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We are pleased to announce Nikki Carangelo, Principal Wedding Photographer at Blush Photos has been selected as a 2014 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings, a special section featured on TheKnot.com/BOW. TheKnot.com the number-one wedding destination, most trusted by brides. The Knot Best of Weddings 2013 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country, and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources. Whether they’re trying to find the wedding dress salon with the best service in Philadelphia, the most creative wedding photographers in Los Angeles, New York’s top cake bakers or Miami’s hottest reception sites, engaged couples across the country want the inside scoop on the best from real brides. About XO Group Inc. XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), is a global media and technology leader devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between, providing young women with the trusted information, products and advice they need to guide them through the most transformative events of their lives. Our family of premium brands began with the #1 wedding brand, The Knot, and has grown to include WeddingChannel.com, The Nest, The Bump, TheBlush.com and Ijie.com. XO Group is recognized by the industry for being innovative in all media – from the web to social media and mobile, magazines and books, and video – and our groundbreaking social platforms have ignited passionate communities across the world. XO Group has leveraged its customer loyalty into successful businesses in online sponsorship and advertising, registry services, ecommerce and publishing. The company is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (XOXO) and is headquartered in New York City. Follow XO Group on Twitter @xogroupinc. For more information, or verification of this award, please contact weddingreviews@theknot.com.

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Loren and John were married at the Mackey House in Savannah GA. The Mackey House is a beautiful place to be during the holidays and we were happy to cover a winter wedding there. Rain threatened to dampen the event but held off long enough for the guests to arrive and get situated and for the groomsmen to have photographs taken outdoors. Rain started to fall during the ceremony but added to the romance and ambiance of the ceremony. As rain fell on the roof of the open pavilion the couple exchanged vows in front of a warm crackling fire. Afterwards, everyone adjourned into the main house for cocktails and group photos followed by a reception that offered a myriad of entrees and then two beautiful cakes that were enjoyed by all. As the night danced in the covered deck area enjoyed the Blush photo booth on the Mackey House’s spacious wraparound porch. The rain ended in time for the couple to have a fun sparkler send off and then depart in a 1949 Rolls Royce.

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Tell us about yourself: We met during undergrad at Augusta State University. I was studying with a friend and she asked if it was ok if her friend came and sat with us while he ate lunch. I agreed, he showed up and we became really good friends. We actually didn’t start dating until a year later. I’m originally from? Wrightsville, Georgia. John is from Augusta, GA. We currently live in Columbia, SC where I’m a last year pharmacy student. John is a loss control consultant for Liberty Mutual Insurance. What we really enjoy the most is just the everyday activities, like cuddling while watching a movie or date night.

What made you select The Mackey House as your Ceremony and Reception location? We chose the Mackey House, because we both wanted a casual setting where our families could really get to know each other. Savannah was our wedding location because John’s family is in Augusta and most of mine is in Florida and middle GA…we just thought Savannah would be middle ground for everyone. Not to mention it is absolutely a beautiful city!  I have always loved fall and winter weddings and we got very lucky that my pharmacy school schedule allowed a long enough break for our winter wedding. John and I especially loved the fact that once we got back from our honeymoon we got to spend our 1st Christmas together married.

What inspired you to use the metallic accents for your wedding?  If you were to walk into my house you would see lots of metallic! I just really love to accent with golds, silvers and bronzes!! Now that I wrote that sounds like the Olympics! My Bridesmaids also wore metallic flats because their dresses were all long and there was no point in being uncomfortable in heels when no one would see them.

 

Approximate planning time for wedding: 1 year / # of Guests: 150 / Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero /Seamstress: Elite Alterations /Shoes: Anne Klein /Hair: Studio 15 (Camron Roberts) /Makeup: Brooke Winkler (sister) / Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Dessy Gowns /Groom’s Attire: Vera Wang / Groomsmen’s attire: Vera Wang /Officiant: Reverend Henry Mayo / Florist: John Davis Florist / Cakes: Delectable Designs / Caterer: Magnolia Grill / Transportation: Luxury Limousine – 1949 Rolls Royce / Rehearsal Dinner: Pirates House /Guest Accommodations: Inn at Ellis Square /Honeymoon:Polynesian Resort at Disney World

Custom Items: All of the jewelry for the wedding Party was made by my Nana! John has lots of hobbies, for the Goom’s cake he chose his top 3 (Golfing, Fishing & Hunting) and then he actually designed the cake! My veil was actually from my mother’s wedding.

 

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Lisa Foskey Clark

Love this! So pretty! Congrats!

Cheryl Webb-Carey

So Gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing your special day.

I met up with Stevie in the Fall for their engagement Session at Wormsloe Plantation which is located about 20 minutes from Historic Savannah.  I just love how Wormsloe changes with each season. It was a beautiful Fall day right before Thanksgiving. The muted colors of gold, gray and green are amazing and the sunlight was perfect for natural light photos.  Tommy and Stevie are a fantastic couple and were so fun to photograph.  I’m really looking forward working with them again at their Spring wedding at The Mackey House.

