Westin Savannah Wedding
I met Natalie & Will last year. Tara Skinner Events recommended them to me for their Westin Savannah Wedding. Sometimes I feel like the universe calls to me and brings me wonderful people to surround myself with. This was one of those times.
I knew their wedding day would be spectacular from our very first conversation.
A wedding at the Savannah Harbor Golf Resort Spa, with a talented planner such as Tara and a beautiful couple is almost always an easy answer.
As a wedding photographer in Savannah, trust me when I say The Westin is one of the most exquisite venues around. A beauty sitting along the Savannah River, it’s a vision of ephemeral energy and class.
Speaking of ephemeral energy and class…
I met Natalie and Will later in the year when they came to Savannah, Ga, and we captured their engagement photos. I knew wight away this couple wouldn’t be taking Golf Course photos. They also wouldn’t be using the Westin’s Tennis courts or convention center. They were more of a ballroom crowd.
Instead they would choose to use the harbor lawn, and the grand ballroom for their wedding reception. Their guests were welcomed to rooms and suites. Access to the Heavenly Spa, food, drinks, room service. Each guest room equipped with a goody bag and a thank you card.
This was a stunning event. Utilizing the outdoor venue for their ceremony over looking the Savannah River and River street itself. Hotel room balconies overlooking the event which unintended guests out of their rooms to watch this lovely couple make their vows.
And to think this entire event came to fruition because of a chance meeting.
Westin: A Coffee Shop Idea
The year was 1930, and a local hotel owner walked into a coffee shop. (No, this isn’t a joke)
Severt Thurston entered a coffee shop in Seattle and ran into Frank Dupar, a rival from another hotel brand. What began as a friendly and cordial chat, turned to business.
They weren’t enemies, but the Great Depression financially hurt both of them and they feared their hotels would fail. Seeing they were both in the same boat, they devised a plan. They would place all their hotels under the same umbrella.
And the name of this new business, born out of necessity, was none other than Westin Hotels. 16 hotels based out of Washington and one located in Boise.
But, when an idea is good, it has difficulty staying local. Within the year, Westin Hotels expanded to Vancouver, then to California then rapidly all over the United States and world.
A simple greeting at the front desk of a coffee shop turned into a global business in just 30 years.
Westin had grown to accommodate more and more types of guests. Becoming a brand of hotels, meetings spaces, and with the Club at Savannah Harbor, a PGA championship golf course.
Today there are over 225 different Westin Hotels throughout the world and they have put their stamp of luxury on the map.
The history involved with this Savannah Wedding Venue is one of pure ingenuity and camaraderie.
I love it.
Westin Savannah opened its doors on the Savannah River in 1999, and has stood like a beacon of southern luxury for over three decades.
Which is why Natalie and William had to have it for their incredible wedding and reception.
Love on the Water
Beginning their extravagant wedding weekend, Natalie and Will chose to hold their welcome party/rehearsal dinner at Drayton Hotel. A beautiful rooftop venue that overlooks the city of Savannah. With guests pouring in from all over the country, the drinks and joy were flowing.
Natalie and Will welcomed their guests to the wonderful city of Savannah in such a lovely and fun way. One that would certainly not be forgotten any time soon.
Finally, the big day came.
Photographing Natalie and William felt like I was capturing a presidential wedding. These two exuded such confidence, poise and conviction. Yet, they were so fun and loving throughout the entirety of their event.
We captured their portraits at the marina that connects to the Westin Savannah. The stunning natural light caused them to shine so bright and beautiful.
Then came the ceremony. Stunning florals by Em Creative Floral filled the aisle, as Natalie and Will spoke their vows to one another in front of a floral arch. I’ve known these two for over a year now and seeing them finally come together meant I was taking photos through tears.
I’m a cry baby though. I love my art and profession, because capturing moments of pure love is such a pleasure and honor.
After we finished the ceremony and dried our eyes, we moved into the Grand Ballroom for the reception.
Formalities were checked at the door as the true party began. They might look elegant and classy, but Natalie and William can get down with the best of them. William being a former leader of his frat likely had a little bit to do with that.
From a father giving an impassioned and heartfelt speech to his daughter that brought the room to tears. To William and Natalie dancing their beautiful first dance. Then finally, the room erupted into celebration as the Atlanta Wedding Band turned up the volume. It was such a fantastic and amazing time.
Hours went by in minutes. Before I knew it, it was time for Natalie and William to make their grand exit.
Everybody went down to the docks and watched as the couple climbed onto the back of a boat. They waved goodbye to the party and they took a late-night boat ride to celebrate their union while everyone else stayed at the Westin.
It was a purely magical event and one I will always think back on fondly.
A Westin Savannah Wedding when done properly can be the event of the year.