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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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