I'm glad you're here.
Savannah is rich in natural beauty with towering moss-draped oaks, palm tree-shaded islands, and a historic district renowned for it beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets and gorgeous parks and squares.
With fabulous hotels, restaurants, museums and shopping, Savannah is the ideal destination for you and your guests.
I'm a wedding photographer based in Savannah. I've shot hundreds of luxury weddings and elopements at the most beautiful venues and with the top wedding professionals in the area.
I'll share inside information to help you plan a fabulous destination wedding in Savannah that will amaze and delight your guests!
Here are the things you'll need to do ... and the general order you should do them:
1. Create a guest list to determine size of your venue.
2. Choose a venue / date.
3. Choose vendors. Start with a great planner!
4. Make at least one planning visit, during which you do a venue walk through, tastings, a hair and makeup trial, and engagement photos.
5. Plan accommodations and entertainment for your guests.
7. Arrive in town a few days prior to your ceremony to finish up the legalities and get ready to get married.
Savannah wedding venues are diverse and can accommodate weddings and elopements of all sizes and budgets, from elegant intimate weddings to lavish celebrations for hundreds of guests.
Creating your guest list will help you create your budget and also help you determine which venues can accommodate your wedding celebration.
Ready to make your list?
1. List everyone you're considering inviting. Start with immediate family, extended family, close friends and partners.
2. Determine if children will be included in your guest list.
3. Choose your top tier guests. (Consider parents' input.) Try to keep things as "fair" as possible.
4. Finalize list.
PS: This first step of making the list is often the most stressful. So once that's down, celebrate, honey! Now the fun starts.
Your next decision is choosing which is more important: date or venue.
If venue is more important, the venue selected will be able to tell you what dates are available.
If date is more important, you'll reach out to venues to see if they are available on your date.
The larger your wedding and the more vendors you need to secure, the longer lead time you'll need to secure the very best. The good news? With Savannah's temperate climate, we host weddings ALL year. That means more date availability!
TIP: If you are getting married near the marsh, you're likely to encounter the tiny but mighty sand gnat, especially in March, April and November. They're out at dusk into the night. And they are VERY attracted to hair product. They have a pesky, stinging bite, so make sure you have a plan to combat these tiny beasts. Your planner or venue can advise.
Why it matters
Before setting your ceremony time, check what time the sun will set on your wedding day.
Make certain your wedding day photography timeline has you finishing all outdoor photos before the sun sets. This is especially important November - February when sunset is early.
March - May
-Sunset range: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
-Spring Forward: Time changes Sunday, March 12, 2023.
-St. Patick's Day (HUGE, raucous Savannah celebration): Friday, March 17, 2023
Early March can be chilly and breezy, but by late March, temperatures are warming to the 70s. April tends to be mild, mostly in the 80s, and by mid- to late May, it's starting to feel like summer with temps reaching the 90s.
The spring azaleas bloom any time from late February to early May. Azaleas bloom at different times in different areas on the city.
June, July and August
-Sunset range: 8:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Skies tend to be quite bright so shooting in shade or close to sunset is ideal.
June, July and August are our warmest months, with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. You can also expect humidity. Savannah also has afternoon showers frequently during the summer months. The showers tend to pop up and dissipate quickly.
September, October, November
Sunset range: 5:30- 7:45 p.m.
Fall back: Time changes on November 4, 2023
Fall in Savannah can feel like an extended summer, milder with temperatures in the 70s and 80s often lasting into November. The one caution: hurricanes. The good news: Savannah RARELY has a direct hit, but we usually get some intense weather when hurricanes skirt by us.
(When it rains on a wedding day, I always offer my couples a wedding portrait shoot on another day at no charge.)
December, January, February
Sunset range: 5:30- 7:45 p.m.
Fall back: Time changes on November 4, 2023
Winter in Savannah is usually mild, although we do have days where temperatures dip to freezing or below. Fun fact: It snowed twice in recent history: 1989 and 2018. At Christmas, the city puts up beautiful live garland and red velvet ribbons in the historic district's parks and squares. I also love the quiet and calm that follows the holidays in January and February. And you'll be happy to know our oak trees are evergreen; they don't loose their leaves and are gorgeous year-round.
Wedding season in Savannah is actually ALL year long. With relatively temperate weather all year, each season brings it unique charms. While most weddings take place on Saturday, I photograph weddings on Fridays and Sundays. And I photograph intimate weddings on ANY day of the week. Savannah is always ready for a party, honey!
Whether you're planning an elegant affair for just the two of you or a weekend-long celebration with hundreds of friends, Savannah has just the perfect place. From the historic homes to modern hotels, a soaring cathedral to an epic avenue of moss-draped oaks, you'll find just the right setting for saying "I do."
With colonnades of centuries-old live oaks, lush lawns and a sparkling waterfront, this venue offers unrivaled natural beauty, historic elegance and rare privacy.
Many couples host their ceremony on the front lawn of The Main House, the beloved winter estate of industrialist Henry Ford. Guest are then invited to the back lawn overlooking the river and marsh for cocktail hour and reception.
- Perfect for luxury weddings
-Location: Richmond Hill, Ga., just a short 30 minute drive from downtown Savannah.
-Spaces available for getting ready, ceremony and reception. Limited overnight accommodations for the couple and immediate family / wedding party.
