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Rustic Glam Summer Wedding at Evergreen Museum + Library

I’m declaring green and gold my favorite color combo and it’s all due to this wedding right here. Michael and Carina Photography captured one romantic image after another at this summer celebration, where the cute couple, who we met back at their adorable engagement shoot, only had eyes for each other. Thanks to these pretty pics I’m in a fantastic mood this Friday morning – see more right this way!

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Summer
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Museum

From Michael and Carina PhotographyThis wedding is just so gorgeous, we had to share it with you! Unfettered greenery bouquets, glittery dresses, a beautifully decorated reception hall and gold accents everywhere. Lauren and Nate really poured themselves into their big day!

Lauren, the bride, is in love with Style Me Pretty; she shared her engagement session with SMP readers. She is so excited about photography and style, it was just a joy! 

Gold, navy and green are a match made in wedding-heaven! And this gorgeous bride and groom (as well as the bridal party) absolutely rocked these colors! This wedding was modern, but classic. Fun, but elegant.

Lauren and Nate married at the beautiful Evergreen Museum in Maryland in the garden behind the museum. The stunning museum was the perfect backdrop! They have been inseparable for years and finally said “I do” in front of all their friends and family in the summer heat. We photographed their portraits in an area that reminds of a classic Italian villa. Beautiful architecture and cyan greenery.

Everyone celebrated in a beautifully decorated tent, with white fabric hanging from the ceiling and candles spread out on the farm tables. The beginning of their marriage couldn’t have been any more perfect!

From the Bride… Our love story began in grad school, where we met, and then promptly engaged in a discussion about marriage equality, which came full circle when, two weeks after we got married, everyone in the US received the right to legally marry! That discussion was the springboard for three years of long distance dating and commutes across state lines to spend time with one another while we pursued our degrees and careers. Two years ago, we moved to Baltimore together, we moved into a perfect row-house in our favorite neighborhood. It’s where Nate proposed in a perfect, private moment with just our pup, Lady, looking on.

It turns out that Nate had been planning the engagement for almost a year. He designed my ring himself, working with my mom and a jeweler to bring a picture I had saved a long time ago to life. To add even more romance, the stone in my ring is the stone my dad gave my mom on their engagement. My engagement ring could not be more fraught with meaning, or more special to me.

We got married exactly one year later, and what we knew from the very beginning was that we wanted our wedding to be very personal. We had a lot of DIY elements, like the gold foil invitations, programs and signs that I designed, the hand-painted corn hole set my dad made for us, hand-stamped favors, and decorations we’d collected throughout the year. We also knew we wanted our family and friends to experience Baltimore the way we do. We held our rehearsal dinner at Heavy Seas Alehouse, one of our favorite places in Baltimore, made sure everyone got to taste local beers and Maryland crabs at our cocktail hour, and guests received Berger cookies stamped with a thank you message as a true Baltimore takeaway. Our ceremony was also deeply personal and intimate.

In addition to having our wedding day reflect the things we love, we knew we wanted to frame the personal touches in a natural, simple and romantic setting. For us, the Evergreen Museum and Library was the perfect venue for this. It is a beautifully landscaped and intimate location. To capture the natural and personal feeling in the carriage house where we ate dinner, we used the most beautiful handmade farm tables from the sweetest couple who started Barnes Handmade Tables in York, PA. Their tables are gorgeous, so we decided on classic and simple center pieces of lemon leaf garlands, seeded eucalyptus and a few calla lilies. One of the sweetest wedding gifts we received was from Nate’s stepmother and father, who bought us one of the farm tables as our dining room table.

One detail I knew from the beginning I wanted was for my bridesmaids to wear gold. I wanted them to feel lovely and special, and I wanted their dresses to add a little glitz and glamour to our otherwise neutral and simple palette. I asked them to pick out a gold or champagne dress that made them feel beautiful. They all chose different metallic gold dresses, and they looked absolutely stunning. The guys wore blue suits, with ivory ties, and orange socks – an homage to the Orioles. For my dress, I knew that I wanted something romantic and simple, and I found a beautiful lace Stella York dress which the very talented Luda at Dalinda’s customized with a beautiful sweetheart neckline. I added a champagne sash with crystal detail to add a little sparkle and I wore a pearl pendant that my grandmother wore on her wedding day, in my hair, and sewed a piece of my mom’s beautiful wedding dress into my own, over my heart. The glitzy and romantic attire was balanced by the lovely organic bouquets and boutonnieres which our florist Maryland Bay Blossoms arranged. They were beautifully made, and very simple and non-traditional – just whisps of rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender, and a few peonies for my bouquet.

