October 9, 2016
Hey Y'all! Thanks for coming to read my story! I figured it was time to formally introduce myself and tell you the crazy story of my wedding. While I don’t love to tell this story, I believe this experience has shaped me into a very caring and attentive wedding planner. So here goes…
The back Story
I met my husband in Savannah, Georgia while attending Savannah College of Art and Design. When it came time to plan our wedding, we knew we wanted all of our family and friends to come to the place we met and fell in love, to witness us commit to forever together. We still don't regret that decision... even after the following happened.
The Wedding Week
Much like what any bride might do the week of their wedding, I was checking the weather constantly. All I was focused on was Sunday (the day of our wedding), and the whole time it was 80 degrees and sunny! The days before that though Hurricane Matthew was due to hit Savannah with force. As the week carried on, the wind was picking up. By Thursday morning Savannah was in a voluntary evacuation zone. We visited the venue and they were prepared with generators and they had relatively positive outlook on the days to come. I was still dreaming about the wedding we planned. I could picture the ceremony under the big oak tree, and dinner under string lights on the lawn next to the beautiful barn. By Thursday evening Savannah was under a mandatory evacuation. Thankfully my loving parents, soon to be husband and his family never blinked an eye when I said I wasn't leaving.
Friday morning the rain started and a 5:00 pm curfew was in place. Matthew slammed Savannah through the night at a category 3. We woke up Saturday morning to just a few raindrops falling from the sky but more fallen trees than we expected. One just around the corner from we were staying (photo below). It wasn't until the afternoon that all the news started to come in. With already so many friends and family not able to make it in, the news of our venue being damaged was even harder. We wouldn't have been able to get to it even if it wasn't damaged because of all the flooding. The rehearsal dinner venue, caterer, violinist, photographer, makeup and hair artist, all weren't able to get into city limits due to flooding and the National Guard blocking the road ways to keep people out of the way so cleanup crews could do their job.
To say I was crushed is an understatement. Thankfully Nick came over right away so we could figure out what to do next. After many many tears were shed, we came to the decision that we would still get married the next day. We decided Forsyth Park would be the easiest place.
The Wedding Day
Janie and my mom drove all over downtown Savannah trying to find a place for the reception. I couldn't tell you how many places they stopped to ask, but it wasn't before 1:00 that God finally led them to the Andaz Hotel. He also provided a caterer, a replacement photographer (at least for portraits and the ceremony), and my good friend who was also on her way through road blocks, said she would photograph as well.
The time finally came for me to walk down the aisle. With my dress hiked up over all the debris, I did so at 5:00 on October 9, 2016, just like we’d planned all along. Nick and I were still able to have communion and have a feet washing ceremony like we wanted too.
The reception at the Andaz Hotel was full of life even though 5 hours before that we had no venue. We danced, we ate fried chicken just like we wanted and yes we even got to eat our wedding cake. It was even more special seeing those friends and family that literally sweet talked the National Guard, or drove the most secret back roads in order to make it to our wedding.
Ceremony and Portrait Photos: Ave Nocturna Photography | Reception Photos: Lilly Brown | Reception Venue: Andaz Hotel | Bridesmaids Robes: Alexandra Tyson Florist: Joann's Florist | Cake: Publix | DJ: Island Sound | Bride's Dress: The White Room Murfreesboro | Groomsmen Suits: Men's Warehouse | Officiant: Jim Simpson