In the 1700s, settlers laid out the city on a grid system, with parks and open spaces surrounded by homes and civic buildings. Today 22 of the original 24 parks, called "squares" still exist. Each is unique: some have fountains, others have monuments, one has a white gazebo. They vary in size and layout, but all have gorgeous trees and plantings.
The crown jewel of the historic district is Forsyth Park with it's iconic fountain, large lawns, and a white-columned Fragrant Garden for the blind.
-Perfect for weddings and elopements
-Capacity: Varies by square but in whole,
-Location: Historic District, Downtown Savannah
-Spaces: Squares can be the perfect site for intimate weddings, proposals and engagement shoots. Forsyth Park can host large weddings ceremonies as well as small, intimate ceremonies. It's also a popular spot for proposals and engagement shoots.
From the soaring majesty of The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, to Congregation Mickve Israel, which Conde Naste named one of the most beautiful synagogues in the world, Savannah's historic district reflects the religious heritage of the nation, with many historic places of worship.
-Capacity: varies with the Cathedral being the largest and able to seat 1000
-Location: Historic District, Downtown Savannah
-Spaces: Most places of worship have spaces for the ceremony only. However, as part of the city plan from the earliest days, many of these historic churches are located on a square / green space, perfect for family and wedding party portraits. (You will need to reserved the square to be certain of availability.)
Beaulieu, a gracious white-columned family home built on the banks of the Vernon River in the 1930s, hosts a limited number of weddings each year. Private and secluded, you enter the gate and drive a winding dirt path under a canopy of oaks, limbs sweeping down to touch the ground. The property - also used as a location set for feature films - has expansive grounds for hosting the ceremony and reception as well as cottages for getting ready.
-Perfect for luxury weddings of all sizes
-Location: 20-minute drive from downtown Savannah on the Vernon River
-Contact info available upon request.
A private family-owned estate minutes from Historic Downtown Savannah, The Mackey House is an enchanting woodland escape with centuries-old moss-draped oak trees. A blooming landscape surrounds the beautiful home with an expansive deck that offers panoramic views of the venue. A lush garden leads to an open-air pavilion with a nearby lake reflecting the beautiful Southern countryside. The property offers getting ready spaces and multiple options for both ceremony and reception location.
-Perfect for couples who want to host their wedding at a gracious family home with expansive gardens; feels like you're in the countryside but so close to the city
- Spaces for getting ready and multiple locations for ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing
From historic homes to art museums located in modern buildings and in centuries-old mansions, you'll find unique spaces to host your ceremony and / or reception. Some have cozy courtyards, perfect for an intimate wedding or elopement. Others offer your guests an inside look at some of Savannah's most notable homes, including where General Sherman offered President Lincoln the city of Savannah as a Christmas gift.
You'll find luxury hotels and historic inns in downtown Savannah, perfect for hosting your ceremony and reception as well as providing accommodations for your guests. Art-deco, eclectic, modern, classic: you'll find just the right setting to create the perfect wedding, large or intimate.
Bethesda Academy, a private boys school with working farm and gardens, has a beautiful amphitheater overlooking the marsh as well as a simple, elegant sunlit chapel. The brick school buildings surround a large circular lawn with beautiful moss-draped oaks. The property is perfect for both weddings and elopements, with the chapel the perfect spot for a small affair, and the amphitheater for larger ceremonies. The grounds are also beautiful for a tented reception.
Honey, if there's one thing universally true in the South, it's that we love good food. Savannah is home to some of the nation's most celebrated chefs. In the historic district, you'll find many restaurants with spaces for bridal luncheons, rehearsal dinner and welcome parties, ceremonies and receptions and send-off brunches.
Wormsloe's avenue of moss-draped oaks, more than a mile long, attracts feature film makers and tourists from around the world. Driving through its arched entry, the scene is both epic and familiar, grander by far and yet reminiscent of tree-shaded dirt roads across the South.
Wormsloe is the perfect setting for an intimate wedding. The park has an area at the far end of the avenue of oaks set aside for wedding ceremonies. While it has no facilities that lend itself to larger weddings and receptions, many couples opt to take portraits at the park on their wedding day. (And I've even taken wedding portraits there for several couples who married elsewhere, but came to Savannah for portraits at Wormsloe.)
The park is open daily (except holidays) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can rent the park after hours for a reasonable fee. SO nice not to dodge traffic on the avenue as you take portraits.
To get a marriage license, you must
1. Complete an online application.
2. Schedule an in-person appointment at the Chatham County Courthouse on Montgomery Street in downtown Savannah.
3. Arrive for appointment with all necessary supporting documents.
NOTE: Georgia residents may apply for a marriage license in any county in Georgia. If neither applicant is a resident of Georgia, the marriage license must be obtained in the county where the ceremony will be performed.
As early in the process as possible, you'll want to secure the services of a wedding planner, one who knows the venues as well as as the vendors who can bring your vision to life. Then you'll need to hire a photographer, videographer, caterer, cake baker, hair and makeup team, officiant, etc.
I've shot hundreds of weddings here, from luxury elopements to grand weekend-long celebrations. I've shot weddings at all the venues listed here. I've worked with hundreds of Savannah-area wedding pros.
If you help finding a great planner or if you need a great photographer (throat clear), just contact me. Happy to help!