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My HHI, SC wedding review

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I am so glad that DH and I decided to have a destination wedding. It was perfect for us! We wanted our wedding to be a celebration with our friends and family and that is what it truly ended up being! We couldn't have asked for a better day! So, without furthur ado...


Here are my vendors:


The Dunes House - A

The Dunes House is located in Palmetto Dunes Plantation. It was a great location to get married. We wanted a location where you can get married on the beach and then walk to the reception. The reception was just steps away from our wedding site! Here is a post to show pictures of the Dunes House:



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Nicole Guy - A

nguy@palmettodunes.com Hilton Head Beach Resorts & Vacation Rentals | Palmetto Dunes | South Carolina Golf Resorts

Nicole Guy is the event coordinator at The Dunes House. She helps you with answering any questions you may have and she helps coordinate the schedules of the vendors you have chosen. From my understanding, she is not a wedding coordinator. She will give you a list of suggested vendors and you are to find them from there. I honestly didnâ€t use Nicole to find my vendors, so I am not sure if she is willing to help or not! This is just an FYI. She was very sweet and helpful. It would take 2-3 days for her response on emails, so she was pretty fast at replying! It was wonderful to have her because she took care of many of the details on the rehearsal and wedding day. Itâ€s always nice not to have to worry about that! She really came in handy when we had our rehearsal and the groom and I forgot to pick up our wedding license that day (Thatâ€s what you get for having the bachelor/bachelorette party the night before!) She called the marriage license bureau to find out where our license would be, the Beaufort County office or HHI county office, so that the groom could pick it up on our wedding day! Whew-disaster diverted thanks to Nicole and our officiant for the reminder!

The staff at The Dunes House on our wedding day was also great! When my mom, aunt and sisters helped set-up before the wedding, they told me that Nicole and the waiters helped them set up some of my details. My family said they got set-up pretty quickly because of their help. They even came in handy and passed out my programs and maracas to guests as they came in. (I wanted them to be placed on the seats, but it was too windy!)


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We had a sit down dinner and they did a wonderful job. I didnâ€t eat much, but my friends and family kept raving about how good the food was.


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The whole night they kept saying to us...â€Thanks for choosing The Dunes House to host your wedding.â€

My only regret is very minor, but I want to pass it on! In some of my pictures, you can see a vendor with some beach rentals. Legally, I donâ€t know if Nicole can control how far away he can be from the wedding spot, but it was a disappointment to have him that close to the rituals. Again, it is minor in the grand scheme of things! However, I would just ask Nicole how far vendors can be asked to move away from the ceremony. It never hurts to ask!


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Officiant- Gail Felton - A

weddingbythesea@aol.com A Wedding By The Sea - Hilton Head Island

Gail was my first vendor that I called! She was so sweet and helpful. She gave me many recommendations on locations and wedding coordinators. I didnâ€t look any further...I booked her and saved my wedding date with her! She has done many weddings in HHI, so she has many relationships with the vendors there. She is very down to earth and I love her little southern accent. During the ceremony, I got a little teary eyed and tried to fight back the tears during my vows and afterwards she whispered that I did a great job. She was really encouraging and relaxing. She has a great ceremony. She sent it to me and told me to look over it and make changes wherever I wanted. I used most of hers and added some things that I wanted also! You couldnâ€t ask for a nicer person to marry you!


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I also have attached the orginal ceremony and the altered script of the ceremony that I used. (Thanks, Morgan...I "borrowed" some of your ceremony!)






Friends_Family_Mayou_Angelo_Poem (Altered for BDW).doc

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Cake- Sheri's Edible Designs - A

Sheri@SherisEdibleDesigns.com Sheri's Edible Designs - Truly Unique Cake Art - Hilton Head Island, SC - Hilton Head Wedding Cakes

Sheri is awesome! I was lucky and had Sherri make us 2 cakes! Yum! One cake was for the wedding and the other cake was for our rehearsal. She dropped off both cakes herself and both cakes were gorgeous! Sheri usually responded to your phone calls or emails that day or the next. She is very professional to deal with. She will ask you many questions to make sure that your vision and her vision are on the same page. I highly recommend her!


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Flowers- Lauri Leber - A


Lauri was wonderful! I am not a big flower girl, so I didnâ€t want to make a big fuss over my flowers. I wanted a bridal bouquet, 6 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 corsages for our mothers, and a bamboo arch. In my bouquets, I wanted them simple. I wanted a couple stems of the same flower. She saw my vision and ran with it. My flowers were perfect. I contacted Lauri 1 ½ weeks before my wedding and she didnâ€t hesitate to take my business. She really saved me! She was very professional and she responded to emails very quickly. I couldnâ€t have asked for a better bamboo arch, bouquets, or corsages! She was awesome to work with!


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Click the image to open in full size.


Photography- Shelly Hutchinson - B

shelly@hutchinsonphotography.net Shelly Hutchinson Photography ~ Weddings, Portraits, Life ~ Bluffton, South Carolina

Shelly was a great professional to work with. She responded to emails quickly, usually within a couple hours or the next day. I met Shelly the day of the wedding and she was very nice. I also added another photographer to her wedding package to get 2 different perspectives of the wedding...I am glad that I made that choice! Shelly and Angela (the other photographer) had opposite personalities. Shelly was the Type A personality. She wanted to make sure everything was shot perfectly and that everyone was acting accordingly. For example, two of my bridesmaids were talking while getting lined up for the girls†pics and she kind of scolded them and said something like, “Ladies, I am over here taking pictures...I need you to smile and look this way.†Angela was the Type B personality where she was really easy going and fun. She was taking pics of the groom and his side and you can tell from the photographs that they were having fun.

