Elopement Made Easy | St. Simons Elopements

It’s about romance. It’s about intimacy. It’s about two people who fell in love! Let’s make it easy!

Enjoy your engagement time together without all the worry and the stress of picking out colors, food, music, attendants, flowers, cakes, venues, or who to invite. Not to mention all the friends and relatives wanting to help with their own idea of what your wedding should be like.

Escape with your fiance to St. Simons or Jekyll Island, Georgia! Allow your dream wedding to play out for just the two of you under the huge live oaks draped in Spanish moss, or by the ocean in the dunes or surrounded by driftwood. Say your vows to each other among the sites and sounds of the ocean waves and the shorebirds.

St. Simons Elopements has a decade of experience with elopements and small weddings and you can leave it all to us! All you have to do is show up and we do the rest!

Just choose your date, time, and the package you want and we will help you decide on which location suits you best. We are happy to answer all of your questions about places to stay, things to do, what the weather is like, etc. We will give you information on purchasing your marriage license to make sure you are ready to go! We also have a few plan B’s in case of inclement weather.

We have done literally hundreds of elopements and small weddings and know the area inside and out. Elopements are our specialty and we can help your day roll out without a hitch! In addition, I work with the best photographers anywhere so you’ll always have those memories preserved.

Make it easy on yourself. Give me a call at 912-506-0377 or email me at stsimonselopements@yahoo.com.

Visit my website at https//www.stsimonselopements.com


Destination Wedding Locations on Jekyll and St. Simons Island, GA

There are so many wedding locations right here along the coast of Georgia! These are a few of my favorites…

#1 CAPTAIN’S BLUFF – Captain’s Bluff is an elegant 18 acre nature preserve on St. Simons Island Georgia with a completely renovated historical rental home perfect for weddings and other events. For wedding and event packages and pricing contact Lauren McCommon at 912-223-0436 or lauren@captainsbluff.com.

#2 THE SSI LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM/A.W.JONES HERITAGE CENTER – Coastal Georgia Historical Society’s charming oceanfront site offers variety, elegance, and natural beauty for weddings and special events. Perfect for ceremonies, receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridesmaids luncheons and more. 912-638-4666

#3 BRUNSWICK MANOR – Exchange vows as your guests observe from the lawns. Your guests will enjoy strolling our elaborate parlors and expansive veranda or reconnect by the koi ponds during your cocktail hour. As the evening unwinds, all will gather under the majestic oaks in the historic Halifax square for dinner and dancing. However you have imagined your wedding day, Brunswick Manor will provide the backdrop for your personal romance. See for yourself at www.stratonhall.com.Call Straton Hall Events 912.275.8294.

#4 JEKYLL ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER – Offers oceanfront weddings and the perfect venue for any size event. 912-635-6400

#5 LOVELY LANE CHAPEL – A wedding at Lovely Lane Chapel on the grounds of Epworth By The Sea will provide the environment you’ve been dreaming about all your life. 912-638-8688.

#6 THE WESTIN HOTEL JEKYLL ISLAND – Host your Jekyll Island wedding in the inviting indoor and outdoor venues of our beachfront hotel. The pristine beach is an ideal location for romantic, casual ceremonies at our Jekyll Island hotel or celebrate a one-of-a-kind wedding on our 12,000 square foot event lawn and Courtyard. 912-635-4545.

#7 THE ATRIUM AT NEPTUNE PARK – On the oceanfront at the Pier with cool breezes flowing for an under the tree ceremony and reception in the open air atrium. 912-279-2836.

#8 VILLAGE CREEK LANDING – Stunning views as the setting sun paints the marsh with gold, waterfowl flying by, and the creek tide sliding past, shape a spectacular backdrop to oyster roasts, low country boils, fish fries, BBQ dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions, or seated affairs. Gatherings are complemented by a creekside gazebo, lawns, festive lighting, an upstairs niche with balcony and bar, salt air breezes and illustrious views. 912-506-2301

#9 AVE OF OAKS – Ideal for Elopements with just the couple or a few guests.

