It’s been a bit over ten weeks since our last wedding of more than 10 guests, when COVID-19 began its progression across our country. We are very grateful to be healthy and safe. Beyond that, it is difficult to recap the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on our business and our team personally. I have decided the best way, in classic Tracy fashion, is to do it by the numbers.
Since early March 2020….
We rescheduled 83 couples who were affected from March to June (not everyone has chosen a new date yet). It has been a bit of a roller coaster while we evaluated every update from our federal, state, county and local governments to advise our existing clients and decide what to do with the information that came to us, which was sometimes conflicting and vague. For example, Georgia’s judiciary, which is responsible for marriage licenses, is not subject to the governor’s orders because of the separation of powers, and each of the 159 counties was allowed to make their own orders.
We lost a lot of money, but were able to get a Paycheck Protection Loan, even if it was a too late to save the Savannah Cozy Chapel. Our elopement and intimate wedding packages have been very successful in part because I am a good businesswomen, and that includes making financial projections. As it became clearer that COVID-19 would have a longer term financial impact on us as potential clients limited travel for the next year, I began crunching numbers and decided that it did not make sense for me to keep the Savannah Cozy Chapel open if we could not socially distance inside. I married over 600 couples there since 2016 and it was a sad decision.
I applied for a Paycheck Protection Program Loan in early April and was approved 28 days later, after I decided that the chapel had to close. Our local newspaper, the Savannah Morning News, followed my journey. It was the right decision. Luckly, many members of our team were helped by the Pandemic Unemployment Insurance, but the financial impact of losing an entire season will be felt a long time, no matter how good I am at planning.
The absence of our couples and our work was more emotionally devastating than I expected. Being part of the most important day of your lives is a privilege and it is an energy that fulfills me. I often felt like my air was being taken from me in April. While some businesses were able to be super productive during this time… I found myself dealing with sadness that came in waves, often triggered by the most unexpected thing and unable to move forward on projects. Also, while there are many things that I have loved about having my son home, it is hard to not have the space that I am used to. I may be a mom, but I am also an only child.
But now, as we come to mid-May, it is time to begin reopening our business and serving small gatherings again for new clients.
Over the last ten days, we have found increased demand for elopements and after reviewing sources we trust, we believe we can meet it… safely. One of the factors that made me decide this was an interview with a Professor of Immunology who I have been following through this, Erin Bromage, who has detailed the science on how difficult it is to transmit COVID-19 in outside settings. In one of his latest interviews, he said “I think outdoor weddings are going to be everything this summer.”
We hope that you trust us and our experience working with hundreds of couples in the Savannah community to be the people to help you get married during the summer of 2020. To aide our reopening, we have created the following guidelines we will ask our new clients to acknowledge at booking.
The 7 Savannah Custom Weddings & Elopements COVID-19 Safety Principles for Summer 2020 Elopements
1. Social Distancing: To comply with recommended safety guidelines, your officiant and photographer will stand 6 feet away from you as much as possible while you are together. We ask that you are aware of where you stand during your wedding day to keep this space. (There are no social distancing requirements between the couple, of course.)
Here are examples of social distancing with your officiant from weddings we did this spring for couples that had already booked. This first photo is of Pamela & Ben by It’s Megan Jones Photography in Forsyth Park.
The second photo is of Heather & John with Partner Officiant Tara Kelly by Bronston Photography at the Wormsloe Historic Site.
2. Physical Touch: While hugs and handshakes are usually a big part of weddings, we will be unable to physically touch you at this time. I hope you like curtsies. 🙂
3. Guest Limits: The State of Georgia’s Department of Health currently recommends that gatherings be limited to ten people or fewer, and requires that all gatherings require up to six feet between each other unless they live under the same household, no matter their size. This guideline is in place until May 31, 2020 and at that time the guideline may be extended or relaxed. The gathering limit includes your photographer, officiant and you, your guests and all children.
Locations governed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, like the Wormsloe Historic Site or Tybee Island, may have more restrictive rules through June 12, 2020, and likewise, that rule may be extended or relaxed.
Unless you are a client that has already booked, we are choosing to work with gatherings with less ten people at this time.
4. Marriage Licenses: The Georgia Courts are under a judicial emergency which means that marriage licenses must be obtained via appointment. We cannot help clients with that process and you must contact the court directly. This order is in place until June 12 and will be extended or relaxed.
5. Ceremony Location: Because Georgia has opened its tourism industry before other states, certain locations are very crowded with day trippers and you may not be able to have your ceremony at your preferred square or park this summer. Specifically, we are not performing ceremonies in squares with gazebos and we are avoiding the Fountain at Forsyth Park on the weekends. Your officiant and photographer will have final say on the square, based on real time conditions. All of our squares have Spanish moss and natural beauty.
