Returning to the scene of their art school days, a creative Colorado couple hosts a fête that’s equal parts crafty and cool.
By Reilly Mesco | Photography by Brandon and Hollie Lytle
Picture this: It’s a cool November evening, and some of your nearest and dearest are winding down an oak-lined drive, a dusky fall sky peeking between the mossy canopies behind them. They’re illuminating the path with glowing candlelit lanterns as they walk along, arm in arm. Nothing but the warm chatter of old and new friends accompanies the collection of guests as they walk to an aged gate down the way.
That’s how Amber Chance and David Riddle’s wedding began. Rather than wandering on their own, guests made the journey together. It was fitting for a couple who had been together for more than eight years, through grad school and a cross-country move, among other adventures.
“It was the most beautiful beginning to a wedding we have ever seen,” gushes wedding planner Nicole Schwalge of Ivory and Beau, who, along with her business partner Adrienna McDermott, helped the artistic couple plan their intimate affair.
Originally from Colorado, the pair first encountered each other during pottery class at Colorado State University. They came to the Savannah for graduate school at SCAD—animation and illustration, respectively— but moved to Atlanta shortly after earning their degrees.
“Savannah was the first place they lived together, and they still come here every summer with their Atlanta friends for Labor Day Weekend,” Adrienna adds. “That’s why they chose Savannah as their wedding destination.”
The two artists wanted their event to have that same handmade aesthetic that brought them together. They started by choosing picturesque locations that would capture the right mix of nature and art.
“Wormsloe was perfect for the ceremony because it has an iconic Savannah feel to it, but we chose Cohen’s Retreat for the reception because it’s a really different new artistic space—lots of exposed brick and room to create whatever we needed,” Nicole adds.
The couple chose the aptly named Art Tank at Cohen’s Retreat, a beautifully renovated 1930s rest home that now serves as a mixed-use community and event center.
For the artists’ palette, the planners suggested a bohemian blend of cool turquoise with warm ambers and pinks, plus pops of gold and burnt orange. These vibrant strokes of color were visible throughout the whole celebration, from amber water goblets situated around the dinner table to the vivid peonies placed in vintage glass bottles scattered around the room.
A menu of unique comfort food from the couple’s favorite restaurant, Zunzi’s, was served on bespoke wooden bowls rented from Ultra Pom. Mini pecan pies and a buttercream cake (complete with a ceramic cactus cake topper crafted by the bride) rounded out the deliciously homespun menu. The couple and their families pitched in to add unforgettable handmade details—the guests were enlisted for the lantern processional and the couple’s grandmothers served as alternative ‘flower girls’.
But, despite the abundance of personal touches— like the custom chalkboards with the couple’s favorite quotes about romance—“the most important thing about their wedding was that it was the beginning of the rest of their lives together,” Nicole enthuses. “Yes, there were a lot of cool Southern details, but the focus really was them.
Behind the Veil
The big day: Saturday, November 15th, 2014
Planner /event designer: Ivory and Beau
Officiant: Bill Gillepsie
Hair and makeup: Marie Bramlett, Wicked Lulu
Catering: Zunzi’s Takeout and Catering
Reception music: All About You Entertainment
Florist: A to Zinnias
Cake: Rum Runners
Macarons: Maison de Macarons
Pew Rentals: Rentiquity
Flatware, Runners, Goblet Rentals: Ultra Pom
Chair Rentals: Amazing Event Rentals
Videographer: Scott Smith
Photographer: Brandon and Hollie Lytle, Lytle Foto, lytlefoto.com