#10 KING AND PRINCE – The King and Prince Resort provides a breathtaking oceanfront backdrop for magical, memorable wedding festivities. The Resort’s venue spaces (hosting intimate gatherings of 20 to large receptions of 300 people), culinary creations, exceptional amenities, and attentive staff ensure the success of your special day. 800-342-0212



#13 BEST WESTERN PLUS ST.SIMONS – 912-638-7805

These are just a few of the awesome wedding and event venues here in the Golden Isles. You really don’t have to go very far to have the wedding of your dreams within a budget you can afford.

Carla Pryor


A Princess at the Top of the Staircase

Lauren Elizabeth Roberts and Robert Benjamin Ledford were married on July 22, 2017 at 6:30pm at The Depot on Bradley, in Carrollton, Georgia. The marriage was performed by the bride’s aunt, Carla Roberts Pryor of Brunswick, Georgia.

The Train Depot opened its doors to the public in 2013 with a complete renovation and has become the perfect wedding venue for those couples wanting a fun and unique backdrop to celebrate with friends and family.



The mother’s processional began to the instrumental version of Gone With the Wind.  So very appropriate for this Southern Wedding.  Mrs. Peter Roberts, the mother of the bride was the last to be escorted in and mark the entrance of the wedding party.

Next came the groom, Robert, with his best man and groomsmen, following behind me in order, as was practiced at the rehearsal on the evening before.

Robert was as handsome as ever, dressed in a formal black suit with a black satin vest, black long sleeve shirt, and maroon tie. His groomsmen wore formal black suits with matte black vests and white long sleeve shirts. each one wore a different tie of pink, gray, black, or plaid.

The 7 bridesmaids all wore floor length gowns of steel grey chiffon by Azazie.com. Each dress style was different, and specifically chosen by the bridesmaid.


The Roberts-Ledford Wedding Party 7-22-2017

After the mothers were seated and the Groomsmen were standing in place, the bridesmaids began their descention from the top of the staircase.  Each bridesmaid was perfectly poised as they took their place, forming the remaining half of the wedding party layout and the signal that the Bride’s Procession was to begin.

The plan was for the father of the bride, Pete, to wait for Lauren at the bottom of the staircase.  She would descend the staircase and take her dad’s arm and proceed down the aisle together.  Except, she was not there.  We waited a few more seconds and still no Lauren.  I looked to Kirsten, mother of the bride with questioning eyes, wondering if everything was ok.  She looked back at me with the same questioning eyes.  All the guests were looking around and wondering what may have happened.  At that point, Pete decided to go up the stairs to retrieve Lauren.  And there she was!  Of course everyone knows that a real princess may take as long as she wishes!  A beautiful princess in every form of the word and ready to marry her prince.

Pete and Lauren stood together at the top of the staircase, as Father and Daughter.  It was perfectly clear.  Lauren was indeed a princess as she held her dad’s arm and descended the staircase.  I directed the guests to stand and the two proceeded down the staircase and down the aisle to meet her groom.

I suddenly felt my emotions coming to the surface.  I’m such a romantic anyway, but to see my brother and his daughter, both of whom I love dearly, taking this important step in life, was overwhelming.  I took deep breaths and blinked back the tears and composed myself as they stepped forward together, facing me.

“Who presents this woman to marry this man?”, I asked.

“Her mother and I.”, Pete responded.

And so the ceremony began.  I had written the ceremony especially for Lauren and Robert and felt it had a good message I wanted to relay to them, as well as the guests.  All the while, I could feel my emotions right on the surface, so it was a constant battle to keep them in check.  I do an excess of 100 ceremonies a year and I am rarely, if ever emotional, so what is this going on with me?

They said their vows to each other, exchanged rings, and received a blessing.  I began to pronounce them when my voice began to break and the tears started to flow.  I looked at the congregation of guests and they were all in tears, as well.  I spoke through the tears and pronounced them husband and wife together.  Everyone cheered as they kissed and took each other’s arm to begin the recessional.

Lauren was truly a princess on her wedding day and Robert was her prince.  I saw it with my own eyes.  Yes, she has always been beautiful beyond words, but on her wedding day, she was a princess.  Her fair, porcelain skin and blue eyes along with her natural blonde curly hair was that of a princess.

