Pooler BFFs and The Wedding of the Year!
Story by Dennis Stokely Photos by Denise Gansales
From the moment the family gets the phone call and text, “Mom and Dad, I’m engaged,” to the teary-eyed audience that hears those life-changing words, “I do,” sometimes a full year of frenzied work unfolds in a marathon session of planning and executing a modern Southern wedding. Hiring a fabulous wedding planner, booking a glam-squad, finding the perfect dress, picking the venue, where to go on the honeymoon and on, and on. The list is practically endless for everything needed to make the big day all that it’s billed to be. Almost always, to the wonder and surprise of the Father-of-the-Bride (Stan Sparks, Pooler resident, Georgia Power Executive and Georgia Tech Alum), that also means spending money, lots and lots of money. Of course as the old saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman, well in this case, two women. Stan’s wife, Kimber Sparks, recruited her lifelong (since sixth grade) bestie, Tracy Freymuth to create a dream team duo that brought two dear friends and families closer together and pulled off Pooler’s Wedding of the Year!
In our fast paced world of instant everything, with social media shaping our daily lives, it truly is a small world. After over 20 years, I reconnected with Tracy Freymuth via Facebook and her running into my sister, Sherry Sikes, and asking her who did her hair? And in a hot minute, my former pal from high school (Groves) and I reconnected. Little did I know, she would be joined at the hip with her gorgeous and hilarious best friend, Kimber Sparks. I had finally found two blonde bombshells in my old stomping ground from my high school days, living in Pooler, Georgia! I was beyond thrilled when Kimber booked me as the hairstylist for her daughter Abbi’s grand wedding. When Kimber told me that Abbi couldn’t decide between two hairstyles, I said let’s do both. And just like that, our fairy tale journey of an ultra glamorous and oh-so southern wedding began.
I have worked with so many brides over the years, but Abbi was the most ravishing red-head with the most incredible body ever! I was so excited to create a low-messy bun for her walk down the aisle and a quick-change ponytail (inspired by Supermodel Giselle Buncheon) for the reception. Abbi rocked both looks and her 8 Bridesmaids were stunning in their, all-matching, hairdos! Kimber and Tracy both sported ultra glamorous updo’s. Tracy even told me as I was finishing her hair, “I am feeling very Ivana Trump, which I like!”
The fun back-story to the wedding was the special access I had to Kimber and Tracy when they “motored” over for their many visits to see me at The Montage Salon, Palmetto Bluff prior to the wedding for their blonde touch-ups. I am mesmerized with the “Lucy and Ethel” banter of these two. They can finish each others sentences like any longtime married couple. It struck me after the wedding that my experience with Abbi, Kimber and Tracy was like being with 3 “Southern (Wedding) Belles.”
Fittingly, there was only one Belle-of-the-Ball on the big day. From the first look to the last dance, all eyes were on Abbi. I consider brides to be the celebrities of the South, and I’ve always said that walking the down the aisle to get married is like walking the red-carpet in Hollywood. After years of creating hundreds of hairstyles for brides in New York and Los Angeles, returning to my southern roots and working with Abbi was a dream come true.
Long gone are the days of highway 80 being the main drag through town and the Tastee Freeze being the cruising spot for all the young lovers. Abbi was raised in Pooler, graduated from Savannah Christian and Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Ga. When she came home for her wedding weekend, she started the soiree with a festive Bride’s Maid luncheon in her neighborhood at the Clubhouse at Savannah Quarters. This Georgia peach had pre-wedding and wedding day celebrations all over the state, including Jesup, Atlanta, Pooler and Savannah. Yep, it certainly is cool being from Pooler and Bobby and Abbi perfectly represent the smart, fun and hip married couples from our booming little metropolis.
It wouldn’t be the wedding of the year without a few show-stopping tidbits! So here we go…
#1 – Abbie Sparks was the only Bride I worked with in 2017 that requested two hairstyles (ceremony & reception).
#2 – The “Vendor Timeline” from the genius Wedding Planners, James and Liz Carlson of Carlson’s Premier Events was 21 pages!
#3 – Working with Kimber and Tracy was totally like working with “Lucy and Ethel”
Abbigale Sparks / Bobby Dunn
Introduction: by friends at a Fraternity/Sorority party at GCSU.
First Date: The Pickle Barrel Cafe and Sports Pub
Bobby proposed at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and later with friends and family at a “She said YES” party in Buckhead.
A Mikaella by Paloma Bianca purchased at Bleubelle Bridal.
A formal affair at the Charles H. Morris Center beginning with a cocktail hour on the bluff and followed by a crowd pleasing, choreographed Father-Daughter first dance. And a succulent Savannah inspired menu from Savannah Event Catering (Pooler).
Ending with a sparkler send-off in a 1965 Ford Mustang!
Abbi and Bobby spent a week in the Dominican Republic.
Happily Ever After:
And there you have it, Pooler’s Wedding of the Year
Wedding Planner – Carlson’s Premier Events
Photographer – Denise Gonsales
Hair – Dennis Stokely
Makeup – Hillary Howie
Videographer – Caleb Suttles
DJ – Shockwave
Caterer – Savannah Event Catering (Pooler)
Florist – Joann’s Florist
Bride’s Cake – Isaac Smith