How many weddings do you think take place in Savannah a year?

The title of this blog was just to catch your attention!!  🙂  But I will answer that question, so take a guess now and look below for answer.

Photo by Donna Von Bruening

I was asked… (that was the original title) … by Key to Savannah for a blog entry. I was limited to between 500 and 600 words (but it was way longer!) and it may have to be edited (even I edited this after submitting it to them and publishing it on my blog). They wanted me to answer some of the following questions:

You would write a 500-600 word blog entry themed around your particular niche in the wedding industry and what it takes to have the perfect Savannah wedding, answering questions like—when should a couple start looking for a officiant? What should they expect from their officiant? And, the most fun of all, what do you, as a Savannah area officiant, think makes for the perfect Savannah wedding?

I don’t know if I answered all the questions, but I enjoyed writing it!

Here’s the entry:

I don’t like doing weddings, I LOVE it!  I just love being the officiant!! It’s been just about 16 years since my first ceremony (I was so nervous!), yet I don’t think it showed.  I still keep in contact with them, so I should ask them if it showed, but I know it didn’t show (I hope).

This couple decided to Elope To Savannah

One of the reasons I love “doing” weddings I that there are so many aspects of the wedding that I see that most don’t.  For example, a bride was beginning the very long walk down the canopy of live oak trees to the world famous fountain at Forsyth Park.  As she did, and all eyes on her, the groom reached into his tux jacket and pulled out a pair of binoculars!  That was fantastic!  Or the time, in the Marble Courtyard at the Mansion on Forsyth Park, when a groom, waited with me and the groomsmen up front.  The guests were all in very formal attire. The bride entered through the doors and all eyes on her.  Only the bride and I were the ones to see him as he pulled a disposable camera out of this jacket pocket and took a picture of the bride!   Awesome moment!

Tybee Island Wedding

Another reason I really do love being the officiant is because often times I get to take a sneak peak at the bride just moments before she makes her grand entrance.  And, I get to see the tears in the couples eyes as they say their vows.

And another reason, it is such a privilege to be the one to introduce the newly married couple to the people they love.  I really feel so honored to be in that position.

Now onto the most important part of wedding planning: when should the couple contact me?  The sooner the better.  Savannah is a huge wedding destination location.  Every marriage license is numbered. In Savannah (Chatham County), last year they issued just under 3,100 marriage licenses.  Sure there are couples from Savannah that get married here, but not that many.  But every couple who lives out of state has to get their license in this county.  And then there are couples that live in Georgia that get their marriage license in a different county and want to come to Savannah to get married.

Photo by Kelli Boyd with Donna Von Bruening Photography.

In doing the math, that would make 60 weddings a week in Savannah.  I would venture to say there are, on average, probably 80+ weddings a week in Savannah (elopements and weddings). And that would be over 4,100 a year.  But that’s a guess.

Plan on looking for an officiant as soon as you decide to get married in Savannah.  It is not uncommon when a bride is looking for a venue for the ceremony and reception, I am contacted to see my availability and work around my schedule.

St. Luke's Church

There are only two types of wedding officiants in Georgia: Judges and Clergy.  To be a judge one has to be elected or appointed.  To be part of the clergy, one has to either go to seminary (normally 4 years after undergrad) and then be ordained or the other way is to go online and get ordained in about 10 minutes.

Not only does Savannah have beautiful squares and lovely parks, horses and carriages (even a beautiful hand made carriage from Paris), gorgeous fountains all surrounded by majestic live oaks dripping with spanish moss, and we have romantic beaches, Savannah has some of the finest wedding professionals in the country.  Our florists, photographers, videographers, reception locations, custom cake designers, wedding planners, wedding designers, musicians, transportation, hair and make up, and DJs are top notch. So, the earlier you can plan, the better.

I am one of the only people, besides the planner, who gets to see all of the vendors.  I have done weddings throughout the country.  And I can say without reservation, we have fantastic wedding professionals here in Savannah. I know when I work with these Savannah Wedding Professionals that the ceremony will start on time, the music will be fantastic, the flowers will be spectacular, the hair and makeup will be awesome, and the cake outstanding.  And, the photographers and videographers, I know they will dress professionally, not get in the way of the ceremony, and still get fantastic shots.

Lafayette Square, in historic Savannah, GA

Savannah has everything a bride needs to make her dream wedding come true.

Side note: And for those who’d like to get married in a historic church, we have newly restored 1902 Savannah Wedding Chapel. Brides can have the best of both worlds: outdoor photography at the fountain in Forsyth Park and then have an indoor ceremony at a church over 100 years old.

Side, side note: Of the hundreds of weddings I’ve done over the years, I don’t know why, but only a few of them have been moved indoors do to rain.  There are about a dozen weddings when it wasn’t raining but the bride didn’t want to get her dress wet as she walked down the aisle.

Side, side, side note: Consider an elopement.  Elope To Savannah!!  We’ve got it all!


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