Dana Boehmcke, 34, and Brian Carpenter, 36, have known each other for 16 years, though it took more than ten for them to realize that what they had was more than a friendship. After meeting at Mary Washington College in 1998, they reconnected in 2008 when Brian started travelling to New York for work. A spark was ignited, and Brian and Dana spent two years commuting between Boston and New York before she joined him in Massachusetts.
When it came time to propose in 2012, Brian knew he wanted Dana's father's blessing, but couldn't get him on the phone, so he called her mom. "They talked for more than half an hour about the ring, how he was going to propose, and why it took so long," says Dana. Brian then got in touch with Dana's father, who gave his blessing and said he hoped Dana would say yes. "My dad only took two minutes!" Dana laughs.
Then, the hard part: proposing. Dana's unpredictable work schedule foiled three attempts before Brian finally sat her down on the couch in their apartment. "He gave me a book of photos and stories from our relationship, which I proceeded to read out of order," Dana says. "Once he got me to start from the beginning, I started to cry." Brian got down on one knee and produced the ring, then threatened to put it back in the box when she took too long to answer! But it all worked out for the best, and the couple invited 134 guests from around the world to join them in Savannah on March 1st, 2014, for their intimate, romantic celebration.
Keep reading to see the gorgeous photos by Vue Photography!
Dana's wedding dress was a strapless mermaid gown by Pnina Tornai. "The corset gave me a great shape," says Dana, "and the sparkle on the bodice and hip were the perfect finishing touch." She paired her gown with an elegant updo and her grandmother's diamond earrings.
Beneath the silk taffeta skirt, Dana wore vibrant Jimmy Choo slingbacks with unique cut-outs. "They were, surprisingly, super comfortable," says Dana. A cathedral-length veil topped off her bridal look.
Dana snuck in a first look with her dad and brother before heading to the ceremony.
The bride carried a vibrant purple, lavender, and fuchsia bouquet of roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas, and orchids. It was studded with crystal flowers from her grandmother's wedding headpiece. Dana's bridesmaids, in one-shoulder navy blue satin gowns, carried smaller bouquets of roses, calla lilies, and hydrangeas.
Brian and his groomsmen looked handsome in classic black tuxedos. His boutonniere featured a large purple orchid, while his groomsmen's were smaller hot pink varieties.
The ceremony took place at the First Presbyterian Church in Savannah. The aisle was decorated with arrangements of white hydrangeas and draped tulle.
As Dana and Brian drove around the city taking photos, guests hopped into a trolley for a Savannah tour between the afternoon ceremony and evening reception. "We didn't want to miss a moment celebrating with them," says Dana.
The exposed brick and hardwood floors at the Morris Center "felt old, yet modern, in a way that reminded us of New York," says Dana, "but still charming and very Savannah." The room was lit with grapevine orbs strung with fairy lights, the evening's wow-factor. The couple mixed banquet-style and round tables for a unique layout.
Long tables were topped with centerpieces featuring cherry blossoms, hydrangeas, and orchids around silver lanterns. Round tables had taller arrangements of hydrangeas and orchids floating atop tall vases. Table numbers referenced important dates in the couple's relationship.
Instead of a larger cake, the bride's mother baked a slicing cake for the couple, who served tiers of cupcakes for their guests.
The couple shared a slice of chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling, while guests chose between chocolate mint, purple velvet, lemon berry, chocolate-chocolate, and chocolate chip cookie cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter filling. "There wasn't a single one left at the end of the night!" says Dana.
Brian and Dana took a spin to "The Way You Look Tonight," played by a 15-piece band, before she hit the dance floor with her grandfather. "He's almost 90," says Dana, "but he can still boogie!"
The couple honeymooned at the St. Regis in Puerto Rico shortly after their wedding day.
Dana's tip for fellow brides-to-be? "Don't forget to look around the room and take it all in," says Dana. "It's overwhelming, but so incredibly heartwarming to see a room full of people who love and support you."
Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church of Savannah || Reception Venue: Charles H. Morris Center || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair Pin: LoveHonorUpcycle || Hair & Makeup: Rob's at Drayton Tower || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jim Hjelm || Groom's Tuxedo: Bond & Bari || Wedding Rings: Bride - Stephen Gallant Jewelers, Groom - his grandfather || Catering & Florist: Berry's Catering & Floral || Invitations: Checkerboard || Music: Ceremony - Jeffrey Jones, The Andrew Thielen Big Band || Cupcakes: Sweet Carolina Cupcakes || Rentals: Advanced A/V Rentals || Transportation: Oglethorpe Trolley Tours, Silver Oak Transportation || Photography: Vue Photography