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When Life Gives You Lemons

Captured & submitted by Torianna Brooke Photography

We had always heard it said that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. Translation: Deal with it. We will not always get happy times or good things, but we can make the best out of what we do get. This is certainly true for 2020, especially in the wedding business. The pandemic and situations created by the virus itself and the surrounding limitations to public and private events have affected many events including weddings.

A little girl dreams of her wedding day, perfect, full of love, family, friends, and her handsome groom. She grows up, finds her groom, and sets her date only to have that lavish event postponed once or twice or canceled altogether due to illness or lockdowns. Our brides have had to make some difficult choices and decisions this year, and some of the happiest ones found a way to have a tiny event with their closest loved ones outdoors in a precious, intimate ceremony and reception.

Sarah Williams opened Lucy Belle Farm for us as we braved one of the worst rainstorms in Pembroke, GA this year. The lightning even set a hay bale on fire. Outside weddings must deal with the weather… hot, cold, windy, rainy, humid… so the vendor team must be ready for anything. Sarah has been working with couples who have needed to locate beautiful, wide open spaces for appropriate social distancing for their wedding guests. Couples enjoy the home, barn, pergola, trees, and open fields of Lucy Belle as they pivot from their indoor venues.

Our models, Deidre and Jamal Tillman, were excited to be able to recreate their wedding and get fresh new photos. Jamal provided his own attire, but Deidre’s stunning gown was donated by Lindsay Griffith of Mary Elizabeth’s Bridal in Savannah, GA.

Before Deidre donned the gown, her look was designed and completed by The Blushing Belle of Savannah, Hillary Stone. The Blushing Belle is a beauty collective providing hair and make-up services for weddings in the areas in and around Savannah, GA. Hillary and her team provide both airbrush and traditional makeup along with creating traditional updos and hairstyles for their clients. During our increased sensitivity to germs, brides are very pleased to know that The Blushing Belle uses sanitization of all tools and applicators during makeup. Hillary has been very flexible as she works with clients who have changed their dates and locations. Hillary says, “I think couples who are either rescheduling weddings or changing their plans are already facing a huge conundrum prior to even being married! Many of these couples are being tested in ways that they have not faced before. I believe it will make stronger marriages.”

Deidre’s jewelry was designed by Kristen Baird-Rabun at Kristen Baird Jewelry. In a time when mass manufacturing is predominant, Kristen and her team utilize and preserve traditional metalsmithing skills as they delicately and precisely craft each piece by hand in Kristen’s Savannah-based studio. Using sterling silver, recycled 18k gold, and ethically sourced gemstones, Kristen’s jewelry is full of color and texture juxtaposing both geometric and fluid forms as though the designs might have sprung organically from the natural world. In the Covid days Kristen has been able to work one-on-one with clients virtually. She says that these couples are more flexible and open to fun ideas.

No 2020 wedding would be complete without masks, and ours were created especially for the shoot by Trish Brown at Trish B. Stylin’ Design & Alterations. The bridal face masks feature beautiful lace overlays with delicate beading and 3D flowers to capture the femininity of the gown and the softness of the bride. The groom’s masks feature neutral, breathable, coordinated suit materials and offer a layer of protection without distracting from the groom’s attire. Trish B. Stylin’ Design is different from other alteration locations because their design aesthetic caters to those with unique tastes and an eye for detail. They create avant garde ensembles for events, and Trish says, “the more challenging the project, the better!”

Ranco Event Rentals provided the sweetheart table and linens to provide a setting appropriate for the antique tablescapes featuring Lillian’s China. Lynn Coombe Clifton wanted vintage china for her daughter’s wedding, and they could not find a place to rent them, so they purchased enough to set every table at her reception… and they just kept collecting. Now Lynn rents her gorgeous china to other brides. Lillian’s China is a tabletop vintage rental company. They carry mismatched china, glassware, and silver plate flatware. Our tables are set with vintage china in pastel and gold patterns. Glassware is vintage pressed glass goblets and tea/lemonade glasses. The silver plate flatware is mismatched patterns ranging from the 1930s-1950s. Their inventory includes items from the 1920s to the 1970s. All items are in excellent condition and ready for your table. Lynn wants brides to know that they do not have a minimum order requirement which makes their company perfect for micro-wedding or small event rentals. She says, “embrace the opportunity for a small, intimate wedding with your closest friends and loved ones. You may not have your grandmother’s china and silver, but we do, and your beautiful is within your reach.”

The stunning florals accompanying the strategically placed lemons were created by Ana Ibrahim and Amy Brown of Peace of Mind Florals & Events, Savannah, GA. Peace of Mind is a family owned business featuring the mother-daughter team. Amy, the mother, started the business in 2004, and Ana, the daughter, is continuing the craft. They are originally from Egypt and have a unique flair to their arrangements and bouquets. Ana noted that during 2020 getting quality blooms from their suppliers has been especially difficult. Transportation difficulties keep the best products from getting to their destinations or in a longer time frame so that they are not as fresh, so they need to be smart and creative as they prepare the live florals for their clients. “It brings such joy to be able to create another’s vision and then possibly even exceed expectations!” Ana.

Sweet treats complement any wedding event with or without a meal! Our beautiful sweets were created by Linda Fisher of Sugar Whisk Confections, Savannah, GA. Linda is as sweet as her creations, and she loves making the tiny cakes, cookies, macaroons, and cupcakes that make her clients smile then swoon as they melt in their mouths!

Renee Peterson of Swanson Signature Events gathered everyone together, created our timeline, and kept us moving even with a rainstorm. She and her business partner, Anna Swanson, provide full-service planning and design for weddings and events in Georgia, South Carolina, and beyond. They are known for their excellence and elegance in every event. Clients rave about their perfect balance professionalism and a personal touch making each bride feel well cared for and each vendor team seem like they have been working together for years. For a stress-free, enjoyable, seamless day, call Anna and Renee.

Capturing the entire stunning shoot is rising photographer, Torianna Brooke McCarter at Torianna Brooke Photography. “My heart breaks for all the couples who have had to change their plans due to COVID. But, the truth is that love remains. Elopements can be beautiful and in gorgeous destinations. Small weddings are truly intimate, and they have a special glow all on their own,” said Brooke.

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