St. Simons Island "I Do's"Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of JD3 Photography
When Brad and Jennifer got engaged, they instantly knew where they would be saying “I do.” The couple frequently vacations on St. Simons Island, Georgia and the bride wanted the opportunity to introduce the couple’s favorite spot to her family and friends. “Brad grew up going to SSI to visit his grandparents,” says Jennifer. “Brad has inherited his grandparents’ house on the island and therefore, we vacation and visit often. We knew that now having a house on SSI, we would be spending a lot of our future there and making many memories. We thought, why not start off our marriage with the memory of our wedding at our favorite place?”
Ultimately, St. Simons Island proved to be the perfect choice for the couple for a variety of reasons. Their families were thrilled to get to spend a long weekend at the beach and to celebrate along the coast. The convenience was also a big plus. “It is far enough away that it is a destination, but not too far for most guests to drive down for the weekend,” says Jennifer.
This couple was organized from the start and it was a good thing because they kept their engagement brief – planning the wedding from start-to-finish in just six months. “[The timeline] required us to really think ahead and make sure we were able to go down and visit SSI a few times prior to the date. We tried to plan beforehand and get the most planning out of every trip to the island.”
Another saving grace? The couple’s wedding planner. “The wedding coordinator at our [venue] was phenomenal!” recalls the bride. “Scarlett Starr (at The King and Prince) did a fabulous job of keeping us informed, taking care of things in a timely manner, coordinating with other local vendors and recommending vendors (especially since we aren’t from the island). I would say that my biggest advice would be to make sure you are very comfortable and confident in your wedding coordinator since you will not be able to drop by and be as involved.”
To prepare for their guests, Jennifer and Brad also arranged accommodations for them. “We set up hotel blocks at three different hotels,” says Jennifer. “The rooms blocks reserved rooms for guests and gave them a special rate. I would say that many of the hotels on the island (because it is so laid bank and not super touristy) were not familiar with room blocks and so we did have to check-in frequently via email to make sure that guests’ reservations were marked in our block and that they were receiving our special rate.”
Come W-Day, everything went off without a hitch and the couple has no regrets when it comes to holding their wedding on St. Simons Island. When asked how their overall planning experience was, the bride replied, “Wonderful! We had such a fun time and our wedding is just another great memory we have of being on the island. With having a [new] house there, we hope that we will continue to have fun times while visiting.”
Due to the couple’s wedding and overall planning process being pretty flawless, the bride has some words of advice to help other brides have an equally pleasant experience. “PLAN AHEAD! I made a calendar of the months leading up to the wedding and tried to schedule dates/meetings far in advance. [Also,] TIMELINES. I made many different timelines for the wedding weekend. For example, the photographer had a timeline of the day, the wedding coordinator had a timeline and the bridal party also had a timeline.”
No doubt the couple’s organizational skills paid off and what resulted was a beautiful destination wedding they and their guests won’t soon forget!
Vendors: Photographer: JD3 Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: St. Simons Presbyterian Church/The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, Wedding Planner: Scarlett Starr with The Kind and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, Florist: Cottage Flowers, Cake: Betty Zeigler, Band: The Retreat, Trolley: St. Simons Island Trolley, Gown Designer: Carrie’s Bridal Collection, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Bill Levkoff/Jos. A. Bank
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