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!
From Michael and Carina Photography… This 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