Jarrod’s oldest friend (make that, friend he’s known the longest) Michelle married her fiancee Kyle in Savannah, GA last month just before Halloween. We were pulling double duty for this one… I was taking pictures, and in his first-ever gig as an internet-ordained minister, Jarrod was performing the ceremony. The wedding party was delightfully small, consisting of us, Michelle, Kyle and their parents. All of us were lodging in the haunted (yet, extremely comfortable and inviting) Eliza Thompson House.
We stepped out of our room the morning of the wedding to find Kyle sitting in the courtyard putting the finishing touches on his vows.
Jarrod and I harassed him for a few minutes…
…then we tracked down Michelle, who was having her hair and makeup done just down the street at Salon Della Vita.
MIchelle’s mom, Sue, felt she wasn’t quite ready for her own close-up.
Then I saw this creepy statue, got the willies, and we ran off.
I met back up with Michelle at the Eliza Thompson House when her salon time was over. She just had a few details to attend to before we headed out.
Like giving her dad, seen below, a thank-you card for being the awesome guy that he is.
Sue made sure Shell’s dress was good and secure. Shell didn’t want her ladies making a surprise appearance at her ceremony (if you know what I mean…) especially with my camera there!
One way you know Kyle and Shell are perfect for each other. They both waited until the 11th hour to finalize their vows. Procrastinating birds of a feather.
Shell was all prettied up and ready to get hitched. Kyle and Jarrod had headed out before us and were waiting for us at a bar for the first meeting. We decided to let them have time for a second round while we took some pictures on our walk to meet them.
I couldn’t take ten steps without finding an awesome spot for this pretty lady to take a picture. Savannah is right up there with Napa for me in terms of scenic photography locations.
Shell could hardly contain herself as we arrived at the bar Kyle and Jarrod were watering down at.
He stepped outside and got his first look at Shell all done up in her wedding gear. Kyle was floored. So floored, in fact…
…that we had to go inside for another drink. Hey, that’s what you do in Savannah!
The four of us finished our drinks, settled the tab, and began to walk down beautiful Jones St. on our way to the ceremony site.
The musicians from The Wedding Violinist were all set up and playing away as we pulled up to Oglethorpe Square.
Kyle stepped into place and watched as Michelle was escorted down the walkway by her father.
Shell’s dad gave her away and Jarrod started the ceremony.
The ceremony was performed under this fantastic, gigantic, undoubtedly ancient tree that was covered in Spanish moss.
(Interesting fact that I learned on a tour we had taken two nights before: Spanish moss is actually covered in chiggers and could mess you up if you touch it. I love the way it looks, though. It took everything in me to not grab a handful to take home for my terrarium.)
Kyle is such a sweet guy. It took him a few seconds to steady his voice before making his wedding vow to Shell.
And he did a beautiful job.
Kyle’s father seemed to be a little misty-eyed, too, as Kyle read his vows.
Who am I kidding? There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Especially Kyle’s mom, who made good use of her hankie that day.
After their vows were delivered, they put rings on each other’s fingers.
Shell had a tricky time getting Kyle’s ring on his finger. She worked it on there, though.
That was it! Jarrod pronounced them husband and wife.
Kyle gave his dad a huge hug after the ceremony.
Happiest dude on Earth, right here!
Hugs all around.
Our time at Oglethorpe Square was finished. We had some time before the reception dinner began, so we jumped in the car and headed out to a location I had scouted out earlier.
The Warren A. Candler Hospital was the first hospital built in the state of Georgia.
The building has been empty for a long time, but I fell in love with it.
And Michelle and Kyle were awesome models, indulging me as I shot the hell outta’ this creepy abandoned hospital.
There was another big draw on the property. At 270+ years, the Candler Oak is one of the oldest trees in the world.
And one of the prettiest, in my opinion.
One more shot underneath the big ole’ oak tree…
…and we headed out to the reception. We were having so much fun, though, we kept on taking pictures in the parking lot outside.
Kyle hearts flowers!
Kyle hails from Maine originally, and this banner reflects his hometown dialect.
