intimate maryland wedding

Corina & Ben’s Intimate, DIY Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: Jonah Koch for MBK Photography via Two Bright Lights

Happy Friday Romancers!! Another week has come to an end, and with it (like most weeks) I wonder where the time went and I feel like I have so much to do. I wasn’t the best at blogging this week, but I did finally make it out to an “Art Club” meet-up last night with two fantabulous DC artists/designers. It’s so inspiring to meet freelance artists that create such beautifully creative and unique pieces. Though it didn’t help my to-do list, it certainly helped my mind & soul a bit. Also my belly – because we had THE MOST DELICIOUS wine & cheese during our discussion. We are NJ/PA bound for the weekend first thing tomorrow for some family time & a baby shower! Hope you guys have a great one too! Enjoy this super sweet, vintage-inspired (with a TON of DIY details) Maryland wedding for today!

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I didn’t want the wedding to be one-sided. Too often weddings tend to be about the bride, which misses the point. It’s about the marriage and the union of two people and I wanted it to be a nice balance that satisfied my husband.

We chose the venue because it was financial feasible and it worked out aesthetically. We decided on a tea ceremony – something very common in my culture – and cramped everyone in our tiny apartment, which made it ever so much more intimate.

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I’m not sure I accomplished my goal but I was going for a noir bridal themed wedding. I like my designs clean cut and uncluttered. Black and white were the tones I naturally gravitated towards and red embodied cultural significance for me and my family. I designed a wedding grocery bag because weddings tend to give away useless trinkets. I wanted to give people things they could use while reminding them of our wedding.

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We met at Duke University as undergraduates. We since have endured a 7-year long-distance relationship. At one point I was serving in the US Peace Corps in Samoa in the South Pacific and he was serving in Iraq in the military. We were able to skype during that year – pretty incredible technology feat.

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Nowhere in my wedding did I include flowers. If you can afford them, flowers can be a great accent. With my go big or go home attitude if I wasn’t going to saturate my whole wedding with flowers I wasn’t going to include them at all. Also, like I said previously, I wanted a balanced wedding that wasn’t too feminine.

I enjoy wedding planning/ designing and as I lived far from my family, I did most of the pre-wedding work myself. I also managed to squeeze out some help from my husband, much to his protest.

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I made the backdrop to the stage where the musicians played. While any bystander would have written the streamers off, those designs took three whole months to complete by myself. My brother, a concept designer from California, designed the backdrop of my dessert table – probably one of the most notable designs in the wedding.

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Caitlin & Michael’s Intimate Maryland Wedding on a Boat

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Images: Daysy Photography via Two Bright Lights

It’s been a week. This one felt long – maybe because it was officially my last week in an office until September (not sure that has really hit me yet). These next few days will mostly be me & my laptop, trying to get a bunch of posts scheduled for the next few weeks in case Baby Ryback decides to show up early (though my official due date is Thursday, so not that early!). I’ll keep you guys posted on the arrival and what the blog will look like during my leave, but please be patient as I really don’t know how it will all shake out!

In the meantime, we’re celebrating Friday and another end of the work week with a super cute, intimate Maryland wedding that took place on the water and then a boat!! It was planned in only a month – but everything came together so beautifully! Have a great weekend Romancers! We will be announcing our return address stamp giveaway winner soon AND launching a SUPER AWESOME giveaway on Monday. So stay tuned!

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We decided we wanted the wedding to be intimate and just the two of us. St Michaels was at the top of our list and we were blown away by its beauty and charm. The inn at Perry Cabin was both luxurious and cozy all wrapped into one and from the moment we first arrived to preview the location we knew it was the perfect setting for our wedding.

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I loved how relaxed and stress free the day was it gave us the opportunity to focus on each other and what the day was truly suppose to be about.Tell us about your wedding day fashions. Since we planned our day in only a month I ordered my dress and accessories all online from BHLDN.

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We wanted to stay in theme with our location on the water so blue was our main color. The bouquet was something I made myself using some flowers we purchased at the market their pinkish purple color was a nice complement to the blue.

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We took a boat ride right after the ceremony and it was the perfect setting to spend our first moments as newlyweds.

Ousler Nautical Elopement

Click inside for the rest of Caitlin & Michael’s intimate Maryland boat wedding!