Lauren wore an A-line silhouette, WTOO strapless, soft net wedding dress with a beaded Cybele lace bodice and a deep sweetheart neckline. The neckline had a sheer modesty inset and eyelash trimmed scalloped edges, mirrored on the waistline and semi-open back with a lined, layered skirt in Latte and a Latte Smoke lace and netting sweep train.  It’s what a princess would wear to the ball.  She held a bouquet of exquisitely designed and cut paper flowers of asters, peonies, carnations, and dahlias, of white, light and dark pinks, light and dark greys, and maroon, with mint leaves and adorned with white pearlized sprigs, made by Ruby and Cosette, an Etsy designer.  Pinned to the bouquet was a blue handerchief, originally owned by Lauren’s maternal great grandmother, the late Mrs. Addie Godbee, formerly of Crawfordville, Georgia, and was also carried by Lauren’s mother, Mrs. Peter Roberts, in her wedding.  This completed the something old and something borrowed tradition.  The bridesmaids held a similar bouquet, as well, while the groom and groomsmen wore a paper carnation boutonniere.


The wedding Party

The bride chose as her maid of honor, her sister Megan Leigh Roberts and matron of honor, Amber Teel.  Bridesmaids were Lindsay Caldwell, Katelyn Witta, Sarah Manter, and twin sisters of the groom, Callie and Caitlyn Ledford.

The groom chose as his best man, Matt Seal, and groomsmen, Ryan Ledford, Adrian Mendes, and Marques Garrett.  Ushers were the bride’s cousins, Nathaniel and Jarod Burt.

Lauren is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Carlton Roberts of Fayetteville, Georgia.  She is the maternal granddaughter of Mrs. Patsy Webb of Crawfordville, Georgia and the late Jimmy Webb, formerly of Elberton, Georgia; and the paternal granddaughter of the late Mr and Mrs. Carlton T. Roberts, formerly of Gray, Georgia.

Robert is the son of Mrs. Cathy Benson of Ambrose, Georgia and step father Billy Benson;  his father, Mr. Brett Ledford of Fayetteville, Georgia and stepmom, Mrs. Pam Ledford.   He is the paternal grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Benny Ledford; the maternal step grandson of Mrs. Janie Martin of Fayetteville, Georgia.

Out of town family members in attendance were the bride’s maternal aunt, Mrs. Ginny Webb Burt and husband, Albert of Fayetteville, Georgia; paternal aunt, Mrs. Pam Roberts Leonard and husband Jim from Williamsburg, Virginia; paternal aunt, Mrs. Carla Roberts Pryor and husband, Minor of Brunswick, Georgia; maternal cousins, Jarod and Nathaniel Burt of Fayetteville, Georgia; paternal cousins, Mrs. Anne Leonard Walker and husband, Matt Walker, and daughters, Lyla and Rosie Hale of Villa Rica, Georgia; Ms. Emilie Leonard MacIntosh and daughters, Caitlyn and Elizabeth MacIntosh of Greenville, South Carolina; Ms. Kate Pryor Lehman and son Ryan Lehman of Brunswick, Georgia; a host of many friends and relatives.

The cocktail hour followed immediately after the ceremony with the couple’s introduction into the reception. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ledford danced the first dance of their marriage to Crazy Girl by Eli Young Band.  The Father-Daughter dance came next with Lauren and Pete dancing to a special recording by Pete on guitar of “I Want it That Way”.  This was a song that Pete played to his girls when they were little.  The Mother-Son dance started with Robert and his Mother, Cathy, and ended with Robert and his step mom, Pam.

Drinks and appetizers were enjoyed by everyone and dinner was served shortly thereafter. Music, dancing, and fun commenced while the cake was cut, and the bouquet and garter were both tossed. Megan Roberts, sister of the bride, and maid of honor, caught the bouquet.

Table centerpieces were designed and beautifully arranged by Kirsten Roberts and lifelong friend, Whitney Walker.  They were antique and unique bottles painted in gloss pink, chalk grey, dark grey, and matte maroon, along with milk glass.  The bottles were arranged on a glass platter filled with chocolate kisses with love stickers on the bottom from Lauren and Robert.  The bottle vases held long stem paper flowers to match the bouquets.

