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My beautiful and bold sister always said she wanted to elope. 

It was her dream way to wed to her dream guy.

Savannah got her dream.

Savannah and Brennan’s love story has all the makings of a Hallmark movie (but even better).

They have been friends for their whole lives. Yes, their entire lives. Our mothers were friends when they were both pregnant with Savannah and Brennan who were born a few months apart.  

But Savannah and Brennan were only ever friends for 27 years.

Until one of them (ahem, Brennan) was brave enough to ask the question, “Why have we only ever been friends?”

Now, there are obviously a lot more details to their story than that but it’s their story to tell.

For now, I get to share the story of their wedding day.

The women in our Hannel clan dubbed this wedding a “formal elopement” since the details were not spontaneously planned, and siblings and parents were in attendance. 17 people total.

In early summer, Savannah and I discussed the possibilities of hosting her reception at Haven Hill. At the time, we were told that the completion of our renovation was only a month away (July), and I thought that was plenty of time to get the house settled for the October event.

Fast forward to mid-September when Bruce and I were finally able to move our things into a not completely renovated house. It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything is (now, mostly) fine.

Despite the bumpy road trying to move into Haven Hill, there was so much excitement during wedding week. Both Savannah and Brennan carry an atmosphere of fun so the whole week was filled with it.

Brennan’s family hosted a casual rehearsal “Brinner” at their AirBnB and toasted the couple with a compilation of home videos and photos from all the years growing up together. Imagine the laughs, gasps, and awes we shared while watching all the memories these two shared through the years.

Wedding day finally arrived on October 12th along with Georgia’s gorgeous fall weather — crisp, bright, and humidity in check. It was nothing short of a miracle. Anyone who lives here knows how amazing Georgia’s fall weather can be…when it wants to be. The problem is you never know when it’s going to want to be amazing and for how long.

Thankfully, the weather permitted for our “Plan A” use of Haven Hill’s space. Lunch would be served on the covered back porch followed with dessert and a time of family prayer inside.

But first, the ceremony!

The ceremony took place at the same small stone chapel with bright red doors where my parents were wed 32 years ago.

 Mr. and Mrs. Hannel | March 28, 1987

Mr. and Mrs. Hannel | March 28, 1987

 The Hannel Family | 32 years later

The Hannel Family | 32 years later

 Bride’s parents escorted her to the chapel.
 Evangeline (niece) served as flower girl with the help of her Granny Michelle (our family’s pastor and friend).

Evangeline (niece) served as a flower girl with the help of her Granny Michelle (our family’s pastor and friend).

 Nicole (sister-in-love) played all the ceremony music on piano while Greg (our family’s pastor and friend) officiated the wedding.

Nicole (sister-in-love) played all the ceremony music on the piano while Greg (our family’s pastor and friend) officiated the wedding.

 Olive branch wreaths lined the aisle.

Olive branch wreaths lined the aisle.

 Olive leaves were used as the send-off confetti.

Olive leaves were used as the send-off confetti.

 The bride’s ring perfectly captures her style: a modern twist on a classic design.

The bride’s ring perfectly captures her style: a modern twist on a classic design.

 The materials in the groom’s ring (a surprise from the bride) represents some of his favorite things: dinosaur bone, meteorite (space), and sand blasted titanium (beach).

The materials in the groom’s ring (a surprise from the bride) represents some of his favorite things: dinosaur bone, meteorite (space), and sand blasted titanium (beach).

 Place settings and table designed by our mama.

Place settings and table designed by our mama.

 “Family Dinner” themed wedding menu by Chef Jason Jimenez.

“Family Dinner” themed wedding menu by Chef Jason Jimenez.

 Dessert was served on Great Aunt Sissy’s china.

Dessert was served on Great Aunt Sissy’s china.

 Favors were handmade by Savannah using Brennan’s photography of some of their favorite places.

Favors were handmade by Savannah using Brennan’s photography of some of their favorite places.

 Michelle led a time of family prayer and blessing for the couple.

Michelle led a time of family prayer and blessing for the couple.

 The couple’s parents surround them with prayer.

The couple’s parents surround them with prayer.

 Brennan’s parents, John and Sandy, were our children’s church and youth pastors. This picture perfectly captures John’s father heart.

Brennan’s parents, John and Sandy, were our children’s church and youth pastors. This picture perfectly captures John’s father’s heart.

 And this perfectly captures brotherhood.

And this perfectly captures brotherhood.

 Mr. and Mrs. Fifer | October 12, 2019

Mr. and Mrs. Fifer | October 12, 2019

The Wedding Dream Team:

Each of these vendors are total rockstars! We really did land the dream team with this crew. They each added their own special touches to the day and it made all the difference. I highly recommend! – LVZ

Photography// Emily & Zach Ryan

Florals // JJ’s Flower Shop

Food // Chef Jason Jimenez, Homespun ATL

Dress // Thornbury Brides

Rentals // Miss Milly’s

Cake // Gingerspice Bakery

Ceremony // Log Cabin Community Church