Though Lindsay Porter and Robert Miller have known one another since middle school, it wasn’t until a friend’s wedding in 2010 that the stars finally aligned. “Robert and I even went to college together, but weren’t anything more than friends for 13 years,” Lindsay remembers. But after their first date, the pair became inseparable. After four years of dating, Robert took Lindsay to Sea Island, Georgia, for a surprise trip to celebrate closing a big deal at work. She thought nothing of it until, while drinking champagne before dinner at the place where they'd had their first date, Robert proposed to her overlooking the ocean.
The couple had originally planned a small, family-only wedding in Sea Island. “But after we paid deposits on the venues, while we were home over the holidays I had a change of heart. Whoops!” says Lindsay. They canceled their plans, moving the wedding to their hometown of Waycross, Georgia, and upping the guest list to include everyone they knew—over 350 people! “We felt strongly that we should start our lives together in the place where it all began, with everyone we love,” Lindsay explains. The change worked out, and the pair wed in the church Lindsay grew up in, which features woodwork hand-built by her grandfather, followed by a reception in the Waycross City Auditorium, a former train station chosen to honor Robert’s grandfather, who was president of the railroad. Says the bride, “Sometimes it’s just meant to be!”
They planned a true Southern wedding, a warm and inviting celebration with a colorful yet classic fall color scheme and a comfort food menu, for November 21, 2015. With a relaxed setting designed for mingling, it was as though everyone had grown up together by the time the evening was over, not just the bride and groom. This vibrant bash was chock-full of details and inspiration, captured beautifully by Caroline Lima Photography—don’t miss it!
Robert and Lindsay’s invitation was totally elegant, with flowing handwritten calligraphy on ivory handmade paper. Lindsay created the postcard-style save the date herself, using a vintage photograph of the reception venue and including a handwritten note on the back of each card.
Robert proposed with a stunning oval-cut diamond set in yellow-gold, which Lindsay now pairs with a pavée yellow-gold band.
When the pair started planning their wedding, they were living in New York City, so they made sure to include the city’s iconic black and white cookies in their welcome bag, alongside Chex mix made by the groom’s mom.
The timeless bride wore an off-the-shoulder dupioni silk ball gown by Pronovias, which she topped with a lace bolero for the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. “I never had an ‘ah-ha’ moment, but I knew this dress was the winner when I looked at myself and could picture what my grandmothers would have thought,” Lindsay says. She went simple and sparkly with her shoes, wearing nude Jimmy Choo sandals beneath her full skirt.
Lindsay’s bridesmaids, as well as her father, were totally wowed by her choice in wedding dress. She chose her ‘maids' navy-blue lace and chiffon gowns for two important reasons: Lindsay wanted them all to match in a sophisticated fall style, and she had to be considerate of baby bumps! “Three of my bridesmaids got pregnant within days of one another, and were all due the week after my wedding. I had no idea if I’d have pregnant bridesmaids, so I chose an empire waist to be the most forgiving,” says the bride. One of those bridesmaids made it to the wedding, with a healthy baby boy at home, while the second was anxiously awaiting her son’s arrival, and the third was home resting, having given birth just a few days before.
A nod to the area’s stunning magnolia trees, Lindsay’s bouquet mixed white peonies, roses, ranunculus, tulips, and star of Bethlehem with the tree’s green and soft brown leaves. The stems were tied with two lockets, a blue and silver locket from Lindsay’s maternal grandmother, and a gold locket from her paternal grandmother.
Lindsay’s veil was handmade by her mother—seriously! “My mom doesn’t even sew, not even buttons, but she was determined to make my veil. Her mother was a wonderful seamstress, but she passed away a few months before the wedding. I tearfully told my mom I had hoped my grandma would make my veil, so my mom stepped in and made it for me. It was perfect, and I’ll always treasure it!”
The groom’s three- and six-year-old nieces were the flower girls. “I wanted them in sweet little cupcake dresses, and chose off-white dresses with ivory lace and tulle skirts. They were precious!” says the bride.
The groomsmen all donned classic tuxedos, with the groom swapping the black jacket for a sleek white dinner jacket. “There’s nothing better than a good-looking guy in a white dinner jacket. Especially when you get to marry him!” says Lindsay.
Robert paired his white jacket with monogrammed suspenders and a boutonniere that combined a single ranunculus with soft pheasant feathers.
The aisle of the church was decorated with magnolia leaves, seeded eucalyptus, and white roses. Lindsay’s mother’s friends made garlands of magnolia leaves to drape over the railings of the church’s stairs. Says the bride, “Using magnolia leaves was a sentimental way to tie back to where we grew up.”
In honor of the bride’s Scottish Presbyterian heritage, a bagpiper played on the lawn as guests arrived, then played in the church before the processional began.
Lindsay walked down the aisle on her father’s arm. “Robert doesn’t remember it, but when he saw me for the first time coming down the aisle, I could see him say ‘Wow!’ That first glimpse and his honest reaction were so sweet, and such a special feeling!”
After the ceremony, the couple exited the church in a cloud of bubbles, then jumped in a vintage car to head to the reception.
“Since we married in a place our out-of-town friends had probably never been to, we wanted to incorporate a lot of what we love about Waycross,” says Lindsay. “And for our guests who live in Waycross still, we wanted it to be a memorable night unlike any other.”
Inside the Waycross City Auditorium, tables were topped with ivory and champagne linens and surrounded by dark chiavari chairs. Centerpieces featured pops of fall colors, mixing magnolia leaves with rich peonies, spider mums, roses, hydrangeas, and dahlias. Instead of assigned seating, guests were encouraged to wander, mingle, and dance as they dined. During cocktail hour, they nibbled on south Georgia favorites like ham biscuits and miniature crab cakes. For dinner, stations included shrimp and grits, a carving station, and a mashed potato bar.
Lindsay’s parents hand-stamped burlap bags for the couple’s favors, pine seedlings. During cocktail hour, the couple served the Georgia Peach (a classic peach Bellini) and the Swamp Palmer (an Arnold Palmer spiked with vodka).
Alongside favorites like chocolate and carrot cake, the newlyweds cut into a three-tiered vanilla cake with peach icing, topped with fresh peonies.
Robert and Lindsay’s first dance was to the first song they ever danced to, in Cotillion classes where they first met: “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff. “Our Cotillion instructor and her husband were at the wedding!” Lindsay says.
As a late-night snack, guests were treated to Krystal burgers, a local Georgia favorite.
Guests waved sparklers as the bride and groom made their getaway. “Remember, all those details don’t matter. You get to marry your person, with all your people around you, and that’s the best and most important thing ever!” says Lindsay.
Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church of Waycross || Reception Venue: Historic Waycross City Auditorium || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pronovias || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Emma Collins Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy || Groom's Attire: Sebastian Grey || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: James & Co. || Ceremony & Bridal Party Flowers: Natalie's Florist || Reception Flowers & Catering: Straton Hall Events || Invitations: Grammarcy Fine Papers || Music: Surrell Zeigler; Jessica Adams Moore; The Buzzcatz || Cake: Anne Deal || Rentals: Kirby Rentals || Photographer: Caroline Lima Photography