These two have the cutest story. Seriously… this is one of those romances that deserves a big screen rendition starring Reese Witherspoon and (insert dapper actor here). It’s that good, people. And their seaside wedding? Well, that would be the uber-romantic ending, with gorgeous florals from Amy Wilkins, the planning skills of Kari Rider and magical moments courtesy of Katie Pegher. See them here.
And a sweet film from Blue Sky Films… Yes. Please.
From the Bride… I remember the very first time I saw Paul in the 8th grade. At this point, you’re probably thinking “they are a fairy tale love story,” and that is actually quite far from the truth. Although there is a bit of magic to it, I like to think of our relationship as fun, spontaneous, relaxed and full of goofy moments. You see – although Paul and I met 13 years ago, we were best friends for many years before dating.
It all started when my older sister started swooning over Paul’s best friend. I ended up being my sister’s “wingwoman” and Paul was his best friend’s “wingman.” Eventually, my sister and her now husband (with two adorable daughters) didn’t need us to tag along on their dates – yet Paul and I remained inseparable. Our relationship blossomed over years of dating long distance. And – I mean, YEARS of long distance. I was working at a retail headquarters in Columbus, Ohio and Paul was living in the Washington, DC area. Needless to say, I stopped counting after our 50th trip back and forth to see each other.
Eventually I got ahold of my senses and moved to Arlington to be with the love of my life. Our hearts (and wallets!) couldn’t have been happier. That was, until August of 2012 when Paul surprised me with a proposal at Nemacolin’s uber-romantic Falling Rock followed by a surprise party with our families.
I always knew that I wanted to be engaged for over a year. I wanted to enjoy that gleeful stage of my life, taking my time to plan the details and just relish the moment. Little did I know how much work that planning would be. Paul and I went through an enormous amount of ups and downs throughout our engagement, and I have to thank my saving graces including my family, friends, Katie Pegher and Kari Rider. If you aren’t already Googling their names, then consider yourself crazy. Katie is the most talented photographer I have ever met – she is a true artist, not to mention an absolute ball of fun. And Kari, she is the most laid back, relaxed person who helped me throughout the planning process and my (occasional) bridezilla meltdowns.
Paul and I decided to have our wedding at the breathtaking Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. We wanted our family and friends to come out to the Eastern Shore, which is a very popular getaway for those who live in the DC area. We had everyone stay in Annapolis, a quintessential sailing town with rich history and a stylish, yet relaxed tone. And, crossing over the Bay Bridge to our venue just brought shivers up and down my spine at the breathtaking view on the water.
Paul and I are interfaith: he is Jewish and I am Catholic, so we wanted our ceremony to be an intimate and meaningful representation of who we are. We were ecstatic to have two officiants, each representing our individual faiths: Rabbi Block and Father Michael Kelley. It is rare and hard to find a rabbi and a Catholic priest that will perform an interfaith ceremony, and so we felt very lucky to have worked with them both. They have performed countless weddings together and we’d highly recommend them.
Last-minute rain ended up forcing us to bring our ceremony inside, but it ended up being so cozy and allowed our guests to really feel as though they were an integral part of our union. Our ceremony focused on learning about the best of what we each have to offer, appreciating both differences and similarities and confirming that we were meant to be. It was the most exposed and exhilarating moment of my life: standing in front of our closest family and friends, and giving Paul my life to keep.
Paul and I chose to do a first look before the ceremony, and I must be honest in that it was so we could make sure we were there for all of cocktail hour. Whenever we go to weddings, our absolute favorite portion is always the cocktail hour. It’s a time for everyone to meet and mingle, relax and just enjoy the atmosphere. For this reason, we wanted our cocktail hour to be comfortable and laid back – above all else. We are from Ohio, and so we had the Ohio State Buckeyes game playing in our cocktail space. And, my golly was the cocktail space beautiful: floor to ceiling windows with a view of the Chesapeake Bay at sunset. Guests were able to listen to a 5-piece Celtic group who also played during ceremony, grab a cocktail or glass of champagne, and munch on a plethora of hor d’oeuvres including: a Maryland crab cake station, slider station with lobster, asian short rib, and kobe burgers, a cheese and vegetable display, mac-n-cheese filled bacon cups, wedged pear, brie and toasted almond phyllo rolls, and pigs in a blanket with Cleveland Stadium Mustard. It was even more extravagant than it sounds, with guests spilling out of the cocktail space and onto an outdoor patio to take pictures near the huge, lit brick fireplace or sandy dock next to the bay. Boy am I glad Paul and I didn’t miss out on the fun!
As guests began to enter the reception space, they grabbed their escort card. I used vintage compasses for the escort display and each guests name was on the inside lid of the compass. It served as a cute DIY favor and nautical touch.
For our wedding, we were fortunate to have Nathan Pacheco, an international recording artist, sing at our wedding. He sang our first dance, and his voice brought tears to my eyes and made my heart just swell with happiness. And throughout the night, our 13-piece band Free Spirit made for an incredible party. For a little dancing break, we decided to have a pie bar with doughnuts and ice cream instead of cake. Guests seemed to really enjoy that fall touch. To cap off the evening, Paul and I had a sparkler exit as we drove home in a 1962 Rolls Royce. Guests were able to get their late-night hunger fix with Chick-fil-a sandwiches, which were served on silver platters as guests got onto the shuttles for the ride home.
Photography: Katie Pegher | Videography: Blue Sky Films | Event Planning: Kari Rider Events | Floral Design: Amy Wilkins From Monteray Farms | Wedding Dress: Hitched Salon | Invitations: Hitched Salon | Rings: Ascot Diamonds (Custom Design) | Bridesmaids Dresses: Eli Tahari | Hair And Makeup: Shanna Beisel | Grooms Attire: Alexander Nash | Groomsmen Attire: Bonobos | Transportation: Extraordinar Limousine | Bride's Purse: Jimmy Choo | Brides And Bridesmaids Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Ceremony And Cocktail Hour Music: Keltia | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club | First Look Videographer: Cecile Davis | Grooms Shoes: Del Toro Prince Albert Slipper | International Recording Artist: Nathan Pacheco | Paper Goods: Intrigue Design Studio | Photography - Assistance: Erin Wheeler | Priest Officiant: Father Michael Kelley | Rabbi Officiant: Rabbi Block | Reception Band: Free Spirit | Rolls Royce Getaway Car: Her Majesty's Service