An intimate guest list, a bilingual ceremony and an unprecedented Wednesday wedding conspire to turn strangers into family overnight.
By Deanne Revel ▪ Photography by Teresa Earnest
Small destination weddings have a certain magic. They can transcend mere event planning to offer a true vacation for every guest. Such was the case for Dr. Stacy Delacruz and Dr. Damian Bedoya, who saw theirSavannahwedding as a chance to introduce their families to a new place—and to each other.
Stacy, an assistant professor of early childhood literacy atKennesawStateUniversity, is originally fromDayton,Ohio. She met Damian, an ER doctor, while he was completing his residency. In a “meet cute” ripped straight from aHollywoodmovie, Damian opened the door for Stacy at a Dayton Starbucks. She walked inside and immediately dropped her books. He helped her pick them up and expressed interest in what she was studying. They spent the rest of the afternoon talking.
Months later, Damian followed Stacy toGeorgiaand proposed. The two began searching for a wedding destination halfway between their families. Stacy’s relatives still live inDayton, and Damian’s family lives inSan Juan,Puerto Rico, where he was born.
Choosing a city that everyone could enjoy was very important to the couple. Stacy and Damian had visitedSavannahand knew their families would appreciate the city in different ways. Stacy liked the charm and wanted her parents to experience something new. Damian liked the history and the trees. The city reminded him ofSan Juan.
“Savannahbrought it all together,” the groom recalls. “It was a perfect place to unite two families who had not met—from two completely different cultures.”
Love at First “Site”
Stacy and Damian worked with Gazebo Weddings’ Cyndy and Rudy LoMonaco because, as Stacy says, “they do the whole package.” Cyndy plans, and Rudy officiates.
The bride and groom originally wanted to tie the knot in a square or atForsythPark, but the LoMonacos suggested the Whitefield Chapel at the nearby Bethesda Home for Boys.
“It felt like ‘us,’” Stacy remembers. “We loved the tree-lined path leading to the chapel. And the Spanish moss.”
“It’s a place where you walk in and feel like you’ve been there forever.”
Damian experienced the same familiar feeling at The Olde Pink House when he and Stacy took a culinary tour of the city’s best restaurants in search of their reception site. What captured Stacy was the attention to detail.
“When they typed up our menu, they put that we were both Dr. and Dr. instead of Mr. and Mrs. because we worked so hard in our relationship to finish our degrees,” the bride recalls fondly.
The Ties That Bind
The couple decided to say “I do” in front of their 11 guests on the nontraditional day of Wednesday, May 11, because they liked the double numeral “11” and the way the words sounded. This whimsical choice made for an auspicious outcome. A Wednesday wedding meant that the families would come into town for the week instead of a weekend, thereby spending more time together. In lieu of booking a hotel, the couple rented a house for the week to enhance that sense of closeness. The rehearsal dinner, catered by The Lady & Sons, took place at the house.
Proximity was an especially important tool because, in addition to their geographical separation, the two families also had to deal with a language barrier.
“Most of his family speaks Spanish, and mine English,” Stacy chuckles. This was fine with Damian around to translate, but what about during the ceremony? “We thought, ‘How are we going to do this?’”
With the help of Rudy LoMonaco, Stacy and Damian scripted a bilingual ceremony. Damian’s family read verses in Spanish, and Stacy’s family read in English. Then Damian said his vows in Spanish, and Stacy said hers in English.
Damian’s father, a musician, also helped incorporate Damian’s heritage into the wedding. He played the cuatro, the official instrument ofPuerto Rico, and composed a song for Stacy to walk down the aisle.
“With the acoustics of the church, it was so nice,” recalls the serenaded bride.
Stacy seized an opportunity to incorporate her vibrant personality into the wedding with her color palette.
“Stacy loves purple,” Damian observes. “Anything you can think of, she’s had a purple version. It’s so her. Every time I see purple, I think of her.”
Without a bridal party, there were fewer places for the purple to pop. But Stacy says that one of the advantages to having fewer guests is that you can spend more on local favors and floral arrangements. The flowers that filled Stacy’s bouquet, pews and centerpieces were very dynamic and, most important, very purple.
“They only have lavender roses—but I wanted purple,” stresses the bride, who worked with Garden on the Square to incorporate dark lisianthus for a truly royal color.
For their favors, Stacy and Damian splurged on Savannah Bee Co. honey and Savannah Candy Kitchen treats to serve as reminders of the city’s sweetness.
“Savannahwas the right choice,” Stacy says fondly. “It will always remain with us.”
In the case of this bride and groom, the sentiment is quite literal. The pair brought home the two moss wreaths—an “S” and a “D”—that hung on the church doors during their ceremony. When kept out of direct sunlight, we’re told, these modern monograms can last as long as the memory of a perfect day.