If you choose the Savannah Elopement Experience where we visit more than one square, we are happy to do posed photos in any location as we can control the environment more easily.
6. Experience: While it is easy for us to do weddings outside in the open air, it is not as easy for every Savannah business to open. Bars that do not serve food are closed under Georgia’s restrictions (through May 31, 2020), and most fine dining restaurants have not opened based on the physical restrictions of their building and/or the economics of opening. However, there are still lots of open air and mid-level local restaurants that serve delicious food that have opened,as well as walking tours and other safe activities. Couples who are flexible will still have a great Savannah experience.
7. Changing Conditions: COVID-19 and its progression across the US is a changing situation. While we do not anticipate guidelines in Georgia becoming more restrictive, we cannot guarantee it. If you book and Georgia changes its orders to restrict gathering sizes, we will waive your rescheduling fees to move your event to a different date.
We hope this helps you as you make your summer plans. We continue to take more conventional bookings for fall 2020 and beyond. Thanks for all of your support during this difficult time.
Now that you’re engaged (YAY!), it’s time to plan how you will make your commitment to each other. Planning a wedding can seem stressful and complex. From deciding how many guests to invite, where to have your celebration, and what your overall budget should be… it can even feel impossible at times. You also have to make these decisions in the middle of an already busy life!
That’s where we’d like to help.
Choosing Savannah as the right place for your intimate wedding, and that we are the right team to help you make it all happen, is easier when you’re able to view the joyful experiences of couples who already made this choice. Enjoy these 13 stories of couples who chose our Intimate Destination Wedding package for 10-30 guests over the last three years. We chose to feature a diverse group of couples who were united in having the same vision we do- celebrating love should be beautiful, relaxing and empowering.
As one of our grooms put it in a comment on our Facebook page, he felt honored that “We are part of a special group of people, who worked with a very special group of people to make magic happen in a beautiful city.”
Couple Story : Sandee & Chris from Duluth, MN, July 2019
Sandee and Chris were married ten years ago on the beach at Tybee Island with a small handful of family members. Ten years later- after three cross-country moves and bringing their beautiful children, John, Savannah, and Emerson, into the world- they returned to Savannah to renew their vows and celebrate with a larger group of their family and friends.
Couple Story: Hayley & Young from Jacksonville, FL, August 2019
Hayley and Young met unexpectedly when she made a quick trip to Jacksonville to shop at our closest IKEA. Their meeting led to an extended day trip, including a stop to play games together at Dave & Busters. After a year of traveling back and forth from Savannah to Jacksonville, they read heart filled vows to each other at their wedding ceremony.
Couple Story: Rebecca & Robert from Waynesboro, Pa, March 2019
When Rebecca met Robert, she could not believe her luck that she met a guy that rode a motorcycle and LOVED the Gilmore Girls. Their ceremony featured a reading by Neil Gaiman and video diaries from their guests.
Couple Story: Heather & Andre from Ottawa, KS, October 2019
Heather and Andre met at a party when they were teenagers. The second time that Heather saw Andre, she knew she would grow old with him and a few days later, they shared their deepest secrets with each other. Twenty years later, they were handfasted in front of their families and their son Noah.
Vendors: Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Hair & Makeup: Shea Hollister | Pedicab: Royal Bike Taxi | Celebration: Vic’s On The River
Couple Story: Taylor & Josh, from Dacula, GA, April 2019
Taylor & Josh met when they worked at a pizza place in high school. Their first date was after work at a Burger King. Let’s just say that their wedding was considerably fancier!
Vendors:Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography:Ashly McCoy, Wedding Photographer | Hair & Makeup: Shea Hollister | Flowers: Kato Floral Designs | Pedicabs: Royal Bike Taxi | Cake: Gigi’s Cupcakes of Savannah | Celebration: Ruth Chris
Couple Story: Erica & Jonathan from Augusta GA, August 2018
Erica and Jonathan got to know each other over a number of Vietnamese and Tex-Mex meals. Soon, they were doing everything together and knew they wanted to spend the rest of their life together. During their intimate ceremony, Jonathan made vows to Erica’s son Jaxen, too.
Couple Story: Dian & Ben from Houston, TX, September 2019
Dian and Ben met when Ben visited Indonesia for work and Dian worked at the consulate. They were sad when Ben returned to Houston, knowing the distance was too far for a relationship, but they continued messaging each other from afar. Soon, Dian found out she was being unexpectedly reassigned to a new consulate assignment in, of all places …Houston, TX! As Dian and Ben found out, the universe often has its own plans and two years later, they were married in a romantic ceremony in Savannah. Dian’s family participated in the event from across the world via video. As part of their ceremony, they placed love letters to each other in a box to read together on a future date.
