This originally ran as a Local Love in the 2019 issue.
Wedding Date October 7, 2017
When Antonella Petrilli’s mom remarried and moved from Ecuador to Baltimore, Antonella followed. She was 23 and doing her best to love her new country but finding it hard. Still, she had made some friends, and when she went out with them, her path would often cross with Matthew Beitman. “He would always flirt with me,” says Antonella, but she was either dating someone else or plotting her move back to Ecuador. One day, Matthew told her, “You’ve been single long enough. I want to take you on a date.” But Antonella had already bought a one-way ticket back to Ecuador. “I was packed and ready to leave.” Nonetheless, she agreed. They went out to dinner in Fells Point. “We danced, we laughed, we talked so much . . . he took my hand to cross the cobblestone,” remembers Antonella. “When he held my hand, it felt like we had been together hundreds of years.” She came home and told her mom, “I can’t leave.”
Matthew made it his goal to teach Antonella about all the traditions he grew up with in Baltimore. “He wanted me to feel at home as much as possible,” she says. They carved pumpkins, and he introduced her to advent calendars by making her a giant handmade one for their first Christmas together. Every year, he filled it with different sweets and small gifts, and then one year, it revealed a surprise trip to New York City, where he proposed on the ice at Rockefeller Center.
Whenever she had thought of a wedding, she felt sad that her dad wasn’t there to walk her down the aisle. She thought a courthouse ceremony was the answer. But as soon as she got engaged, she realized she wanted a wedding she could share with family and friends. So, the planning began. They wanted to combine traditions from both their families and also showcase who they were as a couple. The result was a stunning ceremony at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, followed by a tented, black-tie dance party at the Elkridge Club.
Antonella had asked her mom to walk her down the aisle. Halfway down, she could finally see Matthew clearly. (It’s a long aisle.) “He was crying like a baby. I let go of my mom and just ran to him.”
Then it was time to party. Antonella didn’t toss a bouquet. There was no cake-cutting—it’s bad luck in Ecuador. Instead, there was five hours of non-stop dancing. (They did let their guests eat dinner.) “I had one margarita the whole night,” laughs Antonella. “I never left the dance floor.”
BEAUTY Billy Diaz (from Ecuador) CAKE Gina de Nacer (She made 137 individual cakes and flew them from Ecuador) and SugarBakers Cakes CALLIGRAPHY Shotgunning for Love Letters CATERER The Elkridge Club FLOral Design Eventi Floral & Events FLOWER GIRL ABC by VeroCarbo Miami GROOM & GROOMSMEN Ted Baker (groom); The Tuxedo House (best man and ring bearer) HONEYMOON Spain, Italy, Prague, and England INVITATIONS Ruby the Fox LIGHTING Revolution Events LOCATION Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (ceremony); The Elkridge Club (reception) MUSIC BroadSound Band OFFICIANT Reverend Francis Ouma PHOTOBOOTH Pixilated RENTALS Revolution Events, Party Rental Ltd., and Select Event Group TENT Loane Brothers Photographer Amelia Johnson Photography TRANSPORTATION Vintage Limos Biz WEDDING DRESS Pronovias at Pronovias Flagship WEDDING PLANNER Eventi Floral & Events