Today’s real wedding is just darling! Hope and Jake planned their gorgeous cottage wedding on the intercoastal waterways of Hilton Head Island in a matter of weeks, but you would never know it. It was gorgeous, intimate and budget savvy! We especially love the DIY details from centerpieces to the favors, to the decor! You will love this Charming Cottage Wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Hope + Jake
March 24th, 2018
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina | The Gallery
Please give a breakdown of your wedding budget.
Ceremony/Reception/Set up/Wedding Coordinator was all like $5200
Cake – $150
Flowers – $300
Golf Tees – $100
Jars of Candy – $50
Craft Supplies – $200
Dress – $450
Shoes – $70
Hair and Make up for myself and 2 bridesmaids – $590
Photographer – $455
Total: just under $8K
How many guests did you have?
40 guests attended our wedding
How did you meet?
Jake and I met at Mississippi State sometime in Fall 2012 through the Professional Golf Management program. It is safe to say our priorities were different throughout that first semester, and I didn’t really know who he was despite living in the same dorm. The first interaction I really remember was the Spring Playing Ability Test. We were originally supposed to be in a foursome, but we were the only two that showed up so we got to spend the day chatting it up. Even though we didn’t pass, a couple really good things came from this day (for me at least):
1. I am pretty sure this was the day we saw Jerry Rice at the State course.
2. I now had my go-to friend for PGM stuff.
3. We became the best matchplay team in recorded history.
College was filled with fun times for us, as it is for most red-blooded Americans. We may have had different core friend groups in the first two years, but were still buds and grew closer and closer as the PGM program dwindled down. Slowly but surely I started spending more time with Jake and his friends simply because I had the most fun with them, especially Jake. Even then, Jake was my very favorite person to spend time with. Whether we were playing golf with our friends, hanging out at the Studio, causing problems in PGM class (sorry), or driving our friends crazy because we think we’re a little funnier than we actually are (we still have this problem). We didn’t know it at the time, but spending those years as friends was the best thing we ever did for ourselves. Instead of dating as dumb college kids, we got to get to know each other for who we really were while getting ready to be the kind of partners we would eventually want to be for each other.
I guess you could say Jake knew that before I did because he made the first move (literally) to get us where we are today. In Summer 2016, I had moved to Bluffton, South Carolina to work as a Marketing Director for a junior golf academy. After not talking for a while, Jake started bugging me about helping him with a resume/finding a job, which I mostly blew off. Luckily, he took the responsibility upon himself to pursue Lowcountry jobs and came down for interviews that August.
I met up with Jake, his brother-in-law, and dad for 9-holes at Berkeley Hall, and once again, we were just a couple of peas in a pod. Giggles and laughs on the course turned into giggles and laughs at his sister, Paige’s, house, which turned into a great night in downtown Savannah where we both left knowing this was something worth giving a try.
What is your proposal story?
Our proposal story isn’t the fairytale I always imagined, but as it turns out none of that ended up mattering at all. We had been talking about getting married for months and there were some unexpected things that happened which meant we were going to have to do it sooner than later. Jake had already asked his mother for her ring and when she gave it to him, after dinner one night, he simply got down on one knee, told me how much he loved me and how excited he was for our future, and asked me to be his wife.
Tell us about your wedding vision.
I have always wanted a small wedding, and we are so lucky to live in such a beautiful location that an outdoor wedding always made sense. I
wanted it to be elegant, yet understated – emphasizing the southern charm of the Lowcountry. We chose pink and navy for our colors – I have always loved pale pink and going with navy felt like it gave the wedding the understated feel we were looking for. We looked at a lot of different gardens and outdoor venues, but The Gallery was by far our favorite. First, it was gorgeous and the location on the water is great for sunset. The cottage had the southern charm we were looking for, and it was small but not too small – we had about 40 people and it didn’t feel like everyone was on top of each other all night, but still felt intimate. The outdoor ceremony was perfect, and it was the perfect time of year to get the most out of the azaleas and outdoor scenery.
Tell us about your attire choices.
For my bridesmaids, my friends and I use Lulu’s for a lot of more formal events. My maid of honor already had a navy dress from Lulu’s so we just had my other bridesmaid pick one she liked. It was really more important to me that they were there than exactly what they wore, and really their dresses ended up not exactly being perfectly matched but they both looked great and it was fine!
The groomsmen live in Texas and Virginia, so we had to find a chain they could both get something from. We found a suit Jake and I loved, and they set it up so it was sent to the other stores for the other boys. Since we were going for a more understated look, I think suits worked a lot better than tuxedos would have. We really liked the Jos. A Bank suit Jake picked, but unfortunately, they made an error inputting the items and our groomsman from Virginia ended up in the wrong color suit. It definitely wasn’t ideal, but they did refund the money and like I said with the bridesmaids – it mattered more that they were there than what they were wearing.