Couple Story: Nicole and Nancy from Orlando, FL, October 2018
Nicole and Nancy from Orlando, FL went to see Antman on their first date. Two years later, they were engaged in Savannah and the horse that led their carriage was named Batman. It was fate! We were excited that they returned to Savannah for their wedding that featured so many bright fall colors.
Vendors: Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Hair & Makeup: Salon Aqua | Flowers: Kato Floral Designs | Violin: Na @ Ocean Violinist | Trolley:Old Savannah Trolley | Cake: Gigi’s Cupcakes of Savannah | Celebration:Moon River Brewing Company
Couple Story: William & Megan from Douglasville, GA, July 2018
William and Megan wanted a ceremony that honored their Pagan beliefs, followed by a fun weekend with all of their friends and family in Savannah. They had a ritual filled ceremony in front of the marsh at Bonaventure Cemetery.
Vendors:Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Hair & Makeup: Royal Hair & Makeup
Couple Story: Annie & Akash from Nashville TN, February 2019
Annie & Akash met like a lot of our couples do, on Bumble! Their goal was to create a very intimate ceremony experience that included expressions of deep gratitude to their families
Location: Orleans Square
Vendors: Partner Officiant: Molly Hayden | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Pedicab: Royal Bike Taxi | Celebration:Husk
Couple Story: Sean & Ken from Savannah, GA, December 2019
When Sean and Ken relocated from Minnesota for Ken’s career and their families, they decided it would be the perfect place for a backyard wedding that in the Filipino tradition, celebrated the marriage of not only two people, but two families. They were lassoed for their ceremony and Ken’s nieces played music and read a poem as part of the ceremony.
Location: Private home
Vendors:Partner Officiant: Tara Kelly | Photography: Ashly McCoy, Wedding Photographer | Cake: Gigi’s Cupcakes of Savannah | Celebration: Alligator Soul
Couple Story: Julie & Chad from Milwaukee, WI, October 2019
Julie and Chad met when Julie was out with friends, ironically celebrating her friend’s breakup. They soon fell in love and moved in together during a stage they fondly call “The Takeover.” While they were originally going to be married at Forsyth Park, they moved their ceremony into Whitefield Square due to Tropical Storm Nestor and it was just as beautiful.
Location: Whitefield Square
Vendors:Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Hair & Makeup: Shea Hollister | Flowers: Kato Floral Designs | Pedicabs: Royal Bike Taxi | Cake: Gigi’s Cupcakes of Savannah | Lunch Catering:Le Cafe Gourmet | Celebration: Husk
Couple Story: Linda & JD from Atlanta, GA, November 2017
Linda & JD met 23 years ago when they flirted with each other on a film set, and after a 19 year engagement. We asked Linda’s dad if he was finally ready for Linda to be JD to be his official son-in-law and they tied a fisherman’s knot to symbolize the strength of their relationship.
Vendors: Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Flowers: Garden on the Square
Couple Story: Deyanira & Justin from Rex, GA, May 2019
Deyanira and Justin went to high school together and casually kept up with each other after graduation via Facebook. Years later, they reconnected in person where they had dinner and played the board game Life. The chemistry was undeniable and a few years later, they made their commitment to each other with extremely personal vows in front of their families and their children.
Location: Forsyth Park
Vendors:Officiant: Tracy Brisson | Photography: It’s Megan Jones | Pedicabs: Royal Bike Taxi
I hope you are just as inspired as we are by all of our couples. Have questions about your celebration in Savannah? Send us a note. We’d love to chat!
Hey y’all! I am excited to announce a new offering we have called The Adventure Hour, a special add-on for clients who book the Savannah Elopement Experience.
Over the last year, we’ve encouraged our clients who want additional time with our photographers to book an extra hour with their photographer and to also book pedicabs with our partner, Royal Bike Taxi. Using pedicabs adds opportunities to get photos among more squares, options you can’t get by walking or driving. It is also creates a relaxed and fun vibe which is something we aim for with all of our offerings. Many of our couples have said that the pedicabs were one of their favorite parts of their entire experience!
Previously, we required couples to book their extra hour of photography and Royal Bike Taxi service separately, but now they can book them directly with us through the Adventure Hour add-on. You’ll see this as an option on your elopement order form for $495. As part of this add-on, we will take care of all the scheduling, confirmations, and vendor payments. Not only is this more convenient for our clients, it’s a reduced price compared to when they were booked separately.
In case you are on the fence about whether the Adventure Hour is worth it, here are some photos of two couples who elected to add an extra hour of photography with pedicabs and the beautiful photos they were able to take in so many gorgeous locations.
Monica & Evan, October 2018
Monica & Evan were married at Forsyth Park in front of their friends and family and then went on a photography adventure across the downtown area with Royal Bike Taxi and Megan Jones of It’s Megan Jones Photography. Monica’s hair and makeup were done by the artists at Royal Hair & Makeup.
