It can be difficult to slow down in business to balance your career, social life, family life and planning a wedding. Your wedding date will pass you by if you are not careful.
Although I myself am biased as a former destination bride, this is the long, weeklong wedding weekend that I can advocate for any couple who wants to enjoy this unique opportunity.
Doctors and parents, Liz and Gautham, have many things in their daily lives. And besides relying heavily on their fantastic planner for Amanda Rose’s weddings, the couple opted for their wedding celebration and invited an devoted group of family and friends to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, for a week.
The week was idyllic and dreamy in every way: dinners on the beach, dolphin pads going through their ceremony, hours of relaxation by the pool and in the three houses rented for all their valued guests. It’s South Carolina Low country slow living at its best.
Originally I wanted to get married in a courthouse – less work! But Gautham wanted something more romantic and wanted our friends and family to be there. Since we both have very busy jobs, our priority was to have a marriage where we could have more time with the people we love. I grew up on Hilton Head Island every year and that has always had a special place in my heart. So we rented three beach houses on Hilton Head Island and filled them with our closest friends and family.
I relied a lot on our planner Aimee fennessy from Amanda Rose Weddings. She did everything from decoration to transparent and BEAUTIFUL dishes. For our rehearsal dinner, we wanted a long farmhouse table with the thirty guests, and she did it in the backyard of one of the houses, with beautiful string lighting and incredible food!
My mom and I went to New York to shop for wedding dresses. We went to several different wedding salons without much luck. Finally, we stopped at Macy’s on a whim and found my dress. When I put it on, I cried tears of joy (especially since the races were over!)
Our photographer David (celebration photography) was also very important. I met him when he was filming the wedding of my friend Sonia. His photos were beautiful, but more importantly, it makes a point of honor to blend into the mood of the wedding and has always made us comfortable. We didn’t want too many staged photos, we wanted to capture real moments and he and his partner Beth did just that. He actually stayed in one of the houses and hung out with us all week, taking pictures all the way!
On the evening of our rehearsal dinner, a storm came and painted the sky pink. It’s one of the most beautiful skies I’ve seen so far, and it was an impressive backdrop for my dad’s moving toast.
On the morning of the wedding, we took our children Rohan and Isha on a trip with the zodiac to watch dolphins. I remember praying for the dolphins to come for the kids, but unfortunately we didn’t see too many. After in the day, when I was walking down the aisle with my father, a gondola with dolphins swam and stayed the whole ceremony. Everyone was looking at me as I walked down the driveway and pointed my finger at it and yelled, “You guys, look! Dolphins!”It was something special.
Our friend Tom was our officer. He is someone Gautham knows and has trusted for a long time. He has a beautiful marriage with his high school sweetheart Mary. He was the perfect person to marry us, it’s still one of our favorite parts of the wedding.
That night, Gautham’s close friend Ken (and also technically some of the guest’s bosses) and his wife kicked our butts during a flip cup round. It was unexpected and very funny!
Inheritances and family traditions
My father-in-law Tony died a few years ago. It was a very important part of my life. My mother bought a special medallion with her photo, which she presented to me the day before my wedding. We attached the locket to my flowers so that it could go down the aisle with me. It’s something I will cherish forever.
In the Indian tradition, the groom puts a necklace called mangalsutra on the bride, who identifies him as a married woman. Gautham’s parents gave me a mangalsutra on the evening of our rehearsal dinner, and my husband put it on me. Our close friend Jay explained the importance for our guests.
Since we are both doctors, my mother made prescription tampons for our marriage. Everyone had to write their recipe for a happy marriage. She also made our cutlery for our rehearsal dinner and put pictures of Gautham and me around the beach houses to give her a personal touch. She also made me a handkerchief with the words “keep your shit together,” which provided a much-needed comic relief as my husband and I both squirmed around like babies trying to say our vows.
Advice For other couples
Just to remember what is important and not get too caught up in details. I was so grateful to my planner Aimee for taking care of the details so I could just enjoy my family, friends and now my husband.
We went to Cartagena, Colombia for our honeymoon and stayed at Casa San Agustin which we highly recommend!