Friday the 13th, unlucky for some – the perfect day for us. Evan and I were married in Pulaski Square, the most gorgeous square in downtown Savannah, Georgia back in November of 2020.
The big day came only 6 weeks after deciding to marry. We always knew we’d get married (as Evan stated in his vows: he joked with his friends, right off the bat that he would marry me, right after we met). One night we were chatting about planning a trip to get away from the cold weather and he suggested Savannah, one of his favourite spots in the south.
The next night he came home and over dinner he said “want to get married in Savannah?” and I responded ”sure”. Just like that, we decided to get married. Both of our parents have always been on board with our choices, and how we came to this decision. It was simply just.. Meant to be.
What I love so much about our love story, is that we both came together as two equal decision-making humans. We both made the decision to marry, in true partnership. To me - that is the most special thing about our journey together.
The day after we decided, Evan investigated probate courts, and I looked at bouquets and securing a photographer, which in my opinion are the priorities.
All within about 10 days (maybe even less) our wedding was planned.
My biggest tips?
Embrace the unknowns, the process and the decision making (even if it is annoying at times).
But I think the best piece of advice I ever got was to enjoy the moment and the day together. For us, it meant keeping the day under wraps and looping in our closest friends and family of our plans.
We streamed our ceremony on Zoom, where we had 50 people join from many different corners of the world – how 2020 (but also really cool, in my opinion). The highlight of the ceremony, however, was Evan’s aunt not being on mute and answering her phone mid-vows “Hi, I’ll call you back. I am watching my nephew get married”. We didn’t hear it (but our zoom audience were in stitches). Evan and I did end up seeing it when we watched the stream playback (another lovely thing to have forever – our zoom stream!!). It just cracks me up every time I think of it.. It seems so fitting and just.. real life.
We all have these grand plans for what our big day is “meant” to look like, and embracing the crazy, the hiccups and the unexpected bumps adds something a little special to the day, and definitely makes it memorable.
Now, I know so many people are on the precipice of decision making for weddings in 2021.. Here is some food for thought..
Here is how we planned our wedding in 10 days.
1. Decide on where – location/city
For us, the location (Savannah, Georgia) chose us, and it felt right. We wanted somewhere warm and the ability to be outdoors. We asked our photographer for the most picturesque spots in downtown Savannah that was still a little private. After suggesting a few squares, we decided on Pulaski Square after scouting it on google.
2. Investigate marriage licenses and any other paperwork you’d need (in the US there are laws that can vary state to state)
Thankfully Evan was all over this (oh the benefits of marrying a lawyer). He investigated the marriage laws in Georgia, and filled out the paperwork and submitted all within 24 hours.. This was all the day after we decided to get married.
There appeared to be limited spots to collect the marriage license from the Probate Courts – with the last appointment for November 13th at 9:30 a.m. (due to COVID).
We were able to pick marriage license up on the morning of our wedding (this is actually why we were married on Friday, it was the day we were able to get our marriage license and we wanted to enjoy the rest of the weekend to explore the city).
3. Choose a Dress
I didn’t want a fussy white dress (again). While they are beautiful, and such a gorgeous symbol for a special day – I wanted something a little more modern.
I bought my dress and all accessories from Shopbop (on sale, during a Spend and Save). I know what silhouettes suit my physique and I just rolled with it. Scanning the site I found the perfect shoes and the perfect hair accessory.
I loved my earrings from my first wedding, I had them custom made, and I still wear them to this day. I didn’t decide on wearing them until the morning of our ceremony. I tried on a few statement earrings, and the delicate pearl earrings with a statement gold hoop were what I went with, and what felt right. It also felt nice to honor wearing something from my past, that my dad was with me for.
Shoes: Loeffler Randal
Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr
Earrings: Sara Golden
4. Choose a Suit
Evan had ordered from Pursuit before (a local suit maker here in Columbus), and they squeezed him in fairly quickly – and turned the suit around in about 9 days. They knew we were on a bit of a time crunch and were absolute champs!
Evan chose French Blue and Pursuit were able to tailor it to his body (even for the the leg that is 1.5 inches longer than the other).
He already had a white dress shirt (Tommy Hilfiger) but chose a tie that matched/complimented my dress, as well as a pocket square. Considering he ordered the tie and pocket square from Tie Bar the week before the wedding, it turned out remarkably well!
5. Find a photographer
I actually found our photographer through our florist. I decided I wanted a delicate little bouquet and after a little google searching around, I came across Urban Poppy, the cutest florist in all of Savannah. To anyone traveling to Savannah, check out Anissa’s store, it’s not only a florist, but filled full of gorgeous trinkets, candles, fragrances, jewelry, adorable baby clothing and beautiful kids toys.
Chatting to her on the phone while ordering my bouquet, I asked her for recommendations on local documentary style photographers that could capture our day. As luck would have it, her husband Russ was a photographer (Obscura Photoworks) with the precise aesthetic we were looking for.
We organized a call with Russ soon after, and he was perfect. He completely understood the aesthetic we were looking for. We wanted to be able to have photographs framed that when hung on the wall in our home didn’t scream WEDDING PHOTO! Savannah has such gorgeous scenery.. We really wanted to capture the history of the town and maybe Evan and I would be in the frame too.
6. Organize rings (these actually take a little longer than you’d think – especially if you’re looking for something more unique)
After hopping off the phone from our photographer Russ, I said to Evan “we should probably go and get rings”. So, as soon as we hopped off the phone, we went and checked out a few jewelers in the Columbus area.
When we arrived at one, she looked up the date of our wedding, and said “well you guys have 3 weeks and 3 days.. So you can look at these display cabinets”.
Ev and I just looked at each other and thought “ok”, and enjoyed the challenge.
