Our Savannah Elopement

mariah cooke savannah elopement
mariah cooke savannah elopement

It’s been almost 8 months since our COVID elopement and I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to share our photos. If you follow me on instagram than you’ve seen some, but man have I kept some good ones hidden. Let’s be real though, Holly, our photographer, did so good and I think they are all amazing! While postponing our wedding sucked, these photos and our elopement is the silver lining to everything! I feel so blessed to be able to have had the intimate small ceremony that we had last year and still get to celebrate with our friends this year.

covid micro wedding

Postponing and Deciding To Elope

As most of you know we had our full on big wedding planned last year. I shared this post about our venue and we had sent invitations already. We tried to hold out postponing as long as we could but by the end of May we all knew the world was not getting any better. It’s crazy to look back to March when we were signing contracts and how we totally thought things would be better by last July. I laugh at us now!

Deciding to postpone was honestly the easy part about this process. Trying to figure out what we were going to do after postponing was the hard part. Planning the big wedding was so easy for me. I knew exactly what I wanted on almost all aspects. However, I knew nothing about what I would want for a small wedding, or a courthouse, or a wedding on both coasts, or an elopement. And yes…all of those things were options and things we considered! I already had my big dress for our big wedding so even picking what I wanted to look and feel like for an elopement was very difficult for me and yet, I had a limited amount of time since we waited so long to postpone. The other constraint was with Adams job a wedding had to happen over summer. So if we wanted to still get married in 2020 we needed to do it before mid August.

After many many hard discussions and long conversations with our families we were leaning toward a courthouse wedding somewhere in the south. Adam is from Florida and I absolutely love the south so we started looking there. Eventually we realized that even with a courthouse wedding our families couldn’t join us in the courthouse (cuz COVID -_-). So we decided to do a mini ceremony and postpone our big wedding for a year later all for the exact same day just one year apart.

forsyth park elopement

The Elopement Details

We got married in Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia. It rained during the day and cleared up about an hour before our ceremony time. While it made it super muggy (I mean its Georgia in July), the lighting ended up being perfect for photos! The only person we hired was our photographer Holly and I cannot recommend her enough! I had found her from an engagement session I saw on Pinterest and it just gave me all the feels for the vibe that I wanted for our elopement. We talked to her on the phone and I just knew she was the one!

As far as the ceremony goes, we wanted to keep it as simple as possible and save almost everything for the big wedding next year. The enter thing was about 5 minutes. I didn’t walk down an aisle and we said the bare minimum vows and legally binding terms to make it count. I wanted it to feel like our immediate family just gathered in the park to watch us vow to be together. Being that my dad is a pastor we didn’t need to hire an officiant. Having him preform the ceremony just adds to the specialness of the day. My mom made my bouquet out of grocery store flowers that they got after landing in Georgia the day before.

The dress! The part everyone wants to know about. Picking what I wanted to wear was so difficult! I ordered and returned so many dresses. Short ones, long ones, sequins, plain. Anything you can think of I had looked at it. While searching I saw this dress on Pinterest and started to try and hunt it down. Sadly I learned it was a few years old and not in production anymore. Desperately I tweeted out a photo to see if the great people of twitter could help and one of my sisters friends found it on Poshmark a few sizes too big. I took the chance and ordered it anyway and a seamstress worked magic to make it fit! I was so relieved and could not be more happy with how it turned out!

savannah elopement

The Day Of

The day was seriously so magical. I still get chills and teary eyed when I think of it, look at photos, or watch our video. Everything ended up working out so perfectly and as I said at the beginning of this blog post the day was seriously a silver lining in all the terrible COVID wedding drama. Getting to just walk around the city with my new husband was so fun and intimate. Holly made everything a blast and I remember just feeling so connected to Adam, the city, just life! After we finished taking pictures we met our families at The Olde Pink House for dinner.

One of my favorite moments that I kick myself for not having Holly there for was before the ceremony. You can see it in the video below. My parents had rented an AirBNB near the park where I got ready. Everyone met there and then we walked over to meet Holly in the park for the ceremony. We did a mini first look where I came down the stairs of the AirBNB and out the front door to Adam. I remember waiting in the entryway just me and being so giddy. Walking out and seeing Adam was so special and then walking over to the park knowing we were about to get married in one of my favorite places was just so special. I have a hard time even putting it into words.

Overall, I feel like I get the best of both worlds! I had my intimate southern ceremony and now this year I get to have a party with all our people. While it wasn’t what we originally planned God totally worked it all out!

  1. Reply

    I love the greenery! I’m all for small gatherings and elopement. I plan to have a small initiate wedding myself. You looked so stunning!!

  2. Reply

    These photos are so gorgeous, and I also can’t believe you waited so long to share. I just love them all, and am so happy you were still able to have your special day amidst Covid!

  3. Reply

    You look gorgeous and now you will have a story for the rest of your lives. Great photos.


  4. You look gorgeous and you both look so happy! So happy for you guys, glad y’all could enjoy this together! Xx.

  5. Reply

    Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the newlywed life. The photos all came out beautiful! xoxo, Sarah

  6. Reply

    These photos are truly beautiful and it looks like it was a fun elopement 🙂

  7. Reply

    ah my friend got married in Forsyth Park with rehearsal dinner at the Old Pink House! Two iconic Savannah spots. While I know the whole wedding postpone-ment during covid was stressful I am so happy you guys were able to make this elopement so intimate and gorgeous. you look stunning!

  8. Reply

    What an absolutely stunning elopement! I’m sure it was really challenging to change your plans around, but I think you’re going to cherish this intimate, beautiful day for the rest of your lives! I did the “big wedding” (even though it wasn’t really that big) and I still sometimes wish we eloped just for simplicity’s sake. But it’s awesome that you’ll get the best of both worlds with this smaller ceremony and a celebration with everyone soon! Also so cool that your dad officiated. My dad officiated my sister’s wedding while he was still pastoring and I know it was really special for them!

  9. Reply

    Congratulations! You both look happy together! Everything looks beautiful! Your look gorgeous and I love your dress!

  10. Reply

    That looks and sounds like a very intimate, special, romantic wedding! Absolutely love those pictures under the trees.
    Congratulations on your elopement 🙂

    • Neely Moldovan
    • April 19, 2021

    Absolutely beautiful! I love that you guys eloped! So fun!

    • Anne
    • April 19, 2021

    What beautiful photos. I’m so glad you were able to have this special day. I know coming to this decision must have been hard but it sounds like it was wonderful.

    • Lizzie
    • April 19, 2021

    AAww! Congrats on your elopement! Everything looks so magical! Love your dress and the location. Glad you both could enjoy your big day <3


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Mariah Cooke
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