Weren’t all those photos all dreamy?!? We really do live and work in a beautiful city! We look forward to working with you on your wedding. You can fill out the form below if there are additional questions you’d like us to answer, too!
UPDATE: This position was filled as of November 5, 2018. Thanks to all who applied!
I am very sad to report that our current Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge, Shannon, is leaving us in a few months for Japan where her family will be stationed for the foreseeable future. We are devastated to be losing her from our team, but excited for her new adventure.
But that means we need to find a new Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge and we have big shoes to fill. Please help us with our search!
The Savannah Custom Weddings & Elopements Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge is responsible for three categories of responsibilities for our business:
(1) qualifying leads who want to work with our business for their elopement or wedding and contact us via our online form, or by email or phone, and then following up and scheduling them, if appropriate,
(2) working with select clients to organize related vendor services (hair and makeup, flowers, restaurant reservations, etc.) for their wedding or elopement and helping the client book them, and
(3) managing our marketing assets, including photos and ceremony documents.
The Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge has intimate contact with our clients and his or her work is essential in helping our business maintain our 150+ 5 star rating online.
Under the direction of the owner, this critical team member will …
Manage Our Officiant & Photographer Schedule for Client Booking
Answer leads, using templates and company knowledge, and qualify them for our services via our customer relationship management system, 17Hats
Review Google calendars of officiants and photographers to schedule services appropriately and message them as needed
Send booking forms to qualified leads
Follow-up on needed documents, like questionnaires and booking forms, from clients
Provide Client Concierge Services to Select Clients
Analyze client questionnaires and organize follow-up calls with clients around their requests
Contact appropriate vendors to obtain quotes or make reservations on behalf of clients
Maintain excellent relationships with all of our vendors
Monitor progress for each client’s project and conduct follow-ups with client or vendor as needed
Keep the business’s customer relationship management system up-to-date for every client
Manage our Marketing Assets
Review photo galleries of all of our elopements and weddings and select and organize photos to allow us to easily market our business across online platforms
Conduct a fine edit of select ceremony documents after they have been performed
Related tasks may be assigned.
Hours & Pay
The Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge will be an employee of the owner, not a contractor, and be paid $17 an hour. This employee works approximately 10-15 hours per week, with the busiest times in the spring and fall. Scheduling management work, including answering voicemails, must be done twice a day, in the morning and late afternoon/evening.
Additional Client Concierge work can be scheduled on a weekly basis, based on your schedule and the volume of clients, but all calls, texts and emails must be answered within 12 hours.
This is a remote position. If the final candidate is located in Savannah, there may be opportunities for in-person work at weddings, but not required or guaranteed.
We ask that the final candidate we choose commits to our business for at least one year.
Highly organized with excellent communication skills
Experience with using mobile applications for work
Experience in customer service
Experience working with difficult people and unique situations
Values promptness and establishing relationships with vendors
Owns a computer with access to high speed internet and a dedicated place to conduct work
Experience with self-employment or working for a small business
Familiarity with Savannah geography and tourism
Finally, our Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge must also believe in and share our company’s values about our work.
We believe that modern marriage ceremonies, in both language and action, are the perfect way for couples to express their unique commitment to each other.
ALL love is beautiful and there is no wrong way to be married.
We fiercely defend the right of same-sex couples to marry in our state and country.
Every wedding celebration, whether small and intimate, or grand and bold, deserves the same level of attention and love from their vendors.
We provide solutions to every client’s question and focus on successful outcomes, positivity, organization, and responsiveness in our work. We never say “I don’t know.”
We value the expertise of our internal partners and team members, and work with people who share our values in both thought and practice.
We take great pride in showcasing diverse forms of love and championing the beauty of elopements and intimate weddings to audiences across the globe.
Interested applicants should send a resume or link to a LinkedIn profile via email to tracy [at] savannahcustomweddings [dot] com and tell us why you want to be our Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge AND why you would be great at it. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis and we hope to hire someone by mid-October for training with our team. Only fully-qualified applicants will be interviewed. We recommend all applicants view our Facebook Live video with Shannon about her experience with the position.
If you caught my Facebook Live video a few weeks ago, you heard my announcement that I am making some adjustments to my business for 2019 and here is a quick recap. Beginning October 1, 2018, I will be focusing on the Ceremony + Photography packages that I organize and officiate, and taking limited Ceremony Only bookings over 50 guests for the foreseeable future. That means instead of being a wedding officiant who also offers elopement packages, I will be focusing on creating elopement and intimate wedding experiences that I also officiate. The difference may be nuanced, but is really important to me and how I run my business.
Since I began officiating, I have been proud of the fact that I have been a full-service officiant agency, meeting the needs of all couples who support modern love, but who may be having different types of celebrations. However, in 2018, a few things changed the officiating landscape for me, which is what is prompting me to make changes.
