Hey y’all! Happy 2019. 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 $475. 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 in gorgeous locations they were able to take. Before you delve into the photos, I also had 2 quick important notes for you.
As part of our package revamp, we discontinued cupcakes and champagne as part of the basic Savannah Elopement Experience package, but will continue to include them with the Adventure Hour. If you booked the Savannah Elopement Experience before 2/1, we’ll honor your cupcake and champagne request.
We still highly, highlyencourage booking pedicabs with the Intimate Destination Wedding Package, but as of right now, they must be booked separately because there are more factors involved in planning these events.
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 5th. 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 and 2019 calendar? 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.
If you have a ceremony planned with over 50 guests, I am offering one package only, the new Create Your Story package, to reflect the type of service I am best at offering and the engagements I want in 2019. I am taking a maximum of 25 ceremonies in 2019 (this year I did 94), and I have already filled 9 dates as of September 2018.
If you have already booked a Saturday Ceremony Only package for 2018 or 2019 already, nothing has changed and I am really excited to work for you! Your bookings just count in the total I am setting for the year.
I’ll be working fewer Saturdays personally, but my partners– Buffy, Molly, & April- are ready to celebrate with you if I am not available on your date, just like now.
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 stress-free 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 Shannon, 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, The All In, 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 answers, 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, Shannon, 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 schedule a follow-up phone call, if she has questions 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 Shannon can help you with.
Research lodging options
Make dinner reservations
Make carriage ride reservations for the beginning or end of your photo session
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
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, and enjoy cupcakes and champagne, if requested.
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. Shannon can book the pedicabs on your behalf.
You can also add an extra hour of photography- with pedicabs- to the Savannah Elopement Experience package if you want more photos and more backgrounds.
Within one week 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 non-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 Burkhardt. 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.
Many of you already know Shannon- at least virtually!- since she has booked almost all of our 2017 and 2018 clients as our Scheduling Manager. She has also helped about a dozen of you plan additional wedding details, such as flowers, dinner, hair and makeup, and other services, as our Client Concierge. Even though she has only been working with us a short time, I cannot imagine how any of us would work without her!
In addition to all the work she does with Savannah Custom Weddings & Elopements, Shannon also has four children with her husband of 15 years who is an active member of our military. Here is a little more about her, how she feels about her work with all of us, and some tips for potential clients.
What made you want to work for a wedding officiant? I have always wanted to work in the wedding industry doing something that allowed me to be a part of a couple’s big day. When I saw the opening, I knew it was the perfect job for me and based on her website, it seemed that I would love working with Tracy and everything she stands for.
What has been your favorite part of the job? My favorite part is definitely seeing everything fall together just how the couple envisioned it. It is a wonderful feeling to see and hear how happy they are to get the wedding of their dreams!
Tell us about a specific problem you solved as a concierge. I had a wonderful couple who needed seating for 20 guests for more then one meal while they were in Savannah for their destination wedding… but each guest needed to pay their own bill separately and most restaurants won’t book a group that large without renting the space and requiring deposits beforehand and a set menu. This is the type of situation where I feel like our concierge service can be extremely beneficial to couples because I was able to take the time to call several places to find the perfect places for their needs. They worked great for this couple and they didn’t have to worry or stress over it!
After answering hundreds of inquiries and acting as a concierge for a dozen clients, what are your top 3 tips for planning a wedding or elopement in Savannah?
1. Transportation! Have a plan in place on how you will get to your ceremony. Parking and traffic can be crazy in Savannah and you don’t want to be late to your own ceremony! There are lots of options here, including Uber, Lyft, and pedicabs.
2. Make sure you understand the city’s permit rules if you will be including more than a few guests. Unfortunately, you cannot show up with 30 guests without reserving a space and making arrangements for a permit.
3. Be patient! I have found that a lot of people and businesses in Savannah are “laid back.” They will get it done for you, and it will be AMAZING, but it may take them a little extra time. We are called Slowvannah sometimes for a reason!
What is your favorite television show? I could watch Grey’s Anatomy and Friends over and over again… and I do!
Your can’t miss places when visiting in Savannah? Forsyth Park! I love people watching there! So many interestingly fun people going through there all the time.
And, finally, what is the best way to show your love to your partner? I have been married almost 16 years to my high school “boyfriend” and I have learned over time that the best way to show love to your partner is through respect and honesty. I feel like those are two super important ingredients to make a marriage work. And don’t forget laughter!
Hey y’all! I am hiring three new partner wedding officiants for our team to start this fall. Partner wedding officiants officiate weddings when I am unavailable or double booked. Depending on the season, and their availability, partner officiants can marry 2-10 couples per month.
I am looking for one officiant based in Savannah and two officiants based in Hilton Head and the St. Simon’s and Jekyll Island areas, respectively. Because we are so booked in Savannah and Tybee, we usually have to turn down all requests for those coastal areas and I would love to change that.
Here is a brief overview of how the Partner Officiant process works.. Partner Officiants conduct wedding ceremonies written by me. Partner Officiants usually only communicate with their clients a few weeks before the wedding, those some clients may want a pre-hire consultation via Skype or FaceTime.
If you would like to apply, please send an email and resume or link to your LinkedIn profile at tracy [at] oppsproject [dot] com. Qualified applicants only, please.
Officiate pre-written wedding ceremonies and Signing Services as assigned
Provide high level of customer service to all clients with enthusiasm
Keep information about weddings and clients confidential
Dress appropriately for the occasion (generally cocktail or formal business wear for women, suit for men)
Be prompt for all events and arrive before the scheduled time
Respond to emails from clients and Slack notifications from our team members promptly.
