To Have and To Hold

The Earth, the future, and each other

Love was definitely in the air when Buckhead couple John Rutherford Seydel III and Savannah Gentry Miller tied the knot three months ago, as well as a rooted respect for Mother Earth.

You wouldn’t expect anything less from these two young professionals who are not only deeply passionate about the environment but working daily to save our planet – John R is the City of Atlanta’s Director of Sustainability and Savannah is the Vice President of Sustainability for Better Earth, a sustainable packaging solutions company.

Their wedding took place November 1 at Lowndes Grove in the bride’s hometown of Charleston, S.C. and, despite the trying times this past year presented, the couple thoughtfully planned a safe and sustainably responsible event.

Tangible details included reimagining what others might call “waste.” They transformed the bridal luncheon roses into the petals flower girls tossed down the wedding aisle and used extra fabric from the bridesmaids’ dress alterations for other décor accents. Further, the bride redesigned her maternal grandmother’s wedding dress for the rehearsal, used John R’s family’s heirloom veil and wore her mother’s blusher. To further conserve resources, the couple used the family’s own linen and cocktail napkins at the reception and the bride consigned clothes and supported sustainable brands including Rothy’s, the Reformation and Everlane whenever possible.

Beyond developing a largely plant-based menu and exclusively sourcing locally grown, farm-to-table menu ingredients, they composted any remaining food waste from the reception, and they donated all floral arrangements from the ceremony to local assisted living facilities, healthcare workers and teachers. Furthermore, John R and Savannah chose vendors with an eye toward local, sustainable and woman-owned businesses including Bouquets and Bowties (wedding planner), Branch Studio (floral designer), Sara Boyd (photographer) and Jodi Moylan of White Couture (wedding dress designer).

Considering the pandemic, the couple chose an intimate outdoor celebration with stringent health and safety precautions for their immediate family and bridal party, including a 14-day quarantine and several rounds of testing. They livestreamed the nuptials so extended family and friends could participate virtually. The Reverend Dr. Gerald Durley, Atlanta civil rights leader and environmental activist, officiated and the bridesmaids were Savannah’s sisters and sisters-in-law Marin Miller (maid of honor), Molly Miller, Vasser Seydel and Laura Elizabeth Seydel. Groomsmen included H. Clark Seydel (best man and uncle), Chris Kriz, Peter Corry Jr., Shane Simkins and Beck Nygard. Boo Seydel, the family’s cocker spaniel, was the couple’s “ring retriever.”

John R, 28, a 2015 graduate of University of Denver, is the son of Buckhead’s Rutherford and Laura Turner Seydel, business leaders, environmental activists and socially conscious philanthropists. Savannah, 26, is a 2016 Emory University graduate who went on to earn her M.P.A. from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and Earth Institute. The newlyweds now reside in Buckhead’s Peachtree Hills neighborhood.

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