Hailing from opposite sides of the country, Shanise grew up in Vancouver, Washington, and Josh is from Canton, Georgia. Their love story is nothing short of serendipitous, beginning after being set up by a mutual friend named Brooke. “It’s wild because, in order for us to each know Brooke, we both had to move away from our homes, out of state, and meet the appropriate people that would then introduce us to her,” said Shanise. Brooke had a feeling the two would have a connection, and while out to dinner with Shanise, she sent a video to Josh to introduce the two.
After FaceTiming and texting for a few days, Shanise went on a limb and asked Josh if he would like to meet up for a day in Savannah. To her surprise, he said yes! They both quickly started planning their first date (and first time meeting face-to-face!). Josh got reservations at a restaurant Shanise had always wanted to try, the Pirate’s House, and Shanise booked a ghost tour. They both anxiously awaited the day and raced to Savannah for what Shanise describes as “the most epic first date of all time!”
In early 2020, Shanise and Josh had two amazing vacations planned—one to California and the other to Sicily. Little did Shanise know that Josh had already bought an engagement ring and was planning to pop the big question on one of the trips. Unfortunately, however, COVID-19 forced them to put those plans on pause.
At the time, Shanise and Josh were living in Atlanta. Shanise was making plans for a quick getaway to Jekyll Island and was hoping to spend a day in Savannah on their way back home. As soon as he learned of her plans, Josh knew this would be the perfect time and place to propose.
When they arrived in Savannah, they stopped for coffee at Foxy Loxy Café and then made their way to Forsyth Park. Josh suggested they take a photo in front of the park’s iconic fountain, and when he handed his phone to Shanise’s niece, he whispered for her to take a video instead. Much to Shanise’s surprise, Josh then got down on one knee! She was even more shocked when she realized their two best friends along with both of their families were there ready to celebrate with champagne.
Shanise and Josh knew they wanted to get married in Savannah since it was the city where they first met. Not to mention, it was also the beautiful backdrop for their romantic engagement! though they had a few tours scheduled, they quickly canceled them after their first visit to Red Gate Farms. The hospitality and warmth they felt during their visit made the historic farm the perfect choice for the couple.
“The farm is so magical—filled with history and obvious love,” said Josh. “We chose The Barn because of its setting by the lake, and also because of the sentimental value of Shanise’s grandparents having a small farm that her family grew up on. We wanted to get married under a Live Oak by the water, so this spot couldn’t have been more perfect.”
The Wedding Day
Shanise and Josh spent the entire week leading up to their wedding in Savannah. While they enjoyed perfect weather all week, the clouds rolled in and temperatures dropped around 15 degrees on their big day. What started as a light shower in the morning became long and steady rain for the rest of the day. Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to recite their vows under the magnificent Live Oak tree as they’d planned, Josh was worried Shanise would be disappointed and upset. However, as soon as she was told they would have to go with a backup plan, she smiled and said, “Let’s do it!” As Josh recalls, “Nothing was going to get us down that day. We were on a high like no other and so ready to celebrate with all of our friends and family.”
Luckily, the team at Red Gate Farms has backup plans prepared far in advance in the chance of bad weather. Since the rain would not allow for the ceremony to be held outside, the chairs, floral arrangements, and other wedding décor were beautifully arranged inside of the rustic, charming Barn. To ensure the comfort of Shanise, Josh, and all of their guests, the Red Gate Farms team also set up heaters and passed out blankets to keep everyone warm and cozy in the chilly temperatures. Thinking back on the day, Josh said, “Although our wedding day didn’t go exactly as planned, it was still so perfect. Every vendor suggested was on top of their game, and it really made everything so special.”
Shanise and Josh extended their reception for an hour to allow the newlyweds even more time to dance the night away with their dearest friends and family. Though the reception eventually came to an end, the celebration was far from over! As their guests hopped into an Old Town Trolley, Shanise and Josh slid into a beautiful, classic car to meet their guests downtown. From there, the wedding festivities continued until the sun came up!
Red Gate Farms
Feeling inspired by Shanise and Josh’s celebration? At Red Gate Farms, we can make your wedding day exceed all of your expectations, even when there is a slight change of plans! With three charming venues on our property—The Barn, The Grainery, and The Belle Tower—there is certainly something to match everyone’s unique vision. If you’re interested in learning more about hosting the wedding of your dreams at Red Gate Farms, schedule a tour today!
Venue: The Barn at Red Gate Farms
Wedding Cake: Wicked Cakes
Catering: Thrive Catering
Florals: Flower Child Floral Design
Photography: Rich Burkhart
Videography: Luxe & Lady Fern
Rentals: Anything’s Possible Event Rentals
DJ: Top Shelf Entertainment
Guest Transportation: Old Town Trolley
Classic Car Rental: Callan’s Classics