The evening wedding ceremony was an autumn night’s dream as Jessica and Craig vowed to love one another forever beneath the vaulted ceiling of Wesley United Methodist Church. In the perfect dramatic entrance, floor to ceiling wooden doors slid open to reveal Jessica and her father as she began her walk down the aisle toward her waiting groom. The bride wore the gown of her dreams, a fitted lace design by Pronovias, all eyes on her with each step she took. And as the ceremony drew to a close, the long awaited kiss drew cheers and applause for the couple’s dream come true. Sea-swept breezes and the sound of crashing waves greeted the newlyweds as they arrived at the pier in the Village on St. Simons Island. Live music drew guests into the atrium as they were presented a surf n’ turf-inspired fare of tenderloin and the low country specialty, shrimp and grits. It didn’t take long before the dance floor crowded with family and friends. The couple danced the night away, the rhythm of the ocean waves behind them. This dreamy coastal wedding is brought to you by Swainsboro wedding photographer Mark Williams Studio!
Tell us how you met. Was it love at first sight, blind date, friends forever?
We first met when we were 13 and had the typical two weeks of middle school “going-out”. We “re-kindled the flame” in college for sophmore-junior year where we both attended Georgia Southern University. After graduation, we both moved to Atlanta and started dating for essentially the third and final time! “Third time’s the charm.”
Was there a specific theme or style?
My idea was to keep the colors and decor within a “coastal fall” theme without being too much of either one – coastal or the fall season. I loved being able to use yellow flowers because it went well with coastal blues and grays without it seeming spring-like.
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your wedding party wore.
I found my wedding gown with my mother and sister, the MOB and the MOH! We were facing this wall of wedding gowns from across a room, and we all three walked straight to the same dress…it was that perfect. The gown is the Petunia wedding dress by Pronovias, and I fell in love with it’s combination of fitted and flowy and lacey. The bridesmaids wore long gray dresses with just a touch of ruffles by Liz Fields, and the groom, fathers, and groomsmen wore Black by Vera Wang tuxedos.
What was the most memorable moment?
Definitely the moment we saw each other as I began to walk down the aisle with my dad. Wesley has these huge floor to ceiling wooden doors that enclose a small room across the entrance to the sanctuary. As the trumpet fanfare played on the Zimmer pipe organ, the huge doors slide open to make for a very dramatic reveal of the bride (and dad) to the groom waiting at the alter.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
We were not as concerned with making our wedding unique as we were concerned with having the best of two of our favorite things – food and music! And those were a success! We had so many comments from guests on how much they enjoyed the food (especially the shrimp and grits) and the band.
What was the best wedding advice you received?
We did a day-after session with our photographers for the majority of the bride and groom pictures after advice from a cousin who had done the same. Yes, we had to get dressed again in the wedding gown and tuxedo, but we felt fresh and relaxed. We were also able to visit multiple sites for one-of-a-kind photos.
Ceremony Venue: Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica | Reception Venue: St. Simons Island Casino | Photography: Mark Williams Studio | Floral, Catering & Wedding Cake: Straton Hall Events | Groom’s Cake: Hollaway’s Bakery | Band: The Debonairs | Stationery: Doodle Bugs | Rentals: Rent All Party Shop | Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse | Bridal Gown: Bride Beautiful | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bel Fiore