Shelly Pate

The Wyld Dock Bar: How to Plan a Colorful Summer Wedding on the Water

couple holds hands at summer wedding at the wyld

It all started with a local dive bar, a business card, and a little bit of flirting. He was the bouncer. She was there with friends for some live music and thought he was cute. Her friend intervened by very directly asking him: “Do you like feisty Puerto Ricans?” He laughed, they exchanged numbers via her business card, and a week later went dancing together. This is their story and how it led to a summer wedding day alongside a Georgia river.

groom kisses bride's forehead at summer wedding

Paper Thin but Love-Strong: A Handmade Love Story

paper cranes for wedding decor

Frances was down to folding the last strand of 1000 origami paper cranes when she brought them along on their third date. According to Frances, “The lore around the task is if you complete all 1000 you’ll receive good luck, health, or be granted a wish.” As her task and the date came to a close, Dylan asked Frances what she had wished for and she said, “Just to be happy.”

groom leans on bride's forehead at summer wedding

Fast forward to four years later. Frances returns home to find tiny origami paper cranes scattered along the stairs leading up to their apartment. Once inside, Frances describes following “a trail of paper cranes through the house in a state of shock and awe.” She finally found Dylan in their backyard standing beside a tarp that was covered with paper cranes and twinkle lights.

groomsmen wear paper crane boutonnieres

Dylan got down on one knee and said, “I know you’ve asked me to marry you a hundred times, but I’m asking you one thousand times.” After not believing him for a moment, she quickly said yes!

couple kisses surrounded by hanging paper cranes at summer wedding

Every single crane Dylan folded had the words “I love you. Will you marry me?” written on the inside. It turns out they both shared the same wish! Frances commented, “He’s given me my wish to be happy, and I really, really am.” From a chance meetup to 2000 paper cranes, they were well on their way to their summer wedding day!

paper cranes for summer wedding decor

Adding Pops of Color to Your Summer Wedding

couple kisses at summer wedding at waterfront

For a couple that so easily clicks like these two, as Frances simply put it, “we are weirdos and our weird matches,” it’s easy to capture their love on camera because it’s so very clear. They added all the colorful touches to their day to show off how their matching weirdness beautifully comes together!

wedding invitations and rings for summer wedding

Frances is Puerto Rican so she pulled various pops of color (primarily pinks and blues) honoring that heritage as part of the wedding design. This included bright tropical flowers both in her hair and the table settings, and even a turquoise cake! All of this combined created a tropical summer wedding on-the-water vibe.

The couple pulled from their 2000 handmade different-colored paper cranes throughout their wedding decor both hanging and inside the flower table settings. When Frances gives the short version of their love story she explains, “We’re two weirdos in love, with a penchant for sentimental gestures and origami, specifically paper cranes.” That description basically summarizes the style, feel and colorful vibe of Frances and Dylan’s summer wedding.

couple cuts blue tropical flower wedding cake at summer wedding

Top Tips for Keeping Cool During a Summer Wedding

Tip #1 If you’re in the Savannah, Georgia area, have your summer wedding at The Wyld Dock Bar.

the Wyld waterfront georgia wedding venue

The Wyld was the ideal location for these Savannah locals because of its waterside location and intimate feel. Positioned along the Country Club Creek, you get the cool breeze with a fun party atmosphere that has all the tropical feels associated with summer. The waterfront wedding venue has perfect spots to accommodate the entire day:

  • Indoor area for getting ready: we utilized this during the afternoon including the father of the bride’s first look.
  • The ceremony was outside about two hours before sunset so the sun was nice and low on the side patio.
paper cranes in flowers for summer wedding decor
  • The main outdoor restaurant area was used for cocktail hour, dinner and much dancing!

Tip #2: Find Ways to Beat the Heat

couple embraces on dock at waterfront wedding

You can plan an outdoor wedding during the summer, but you have to keep in mind that everything comes down to the timing as you follow the sun and the temperature. Plan to start your wedding in the afternoon or evening so you get both a beautiful sunset and avoid the heat of the day. Here are some more tips to keep you and your guests happy on your summer wedding day:

couple dances with guests at sunset waterfront wedding


  • The couple didn’t do a first look, saving their outdoor photos for later in the day when we wouldn’t melt!
  • Plan for a longer cocktail hour so you are out in that cooler part of the day, and can get the epic sunset for your couples photos.
couple embraces at sunset waterfront wedding


bride laughs with wedding party holding tropical flower bouquets
  • What to Wear: lighter fabrics, and even though linen is lighter and breathable it also wrinkles easily.
  • Place your guests in shady areas, setting aside spaces where they can cool down before the ceremony if it will be out in the sun. Offer a cold welcome drink, fans, and lots of water!
couple cuts blue tropical flower wedding cake at summer wedding

Despite the heat, Frances and Dylan were so much fun! The whole day was a party with very meaningful, intentional, and sentimental elements. I think all of this came from their deep, long term relationship, as Frances put it, “I love Dylan so much. We have been together through two hurricanes, a major illness, and deaths in the family. He has stood by my side through everything and I could not ask for a better partner to spend my life with. We can be 100% ourselves with one another.” These are the couples that make wedding photography 100% easy for this wedding photographer to capture!

Planning a summer wedding? Let’s talk through how to keep your day cool!

couple exits wedding waving to guests at summer wedding
wedding rings and paper crane for summer wedding
couple stands arm in arm at waterfront summer wedding

The Team

Venue | The Wyld Dock Bar
Photographer | Shelly Pate Photography


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