"Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning."
Those catchy lyrics come to mind when visiting the low country of Bluffton, South Carolina, and the 22,000-acre Montage Palmetto Bluff resort, the first East Coast address of Montage Hotels & Resorts.
Boasting an abundance of wildlife and walking trails, graceful architecture, divine southern cuisine, innumerable recreational experiences, and a warm, welcoming hospitality, it is no wonder that the Montage Palmetto Bluff is fast becoming the go-to place for luxury destination weddings and wedding-related celebrations in the South.
The resort is the epitome of southern hospitality and charm, the two perfect components for any celebration. For a destination wedding or a bridal party getaway, your guests won't need a passport, and access to the Montage Palmetto Bluff is quick and easy. A direct flight to the small Savannah (SAV) airport from Washington DC (DCA) is a short two hours. After that, the drive to Bluffton is only 23 miles. Upon your arrival at the entrance of the resort, the driveway runs approximately four miles, winding through a vast area of southern landscape that includes forest, lakes, rivers, and marshland, with an occasional glimpse of alligators out sunbathing.
As you arrive at the recently opened Inn -- set on the banks of the May River-- the plantation-style property is breathtaking, thanks to the surrounding oak trees dripping in Spanish moss and the long-legged egrets nesting in groups. You'll feel transported to a slower and more genteel pace of life, making a wedding at Montage Palmetto Bluff an absolutely magical event.
Guests can enjoy a wide variety of luxurious accommodations, from a single room in the Inn to a beautifully appointed house share on the property.
The Inn: Its newest rooms are located within the main Inn building that just opened in the fall of 2016, along with Spa Montage, a waterfront restaurant, and the enticing main resort pool.
The Guest House: Enjoy classic, southern-style accommodations with verandas overlooking the inland waterway.
The Cottages: Each charming cottage offers views of the May River, forest or inland waterways, and many include screened porches.
The Village Homes: Welcome to large, comfortable homes with all resort amenities available.
CEREMONIES AND RECEPTIONS
Wedding ceremony and receptions sites include the charming Waterside Chapel overlooking the May River, complete with arched windows and ringing bells; the Oak Ballroom with classic Colonial architecture and sophisticated decor; the Wine Cellar at the River House, a unique setting for a private party, and the Canoe Club restaurant which mimics the inside of a ship and enjoys spectacular water views. Tents can be set up on the May River lawns for a romantic reception, and depending on one's preferences, the wedding professionals at Montage Palmetto Bluff will design a customized package for an entire weekend wedding celebration.
Oh, my word, the food is simply amazing at Montage Palmetto Bluff! Everyone knows southern cuisine is a tradition all its own and has quite a reputation to uphold.
The resort succeeds in presenting elevated, high-quality southern fare within a multitude of different restaurants around the resort. Enjoy dinner with wine pairings at the Canoe Club, featuring coastal cuisine with ingredients and inspiration drawn directly from the May River such as shrimp, oysters, and other local fresh seafood. Diners enjoy a casual mood with stunning views of the May River and the lagoon waterway.
Considered the heart of dining on the Bluff, Jessamine offers fine cuisine daily and intimate indoor and outdoor seating on the Jessamine Veranda, as well as on the well-appointed private dining room, "Vine."
Buffalo's specializes in casual southern fare in Wilson Village, along with views of the May River and chapel. The Biscuit Bar is also a favorite.
Or, mingle over creative cocktails at Octagon Bar & Gathering Place, namesake of the "Octagon House," one of the first plantation homes that stood on the Bluff in the years prior to the Wilson era. Octagon Bar features sharable bites, classic cocktails with a creative twist, locally crafted beers, and the resort's Signature barrel-aged Artillery Punch.
Just a short boat ride across the river in to the town of Bluffton itself, The Pearl is one of Bluffton's favorite coastal seafood and fine-dining restaurants. Or, at the end of the day, wedding guests can enjoy stargazing and s'mores at the Montage Palmetto Bluff fire pits.
A bonus for the lucky wine connoisseurs in your group, Jessie Rodriguez, Advanced Sommelier (and formerly the Head Sommelier at Napa Valley's The French Laundry!), is passionate about sharing his knowledge of wines with guests. A meal with his recommended wine pairings is an absolute once-in-a-lifetime experience!
There is something for everyone at Montage Palmetto Bluff. For rest and relaxation, guests can enjoy "porching," lounging on the screened-in porch with a good book and a glass of cold lemonade, a signature Spa Montage experience, an afternoon relaxing poolside, exploring the area by bicycle, or partaking in "Mimosas on the May" on the Grace, a vintage yacht cruise along the May River. For those craving more activity, there's skeet shooting, kayaking, or paddle boarding, golf on the immaculate Jack Nicklaus-designed course, croquet, bocce ball, horse-back riding, tennis, and so much more. The choices are endless!