People think they know the south. But there’s magic here - a cosmopolitan sort of flair - thick as the marsh-ripe air, salty, and gritty, and haunted, and true.
There’s a city here. She’s called Savannah. And has she got a story to tell.
T.C. & BRENNA LAUREN MICHAELS
We’re the husband and wife team behind Genteel & Bard.
If this world is a garden - we’re planting kindness.
Our manifesto? The world is full of beauty - why not choose a beautiful life?
ST. PATRICK’S DAY IN SAVANNAH IS A BIG DEAL.
Like, a really big deal. In fact, Savannah is host to the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration in the country, with tens of thousands of people in yearly attendance.
It’s loud and fun, and crazy, and beautiful, and green. Green everywhere.
And because it’s such an epic celebration, often spread over several days, it pays to plan ahead.
IT’S NO SECRET THAT SAVANNAH IS THE SOUTH’S MOST ROMANTIC CITY.
But there are definitely some tried and true Savannah date night favorites that T.C. and I find ourselves returning to again and again.
So here’s a rundown of our perfectly romantic Savannah day.
Gather your best gal pals and get ready to spruce up your closets! Savannah has no shortage of local boutiques I know you’ll love.
What do you get when you combine a historic southern city with an array of opulent antique stores? A dream - that’s what. An absolute antiquing dream.
Savannah has no shortage of romantic date spots - but a handful of romantic places that have us coming back again and again.
Winter time in Savannah. What to expect. How to dress. Where to go. What to do. A vacation guide.
T.C. and I have a particular affinity for Savannah’s Bed and Breakfast scene. There are so many lovely ones to choose from, and we’ve listed some of our very favorites!
You could spend an entire day exploring Savannah’s many galleries! If gallery hopping is your go-to hobby, be sure to stop by these popular art galleries.
you can’t step out the door, or glance out the window, without crashing into the passionate, salty, breathless past.
A magnolia wreath is without a doubt one of the most quintessential southern decor items I can think of. They are everywhere in Savannah, seemingly year-round.
Belief in ghosts in Savannah runs strong —so it’s no strange occurrence to encounter perfectly logical people going out of their way to banish, and/or keep, the lingering dead from their homes.
When it comes to an outfit for a morning shopping trip on Broughton Street, I’m always looking for a fun balance between comfort and style. These Spanx leather moto leggings, basic white tee, rose suede duster, and pumps were the perfect combination.
It doesn’t get super cold in Savannah very often, so when it does I make sure to have as much fun as possible. This vintage faux fox fur coat is an absolute favorite.
When I saw this Bordeaux satin top at Fabrik’ here in Savannah, I knew right away I had to have it. It’s just different enough without falling into any sort of “trend” category. On the contrary, the balloon sleeves and tapered button wrists are decidedly vintage - in the best possible way.
This smart, sophisticated piece is literally bringing all the fabulous fall vibes for me right now.
The little bow at the neckline on this Gal Meets Glam dress is such a sweet detail - and I really do love the pleating in the skirt. There is SO much fabric, ya’ll.
This dress feels nothing but luxurious.
I give you this Ali & Jay romper. I walked into Harper Boutique in downtown Savannah the other day, and I just knew. We were made for each other.
There’s something magical about Savannah - you don’t have to spend much time before that becomes really clear. The Spanish moss, the centuries-old oak trees, antebellum mansions, cobblestone paths, vibrant gardens, the scent of jasmine on the air. It makes a girl want to dress up a little. :)
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, y’all. When it comes to a killer wardrobe simplicity and classic lines are key. Pair that principle with a good old black and white pallet, and you’ve got yourself a timeless outfit.
The trouble with Autumn in Savannah is that it doesn’t actually seem to arrive until well into October, hopefully in time for Halloween. All of that to say, it stays warm here. Pretty much all year. And the summer-to-fall wardrobe transition can be especially hard to navigate.
I’m always on the hunt for a classic day dress that will take me from brunch, to lunch meetings, and maybe even early cocktails.
We get a lot of questions about Savannah History - and people seem extra interested in the stories behind the stories, the mysteries, the dramas, the little-known details and intricacies that make Savannah the city she is today.
Pulaski answered the call to arms, and was a grand supporter of the American Dream. His specialty was in calvary forces, and he was instrumental in fighting for the importance of, and ultimately establishing, a strong calvary for the Revolutionaries.
Oglethorpe was a humanitarian at heart - but he had also seen battle first hand, and knew the importance of protecting his fledgling city from attack at the hands of Spanish forces to the south in Florida.
And so, the city was laid out with meticulous intention.
Oglethorpe was convinced he could build a city that stood on strong morals - one that could overcome the prejudices and short-comings of Britain.
But life in the early colony was hard work, and anything but comfortable.
Savannah was the blessed resting place on Sherman’s March to the Sea. The General preserved her on a whim - some say because he was captivated by the city’s transfixing beauty - other say it was because of a lover who made her home here - others say he was tired of pillaging and looking for a comfortable place to rest and let his soldier recuperate in relative peace.
They called themselves the Liberty Boys, a group of young men defying the wisdom of their fathers, but rather stepping out on their own with the hope and belief in a new country.
Savannah is the site of one of the nation’s largest and most festive St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in the nation. But not many people know the story of how the Irish culture came to such a foothold in Savannah’s history - or how the impacts of her people shaped the Historic District from the ground up.
Savannah has been home to strong women from the very beginning. And while the tides of culture twisted and turned, for better or worse, over the seasons of the nation’s history women have been at the forefront of our most harrowing moments.
Let’s talk about life in early Savannah for a moment, shall we?
This wasn’t the burial place of tin men, heartless and void of story. The ones who lay here, possessed singing voices once, running feet, and lips made for kissing.
Some people want to stay far away from Savannah’s ghosts and spirits, and others want to get right in the middle of serious paranormal activity! For those of you who are brave enough to sleep with spirits, these haunted hotels and inns are for you.
You’d grab your shovel, run as fast as you could toward the sound. Someone was alive, and the bell, (tied to a rope and snaked through the soft ground of a grave - wrapped around the wrist of the dead) was ringing like crazy.
Letter from the Editor
The Home Love Built
We got married on the Cotton Docks of Boone Hall Plantation
beneath moss-draped oaks . . .
. . . the sound of river water lapping the grassy shoreline.
It was a super moon that night, and so by the time the reception found mason jars filled with champagne passed from hand to hand, the briny river water had crept halfway up the dock and tiny alligators were joining the party. Vintage music and warm string lights were the order of the occasion, and my gown, decked in tiny pearls and crystals shined and twirled, and flower petals and Spanish moss kept clinging to the lacy train.
We couldn't have known that night the journey that laid ahead for T.C. and I.
We've weathered storms we felt unprepared for, and we've been blessed in ways beyond our wildest dreams. God has always been good.
Both of us professional storytellers at heart, when our traditional careers took unexpected turns, it was Story that we built our new home upon. To work so closely, day after day together, collaborating and dreaming - we still can't believe it's true. And most of all we're thankful, and forever indebted to our exquisite city of Savannah for serving as the backdrop to this wild fairytale of ours.
We love this place - this place that God used to bring us home - to raise our sweet Saturday son, Rhett Jagger.
Genteel & Bard is quite literally the product of sweat, and tears - hope, and gumption, and southern grace. This is more than a family business - this is a lifestyle. This is the home our love built. Thank you, God. Thank you, Savannah - we love you so much.