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Lauren & Michael’s Intimate Elopement Wedding at Woodlawn Manor

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Images: Jon Fleming Photography

Everyone here knows I love a good elopement but what I Really love about Lauren & Michael’s intimate Woodlawn Manor wedding is that even though it was just the two of them – they didn’t scrimp on the details! They had a full on decorated dinner table (with lace & flowers & love signs), an adorable cake with pops of teal, the most STUNNING black lace wedding dress on the bride, and one of the most romantic wedding ceremony setups I’ve ever seen! They still totally had a wedding – just for the two of them and not an entire 75+ guest list! Check all the gorgeous details out below. Thanks to Merlyn of Extravagant Elopements for the submission!

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Details from Merlyn:

The busy couple had been engaged for a long time, but finding time to plan a wedding had proven to be tougher than either one of them imagined. When Lauren heard about how a Pop Up Wedding could be planned in a short amount of time with almost no stress, she was all for it! At first the couple was unsure about whether to invite a small group of family and friends to witness the occasion. But since almost everyone on the guest list had a spouse or a plus one–after doing the math, they decided to just have an intimate elopement ​with the two of them.

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The bride knew she wanted a vintage-antique look for her special day, chocolate cake, and lavender and teal accents throughout the wedding décor. ​

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Click inside for the rest of this gorgeous, vintage inspired Woodlawn Manor elopement!

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Leigh Margaret & Inwook’s Intimate, Korean Infused Maryland Wedding

I was going to write something beautiful to introduce today’s Maryland wedding feature, but what photographer, Steve of An Endless Pursuit wrote, was so much better than anything I could have attempted. So I leave you with his words. Happy Thursday Romancers.

“This was Leigh Margaret and Inwook’s second wedding. The first one was in South Korea and then they came back to the states to have a wedding with Leigh Margaret’s family. This was a small simple wedding. It was actually in a small house/meeting room at a local Gaithersburg community pool. Despite the simplicity, this wedding was beautiful in every way to us. Leigh Margaret and Inwook were incredible to observe and document. They come from such different cultures, there are language barriers, and yet there is a common language they speak through their love. Inwook was so full of joy and delight with his bride, and he expressed it in continuous laughter.”

Leigh Margaret & Inwook’s Intimate, Multicultural Maryland Wedding in Gaithersburg

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Photography: An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Hadley Farms | Linens & Rentals: Gaithersburg Party Rental | Musicians: Peat and Barley | Catering: LaPrima Catering | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

From the Bride:

Inwook and I were already going to have a huge, fancy Korean wedding. For the party in Jinju, there were 400 people in attendance! That wasn’t exactly my style. It was all very princess-y. If I happened to be a fussy bride, maybe I would have pushed for more opulence with the American wedding. I am thankful for both parties but our second marriage celebration couldn’t have been more perfect. It was intimate, enjoyable, and lovely. Thanks to Mama Manning for making it all possible!

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We have an unlikely story: I was the English language teacher, he was the student. I’m American and he’s Korean (that’s South Korean, by the way.) But more than proving that two very different people can build a relationship, I hope we are able to encourage others to take a risk romantically. You might just find the most fantastic partner that way.

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I had always wondered if I might end up with a non-white person. Maybe that’s a strange goal in seeking a partner. I suppose, this idea rendered itself more as an “open mind.” Even with that kind of openness, I had never dreamed he would grow up across the world, in a totally different language and culture. Thanks to his superior English skills, we are able to have a decently communicative relationship. (Guys and girls don’t communicate well anyway, but throw in a language barrier…) I think we balance each other well. We are equal amounts adventurous, but he’s cheerful and I’m sassy. Maybe. I shouldn’t be proud of that…

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I find the most joy in our shared love for traveling, our desire to bless others, and appreciating our cultural differences. Inwook is so fascinating, I’m not sure if I will ever stop learning new things about him. He would probably confess that I’m rambunctious and dynamic (i.e. crazy), and that keeps him entertained.

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Click inside for some adorable details form Leigh Margaret & Inwook’s simple, intimate Maryland wedding!