Significant experience with public speaking or performing
Experience working with difficult people and unique situations
Experience as an independent contractor who organizes his or her own work and has been responsible to customers
Ease with mobile technology and apps (our job is very mobile and we use a lot of technology)
Flexible schedule on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends
Belief in the concept of a modern marriage
Belief that ALL people deserve to be married, regardless of their sexual orientation
Belief that weddings can be joyful and fun while recognizing the importance and responsibility of the event
Comfort with performing ceremonies that are both non-denominational and non-religious
Partner officiants must have reliable transportation to get to weddings.
Partner Officiants are contractors and paid a flat fee per gig or rehearsal. They will be issued a 1099 at the end of the year. Payment is monthly by invoice.
If interested in becoming a Partner officiant, please send a resume and cover letter by September 1st to tracy [at] oppsproject [dot] com. Interviews will happen on a rolling basis. Finalists will be asked to conduct a mock wedding ceremony in front of the Fountain at Forsyth Park. If the opportunity arises, you can also watch me officiate a wedding after being interviewed.
Please note: I am looking to bring in a person that I can work with long-term and is a part of my organization, not someone I can simply refer weddings to when I am booked. If you are looking to market yourself as an independent wedding officiant in the future, or currently have a website or Facebook page marketing yourself as an officiant, this is not the position for you.
I look forward to your referrals and applications!
Buffy brings rich experience to her job. She has lived in Savannah for 20 years and is a graduate of the Savannah College of Arts and Design. She was born in Dalton, GA and was lucky enough to fall in love with her best friend, Adam, and they have been together almost 25 years.
Here are some questions I asked Buffy and some pictures of her officiating ceremonies! Here is probably my favorite picture from all her ceremonies.
What made you want to officiate marriages?
I wish I had a definitive explanation, but I don’t. When I discovered you were looking for another wedding officiant, I knew I wanted to do it, and I knew I would be good at it. I have never been that confident about anything ever! LOL!
I really like being around happy people. It makes me happy!
What has surprised you the most about officiating?
How calm the couples are when they get married. How intimate the ceremony really becomes. We could be on the beach, in the park, one of the squares, people all around, and for those few minutes, it doesn’t matter. It’s just them. It’s so sweet.
Is this your only job?
Actually, I am also a licensed real estate agent with Seabolt Brokers, LLC. This is not my only job, but this job can turn a bad day into a good one. On any given day, a couple gets married, I get to marry them and everyone is happy. Who wouldn’t want to do that?!?!?
Hey y’all! I did a model call for a photo shoot at The Savannah Cozy Chapel to demonstrate what fun a couple can have in our space. Luckily, the amazing Renee & Vanadis volunteered, a week before they were actually married in front of their family and friends at the chapel! Renee & Vanadis met on Instagram and it not surprising that they attracted each other on that platform because they are so photogenic.
Here is a list of other vendors who participated in the shoot.
Though we’ve been open in our new space since June, I still don’t have professional photos of the Savannah Cozy Chapel, my modern location for non-denominational and secular elopements and small weddings. I am finally going to do that this month and I am holding a model call to find 1-3 couples who would be willing to be photographed as part of a photoshoot. You’ll get free photos in return. See details below the picture.
When and where is this photo shoot?
It will take place one afternoon for 2 hours between 1PM and 5PM on November 21st, 22nd or 23rd at the Savannah Cozy Chapel at 2421 Waters Avenue between Maupas Avenue and 41st Streets. We’ll choose the date best depending on the couples’ availability.
Why participate in this photo shoot?
You will get a free digital gallery of yourselves that you can share and print as you’d like. The gallery will be several hundreds of dollars worth of professional photography work.
What are the requirements?
The couple(s) chosen must be able to take direction from the photographer and be comfortable showing affection to each other, smiling, and being serious when asked. The photographer will choose all poses and you’ll be asked to pose in multiple locations within the chapel and its outside gardens and sometimes hold props. You’ll also sign a model release that will allow us to use your pictures in online advertisements for the chapel.
Who should apply?
Are you a couple in love? If the answer is yes, the answer is you. The Chapel serves diverse couples and we are looking for models who reflect that. Couples of all sizes and ages should submit. If you have tattoos, alternative hair colors, bring it on. I am also interested in featuring at least one same-sex couple.
You do not need to be married to apply, but you must be in love and be comfortable showing that on camera. Past clients welcome and encouraged to apply.
What should I wear?
My goal is to portray how modern and fun the space is. For women, think classic white, flowy elopement dresses or colorful options. For men, suits or a business casual look would be best. Women are also free to wear something traditionally more masculine if that is your jam. Clothes must fit you well.
Your outfits must be approved in advance by me and the photographer. We’ll ask you to send you us a picture.
I will pay for a makeup and hair artist for women participating. You’ll have that done at the Chapel prior to the shoot.
How can I apply?
Please submit a contact form on my website to tell me you are interested in being considered. Tell me a little about your love story and provide a link to an Instagram picture of yourselves. I’ll follow-up with next steps.
Hello y’all! I can’t believe we are already halfway through June 2016! I have already married 165 couples this year through a busy spring season and I am looking forward to meeting with all the couples already booked through May 2017.
While June is a busy wedding month in most corners of the country, it is slower in Savannah because of the heat (we are at 100+ degrees already!). For that reason I use every June to review through the past year and look at how things have gone with my business the previous season, especially around packages and pricing. This year is no exception and on June 20, 2016, I will be rolling out pricing changes. I will be keeping all of my packages the same, but adjusting prices and changing some amenities and discounts. Most packages will stay the same, but some will increase about $20 and all off-season pricing will be eliminated.
If you are currently interested in booking a wedding between now and June 2017, I will honor my current prices until the 20th so please contact me now to book your wedding.
I look forward to working with you on your wedding ceremony!