When bride Rachel came to us inquiring about her wedding date at the Jekyll Island Resort, we were immediately in. The charming cottages located on the property of the Resort are bursting with history and renaissance architecture, with walls that tell the stories of the Gilded Age Elite that occupied the cottages nearly a century ago. These elite - the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, the Morgans, weren't the only one's to fall in love with the natural beauty that exists on the island, as the island itself currently operates under the State of Georgia as a protected state park. From serene sunrises to the spanish-moss adorned oak trees, the island fully-exists in charm and beauty.
The Crane Cottage is a unique renaissance-style home that dates back to 1917. It can be challenging to find a venue that offers this level of history within the US in general, so the fact that this historic building exists as a wedding venue is pure magic! For all of the brides out there looking for your dream Italy-meets-the-south wedding venue, this is it. The architecture of this building was something that was so important to bride Rachel, having selected a photographer, Meredith Ryncarz Photography, who also shared that same love of the charming cottages. The venue was incorporated throughout our custom paper goods and invitation suite for the wedding, courtesy of the talented Ivory Isle Designs. Outside of the architecture, other elements that were of high priority to Rachel were the inclusion of blue hydrangeas, a well-dressed reception tent, and a killer surprise after party for groom Nick who's 32nd birthday fell on their special day. We were more than up for that challenge!
Their day started out with the loveliest breakfast, champagne, & Chanel. Rachel and her bridal party got ready in the downstairs rooms of the Crane Cottage, while the guys got ready upstairs and on the courtyard-facing terrace.
His & hers details were captured that morning - incorporating a number of items that hold a high level of importance and meaning to the couple. Passed-down charms, croquet butterflies, & personalized cufflinks, to name a few. Rachel's blue Loeffler Randall heels and Nick's Louboutin's were also some show-stopping items that set the overall tone of the day. The invitation suite was designed with the overall wedding-day color palette in mind, and featured hydrangeas, a custom monogram crest, and of course a watercolor portrait of the venue. I'm a sucker for a good calligraphy font, and that font written in the blue ink is absolutely the dreamiest! Josie of Ivory Isle Designs also design the custom wedding-day stationery that included place cards, menus, programs, and the custom monogrammed crest that was used and incorporated throughout the entire weekend.
Rachel & Nick decided to have a first look before the ceremony, and wanted it to take place in a spot that also highlighted the beautiful architecture in the background of their photos. So we made it happen, and the bridesmaids enjoyed a little sneak peak from the living room of the cottage! Rachel's dress was purchased at The White Magnolia bridal boutique - and featured some of my favorite things on this planet - puff sleeves! She made a truly beautiful bride, on the inside and out.
Their ceremony was performed in the garden, which would flow nicely into their cocktail hour on the reflecting pool lawn where guests could grab a drink and enjoy the views of the East River. As the sun shined on and began to break through the clouds, guests began to file into their seats. The sound of the harp filled the outdoor air, and the blue and white garden blooms framed up an absolutely gorgeous aisle. Bride Rachel was escorted down the aisle by her father to the harp versions of everybody's favorite - Taylor Swift. Michael Batten officiated a gorgeous wedding ceremony, and the Carrel's were officially pronounced husband & wife!
Their reception took place in technically two different locations, within the courtyard of the Cottage and beneath the tent that was installed against the back of the cottage, to accommodate their guest count of nearly 200 people. Since it was a bit broken up in this way, it was important to make each space look and feel cohesive. The courtyard seating was composed of longer rectangular tables, that were graced with shades of dusty blues and ivories brought to life through florals, candles, linens, and paper goods. The courtyard also featured a bar set up on the grass, and a floral installation within the central fountain.
Leading into the reception tent, a black and white checkered dance floor was brought in to give the space a timeless & classic southern wedding feel. Gold chandeliers were installed in focus points of the tent: above the dance floor, above each of the main seating areas, and above the tent bar. As the flooring behind the cottage is a bit uneven, we focused guest seating on the patches of grass to avoid the paved path that does exist leading into the cottage. We also brought in high top tables to fill out the space, which also gave guests seated in the courtyard a spot to hang out within the tent.
The head table was a hydrangea labor of love - with a full 32-foot-long hydrangea runner down the center of the four adjoining king tables. I mean, just look at that table!
We also planned for two different cake tables. The first being the traditional wedding cake table, featuring their elegant & simple wedding cake with touches of blue blooms. The second being the "Rocky" cake table, featuring a cake designed to look like their sweet pup, Rocky, and a small champagne tower composed of cut glass fruit cups.
The entire wedding danced the night away to band Anita & The Party Life- alllllll the way to the sparkler grand exit! Following the couple's "getaway ride," to Nick's surprise, their was more fun to be had in the living room of the Cottage. The couple was welcomed back into the venue with a birthday surprise from their family and friends, including balloons, pizza, and a DJ for Nick's birthday. Now THAT is a birthday that will be hard to beat!
Their wedding day was a charming, elegant, and garden-forward soiree that is one to be remembered for years to come! It was a labor of love on our end, and planning alongside this couple and their families was truly so special. We would do it all over again and again!
Planning: Ever Ash Weddings
Venue: Jekyll Island Resort - Crane Cottage
Floral: Marble & Pine
Photo: Meredith Ryncarz Photography
Video: Bradley Dunham at Shea Visuals
Band: Anita & The Party Life - Music Garden Bands
Harpist: Anne Durant
Officiant: Rev. Michael Batten
Beauty: Primp Pamper & Polish
Stationery: Ivory Isle Designs
Rentals: Beachview Rentals
Linens: BBJ La Tavola