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  • Writer's picturePalmetto Dunes

Stafford-Ryan Wedding: A Rescheduled 2020 Dunes House Wedding

Cecille and Matt have been vacationing in Hilton Head Island for years and consider Palmetto Dunes their “happy place” so naturally they knew they wanted their wedding on the beach at The Dunes House. Their original wedding date was set for April 4, 2020 but as we all now know, 2020 had other plans for Spring weddings.

With the help of their positive spirits and the Palmetto Dunes event staff, the wedding was rescheduled for August 22, 2020 due to COVID-19 and ended up being “just what they had hoped for.”

wedding details including invites, save the dates, rings, and bride shoes on seashells
“We had our wedding there in August 2020 and it couldn't have gone any better thanks to the help of Courtney & Jocelyn. They were so great to work with from beginning to end - always prompt to respond to my questions and had such great recommendations based on past weddings they've hosted. They were able to follow my decoration instructions just how I envisioned it and as if I had set it up myself.
When the weather was looking not so great all morning Courtney was in touch with me and was very honest, but ultimately left the decision up to me and let me know of the hard 'stay or move' deadline. We ended up lucking out and it was a perfect overcast night. I really appreciate Courtney taking charge where needed, but leaving it up to us to make the final call.
We were originally planned for April 2020, but COVID got in the way. Courtney was the one to break the news to me about having to postpone, but was very sympathetic and provided us with a list of available dates very quickly. Having to re-plan a wedding during a pandemic is stressful enough, but they were both very creative in switching up plans and providing alternatives for us. It ultimately ended up being just what we had hoped for.
My husband and I have walked past a few weddings on the beach in front of the Dunes House in our many trips to the island and knew immediately that is where we wanted to get married. We didn't look at any other venues. Surprisingly the beach goers sitting around nearby were very respectful during our ceremony (only about 15 minutes) and even turned their chairs around to watch and cheered for us at the end. It made the whole experience even more exciting!” -Cecille Ryan

Both the bride and groom as well as the bridal party got ready in Beach Villas at different units. They had a “first look” and took bridal photos prior to meeting for their intimate oceanfront ceremony.

bride and groom and bridal party posing outside

During their ceremony, they surprised their guests by being their own wedding officiants and announced that they legally got married back in March! Family and friends that were part of the ceremony shared readings and it was a very personal touch to the couple.

father of the bride walking bride down to groom on beach
bride and groom kissing under arch during beach ceremony
bride and groom celebrating after beach ceremony

After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails outside on the open-air Dunes House deck, followed by a Chef-attended buffet dinner. Toasts were made and they danced all night until their sparkler send-off at the end of the night.

bride and groom toasting during wedding reception
bride and groom cutting wedding cake in the evening
sparkler sendoff for bride and groom on beach

As this couple will tell you, there may be a lot of uncertainty in 2020, but one thing is certain; nothing stops love. Learn more about weddings at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and start planning your perfect wedding by getting in touch with one of our wedding specialists today.


Floral: Southern Coast Flowers

Cake: Publix

Entertainment: DJ Polako



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