My favorite part of our wedding day was the ceremony. Even though it was very very very hot, I couldn’t have had a better time. I felt so present, and I couldn’t take my eyes off Nate; I felt so connected.

I thought I would be so nervous walking down the aisle, but my dad made me laugh and smile the whole time. And then when he shook Nate’s hand, he said “Nate, do you see the smile on my daughter’s face? Please make sure she never stops smiling.” It was such a sweet moment.

The whole ceremony was very personal and special to us. We asked our mutual friend whom we both met in grad school, right before we started dating to officiate! Two of our good friends, recently married, read a few beautiful words about love and growing together. My godmother asked our guests to warm our rings, and it felt really special to have all of the people who have been a part of our individual stories, become a part of our story together.

Our recessional song was “Sexual Healing” performed by the Hot 8 Brass Band, which is a funky New Orlean’s parade-style version of the song. We love it, and as we walked down the aisle it made us laugh and smile, watching everyone sing along before they realized what they were singing!

Right after cocktail hour, we danced our first dance to “The Book of Love” by the Magnetic Zeroes. We had danced to this song one night on vacation several months earlier, when it was just the two of us on a covered porch listening to our iPod. We decided then that it was just the right balance of cheeky and romantic for us. After our first dance, our wedding party and parents joined us for a dance to “Luckiest” by Ben Folds. We didn’t have a traditional intro, and this ended up being the perfect way for us to have a special moment for our wedding party and parents with all of our guests looking on.

During dinner, my mom and dad welcomed everyone, and my brothers and Nate’s friends gave toasts. They were funny, and touching, and we laughed and cried and then we ate, and danced, and chatted with friends.

We didn’t want to go the traditional desert route, so we purchased three delicious almond amaretto cakes from a local bakery, and my dad, who is an amazing cook, made traditional Italian biscotti.

We danced and danced and danced after dessert, and I couldn’t have had a more fun evening. Everything about our wedding was so personal and thoughtful and perfect. I loved every minute of it.

Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Floral Design: Maryland Bay Blossoms | Wedding Dress: Essense Of Australia - Stella York | Cake: Sugar Bakers Cakes | Catering: Zeffert And Gold | Makeup Artist: Jamaya Moore | Hair Stylist: Jewel Hair Design | DJ: Music Masters | Tuxes: Kenneth Cole | Officiant: Andrew Feldhouse | Hotel: Hotel Monaco | Wedding Venue: Evergreen Museum And Library | Bridal Boutique: Amanda Ritchey Bridal | Bridal Jewelry: Heirloom | Bridal Shoes: Schutz | Event Planning & Styling: Lauren Niles Events | Farm Tables: Barnes Handcrafted Farmhouse Tables | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Paper Goods: DIY By Bride

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Organic + Elegant Spring Wedding Inspiration

As we enjoy these last few days of spring and get ready to dive into the vibrancy of summer, I’m personally soaking up as much pastel prettiness as I can. Case in point? This darling shoot from Stacy Bauer and Lauren Niles Events. For those of you newly engaged planning on a spring 2016 wedding, you’ll want to get your pinning fingers ready for this bit of spring gorgeousness!

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Summer
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Church
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Elegance

From Lauren NilesInspired by the gorgeous architecture of University Baptist Church, I chose soft pastels and lush texture to provide contrast to the soaring archways and creamy facade of the building. Since the style of the church reminded me of the beautiful churches I’ve visited in Rome, we styled with European gardens in mind, but were decidedly modern in our approach by mixing crystal pedestals and cymbidium orchids into an otherwise organic tablescape. A mix of white and ivory pillars in mass, lemon leaf garlands, vintage china, upholstered high back chairs and beautiful calligraphy completed this dreamy and incredibly romantic styled shoot.

Photography: Stacy Bauer Photography | Event Planning: Lauren Niles Events | Florals: My Flower Box | Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall | Wedding Dress: Garnish Boutique | Cake: Baltimore Cakery | Church: University Baptist Church | Make Up: Heather Rae | Hair: Erica Groh | Calligraphy: Poppy And Scooter | Groom's Attire: Bine And Bas | Linens: La Tavola | Vintage Rentals: Xoxo Vintage

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Black Tie Baltimore Library Wedding

If you’ve seen “Sex and the City,” you have an idea of how romantic a public library wedding can be. With its stately architecture and Art Deco vibe, the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Central Branch was a dream backdrop for this stunning couple to exchanges their grandparents’ wedding rings and celebrate becoming husband and wife. Enjoy all the thoughtful touches (including the book cart escort card display!), courtesy of Audra Wrisley, in the gallery.