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We had a wonderful time at Elandra & Peter’s wedding at Andaz Hotel. Andaz is a lovely and modern hotel located on Ellis Square in the heart of Savannah near City Market and River Street. The couples fondness of the area compelled them to marry in Savannah and to celebrate the occasion with numerous family members traveling from as far as the Commonwealth of Dominica located in the Caribbean. The day started with getting ready portraits in the hotel suites and quickly moved to more formal portraits in the city squares. A limousine first took the groomsmen to Madison and LaFayette Squares and then doubled back to escort the bridal party to Monterey Square for bridal portraits. Everyone gathered back at the Andaz roof deck courtyard to witness the beautiful ceremony as officiated by Reverend Steven Schulte. Upon conclusion the bridal party traveled to the majestic Forsyth Fountain and promenade for more photographs. The night ended with dinner, dancing and a wonderful time had by all.1-Beautiful Savannah Wedding  Flowers Bouquets Blush Photos Kato Florist-0051-Award Winning Best Savannah Wedding Photographer The Knot WeddingWire Rated Beautiul Bride Portrait-00201-Purple Bride Wedding Shoes Heels Savannah Boquet Kato Andaz Hotel1-Wedding Monterey Square Forsyth Park Ogelthorpe Club Savannah Best Artisitc Photgrapher1-Beautiful Bride and bridal Party  Flower Girls Savannah Wedding Forsyth Park Monterey Square05-Beautiful Violet Purple Satin Wedding Brides Shoes Forsyth Park Savannah GA Wedding Photographer-0011-Groom Groomsmen Lafayette and Ellis Square Andaz Rooftop Wedding Ceremony Savannah Hilton HeadPhotographer1-Kato Florist Wedding Flowers Savannah Andaz Photographer Mansion Mens Wearhouse Suit Groom11-Wedding Photographer Andaz Hotel Savannah Ellis Square1-Andaz Wedding Savannah Kato Flowers  Florist56-Andaz Rooftop Wedding Bohemian Hotel Savannah -00113-IMG_9046-00212-Wedding Flowers Bouquet Kato Florist Savannah Andaz Hotel Beautiful Ceremony Reverand SchultetArtisitc and Candid Wedding Photographer Savannah GA1-Bride and Groom Kiss First Look Forsyth Park Savannah Wedding Photographer near 700 Drayton Ogelthorpe Club Gastonian Olde Pink House Forsyth Mansion Kehoe House2-Wedding Photograhy Forsyth Park Fountan Savannah -0011-Wedding Photograhy Forsyth Park Fountan Savannah07-Wedding Ceremony Near Forsyth Park Mansion Inn Ogelthorpe Club Fountain Andaz Savannah Photographer08-Bride and Groom Wedding Forsyth Fountain Mansion Inn Park Creative  Savannah Photographer couple1-Wedding Flowers Centerpiece Boquet Kato Florist Candy Buffet Andaz Reception1-Savannah Candy Buffet Andaz Hotel Wedding Reception

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Officiate: Reverend Schulte / Flowers: Kato Florist  / Make-up Artist: Lauren Rossi / Transportation: Southern Comfort Limousine/ Reception Venue & Guest Accommodations: Andaz Hotel

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Cheryl A Laudat

ohhh so beautiful love love it

Patricia Garraway-Inglis

Excellent photography with beautiful people and a great day!

Fiona Winston-Seales

Very beautiful !!!

Shelley Pestaina

AWESOME!!!

Jocelyn Green-James

Beautiful! Congratulations…

Alfred Sherma

simply beautiful….all the best with you guys new life from ceaserina and family

Vanessa Winston

Congrats Guys… Thats sooooooo beautiful! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness!

Sonia Charles

those pictures are breathtaking and the most beautiful couple. Congratulations to you both.

Talipha Charles

It was a lovely wedding. Wishing the beautiful couple a lifetime of happiness.

We met Carrie and her sister Colleen, also her matron of honor, at a beautiful historic home on East St. Julian Street. John and his best man, James, got ready at the Marmaduke House which is another gorgeous Savannah home nestled among the row houses on Oglethorpe Ave. The ladies took Pedi Cabs to the wedding ceremony in Ogelthorpe Square while the gentlemen enjoyed a brisk walk to meet them for the event. After the ceremony guests convened at the Marshall House and enjoyed a cocktail hour followed by a fine evening of dinner and dancing. Both families share a deep connection with the City of Savannah. Carrie and John met in the fall of 1990 while in high school. They became friends but parted ways three years later when John moved to St. Louis. Life brought them back together again 15 years later when John moved back to the Chicago area. John took a chance and contacted Carrie and the two discovered they only lived three blocks from each other. They met for cocktails after work one day and the two have been inseparable ever since. That Thanksgiving they took their first of many trips to Savannah together. Years later they returned to Forsyth Park and John asked Carrie to marry him. Carrie, of course, said “Yes”. When John informed his father of the good news he discovered that his grandparents were also engaged in Forsyth Park 60 years earlier! Carrie’s sister was also engaged in Savannah in 2003.

