After heartfelt remarks from Tasha that prompted the couple to both laugh and cry, the two exchanged mood rings from Claire’s. (Amid the craziness of wedding planning, they ran out of time to get formal ones.) “Ben and I were both nervous, and with the crazy storm in the background it all just felt like chaos— but in a wonderful way,” says Ellen of the ceremony. They walked back down the aisle to “Love is Strange” by Mickey & Sylvia, with Ben’s niece accompanying Ellen’s brothers on the tambourine.
For cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a traditional oyster roast before a tented dinner of steak, grilled fish, and succotash began. Ellen, whose kaleidoscopic, geometric textiles and homewares are sold everywhere from the MoMA Design Store to Nordstrom, made all the tablecloths and napkins herself. (Her signature Dusen Dusen for Areaware wastebaskets doubled as beer buckets.) Sarah Murphy, her maid of honor, made papier-mâché vessels for the white florals from August Designs.
Their friend, ceramicist Helen Levi, created all 150 of their bespoke wedding plates. “Ben and I spent many, many Saturdays painting each plate individually with Helen, who then glazed and fired them herself,” Ellen says. At the end of the evening, each attendee took their plate home with them, along with canvas tote goody bags by Lorien Stern and Dave McPeters. “We had a lot of friends contribute their time and artistic prowess towards the wedding,” Ellen says. “[It] made the whole thing feel super personal.”
During dinner service, the Austin-based musical duo of Spliff and Kazoo played what Ellen describes as “Hawaiian and old country music.” (During their song “Sleepwalking,” they jokingly bumped into people and furniture.)
Then, it was time to party. Indie-folk artist Faye Webster sang Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” for Ellen and Ben’s first dance, a moment Ellen describes as “very special.” Then, her brother assumed the role of DJ and put on a custom playlist with all their favorite songs, mixed with voices from family, friends, and even their dog Snips. It got everyone moving for hours on end—with only a brief pause to cut a gator-head-shaped cake from Wicked Cakes: “I think everyone left Savannah with at least one new friend,” says Ellen.
Looking back at it now, Ellen and Ben wouldn’t change a thing—even the biblical weather. “The rain really threw a wrench into some of our original plans but the chaotic element and loss of control ended up making it more fun and crazy in the end,” Ellen admits. “ It was a really fun time, and it felt very us. I feel grateful that we have so many generous, creative, fun people in our lives.”