My baby sister is MARRIED! I cannot believe it.
This sweet little curly haired, spice girl singing, barbie doll loving, turtle enthusiast has grown into someone’s WIFE. And what an incredible wife she is going to be. Savannah & Brian couldn’t be more perfect for one another. They are two of the most loving, generous, and kindest people I know. Their love is infectious and their wedding was proof of that! I have never seen more love or joy fill a space than I did on their wedding day.
The planning process began a little over a year ago when Savannah came to me with the question- “So, do you have any venue suggestions?” Umm- Absolutely! I know my sister and Brian very well and the PERFECT venue instantly came to mind. I immediately planned a trip to Lexington, VA with the two of them to visit Irvine Estate. Savannah and Brian LOVED the venue, but they had to be sure. The two toured MANY more venues and were even considering a destination wedding to Charleston, SC, but nothing compared to Irvine Estate. It was exactly what they were looking for! I couldn’t love this venue more. The views alone are breathtaking!
Once the venue was locked in, Savannah and I kept working through the details and the planning process. I tell you what- this was FULL service on steroids. I was not only her wedding planner, I was also her Matron of Honor and her Big Sister! I can now add professional hat juggler to my resume 🙂 I wouldn’t have had it any other way, though. I loved every minute of it.
The wedding day finally arrived and we were all thrilled!! The morning of the wedding, I enlisted Eric to help me with setup- he was definitely the most “thrilled” out of us all haha. Setup was actually SUPER quick but there is always one small crisis to avert. Savannah had super cute menu cards for each table. Unfortunately, they were on soft cotton paper and they would not stand up in the holders we bought! Now, part of being a wedding planner means improvising and being creative. I have had to “get creative” countless times and this was no different. I began digging through the decor items hoping to get some inspiration. Savannah was absolutely in LOVE with these menus and I was not leaving until they were perfect! The rummaging was a success- I found a stack of extra card stock!! JACKPOT! I had Eric cut out backs for each menu card while I finished the setup- he was such a trooper and the menu cards turned out great 🙂
Following setup I had to switch gears- MOH time! The girls were getting ready at the CUTEST bed and breakfast, The Grace House. It was sheer perfection and everyone loved spending the morning here!
While we were having fun- the photographer was killing it with the detail photos!! So gorgeous! The cute personalized champagne glasses (below) were the favors from Savannah’s Bachelorette Party- man I <3 Etsy.
Mimosas were had, makeup was done, and hair was pinned. Time to get dressed!
Savannah’s “Something Borrowed” was my wedding veil and her “Something Blue” was Brian’s baby bracelet (this has become a little tradition in our family! My “Something Blue” was Eric’s baby bracelet, too!). Her “Something Old” was her mom’s wedding band and her “Something New” was…well, everything else lol.
Meanwhile, the boys were at a nearby hotel getting ready! SO handsome…especially the little man. Parker was the cutest ring bearer 🙂
I have to take a minute to tell you how incredibly SWEET Brian is. As a gift to Savannah on the wedding day, Brian wrote her a series of letters. The first letter was given to Savannah when she woke up on her wedding day. I had the privilege of delivering the second letter, which was given to her once she got dressed. The last letter was given to her by our dad just before she walked down the aisle. I’m crying just thinking about the sweetness! <3
One of Savannah’s gifts to Brian was a Bible with his name engraved on it <3
Okay- back to getting ready & the dress! Savannah did an incredible job keeping her dress a secret. I was the ONLY person who had seen her in her dress prior to the wedding day. As a surprise, she decided she wanted to do a little reveal to her bridesmaids. There were a few close calls and the girls almost got a sneak peek haha…
The reveal was a success, though. Everyone shed some tears and Savannah looked gorgeous!
In general, I am always worried about weather on wedding days. I am always thinking about contingency plans should weather not cooperate. Savannah’s wedding was mostly indoors (everyone in my family has been scared away from outdoor weddings lol), but of course she wanted outdoor pictures! The weather forecast wasn’t looking too good the week prior to the wedding, but- by the grace of God- the forecast switched up on us and rain was no longer a concern! It literally rained the ENTIRE next day, though.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. It was beautiful and made for some seriously gorgeous pictures! Savannah & Brian had one good looking bridal party and the MOST adorable flower girl. I am a little biased about the flower girl and ring bearer- they’re the BEST niece & nephew on the planet!
Once we wrapped up the photo shoot it was time for Savannah’s first look with daddy! Ugh- I’m crying again! The pictures say it all- pure love & happiness.
Now, I mentioned that Savannah did a great job keeping her dress under lock & key. Well, during her first look with dad wedding guests began arriving and we had to hide her- and FAST! There was no where to go so I, again, had to get creative. Hey- it worked!!
Of course, later the bride had to pee…
Everything was still on track and it was time to start the ceremony!! EEEKK! Wedding planning hat was back on…oh wait…I’m in the wedding…is it fashionable to wear two hats at once?? 🙂
Some of you may not know it, but Savannah’s mom, Cheryl, passed away 7 years ago. Our sister Jessie, the oldest of us, gave Savannah the sweetest wedding gift. A bracelet that read “love you” in her mom’s handwriting. Savannah was able to wear this on her wedding day as a reminder that her mom was with her every step of the way.
Aside from an unruly veil that kept getting caught in the wind and flying sheet music that got caught in the rafters, the ceremony was perfectly stunning. I am pretty sure the groom and his men cried more than the girls! To lighten the mood, Savannah’s Papa accidentally erupted in spontaneous applause haha! He thought the ceremony was over. To his defense- it was almost the end 🙂
(inside scoop: dad made the cedar cross pictured below!)
Following the ceremony- it was time for family pictures! I am SO surprised that the photographer didn’t accidentally get a picture of me holding my KW binder instead of my bouquet! The juggling of roles was a little tricky here, but we knocked these out in a flash so that the newlyweds could have plenty of time for couple photos.
