In honor of today’s A LOWCOUNTRY WEDDING’s mass market release, New York Times bestselling author Mary AliceLowcountry Wedding Monroe stopped by XOXO to gush over the beauty of wedding season in the enchanting Lowcountry. Mary Alice, who calls the Lowcountry home, knows a thing or two about the breathtaking charm of this delightfully quaint coastal region.

 Charleston, South Carolina, is the heart of the picturesque low-lying coastal region called the Lowcountry. The area is celebrated for its winding creeks teeming with wildlife, stunning ocean views, and picturesque plantations with grand oak-lined avenues, not to mention a popular and well-respected culinary scene with top-notch southern hospitality. The Lowcountry’s vibrant scene is also a magnet for love, making Charleston a top wedding destination.

 I’m lucky enough to call the Lowcountry home, and I base many of my novels on the lush landscape and vibrant people here. In A LOWCOUNTRY WEDDING, I sought to capture the allure and charm of Charleston-area weddings through the unfolding stories of my main characters—three half-sisters and their grandmother—who all have different backgrounds and perspectives of what a Lowcountry wedding should be.charleston-visit-south-carolina-aquarium

 Why Charleston? Who can deny the enchantment of a classic wedding reception at a historic estate, surrounded by moss-draped grand oaks? I know firsthand how perfect an estate is for a romantic affair, having watched my own daughter get married at the distinguished Lowndes Grove estate in downtown Charleston along the Ashley River. It was classic elegance at its best.

 Equally beautiful is the ethereal seaside wedding ceremony, where couples say “I do” against a backdrop of melodic, crashing waves and then celebrate the night away at an oceanfront beach house, in a grand pavilion, or under elaborately decorated tents. Those lucky enough to work in the Lowcountry wedding industry seamlessly blend traditions and trends to create picture-perfect memories for each couple. I never tire of seeing the latest Charleston wedding photos in magazines or shared online among friends.

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 One thing I’ve learned from my personal experiences and during the writing process of A LOWCOUNTRY WEDDING is that the elements which make a Lowcountry wedding truly special extend beyond the moments captured in a wedding photos. This region of the South reveres tradition and history, friendliness and etiquette. It’s that sense of place that so many people crave when planning their wedding. The Lowcountry embodies all of the emotions, elegance, and traditions people desire when planning their wedding day. Lucky is any bride and groom who gets married in the Lowcountry!