Wedding favors were small jars of homemade jellies of Strawberry, Butter Peach, Apple Butter, and Lemon Ginger Marmalade flavors by Georgia Jams of Griffin, Georgia.  Each jar was adorned with a wooden spoon tied to the side, marking the flavor.

The couple exited the Bradley Street Depot at 10pm amid cheers and sparkles from the guests.  After a honeymoon trip to Charleston, South Carolina, the couple will make their home in Peachtree City, Georgia.




Wedding Vendors:

Venue:  The Depot on Bradley

Photography:  Forever Captured by Dionis

Officiant: Carla Roberts Pryor, St. Simons Elopements

Catering:  The Bountiful Basket, LLC

DJ: Scott Stillman

Florals:  Ruby and Cosette

Baker:  Cutie Pies and Cakery

Rentals:  Tableclothsfactory.com

Groomsmen Suits:  Mens Wearhouse

Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie

Wedding Gown Designer:  Watters Wtoo Bridal

Wedding Gown: J. Andrews Bridal, Peachtree City

Hair:  Katelyn Witta at A Shane Buffkin Salon

Make Up:  Amber Teel

Jelly Favors:  Georgia Jams

Lodging:  Courtyard by Marriott, Carrollton, GA

By: Carla Roberts Pryor



Georgia Tech Legend Ties the Knot

I remember my high school days of football games and sock hops.  The excitement of the football season and those cold nights cheering our players on to win were some of the best times of my life.  The Jones County High School 1968 Football team, led by running back Gary Faulkner, was just the second team in Jones County’s history to win eight games in a season, finishing the year at 8-2.  Gary Faulkner was a big deal in our little town of Gray, Georgia.  He rushed for 1,117 yards and 25 touchdowns that season and was highly recruited. He accepted a scholarship to Georgia Tech and UGA fans were jumping ship everywhere to support our hometown boy.  We had always watched him on our home field, but now, we could actually see him playing football on TV!  We knew he was a big deal, and now everyone knew!


In the 1971 season at Georgia Tech, Gary was a sophomore and a starter safety for the Yellow Jackets.  It was that season, that he set a Georgia Tech record that held the record for over 13 years.  He had 102 tackles by a defensive back, and two interceptions. Those 102 tackles from that 1971 season, still rank in the top five in Georgia Tech history.   When they played UGA that same season, he was in on 15 tackles, 10 were solo and five were assists.


As a junior, Gary continued to exceed his own records.  He had 66 tackles that season, including 9 solo tackles against Tennessee and a combined 13 solo tackles and assists against Auburn.  He also ran an impressive 49-yard touchdown, following a pass interception against Clemson. That interception was one of two he had in that game with Clemson.

In the 1972 Liberty Bowl 31-30 win over Iowa State, Gary was the game’s defensive MVP.  In that game, he had a 19-yard touchdown run and a touchdown-saving tackle as well as a fumble recovery that set the Yellow Jackets in play for the winning touchdown.

I’ve been in contact with Gary over the years.  He came to my mama’s funeral 7 years ago and I used to see him often in the grocery store, when I still lived in Gray.  He would call whenever he was on a hiatus to St. Simons or Jekyll and we would catch up on what was going on with our families.  We are friends on Facebook, so I’m always keeping up with his medical issues as well as his beautiful grandchildren!

Last week, I received a phone call from my friend, Gary Faulkner.

“Hey, Carla Roberts, LeAnn and I decided we want to get married again.  Can you do that for us?”

“Of course!”


So here we are today.

I had the distinct pleasure of performing the marriage of one of our home town heros!  Gary and LeAnn Faulkner were remarried on the observation deck of The Westin Hotel on Jekyll Island, GA.  And I married them!   How cool is it, that I married these Jones County folks that I care so much about?  I mean, you just read all that information on Gary, and so you have to know he is more than special, he is a big deal and his wife, LeAnn is just as big a deal.  God has blessed them richly with loving family and with each other.