We went to three spots, and landed at Diamond’s Direct (yes, THAT spot that you hear about on all the radio commercials here in Columbus). I knew I wanted a diamond band together with a wedding band. Evan promised to upgrade to a more traditional “engagement” ring in the future, but to be honest – what we decided on is perfect. It’s one of the prettiest rings I’ve ever seen.
It’s an Emerald cut infinity ring, which had to be broken down and remade in a very short amount of time (I have small fingers). They also custom made a 14 ct gold band for my wedding band. I specifically wanted something to compliment and almost echo the angles of the diamond band.
They didn’t have anything in the store that had those sharp edges, but did pull out another set ring and spun it around to the back side of the ring to show the flat angles that I was looking for – I liked piecing all the parts together to get exactly what we (or I) wanted.
Evan went with a matching 14 ct gold wedding band, 4 mm thick.
7. Find an officiant or judge to conduct the ceremony
This was Evan’s job. I think he found our officiant after searching through The Knot. He went back and forth with them, and chose Buffy (felt fitting, Friday 13th, etc etc), who is a Reverend.
Buffy had Evan fill out a questionnaire about our relationship. There were options for different types of ceremonies (religious, secular, romantic, etc). There was even an option to suggest a song for her to listen to, as she prepared the ceremony. We opted for a secular ceremony, grounded in partnership, respect and compassion. She did such a wonderful job.
You could tell she was well seasoned (at the beginning of the ceremony she had us take a deep breath, explained that we listen to her, and keep our eyes on her and each other). She also did brilliantly with incorporating Zoom.. Because you know, 2020.
Highly recommend Buffy, she was so no fuss, kind, compassionate and did a fantastic of incorporating less than traditional pieces to the day. My uncle Paul, my dad’s best friend, gave a speech and the beginning of the ceremony, it it was so seamlessly tied into the order of events, you’d think all weddings were like that. We also had a cheeky toast with champagne together with our zoom guests at the top of the ceremony.. I just love taking tradition and turning it upside down on its head there is something mischievous and fun about that.
8. Choose a Hotel
We decided on Perry Lane, it was the nicest hotel in Savannah, and in the perfect location. Honestly – that’s how we decided.
9. Find a spot to do your hair and make up
I did a quick google, and found a spot (somewhat) close to the hotel (it was a 10 minute Uber drive away) called Hustle and Blow Bar. My mother in law and myself got our hair done, and then I got my make up done too. Given it was an elopement, I avoided the pricey "wedding" prices.
10. Add as many traditions as you want!
I wanted to have great photos, cake, and a bouquet. So that’s what we did! We were able to have so many of the traditions of a typical wedding – and I think that’s what made the day so special.
Tammie, my mother in law, organized our cake. She found a really cool bakery in Savannah, Wicked Cakes. I, sorry I mean Evan and I, decided on a Hummingbird cake with naked cream cheese icing. It was UTTERLY delicious.
We went with an 8” cake, and we had more than enough for the 5 of us, with lots left over.. We even managed to bring 2 pieces back to Columbus with us. We’ve wrapped up a piece and popped it in the freezer (we’ve been urged to wrap it up VERY well, to avoid freezer burn), and we will enjoy on our 1 year anniversary.
Tammie also organized for my parents and brother to be there, with this absolutely beautiful token, for which I am speechless to this day - it meant so much to me, to be able to have this attached to my bouquet (it is a picture of my mum, my dad and my brother).
11. Decide how you want to conduct your ceremony and who you want there
COVID has been pretty shitty for most, but it has afforded us the luxury of streaming weddings all across the world, relatively easily.. Thank you Zoom!
Evan’s family joined us in Savannah for the weekend, and they were absolute rockstars. Evan and I were talking about it on our way back to Columbus – without them, we’d have really struggled to pull the day together. From Chris (Evan’s dad) holding my bouquet, to his sister managing the zoom stream on the iPad, to Tammie having our champagne toast ready. It was all just perfect.
12. Send Invites
We used Paperless Post to send invites to our zoom stream to loved ones. It enabled us to explain the directions regarding how to get onto zoom, together with a place to house the link to the “meeting”, as well as general instructions and “best practices” when joining such a “meeting”.
13. Pick a spot to enjoy a really lovely dinner
For us, we got two chances at this. For the night of our wedding, Evan and I together with his family celebrated at Collins Quarter, an Australian owned restaurant within a few blocks of where we were married. It was lovely, and we were all actually quite tired. Evan, myself and his sister went on to enjoy the COVID Savannah night life after dinner.
The night following our wedding, Evan and I enjoyed a 6 course meal at The Grey. Honestly, no words - it was absolutely phenomenal. We discovered the restaurant after watching Chef's Table on Netflix, and the day after we decided to get married in Savannah, I booked us a table at The Grey. If you're in Savannah, this place is a MUST. The service, the food, the atmosphere, it honestly was so special and something that was the cherry on top of a magical few days.
Truly, nothing about the last 12 months has been conventional, at least not for me. Enjoy the prospect of breaking some rules, making the day your own, and perhaps leaving the traditions behind that don’t serve you and your partner to be, and embrace the ones that feel important to you.
For us, our timeline and "run sheet" was completely different to the traditions of a wedding day. Our ceremony was at 4 p.m., we then had about 90 minutes of photos around the city. From there we went on to have a cocktail at the Peregrin (which was actually the rooftop of our hotel and SO much fun, we had so many people cheering us on and wishing us congratulations), we also actually cut our cake there, too. We wrapped up at the Peregrin around 7:30ish (and that's where we said farewell to our photographer, Russ) and continued into the night to dinner.
There is no "right" way to plan your day, it's all simply a mix of practicality, fun and of course what feels good to you.
Now here is what you came for.. Here is a collection of my favourite photos
Onwards + Upwards,