GSS Featured Wedding :: Abby & Derek’s Charming Savannah Wedding :: Donna Von Bruening Photography

Today’s fabulous featured wedding comes from Kelli Boyd and Donna Von Bruening of Donna Von Bruening Photography, a Savannah, Georgia based wedding photographer.  Donna has been so sweet and accommodating to GSS and we have truly enjoyed working with her on this feature.

Abby and Derek were married on July 17, 2010 at the Whitefield Chapel at Bethesda in Savannah, Georgia.  Abby was kind enough to answer a few questions for us: 

How did you and Derek meet?  Derek and I met through a mutual friend in college.  We always enjoyed seeing one another, although we didn’t spend much time together.  Two years later we began spending more time together and soon after, we were dating! 

How long have you been together?  Derek and I have been together since April of 2007.

How did Derek propose?  I went to visit Derek in Key West for my Spring Break.  The first morning I was there, Derek and I went to the beach to watch the sun rise.  Little did I know, he was hiding a ring in his pocket! After we watched the sun rise we sat talking on the beach next to a palm tree.  While I was packing up to leave, anxious to go for donuts, I turned around and found Derek on one knee.  He pulled me over to sit on his knee and then showed me the most beautiful engagement ring.  After he asked me to marry him and I said yes, we went for our donuts!

What sold you on your wedding venue?  I loved the “Savannah” feel of our venue.  The exposed brick walls and large panel wood floors have a classic charm I love.

Your dress is gorgeous, where did you get it and how did you know it was “the one”?  I begin looking at wedding dresses in bridal magazines immediately after our engagement.  I quickly recognized that I preferred dresses with a lace overlay.  After going to try on wedding gowns, I discovered that I felt more comfortable in dresses with straps; while the strapless dresses were beautiful, I saw that my posture was better when the gown had straps, so I looked more comfortable and confident.  I found my dress from a magazine picture and tried it on in a size 6 sizes too big but knew I loved it anyway and ordered it immediately!  

What was your “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue”?

Something old – my garter had lace from my grandmother’s wedding gown. 

Something new – my gown.

Something borrowed – a handkerchief that belonged to a great-aunt and has been worn by several brides in our family was pinned to the underside of my gown. 

Something blue – a blue ribbon attached to my garter. 

How did you choose your wedding color palette?  I have always loved dark purple and thought it was a very flattering color on the various skin tones of the bridal party.  Light green was a fresh compliment to the dark shade for our summer wedding.

Do you have any advice for brides that are in the planning process?  I believe that your wedding should fit you and your spouse’s personality.  Try not to worry with what you’re “supposed to do” as much as what the two of your want your big day to be like.  Try to enjoy the planning process and remember what the day is all about – your marriage and love for each other. 

 Also, Derek is in the Coast Guard so while we were planning our wedding we were living 8 hours apart from each other, and neither of us was living in Savannah! Luckily, my mom was our “wedding planner” and did a fantastic job! We have similar taste and work well together, so it worked for us; but for other brides planning a wedding long distance, I would recommend hiring a wedding planner. 

What song did you dance to for your first dance?  Derek and I danced to “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase.  We wanted to dance to our song, even though it’s faster than traditional first dance songs.  We certainly did not know the proper steps or have a routine, but we practiced a special twist & dip move that made our dance special for us and hopefully gave our friends a few smiles :)

What was your favorite part of your big day?  Having the doors open and walking toward Derek’s smiling face was the highlight of my day! The few minutes we spent taking couple portraits together after the wedding was also very special.  Kelli and her partner were so professional and efficient that we were able to really enjoy those first few minutes in a personal way.  They were there to guide us for pictures but allowed us to be ourselves and capture how we were feeling.  I really enjoyed dancing at the reception as well!!


Venue: Whitefield Chapel at Bethesda (ceremony) and the Charles H. Morris Center (reception)

Dress: an Allure Bridal Gown (from Minerva’s Bridal Suite in Orlando, Florida)

Cake: Baker’s Pride (It was even more delicious than it was beautiful – if that’s possible.)

Floral: Annette Jones (She is creative, fun, and all-around wonderful to work with.)

Linens: Creative Catering provided linens with the catering.

Catering: Creative Catering (People are still talking about how delicious the food was! And they were kind enough to pack Derek and me a picnic basket to enjoy after the wedding and the next day.)

DJ/Band: Encore Party Band (They were so much fun and got everyone out on the floor to have a good time!)

Videographer: Savannah Wedding Films

Invitations/Wedding Stationery: Michael’s Arts and Crafts (They were beautiful – a special thank you to my mom for the labor of perfect bow tying!)

Thank you so much, Donna, for sharing this amazing wedding with us!  Please stop by her website and show her some love!  And thank you, Abby, for taking your time to answer our questions!  We wish you and Derek a lifetime full of love, laughter, and happiness!!!  May every day be better than the last!

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  1. Wow! What a beautiful wedding!!

  2. Mark Mamalakis (Abby's dad) says:

    Great pictures and a great day!! Good luck Abby and Derek


  1. […] wedding photographer.  We have featured Donna’s fabulous work previously- Remember Abby & Derek’s Beautiful Savannah Wedding?  Also, Donna has come on board as one of our featured vendors and sponsors!  So please join us […]

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