This gorgeous intimate wedding in Savannah is a dream! They married on 2/22/20… you know, back when the world seemed normal!
They said I do under the gorgeous trees in Forsyth Park surrounded by an intimate group of family and friends. Check out more below and Q&A with the couple!
Photography: Esther Griffin Photography
Venue: Mansion on Forsyth Park
Officiant: Dr. Howard Pendley
Musician : An Affordable Violinist
Floral Designer : Ivory & Beau
Hair & Makeup: Hilton Head Hair & Makeup
Dress Designer: Calla Blanche
Groom’s Attire: Trunk Club
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: Blake and I met in 2013 at the startup where we worked. We didn’t get together for several years after though…There’s one word to describe the proposal: MONUMENTAL. We live in the Washington, DC area so this really works for us! Ok, Wow, what can I say? Blake secretly organized a very elaborate, meaningful scavenger hunt that took me to some of our most memorable spots. Along the way, I had to solve riddles, do a word search, decode messages, and put together a puzzle upside down. I picked up best friends, a future sister-in-law and my sister while we were driven around the D.C. area by private driver. He even organized for me to get my nails done!After solving different riddles, I collected a letter to a secret word. I arrived at my final destination where Blake was waiting for me with my final puzzle—a hand-carved wooden codex where we unscrambled the French word for love: aimer. The adventure culminated in Blake proposing in the pouring rain right in front of the Washington Monument. It took him months to plan. Everyone (and I mean, everyone, including friends and family from near and far) were all in on it. It was absolutely amazing.
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: Blake and I knew we wanted something small, intimate and personal. Details, details, details! We wanted to delight our families and closest friends throughout the entire weekend. Many of them had never been to Savannah so we knew this was the perfect opportunity to do just that!When Blake asked me what I wanted the most for our wedding when we started planning, I had one thing only: I wanted one big, long community table with all of our family and closest friends laughing and dining together. And candles, lots and lots and lots of candles! I got exactly that: 20 of our family and best friends all enjoying a gorgeous meal together at 700 Drayton in Savannah, over some STUNNING florals from Ivory + Beau.Blake is Jewish and I am Christian, so blending of families and tradition and history was absolutely central to us and as been throughout our relationship. Honoring family is a big part of our lives! Blake’s maternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and my maternal grandparents were also irrevocably impacted by WWII. To honor that, we had a simple, gorgeous chuppah with off white flowing fabric wrap, and did our own modern take on the wine blessing using a German wedding cup from my parents’ wedding, his Bar Mitzvah cup and our own brand new Kiddush cup for our life together going forward. Not to mention, Mr Howard Pendley, our wonderful officiant, is both Christian and Jewish! He wore his own yarmulke from Israel, which was incredibly touching. His ceremony was absolutely full of family, love, community and togetherness.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: The Marble Garden at the Mansion on Forsyth has incredible decor, so I knew I didn’t want to overdo it, but instead wanted to compliment the European style already in place. The huge space contains white marble floors and a white fabric tented top surrounded by green plant and dark red-orange brick of the hotel creating a perfect indoor/outdoor private courtyard like-setting.That’s why I chose flowing white fabric to wrap and cover the dark wood chuppah! I knew the white with white on dark wood would complement the dark red-orange and greens already in place. Simple, stunning, flowy and romantic.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: The decor was really centered around the florals for the intimate reception dinner at 700 Drayton in a private room. The long silk ochre orange tapestries over their super high ceilings, dark teak wooden pocket doors and working fireplace was the perfect setting for our romantic, intimate wedding.I knew I wanted to keep with the dark + romantic feel, so I worked with Ivory + Beau. Those florals were my other big project and boy, did they deliver! I knew I wanted a long, continuous garland-like centerpiece that had dark, “moody” jewel tone florals to create a romantic, intimate atmosphere. I wanted height and fullness with lots of blooms THEY. NAILED. IT. Dark red roses with magenta ones popped in, dark gray blue thistle, navy blue hydrangea all cradled in dark greens — it was breathtaking.When everyone walked in the room, all you heard were *gasps.* Our guests immediately pulled out their phones and started snapping pics — the best compliment!