Despite Gary’s health concerns, they are fighting the battle together.  And together, their personal dreams, hopes, and goals are more attainable.  LeAnn is his person and he is hers.


As they held hands together and said their vows, one to the other, the words were comforting.   “I pledge you endless strength, that you can count on when you are weak. I’ll be your music when you can’t hear, your sunshine when you can’t see. You’ll never need to look further than me. I’ll be your days and nights when you need them filled, your spark of life in the darkness, your hope when you’re down and out. I promise to care for you, honor you, and cherish you, for as long as we both shall live.”

I prayed with them and asked God to continue to bless them.  And He will.

After I pronounced them husband and wife, there was a whole lotta kissing and hugging going on!  Kinda like seeing Gary play football again and running the winning touchdown!  It was great!

UPDATE:  Gary Andre’ Faulkner died on August 24, 2017 at the age of 66.  5 weeks and 1 day after they were married.  

Rest In Peace, my friend.  

Links of interest:

Late Tech Ramble Stuns MSU

Give Me Liberty

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol.48, #01 1969  Suicide Every Saturday by Robert B. Wallace, Jr. page 28

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol.48, #05 1970  Spring Means Promise by Jim Schultz  pg 16

1972 Liberty Bowl

Carla Roberts Pryor, Wedding Planner and Officiant



Photography by www.lukesmithphotography.net

We’re Not Cold, We’re in Love

My first elopement of the year was a couple that was here on St. Simons Island for the weekend and decided to get married.  I love these elopements!


I received a phone call from the groom about 4 pm on Saturday afternoon asking if I was available today to officiate a wedding.  I said yes.  He said they were already planning to marry on November 11, 2017 in a larger ceremony on Jekyll Island, but they wanted to go ahead and tie the knot right now while they were here.  They had their rings, their marriage license and wanted to meet me at Driftwood Beach, if possible.  Well, of course!


So at 5:30pm, on Saturday, January 7, 2017, we met up and walked the path together down to the beach.  It was the coldest day we have had in quite a while on Jekyll Island, with temperatures in the 30’s and wind gusts at 15 mph.  Brrrrrr.  We braved the chilliness and found the exact spot they wanted to say their vows.


As as I began the ceremony, I noticed we were all 3 standing there shivering and hovering together.  We continued the ceremony and they repeated their vows with chattering teeth and exchanged rings with ice cold hands.  And it was wonderful.  Not a soul anywhere on the beach…just us.  I pronounced them husband and wife and they kissed the first kiss of their marriage.


Two people in love and finally married.  I love that!


They are still planning their big wedding and reception for November 2017.  Don’t want to disappoint the friends and family, but there is nothing quite like the excitement and secrecy of eloping.  No one will be the wiser and the wedding will go on as planned.




For information on planning your own wedding or elopement, contact me, Carla Pryor, at my website http://www.stsimonselopements.com or email at stsimonselopements@yahoo.com or phone 912-506-0377.

It’s the best day of your life!

This is your wedding day and it’s all about you.  Every T has been crossed and every I has been dotted.  All the details have been taken care of and the stage is set for a perfect day.  You have hired all the best vendors and everything is going to be just the way you dreamed it would be.
Except… Your bouquet is not what you thought it would be.  Your grandparents are running an hour late.  Your groom’s mom has her feelings hurt.  The cake is not the flavor you requested.  It’s raining.  The minister is stuck in traffic.  Your false eyelashes are driving you insane.  Your cell phone is blowing up.  Your wedding gown is tighter than it was when you bought it.  And so you cry.  
What I want to tell you is this:  This is the best day of your life.  Don’t allow anything or anyone to change that.  No matter what happens, remember the reason you are here today.  You are marrying your soulmate, the love of your life.  Nothing can happen to trump that.
You want to look back on your day with happiness and love.  Don’t allow negatives to change your attitude.  At the end of the day, you will be married to your best friend, your partner in crime, your true love.  And isn’t that all you ever really wanted in the first place?

It Could Happen To You

I never thought it would really happen, but it did.