The Hager fam! What a good looking group!
The Collins Fam! <3
Mr. & Mrs. Collins!
While these two were off being models- the guests enjoyed cocktail hour!
I need to pause to mention that Savannah & Brian decided to get married on a Sunday and have a brunch wedding! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. This was SO much fun to plan. Naturally, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s were offered; however, the biggest hit during the cocktail hour was the biscuit bar!!
Some of you may be wondering what the pros & cons are for having a Sunday Brunch wedding. Here is a quick pro/con list for anyone out there who is interested in this option!
Most venues offer a discounted rate on Sundays.
Your Bridal Party & immediate family don’t have to take off work to make it to the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner, especially if you’re having an out-of-town wedding.
Having the ceremony earlier in the day means that most guests don’t have to book a hotel after the wedding, which saves them time & money!
Brunch food is the best! It can also be cheaper!
Brunch beverages are the best!
And since most guests are driving home after the reception, they drink less. Which means you save money! 🙂
Brunch weddings are perfect for couples who aren’t night owls and who prefer a more relaxed setting with lots of mingling!
You don’t have to worry about racing the clock to get your pictures in before sunset!
You actually have time to breathe after the wedding!
Savannah & Brian actually enjoyed a romantic dinner in their room at a local bed & breakfast, The Georges, following the reception. They were able take in the day and enjoy being married before rushing off to their honeymoon the next morning!
Having the wedding on a Sunday can limit your options for your Wedding Rehearsal time since there will likely be a wedding at the venue on Saturday evening.
Savannah & Brian held their Rehearsal Saturday morning, which actually turned into a PRO because it allowed the girls to get their nails done together and enjoy a pre-wedding lunch before going to get ready for the Rehearsal Dinner.
Since people tend to drink less and in turn dance less (we all know the number of beverages consumed correlates to dancing lol), you want to be sure to keep your guests entertained while they’re there.
Savannah & Brian did a great job engaging their guests and I was sure to keep the reception moving along so guests could be excited for each event!
Having a Brunch wedding means you have to get up earlier.
This also means the morning can be a bit rushed.
However, if you have an awesome planner, the day will be structured in a way that allows for plenty of relaxation prior to the the ceremony! 😉
If you’re an early riser- this could be a PRO. Most Brides I know don’t get much sleep the night before the wedding anyways- too much excitement!
Savannah & Brian’s Wedding started at 1:30 PM with the Cocktail Hour beginning at 2 PM. This was right on the tail end of Brunch and allowed them more time to get ready and take pictures prior to the Ceremony.
Okay- back to the Cocktail Hour 🙂 This hour FLEW by and before we knew it, it was time for the reception. Savannah & Brian shared a sweet first dance.
Next up was her dance with daddy. I am not exaggerating when I say there wasn’t a dry eye in the entire room…or maybe it just looked that way because I was blubbering…
Brian danced with his mamma, too!! So sweet!! <3
Everyone was overcome with happiness, but now it was time to be fat & happy!!! BRUNCH!! Savannah & Brian picked some delicious menu items for the buffet. A Caprese Salad, Shrimp & Grits, Pancakes with Fresh Strawberries, Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon (MY FAVORITE!), Bacon, Sausage, Muffins, and an Omelet Bar…YUM! One touch the two incorporated during the meal was personalized crossword puzzles at each place setting! While guests waited to get food, they could work on the puzzle. I finished my crossword puzzle with ease…but I had an unfair advantage…I made them 😉
My MOH hat was back on and it was time for my toast! CRUSHED IT! Just kidding- but I do think I delivered a pretty good speech, as did the Best Man. I love this picture of our speeches that the photographer snapped. I’m sure you can guess which one is mine…
Following the toasts, it was time to kick off the dancing! Savannah and Brian had a live band and they were AMAZING. Seriously, check them out- they are talented group of guys!
Following some more dancing and mingling, Savannah & Brian played the Newlywed Game. During this game the couple takes off their shoes and swap one shoe with the other so they are holding one of his & one of hers. They then listen to a series of questions such as, “who is the better driver?” or “who is the better cook?” With the couple sitting back to back, they have to raise the shoe of the person they think answers the question. This game always leads to laughter and is a fun way to engage guests!
The reception wrapped up with some more dancing. All of my hats were now off and I let loose with daddy on the dance floor 😉
And that was a wrap- time to send em off for a lifetime of adventure. They had a sweet flower petal exit. I loved this idea and it was a nice change from the typical exits seen at most weddings. Plus, the petals looked so cute in the DIY book page holders seen below!
(inside scoop: the photographer had to leave prior to Savannah & Brian’s exit so we staged a “faux” exit for them! This is great way to save money instead of paying your photographer for extra coverage!)
As I mentioned in my pro/con list above, Savannah & Brian kicked off marital bliss with a sweet dinner as husband & wife at their cute B&B in downtown Lexington. Again, perks of having a brunch wedding- you actually have time to soak in your wedding day and even catch a quiet meal together. This was followed by a surprise 12-day honeymoon in Anguilla (Savannah had no idea where they were going!) and a move to Charlotte, NC (I miss you already, Sav)!!
Savannah & Brian- planning your wedding was a JOY. I am so happy to have been a part of your day. I love you two so very much and can’t wait to see what this beautiful life has in store for you.
Welcome to the family, Brian <3
Dress Store | AVA LAURENNE BRIDE
Venue & Catering | IRVINE ESTATE
Photographer | JILLIAN MICHELLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Hair + Make Up | SALON OF LEXINGTON
Florals | UNIVERSITY FLORIST
Band | JEFF DECKER BAND
Baker| COUNTRY CONFECTIONS