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Fall
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Library

From Audra WrisleyMelissa and Jack’s elegant Pratt Library wedding was one held on one of the prettiest October days of the season. Their elegant color scheme of classic black and ivory with green accents was chic and perfect for their city wedding in the bride’s hometown of Baltimore. Full of beautiful Jewish traditions, the wedding ceremony was intimately designed under a beautiful floral huppah. The evening ensued with hors d’oeuvres on the library’s balcony, intertwined with the library’s Maurice Sendak exhibit, and later lots of dancing, toasting, and celebrating under the dreamy ceilings of the Pratt Library.

From the Bride… We wanted to have a wedding that was meaningful to us and a blast for our guests, so the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Central Branch in downtown Baltimore was a perfect location. I love all things literature and Jack wanted to create a special event — a one-stop-shop where we could get married and throw a great party. A functioning library during the week, it makes for a stunning event space, with marble columns, painted frescoes, and a three-story atrium. We held the traditional Ketubah signing in front of a small group of close family and friends in the stately Edgar Allan Poe room before the main ceremony in the atrium. A rabbi I’ve known since childhood married us using our grandparents’ wedding rings, and later we heard special blessings from some of our favorite family members. We love the outdoors, so we kept all of our details in a green, white, and gray palette. There was also a subtle nod to the library’s romantic Art Deco feel in many of our small details, such as the picture frames, invitations, my dress, place cards, and accessories. During the cocktail hour, guests looked out over the main hall from decorative iron windows, and during the reception, they received drinks from the book check-out desk.

One of my favorite memories was when we were taking pictures at the Washington Monument before the ceremony. Jack was waiting for me in a small courtyard, and although we’d decided to have a first look, we hadn’t thought much about it at all. We’d spent so many months agonizing over planning, but that simple moment was an exciting start to a truly beautiful day. Jack loved when we spontaneously got into a second-floor window and got a big cheer from our friends (and some shrieks from our parents). Sharing our celebration with the special people in our lives was extraordinary, and it’s so fun to remember that joy through Audra’s beautiful pictures.

Photography: Audra Wrisley | Floral Design: Bella Fiori Flowers | Catering: Zeffert And Gold | DJ: Matt Daughaday | Ceremony Music: Two Rivers Chamber Music | Venue: Enoch Pratt Free Library | Wedding Coordination: Elle Ellinghaus Designs

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Baltimore George Peabody Library Wedding

Tradition dictates that a bride and groom should marry in the bride’s hometown, and though things have changed (hello, destination weddings!), if you’re lucky enough to come from a beautiful city like this gorgeous Bride, why mess with tradition? Maria Linz Photography captured all the charm that earned Baltimore its nickname—Charm City—and this wedding was full of it! From the Bride’s flawless hair and makeup courtesy of Amie Decker Beauty to the breathtaking setting of the George Peabody library, you’ll want to pin all the pretty.

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Seasons
Fall

From the beautiful Bride… Although Mike and I grew up only 20 miles apart, we didn’t meet until we were both students at the University of Maryland. We met in the fall of 2005, and even though we were instantly attracted to one another, didn’t start dating until 2009 (some things take time!). Five years later on a gorgeous October day in Baltimore, we said, “I do!”

I was born and raised in Baltimore, and Mike moved to Baltimore as a baby, so it was important to us that we be married in Charm City. From day one, I knew our wedding reception had to be at the George Peabody Library, and luckily, Mike agreed! I studied ballet at the Peabody Preparatory, and I earned my Master’s degree in reading education from John’s Hopkins University, which owns the Peabody, so the library was important to me on multiple levels. We were married at Corpus Christi Church, an insanely gorgeous gorgeous church that happens to be one of Baltimore’s oldest. We had stumbled upon Corpus Christi a few years ago during a free organ concert at an arts festival, and instantly fell in love with the beauty and intimacy of the small-yet-grand church. It felt like fate when we learned the church was available for our wedding.

On the day of the wedding, we both got ready at our respective family homes, surrounded by friends and family. My matron of honor was my cousin (who also happens to be a best friend, sorority sister, and former roommate), and my four bridesmaids were women who are dear to me for innumerable reasons (best friends, travel buddies, sorority sisters, roommates – these gals wear many hats!). The ladies wore floor-length champagne-colored chiffon dresses, accented by jewelry I gifted them (gold monogram bracelets and gold-and-champagne drop earrings). My junior bridesmaids were my two youngest cousins. Fun fact: my matron-of-honor and I were the flower girls in their parents’ wedding! The little girls wore white dresses with blush accents and bracelets gifted by me (pearls with their initials). I wore Watters’ Ellery gown in ivory with an extended train and a cathedral-length lace-embellished veil. My something old was the diamond in my engagement ring, which used to belong to my grandmother; my something new was the wedding gown and veil; something borrowed were a pearl bracelet and drop earrings from my mother; and blue was the bottom of my shoes.

