PICK A WEDDING DATE
After Sam and I got engaged, the very first thing we did was pick a date. His youngest sister was graduating from high school that year and he knew that all of his family would be coming in to town to celebrate that. So it was natural for us to choose a wedding date the Saturday after her graduation so it would be the most convenient for the out of town guests.
Emma and Sam D. - Aiken, SC
SELECT A CEREMONY SITE
The first thing that Eric and I did after getting engaged was start looking at ceremony venues. Originally I was thinking about a beach wedding, but Eric liked the idea of a garden more, so thatís what we decided on. We found the most beautiful venue with a great big tree that we could have the ceremony under. It was absolutely perfect and made our wedding day so special.
Karie and Eric S. - Columbia, SC
Richard and I actually met at a restaurant in Downtown Greenville, so we never thought of choosing another city to get married in, even though heís from Chicago and Iím from Atlanta. This made it pretty difficult for us to make a guest list for the wedding, because almost everyone would be coming from out of town. We worried about this at first, but our family members and friends thought it was really romantic that our wedding would take place in a town that has meant so much to us. The restaurant where we met even catered some of the food for our wedding!
Jamie and Richard L. - Greenville, SC
One of my biggest concerns about our wedding was our budget, but we knew that having the wedding at Myrtle Beach would help with that. Chris lives just outside of Myrtle Beach, so we have many memories of times that I would visit Chris at the beach. I also knew of some great wedding vendors, thanks to all of those trips to Myrtle Beach, so when it came time to make vendor decisions, we had plenty of budget friendly ideas.
Emily and Chris A. - Myrtle Beach, SC
Testing caterers was our favorite part of wedding planning! Zach wasnít too interested in all the wedding details, but that man loves to eat, so he was excited to meet with caterers and plan the menu. We only had about 6 months left until our wedding day, but we found an amazing caterer with the biggest selection of food we had ever imagined. At our wedding, all of our guests raved over the food, and many of our married friends admitted that it was better than the food they had at their wedding!
Alida and Zach S. - Charleston, SC
I was a little concerned about dress shopping with my mother, because we have such different options on style. We could never agree on the dresses in magazines, probably because my mother had her heart set on me wearing her dress. So we put off dress shopping until the 6 month mark, when my mother insisted that we had to go. When the ladies at the bridal salon heard this and saw my motherís wedding picture, they thought it was a really sweet idea and wanted to help us find something that resembled her dress. With their help we were able to find a dress that was similar to my motherís gown, but also very modern and we both left the salon very happy!
Nastia and Hunter E. - Hilton Head
Our wedding day was 6 months away by the time we found a reception venue. I was really worried that everything near the church would be booked, but we ended up finding quite a few openings for our date. We ended up choosing a hotel ballroom just 10 minutes away from the church. Our guests all raved about how beautiful it was and how great the food was.
Alexis and Roy P. - Hilton Head, SC
I’ve always loved flowers, so choosing the right florist for my wedding was actually a pretty difficult decision. I met with several different florists, but only one shared my dream for my wedding. I told her the colors and the feel that I wanted and my favorite flowers, and she ran with it. She did such an amazing job with the arrangements and my bouquet was stunning. I couldnít have been happier with the way the flowers all turned out.
Amanda and Jon A. - Aiken, SC
Photography was the most important thing to me for my wedding. A friend of mine hired an amateur and ended up hating her pictures, so I knew this would be one of my most important decisions. It took a little searching but I found the perfect photographer, A husband-and-wife team. We instantly clicked with them, and their photography was just amazing. I knew they were perfect even before I saw the albums of their work. The pictures hanging in their studio were enough for me to know that they were exactly what we were looking for.
Shelly and Noah R. - Columbia, SC
Videography was not one of our top wedding priorities, but it was something that we didnít want to skimp on. Brad and I finally met with videographers about 3 months before our wedding. We ended up getting a great deal through one of the recommendations of our photographer. We found a great package that fit in our budget and now we will have a fantastic wedding video to treasure for years to come!
Kaye and Brad Z. - Charleston, SC
WEDDING CAKE BAKER
Joel and I had a very short engagement, so we didnít find our baker until 3 months before our wedding. Our photographer suggested a nice little bakery not far from the beach hotel where we would be having our reception. I was instantly impressed with the bakerís work and she did not let us down on our wedding cake. Since we got married on the beach, I asked for a white cake with pale blue ribbon accents and starfish and sand dollars. She made the most exquisite starfish that all the guests were convinced they were real. But they were completely edible!
