, it was “Why Seaside?” Simply put, when Chris and I are there, it feels like the rest of the world could not be further away, and we enjoy a simpler way of life, if only for a few days. We’ve visited Seaside every year since our first year of dating! We invited guests to take time during the wedding weekend to walk through the Seaside farmer’s market, have a beer on the porch of the Great Southern, walk through the Perspicasity market, and pick up a few Seaside t-shirts along the way. Ultimately, we wanted our friends and family to fall in love with Seaside for the same reasons we did. Because of that hope, this quiet little beach town was the perfect choice for our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The colors, the clothing, the bow ties (Vineyard Vines), the entire look and feel, the architecture of Seaside, Southern food (chicken and waffle skewers, shrimp and grits, and local brews), the music choices, and all of our Southern friends and family…I could go on and on!

The most memorable moment of our wedding day was the very end of the reception. As the night concluded, Chris and I walked up the stairs to the Bud & Alley’s bar, and I just remember looking down at our guests and seeing so much love. Everyone was beaming with joy. It was beautiful and I feel so blessed to have that memory to think back on every day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while attending Belmont University in Nashville. I was having a dinner party with some of our fraternity and sorority friends, and one of them brought Chris, who had just transferred to Belmont, along. We became very good friends in the following months, and began dating about a year later. We haven’t looked back since!
Tell us all about the proposal! We had moved to Houston, Texas for work. My family was planning to visit for Thanksgiving, so I had an inclination that Chris would possibly propose during their visit, but I suppose he couldn’t wait! It was a Thursday evening and we got in the car to go out for a late dinner. We had decided to go to Dolce Vita, our favorite spot in Montrose, but Chris started driving in the opposite direction towards Houston’s mall, The Galleria. I remember being so confused (and hungry!). He kept talking on and on (much more than usual) about our new church and our life in our new city. Eventually, he parked in the mall parking garage and told me he wanted to check out some sort of art display. This was very unusual, because he isn’t really the art type! I followed him and the next thing I knew, we were in an unlit park with a large cement wall, most commonly referred to as the Water Wall. Usually, the wall is lit up, but on this night in particular, they were doing some maintenance and there was a boom lift in the middle of it. I looked at Chris and said something along the lines of “Why are we at this dark park…it’s not even open, and there’s construction stuff everywhere!” I turned around to walk away when he stopped me and said, “Well, I was going to ask you to marry me!” I turned around in utter disbelief and laughed, asking if he was joking. After he assured me that he was serious, I, of course, said yes, and then we went to have a celebratory dinner at Dolce Vita!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Probably the cake table, because it was so close to our hearts. The cake stand was handmade by Chris’ dad, and my grandparents’ cake topper from their wedding sat beside it. The hand-beaded starfish chandelier that my mom so lovingly made for us added to the beautiful display.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil from my best friend Katie (we were in each other’s weddings, too!). My something old was a family locket with photos of my grandfather and my grandma (God rest her soul) inside, which I tied to my bouquet. My something blue was a handmade garter (seersucker, of course!) from my mother-in-law, Lori, and my earrings from BHLDN were new!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did a full marriage course with our church. We highly recommend doing this. It helped us to work through tough questions that we will eventually face in the future and taught us to communicate openly and respectfully with one another. It has helped our relationship immensely and I’m forever grateful to our pastors, Paul Randall and Chris Seay.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Chris and I spent a lot of time talking about our wedding, but he always reminded me when we needed to maintain our real life. In the days leading up to the wedding, we spent time just enjoying the moment–we checked into a sweet little cottage and sat inside, drinking wine and listening to the rain. We enjoyed lots of rest and time with family and friends, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. All I can say is to just remember that your wedding is about the rest of your life together and that life goes beyond the wedding day. It’s where your story begins!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right after the wedding, Chris and I made plans to move from Houston to Austin. We both took new jobs and made the official move in January 2015. We are now making plans to buy our first house. Hopefully, it will be a fixer-upper, because we both love a good project! Aside from that, we’re in the middle of planning our next Seaside reunion trip for Labor Day weekend with our best friends!

Photographer: Dear Wesleyann / Videographer: Gilmore Pictures / Planner: Heather Archdeacon Williams of Defining Moments Weddings and Events / Ceremony Venue: Coleman Beach / Reception Venue and Catering: Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant / Florist: Florals by the Sea / Cake Baker: Publix / DJ: B Boy Productions / Paper Products: Simply Fetching Paper / Bride’s Gown: La Sposa / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bride’s Necklace: Liz James / Hair Stylist: Kallie Warner and Ilyssa Glover Goddin / Makeup Artist: Kallie Warner / Bride’s Shoes: “Buti” in Metallic by Castaner / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “778” in Capri by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Pants: Bonobos / Groom’s Shirt: Façonnable / Groom’s Bow Tie: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmens’ Pants: “Chinos” in Navy by Dockers / Groomsmens’ Shirts and Bow Ties: Vineyard Vines / Nautical Rope Table Numbers: Karen’s Wedding Shop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Irving Gil reply

    Arielle and Chris were such a pleasure to work with and their wedding was so beautiful. Seaside is one of my favorite cities and I was so happy to be a part of their special day!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #197 – Floridian Social reply

    […] get enough of this colorful beach wedding, especially the groom's poppin' pastel […]

  3. avatar Candance reply

    This is amazing. Gorgeous. The details are absolutely flawless.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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