Mike and his groomsmen gathered at his parents’ home, where they cheered on the Terps football team before putting on their tuxes. Mike’s brother was his best man, and his groomsmen included his three best friends from childhood, and my younger brother. The guys wore black tuxes, and showed their state pride with grayscale suspenders sporting the Maryland state flag pattern.

In the early afternoon, the men piled into their limo and headed into the city for pictures in Mount Vernon place, a garden-filled area outside the George Peabody Library. Shortly after, the bridesmaids and I joined the men downtown for first-look photos and the bulk of the bridal party pictures. Originally, neither of us was thrilled about the idea of doing pictures in advance of the wedding, but the sun sets early in October, and we knew it would be dark by the time our 6pm ceremony was over.

Since we were both raised in the Roman Catholic faith, it was important to us that we celebrate our marriage in a full traditional Nuptial Mass. Our 130 guests filled the church with an abundance of love and support. After the ceremony, we made our way over to the library.

We included many special touches in our wedding reception, including displaying wedding photographs of three generations of family members. We also incorporated card catalog drawers into the floral arrangements, by using them to display escort cards for the guests. In lieu of favors, we decided to make donations to five charities close our hearts. We wanted to incorporate guests in this process, so we had a table set up with five containers and a framed description of each charity and it’s importance to us (a breast cancer foundation in honor of our friends and family, a Lyme disease research foundation in honor of my father, a Parkinson’s Disease foundation in memory of my grandfather, a local reading organization for my passion for literacy, a local soup kitchen that is dear to us). Each guest was given five tokens to deposit in the jars of their choice, and then we made contributions to the charities in proportion with the amount of tokens allotted to each one.

The cocktail hour space (an exhibit hall) and main library were decorated in pink and champagne, with gold accents. The dinner tables featured lanterns with halos of flowers and tall, lush rounds of baby’s breath. As the library is so magnificent to begin with, we were very careful to select florals and decorations that would enhance the library’s beauty without distracting from it.

When I reflect back on our wedding, I am so grateful for the love and joy that surrounded us, and for the closeness Mike and I experienced on that day. The week before the wedding, a friend offered us this advice: “Once you enter the reception, don’t leave each other’s side. Everyone will be so excited to talk to you, that once you separate, it will be nearly impossible to work your way back together.” We took this to heart, and are so glad that we did – it was a bonding experience like no other!

Photography: Maria Linz Photography | Floral Design: The Floral Studio | Wedding Dress: Watters | Invitations: Kindly RSVP | Ceremony Venue: Corpus Christi Church | Reception Venue: George Peabody Library | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Hair And Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | DJ: AJ Productions | Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Banks | Groom's Attire: Route One Apparel | Groomsmen's Attire: Route One Apparel | Caterering: Chef's Expressions | String Duo: Chesapeake Strings | Valet: Jay's Valet | Veil: Toni Federici

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Spring Mansion Wedding at Cylburn Arboretum

Pink peonies are a surefire way to my wedding loving heart and this next springtime affair is overflowing with plenty. Returning to the place where their love story began, these college cuties wed surrounded magnolia trees and merriment. It’s a day filled with beauty and bliss that’ll have you weak in the knees. See the entire as told through the lens of Love By Serena right over here!

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Spring
Settings
Garden
Styles
Elegant

From Love By Serena… This spring, I had the pleasure of documenting Amy and Christian’s love for one another. The two of them met while studying at John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore, so it was fitting for them to come back to their place of origin for the big day. They said their vows to one another at the lovely Cylburn Arboretum and we spent a beautiful spring day amongst the blossoming Magnolia trees. It truly couldn’t have been more perfect and a huge thanks goes out to the talented Elle Ellinghaus Designs for making everything run so smoothly!

Photography: Love By Serena | Videography: Reflexion | Floral Design: My Flower Box Events | Stationery: The Pretty Paperie | Catering: Rouge Fine Catering | Band: Infusion By Washington Talent | Officiant: Ceremony By Heather Saul | Transportation: American Limousines | Hotel: The Inn At Henderson's Wharf | Wedding Venue: Cylburn Arboretum | Beauty: Behind The Veil, LLC | Desserts: Sweet Hearts Patisserie | Event Planning & Design: Elle Ellinghaus Designs | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Music (Ceremony): Canterbury Strings | Rentals: Party Plus Rentals | Rentals: AFR Furniture Rental | Rentals: Chicka | Rentals: Select Event Rentals

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