Savannah is just the perfect city for an elegant and charming Southern wedding. Just take a look at Amanda & Christopher's show-stopping day! From the beautiful bride's gorgeous custom gown with a lace bodice, ruffled skirt, and beaded belt to the ornate classic church ceremony, and fun photo ops under the city's well-known trees, the bride and groom thought of everything for their perfect day! And Abri Kruger expertly captured all of the dazzling details of their nuptials. Read below for a more in-depth description of their wedding day from the bride!
From the beautiful bride...
Both my husband and I work in advertising, so we knew the importance of a strong “brand” and that "it's all in the details" while planning the day that we will never forget. The day was described by friends and family as traditionally glamorous and full of beautiful details — the traditional aspect from the stunning Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, and the glamour from the gorgeous reception venue and the precision of the details layered throughout the day.
We chose purple, lavender, gray and gold as the colors for the day to create a feeling of elegance, but also of a fun, Southern affair. My mom and I worked tirelessly to put our touches on all of the decorations and heirlooms placed throughout each venue. We had a custom wedding logo designed and applied it to each and every part of the décor, which helped to give the event an iconic feel. Family is very important to us, so it was so special to be able to wear my mother’s veil and to work the lace from her dress and my grandmother’s rosary into my bouquet. We even used the same toasting flutes my parents did at their wedding and had them engraved with both of our wedding dates.
All my life I had dreamed of walking down the long aisle at one of the biggest and most beautiful churches that the South had to offer — in fact, the building itself almost needed no additional decoration at all but for some flower arrangements on the pews and at the altar. An added special touch was our officiant, Monsignor O’Neill, whose Irish accent and storytelling was a nice homage to my husband’s family lineage.
From New York, where my husband and I met, to Atlanta, where we currently live, I just couldn’t find “the dress.” Ultimately, at a bridal boutique in Buckhead, we created a custom designed dress that allowed me to wear my dress for the entire day, but appear in two different looks — traditional with an illusion lace top at the church, and elegant in strapless at the reception. Our amazing baker, Minette Rushing, created our wedding cake based on the design of the dress — the chantilly lace on the top tiers and the ruffles on the bottom tier of the cake to perfectly match my dress.
The cocktail hour was on the Savannah riverfront, and guests enjoyed stunning views of the city and the Low Country while enjoying our signature drinks — a Mint Julep (it was Derby Day after all!) and a Georgia Peach. The appetizers included crab cakes, bruschetta and a chicken avocado tart — an ode to some of our favorite foods from the places that we’ve lived.
As the sun set, the guests moved inside to the Grand Ballroom where they enjoyed fabulous food stations, including a gourmet mashed and sweet potato bar, while listening to our 10-piece jazz band — the Men of Distinction. My husband and I danced to one of our favorite songs, "Crazy Love," before my Dad and I brought the house down surprising everyone with a choreographed dance to "Time of My Life."
While my groom and I jumped outside to grab some iconic sunset pictures on the river, the guests enjoyed a personalized video — The Story of Amanda and Chris — made by our family friends at Crescent Moon Pictures. Then my dad and his college friend surprised even me with a Blues Brother reenactment while also getting the band in on the performance.
We kept all of the classic wedding traditions in our day, including cake cutting, bouquet and garter tosses, and even a champagne tower, but also included a few more trendy details, like a late night snack of chicken fingers and sliders, and glow sticks and sunglasses for the dance floor. The final special surprise was our getaway vehicle — a boat. It was a nice touch since we both grew up on the coasts of South Carolina and Connecticut.
The day was a blur, an absolutely wonderful blur, but we wouldn’t have changed a single detail. From the classic Savannah trolleys the guests rode to the cathedral, to the very “Savannah” themed welcome boxes they received, which included gifts from Savannah Bee Co. and a DIY project — a "Wedding Recovery Kit" — we really just wanted to show our family and friends the beauty of the Low Country while celebrating in venues that matched the level of love we have for each other.
We couldn’t have done it without our amazing vendors, especially Marvee from Posh Petals and Pearls who was with us through all of the planning to the very end when we walked through the sparklers held by our loved ones to the getaway boat. To us, it was perfection.
Chris is from Fairfield, Connecticut and attended Villanova University. He moved to New York City after college and still works for the advertising software company he started his career at as a Sales Director. He likes to run, bike, and play soccer, and he writes for a Villanvova sports blog on the side.
Amanda is from Hilton Head Island and went to the University of Georgia. She moved to New York City after college to pursue her career in advertising and TV production. She is thrilled to be back living in the south. In her spare time she enjoys decorating her and Chris's first home together in Atlanta, and expanding her food palate both at home and at new restaurants.
It was early May in 2011 when Chris's cousin Meaghan (one of Amanda's college friends) came to visit New York City. When Meaghan revealed that she had some plans with "a bunch of girls from UGA" that night, it didn't take much convincing to get Chris and his friends out the door.
When Meaghan and the boys arrived, Amanda was the only girl who had shown up thus far (her punctuality is well noted amongst friends and family!). A quick smile and hello was all Chris needed to know right then and there that this girl was the one for him.
A full night of BYOB at Fu Sushi later, Chris realized that he hadn't gotten Amanda's number before they parted ways. He tracked her down through Meaghan, but was told at the last minute not once, but twice, that Amanda couldn't make it. Nothing more attractive than a girl playing hard to get! She eventually agreed to a first date and they have been inseparable since that night.
Two and a half years of dating later, with the help of friends and family, it was time to make it official. On a snowy New York morning that wasn't even 40 degrees, Chris had to somehow find a way to get Amanda outside. A walk through Central Park before brunch with her girlfriends would do the trick.
As they walked through snow-covered Central Park, Amanda wanted to stop and take pictures everywhere, only adding to the stress of the day for Chris, who secretly had people waiting and hiding with cameras in the park.
When they finally got to Duck Pond, Chris walked Amanda through the snow and got down on one knee and popped the question. After what felt like 10 minutes, but in fairness was probably 10 seconds, Amanda said "yes" with tears of joy streaming down her face (and Chris cried too but this is the first time we're making that public!).
Friends and family ran out of hiding with champagne in tow, before they were taken to a surprise brunch with more friends at Tao.
But the biggest surprise of all was waiting that night. Amanda's family had been hiding in a hotel all day and played it cool, so that when Chris and Amanda showed up for dinner at Buddakan (Amanda's favorite restaurant) with Chris, she got the delight of her family waiting below at the center table.
A magical day was topped off with the most special people in our lives — a true dream come true!
Chris and I spent hours stuffing the welcome boxes, which were delivered to the guests' hotels with snacks, drinks, personalized wedding cups, cookies, Savannah brochures, and a "Recovery Kit" with day after the wedding essentials. Chris also helped to arrange my father and his friend do a Blues Brother rendition at the wedding — it was a show stopper and a total surprise to me!
Right after our honeymoon in Maui and Kaua'i, we hit the ground running and found our first home in Buckhead. We still enjoy exploring the city of Atlanta and driving over to Athens for UGA football weekends. We hope to spend the first year of our marriage doing a bit more traveling now that things have calmed down after the wedding and house hunt.
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