Matthew & Ashly Fine Art + FilmsMatthew & Ashly Fine Art + Films

Photos by Rich BurkhardtPhotos by Rich


Frequently Asked Questions

(We have a more detailed list of frequently asked questions on our ceremony package page that we recommend reading, too.)

We’re so glad that you want to work with us! Please contact us with your date, time and package option, and we’ll go from there. Your date and time will be locked in once you provide a 50% retainer and sign your contract. I accept every major credit card. Your balance is due 7 days before ceremony and can also be paid online, though you can make arrangements to pay the balance with cash. I do not accept checks.

Because we turn away potential customers for your date and time once we book you, and begin work immediately on preparations for your weddings, deposits are non-refundable if you cancel your package with us.  

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Getting married in Savannah, GA is easy. Chatham County requires that both people getting married apply in person for a marriage license. However, there is no waiting period so you can get married the same day that you apply for your license. Read our detailed instructions on how to apply for a license, including where and what documents you need.

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I am a wedding officiant first, and offer these limited planning services in conjunction with our team’s Client Concierge, Jennifer. I offer them to compliment what I love to do, which is writing and performing ceremonies. I believe that the heart of the celebration is the ceremony and it makes sense to have wedding packages that are officiant-led.

As I have officiated more weddings, I have naturally become an advocate and champion for intimate, small celebrations of love. In fact, I am frequently quoted in the press about my passion, like in these pieces for NBC News, How Stuff Works, and Glamour.

That also means that if you want to work with us on one of these packages, you’ll need to use our officiating services. We do not plan ceremonies for other officiants, whether that is your pastor, father, or sister. Our hope is that having me as your wedding officiant makes you excited!

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The simplest answer is that once you invite more than a few close relatives or friends… you are really having a wedding and it needs more care than we can give for the prices we offer. As the wedding industry has changed, the term “elopement” has lost its original meaning, which is a quick and secret wedding. We appreciate that, but for us, an elopement has (1) fewer than 6 to 10 guests (so we can use any downtown location in Savannah without a permit), and (2) requires no setup or structures (decorations, chairs, etc.).

We do not count guests under the age of 13 in our guest numbers, but venues and restaurants where you celebrate may count them for their purposes.

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If you want to add more photography to the Savannah Elopement Experience, we can do that through our Adventure Hour add-on. We can also add ceremony customization or Client Concierge to the Popup Elopement Package. We can also add on additional photography and onsite coordination (4 hours minimum) for the Intimate Destination Wedding package through a custom quote.

Adding more photography to the Popup Elopement Package simply makes it the Savannah Elopement Experience.

If these package combinations don’t suit your needs, you can always hire all your vendors (officiant, photographer, planner, etc.) separately. Based on our years of experience, we know these combinations are the minimum level of photography and services needed to meet our promises. If you read our reviews, you’ll see our past clients agree!

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We cover the ceremony preparation and delivery, assist you with selecting and contracting with vendors for other services, and provide two hours of photography and pedicabs to help you get to the best spots for photos in historic Savannah. The following are a list of tasks that we are often asked to help with, though not everyone books every service. You’ll pay each vendor for the service you book, meaning the actual services (the permit, the bouquet, etc.) are not included in our price.

  • Securing location permits (at the local price for squares and parks in Savannah)
  • Researching lodging
  • Making dinner reservations
  • Booking hair and makeup artists, musicians and videographers
  • Ordering flowers and cakes


We have a wedding planning guide that we encourage everyone to read as they think about their budget for their destination wedding.

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While many people use the parks & squares in downtown Savannah, we also frequent Bonaventure Cemetery, the Wormsloe Historic Site, Tybee Island, the Savannah Botanical Gardens, Oatland Island and even private homes. You can review stories of where previous couples planned her ceremonies with this package for ideas, too.

If you have more than 15 guests, you will need to reserve a space or obtain a permit, which we can help with once you are a client. The City of Savannah requires at least 90 days advance notice to reserve a square or park. Forsyth Park is usually reserved 6 months to a year in advance. Some spaces, such as Wormsloe and Bonaventure, require a permit even if it just the couple.