And this card reflect Shell and Jarrod’s sense of style. Hot. Messes.
I was in photography overdrive! There were a ton of awesome details for such a relatively small wedding. Kyle’s parents got him this replica of the Bird Girl, a famous Savannah statue. I made good use of it for the rings shot.
Keeping true to Savannah’s spooky, haunted reputation, Shell worked this skull into several details.
Here’s one of the skulls popping out of Kyle’s boutonniere. Hello, there!
Shell’s bouquet, and all the flowers for the day, were designed by Johnsons’s Florists.
She had a special charm on the handle for good luck. I think it was really there to ward off evil spirits. Did I mention Savannah’s haunted? It is. I have proof at the end of this blog post.
Michelle’s dad won the ‘Best Tie of the Day’ award.
Kyle’s stepfather was watching us from inside the restaurant as we finished up pictures. Jarrod said it looked like they were getting ready to eat without us.
That was all I needed to hear. We zoomed inside The Olde Pink House where everyone else was waiting for us.
The inside of The Olde Pink House looked like it had been frozen in time. Straight out of ‘Gone With the Wind’.
Each place setting had a special box of candy, hand-stamped with a pretty skull.
The table was set…
…and the cake was waiting to be devoured. Kyle is a huge Boston Red Sox fan and the couple did their homework to find Savannah Rum Runner’s Bakery, a bakery in Savannah that did an amazing job designing and baking this specialized cake for them.
Everyone made careful decisions on what to order from The Olde Pink House’s menu, which was jam-packed with amazing southern delicacies.
While we waited for the food to come out, Kyle and Shell read from the advice cards they sent out with their invitations, which asked guests to share their experiences with the newlyweds.
The food arrived shortly thereafter and Jarrod, who forgot his table manners, dug right in.
Nobody wants to see that, Jarrod. That’s why he doesn’t get invited to many weddings.
Despite Jarrod’s horrific table manners, everyone loved their dinner and cake. After the meal, Jarrod stole… I mean, helped carry out the flowers from the table.
Michelle, who had been enjoying a lovely little drink called a “skull crusher” all night, was quick to make herself comfortable on the walk back to the car. Just kidding. She wasn’t drunk. That’s just how she is, and that’s why we love her.
All the guests, with their full bellies, slept well that night. The next day was gorgeous, and Shell and Kyle strapped their wedding clothes back on as we headed out to the edge of town for more photos.
Our first stop for day after pictures was Savannah’s famous Bonaventure Cemetery. I was loving this trip. A Haunted Savannah Ghost Tour where we rode in a hearse, a rehearsal dinner in a restaurant haunted by pirate ghosts, staying the night in a haunted hotel, wedding pictures at an abandoned (and haunted!) hospital, and now a day-after shoot in a cemetery. I. Was. In. Heaven.
It didn’t take me long to get the willies. Don’t tell me this statue of Little Gracie isn’t straight out of a Stephen King novel.
The cemetery wasn’t that spooky though (at least we were there in the daylight) as we found lots of scenic spots for pictures.
The cemetery tour was a lot of fun, but it also made us work up an appetite. Time to head back into the city…
…and go to River Street. We couldn’t resist popping into one of the candy shops for some treats.
Dang. That fudge looks good. I asked Kyle if I could have some.
This was his reply. Can’t blame him. I’d probably respond the same way.
Next stop, Warehouse Bar & Grille. The sign caught Jarrod’s eye because it had three of his favorite words: “Coldest, Cheapest Beer:”
We had a couple rounds…
…then stumbled out to take pictures along the river walk.
This used to be one of the biggest points of commerce in the nation, with ships delivering goods from all over the world.
A lot of the brick buildings are pretty much the same as they were back in the day, and they are perfect for shooting photos.
A great time was had by all! I couldn’t be happier that we were able to be a part of your wedding day, Michelle and Kyle. Lots of love and years of happiness to you both!
P.S.- I promised you proof that ghosts exist, and here it is. On our hearse tour, Kyle saw a ghost. Don’t believe me?!?! Look at this guy’s face! He’s never going to be the same!