Occupations: Carolyn in the Director of Membership at WYPR; Brad is Communications Manager at St. Agnes Hospital.
Wedding date: August 15, 2015
Number of Attendees: 95
Number of Attendants: 6
How You Met: Carolyn was playing on a kickball team with some of Brad’s friends. At the end of the season, the team planned a camping trip to Assateague Island and Brad tagged along with his friends. Brad and his friends arrived late in the night to find that most of the campers had already gone to sleep, but a handful of people, including Carolyn, were sitting around the fire reading Trivial Pursuit questions. They quickly hit it off, realizing that they knew many of the same answers and the conversation didn’t let up the entire weekend.
The Engagement: After dating for five years, they took their first real vacation together to Riviera Maya in Mexico. Brad had planned to propose on the trip but wanted to wait for the right moment. Finally it came on the last night of the trip. After dinner they walked down to the beach while a storm rolled in offshore. With lightning on the horizon, Brad got down on one knee in the sand and proposed.
Wedding Design Inspiration: They wanted a simple and romantic riverside wedding in the country under the stars, allowing nature to be the decoration and a little Maryland-themed flavor.
What Was Unique and Special About Your Wedding:
We really wanted our wedding to feel like a simple, relaxed outdoor party – albeit a very nice party. We took our color palette from nature (green, brown, gold, cream), but tried not to rely too heavily on a specific color scheme. We really wanted nature and the outdoors to be the decoration for the wedding. With that in mind, the entire wedding, reception and rehearsal dinner the night before were held outside on the property, which we thought would be easy and it turned out to be very difficult to find a place willing to let us do everything outside without a tent.
The location allowed them to have friends and family stay on the property to celebrate with them and relax all weekend.
The welcome bags for guests staying at the estate and in town included Maryland treats such as Berger cookies and crab chips, and the welcome messages attached to the bags were handwritten by the bride and groom on various Chestertown, Maryland postcards.
The tables at the reception were named for towns with special significance to both the bride and the groom such as Westminster and Lutherville (where the bride and groom grew up, respectively), Assateague (where they met) and Baltimore where they fell in love and live together now.
The bride typed a message to the groom on a piece of ribbon and sewed it to the back of his tie, so he would see it on the wedding day.
Very high-low. We didn’t care about a lot of details that are important to some couples, but a few aspects of the wedding were very important to us. For example, the bridesmaids picked their own dresses (some were even second-hand), the flowers were local, in-season and straight from the farmers market, and the bride made the wedding cake herself. Other details were really important and they budgeted accordingly for things like food, the invitations, the bride’s Manolo Blahnik shoes, and the bride and groom gifts.
They didn’t do a lot of traditional wedding events such as a reception entrance, bouquet/garter toss, or a cake cutting. Instead, they tried to spend as much time as possible with their guests and each other, soaking up every moment of the evening and night.
Favorite Details: The bride wore a garter made by her aunts and worn by all the women in her family on their wedding days.
Most Unexpected Event on the Day of the Wedding: Fireworks went off over the river after sunset during the reception, and although the bride had considered getting fireworks as a surprise for the groom, the idea was scraped because of the permits and the cost. However, most of the guests assumed that the fireworks were part of the wedding reception. We still don’t know why or who organized the fireworks!
Favorite Details: The vintage couch we used for our pictures, the big sign my friend made us with the reception details that hung on the gates into the barn, farm to table (organic and local) family style dinner menu, and our first dance that was choreographed to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”
Most Unexpected Event On Your Wedding Day: I’m guessing for Jason it was me breaking into song before I walked down the aisle. And for me, I had a beautiful cathedral veil I wore for the wedding and it got stuck on the carpet when I was walking down the aisle of the church. I was so upset because I was only wearing the veil for the wedding. At one point halfway through the ceremony, I had my maid of honor attach it back into my hair. So, half my pictures I do not have veil on and the other half I do . . .
Piece of Advice: You can have any type of wedding you want, but it takes lots of planning and creativity ahead of time. If you plan to do it on your own definitely consider a day-of-planner to coordinate all the vendors and family questions that will come up. Also, everyone told us to take time to appreciate the moments during the day because it will go fast. So, we purposely didn’t over schedule ourselves and we ended up enjoying the entire experience and feeling very present for it all.
Beauty Salon of Chestertown Bridesmaids Nordstrom, Cloud Nine, and a spring swap party! Cake: Naked cake baked by the bride and a variety of pies from Baugher’s in Westminster, just a few minutes away from where the bride grew up Caterer J. Burke Catering for the rehearsal dinner; Rouge Fine Catering for the reception. Flowers Galena Blooms Farm and Richfield Farms Groom and Groomsmen’s attire J. Crew suits Honeymoon Bethany Beach just after the wedding and Tensing Pen Resort in Negril, Jamaica, a few months later. Invitations Engraved Crane invitations from Papyrus Jewelry Grillo & Co. for the engagement ring; Radcliffe Jewelersfor the bride’s gift; and Smyth Jewelers for the wedding rings and groom’s gift. Location Brittland Estates in Chestertown Music Ultrafaux and a homemade playlist on the computer Officiant: Dan Cohan, a close friend Photographer Mike Sperlak Photography Wedding Dress Wtoo from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection Wedding Planner Lindsay Johnson Events