I’ve just got to share this intel with you. There is no reason for me to keep this all to myself. I’ve been shooting/documenting/photographing weddings and events for a long, longgggg time. And in that time I’ve experienced and learned a thing or two. One of the things that I have learned is that a carefully chosen location or venue can make or break the “good vibes” of an event. Really.
Now in order to get these sacred, stress-free, good vibes, you need to know a thing or two about how to achieve these coveted “feels”. Let’s start with one of the events that you will be planning in conjunction with your wedding. The Rehearsal Dinner. Yes. It’s the smaller of the two events but it is no slouch. This event is the kick-off to the “Big Day” and you want to set the right tone for it.
This Rehearsal Dinner or Event isn’t really about the “rehearsal” at all. It’s about bringing together families and friends from across the country and around the world. People that may have never even heard of each other before let alone met. So you want to set the tone with an ice breaker event that allows everyone the opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, candid and entertaining venue that allows for relationships and stories to happen or pick up from where they left off. Think of this as a family reunion where all of the family members have come to celebrate your awesomeness at making this all possible.
Now, I’ve shot in all types of lavish venues and resorts in the Lowcountry and around the world. And I am here to say that the biggest doesn’t always equate to the best. You want to choose a venue that will nurture and cultivate relationships in an easy peasy, no pressure, no expectation, awkward-free way.
I’ve recently photographed one in Hilton Head. And it wasn’t in any of the fabulous Hilton Head Island resorts, or on the Hilton Head beach. Instead, it was out on the water. Yep! A rehearsal dinner out on a sailboat to be exact.
Now I have photographed on sailboats both in Hilton Head, the Lowcountry, Charleston, Savannah, and up and down the eastern seaboard, but not very often for these Wedding Rehearsals.
Here are some of my reasons why I think hosting a party or get-together on a boat in the Lowcountry is a great idea.
1. Bigger isn’t always better
- Bigger isn’t always better. Events have become smaller and more intimate and this is the perfect way to keep it cozy, intimate and welcoming. Perhaps a perfect excuse not to invite “everyone”
2. The View
- The view. Let’s talk about the 360 degrees of perfect views. Everywhere you look it’s picture perfect. And wait until you start seeing the dolphins gliding by in pods. Your friends will think that you planned it all for them. Thank you Mother Nature.
3. The Lighting
- The lighting. It’s a photographer’s dream. Let’s get technical here for a second. If it’s a sailboat, and you have the sail up, BINGO! It acts as the world’s biggest scrim to make picture perfect lighting. Annie Liebovitz would approve 100 %. Perfect lighting for everyone. You’re a winner. And you’re a winner. Everyone is a winner with that soft dreamy lighting.
4. The Breeze
- The breeze. It’s a built in wind machine that makes your hair look fab in pics and acts like natural A/C in the summer. That’s on joke here in the summer.
- You have an excuse to buy some cool “yachting” clothes. Permission granted to buy a new outfit guilt-free. Cute in the summer. Ralph Lauren styled magazine spread worthy in the fall.
- The fun ambiance. How can you not have fun and break the ice with strangers? You’re sailing for Pete’s sake!
7. A New Spin
- A new spin on “ just a dinner”. Thinking outside of the box will give you bragging rights for years to come. You’ve set the bar high and it will be a tough one to beat. Especially when everyone is used to the same old, same old. #braggingrights
- The Opportunity to offer a new experience to your family and friends. Unless you all have yachts, this is a new experience that can’t easily be beat.
9. The Laughs
- The laughs. There is a magic that takes place that just makes everyone happy and the laughter flowing when you are out on the water.
- Did I mention the dolphins? I know I did. But they deserve to be mentioned again. It’s impossible to ever tire of seeing them. By god… they’re dolphins.
11. The Gun Show
The gun show. What’s a celebration without some flexing.
12. The Sunset
- The sunset. Gasp! Make it a sunset cruise and all of your wildest dreams will come true. There isn’t a better view of the sunset than from on the water. This particular night was coordinated with fireworks from Shelter Cove. Helloooo best seat in the house!
13. Pirate Vocab
13. You get to pull out some crazy pirate jargon that just isn’t cool anywhere else.
Need some ideas for where you can make this all happen? I’ve got a few. If a sailboat isn’t your cup o tea there are a myriad of others to test your seafaring legs out on.
Kick off your Charleston, Hilton Head, Savannah Wedding weekend with some of these boating and yacht suggestions. It could even be the perfect private retreat for a bridal party, bachelorette party, or bachelor party.
Here’s some local suggestions.
In Hilton Head