Wed at the Westin: Say “I do” to Hilton Head Island!

Resort Industry Event

With fall temperatures finally dipping below seventy degrees, we’re breaking out our cozy sweaters and stocking up on Starbucks seasonal lattes around the DFW Events office! While we’re loving the cooler weather, we’re also missing the bronzy glow of the tans we all had when Mary-Frances, Sarah, and Karley jetted off to Hilton Head Island to host the “Wed at the Westin” Fam trip this August! So for the sake of today’s recap, let’s pretend we’re all laying out at a private cabana and enjoying delicious sips from the Westin’s poolside bar just like the Fam attendees did this summer!

photos: Donna Von Bruening

The goal of Wed at the Westin was twofold: to introduce wedding planners and designers from across the nation to the premier venues and service offerings available at The Westin, and to highlight Hilton Head Island as a leading destination wedding locale. Hilton Head uniquely combines a traditional “island vibe” with true southern style and it’s extremely easy to access. A two-hour direct flight from DFW Airport lands you in historic Savannah, and following a scenic 40-minute car ride from the airport, you’ll find yourself looking at the Atlantic and enjoying one of the most naturally beautiful destinations on the East Coast! As soon as Mary-Frances had the opportunity to visit the island with her family, she knew it would be the perfect place to showcase to brides, grooms, and her friends and colleagues in the industry.

Speaking of those much-loved industry friends, MF was thrilled to welcome attendees from all over the country to the unique Wed at the Westin networking experience. From the founders of Inside Weddings who joined us from Los Angeles to a fabulous crew of Dallas-based friends, here’s a look at where everyone came from!

design by Melanie Frazier for DFW Events

GEORGIA ON MY MIND

Our guests arrived at the charming Savannah International Airport (SAV) on the morning of Sunday, August 9. Since all of the Wed at the Westin attendees are members of the wedding industry, you know what that means…most of them had produced an event the night beforehand! The perfect remedy for any lingering tiredness? Mimosas, delicious brunch, and a delightful tour of The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa property. After digging into Lowcountry bites crafted by the Westin’s culinary team and enjoying jazz music by Jeremy Davis, our attendees were treated to a surprise stop by the famous Leopold’s Ice Cream cart stationed beneath a tent overlooking The Westin Savannah’s immaculate golf course. A trolley tour of Historic Downtown Savannah followed, and from there, Palmetto Transportation shuttled the group to our host resort for the rest of the weekend: The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa!

photos: Khoi Pham, ProEdit Productions

HIT THE COAST

Upon arrival at The Westin Hilton Head Island, guests picked up welcome gifts – patterned Spartina 449 totes and Patagonia messenger bags stuffed with goodies curated by Carol Kavanaugh at Destinations by Outside – from one of The Westin’s five lovely venue spaces, Mitchelville Room.

photos: Donna Von Bruening

The al-fresco evening welcome party featured a custom cocktail bar, a mix of salads presented in mason jars, and a sweets bar, plus a surprise “invitation only” mock wedding ceremony featuring a gospel serenade by The Voices of El Shaddai choir. After the sun set, attendees lounged on cowhide chairs set up on the Oceanfront Deck to enjoy conversation and bluegrass tunes from Lowcountry Boil Band.

WORK WELL, PLAY WELL

On the second day of the event guests enjoyed activities ranging from beachfront yoga, to appointments at the Heavenly Spa, to outdoor activities including zip lining and stand-up paddle boarding provided by Outside Hilton Head.

GET GOURMET

The evening’s fine food and wine dinner featured a “City Meets the Lowcountry” theme expertly designed by Kelli Corn Weddings & Events, and was held in The Westin’s Grand Ballroom! A candlelit table surrounded by dramatic black and white draping stood at the center of the ballroom and was filled with luxe details – gold seating-card holders in familiar Lowcountry motifs hand crafted by Kelli Corn, lavish laser cut menus created by DFW Events in-house graphic artist Melanie Frazier, stunning florals, and incredible big band music from Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra!

DINE COASTAL CHIC

On their last full day in Hilton Head before departing on August 12, our guests enjoyed an island tour that included a dolphin cruise captained by representatives of Outside Hilton Head, lunch at the private South Carolina Yacht Club, a self-guided walking (and shopping!) tour of historic Old Town Bluffton, and a photo-op in front of the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. That evening attendees enjoyed southern menu items crafted by The Westin team – shrimp and grits, watermelon and feta salad, crab dip, and more – before dancing the night away as Deas Guyz delighted all in attendance with soulful jazz favorites. Oyster shell centerpieces, candles, custom leather cuffs turned napkin rings, and miniature cacti were just a few of the details that contributed to the Oceanfront Pavilion’s fabulous coastal-chic atmosphere designed once again by the talented Kelli Corn!

photos: Khoi Pham and Donna Von Bruening

Now that we’ve shared every last detail of the Wed at the Westin event, it’s time to experience each moment for yourself via this incredible highlight video by Khoi Pham!

We cannot thank The Westin Hilton Head Island and The Westin Savannah enough for partnering with us to make Wed at the Westin such an unforgettable experience for each and every attendee (ourselves included!). The staff at both resorts are clearly dedicated to not only meeting, but exceeding clients’ expectations for their wedding or event. From a planner’s point of view, this makes them a dream to work with! Last but not least, if you’re interested in seeing more behind-the-scenes shots of the event from our guests’ perspective, be sure to look up the hashtag #WedAtTheWestin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

PS: Hilton Head Island is just the first of many up-and-coming destinations we hope to introduce to our clients and friends in the future, so stay tuned for more information about the next location on our radar!

PSS: Don’t miss this fabulous event recap by our friends at TOAST Events!

Event Partners, Westin Savannah:

Event Haus

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Lowcountry Paper Co.

Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

River Street Sweets

Minette Rushing Custom Cakes

August Floral & Event Design

Event Partners, Westin Hilton Head:

Kelli Corn, Kelli Corn Weddings & Events

Carol Kavanaugh, Destinations by Outside and Outside Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

The South Carolina Yacht Club

The Sea Pines Resort

J Banks Design Group, Inc.

Palmetto Transportation

Scout Southern Market

Snyder Event Rental Co.

Inventiv Environments

La Tavola

PSAV

Technical Event Company

Lighten Your Burden

Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island

Heritage Library, Hilton Head Island

Spartina 449

Lowcountry Boil Band

Jeremy Davis and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Deas Guyz

Strings, Hilton Head Entertainment

Voices of El Shaddai

Calligraphy by Paige Tanenbaum