One, is that over the last four years, my Ceremony + Photography packages have grown in popularity and have outpaced the Ceremony Only celebrations I am asked to do. From a business perspective, that increase alone is a good reason to focus on these!
I believe these packages are more popular for a few reasons. One, smaller weddings are on trend worldwide. A second is that as I have become more experienced and expanded my repertoire, my prices have increased to reflect my expertise and I have found that couples prefer less expensive officiating options in the Savannah market. Our local market also, in my opinion does not emphasize the importance of an authentic and meaningful, professional ceremony experience. Our local magazine, Southern Coastal Weddings, recently published an issue with a 20+ page planning feature. Of all the wedding components mentioned, from guest gifts to transportation, they NEVER mentioned the ceremony! That brand messaging about Savannah weddings makes it hard for me to reach couples planning larger events, as well makes it hard to be a profitable professional officiant.
Second, as I have expanded our Ceremony + Photography options, including the Intimate Destination Wedding package, I found that I love everything about small weddings that are ceremony focused. After many of these ceremonies, I find myself wanting to dance and yell to the rooftops about how much I love LOVE! I feel like I am championing a movement as much as I am offering a service and my gut tells me to listen to that and see where it takes me.
Third, and maybe most importantly, my larger Ceremony Only bookings mostly happen on Saturdays and as every weekend that I am gone passes, I find I miss my son, Alex, who is now two and goes to school during the week. Some Saturdays in 2018, I have been gone all day, hopping from ceremony to ceremony, and often miss bedtime when things run late at large events, which they often do.
It has been making my heart ache.
Alex is the most important thing in my life and while I want him to be proud of his mom and her accomplishments, the time I spend with him- and my husband, Josh- is even more important. Most of our Ceremony + Photography packages happen during the week while he is playing and learning at school and is a better fit for my family’s schedule.
While I am excited about these changes, they were not easy to make because I am an overachiever and like helping everyone. Tears were shed before I made up my mind as it is not in my nature to want to work less! But at the end of the day, I believe I am making the right decision.
So what does all this mean for our clients? Here is a summary.
If you have a ceremony planned with under 50 guests and need a Ceremony Only officiant, nothing has changed with our Tracy’s Choice package.
I’ll be working fewer Saturdays personally, but my partners– are ready to celebrate with you if I am not available on your date, just like now.
If you have a ceremony planned with over 50 guests, I am offering one package, the new Create Your Story package, to reflect the type of service I am best at offering, and I will only take 15 per year. My Partner Officiants will be handling all Choose Your Own Adventure ceremonies. They are a great team!
Hey y’all! We get lots of questions about how our Client Concierge service works. I thought it makes the most sense to just show you examples of how awesome this service is! Our Client Concierge service is included in our Intimate Destination Wedding Package and Savannah Elopement Experience, and can be purchased as an add-on for our Popup Elopement and Create Your Story packages.
These services are managed by our Client Concierge, Jennifer Griffin Curts, who is a master of organization and vendor relationships. She spends her days texting, emailing and calling our partner vendors to get things ready for your wedding ceremony, with the occasional assist from me.
As your Client Concierge, Jennifer helps clients virtually with tasks in ten categories.
Research lodging options
Make dinner reservations
Complete permit applications
Order and have a bouquet delivered
Book a hair and makeup artist
Book an acoustic musician
Order and have a cake delivered
Book a videographer
Assist with reserving chair rentals and delivery
Make pedicab reservations for your extra hour of photography
Here is a summary of services we have booked for clients in each category.
Research lodging options and make dinner reservations.
Jennifer can conduct initial research for lodging options, based on your location preferences and budget, for both you and your guests. We can also get quotes for dinner and party options on the day of your wedding, as well as some other limited reservations for your stay.
We don’t take photos of the celebration after we end our couple’s photography session with you, but we have helped couples arrange for celebrations at all sorts of restaurants including The Olde Pink House, 700 Drayton at the Mansion, Rocks on the River, Vic’s on the River, Moon River, 45 Bistro, The Pirate’s House, The Chart House and the Savannah Riverboat, among others.
We have also helped couples cater in their celebrations, whether it was for the couple staying at an AirBnB, or for 30 guests in a small venue. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination, the places available for your date, and your budget.
Complete permit applications (and assist with chair rentals).
For couples who have the number of guests where a permit is needed, we’ve helped dozens of them rent squares and Forsyth Park through the City of Savannah, as well as arrange permits for Bonaventure Cemetery and the Wormsloe Historic Site. We’ve also helped get quotes for chair rentals for those couples who have wanted chairs.
Greenwich Park at Bonaventure Cemetery, Bonaventure Cemetery and the Wormsloe Historic Site all require permits, even if it just the couple.
Order and have a bouquet delivered.