Erin and Joel G. - Myrtle Beach, SC
Aaron and I had talked a lot about where we wanted to go on our honeymoon after we got engaged. But we just couldnít make up our minds, because we love everything. Hiking in the mountains, going to the beach, getting spa treatments, doing touristy things. So we finally decided that a Caribbean cruise was the best decision for us, because it allowed us to do a little of all of those things. We didnít book until 3 months before our wedding, but we found a great deal on the perfect 10 day cruise. We couldnít be happier with our first vacation as a married couple!
Rachelle and Aaron R. - Greenville, SC
With just one month left until the wedding, the last thing I wanted to do was go get the marriage license. But you canít really have a wedding without a marriage license, so Jason and I went. It ended up being a pretty simple and painless process. We even made a nice little date of it by going out for lunch afterwards.
Cammie and Jason R. - Aiken, SC
DOUBLE CHECK BOOKINGS and DELIVERIES
I was almost afraid to call all my vendors a month before the wedding to double check our wedding day plans. I was horribly afraid that there was going to be a mix-up and I was going to have to find a new vendor with only a month to go. But everything was lined up just fine and after making all those calls, I could breathe easily.
Rylee and Tyler S. - Greenville, SC
BOOK HAIR and MAKEUP
It took three hair trials with different stylists to find the right look and the right person for my wedding day. At first I thought it wasnít worth the hassle of finding someone else, and I almost booked the first girl who hadnít done exactly what I wanted and was going to charge me $50 over what I had budgeted to come to the hotel on the wedding morning. But a little extra searching paid off. I love my stylist and she fits in my budget!
Gabbie and Ken J. - Charleston, SC
BOOK a ROOM for WEDDING NIGHT
When we hit the 1 month to go point, I was so excited to marry Terrance. It was hard to believe that our engagement was almost over. We werenít getting married in a hotel, so I wasnít sure where we should spend the wedding night. So I asked Terrance to find us a hotel suite for the wedding night. He got us a great deal since itís for our wedding night.
Elizabeth and Terrance W. - Myrtle Beach, SC
FINAL DRESS FITTING
None of our family members live in South Carolina, so I didnít have anyone to go with to my final dress fitting. Kevin really wanted to come, but I didnít want him to see my dress before our wedding day. One of my bridesmaids drove from North Carolina to go with me. It was a special time for us since we donít get to see each other often.
Christa and Kevin B. - Columbia, SC
RECEPTION TABLE PLAN and CEREMONY PROGRAMS
As the RSVPs started to come in, Josh and I sat down and tried to figure out where we would seat everyone. I didnít want the hassle of assigning each person to a particular seat, but assigning everyone to tables was kind of complicated too. Not everybody invited to the wedding knew each other, and some of them didnít even like each other very much. It took a lot of time and thought, but we were able to group everyone together so that they could all have a good time at our wedding.
Ellie and Joshua A. - Charleston, SC
CONFIRM SCHEDULE WITH OFFICATE
I started to get really nervous two weeks before the wedding. Meeting with our officiant to go over the choices that we had made about the ceremony was comforting. It was really great just to sit and talk about our relationship and what the readings and songs meant to us instead of focusing on all the little details of the wedding. We were just so excited to be getting married!
Brittany and Stephen N. - Aiken, SC
BUY ATTENDANT GIFTS
We were both tired of wedding plans when we finally got within a couple weeks of the big wedding day. I wasnít too excited about buying gifts for our bridal party and parents, but we went to the mall and picked out some really great stuff that we knew they would love. It was a nice time for us to relax, because it was more like a normal trip to the mall than one more to do from the wedding list.
Laura and Ethan M - Myrtle Beach, SC
PICK A WEDDING DRESS
My mom and I went to pick up my wedding dress a week before the wedding. I was nervous because it hadnít fit very well when I first bought it, but the alterations were perfect. My mom started to cry, because it was the first time she had been able to see me in my dress.
Ashley and Terrell R. - Hilton Head, SC
ARRANGE FINAL BUDGET FOR HONEYMOON
Rob wouldnít tell me where we were going for our honeymoon, so I was a little worried about it in the weeks before the wedding. But I made sure to sit down with him and make sure that we had everything budgeted for the honeymoon. After getting all of that straightened out, I didnít care where we were going. I was just happy to know that we could afford to eat out for the week!
Aimee and Rob S. - Columbia, SC
I was really frustrated about the number of people who had not RSVPed to our wedding. There was only one week to go and I had other things to deal with. But my maid of honor saved the day. She and my other bridesmaids took the guest list from me and called up everybody who had not sent in an RSVP to see if they were coming or not. This was such a blessing, because it allowed me to work on other things, and I could still call the caterer three days before and give him the final headcount.