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Melissa & Telly’s Intimate MD Courthouse Wedding & Charthouse Reception

Hey Romancers! I am up in Boston this weekend for a dear friend from highschool’s wedding (yay! wedding guest! woo hoo!). But wanted to leave  you with a little something something for your Friday. Have a fabulous long weekend and a very happy Labor Day (Go Penn State!).

Melissa & Telly’s Intimate Annapolis MD Courthouse Wedding

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Photography: Angel Kidwell Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Melissa and Telly decided to have a relaxed Annapolis courthouse wedding with their nearest and dearest ending the night with a delicious sunset dinner at the Chart House.

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Click to see the rest of Melissa & Telly’s adorable Maryland Courthouse wedding!

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Capitol Wedding: Mark & Allison’s Intimate & Offbeat, Courthouse Wedding in Rockville, MD

When I saw Amber Wilkie Photography post a link to this wedding on her blog, I just knew I had to have it. A bride in polka dots? An intimate, courthouse wedding ceremony? And some of the most darling portraits, full of too many smiles and laughs between a couple that is so obviously in love? I mean, come on!

Thankfully Mark & Allison were game, and fortunately Amber Wilkie was kind enough to share her gorgeous images with me. So sit back, relax, and prepare for a ton of smiles from this one Romancers.

Mark & Allison’s Intimate, Offbeat Courthouse Wedding in Rockville MD

About the couple & their decision to have an intimate, courthouse wedding:

Mark and Allison met in Library school. Their first date was a Nationals Game and Mark, being the intelligent guy he is, did not know it was a date at first.

Allison wanted a small courthouse wedding for a number of reasons. Mostly because she is somewhat shy and wanted a more private ceremony. Also, small courthouse weddings are the norm in her family, so she didn’t feel pressured to do anything big. They planned to have the ceremony on the Rockville Courthouse on a Friday, with an Indian buffet after the ceremony. They planned a party at Mark’s parents houses the next day for all the friends and family.

Allison thought her Dad wasn’t the sentimental or traditional type, but it turned out that he wanted to walk her down the aisle. So when they came into the ceremony room they walked to the back and then walked down an aisle of their own making.

Details on the amazing, polka dot, 1950s style wedding dress Allison wore:

Allison’s choice was based on several criteria: not white (she hates wearing white), needs to be poofy (Allison loves historic clothing, especially hoop skirts and crinolines and in her mind fancy always means poofy), it can’t be too expensive, it should be a dress that could possibly be worn again, & not strapless (woo hoo .. not strapless, a girl after my own heart)

Therefore, she landed on Whirling Turban’s custom, fabric wing bust dress. Whirling Turban has been a favorite of mine for affordable, vintage wedding dress for a while. Be sure to check it out!

 Fun story! The zipper broke while Allison was in the security line at the Courthouse (thank you nice lady for telling her!) so her family had to rush to the rescue to get it shut again. Her aunt found some binder clips, that luckily did not have to be used, because her cousin forced the zipper back together, only a little crooked at the top. Allison brought safety pins for the party the next day, but never needed them. Phew!

Click inside for the rest of Mark & Allison’s intimate & offbeat Courthouse wedding in Maryland. Including the amazing portraits at where else, a library!

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Capitol Wedding: Sarah & Chris’ Intimate Maryland Wedding in Shadyside

I have a beautiful intimate Maryland wedding for you this afternoon courtesy of Jenn Lynn Photography [submitted via Two Bright Lights].

Sarah & Chris’ Intimate Maryland Wedding

From the photographer:

Chris’ sister contacted me about photographing her brother’s wedding. The photography was going to be their wedding gift…what a nice sister, I thought! I didn’t meet Chris & Sarah until their engagement session, which was in downtown Annapolis. I could tell immediately how sweet & in love they were (and so young!).

Sarah was getting ready to graduate from Boston College in the spring while Chris had graduated from Georgia Tech & was living back in Maryland. They were very much looking forward to being together again once they were married.

The wedding was a small affair in Shady Side, MD made up of family & close friends. The most moving part of the day was after the ceremony when Sarah took her bouquet to her father’s grave. It was a quiet, intimate moment, but the picture is something that captures the emotion of the day.

Such a moving picture to see a bride bringing her bouquet to her father’s grave. Wow .. just wow.

Click inside to see the rest of Sarah & Chris’ intimate Maryland wedding!

