There are so many different styles of wedding venues here in Savannah. You have modern industrial with ample window light and brick walls, the timeless elegance of a private estate facing one of the many waterways, and the historic charm of European architecture with frozen-in-time interiors. My favorite way to watch venue owners elevate their space is by mixing the historic charm with eclectic design. The Gingerbread House wedding venue has beautifully mixed the two styles and created a perfect space for an intimate soiree. I explored the space with Swanson Signature Events and we designed a romantic and colorful wedding to inspire your event. Continue reading to tour the venue and learn about their team.
MEET THE PLANNERS
Anna, Renee, Jen, and Rebecca are the women behind Swanson Signature Events. Anna and her team have designed some of the most magical wedding events along the Lowcountry.
Their team handled security logistics and assisted with design execution for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s Savannah wedding. Their attention to detail and design style creates a memorable experience for any couple- whether it’s event coordination or full event production.
I asked Anna to share all about her journey into wedding and event production in Savannah and her thoughts on The Gingerbread house wedding venue. Read her thoughts below!
Share a little about your journey to joining Swanson Signature Events and your love for wedding planning and event design:
After several years of working in full-service resorts and an all-inclusive venue, I found myself working most weekends out of the year. I loved it! All of it. The initial consultation, the sales process, the planning, the execution and the follow-up. However, it has always been my dream to own my own company and be a stay-at-home mom.
In 2015, after 3 years of working as an Event Sales Manager for a local venue, I left my job to be a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to keep my foot in the door of the event industry though in case I ever wanted or needed to return. So, I started my own event planning company named Rustic to Ritz Events. In 2020, we rebranded to match a shift we were seeing in the clientele. We also added a few more people to the team and today we are Swanson Signature Events.
What is SSE’s signature wedding style and how do you enjoy serving those couples?
Our signature style is that Classic Southern Wedding Experience. I was born and raised in Georgia, and when our clients and their families travel South for their destination wedding weekends, we want them to feel that warm, Southern hospitality right off the bat.
WORKING WITH SWANSON SIGNATURE EVENTS
What is the benefit of hiring a planner and working with SSE?
There are numerous benefits to hiring a planner! We know the city, its people, and its places. We can make recommendations for the things you need because we have the connections both professionally and personally. With decades of event planning experience, we know how to read a crowd, envision a space set up for an event, how to bustle a wedding gown, properly cut a cake, and what linen sizes fit a table. When you hire SSE, you get a team of professionals working for you to hire the best vendors for your personality, your style and your budget. We believe your event should be a reflection of you and your interests and style, therefore, every event is different.
I went for a tour of the property with the SSE team. Jen, owner of Foxy Loxy Cafe, The Coffee Fox, Fox & Fig, and Henny Penny Art Space & Cafe showed us around her latest venture- The Gingerbread House. It was so cool to see the work that had been put into the upstairs redesign and future plans for the ballroom- which will be celebrating its grand reopening January 2023.
What about this venue gets you excited to design the space?
I love that the Gingerbread House was built in 1899 and is an iconic Savannah home. I also love that the new owner, Jen Jenkins, has a vision of turning it into something completely new with a reflection of her own style and personality.
ELEVATING THE SPACE
Jen purchased the property with the intention of continuing to host intimate events on-site, as well as redesign the living spaces for short-term rental use. After a full-blown redesign upstairs, Jen knew that the ballroom attached to the home could grow into something really special. Take a peek at the updates upstairs.
With four sleeping areas, two bathrooms, and a super-cool kitchenette space, it’s the perfect spot to get ready with your wedding party on wedding day. Set up your wedding party in the kitchenette for hair and makeup, save the primary bedroom for storing all the garment bags and totes, and use the colorful living space to get dressed.
OUR IDEAS FOR AN INTIMATE WEDDING EXPERIENCE AT THE GINGERBREAD HOUSE
With this super fun vibe inside, we wanted to design a floral-ful and colorful party with loads of texture and modern design. Host your ceremony in the back courtyard that connects to Foxy Loxy cafe for more garden space. You can dine outside or in the newly redesigned ballroom that now houses E. Shaver Booksellers.
EXECUTING THE DESIGN TAKES UNIQUE PARTNERSHIPS
What style of wedding can you envision taking place in this space?
There are some renovations happening this fall and once they are complete, I believe the events taking place here will be more than just weddings. It is going to draw in social and corporate groups alike with a younger more local crowd.
What are some unique wedding day details that would look really cool at this venue?
The upcoming renovations this fall are going to include a bookstore – a second location for E. Shaver! – and I would love to see someone utilize the bookshelves as their seating chart.
What are three vendors you can envision working alongside you in this event space?
Three vendors we’d love to work with in this space are: Chrislynn’s Confections, Savannah Vintage & Event Rentals and Lowcountry Paper Co.
Here’s a peek inside the ballroom that now is home to E. Shaver Booksellers. They have added built-ins that Anna mentioned would make a unique seating chart. Add a cozy seating arrangement and dining tables, and this space is ready for a late-night party!
ANNA AND RENEE’S TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR DREAM DAY
What is important to look for in your wedding venue?
I would say number one is the overall aesthetic. If the overall aesthetic of a venue is what the client envisions for his or her event, the client will save on budget by not having to add as much decor or it allows them to do more with their budget than they thought possible.
If a couple is not considering hiring a planner for their day, what is one tip you could share with them to make their experience stress-free?
Remember the goal of the day: to get married. No matter how much we all try to have an Instagram-worthy life, life isn’t perfect. And even if the day isn’t flawless, at the end of the day you’ll be married and that’s what counts!
If you want to explore more Savannah Wedding Venues, click here to view the tours and inspiration.