BUNNY IN THE CITY: 10th annual Savannah Wedding Vendors New Years Party

Emily Szynaka, Hillary Jackson, Theresa Reed, America Welch

The Savannah Wedding Vendors kicked the new year with their annual Holiday Party and canned food drive to benefit The Lighthouse at Compassion Christian on Tuesday, January 10.

Arriving at the iconic Savannah Station, I find SWV founder Jamie Weaver greeting over 100 local wedding professionals while looking amazing in black glitter pants and a fitted top. After Jamie thanks her volunteer greeters, we head over to snap a pic of Jamie with SWV co-chair and All About You Entertainment’s Cindy Brown.

Cindy and her husband Jeff have been involved with Savannah Wedding Vendors since day one. With their deejay, monogram and uplighting on site, I am proud to see how successful this all inclusive entertainment company has become. 

Waiting in line are LBG Galleries fashion statements Patrick and Tynika Jenkins with Vanessa and Edward Mole Sr., New Iberia, Louisiana native Michelle Wadas and her wedding officiant husband Joe then Northpoint Hospitality’s Rachel Cretella and her husband Joseph. Wait–back up–Joseph looks familiar. Well hello DIRTT Environmental Solutions Chef! Many moons ago, the magnificent Laura Lee Bocade treated me to scrumptious lunch courtesy of Chef Joseph.

After commending the Ohio native for the fabulous work he and his fellow “DIRTT-bags” do, I trot over to meet Shine Salon Coordinator Jerene Milliken and pose her with the equally exuberant Salon Aqua makeup and hair artist Amy Grzemkowski. Sporting a Stetson hat, some serious high fashion and raccoon faces painted on her long nails, this Michigan transplant is one of tonight’s most colorful characters!

With a line backed up at the bar, I hate to interrupt Station Station owner Theresa Reed but it’s tradition to pose her with America Welch, Hillary Jackson and Emily Szynaka. After a quick hug, I move over to see long-last-seen DJ Precisa (Maria Weinkauf), then introduce her to Mickey Hickey before heading into the ballroom to see so many familiar faces that I am immediately overwhelmed.

Heading straight to Savannah Square Pops, I find Judd Wiggins dipping his blueberry basil popsicle into a glass of prosecco while Mark Taylor unveils my fave, the classic milk and honey. While Mark tells me about working as a background extra on a motion picture being filmed here locally, computer guru Sean Murphy moseys over to catch up.

Munching on what has to be his third alfredo sample from Savannah Event Catering, Sean continues to snack while walking over to meet Savannah Police Department Patrol Officer Amber Smith. Posing the new friends into a cool stance, I leave the two chatting and head over to see my favorite Landings lady, Michele Godbee.

Thrilled to see not one, but four ladies representing the Club, I meet Brittany Eggar, Amy Connell and Brett O’Connor then chat with Michele about her 26-year Landings tenure and the misconception that the Landings is not open to everyone and is not exclusive to members for weddings, events and socials–everyone is welcome!

Giggling when 6’1” Brett dives in front of the camera while filming a quick video, I leave the ladies to check out the MainView 360 Spin Cam, Darryl Anderson on the Saxophone and wedding photographer  Anneliese Elder as she snaps pics of the eclectic wedding industry professionals .

Making my way back over to Michele’s table, I take a seat next to Get Gumped’s Joshua Evans and his wife Lauren. Noticing the variety plate she is snacking on, I giggle when Lauren tells me that her cupcake and popsicle is the diet of champions, then hug Joshua when I realize he has brought me a sample of everything Vanilla and The Bean has prepared tonight.

Wait! Where did I lay down my popsicle?! I have somehow managed to not eat anything because I am too busy talking to my favorite videographer of all time, Joe Peterson of The Peterson Brothers Productions! The Minnesota native is predominantly a wedding videographer, but I was lucky enough to convince him to film a video for AMBUCS that was so good it left us all in tears!

After a final lap around, I stop to commend Jamie on yet another unique and dynamic networking event. Founded in 2013, with the goal of promoting local wedding businesses to other vendors, mentorship for new business and helping members in crisis through hurricanes, fires and COVID, Jamie is celebrating her tenth anniversary connecting us all. 

With more networking opportunities, fundraising, world re-nouned business strategist and speakers lined up for 2023, you can catch Jamie, Cindy and their co-chair Somi Benson-Jaja along with their 125 members at Bethesda on Tuesday, February 7. Congratulations on your ten-year anniversary Jamie Weaver!

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