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We sometimes allow couples to have up to 50 guests with the Intimate Destination Wedding package with prior approval and a discussion about your budget. There are fewer restaurants available for 50 guests, and it will cost more per person, too. We may also require you to add an onsite assistant as part of the package. Let us know that you are considering this and we can talk more.

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We recently adjusted our package to include the pedicabs based on client feedback. Being able to get around Savannah and get photos with so many backgrounds is a signature part of our experience, even if you choose to get married at Wormsloe or Bonaventure and return downtown for more photos.

If you decide not to use them for some reason, your photographer will instead hire an extra person to assist and help her with equipment during your time together.

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Over the last six years, we have developed a small list of vendors who we know do great work and are highly recommended by previous clients. They also love elopements (not all wedding vendors do), can work with a diverse set of clients, and are LGBTQ friendly. While we refer to them as “our squad,” that’s because we think they are great and not because we get any kickbacks if you choose to work with them.

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We do! The Savannah Elopement Experience is slightly more popular, but the Popup Elopement Package is also booked quite frequently. While you will pick the best choice for you, here are some trends we know after six years of helping couples elope.

  • Our Popup Elopement couples tend to book 30 to 60 days before their wedding and eloping is part of other plans to travel to Savannah. Most dress up, similar to how they would dress to attend a fancy party, but are not wearing formal wedding clothes.
  • Our Savannah Elopement Experience couples tend to book further from their date and are wearing more formal outfits. They have decided they want to elope somewhere interesting and then settle on Savannah.
  • Usually, the guest total is not a factor in our clients’ final decision about which package to book. More than half of our Savannah Elopement Experience couples have no guests with them.


Again, these are trends and we have lots of couples who have been exceptions! We are happy to speak with you about what is best for you as part of your inquiry.

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Anything you want, whether it is casual wear or formal bridal attire! Since we’ll be walking, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Savannah streets and sidewalks include cobblestone. We have a “style guide” that features outfits that other couples have worn. We have worked with over 400 couples so this is only a very small sample.

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Megan will choose the locations included in your newlywed walk, but we welcome your input. Savannah has 22 historic and gorgeous squares, including Whitefield Square and its gorgeous gazebo, as well as Forsyth Park. We also have Jones Street, named the most beautiful street in America by Southern Living, historical homes and monuments such as the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and landmarks mentioned in the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

If you have at least two hours of photographs and pedicabs, you can get even more beautiful locations as part of your experience.

You can also look at photos of actual couples from their portrait sessions and newlywed walks in our galleries.

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Of course- we’d love to help you honor your special day, too!

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Absolutely! If you like the concept of the Savannah Elopement Experience, but want to get married on the beach at Tybee Island- just a short drive from historic Savannah- we can make that happen. We would have the ceremony on the beach and then take photos on the ocean as well as make use of the unique beach town sites. There is an additional $25 travel fee for weddings on Tybee Island.

We also offer these packages at Bonaventure Cemetery and the Wormsloe Historic Site. They have separate fees paid directly to those facilities.

We do not travel outside Chatham County for our Ceremony + Photography packages during the busy spring and fall seasons, but we do during the summer and winter. If you have another location in mind for those times of year, let us know!

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We cannot guarantee perfect weather for your date, but if it rains, we will have still have fun. You can check out how we’ve worked with rain in the past to make sure you enjoy your experience and leave with beautiful photos.

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Yes!

  1. Make sure you and your partner are absolutely on the same page for what type of wedding ceremony and experience you’d like to have.
  2. Once you’ve chosen to elope or have a small ceremony, if you can avoid it… don’t tell anyone else who will not be invited until you are already married. Sometimes, friends or family members have strong opinions and can dampen your joy and excitement. They can also try to invite themselves and within a week, your private elopement is a wedding with dozens of guests. As the two people being married, you know what type of wedding will make you happy and no one else.
  3. Finally, the best part of eloping and small weddings is low stress. Let us help you with as many tasks as we can and trust our vendor recommendations! Keeping the decor as simple as possible and using the natural beauty of Savannah as much as you can for your event will also help. 

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 Interested in booking one of these packages?

Fill out the form below and let us help you book your package! If you are simply looking for a Savannah wedding officiant for your ceremony, check out our Ceremony Only packages.