We work with a few floral designers who create unique wedding and elopement bouquets. Here are a few of our favorites from the past winter and spring seasons.
We can also help you order flowers for the whole family, including corsages and boutonnieres.
Book a hair and makeup artist.
Hair and makeup is our most popular requested service for both our elopements and weddings. It’s fun to get glammed up for your photos! Here are some looks created by our most popular artists, with the brides’ directions.
Book an acoustic musician.
We can book any type of musician for your ceremony, but our most popular, by far, are our violinists!
Order and have a cake delivered.
We assist with lots of cake deliveries, but we don’t have many photos in our library because we’re not at the post-ceremony celebration. We did snag some photos from Erica & Jonathan’s Intimate Destination Wedding of these delicious desserts at the Savannah Botanical Gardens.
Make pedicab reservations for your extra hour of photography.
And finally… if you have two hours of photography with us, we highly recommend that you let us book you pedicabs with Royal Bike Taxi. Chris and his team will drive you around town in their pedicabs so you can get photos with twice as many backgrounds, as well as relax and drink some champagne, feel a nice breeze and share some snuggles as you come down from the highs of making your lifetime commitment to each other. Our couples have reported it is one of their favorite experiences of their wedding.
We’re so excited to work with you and make your elopement or Intimate Destination Wedding in Savannah perfect! If you need more information to help you decide which package is for you, you can read our planning guide, too. You can also fill out the form below if there are additional questions you’d like us to answer.
One of our most frequently asked questions we receive when someone books a Ceremony + Photography package is “What do you do when the weather gets rainy?” While I would love to be able to guarantee wonderful weather to every couple who marries in Savannah, I lack those super powers. I do track weather via multiple sources leading up to every ceremony to try to relieve as much stress as possible from the couple.
We, of course, have backup plans for your wedding in case it does end up being rainy on your wedding day! Here is a quick summary of those options.
As long as it is not completely stormy, we usually use one of three outdoor backup places for the ceremony. One is the bandshell at Forsyth Park, which is a big open space and completely covered outside theater. The second and third are the gazebos in Whitefield and Crawford Squares. These locations do have capacity limits.
Savannah’s weather is very temperamental, especially during the summer, and the weather changes frequently during a day. Depending on our schedule that day, we can also reschedule the time with you if rain is only predicted for a short period of time and it works with the rest of your plans.
If you have chosen the Intimate Destination Wedding package and are having a reception style celebration after your ceremony, you may also be able to use that location as backup.
The most important thing is to keep an open mind and commit to having fun, no matter what the circumstances. We have some clear umbrellas to have some fun with for the rest of your photos. One of the unexpected benefits of rainy day photos can be dreamy lighting.
Here are some photos of couples who rolled with the rain, had fun experiences, and received beautiful photographs.
We look forward to working with you to make your day perfect!
Want more information on our services? Send us a note!
I recently updated my Meet Tracy page and as part of that project, had some copy that did not make the final cut, including some random facts and photos. The facts were fun to write so I decided to use the content for a blog post for those of you who would like to get to know more about my background before I became a professional wedding officiant and what I do in my spare time.
So without further ado … here are ten random facts about me!
1. I am a self-described high-achiever, just like Hermione Granger. My first career goal at 5 years old was to be a professional writer and I sold my first story to a national publication, ‘Teen Magazine, when I was a sophomore in high school. Luke Perry was on the cover and there was an insert for Beverly Hills 90210 perfume inside.
I am reminded every time I watch Riverdale how old I am.
2. My first job after graduation from college was as a Teach for America corps member in the Washington Heights section of New York City. I am friends on Facebook with many of my students who are all now in their early 30s and living life to the fullest. I am proud to have even been a small part of their lives as I see them unfold in real time.
3. I have a Master’s in Public Administration from New York University, with a focus on economics and finance. It may seem like a strange skillset to bring to weddings, but I’ve found that absorbing and analyzing information to create stories is my jam, whether that data is numbers, words, or photos for my website.
4. I listen to Spotify playlists while I write ceremonies. My playlists include songs from The Vitamin String Quartet and Rockabye Baby, with a little Beastie Boys, New Edition, Janet Jackson and Tegan & Sara thrown in if I need an energy spike. I ask all my couples for a song to listen to while I write their ceremony and I’ve created a public playlist of all those songs on Spotify (10+ hours of music and counting!) .
6. My mom superpower is that I can make any lesson to my son sound like it is anoriginal Daniel Tiger song. The secret is to channel your inner Tom Haverford.
7. When I am not working or mom’ing, I try to spend my time on civic activities that elevate other women in Savannah. I’ve run a number of women’s leadership groups and I am also a board member of a non-profit called Shelter from the Rain that provides mentoring and other support to low-income single moms in our community.