What was most important to you while planning? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important thing for us was that the people we loved were there – really. The second most, though, was that we had something that we would be happy to look back on and remember the day and how much we love each other. I remember looking at my mom’s wedding pictures and thinking about how beautiful she was and how happy they look, and someday I want our kids to feel that way if they ever want to look at our wedding pictures. We also wanted it to feel intimate, but still be a little bit formal and beautiful. We splurged a little bit on the venue, but for what we got it was actually an awesome deal and was everything we could have hoped for. I also splurged on hair and make-up. The make-up was definitely worth it and I would do that again.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
When we did our first look, I had been late and I was completely emotionally drained. Everything about planning a wedding is pretty emotionally draining, honestly. I told my mom while I was fussing over my hair how much I just wanted to be with Jake. By the time I got to the venue, it was basically time for our ceremony but luckily we still got to do the first look. As soon as I got to him, I felt better about everything and all of the stress leading up to it was worth it. I completely broke down and basically collapsed into his arms. I really needed that hug! The first look pictures are not glamorous at all, I am ugly crying to the extreme, and I hate that this is one of my favorite parts because I was so emotional but it really was the turning point for the whole day. He also had been given a handkerchief by his mom and pulled it out when I was crying and we both laughed about it.
Another favorite part was walking into the reception and seeing everything together for the first time. It all turned out beautifully and it was so nice that all the hard work had paid off.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
I picked out a bunch of pictures to show the florist that were all way too expensive, I found out when I got there. The florist was great about it though and basically just figured out how to do similar, cheaper flowers to the ones I had picked out on Pinterest. I wanted a loose bouquet with a lot of greenery, and it ended up being beautiful. I picked hydrangeas for my bridesmaids because you need less to make a bouquet look full and it all ended up perfect.
For the flowers on the table, my mom and I went to every store on Hilton Head the morning of the wedding looking for hydrangeas and ended up finding some at Whole Foods. There were only a couple of hydrangeas, but we ended up with a good mix. My mom ended up having to get some more before the wedding I think, but it saved money and looked great.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Lou at Ronnie’s Bakery and Cakes by Lou was amazing with the cake. We just went in and told her what we wanted and she did it. We had textured icing on a 2-tiered cake with pink ribbon icing. I went in about a week before the wedding and gave her the cake topper I had gotten off Etsy. This is when we decided to add a little sparkle which was SO pretty when I saw it on my wedding day. We picked almond cake with raspberry filling off Lou’s recommendation – it was absolutely amazing. When I was in there dropping my cake off she had samples of her marble cake out which were delicious and we ended up ordering for cupcakes. They were amazing! Lou is the best.
What did you do for favors?
Jake and I are both golfers so we ordered little matchbooks with 4 tees and a ball marker on them and were customized on the front.
We also did little jars of candy, since not everyone there was a golfer. I designed little stickers that we ordered for like $10, and then my mom filled the jars with pastel almond m&ms, put the stickers on the side, and tied tulle and ribbon around them. It was super cute and perfect.
Describe any handmade, DIY, or personal items.
I made distressed table jars for the centerpieces. I found them on Pinterest – you just mix pink and white paint to get three shades, paint the jars, and then, sand them to add the distressed too. To finish them off, we just added a burlap bow on each. I also found some numbers at Hobby Lobby and painted them white for table numbers.
For seating assignments, I had one of those photo hangers that you put clothespins with photos on in my house. I cut two pieces of cardstock – one pink and one brown. We glued them together and then my mom wrote the seating assignments in a silver sharpie. I was worried about this coming together but it looked really cute.
I also made gold drip jars for the head table where they had our bouquets during dinner. This was a last minute thing I just did and it turned out really cute.
The thing that made the wedding was the chalkboard art a girl I work with, Lauren Brooks did for me. She was absolutely amazing and I just sent her like 5 random pictures from Pinterest and she created a ton of beautiful decor that absolutely made the day.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding now?
Do it how you want to and don’t worry about the little things. No matter what happens, it is all going to be perfect. You’re going to end the day married to your favorite person and that’s enough to make everything okay!
Photography: Constance Elaine Photography • Ceremony Venue: The Gallery • Reception Venue: The Gallery • Event Planning: Celebration Catering and Events • Floral: OLD BLUFFTON FLOWERS • Wedding Cake: Ronnie’s Bakery and Cakes by Lou • Hair: Hilton Head Hair and Makeup • Makeup: Hilton Head Hair and Makeup • Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal • Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank • Bride’s Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson • Bridesmaid Dresses: Lulu’s • Veil: David’s Bridal • Submitted via: Matchology
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.