Emily and Maddux: Stylish wedding at Hotel Bardo

Uncategorized, weddings

Apr 9, 2024

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Emily and Maddux’s stylish wedding at the much anticipated new Hotel Bardo in Savannah’s historic district was both epic and easy, exquisite and yet effortless. Honestly, when I look back at these images, I don’t see how it was possible that we captured ALL of this in one FUN-filled day.

I was due to arrive at Bardo at 9 a.m., but I planned to be there by 8. Even though I build margin into my photography timeline, I wanted even MORE time. This wedding was the first wedding at Hotel Bardo and all of Savannah has been awaiting its opening. The hotel was previously The Mansion on Forsyth, an elegant, eclectic hotel across the street from Savannah’s iconic Forsyth Park.

New owners gave the hotel a complete makeover, and at opening unveiled a stunning new urban resort with exemplary service delivered with a twist of the unexpected, all inspired by the grand tradition of the early 20th-century salon. In a word, FABULOUS.

But GETTING to Hotel Bardo on the morning of Emily and Maddux’s wedding was QUITE the challenge. A marathon had downtown streets closed and blocked in every direction. After driving more than hour I found a way to get within a half mile of the hotel. I loaded as much equipment as possible into my transport pull wagon, and arrived at 9:15 a.m. I was a bit worked up by all that, honey, but I walked in at the same moment my assistant secured a room key from the front desk, and off we went to Emily’s room!

This wedding was a complete DREAM to photograph:

  • This couple is as kind as they are beautiful. Their mamas are FUN. Their dads are loving, involved fathers. Perfect people, but don’t hate them. They can’t help it that they’re beautiful and smart and stylish and kind.  
  • All day I kept looking at my watch in total disbelief. I was shooting in a new venue, having to find perfect locations with the perfect light. And there are SO many spaces to explore at Bardo. Somehow, we seemed to have MORE than enough time to capture memories all over the resort. HUGE thanks to planner Vanessa Saturday of Spectacular Saturdays Weddings and Events and the staff of Hotel Bardo who are truly amazing!
  • Emily had sent me inspo pics prior to the wedding. LOVE when couples do that! She shared several shots of couples recessing at the end of the ceremony, beaming as they walk out. Emily and Maddux married at The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The church has guidelines in place to guard the sacredness of the marriage ceremony, one of which is that photographers are not allowed to stand in the aisle during the recessional. Janie, who coordinates weddings at the Cathedral, reminds me of these guidelines before every wedding. She asks me if I understand. I nod my head. I do. But by the end of the ceremony, I’ve forgotten everything, and I stand there in the middle of the aisle taking photos as the couple walks towards me beaming. And as I put down my camera so happy with what I’ve just captured, there is Janie. I have caused her to sin, y’all. She has thought bad, ugly thoughts about me. But alas, I had a breakthrough last Saturday. I asked her if I could stand in the center at the very END of the aisle, and she said … yes. I think she was as surprised as I was when that word came out of her mouth. She made a little “oh” sound like she wanted to snatch it back, but it was too late. The angels in heaven were singing because we had all just witnessed a miracle. YAY!
  • The couple got ready and hosted their cocktail hour and reception at Hotel Bardo. A dream. Like you feel like you’re in a movie. Or another universe where everything is perfect. Or a movie about a perfect universe … well, you get the idea. Perfect.
  • Food. Honey, Esther loves a good vendor meal. And is known to cry about bad ones. This one was spectacular. Superb. Thank you, Hotel Bardo!!
  • And one funny little story about food to wrap this up: Late into the rocking reception, the DJ said, “Hey, I hear we have some cinnamon rolls in the house!” All kinds of whooping and cheering breaks out and I start craning my head above the crowd. Everybody’s so excited. Man, these cinnamon rolls must be good! I’ve never had cinnamon rolls at a wedding, but I’m HERE for it. I’m about to go search the room for these treats when the tomahawk chop starts and I remember that these dear people are from Florida and many graduated from Florida State, as in “Seminoles.” Where apparently, they love pranking people who need late night snacks to stay alive.

Venue: Hotel Bardo

Planner: Vanessa Saturday of Spectacular Saturday Weddings and Events

Florals: Kato Floral Designs

DJ: James from All About You Entertainment

Cocktail Music: Darryl Anderson

Guests Transportation: Old Savannah Tours

Bride’s Transportation: Callan’s Classics

Hair and Makeup: True Beauty by Joanna Marie

Cake: Publix

Dress Steaming: Savannah Seamstress

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