Can I just attest to the fact that we absolutely LOVE the trend of colorful gems acting as engagement rings? It’s something so unique, so fresh, and so beautiful – and we really hope it’s here to stay. If your favorite color is red, why not have your ring, which is the one accessory you’ll wear every single day, be a ruby? Or if it’s blue, follow this Maryland bride’s lead and wear a magnificent topaz ring for the rest of your life. This entire day, captured brilliantly by Jonathan Hanson for Readyluck, seemed to be built to let the ring shine in all it’s glory, and we couldn’t be anymore smitten if we tried. So take your time, let the topaz wash over you, then meet me in the gallery for more.

After eight years of adventures together, Mike decided to make it official during a vacation in Kauai. He popped the question on a sandy beach with a stunning blue topaz ring right before our anniversary dinner as the sun was setting and the surfers dotted the ocean. It was so picture perfect that I forgot to answer his question! At some point later, over cocktails with umbrellas in them, I said yes.

We really felt it was important for our guests to have a good time and knew that hiring the band Swingin’ Swamis would do the trick. As a video editor and art educator, respectively, Mike and I also wanted to make sure that we had great photographs, and Jonathan Hanson of Readyluck did not disappoint.

We took our inspiration, loosely, from the work of artist Joseph Cornell, who artfully and poetically juxtaposes pre-existing images and ideas to create something new. So our wedding had a vintage-inspired and eclectic look and feel. For example, I asked my bridesmaids to find blue vintage dresses with brocade designs. And instead of place cards, we provided magnets depicting vintage images of things we enjoy (i.e., bicycles, books). Guests were invited to find the image depicted on the magnet at the reception tables. Also, Cornell uses a lot of blues and yellows in his work, and those were the colors we chose for our wedding.

My favorite moment of the wedding was also one of the biggest surprises. My mom surprised us by singing a touching rendition of “Sunrise, Sunset,” accompanied by my aunt on the guitar. They had been practicing in secret, and their performance brought tears to many guests’ eyes – especially mine.

Band: The Swingin’ Swamis / Dress: Nicole Miller / Cake: SugarBakers Cakes / Flowers: Fleur de Lis / Venue & Catering: Belmont Manor House / Photography: Jonathan Hanson for Readyluck

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