July 2019

Golf and Ocean Views Inspire Storybook Wedding: Kate and Drew Cornet say “I do” at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: Celia G Photographie

Dreams are a lot like wishes. When they come true, it’s not a matter of conjuring up a genie or getting lucky. Turning a dream into reality requires imagination and vision, followed by meticulous planning, purposeful action, and lots of team work. At least that’s how it happened for Kate and Drew Cornet, whose dream wedding came to fruition last fall.

Once upon a time…
Kate Philpott and Drew Cornet’s story began when two strangers were led to the same place at the same time by unknown powers of the Universe. (Isn’t that how it always happens?)

Originally from Connecticut, Drew moved to Hilton Head Island with his parents while still in high school. A resident here for 21 years, he is now VP of operations in the family business (Clearwater Pool Services) and is pursuing an additional career in real estate. Meanwhile, Kate, originally from Columbus, Georgia, was busy with college and graduate school in Virginia before moving to the Lowcountry to take a job as a physical therapist.

The couple’s paths first crossed in the fall of 2013 on Dollar Daquiri Day at The Black Marlin Bayside Grill’s Hurricane Bar on Hilton Head Island (so much for the theory that you won’t meet a “nice” man or woman at a bar). Five years later, on November 3, 2018, they tied the knot on the tenth green of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort’s Robert Trent Jones golf course.

chapter 1: The proposal
After a three-and-a-half-year courtship, the couple had talked about marriage, but it was anybody’s guess when Drew would pop the question. When the holidays came and went, Kate wondered what he was waiting for. The two traveled to Atlanta for two football games including the 2017 Peach Bowl. Still no proposal.

Traveling on to Dahlonega, Georgia, where they planned to ring in the New Year together, Drew had a surprise in his pocket. High atop a mountain after a day of hiking, he asked Kate to stand, and he dropped to one knee. “I knew this was it!” Kate said. The answer, of course, was yes, and the diamond engagement ring was already engraved with the couple’s initials (Drew’s idea and a special touch that Kate loved).

chapter 2: The plot
Anyone who has ever planned a wedding will tell you there are many moving pieces and parts that must all come together to breathe life into what has been imagined, and perhaps dreamed of, for months if not years.

On the way home from their engagement, during the rare winter storm of 2018 that produced snow and ice in South Carolina and Georgia, Kate let her imagination run wild. “It took us almost 10 hours to get from Atlanta to Bluffton, so I had plenty of time to plan it in my head,” she said.

Kate and Drew wanted to get married in Palmetto Dunes for several reasons. “Drew’s family lives in PD. He likes to golf. We love the views: the greens, the trees, and the ocean,” Kate said. “We didn’t want to get married on the beach, in the public eye, but we wanted a view.”

Two years prior, Kate had attended a bridal show where she met Courtney Daley, the catering and events sales manager at Dunes Catering & Events. Daley kept in touch, so it was only natural for Kate to reach out now that she could officially set a date.

Obtaining permission to marry on the tenth green of the Robert Trent Jones golf course (one of only two holes overlooking the ocean on all of Hilton Head Island) proved close to impossible, but somehow Daley managed to arrange it, with agreed-upon restrictions to ensure that the course would not be damaged. With the venue secure, now Kate and Drew could run with the rest of the plan.

“I’m very type A. Once Courtney got everything approved, I knew what I wanted. I ran it by Drew, and he agreed,” Kate said. (First sign of a happy union to come—smart man!)

chapter 3: the preparation
As with most brides, the dress selection was high on Kate’s priority list. “I knew exactly what I wanted. I’m kind of old-school. I wanted lace; I didn’t want strapless. I wanted it to be structured with a little bit of an open back,” she said. With two appointments, she and her mom headed to Charleston for the search. To her astonishment, the first dress she put on was “it”—her dream dress. “I kept the second appointment just in case, but the original dress was perfect,” she said. She took it to Stitch alterations and design studio in Savannah where her friend Rachel tweaked the fit to perfection.

Next, she selected her colors—a feminine dusty rose for the bridesmaids’ dresses and gray suits for the groomsmen. Drew would wear light blue so that he stood out from the groomsmen (his ingenious idea). “Even though we got married in the fall, I didn’t want dark colors,” Kate said.

She also knew she wanted Celia Carroll as her photographer. “I like the way she photographs. She does airy, breezy light pictures,” Kate said. Celia introduced Kate to floral designer Dakotah, with Jardinière Events, whose talents would help paint the picture-perfect scene.