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: Yes! My dad surprised Blake and me. He had been practicing his Hebrew to say the dinner prayer in both English and Hebrew for *months.* Blake and his family had no idea– this was a special gift to Blake. My dad did this to welcome our two families together over our first meal as ONE family. To take it a step further (!!!), my dad had secretly been working with a local rabbi in Hilton Head Island where my parents live to create a special family blessing for Blake and me — and our families together going forward. That, too, he read in Hebrew and English to honor us all and those who couldn’t be with us. It was all to bring us together in a loving, inclusive way. The English text is below:”O Source of Mercy and God of all humanity, we celebrate the occasion of the marriage of our beloved children. We give thanks to you for the gift of life and for your continued presence in all our lives.We look forward to the creation of a new family and the future hope for expanding our extended family. We pray that You, Eternal Source of Good, will bestow your blessings upon our children and grant them good health, understanding and that all of us will welcome them into our respective families with their traditions which they have benefitted from over the course of their lives.We ask for your help to create and sustain that big tent of love and dedication to the values of mutual respect for their faith traditions and for their noble and worthy goals in their lives. As we have guided them throughout their lives, give us the wisdom to continue to teach them and support them in all their worthy endeavors. Somay it be your will. And let us say Amen.”
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: This was so much fun! I thought I wanted something very simple, but after a few visits to shops in the DC area, I finally found it at White Swan bridal. My Calla Blanche dress (the Mylie) was offwhite with all-over hand-spun French lace with barely-there sequins and a tasteful plunging illusion neckline. It finished off with a very low back with a small lace “belt” across the small of my back. WOW! It was definitely a show-stopper and not at all “simple!” I loved it from the minute I put it on and never wanted to take it off. For some fun, I splurged on a pair of white Gucci sneakers that had “LOVED” embroidered on the sides to wear underneath for the after party. Blake had a custom-fitted navy blue, birdseye suit from Trunk Club in DC. Our personal stylist helped us pick the perfect fabric, fit and dark berry colored accessories. For a bit of fun for him, I surprised him with embroidering “Tag! You’re It” on the inside. We have a three-year game of tag going between us! What can I say, it speaks to our playful relationship 🙂
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: Probably the whole thing! If we have to pick 1 or 2, we think it was the first look and the personal vows we wrote for each other during the ceremony. We decided to a first look, from the suggestion of Esther Griffin, our amazzzzzing photographer. I hadn’t really considered it, but when she described it over the first phone call, Blake and I were IN. Blake was already across the street waiting for me with Esther in Forsyth Park. Originally, I thought I would go myself, but my dad saw that I was nervous, so he escorted me across the street. After Esther found us, he handed me over. Thank goodness for Dad :)It was just as magical as we had hoped. Blake was in his suit waiting for me with his back turned in the perfect park setting. When he turned and saw me in my dress for the first time, I will never forget the look on his face. (Plus, I got to tag him It! ha!)Then, after getting all the amazing shots, we retreated to our spots and got ready to walk down the aisle. Blake and I had planned to write our own vows as promises to keep to each other. After honoring our families and guests, it was time to focus on each other. While we wrote them separately, we agreed to structure them as 3 promises to each other. Adding our own vows was personal, intimate and sweet. Not a dry eye in the house!
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: We saw our wedding weekend as the ULTIMATE KICKOFF PARTY to starting our lives together, so we have two pieces of advice:1. Take your time and try to enjoy the day. Wedding days are the culmination of all your hard work together. With all of the hair, makeup, details, people rushing around from one part to another, take a moment at each part to breathe, take it all in. Hug the person next to you or tell yourself YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!2. Ignore all the advice! Do what you want — together. It’s your day and the start to YOUR life as a married couple 🙂