The Tidewater Inn is one of my all time favorite Maryland venues and you’re about to see why. This beautiful couple made it official in the ridiculously pretty courtyard with their nearest and dearest all around. I’ve been feeling the love from Melissa Barrick Photography’s images all morning long!

You don’t want to miss this video from Well Spun Weddings


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Summer
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Inn

From the beautiful bride… Dan proposed in September of 2011, while we were on vacation in Greece. On our first night in Mykonos, while we sat on our terrace watching the sunset, Dan tossed me a small red apple, with a ribbon tied to its stem. The ribbon was attached to the cap of a Snapple iced tea bottle (my favorite), and the “Real Fact” inside it read, “Real Fact # 816: In Ancient Greece, throwing an apple to a woman was considered a marriage proposal.” He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, and of course I said YES!

We knew we wanted a summer wedding, but did not want to rush the planning to make it all happen in the summer of 2012. Instead, we opted for a long engagement and chose June 1, 2013 as our wedding day.

We chose the Tidewater Inn as our venue early on for a number of reasons. It was a perfect meeting point for most of my family (coming from Maryland’s Eastern Shore), Dan’s family (coming from Southern Maryland and the Annapolis area), and most of our friends (coming from Baltimore and Washington). The Tidewater also provided a fabulous “one stop shop” – they had a beautiful ceremony venue in their garden courtyard, a large ballroom that could accommodate our ever-growing guest list and a big band, and a fantastic in-house kitchen. But I think the single most important thing in our decision ended up being the wedding coordinator, Melanie Bennett, and her amazing team, who said “YES!” to every request we had and made the entire day a huge success.

We also chose our photographer – Melissa Barrick – very early on. I found her through a friend’s photos posted on Facebook and was really taken by the beautiful, almost vintage quality of her photos and the way she always seemed to capture really wonderful moments between the bride and groom. Needless to say, she was fantastic!

Our families were a huge help throughout the entire process – it was a big collaboration, and the end result included little pieces of everyone. Dan’s mom has a real talent for design, and she handmade our rehearsal dinner invitations and ceremony programs. The incredible Swiss Cottage Designs created our save-the-dates (an homage to Dan’s proposal) and wedding invitations (which had more of a nautical Eastern Shore theme). My parents had the idea of letting guests choose their own seats for the reception, which worked out wonderfully. I also chose “La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf for my walk down the aisle, in part to pay tribute to my European roots, but also because it is a song my mom and I have always loved.

For my dress, I wanted something classic, yet romantic with a vintage feel. The intricate lace design on the bodice and the chiffon flower petals on the chapel train were what really captured my attention on the Tara Keely by Lazaro gown I ended up choosing. Extra special details were my Omi’s (“grandma” in German) ivory lace purse and handkerchief, which were both “something old” and “something borrowed.” I had a very specific idea of what I wanted for my jewelry, and Marcia Cupshalk, a jewelry designer and one of my mom’s good friends, was kind enough to create custom pieces for both the wedding and rehearsal dinner. Dan chose to have his suit made by Christopher Shafer in Baltimore. I am obviously biased, but I think he looked incredibly handsome! Ryan Hicks, my longtime hair stylist and good friend, did a masterful job getting me and my 8 bridesmaids coiffed, and Aida Alcoser-Matters from Estee Lauder did her makeup magic.

For the ceremony, we decided to be married by the judge I had worked for after law school, whom we both know well and like very much. Dan and I had long ago decided to write our own vows, and I think this exchange was one of the most special parts of the entire day. Dan’s sister also read a passage from “On Love” by Thomas A. Kempis, and another one of my best friends read the poem, “The Promise,” by Eileen Rafter.

If there is one word that sums up our day perfectly, it is LOVE – and not just in the romantic sense of the word. My family is unique in that my parents, though divorced, remain the very best of friends (including my dad and step-dad). All three of the people I consider my parents – my mom, dad, and step-dad – gave wonderful, heartfelt speeches. Their love for me, Dan, and each other, was readily apparent and really bathed the whole evening in a warm, beautiful glow. Combining this with Dan’s amazing family and our incredible friends truly made for the most unforgettable evening. We chose to have pies from Dangerously Delicious instead of a wedding cake (also a little shout-out to Baltimore), and they were a big hit. Rollex Band kept the party going well beyond our scheduled end time, and really brought down the house with their finale of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,” which was one of the “last call” songs at Dan’s and my favorite bar at the University of Maryland. The only thing missing was our beloved Corgi-mix, Winston, who we decided to leave back in Baltimore (he’s not one for crowds!). In lieu of traditional wedding favors, we made a donation in his honor to the Humane Society of Kent County.

All of the hoping, dreaming, and planning finally came together into one incredibly fun, love-filled weekend. It truly felt perfect, and we could not have asked for anything more!

Photography: Melissa Barrick Phogoraphy | Videography: Well Spun Weddings | Wedding Coordinator: Melanie Bennett | Floral Designer: Amy Wilkins From Monteray Farms | Dress: Garnish Boutique | Invitations: Swiss Cottage Designs | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Hair: Ryan Hicks | Band: Rollex | Groom's Suit: Christopher Shafer Clothier | Groom's Suit: Christopher Shafer Clothier | Groomsmen's Suits: Jos. A. Bank | Groomsmen's Suits: Jos. A. Bank | After-Party: Brasserie Brightwell | Bride's Jewelry: Marcia Cupshalk | Ceremony & Reception: Tidewater Inn | Desserts: Dangerously Delicious Pies | Groom's Tie: Alexander Olch | Makeup: Aida Alcoser-Matters | Rehearsal Dinner : Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum | Veil: Sara Gabriel

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