Everyone is well aware of the old adage, “your invitation sets the tone for the wedding.” And while this is most definitely true, the rest of the paper pieces can do soooooo much to tie your wedding story all together! Today’s featured wedding, sent to us by the oh-so-creative Richelle at Girl Metro is a shining example of just how true this is! But first a few images (courtesy of Rebekah Girvan Photography) to get us started with the overall style of Kristina and Julio’s Chesapeake Bay garden wedding …

And from the beautiful bride … The idea was simple: Get married in a remote house at the end of a country road that overlooks the Chesapeake Bay so that everyone close to us could be nearby and enjoy a relaxing weekend in an area that has charmed us over the years. Although we could accomplish a similar setting in our hometown Chicago, the close proximity of the Great Oak Manor to almost all of our family on the East coast was very helpful, and we loved the idea of being wed under giant oak trees overlooking the Bay.

We wrote the ceremony and vows ourselves, and to accompany the minister’s sense of humor, kept the script inside a Dr. Seuss book about preserving trees. To honor tradition and the blending of two families, during the ceremony both sets of parents came up to mix a drink with Irish whiskey and Bolivian pisco. We toasted and gave honor to “Pacha Mama” (a Bolivian tradition honoring and giving back to mother earth).

And as you can see, all the details of the day were spelled out in beautiful fashion thanks to Girl Metro! From the programs and beautiful signage seen throughout the wedding and the reception to the adorable honey jar labels!

The overall design of the wedding was simple: seasonal blooms, lights festooned around and between the trees, candles and a few vintage bargains from estate sales to create garden party charm. A lace wedding dress, blue mason jars, my grandmother’s cameo pin and art deco picture frames served as perfect accents to compliment the naturally romantic setting.

Here’s a close-up of the wedding invitation suite from the design genius, Richelle, at Girl Metro

It was also very important to be as local and recyclable as possible – not only in getting our food from area farmers and the Bay, but in the flowers and decor – even the honey jar favors were from our local area in Chicago. The day before the wedding, we visited a local peony farm in Delaware and hand picked a few different varieties and colors for the ceremony, keeping in mind a soft Spring palate. Delivering 5 dozen fresh-cut peonies to the florist was probably the sweetest smelling ride we will have in a long while! The professional florist made the large bouquet, boutonnieres and corsages as well as the ceremony centerpiece, while the bride’s friend put together the table top arrangements with the left over peonies.

Having our family and a few close friends participate in the weekend was important and they helped us fulfill various cultural traditions. The bride’s brother was the minister of the ceremony and the bride and the groom’s godson was the ring bearer. His pillow was made by the groom’s mom and aunt from sail material scraps we had back in Chicago. They also handmade the sail “rope” around the pillow which was used to tie the wedding bands.

To incorporate another favorite pastime of photography, we created the table assignments by taking photos of guests throughout the day and printing them on a Polaroid printer. The small snapshots will be a nice memory of each guest who joined us in the ceremony. We also created a do-it-yourself photo booth inside the Manor during the evening reception. It was a fun way to capture some candid and goofy shots and our guests really enjoyed getting into character.

Before the cake cutting, we toasted with a traditional German bridal cup from which 2 people can drink at the same time. In addition to a Bolivian wedding cake (also homemade by the groom’s mother and aunt) we served bananas foster for an interesting twist to dessert. The 2 person band, friends of the bride and groom, played large enough to be mistaken for a big band and had people cutting a rug late into the evening!

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Girl Metro is based in Chicago, but works with brides across the globe to design their own personal and unique wedding invitations. For more examples of her work, please take a look at her website and metroville, her blog!

Congratulations to Kristina and Julio on their fantastic Chesapeake Bay Garden Wedding!

Photography: Rebekah Girvan Photography
Flowers: Five Points Peony Farm, Dutch Blooms (florist) + DIY
Ceremony + Reception Location: Great Oak Manor, Chestertown, Maryland
Invitations & Reception Stationery: Girl Metro, Inc. (programs, signage, honey jar labels)
Lumiaria: SimplyFKJ
Dress: Watters and Watters