We hope you all are preparing for a big day full of fireworks and cookouts and loads of sunshine. Before we head off to do the same, we wanted to share this sweet as can be Savannah wedding sent to us by LeeAnn Ritch Photography. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the 4th of July; with a family affair complete with home baked pies and an American flag. Head to the gallery for so much more and, of course, be sure to have a wonderful holiday! xoxo

From the Bride… To be honest I was never one of those girls who spent hours a day dreaming about her perfect wedding day… In fact I had never really thought about planning a wedding until Ryan and I got engaged! Initially we were considering an elopement.. We knew we were going into this on our own financially and we wanted to figure out the simplest way to save money. However the more we thought about it, the more we saw the wedding as an opportunity to bring our favorite people back together in a beautiful Savannah, Georgia and have a party!

Ryan and I have lived in New York City ever since we moved from Savannah in 2007. Our families live all over the place and since Savannah has a warm place in our hearts, we thought it was fitting to go back to where it all began! We wanted our wedding to be an expression of ourselves and celebrate that expression with an intimate group of family and friends. Savannah is a series of squares and I knew I wanted to use the city as my processional isle since we weren’t getting married in a church. I was nervous about the weather, but like they say, make a contingency plan and you won’t have to use it! And to my surprise the weather was perfect!

All the women in the Bridal Party walked through the city from our town home at Forsyth Park to the venue downtown. Our venue was a converted German Fire Station, Garibaldi’s. It was so rich in Savannah flavor it didn’t require much design overhaul – which was great since we were over 800 miles away! Our vision for the evening was that of an upscale dinner celebration with southern inspired cocktails, delectable food, and of course our closest family and friends!

We knew we wanted an intimate ceremony with limited moving parts – good food, wine, plenty of dancing and touches of wedding tradition. Ryan and I are both designers in NYC, so planning and creating a moderate DIY list for our wedding day seemed simple. We divided and concurred. I took the lead on most of the DIY and (what I call) project management coordination and reached out to some key family members to chip in. Our goal was to keep it simple and cost effective. Our venue was beautiful; tall ceilings, cast iron details, wood floors, antique plaster walls clad in mirrors… We had the ceremony and reception in the same space. One great element we made was a long ribbon backdrop where we had our exchange of vows, and later where we had our Bride and Groom table. Since the venue was clad in mirrors, this was a nice way to obscure any camera flash or unwanted reflection. Our color scheme was full of soft ivory, navy blue, burnt orange-red, and mint. Gold and silver was incorporated into elements such as the picture frames, chairs, and mercury glass candle votives to tie in the gold leaf ceiling.

The day was filled with personal touches such as stamped cotton goodie bags filled with Savannah salt water taffy (which also served as the name tags for guests). Our guest book was a Fuji Instant camera, with torn black paper and white pens suggesting you to leave a message and photo. All of the tables were named after a place where Ryan and I have lived – and trust me there were a lot, we’ve been together for nearly 8 years! Ryan’s mother made our wedding cake; a gradient colored red velvet with pointillism inspired icing. Ryan and I made the silhouette cake toppers of our own profiles from black laser cut acrylic – it was so Savannah! Is now the time to mention we both went to the Savannah College of Art and Design? I was super lucky to have my sister design and arrange the flowers. She’s a florist and the look I was going for was effortless, a little vintage, and seasonal. I was so pleased with how they turned out! As the night progressed guests hit the dance floor fueled by signature bride and groom cocktails and entertainment by our talented DJ, Eric Smith from Coastal Entertainment. We had such a great experience with all of our vendors, but music was key for Ryan and me. We worked with him closely to schedule the evening. We also provided him with most of the music, so it was nice to hear him riff off our songs too! It’s not a party without good music!

We really never knew how much was involved in planning a wedding, especially doing it from so far away. A piece of advice would be to pick your top 3 things you must have, and then let everything else fall into place naturally. It will be more enjoyable for you and your partner and help you both keep perspective that the day is about you and your love. One other thing, designate key players to help out, who you trust and trust have your best interest! We sincerely couldn’t have pulled it off without the love and help of our amazing family and friends! I never thought I would hear myself say this (since I’m such a perfectionist) but this wedding was about Ryan and me, and our family and friends, and it was more perfect that I could have planned for! I wish I could rewind time and play it over.

Procession Song: Badly Drawn Boy, I love NYE | Recession Song: Prince, I would die 4 you | Welcome Song: M83, Midnight City | First Dance: Talking Heads, This Must Be The Place | Father Daughter: Cee Lo Green, Old Fashioned | Mother Son: The Beach Boys, God Only Knows | Last Song: David Bowie, Under Pressure | Goodbye / Release Song: The Smashing Pumpkins, Tonight Tonight

Photographer: LeeAnn Ritch Photography, Cole Whitworth assistant | Floral Design: Melissa Hurst (sister) | Venue: Garibaldi’s | Officiant: Will Shelburne | Cake: Mary Townsend (Mother in Law) | Invitations: Bride  + Groom | Hair: Brook Lynes of Park West Salon | Makeup: Anne Wood (friend) | DJ: Eric Smith, Coastal Entertainment | Wedding Dress: Va Et Vien, BHLDN | Shoes: Kelly & Katie | Accessories: Anthropologie, Tiffany & Co | Fascinator: Fiber & Stone | Veil: La Blanc Fleur | Groom’s Suit: Suit Supply | Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Essere, BHLDN | Bride’s Ring: Megan Thorne | Groom’s Ring: Tomas Martin