In preparation for the reception, Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar hosted a tasting and helped the couple establish the menu for the cocktail hour and food stations. “That was a great day. It was very well executed,” Kate said. “We loved everything.”

With the major decisions behind her, for the next months and weeks, Kate continued her vision process, adding props and special touches to personalize the ceremony: A monogrammed golf flag that would stand at the pin—a sure-to-be-treasured keepsake; wine barrels hand-painted by Charleston artist Kate Waddell as floral vessels; a chalkboard in place of the program; a display of photographs of the couple’s deceased grandparents and Kate’s aunt….

At the reception, the seating chart would be presented on Kate’s paddle board that Drew had made for her, with guests assigned to destination tables, each featuring a photo of the bride and groom together in that location. Instead of a guest book, they would set up cornhole boards with chalk paint for signing. And Kate’s own creation, a sign she made at AR Workshop Hilton Head, would grace the bar. “That was the fun part for me—coming up with the personal details,” Kate said.

chapter 4: the day
After meticulous planning and preparation, it was time for the real magic. “The logistics of it were complicated. We golf carted every guest [all 110 of them] out to the tenth hole and back. It was really cool to see the caravan of golf carts,” Kate said. “People are still talking about it.” Everything went smoothly, as planned. “[Courtney] coordinated the timing of everything and made it seem effortless. If it was complicated on her end, she did not show it.”

The weather was nice but chilly (in the 60s). Heaters were supplied to keep guests comfortable as the sun set and temperatures dropped. “Courtney had a plan B [for weather], but we never talked about it, because we didn’t have to,” Kate said.

The most emotional moment for Kate was a first look with her dad. “My dad and I are extremely close. When he saw me, we both just lost it,” she said. “My mom had to give my dad two handkerchiefs.”

Kate said she was nervous about standing up in front of everyone, but the jitters went away as soon as she laid eyes on her groom. “When I walked down that aisle and saw him standing where he likes to be most (on the golf course, facing the ocean), that was hands down the best feeling.” The traditional ceremony was officiated by Kate’s uncle, Reverend Dr. Davis Ronald Watson, Jr., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Ocala, Florida, followed by a cocktail hour and reception at the Dunes House.

“Coming in from the beach side, we could see our entire reception—our friends and family. I remember that moment, just taking in that all these people are here for us,” Kate said. “It was awesome.”

Besides the couple’s grand entrance, most memorable for Kate was the first dance. Drew had chosen the Dave Matthews Band song, “You & Me.”

Dad got a little teary again during the father/daughter dance to the song “My Girl.” But Kate quickly reminded him it was time to celebrate and time to shine. “My dad is an extremely good dancer, so we were cutting the rug.”

The food was everything she wanted and more, Kate said. “The hors d oeuvres were phenomenal! We did food stations for the reception: beef tenderloin, Lowcountry boil, oysters, a pasta station, a salad station … Everyone raved about it.”

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the Cornets offered an array of desserts, created by Jennifer at Marmalade Home Baking. “They were ahhhhmazing,” Kate said. And the red velvet cake for the bride and groom (Drew’s favorite) was also devoured. “We didn’t serve the cake. We just let everyone serve their own desserts. We also provided little to-go boxes so people could take a treat home. There was nothing left.”

Afterword:
According to the Cornets, the wedding went off without a hitch. “The thing that mattered most was having all our family and friends there. Everyone had so much fun,” Drew said, and Kate agreed.

“I have no regrets except maybe wishing we had started an hour earlier,” Kate said. (Because of turtle season, lights had to be out by 10 p.m.) Drew agreed that the four-hour reception went by far too fast.

The newlyweds went on to Ocho Rios, Jamaica for a one-week honeymoon before returning to the Lowcountry to live happily ever after. They have purchased a home in the Meadowbrook community in Bluffton and are excited about their future together. 

Hair & Makeup: Julia Lynch
Dress by: Bridal Boutique of Mount Pleasant
Dress Designer: Enzoani Enaru
Shoes by: J. Crew
Caterer: Dunes Catering & Events
Location of Ceremony: Tenth Green of Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Location of Reception: The Dunes House, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Videographer: Thomas Kemp, 326 Films
Entertainment: DJ Craz-e Crane, Crush Entertainment
Wedding Coordinator: Courtney Daley, Dunes Catering & Events, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Cake and all Desserts made by: Marmalade Homemade Baking, Jennifer Gleitsmann
Florist: Jardinière Events
Rental Company: Chairs, tables, tents and other provisions by Dunes Catering & Events, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

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