Yes. I’ve been a bad bad lady- I haven’t updated you JJV lovers in so long it’s a crying shame. But I swear I have a good excuse! For the past year I was planning my wedding which basically was like having a part-time job in addition to my full-time job as a fashion photographer at Byer California, and of course nurturing my beloved baby JJV. Eek!
If you were following us on Instagram, you probably saw the hashtag #jillianelvis2014 thrown around…it was for all the mobile photos of the wedding! Check it out and see! Also, here are a few of my favorite shots my friends and family took of our day. And Greg Ceo, my fashion photography professor at SCAD, was the photographer for our big day! I have included a few of his shots for you as well!
We got married in Savannah, GA this past September in Washington Square and rented Brockington Hall for our reception.
It was really important to us to use local vendors and our family and friends’ talents and skills to make our day super special. Not to mention it saves you lots of time and money! We also wanted to make sure our wedding was as eco friendly and environmentally conscious as possible. Our wedding invites- which were designed by my friend Katie Smith (also a SCAD alum), were 95% digital and the ones that were printed were printed on eco-friendly paper.
My bridesmaids were my girl power group. I had seven bridesmaids and I didn’t want to go through all that nonsense about picking a dress and MAKING them wear it. I love my friends as they are and I wanted their spirit to shine through. I gave them a color palate and told them to pick greens within the specified spectrum. And most importantly, I wanted them to pick something that was 100% their personality. My ladies came through for me more than a handful of times; from picking up hundreds of dollars of wine and beer from Trader Joes and driving it from Atlanta to Savannah for our bar, to singing and entertaining our guests, styling me and fixing my dress, going to fittings and making sure I actually ate and had a drink in my hand on the day of the wedding.
Finding a good florist who has unique design sense, love for the craft and who is just downright talented can be tough. But once I found Maria Kato of Kato Floral Designs, I was totally convinced. I must say she was the most professional and sweetest woman ever. Her flowers were simply amazing and when I saw the sneak peek before the wedding I totally cried. Yes- cried. And on top of that, her husband is a SCAD professor! We got bouquets for the bridesmaids and they had a dual purpose too- they were also used on the tables for the centerpieces in addition to the Mexican paper flowers we made in San Francisco for a girl’s crafternoon brunch!
Our reverend was Reverend Schulte– the coolest guy around! He read our entire ceremony from his iPad. I love a good tech fanatic. He also wore a seersucker suit, and he looked super dapper!
Our catering was by Zunzi’s Takeout; one of the most famous restaurants in Savannah. They are legendary. I used to eat here almost every week when I went to SCAD. It is South African and Mediterranean food and it’s super addictive. The owner, Gabby, is so truthful, genuine and absolutely hands-down loves what she does. She inspires me to be a better business woman.
But pulling together a destination wedding from another coast would have been ridiculously impossible without the help of my planner and saving grace Vanessa Saturday from Spectacular Saturdays. Vanessa was so incredible and calmed me down when I freaked out (even though I promised myself I wouldn’t) and she really did an excellent job juggling everything that needed to happen on our big day. I really couldn’t have done it without her.
Our day was so magical and I want to thank everyone who supported us, loved us and was there for us to help us down the aisle. It was the greatest day I could have imagined and everything was worth it!
I truly believe that going through the process of prepping and having a wedding, it is a test to prove to yourself and your mate that you are doing the right thing. My experience showed me who my true friends were, who loved me and supported my relationship. It was a beautiful (and sometimes painful) eye-opening experience. But honestly, I think those things were meant to happen to make us better together. I feel I grew faster in the year prepping for our wedding than I have in all my twenty-something years.
My advice for the bride-to-be reading this would be to stick to your gut. DO what makes you smile, what you know you would want and you don’t have to please EVERYONE. DON’T cater to every single person at your event because you will be unhappy and you will sacrifice your vision. You will have regrets, and honey- that is the day you should feel nothing but joy. This is the only day you get to be as creative, outlandish or cooky as you want! This day is all about you and your soulmate and ultimately, the decisions come down to the two of you.