Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Lighthouse Wedding

Tybee Island Light Station (c)

Bob & I had retired to the coast of Georgia and were living on Tybee Island, 18 miles East of Savannah, when our daughter from St. Louis decided to get married.  We'd always figured she'd want a large wedding, but after her first visit to Tybee, she and her fiancee fell in love with the island and its lighthouse Known as the Tybee Island Light Station, it is located next to the mouth of the Savannah River.  

Kim & Paul liked to come visit for Christmas, so our second Christmas on the island they decided to combine it with a wedding.

Lightkeepers Cottage (c)
It was a very simple ceremony, held in the lightkeepers cottage, one of several buildings which surround the lighthouse.  

A Savannah judge who lived on Tybee performed the ceremony that was  attended by just her parents, 3 other members of our family, and 3 friends.  A 'wedding party' of ten, counting the bride & groom.

The Wedding Party


  • Us - the parents of the bride.
  • Our son & daughter-in-law, who were living in Gainseville, FL and my mother who lived close to them in Ocala, FL.  They all drove up together to Tybee Island for the wedding. 
  • Our daughter's best friend/college roommate flew down from Illinois to be her maid of honor.
  • Our neighbors, who had previously met Kim & Paul, joined us in watching the ceremony. 

The Wedding Party (c)

Kim brought her wedding dress with her from St. Louis and Paul rented his tuxedo in Savannah.  I made the local arrangements, rented the building at the lighthouse, arranged for the Judge to perform the ceremony, and ordered the wedding cake with a theme that fit the fact that they are both artists.  All of this was accomplished in three weeks, as Kim didn't call with her wedding idea until almost Thanksgiving and the wedding was December 23rd!

Wedding Music

Prior to the ceremony, our son, Greg (Kim's brother) & his wife sang (Everything I Do) I Do it for You, by Bryan Adams, at the request of the couple. It is a favorite song of theirs from the movie Robin Hood (Prince of Thieves), and the lyrics are special to them. 

The wedding music was pre-recorded and played on a tape player.  We decorated a table in the lighthouse cottage with flowers and candles as our only decorations and I took all the wedding photos. The whole ceremony, held two days before Christmas, was simple, but lovely. 

Weather Hitch

Stormy Beach Weather (Pixabay)

The only 'hitch' we experienced was the weather that late December day. The Georgia coastal area was having a Nor'easter complete with cold temperatures, high wind and heavy rain.  But we all laughed it off, because problems with severe weather have been so frequent in our family over the years for any event or trip that we've all taken to calling it "The Austin Weather Curse" and are not surprised when it happens.  It's pretty much a 'given' that it WILL happen. It's a good thing we decided on the Lighthouse Wedding instead of a 'beach' wedding!

An Unusual Wedding Cake

After the wedding, we all went over to a local restaurant on the beach for a seafood dinner.

Because there were only 10 of us in the wedding party, a large, standard wedding cake was not needed, or wanted.  Simple was the password of the occasion, so the cake had to fit with this theme.  I ordered it from a local bakery and arranged to have it placed on a small table near our reserved dining table at the restaurant for the traditional 'cake-cutting' ceremony.

Wedding Cake (c)

Instead of a multilayer wedding cake, we had a one-layer sheet cake.  Instead of having the bride & groom sitting on top, the cake was decorated with an artist's palette and brush, along with the names of the bride & groom and their wedding date.

Why this unusual decoration, you wonder?  Both my daughter and my son-in-law are Artists!

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs.!

Mr. & Mrs.(c)

Afterwards, the wedding couple left for their wedding night in the bridal suite at a hotel on the beach while the rest of us returned to our island home.

Everyone stayed on with us through Christmas two days later. It was a marvelous and memorable Christmas-on-the Island and Lighthouse Wedding!

Kim & Paul  & Their Lighthouse Wedding (c)

To my knowledge, we were one of the first people to hold a wedding at the Tybee Island Lighthouse in 1994.  I think we may have started something, because today it is a regular event.

Kim & Paul's wedding was small, by choice, and very simple, but charming. If we had decided on a large wedding, we could have sent wedding invitations that fit the location.

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  1. I love this! It doesn't take a lot of money, guests, or even preparation to put together a perfect wedding and this one looked perfect for Kim and Paul. Our wedding wasn't much bigger, was planned for the beach next to a lighthouse (but the weather sent us indoors), and we had a restaurant wedding dinner with a small but beautiful cake, too, so you can see why, 35 wonderful years later, I'd vote for this type of wedding anytime. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The 'kids' decided on this small wedding and Kim's only comment afterwards was how 'short' it was. LOL. That's because there were no bridesmaids, etc. and all the pomp & circumstance that comes with a big wedding. Their large group of friends back in St. Louis gave them a party afterwards, so they got to 'celebrate' twice. :) Your wedding sounds just as wonderful, Susan.

  2. I only wish we could have made it down there on that momentis occasion.

  3. Oh that is so special Pat! I love how it all came together with a minimal of fanfare. Nicely done and a beautiful location too!

  4. The memories will be with us forever, Olivia. And it was such fun to have a houseful for Christmas that year, too.

  5. I love it and what beautiful memories! I really do think the smaller weddings where the bride and groom can enjoy interacting with their guests are the best. How cool to have the wedding in the lighthouse cottage too. What a unique and wonderful memory for everyone. Lovely photos, beautiful bride and an excellent location. Who could ask for more.

    1. The wedding for our daughter turned out to be absolutely perfect for her & her hubby. The memories are very special. Thanks for visiting this story about it, Mouse.

  6. Such a beautiful wedding, post, and place. I enjoyed this very much. Thank you for sharing these sweet memories.

    1. Thanks, Dawn Rae. I'm reminded of that day every time I drive by the Tybee Lighthouse. And my daughter& son-in-law back in Missouri have collected a bunch of lighthouse mementos as well.