Someday In Savannah : Southeastern Bound

Someday In Savannah

by James Byous on 12/18/11

Capt. Jennifer McKay (ANG) tries her free wedding gown during Weddings For Warriors Project "try-on's" at the Charles H. Morris Center in Savannah, Georgia in front of cameras for WJCL-TV and WTOC-TV

      Boy did things pop!  It was supposed to be a small event.  In 2009 The Savannah Wedding Tourism Council (SWTC) launched the project entitled Weddings for Warriors.  It was to provided free wedding ceremonies and vow renewals to active US Military personnel.  The Council thought, "Maybe five or ten couples in Savannah's Forsyth Park, some punch, a cake and some music." 

     When folks of Savannah and the Southeast found out about the cause, volunteer businesses and individuals swarmed the web site to sigh up.  The event grew to provide ceremonies to forty couples.  Companies volunteered free flowers from Florida made into bouquets by florist from Georgia and South Carolina.  Free professional photographers from as far away as Atlanta and North Carolina called to participate with twenty-five from Savannah. 

     Free Alfred Angelo designer wedding gowns from Operation Homefront, Georgia were given and a free reception by the Savannah Riverboat Company took the couples on a river cruise on the Savannah River.  Locations, stringed instrumentalist, tuxedos from Men's Wearhouse, ceremony officiants, hotel and B&B rooms and just about everything else to do with weddings were gifted to military couples. 

     One need that was found was for vow renewals.  A great number of military couples marry at the court house, sometimes in jeans and a T-shirt because deployment is eminent and paperwork needs to be turned in... no family, no wedding gown, no celebration.  Some participants have waited from eighteen and twenty-four years.  They have told each other, someday they would have a real wedding... their someday keep getting pushed farther and farther ahead with each child born and each new deployment.  Now, thanks to the people of the Southeast and especially Savannah, a few finally have their "someday".  Each will finally have an individual ceremony and afterward can attend a group reception. 

     The SWTC estimates that in the first year alone just under $400 thousand in products and services were given to the forty participating couples.  Four Weddings For Warriors Projects have now taken place in three cities across the USA, Savannah and Tybee Island, Georgia and Colorado Springs, Colorado.  More cities are lining up to see what they can do as well.  

     This year everything is on schedule but volunteers are still needed as are a few plus-size wedding gowns.  So if you want to serve the troops and their families, here’s your opportunity to say, "Thanks" to our fighting men and women and their families. 

     This season's the event will take place on January 18, 2012 at the Charles H. Morris Center at Trustees Garden, 10 East Broad Street, Savannah, GA.  Contact Becky at 912-656-6541 or email Becky@WeddingsForWarriors.com.

 

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