During the wedding, I forgot that they were even there! So, they did a great job not making themselves known! After the wedding, they took a bunch of pics of my DH and I. Again, it was great having both of them because Angela got some great shots from different angles that we wouldnâ€t have with just one photographer. I am disappointed in the pictures of my DH and me by ourselves because it was so windy on the beach that my bangs were flying and it looked like I had those 80â€s bangs! I know that is not their fault, but I wish they would have told me because I could have had tucked them behind my ear or borrowed my sisterâ€s hair clip. So, now I donâ€t have any pics of the DH and I that I love where you can see our faces. That makes me very sad!

As I look back at my pics, I regret that I didnâ€t get more fun pics taken with my bridal party. Shelly took pics of us inside waiting for the wedding to start. I was sad that I didnâ€t make her go kick the boys out from the beach area, so that we could have fun pics of us on the beautiful beach. Someone asked her for pics on the beach and she blew if off. I should have been more assertive, but the whole day was like a whirl wind. I am also a little put off by her because when I received my CD of the images from her, two files of pictures (about 60) were missing. I emailed her to let her know and she said that that was weird because they were on her computer. I was not upset, I just wanted to know how I was going to get the pics. So, she told me how to save them to my computer file at home from her website. Thatâ€s a great solution so that I can have the pics now, but I thought she would have offered to make me another CD with all the pics on it. So, I download 60 pics on to my computer on my own time and made myself another copy of all my wedding pics on a CD.

Overall, Shelly and Angela worked very hard the day of the wedding! They were constantly taking pictures. We invited them to dinner and they ate their meals fast and then kept working. They were great!

My biggest regret is not spending more money on photography. It is like everyone says, that is the memory you have of your wedding that will last. And to each his own, you may feel that photography is not all the important to you, so you donâ€t want to spend too much money. Personally, I love the art of photography and I personally felt like I didnâ€t get that. I had a hard time convincing DH to spend more money on photography, so we looked at the photographers within our budget and Shelly was the best! So, we got what we paid for. I just wish that I didnâ€t listen to him and chose the photographer that I really wanted. If I had done that, I wouldnâ€t have this feeling of disappointment with our pictures. (Just as an FYI...I would have gone with Tim Zielenbach Photograhy).


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Click the image to open in full size.


Rehearsal Menu-Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill – A

(843) 342-8808

This was a last minute decision! DH and I were catering in Mexican food for our Rehearsal Fiesta! We wanted to try out the two different places to see which place we liked best. Well, we tried Fiesta Fresh and didnâ€t even look at the other location. We were very happy with them! We made our order the day before the rehearsal and we told them when we would pick it up the following day. That had everything ready and waiting for us. It was delicious and all the guests raved about the food!




Vendors that I almost used:


Wedding Coordinator- Julie Miller Weddings - F

I contacted Julie Miller Weddings about their services and they responded quickly. They were very sweet and really pushed for you to use them for the full time wedding service. I told them that I just needed their services to help find a location for my beach ceremony and reception and the day of services. They gave me a price and I told them that I would discuss it with DH and get back to them. Well, of course, DH said that we donâ€t need their services (letâ€s just call DH, Mr. Budget) and if I wanted to use them that this would mean that X amount is our new budget. So, I called the next day and left a message that I was interested in their services and that X amount is our budget. I never got a phone call or email back from them. Not very professional, ya think?!


Flowers- Tracey from FreshCuts - F

I contacted Tracey in the beginning of May to get a price quote of the flowers that I wanted for the wedding and if she had availability on my wedding day. She assured me that she did and that she would work on getting me a price quote when I sent her an idea of the flowers and the arch that I had wanted. I sent her pictures right away with flowers and the arch. Tracey was pretty slow at responding to emails...usually 4-5 days. She would finally respond...with no price quote and suggestions to add other flowers to my bouquets. (As previously mentioned, I just wanted simple bouquets with one type of flower). I mentioned this to her in the email (that I only wanted one type of flower) and told her I wanted bouquets just like the pics that I sent her. A couple days later, I get a response asking for the pics again. (What business person doesnâ€t keep records of the emails that their clients send them?) So, I resend her the pics again. She responds again, a few days later, and again suggests other flowers to add to the bouquet and still no price quote. She also suggested some centerpiece ideas. I inform her in am email of the one type of flower bouquet, that I am not interested in centerpieces, and that I still need a quote on the arch and flowers, and for the pics of the arches she has claimed to have created for other weddings. I didnâ€t hear from her in a couple of days, so I called. I asked her about the price quote for flowers, an idea of what the bamboo arch will look like, and if she can get my peonies that I wanted. She told me that she is working on it and that she will email me right away with my quote. Cut to June 4, 15 more days until my actual wedding. I finally get a quote. HOLY MOLY! I reply to her email and ask her:

1. Why has it taken so long to get a quote?

2. Why is the price so high for flowers and arch?

3. Where are the pics you have promised me of the other arches you have built?

She responded within a few minutes of my email (Well, thatâ€s a first! This is straight from the email...)


Attached is my revised proposal reflecting individual pricing and comments. My pricing on the flowers you requested remains unchanged as well as the arbor rental. With such a narrow window, I would recommend you try another alternative that meets your price range.





Thanks for the advice, Tracey! I did choose another vendor who put my order together in less than one week. Lauri Leber from Lillyâ€s Valley Florist was awesome and I cannot recommend her enough!


I hope this review helps some of you future HHI brides! Here is another great site for you also!

Hilton Head Island Weddings :: Your Best Source of Local Wedding Information


Good luck with your planning!

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wow looks like everything turned out great! so happy for you :) congrats!

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