What W4W is about - The Details
Our project, Weddings for Warriors (WFW), was conceived as a way of saying a heartfelt “Thank You” to active duty military personnel in the Savannah and Lowcountry area from every branch of the service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve Units.
In 2009 we wanted to offer as many free individual wedding ceremonies for active duty military personnel as possible on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2009. In 2017 it will be held Wednesday January 18.
Because of our unique talents and experience via our industry-related businesses, we, in the we wanted to use that to do something for our military personnel.
Savannah and the Greater Savannah Area and the South Carolina Lowcountry are host to a number of bases and our communities are blessed with the presence of these amazing warriors and their families.
Especially because we are in a time of war, and these brave individuals are willing to give their all for the protection of our nation and our way of life, we want to give something back in some small way.
This is how we do it
How are the ceremonies done?
1. We have several stations. Each station was an officiant or minister and a photographer.
2. The first couple comes before the officiant. Photographer A takes a few photos during the ceremony. Once the ceremony was done, the couple leaves with Photographer A to have a few portraits made.
3. A second couple then steps up to the officiant, where Photographer B steps in. All was repeated.
4. When the second couple leave with Photographer B for portraits, Couple #3 steps up and Photographer A returned to repeat the sequence with Couple #3. This with variation the services continue on until all couples scheduled for this station have participated in their ceremonies.
1. Each couple is responsible to obtain their own wedding license if they are not in the vow renewal category. They may have one from home county or from the Chatham County Probate Court on Montgomery Avenue, Savannah.
2. At each station, there iss an assistant for each officiant. The assistant takes the marriage license (if applicable) and carefully completed the required information - wedding date, wedding location, officiant’s title, address & phone number - so that when the ceremony is over, all the officiant has to do was sign it. The assistant holds on to the completed licenses and all is turned into the County Probate Court if the license if from Chatham County.
3. Following each wedding ceremony the officiant signs the marriage license and a copy is given to the couple.
Did we limit the number of couples?
It is the consensus of those of us who have begun initial planning stages that the first time it was wise to limit the number of couples.
How many? This depended on the number of volunteers who stepped forward during the final weeks. We have enough ministers and photographers to set all stations required. We have had as many as 36 couples participate on Veterans Day with three prior, due to early deployment, and one after. The final total was 40 couples. The number of their guests in the ceremony area varied from one or two to about twenty-five. With that experience we attempt to limit the group to ten or twelve couples because of logistics.
We are generallye able to complete ALL ceremonies within two hours. Allowing thirty minutes per couple with varying ministers at each station usually works. Each station provids a location for up to two weddings in one hour if necessary.
Registration of couples takes place at a designated location.
Couples are transported to the ceremony locations by trolley.
First, they benefit from the thanks they receive from the military couples and their families. It is possible that the event will generate local coverage and, if properly promoted, has an excellent chance of generating national news coverage. This could inspire other communities around the country to initiate similar programs for military families in their areas.
We print a program for the event that thanked vendors and contributors. Participants are listed on the SWTC website as well as in the online magazine story and accompanying listings of vendors and volunteers at, AATRWeddings.com.
All couples who registered are listed in the program.
WE WELCOME YOUR IDEAS, INPUT and CRITIQUE. Please don’t be afraid to offer ideas and thoughts.
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