If there’s one destination Garrett and I love to jet off to, it’s Savannah, Georgia. Just shy of a 4 hour drive from Atlanta, it’s the perfect weekend getaway; one with historic architecture, a unique history, and plenty of Spanish moss to make my heart sing.
Tara Skinner is the owner and lead consultant and designer for Tara Skinner Weddings & Events, a boutique wedding and event firm based in Savannah that specializes in planning distinct weddings with unparalleled service. I was lucky enough to work with Tara personally on Kim and Alex’s wedding at the Savannah Yacht Club last March. As a vendor, her dedication to the day was incredible to watch. She inspires others with her work. And their wedding remains one of my favorites for the design, details, and overall aesthetic.
I reached out to Tara because I believe she is the expert when it comes to selecting the perfect wedding venue in Savannah. Savannah is a wonderful destination wedding location with so much to offer. I’m excited to share all of her knowledge about this historic city below.
Delta Plantation is a privately-owned estate that only accepts a limited number of events per year. It is a one of a kind venue with multiple backdrop options for both ceremony and reception, and it is perfect for the couple that desires an outdoor ceremony and tented reception.
The Cay family acquired 2100 acres of Delta Plantation in 1997 and spent two years restoring the property to its former glory. The Georgian-style main house, built in the 1920s, is a replica of Thomas Jefferson’s stunning design of Brandon Plantation. Directly behind the main house is a formal walled garden featuring Southern favorites such as camellias, gardenias, and azaleas. Also on the site is a pool pavilion, historic barns and a hunting cabin. Recently the home was used in the movie “Poison Rose”.
This venue is a blank slate so pretty much anything goes here; however, we always tend to lean towards a more classic traditional look to play off the property’s southern history. We are HUGE history buffs, so the rich antebellum history of Delta is part of what makes it so special.
Wilmington Plantation is a one of a kind venue with multiple options for both ceremony and reception. Originally built in 1927, the old-world style of this venue makes you feel like you are transported back in time. There are multiple options available to couples who choose Wilmington Plantation. Whether they want a ballroom scene, sandy beach front vibe, tented reception in the large open field overlooking the water or an al fresco fete underneath café lights on the Tuscan-style pool deck… the options are endless.
Built in 1927 by Henry Walthour as “The Oglethorpe Hotel”, it is now considered one of Savannah’s treasured landmarks. It’s history of being tied to the “Mob” is so fascinating! Supposedly, construction was financed by, none other than, Al Capone. During the prohibition it became one of the main hubs in Savannah to smuggle in alcohol through the underground tunnels leading from the intracoastal waterways right into the hotel.
The Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop) were staples at the hotel during their era and there are even some rumors that Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamster’s boss who was abducted and slain, may be buried on the site. The building was renovated years ago preserving it for future generations while creating luxury condominiums and being remodeled as “Wilmington Plantation”. The 20-acre grounds overlooking the Intracoastal waterway include Live Oak trees, Palm trees, and unmatched views.
Although anything can go for decor… our minds always wander to an “old world” style that would complement the architecture of Wilmington Plantation. The pool deck and cabana area make us feel like we are sitting outside of a Tuscan style venue. Again, we’re suckers for the history of a venue and Wilmington Plantation’s does NOT disappoint!
Sitting on over 2,00 acres overlooking the Ogeechee River and marshland, the views around the “Main House” are unmatched. Ford Plantation is the perfect Savannah wedding venue for the couple looking for an outdoor ceremony and tented or al fresco reception underneath the mossy oak trees overlooking the gorgeous marshland.
We always love incorporating something that is venue specific into our designs if possible. The logo for Ford Plantation is a wheat bundle so playing off of that vibe and incorporating wheat, Pampas grass and all types of similar textures into the florals would really tie the venue history into the overall event design.
What makes this venue special? Have you seen a trend yet… of course we’re going to say THE HISTORY! In the early 1920’s, Henry Ford sought out to find a new winter home. Recommended by a friend, he purchased 85,000 acres in the coastal area of southeast Georgia and built a 7,000-sq-ft mansion on the banks of the Ogeechee River. He established his own personal laboratory hear his home that was reported to have conducted experiments inspired by conversations with Thomas Edison and Harvey S. Firestone.
*History taken from The Ford Plantation’s website
We love the Westin Savannah because of the many location options. Whether you’re looking for a ballroom, Riverfront lawns for a tented wedding or golf course views, the Westin Savannah has it all. This venue is perfect for the couple that wants everything all in one place.
The Westin Savannah is a blank slate wedding venue so really anything goes; however, we love the idea of playing off its location overlooking The Savannah River and River Street. In the past, our couples have incorporated the outline of River Street into their invitations and paper styling that were carried out throughout the wedding day through various products such as menus, welcome notes, to-go cups, etc
Although The Westin Savannah is part of a corporate Hotel chain (a Marriott property), it doesn’t feel like a standard hotel ballroom wedding you can have just about anywhere. Situated on Hutchinson Island directly across from River Street and overlooking the Savannah River, the views are priceless. Guests can stay on property and ride the complimentary ferry (only about a 5-minute ride) across the river into Savannah for a plethora of shopping, restaurant and bar options. They can also choose to stay on site and take advantage of the 18 hole PGA Championship Golf Course, the luxurious “Heavenly Day Spa”, the multiple restaurants on property or simply relax at one of the resort style pools as they watch ships pass through to and from the Port of Savannah.
What’s NOT to love… It’s simply gorgeous. The Armstrong Kessler Mansion is a perfect venue for the couple that appreciates architecture, Italian renaissance décor and who wants to show their guests what Savannah luxury entails.
Receptions at The Armstrong Kessler Mansion are held in the gardens either tented or al fresco. When you step foot into the manicured gardens, it feels as if you are stepping into another world… the era of Italian renaissance. We have the privilege of planning the first wedding ever at the Armstrong Kessler Mansion, and we can’t wait for you to see how we bring in the design and style of the mansion and “marry” it into the design and style of the wedding. Due to Covid-19, we postponed the wedding to November 2021, but the wait will most definitely be worth it!
The Armstrong Kessler Mansion is one of the most beautiful venues in Savannah. The inside furnishings, selected from all over the world to replicate the original furnishings, are simply breathtaking.
Savannah has many beautiful fountains, but none of them are as prominent as the one in Forsyth Park. The view of Forsyth Park’s fountain, seen at the end of a wide walkway lined with mossy oak trees, is one of the best-known sights in Savannah. Forsyth Park is the perfect wedding venue for the couple who wants a true “Savannah” experience with a ceremony in front of the iconic Forsyth Fountain followed by a tented reception under the mossy oak trees in Forsyth Park.
Forsyth Park and The Forsyth Park Fountain may be the most iconic and well-known “Savannah” landmark. A whimsical garden feel and loose florals mixed with greenery and moss to play up the oak trees and beautiful landscaping around the park would be a gorgeous design style to incorporate.
*I captured all images in Savannah. Kim & Alex’s wedding day was designed by Tara Skinner Weddings & Events