Claire & Paul

by Jessica Lynn Curtis

A rock ’n’ roll elopement turns wedding dreams into reality for a stylish Savannah couple

Written by JESSICA LYNN CURTIS
Photography by ASHLEE C. PHOTOGRAPHY

They say the best romantic relationships begin as great friendships. And while this may not prove true for all, it certainly did for Claire and Paul Martel. 

This cuter-than-cute Savannah couple met while working at Bull Street Taco in July 2020 and became fast friends. 

“We bonded over margaritas every Monday night,” says Claire. “It was kind of like in a romantic comedy where you’re dating all the wrong guys and complaining to your guy best friend about them, and then you realize, ‘I should try dating him!’”

bride & groom standing beneath a live oak
Bride and groom standing in an arched doorway holding hands
bride holding a colorful bouquet

“Pretty early on, I knew that whatever Claire was involved in, whatever she was doing, I wanted to be a part of it,” shares Paul.

But they remained just friends for a year — even after the day they discovered Claire had dreamt of Paul proposing, and Paul had dreamt he was married to Claire.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day 2023. With a plan to turn Claire’s proposal dream into a dream proposal, Paul suggested a romantic evening at Late Air, the extravagantly praised Bull Street wine bar. 

“Our friends own it, and it’s just a really nice, awesome wine bar with great food. We had a good time,” says Paul. “I wanted to propose there, and then Claire had to go to the bathroom. So, I was like, ‘Okay, cool, there’s one right there.’”

“But there was a line for the bathroom all night, and we live 5 minutes away,” Claire chimes in. “So I said, ‘Let’s just go home.’ And then I ran to the car and stood there waiting for him to unlock the door. I turned around to be like, ‘Are you going to open the door?’ and he was on his knee.” 

 Needless to say, Claire said yes. 

bride and groom wearing sunglasses and standing on steps

Less than four months later, they both said “I do”. On June 4, Paul and Claire eloped on Johnson Square. Their friend, Bryce Edwards, officiated the wedding and another friend, Ashlee Carrozza, photographed.

As Paul writes and plays country music (his band, S’villes, will be playing at the couple’s reception in September), and this is something he and Claire both love and have bonded over, so they wanted their wedding look to have a country western/rock ’n’ roll flair.

“That was why I did my nails with the stars,” says Claire. “And I knew I wanted a Priscilla Presley/Dolly Parton vibe, so I went with a short dress and a big veil. I tried to make my hair big, but it was a really windy day!”

As their reception is yet to come, after their vows, Paul and Claire spent the rest of their wedding day doing things they love.

First stop: With Love Tattoo Co. 

groom carrying his bride over his shoulder in front of a tattoo shop

“Pat [Crump] and Camden [Noir] are some of our best friends, and they own the tattoo shop,” explains Claire. “We wanted something to remember the day and symbolize our love.” Claire’s tattoo is of a slot machine but with hearts instead of sevens, and Paul’s is of a horseshoe — both symbols of luck.

Next, they got pizza from Squirrel’s Pizza (also on Bull Street — the same street where they met, got engaged, and got their tattoos). Then, they ended their perfect day with champagne at Perry Lane Hotel.

The Martels are excited for their next step — having their families together for their September reception at Victory North. It’s what they have been dreaming of.

Details

  • Date: June 4, 2023
  • Location of ceremony: Johnson Square, Savannah
  • Officiant: Bryce Edwards
  • Photographer: Ashlee C. Photography
  • Florist: Sweetfield Flowers
  • Claire’s attire: Morgan Rae Boutique
  • Paul’s attire: Alain Dupetit
  • Rings: TinyLightJewelry; Jaxxon

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