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The hollyoaks blog

Modern HollyOaks on the Marsh Wedding | Melani + Daniel

hollyoaks on the marsh modern bride in kleinfeld dress

Melani and Daniel's HollyOaks on the Marsh wedding brought together three loves:

Love for the Low Country,

Love for their New York City lifestyle, and

Love of their distinct traditional heritages.

When Melani shared her vision to combine these ideas into one unique wedding, we were completely on-board. The perfect trifecta was formed with the historic mansion and sumptuous gardens of HollyOaks on the Marsh, industrial chic modern details, and timeless traditions from family heritage resulted in one of the most unique weddings we have hosted.

hollyoaks on the marsh wedding venue savannah ga

Family Heritage + Background

From our first conversation it was obvious that Melani cherishes her family. Her parents’ have their own unique Filipino and American love story. Melani spent many of her formative years in Savannah before her family relocated and she headed to college. She remembered fondly the Live Oaks draping with Spanish moss, the meandering rivers and pluff mud, and the creative culture of the arts community. Melani’s love of learning took her to such prestigious schools as the College of William and Mary, Harvard, and a fellowship in China. Her career journey

thus far has settled her in New York City working for a worldwide

technology company.

Daniel was born in Colombia and raised in New York, where he continued his education at the NYC School of Visual Arts. His family, too, is very close, and this mutual love for their families was a detail that Melani and Daniel discovered early in their relationship. Daniel’s career as a commercial still-life, art photographer keeps him tied to the big apple where he photographs for luxury brands including David Yurman, Tiffany & Co., Marc Jacobs, and many more.

The two met in NYC after being introduced by mutual friends, and a year later, traveled to Indonesia where Daniel proposed atop a mountain with the former art director of Asia Weddings serving as photographer!

Let the Planning Begin!

With their combined business acumen and keen visual eye, Melani and Daniel sought a unique venue in Savannah GA, and they found the HollyOaks on the Marsh wedding website. After submitting their inquiry, venue owner and visionary, Stephanie arranged for a personal consultation. She invites each couple to this conversation in order to ensure that the couple’s vision for their event combines well with the venue’s vision for their events. From that initial chat, Stephanie further assists with any needed referrals, specifically for a Wedding Planner as well as a Photographer. We followed up with a tour over FaceTime, and the couple was smitten with HollyOaks and its sweeping views, grand “Great Gatsby”-esque mid-century mansion, sumptuous gardens, expansive lawns, intimate gardens, and overall romantic vibe.

Stephanie suggested the Round Garden at HollyOaks for their ceremony. This garden features heirloom camellias and azaleas with the centerpiece being a 300-year-old Live Oak tree surrounded by an iron bench that has been there so long that the tree has grown around the bench in some places. The Round Garden is perfect for approximately 80 attendees, and the oak's branches hug the space beautifully so guests aren't lost on an expansive lawn.

Ceremony Location:

HollyOaks on the Marsh Round Garden

Cocktail Hour Location:

Formal Veranda + Pergola, English Garden

Reception Location:

River Lawn

hollyoaks on the marsh groom in stitch and tie tuxedo

hollyoaks on the marsh equestrian venue

To Stephanie, it was clear that professional wedding planner Adriel Nutter of Sutlan Co was an obvious choice for Melani + Daniel. Adriel has designed and planned a host of weddings from her flagship office in Nashville, including working with several famous country music artists with names most anyone would recognize. Adriel’s process truly connects with her clients, from her love of family to her relaxed vibe. She is one of the most down-to-earth planners with whom we have worked – absolutely nothing ruffles her feathers!

Further, Stephanie advised Melani and Daniel to consider several photographers, and they connected immediately with Lisa Davis of 5D Photography. The choice of these two and their creativity speaks volumes about the visual process and creative touch that 5D brings to their clientele.

Vision + Details

With their three primary roles filled (venue, planner, photographer), Adriel and Melani collaborated to fill the other vendor roles. As the team came together, Melani’s vision for the perfect trifecta began to take hold.

The entire team combined for perfection!

Planner: Sutlan Co.

Photographer: 5D Photography

Bartenders: Southern Libations Wedding Gown: Kleinfelds - New York

Tuxedos: Stitch + Tie - California Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo - New York

Cake: Vanilla + the Bean Musical Entertainment: Island Sound

Rentals: Ooh Eventhaus Tent: EventWorks

Lighting and A/V: JLK Events Beauty: Chrissy Sheffield Artistry

Hotel Block: The Alida - Savannah

Getting Ready

HollyOaks on the Marsh Wedding in the Round Garden

One especially unique aspect of Melani + Daniel’s modern wedding was their commitment to timeless traditions of the Filipino and Colombian heritage. You can read more about such customs at this article in Brides. Melani + Daniel incorporated many of these traditions including Veil and Cord, 13 Coins, and Rice Cakes. The details of the photography further reveal the importance of these customs to both bride and groom and their families.

hollyoaks on the marsh wedding small ceremony

HollyOaks on the Marsh Wedding Cocktails in the English Garden

While the newlyweds were having a few quiet moments with fun photographs, guests absolutely RAVED about the cocktail bites presented in the HollyOaks English Garden.

Melani + Daniel had worked closely with Mark Scomo of Savannah Event Catering to create a special menu for their guests. Again, they combined tastes and flavors from their distinct family heritages along with fresh, seasonal favorites. Mark’s staff dressed formally for the occasion in black-and-white in keeping with the modern vision.

HollyOaks on the Marsh Wedding Reception on the River Lawn

Melani + Daniel’s reception space on the HollyOaks’ River Lawn included a clear-top tent. With its clean lines and structured detail, Melani kept the décor simple with literally hundreds of candles lighting the space as the sun set.

After wedding party introductions, Melani + Daniel led straight into their First Dance with guests gazing at the beautiful couple dancing amid glowing candles set against the verdant marsh landscape at HollyOaks.

The couple was seated at their sweetheart table, decorated romantically with glowing candles and an understated floral arrangement. Toasts from the bride’s father and others had guests laughing one minute and smiling through happy tears the next. It was a joyful scene.

And just look at that cake by Vanilla and the Bean! The smooth lines and simple flower and feather detail atop the newlywed layer further reflected Melani's vision.

Guests danced the night away under the hundreds-old Live Oaks at HollyOaks evident through the clear-top tent. Their DJ kept the favorite tunes spinning throughout the evening. As the evening drew to a close while Melani and Daniel

enjoyed a private dance under the stars, planners directed guests to the front of the HollyOaks mansion to the motor court, where sparklers were dressed with a custom thank-you message from the couple.


The beautiful couple were given a grand exit from the primary front doors of the HollyOaks mansion. As the doors opened, guests celebrated by cheering! Melani and Daniel leisurely walked to the HollyOaks 1927 Creek House Cottage amid well wishes, hugs, and smiles all around.


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