8. I grew up off the beaches of Cape Cod and will always prefer the Atlantic to the Pacific and the ocean to the mountains. When I lived in New York City, I rented a house every summer with friends on Fire Island, a secluded island off Long Island only accessible by ferry and we had a famous neighbor. Her name begins with a T, her book begins with a B and she has a TV show with a number in it. I found that celebrities REALLY are just like us. I love living close to Tybee Island and going around 5PM during the summer when you can see the dolphins swimming on by.
9. I love a good bourbon on the rocks, especially out on our deck in April or October. It is the quintessential Savannah experience.
10. Everyone ALWAYS wants to know my craziest wedding storiesand two stand out. For the first, the bride was four hours late for her ceremony and was not bothered at all. It was my first wedding back from maternity leave and I almost took down my website and closed up shop when I got home!
The second involves a gentleman who showed up to his elopement with a marriage license, but without his bride, and told me that he didn’t think their wedding was important enough for her to ask for time off from work. I did eventually marry them- together- on another date … and less than two years later, he tried to schedule another elopement with me to marry someone else (I politely declined).
And I still love this job. The easygoing couples- and those that bring me challenges- make this experience the best. And yes, I plan to write a book all about it someday!
Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to learn more about you, too!
Hey y’all! You may wonder how the process works once you have booked us for your wedding ceremony. It’s a great question! My goal is to make everything as stress-free and organized as possible, meaning I am big on processes and timelines. I also value responsiveness, so if you ever have a question you can’t find an answer to, or need to adjust something, email us and we’ll answer it as soon as possible.
Here is an overview of how we’ll work together.
For All Clients
After you have sent us an inquiry, had all your questions answered, and booked your package with us, we’ll send you an email with a basic timeline for your wedding. Within a few days after that, we’ll also send two emails. One email will include a link to our Client Portal, a collection of resources and wedding advice I have developed over the years, and a link to your personal Document Center. The Document Center hosts all your event information, contract(s), invoice(s) and questionnaire(s). I encourage my couples to create a special email folder for all the emails you might receive from us!
The second email you’ll receive is a questionnaire you’ll complete to tell us your ceremony preferences. This is an important one! Depending on which package you’ve purchased, the questions will be different. We recommend that you complete the questionnaire as a couple, as soon as you can, and make the experience as enjoyable and east as possible. The more information you give me, the better I can select or create a ceremony for you.
Once I review your questionnaire, I may send you some follow-up emails with tips if you have selected a specific theme or have told me you’d like to write your own vows. If you are having an elopement and are unsure about the location, I’ll also follow-up to narrow down choices and talk through the pros and cons of each.
Throughout the planning process, you’ll receive emails from me or Jennifer, our Scheduling Manager & Client Concierge, to check in. Some will be automated, such as at 90 days before, and some will be specific emails to your experience, like at our 30 day check in where we make sure all your original wedding ceremony preferences are correct. If you have chosen a package that includes a video or in-person consultation (Create Your Story or Intimate Destination Wedding packages), we’ll schedule that 90 days out, unless you give us a different timeline for your appointment based on travel or other circumstances.
After the 30-day mark passes, I’ll begin writing your wedding ceremony! If you chose the Tracy’s Choice or Popup Elopement Package, I’ll use the answers to your questionnaire to select a pre-written ceremony from my personal library for your event. If you choose any of my other packages, I’ll use your other information from your questionnaire, or my notes from our consulting session, to prepare your ceremony.
[FYI: I ask all my clients to provide a song I should listen to while I write their ceremony. I love these songs and keep them on a Spotify playlist!]
About 14-7 days from your wedding, I will send you a copy of your ceremony with a final confirmation of any logistics, such as how to pay your balance (if you have one) and arrival times. If you are working with one of my Partner Officiants, you’ll receive a formal introduction and during that email exchange, I’ll transition your primary correspondence to her.
Leading up to your wedding or elopement date, I’ll prepare for your ceremony! After the ceremony, I will take care of your marriage license based on the directions you provided during the planning process.
Ceremony Plus Photography Clients
For our clients who choose a Ceremony Plus Photography package, the ceremony creation process is exactly the same, but other things may be also happening at the same time to make your day perfect.
If you chose the Savannah Elopement Experience or the Intimate Destination Wedding package, Jennifer, our Client Concierge and Scheduling Manager, will help you with all your wedding planning tasks so they are set up and confirmed for your wedding or elopement. She’’ll send you a separate questionnaire, and send you a timeline on her work before she contacts other amazing Savannah wedding vendors. You can also add on this service for the Popup Elopement Package.
Here are some of the tasks Jennifer can help you with.