Rose and Juan P. - Charleston, SC
CONFIRM PHOTOGRAPHER, VIDEOGRAPHER, FLORIST and WEDDING CAKE
The week before my wedding was a whirlwind. I contacted all of my vendors to make sure that all the details were right and to figure out how much I owed them. We had a bit of a scare, because the bakery had gotten two orders mixed up and had us down for the wrong cake, but we got that fixed. We also got a discount on our photography, because the head photographer had double booked herself for the day. At first I was really worried, but she assigned two of her assistants to me, one of which is about to start his own business and has several years of experience. She also knocked $300 off of what I still owed her!
Natasha and Victor H. - Columbia, SC
CONFIRM EVENT SCHEDULE
The day before our wedding, I contacted our limo driver and made sure he knew where and when we would need him to pick us up. We had made a few minor changes to the schedule, so I needed to confirm these changes with him and probably would have forgotten if it had not been on my to-do list.
Amelia and James N. - Columbia, SC
I had so much to do the week leading up to our wedding that I wasnít too excited about taking the time to rehearse the ceremony. As the bridesmaids were practicing walking down the aisle and we were trying to figure out the sound system, I couldnít help but think about the programs that still needed to be printed and the favors that had to be labeled. But when we got to the part about our vows, I was very thankful that we took the time for a rehearsal, because we were able to straighten out which part of the ceremony would be in English and which would be in Spanish. Apparently, the English minister had written it down wrong and didnít know when he was supposed to turn the ceremony over to the Hispanic minister. Iím so glad we figured that all out!
Maria and Carlos R. - Greenville, SC
ATTEND REHEARSAL DINNER
The rehearsal dinner was a great time for Mike and I. Our out of town family members were able to join us and our bridal party for a great Italian dinner at my auntís house. It meant a lot to me to be able to spend that time with my family and closest friends since we had invited over 200 people to the wedding and I wouldnít be able to speak with them as much at the actual wedding. Our out of town family members really appreciated the extra time that we were able to spend together the night before our wedding.
Isabella and Mike W. - Aiken, SC
CONFIRM HAIR/MAKEUP/NAILS APPOINTMENTS
The day before my wedding, there was so much going on. But my to-do list said that I needed to confirm my appointments for the next afternoon. So I called the hair dresser and makeup artist that I had hired to come to the hotel. And Iím so glad that I did! It turns out that I had given the makeup artist the wrong time to come. If I hadnít called to confirm, I would have lost at least half an hour of picture time. But since I called and confirmed with her, my wedding day appointments were lined up right and everything went smoothly.
Desiree and DeShawn G. - Myrtle Beach, SC
WAKE UP EARLY
I was really worried that I would sleep through my alarm clock on the morning of my wedding. We wanted to have a lunch reception to save a little bit of money, so our ceremony was scheduled to start at 10:30. In order to get hair and makeup done in time and get the bridal party pictures out of the way, I needed to get up by 6:00. So I set two alarms and asked my mom and my maid of honor to call at specific times to make sure that I was awake. It took both alarms and one phone call, but I had scheduled the entire morning very carefully, so everything worked out just fine.
Haylee and Garret B. - Hilton Head, SC
MAID OF HONOR
My younger sister Elise was my maid of honor. She was excited about my wedding from the moment that I told her Phillip had asked me to marry him. She came with me to almost all of my appointments and was really involved in the planning, so it was really special to have her be the one right alongside me on my wedding day, from the time I got ready until we left at the end of the night.
Anya and Phillip T. - Greenville, SC
GET TO WEDDING EARLY
One of the best pieces of advice I received about my wedding was to get to the venue early. We had a great photographer and wanted to take a lot of pictures before the wedding, but I had to put my foot down and insist that we make it to the wedding venue an hour before the ceremony. And itís a good thing we did, because when we got there I found out that Hankís mother had forgotten to bring the unity candle for the ceremony. Fortunately, they lived close by and she was able to run home and get it, but if I hadnít been there early, I would not have known that we were missing something until it was time to light the candles. How embarrassing that would have been!
Tina and Hank V. - Aiken, SC
ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY
One of the first things my mom said to me the morning of my wedding was to enjoy the day because it would fly by. Iím a perfectionist and there were many times during the planning when I stressed about the details and worried about everything falling into place. But I took her advice and put that all behind me. I focused on Ray and what this day meant to us. And Mom was right. The day was over way to fast, but my memories of it are all so special, because I spent the day with the people that I love.
Tanya and Ray S. - Hilton Head, SC