The bride and groom had purchased a little elopement package from me which included an hour of photography and the officiant, plus recommendations.  This package was for the couple and less than 4 guests.  Several months out from their wedding date, the bride told me the groom’s uncle was a Bishop and would be officiating.  That’s no problem for me.  I still would be attending to insure all would go as planned.

We talked, emailed, and texted many times throughout the planning period and even more during the few days before the time of the wedding to make sure all was running smoothly.  Everything had fallen into place perfectly!


It was a beautiful morning in late August.  Not too terribly hot, actually.  The ceremony was scheduled for 10am on the beach at Jekyll Island.  I had planned to arrive on site about 45 minutes ahead of time and had touched base with the photographer before I left my house to make sure he was in route as well as the bride to see how she was handling the morning.  Everything was on schedule!  Awesome!

When I arrived, I was a little surprised by the number of guests that had already arrived for this wedding.  I was expecting an elopement, but this had turned into a full blown wedding!  The photographer arrived and we walked into the crowd, hoping to see the Groom and the Pastor to give last minute directions and answer any questions before the Bride arrived.

The Groom was obviously nervous, but ready to get this thing started!  I instructed him, along with his groomsmen to follow the photographer down to the beach before his bride arrived.  I asked him where his uncle (the Pastor) was.  He did not know.

The bride texted me saying she was in route and would be there in a couple of minutes.  She also asked where the Pastor was.  No one knew.  No one had any idea where he was.  It was now 10:25am and no sign of the Pastor.  The bride arrived and stayed in the car with her bridesmaids waiting on my instruction.

Well, never say never!  Before I left home, I made sure my black robe was in the car and my IPad with my wedding ceremonies.  I had not prepared a ceremony for this couple, since they had their own Minister, but could pull it off in a pinch in an emergency, if I had to.  I had no idea this ceremony would be the emergency!

I explained to the bride, who was in full panic mode by now, that I had my book in the car and I would take care of it.  Just give me a few minutes to get to my car and back.  She said they had special vows that they wanted to use and Asked if she could email them to me.  Sure.  I took a few minutes to copy and paste and to add the special vows they had written together.  Zipped up the robe, grabbed my iPad and announced we were ready to begin.

The 40-50 guests followed me down to the ceremony location on the beach.  It was hot as blue blazes with that black robe on.  The sun was beating down and the breeze was no where to be found.  As I directed the guests to gather close in a semi circle, I explained to the Groom that the Pastor had not shown up, but not to worry because I would officiate.  He was ready!

Just at that time, the Pastor walked up.  I unzipped my hot robe in a New York second and said, “I’m glad to see you!”  He smiled and stepped under the wedding arbor as everyone waited for the bridesmaids and the bride to begin the ceremony.


But…that’s not all.  We were just about to begin, when the Groom came over to me and asked if I had a copy of the special vows that they were going to be saying.

I said, “Sure, I have them right here, since I copied and pasted them into my ceremony just a few minutes ago.  Do you need them to go by, during the ceremony?”

He answered, “Yes.”.  So I handed him my IPad with my ceremony.  I really was thinking he must have been so nervous, he forgot to bring his vows to read to the bride.

So the bridesmaids and then the Bride arrived and the ceremony began.  I noticed the Pastor had an iPad book/holder just like mine.  Isn’t that a coincidence?  He began reading.  How could that be possible?  He was reading MY wedding ceremony that I had written from my IPad. I recognized it immediately and had to chuckle.

I always read all of my ceremonies from my IPad and it can be difficult in the bright sunshine to read the words from the IPAD due to screen glare and especially if you are wearing sunglasses.  He was wearing sunglasses and would pause frequently to see the screen better.  It was at those times that I prompted him with the next word, under my breath, of course.

The part that amazed me the most was that he changed the wording on the special vows the bride and groom had chosen for their ceremony.

“Do you promise to love, honor, and obey?”.

WHAT?  OBEY?  No one obeys any more.  That’s not at all what was written.  He changed the vows to say what he thought they should say instead of what the couple wanted to say.

I felt really bad for this couple. What this goes to prove is that you need to meet or at the very least, talk with your officiant or Pastor ahead of time and make sure they know your wishes for your vows and your ceremony.  It could happen to you.

Carla Pryor