AMANDA + CHRIS
Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa
May 2, 2015
Tell us how you met: It was early May in 2011 when Chris's cousin Meaghan (one of Amanda's college friends) came to visit New York City where Amanda and Chris were both living. When Meaghan revealed that she had some plans with "a bunch of girls from UGA" that night, it didn't take much convincing to get Chris and his friends out the door. When Meaghan and the boys arrived, Amanda was the only girl who had shown up thus far (her punctuality is well noted amongst friends and family!). A quick smile and hello was all Chris needed to know right then and there that this girl was the one for him. A full night of BYOB at a sushi restaurant later, Chris realized that he hadn't gotten Amanda's number before they parted ways. He tracked her down through Meaghan, but was told at the last minute not once, but twice, that Amanda couldn't make it. Nothing more attractive than a girl playing hard to get! She eventually agreed to a first date and they have been inseparable since that night.
Proposal Details: Two and a half years of dating later, with the help of friends and family, it was time to make it official. On a snowy New York morning that wasn't even 40 degrees, Chris had to somehow find a way to get Amanda outside. A walk through Central Park before brunch with her girlfriends would do the trick. As they walked through snow-covered Central Park, Amanda wanted to stop and take pictures everywhere, only adding to the stress of the day for Chris, who secretly had people waiting and hiding with cameras in the park. When they finally got to Duck Pond, Chris walked Amanda through the snow and got down on one knee and popped the question. After what felt like 10 minutes, but in fairness was probably 10 seconds, Amanda said "yes" with tears of joy streaming down her face (and Chris cried too but this is the first time we're making that public!).Friends and family ran out of hiding with champagne in tow, before they were taken to a surprise brunch with more friends at Tao. But the biggest surprise of all was waiting that night. Amanda's family had been hiding in a hotel all day and played it cool, so that when Chris and Amanda showed up for dinner at Buddakan (Amanda's favorite restaurant) with Chris, she got the delight of her family waiting below at the center table. A magical day was topped off with the most special people in our lives.
The Invitations + Paper Details: Swoozie’s Atlanta- invitations, menus, programs, welcome letter and box had the wedding monogram in gold. We created custom stamps, 1 with the monogram and 1 with our picture for the invitations. The purple gray ribbon, the signature color of the wedding, tied the invitations and the programs.
The Gown & Accessories: From New York, where my husband and I met, to Atlanta, where we currently live, I just couldn’t find “the dress.” Ultimately, at a bridal boutique in Buckhead, we created a custom designed dress that allowed me to wear my dress for the entire day, but appear in two different looks — traditional with an illusion lace top at the church, and elegant in strapless at the reception. Shoes- Bagdely Mischa and reception flats- Betsey Johnson, “something blue” on the sole of the shoes. Diamond bracelet- gift from my parents, crystal drop earrings and hair comb to match.
The welcome boxes included monogrammed cups, snacks, waters, personalized cookies, Savannah brochures, a “day after the wedding” recovery kit of advil, tums, and bandaids, and Savannah Bee Company chapstick.
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Black tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse. The groom wore a white bow tie with a white pocket square. The groomsmen wore black bow ties and custom made purple pocket squares, a gift from the groom along with monogrammed cuff links.
Groomsmen boutonnieres: cluster of purple astrantia, rosemary, purple wax flower, and purple freesia.
The Flowers: Harvey Designs- My bouquet was an all white cascading style of vendela cream roses, white mini calla lilies, white sweet peas and white freesia with pearl studded stephanotis and jasmine vines.
Bridesmaids bouquets: cream roses, dark pink ranunculus, purple mini calla lilies, lavender freesia, lavender sweet pea, seeded eucalyptus, fresh lavender, with diamond crystal studs and a sheer cream ribbon.
Ceremony Site + Personal Details: All my life I had dreamed of walking down the long aisle at one of the biggest and most beautiful churches that the South had to offer — in fact, the building itself almost needed no additional decoration at all but for some flower arrangements on the pews and at the altar. An added special touch was our officiant, Monsignor O’Neill, whose Irish accent and storytelling was a nice homage to my husband’s family lineage.
