St. Simons Island, Georgia Destination Wedding

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Dave and Emily headed south for their domestic destination wedding under beautiful old oak trees and Spanish moss hanging overhead.  Emily tells us their story.  “Since we were having a destination wedding, we needed a location that was convenient for our guest that would be flying in from New York and Dave’s hometown, Scranton, Pennsylvania. We needed a selection of Hotels and a fun atmosphere for them to spend there weekend.”  And so the couple opted for St. Simons Island in Georgia.  Planning while the bride resided in Atlanta and the groom in the Navy at St. Mary’s made for some unique challenges, but they found just the right place and the rest is well, history.

Emily and Dave wed at Epworth By The Sea.  “The location was selected for several reasons, style, beauty, religious beliefs and convenience. Dave and I knew we wanted to get married outdoors. We wanted a venue that was rustic, yet modern with an elegant twist. The first time we walked through the grounds at Epworth By the Sea, we knew we had found the right place! The beautiful old oak trees with the Spanish moss hanging off of them, and Frederica River to the west painted the perfect wedding day photo. We really didn’t need to do a lot of decorating to the outside, we could let nature could speak for itself. The sun peeked through the Spanish moss so perfectly and the reflection of the water off the river with the cool breeze was enough to get us excited.” 

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“The inspiration of our wedding was definitely influenced by our individual personalities, our first date meeting, and recreating aspects of special moments in our dating life. I loved modern elegant designs, while my husband is the lover of anything rustic and outdoorsy.”

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“Dave’s grandmother had given him rosary beads from where his family was originally from Sicily, Italy. She gave them to him before she passed away. On our first date before we departed Dave gave them to me and said that they would always be there to watch after me since he couldn’t be.  Our grandmothers both played an integral part in our lives. I had the rosary beads wrapped around the stems of my bouquet to symbolize our spiritual relationship together and in Remembrance of Dave’s grandmother.”

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“My grandmother had given us on Dave’s first trip down to meet her, her old wedding ring. She blessed us and said, “Do with it what you may” and she looked at me and said, “He is the one!” Dave surprised me and had the ring melted down reshaped, dipped into white gold set with a total 2 carat center diamond and diamond insets all around the band. It was a design that I have showed him from several different rings combined. An elegant mock triple band! He had the original diamonds in the band that my grandmother gave us made into earrings that he gave me at the rehearsal dinner to where on our wedding day. “This was my something old, something new.” 

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Emily and Dave met online and dated a year before he popped the question.  “Dave proposed exactly a year to our first date, August 28, 2010! We were on our way to Athens, Georgia to eat at my favorite Restaurant, Carrabba’s and he stopped at this field of horses in Madison Georgia. We used to always stop here to pet the horses and just ride to look at the beautiful country and rolling hills. It was rare that all of the horses ever came up to the fence on a given day, but all 15 of them were grazing right near the fence. The sun was setting, I was petting the horses and Dave grabbed my hand and, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!”

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For the reception, guests headed indoors where personal details lay at every turn – including a guest photo guest book!

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The centerpieces and table decor varied from table to table, but all had that cozy winter wedding feel.  “I used a rotation of four table centerpieces. Mercury glass ornaments of different shapes & sizes with snow dust, tree branches hung with tea lights sitting in a clear glass hurricane vase filled up with coffee beans, and 3 vanilla candles at different sizes on a silver charger plate.”

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Who doesn’t love a hot chocolate bar at the end of an evening?!?  This pair incorporated elements from their relationship into the big day and that included hot cocoa!  “Some of the pieces that really inspired me for our wedding were the Hot Chocolate Bar that we went to on our first date. Since we decided to get married in January and have an outdoor wedding, we thought what a perfect way for our guest to warm up over a CYO (Create your own) Hot Chocolate Bar. We did have a hot chocolate menu at each place setting when the guests arrived, so if you weren’t creative you could choose a hot chocolate recipe from that. The recipes were something we came up with to reflect our love for chocolate and for each other. The recipe names were: A little Smore love, Mint 2 Be, Southern Yankee (for my husband since he loves the south but grew up in the North), and Hitched.”

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And for the traditional dessert, both bride and groom got just what they wanted!  “I wanted to bring Dave’s love for the outdoors into our reception. For the groom’s cake we went with cheesecake since that is his favorite. We had custom oak tree cake stands made. I found pictures online and we asked one of our family friends with a wood shop to build them and seal them with polyurethane. It was important that the wedding not be all about me so these fit my husband to a tee, because one of his favorite passed times is hunting.”

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Everything from this wedding had special, personal meaning to the bride and groom.  Her something blue was worn by her mother in her own wedding!  “The blue silk garter was worn by my mother when she was married back in the 1970. My great Aunt made this for her before her wedding day and stored it in an old blue powder puff tin with a note. My mom left it for me to where in the same tin with a personal note. I too plan on doing the same!”  

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Congratulations Emily + Dave!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Blume Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Venue: Epworth By The Sea, Wedding Dress: Martina Liana, Bride’s Cake: Betty Zeigler Cakes LLC, Groom’s Cake: Cheesecake Factory, Florals: Blush 129, Inc, Catering + Facility Services: Aramark, Linens + Chairs: Beachview Tent Rentals


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