 

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What do you like most about the Savannah area? Do you visit here often? What are some of your favorite local places that you recommend to others?  It’s hard to say what we like most about Savannah.  There are so many wonderful things:  the people, the squares, and the food are all at the top of the list.  It just feels like people enjoy life in Savannah and it is a great way for us to take a step back from our fast paced lives in Chicago.  Our favorite places are 45 Bistro, the tavern downstairs at the Olde Pink House, Alligator Soul, McDonough’s, Owens-Thomas house, and of course we love the ghost tours.

Where did you get the inspiration/ideas for your wedding details? The Asian influence?  The Music? Also, the idea to go to the Olde Pink House to have drinks after the ceremony with your Best Man and Matron of Honor.   John and I have always gravitated to Asian inspired things so we knew that we wanted to incorporate touches of this into our wedding.  We wanted our guests to see our touch in everything from the parasols to the flowers.  The colors were a bit out of the ordinary for us since I generally shy away from pink.  However, I love pink orchids and cherry blossoms which is what drove the color choice.  Plus I knew my nieces were going to want to wear pink dresses.  Fuchsia and Navy just happened after that.  I do love those colors together. We had a great time picking out the music for the wedding.  We found out about a group, The Vitamin String Quartet, that covers just about any song you can imagine.  We just bought the songs from iTunes and played them on wireless speakers at the ceremony.  We thought it would be fun to see which guests would be able to figure out the songs while they were waiting for the wedding to get started.  We chose songs from Phish, Pink Floyd, Queen, and Incubus.  These choices are a bit out of the ordinary but sounded great translated to string music.  Every time we visit Savannah, we eat downstairs at the Pink House.  During our last visit, one of the bartenders suggested that we come down for pictures in the wine cellar.  We didn’t know they would let us do that and were happy that they would be so accommodating.  We loved taking pictures there.  It shielded us from the rain plus allowed us to have a more relaxed time together.  It calmed my nerves before the whirlwind of the reception started.  John and I love art photography so we wanted to primarily focus on getting some artsy photos for our walls rather than tons of group shots. When John and I started planning the wedding and reception, we knew that we had to have these things: great food, cocktails, and music.   After all these are some of the things we  love to do together, cook and listen to music.  We wanted our guests to feel like they were going out for dinner and cocktails rather than going to a wedding reception.  This is why we had a plated seating and didn’t go for a big cake.  I wanted people to sit and eat there dessert with the meal like they would do at any restaurant.  I feel sometimes people forget to eat the cake at receptions.  We also cut out the bouquet toss, garter, the entrance, and formal greeting line.  All of that seemed a bit forced and would take away from the restaurant experience.  John and I also wanted to shy away from the traditional wedding band and find something that reflected our music taste.  We love blues music, especially live.  One of our favorite blues bands is local to Savannah, Jubal Kane.  Which is why we were overjoyed when they agreed to play our wedding.

Approximate planning time for wedding: 1  1/2  years
Any planning obstacles with this being a long distance wedding?  I actually thought it made planning easier.  I had to limit my choices and just stick to them.  If the wedding was in Chicago, I would probably overthink everything.  We also had a day of planner.  I would recommend this to anyone but it was more important to us since we are not from Savannah.  It took a lot of pressure off my back on the wedding day.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to try and organize the ceremony and get ready.  We also had a bit of a set back with the first date we chose which ended up being the Rock N Roll Marathon.  Thank goodness we changed the date.
Approximate # of Guests: 70
Wedding Gown: Martellens, Lemont, IL
Seamstress: Martellens
Shoes: Corso Como
Hair and Makeup: Beyond Beautiful by Heather Ferguson
Bride’s Jewelry Earrings: Helzberg Diamonds barrowed from a close friend
Accessories:  barrowed diamond and sapphire tennis bracelet from my aunt
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Mod Cloth
Bridesmaid’s Dresses/Accessories/Jewelry: Lia Sophia bracelet
Groom’s attire: Zeglios, Chicago
Ties: Tie Bar
Groomsmen’s attire: Macy’s
Event Planner: Everlasting Occasions
Officiant: Rev. Schulte
Ceremony Music: Vitamin String Quartet/recorded

Wedding Songs: Otis Redding: That’s How Strong My Love Is.  (our first dance), Ray Charles: Ain’t That Love (father daughter dance), Van Morrison: Crazy Love (parent dance)

Band: Jubal Kane
Florist: 45 Bistro John Wax
Cake: Bakers Pride
Caterer: 45 Bistro
Transportation/Trolley/Pedicab/ Limousine: Pedicab.  We got this at the last minute because our planner said there was no parking by Oglethorpe Square.  Thank goodness—another save from our planner.  Plus, the ring bearer and flower girl had a blast on the pedicab.

Was there a Rehearsal Dinner? Where? B & D Burger
Guest Accommodations: made recommendations to Savannahgetaways.net and Marshall House
Honeymoon Plans? Costa Rica in February

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Pamela Pacult-McDonald

Absolutely the most Beautiful Husband & Wife & Wedding ever……Love to you both ! Mom <3

Maureen Morgan

Dear Pamela … ” Just Beautfull — A Wedding To Rememeber !! “‘ … Thank You For Posting … Wishing ” True Everlasting Love To The Happy Couple ! “‘ xoxoxooxoxxo