Personal Touches: Family is very important to us, so it was so special to be able to wear my mother’s veil and to work the lace from her dress and my grandmother’s rosary into my bouquet. We even used the same toasting flutes my parents did at their wedding and had them engraved with both of our wedding dates.
What were the most important elements about your wedding day to you and your husband? The ceremony in the Catholic church, dancing with our parents, my dad and I learned a choreographed dance to Time of My Life, which is something he always wanted to do, making sure our guests had great food, drinks, and band!
How did you select your venue: For the ceremony venue, we knew we wanted to be married in the Catholic church. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is one of the biggest and most beautiful churches that the South has to offer. For the reception, we wanted a place where our guests could spend the weekend and enjoy all the amazing amenities of the resort. We wanted to showcase the beauty of the Low Country so the cocktail hour was outside on the Savannah River and then the reception was inside the spacious Grand Ballroom perfect for drinking, eating, and dancing.
Aesthetic + Color Palette: We chose purple, lavender, gray and gold as the colors for the day to create a feeling of elegance, but also of a fun, Southern affair. My mom and I worked tirelessly to put our touches on all of the decorations and heirlooms placed throughout each venue. We had a custom wedding logo designed and applied it to each and every part of the décor, which helped to give the event an iconic feel.
The Flowers: cream and lavender hydrangeas, muted lavender roses, purple mini calla lilies, lavender stock, lavender waxflower, lavender sweet peas and dark pink spray roses.
The Hair + Makeup: Tracee and Holly from Salon Artistry came from Hilton Head Island to Savannah to do all of the bridesmaids and woman in the family’s hair. Lauren Rossi Makeup.
Bridesmaids Attire: Amsale gowns from Bleu Belle Bridal. Custom diamond belts. Crystal drop earrings were gifts from the bride.
The Food + Beverage: Westin Savannah Harbor- seated salad and bread, stations included a sweet and mashed potato bar, carving stations of beef and chicken, and salmon with pasta. Signature drinks- Georgia Peach- the bride and groom live in Atlanta and Mint Julep- it was Derby Day
The Cake and Sweets: Minette Rushing, created our 5 tiered wedding cake based on the design of the dress — the chantilly lace on the top tiers and the ruffles on the bottom tier of the cake to perfectly match my dress. Each layer was a different flavor. The custom wedding monogram was painted in gold on the cake. Chocolate covered strawberries were passed- the groom’s favorite dessert.
Late night snacks/special treats: Chicken fingers, fries, and burger sliders were passed around as the guests danced, along with personalized sunglasses and glow sticks.
Best Piece of Advice for Brides-to-be: Take it all in as it goes by so fast and you will want to do it all over again.
The Send-off/Getaway Vehicle: We rented a 1970 Rolls Royce from Martin’s Vintage Rides to ride in after the ceremony to the reception. We had a custom Just Married sign attached to the car with purple flowers. The guests and bridal party rode on white trolleys from Old Savannah Tours. We used a friend’s boat as the getaway vehicle which was waiting for us on the Savannah River at the end of the night after we ran through the sparklers.
Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist l Reception Venue: Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa l Photographer: Abri Kruger Photography l Planning: Posh Petals and Pearls l Florist: Harvey Designs l Videographer: Savannah Wedding Films l Cakes: Minette Rushing Custom Cakes l Gown: Custom Casablanca l Dress Boutique: Suite Bridal l Bridesmaids Dress Designer: Amsale from Bleubelle Bridal l Hair Stylist: Salon Artistry l Makeup Artist: Lauren Rossi l Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Black l Rentals: Savannah Special Events l Invitations & Paper: Swoozie’s Atlanta l Linens: Linen Hero l Lighting: All About You Entertainment l Transportation: Old Savannah Tours l DJ: Men of Distinction - East Coast Entertainment l Favors: Sweet Shop l Rehearsal Dinner: Garibaldi Café l Officiant: Monsignor O’Neill