A Pretty Beach Wedding at Omni Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Bethany Phalen (32 and a medical device clinical specialist) and Ali Cowan (37 and a medical device sales representative) wanted their wedding to take

Bethany Phalen (32 and a medical device clinical specialist) and Ali Cowan (37 and a medical device sales representative) wanted their wedding to take place in a fun and casual destination. "We love to travel and have fun, and that's what we envisioned for our wedding," Bethany says. To pull it off, they decided to host the wedding at Omni Oceanfront Resort in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina — the same place they had spent their first weekend away together. "When we first visited Hilton Head Island, we hung out on the beach and wrote our names in the sand," Bethany says. "Little did we know that three and a half years later we would be getting married in the very same spot." The setup was simple: Guests were seated in white folding chairs decorated with starfish and twine as Bethany and Ali exchanged vows under a pergola draped with white linens. "We also had our son take part in the ceremony, which was very important to us," Bethany says. After the ceremony, guests made their way to a tent on the resort's terrace. String lights and lanterns cast a romantic glow and centerpieces of candles and starfish added to the laid-back vibe. The wedding cake fit perfectly with the beachy theme, with sand-colored buttercream and fondant seashells and seahorses. Fresh white orchids topped it off. Sunshower Photography was there to capture all the details!

Bethany wore a fit-to-flare wedding dress that featured a single strap, made entirely out of fabric rosettes, that crossed in the back. It also fit her perfectly with ruching all over the bodice and a tie-up corset-style back. She wore her hair down and off to the side with curls for a seriously romantic look.
Although Ali didn’t have any groomsmen or other guys stand up at alter with him, he made a fashion statement all on his own. His light gray suit with a black bow tie and pocket square fit the formal beach wedding ceremony vibe to a T. To finish it off and complement Bethany’s bridal bouquet, he wore a single white orchid boutonniere pinned to his lapel.
Flower Girls in White Tulle Dresses
They didn’t need much to make their ceremony area look beachy and pretty. The setup was simple with all-white folding chairs arranged to face the ocean and an aisle down the middle. To add to the beach theme, large starfish were tied with twine to chairs on the aisle. The neutral sandy colors fit the theme and didn’t distract from the ceremony.
The ceremony was held on the beach near sunset at Hilton Head Island. Chairs were set up in front of the tall grass on the beach and facing water. They defined the altar area with a simple wooden pergola draped in white linens and tied with coral ribbon on four sides. "We had a special ceremony that highlighted our close family and friends," Bethany says.
The beach at Hilton Head was not only a great backdrop for Bethany and Ali's ceremony, it was a beautiful backdrop for their wedding pictures. The couple’s son was there for the entire day and they especially included him in ceremony. He, too, fit the formal beach theme in a gray suit, turquoise button-up shirt and a plaid bow tie.
All of the flowers and decor from the day were in keeping with the couple’s Southern beach wedding location. Bethany’s florist created a gorgeous mostly white bridal bouquet made up of white phalaenopsis orchids, white and green cymbidium orchids, James Story orchids and coral calla lilies. Ali’s boutonniere was a white cymbidium to match!
In lieu of the traditional wedding guest book, Bethany and Ali came up with a different idea. They set out heart-shaped pieces of wood and a wooden chest that read, “Please leave your wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs.” They placed it on the gift table next to the card holder for guests to sign at some point during the reception.
After the ceremony, guests walked over to the open-air terrace at the Omni Oceanfront Hotel for dinner and dancing. The room was just as Bethany and Ali had planned: There were twinkling string lights, draping, chiavari ballroom chairs and low, beach-themed centerpieces made up of candles and starfish and simple table numbers with white frames.
The bakers at Signe’s Heaven Bound Bakery created this pretty beach-themed wedding cake. The cake was three tiers and frosted with sand-colored buttercream. Simple piped filigree accented each tier and fondant seashells and seahorses drove home the theme. To finish it off, they added fresh white cymbidium orchids and wrapped the base with turquoise ribbon.
Bethany and Ali hired DJ Turbo, a Savannah-based mobile DJ service, to entertain guests throughout the evening. The string lights above the dance floor added a romantic glow to the room and created an intimate atmosphere. Because it was springtime, the weather was still a bit chilly so they added heat lamps to the perimeter to keep guests comfortable.