Savannah is full of people helping other people, often for little credit or personal gain.
Three years ago, one such project, Weddings for Warriors, launched in Savannah. This all–volunteer effort matches local photographers and venues to provide free wedding and vow renewal ceremonies for active duty military personnel, including Guard and Reserve.
“The project was conceived as a way of saying a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to active duty military personnel in Savannah and the Lowcountry,” says Executive Director Becky Byous, who administers W4W along with photographer husband Jim Byous, who heads the local Savannah Wedding Tourism Council and who lined up the photographers for the festivities, some of whose work you see on this page.
Weddings for Warriors went off again without a hitch last week. After the American Legion hosted bridal preparations, the actual ceremonies took place all over town, including Temple Mickve Israel, First African Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Wesley Monumental, Trinity Methodist, and the Telfair Museum.
Afterwards a huge reception and memorial dance was held at the Charles H. Morris Center at Trustees Garden.
“We have an all volunteer military force, so we were hoping that we could have an all volunteer response from the community, and we succeeded,” Becky Byous says, adding that a florist in Anderson, S.C., five hours away, came to help out.
In all, more than 20 couples celebrated their happiness at Weddings for Warriors this year. (One couple boasted a civilian groom, Patrick Carver, who married Capt. Jennifer McKay of the Air National Guard.)
CORRECTION: In our recent interview with local architect Christian Sottile, we mistakenly inferred that his firm was responsible for the present design of Ellis Square. The award–winning design of Ellis Square was actually the work of AECOM Planning + Design of Atlanta and local architectural firm Lominack Kolman Smith Architects. We apologize for the error.