I know I say this time and again, but please promise me you’ll read this darling bride’s sweet description. Promise me. Because this is one of those weddings that is soooo full of love (high school sweethearts, a father’s enduring strength, a Savannah dream come true), it’s almost impossible to put into words. And then after you get to know your new bestie (she will be), take a look at every last moment captured by Leeann Ritch Photography. Because from the very second you lay your eyes on all of the pretty that made up this gorgeous day, you’ll want to spend more than your fair share of time in the gallery. Join me there for sooo much more.
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From the Bride… Mike and I met during our sophomore year of high school through mutual friends. We hit it off right away, going everywhere together. We went to both proms together, applied to the same colleges, traveled to Europe together, and ended up at the same college. At the end of our sophomore year in college, we had drifted apart, wanting very different things out of life. We parted ways for a year or so but we decided after that break that we were meant to be and got back together. We have been through the average couple ups and downs and there was no reason to rush marriage or push growing up any faster than we already were… until I turned 30 and it just seemed right. In early December 2012, just before Mike was to go out of town he suggested that we have a date night before he left. At first he wouldn’t tell me the plan but when I guessed the Atlanta Botanical Garden Nights of Lights (Christmas lights are on the top of my “love list” and the botanical gardens are absolutely beautiful year round) I didn’t think much about it at the time but when he suggested that we eat at fountains (a local oyster bar) I was a little confused why he would want to eat bar food before the amazing evening at the botanical gardens. Hours later when I was headed out on some errands, it hit me! Fountains is where we had our first date when we had gotten back together! The evening was perfect and magical and he waited until they had announced that the gardens were closed and everyone headed out… except us, to pop the question.
We immediately decided on Savannah which is like a second home to us and just seemed right. I bounced many ideas of venues and colors off of him but when I suggested Forsyth park, he didn’t see my vision and wanted to know what would we do if it rained, was hot, or cold? I explained that on my first visit to Savannah when I was 10 for girl scouts that we had been driven by the park during a wedding and it was beautiful. I do remember thinking to myself, someday I want that to be me… and I would not care less if it rained as long as I got the fountain in my pictures and could be surrounded by those big beautiful trees and moss. One weekend when he was in town for work, he surprised me with a phone call saying he was at the park watching the set up of someone else’s wedding and that he understood my vision. We got lucky that the park had one opening in the first of May and we took it. We had to move fast to plan our dream wedding with only six months.
I know how fortunate that I am that he helped with the details and had opinions of things because our lives became very interesting during that six month time frame. While in the planning phase, my parents had to move to North Carolina in early January, so that my dad could be placed on the heart transplant list at Duke. My best friend and maid of honer was recovering from multiple surgeries on her ankle (if you are a tall thin women, refrain from playing adult coed soccer- you will break something!). My coworker started chemo for breast cancer (she is just a bit older than me and celebrated her one year wedding anniversary a week after I got married- very upsetting that cancer doesn’t discriminate!). My father had his heart transplant at the end of February and the first month was terrifying but he is a strong man and slowly pulled through. My now sister in law gave birth to her first child in mid March, and then there was the unfortunate passing of Mike’s great grandmother who was 99 years young and had been very healthy and active up until her death. Many times I made the comment that nothing wedding related stressed me out because there was no way for wedding stress to compare to real life stress.
Through it all, I was able to keep it together because of Mike’s love and support (I really did love that he would be honest about things he did and did not like!). In the end, we made it through the planning and down the aisle on May 4. There were more than a few issues that day (it did rain, security was a no-show at the park, my dad fell and hurt himself the night before, and so much more) yet, it is to date, my favorite day of my life and I wouldn’t change a second of it. I have never believed in the idea of soul mates but from the beginning of our relationship, I have said that I didn’t know if we would end up married with kids someday but that I know that we were meant to grow old together. I went and married my best friend.
Wedding Photography: Leeann Ritch Photography | Second Photographer: Alex Chalkley Photography | Reception Venue: Belford’s Savannah | Floral Design: Kato Floral Design | Cakes: Tier Luxury Cakes | Wedding Dress: Renella de Fina Couture | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Hair + Makeup: Robs on Drayton | Jewelry: Mucklows Fine Jewelry | Favors: Maison de Macarons (Day of for Family) + Savannah Candy Kitchen (Pralines) | Trolley: Oglethorpe, Gray Line Trolleys | Pedicab: Savannah Pedicab | DJ: The DJ AC | Ceremony Music: New Arts Ensemble | Rentals: Savannah Special Events-Ranco Tent Rentals | Getting Ready Locations: Andaz (Ladies) + The Inn at Ellis Square (Gents) | Rehearsal Dinner: The Olde Pink House | Photo Booth: Most Fun Photo Booth