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Olivia & Eric’s Small-budget Maryland Wedding

I have a really gorgeous, small budget Maryland wedding to share with you this morning. When Amber Wilkie Photography dropped this beauty in my Two Bright Lights inbox, I nearly jumped off the couch with excitement.

This wedding is GORGEOUS.

And has all those hand-made details and personal touches that I just swoon over. Plus, the bride, Olivia is one of the nicest people I have encountered, and she has shared some really amazing, and personal details with me to post along with her gorgeous pictures.

You are all in for a real treat :)

Olivia & Eric’s beautiful, small-budget Maryland wedding

About the couple from Amber Wilkie Photography:

Olivia and Eric met in Afghanistan while working on various military projects. When Eric ended up stationed in Williamsburg, they knew they could continue their relationship.

I always tease my couples about having kids and most of them get nervous and evade the question (makes for good laughing photos!) but Olivia didn’t blink and said they’d be trying for children right away. These two didn’t want to have a big party and instead opted for a very classy but still relaxed event at a local restaurant.

Olivia on the Maryland wedding venue selection:

Venue:  We wanted an all-in-one, indoor location to avoid weather, transportation, and herding issues.  Because a few guests would be making our wedding into a day trip, we decided on a late morning ceremony with lunch.  I searched for well-reviewed restaurants that people had voted as “good for groups”.  From there, I perused a few menus and photos before narrowing the list down to three restaurants.  I emailed all three to ensure availability (explaining we were planning both a ceremony and reception), and lunched at them to get a sense of their ambiance, service, and food.

From the moment I drove up to La Ferme and met with the owner, Alain, I knew this was the place.  Charming, intimate, unpretentious…perfect.  The layout of La Ferme was conducive for the small, intimate ceremony and reception we wanted.  Alain was very accommodating and flexible, and through his experience with past weddings at the restaurant, had good ideas and suggestions for flow, seating arrangements, where to hold the ceremony, and so on.


How it all began …

  Eric and I met on deployment, but it took us a while to become friends because our lives were tightly defined by our jobs and mission. We eventually became work-out buddies and developed a routine of eating chow together after the gym.  Maybe because we were in a war zone, our conversations tended to be soul-searching and meaningful.  Still, it took several thousand miles, a couple of unsuccessful relationships, and a few, long months before Eric and I reconnected at home and saw the potential in “us”.  We were engaged the following May, and planned the wedding for July!

Despite only having a couple of months and a budget of $3000, the wedding planning was smooth, surprisingly stress-free, and done almost completely online.  Having a guest list of 30 helped quite a bit.  At first, I went to for planning advice and tips, but was quickly overwhelmed.  I definitely didn’t need that many checklists or reminders, so instead, I made a simple list of things we needed and how much I was willing to spend.

Olivia’s friend Kim made all the flower arrangements from flowers purchased from Whole Foods! Talk about DIY flowers.

My friend, Kimberly, volunteered to do the flowers as her gift to me.  We went to Whole Foods, I picked out what I liked, and she put it all together!  She’s pretty talented that way.

Click inside to see more of Olivia & Eric’s intimate, small-budget Maryland wedding!

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Joanna & Justin’s Handmade, Intimate Maryland Wedding at the VanDiver Inn

Who is ready for their weekly dose of Tea?

That’s right! I have another fabulous wedding courtesy of Sweet Tea Photography to share with you this afternoon! Say hello to the gorgeous couple, Joanna & Justin!

Joanna & Justin tied the knot on March 27th, 2011 at the Vandiver Inn (a really cute bed and breakfast), located in Havre de Grace, MD. Their gorgeous wedding was captured perfectly by Lisa Marie of Sweet Tea Photography! You guys are going to LOVE this wedding and the pictures, which include some fantastic holga wedding photography! Enjoy.

Obsessed with the bridesmaids’ non-matching shoes, both style and color! So fun!

I love love love non-posing “formal” shots! So much more fun!

See above on comment re: non-posing “formals” <3

LOVING the vintage feel of this next Holga shot of the groom and his g-men!

Looks like someone is ready to get MARRIED!

You just have to click inside to see the rest of this awesome wedding … including more holga wedding photography and a delectable “cookie bar”!!

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