Research lodging options
Make dinner reservations
Make pedicab reservations for your extra hour of photography
Order and have a bouquet delivered
Order and have a cake delivered
Book a hair and makeup artist
Book an acoustic musician
Book a videographer
Complete permit applications
Arrange for chair delivery for your wedding
On the day of your wedding or elopement, your photographer, Megan Jones from It’s Megan Jones Photography will capture your day! How long you’ll be with Megan will vary, based on the package you booked with us.
If you selected the Popup Elopement Package, Megan will photograph the ceremony as well as take portraits of the couple in the same location. The whole process is designed to be simple and only takes about 20-25 minutes!
If you are a couple who chose the Savannah Elopement Experience, you will spend an hour with Megan, including the ceremony, and you’ll take a newlywed walk where you’ll get photos in multiple squares.
If you are having an Intimate Destination Wedding, Megan will photograph you for two hours, including the ceremony. For this package, we recommend reserving pedicabs with Royal Bike Taxi for the second part of the package. Jennifer can book the pedicabs on your behalf.
Within one to two weeks following the ceremony, Megan will cull through all the photos, edit her selections, and deliver an online gallery that you can use to share, download the digital files, and even order prints from. If you would like physical products with your photos, such as beautiful leather wedding albums, wall art in gallery wraps and gallery wrap clusters, she can send you a product guide and schedule a no-obligation, free consultation with you to review the options.
If Megan is already booked for your requested date and time, you may work with one of our Partner Photographers- Matthew & Ashly Fine Art + Film and Photos by Rich Burkhart. If that is the case, you’ll know when you book, and the rest of the process will be exactly the same.
I hope that gives you a good overview of our client process and we look forward to working with you to officiate your ceremony, or plan your elopement or intimate wedding! And special thanks to Somi Benson-Jaja from Shot by Somi for the wonderful photos he took of us during a fun shoot, and Lindsey Wirht who did my makeup.
Hey y’all! I get many questions on what to wear to an elopement here in Savannah. With 300+ Ceremony Plus Photo packages booked over the last three years, I have witnessed all sorts of wedding attire… and that is the way it should be! Your wedding ceremony with me is a space where I want you to be as authentic as possible and feel safe and excited to do so.
Most of our couples choose to wear conventional wedding wear- long, white or ivory dresses and dark suits and tuxes, with a small percentage electing for something very casual. Our couples always look perfect, whether they are wearing a dress that’s big and poofy- or sleek and form-fitting- or a suit that features a bow-tie. This particular blog post celebrates some of the more non-traditional choices we’ve seen from 2015 to 2017. It was hard to choose just a few highlights, but hopefully they give some inspiration to anyone planning a destination elopement who wants to try something different. I have separated these photos into categories: (1) Shimmer & Pink, (2) Vintage Love, (3) Pop of Color, (4) Elopement Style, (5) Unique & Awesome, and (6) Fashionable Grooms.
All photos are by It’s Megan Jones Photography unless otherwise noted. I am looking forward to seeing what all our 2018 couples (and beyond) wear to celebrate with us!
PS: Don’t forget to look at the shoes and the headpieces as you glance through these gorgeous elopement photos!
Shimmer & Pink
I’ve said before, on the blog and social media, that I don’t find myself very girly, but I am beside myself when someone shows up in an outfit that sparkles, shimmers, or is silver, pink or blush. Here are a few brides who selected dresses that made me squee.
I included an extra photo of Sophia because of her super glam jacket, too.
Many of our brides who choose to wear gowns still gravitate toward a vintage, or even boho look. These couples made it a whole theme or communicated to us that they found their decades-old dress in a thrift store or wore something given to them from their family.
Lacey looks so sassy in this photo. I love it!
Turns out a stole is also convenient to wrap your new husband in during the first kiss!
Even Patrick and Kelly’s dog dressed up for their day.
We love dogs, and babies!
And finally, you cannot get more vintage than a steampunk wedding.
Pop of Color
I love when couples wear color to their elopement. More of this, please!
What dreamy lighting these two ladies had for their portraits!
Surprisingly, Barbee is the only bride we’ve had wear black. I think it is an amazing option for anyone’s wedding day.
Many brides go with a short dress for an elopement. Here are just a few that rocked it. Lots of amazing outfits among these grooms, too!
More sassiness in Troup Square! Check out those matching shoes, too.
Michelle’s dress was short and long and made for her to swish and swing all over Savannah!
Unique and Awesome
These two brides did not fit into their own category so I had to make one just for them. First, we have Brandi who rocked a bridal pantsuit.
Second, we have Amanda, who wore a custom made tutu for her special day.
And last, Victoria’s dress is in the unique category because of its design, and because it met a specific dress goal most women wish for: IT HAD POCKETS!
Grooms also have taken some risks, whether it is coordinating their outfits, wearing seersucker, or wearing a jacket that wasn’t a dark color.
And that’s a wrap. I hope you loved these 34 couples as much as I did!