maryland wedding

Nicole & Dean’s Offbeat, Personalized Maryland Wedding at Brookeville Academy

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Images: Shanna Edberg Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

I mean I can never say no to a real DC area wedding features a bride in a dress color other than white! Nicole ROCKED her red wedding dress and all the details of this adorable, intimate & small budget Maryland wedding are just so fun. As self proclaimed “geeks”, Nicole & Dean opted for a “first video game” instead of a first dance and they walked down the aisle to Battlestar Galactica – um hell yes. Their wedding was a 100% them and was made possible by all their family & friends. Enjoy!

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Pretty much *all* of our wedding was offbeat. We’re a very geeky, nontraditional couple, and like many couples, we have a lot of student loan debt. We wanted to show our family and friends a fun, meaningful time without breaking our (very small) budget, which was a challenge in the area. We also paid for the wedding pretty much on our own.

I chose to wear a red dress because I almost never wear white. I wanted to wear a color that I felt beautiful and comfortable in. We chose red and black because they’re bold, striking, beautiful colors. Folks on the groom’s side wore fighter jet lapel pins to showcase Dean’s love for planes, and folks on the bride’s side wore neuron lapel pins or necklaces to showcase my love of brains! We wrote our own ceremony and vows to incorporate our love of science, video games, and other geeky things.

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We were very fortunate to be able to use our ceremony venue. We were married at the Smith Center near the Meadowside Nature Center, which generally doesn’t allow large groups (besides non-profits) to use their venue. They actually usually don’t allow members of the general public to rent their space. However, Dean’s grandpa, who passed away years ago, used to take Dean there when he was little. The staff at the Smith Center worked with us and with the Meadowside Nature Center to find a way to allow us to have our ceremony on their property. It was really meaningful for Dean and his family, because it felt like his grandfather was able to be there in spirit.

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Click inside for all their fun science & geek themed wedding details!

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Matthew & Ian’s Laid Back Patapsco Female Institute Wedding in Maryland

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Images: Russ Hickman Photography

Couple-submitted weddings just never get old to me. Especially when the submission comes with an amazing email thanking me for my blog and the resources I provide. Such was the case with the grooms of today’s real Maryland wedding feature. Matt & Ian emailed me to not only tell me they used Capitol Romance to find venues, resources, and inspiration for their wedding, but would love to have their wedding featured back on the blog. This just gives me all the feels. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe that people want to be featured on this little blog I started over 4 years ago :)

Anyway, Matt & Ian planned and executed a STUNNING wedding – full of DIY projects, focusing on the things that were super important to them (a mixologist! a country/swing band!) AND hiring only vendors from jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legal. The end result is a wedding that is completely their own and SO much fun to blog! You guys are gonna love this one :)

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When Ian and I first sat down to start wedding planning, we came up with some non-negotiables – the things that mattered most to us. For me, I wanted the event to reflect us, which meant something classy, but casual. I also wanted good food and good music. Ian wanted handmade cocktails from an old-school mixologist, and also felt very strongly about only working with vendors in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage was legalized.

The wedding stationary (Save the Date, Invitation, Menu’s, etc.) were designed by us and printed by a local printer. It was important that we continue the playful, laid-back feel of the wedding through the stationary, as this was going to set the tone for the wedding and our guests. We chose recycled paper and a young, fresh font that was used on all stationary items. The colors dusty blue, orange, and slate were chosen as they felt modern yet masculine.

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The venue came first, and we were challenged with finding a unique venue that was not too stuffy, had a laid back atmosphere, and wouldn’t break the bank. I think we checked out half-a-dozen, which was entirely too many, before we happened upon the Patapsco Female Institute (PFI).

We first saw PFI on Capital Romance and fell in love. The feature was gorgeous, and the wedding looked so interesting that we couldn’t stop coming back to it over and over during our venue search. Initially, there were some aspects of PFI that scared us off: no bathrooms, no indoor rain plan, and just the notion of having to rent and place every piece of furniture, every decorative element, and every light fixture in order to warm up the space and make it our own. However, as other venues got ruled out along the way, PFI kept moving higher on the list, and the challenge of taking the dilapidated ruins of an old girl’s school, and turning them into a cool event space were appealing.

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The history of PFI is really interesting, and slightly dark. We were intrigued by rumors that the venue was haunted by the ghost of Annie Van Derlott, a girl who died in the Institute after coming down with pneumonia. We wanted to own the uniqueness of the space, and make it our own, so we paid tribute to the ghost by naming one of our speakeasy cocktails, “Annie Van Derlott’s Punch.” It was made with aged rum, xo cognac, lemon, sugar, and green tea, served over hand hewn ice with a lemon wheel and freshly grated nutmeg. It must’ve worked because no one reported any hauntings. In fact, on the day of our wedding it rained starting at sunrise. Once we arrived to the venue, however, it stopped. Literally as we pulled up, the clouds parted and the sun came up. I think maybe Annie made that happen, as a way of saying thanks for the booze…

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With a venue nailed down, we were able to piece together other big elements. I’m a vegetarian, have been since high school, so we needed to find a caterer with a good vision for exciting vegetarian options. Ian and I wanted to go with an eco-friendly caterer who worked with locally sourced ingredients, so we did some research on caterers who fit that bill. It didn’t take us long to find Catering By Seasons, a newer eco-caterer that had sprouted up in DC. Bob Sieralta, the catering manager, is a gem; he’s just one of the most energetic people you could meet. Hearing our vision, he got to work on executing it.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Matthew & Ian’s amazing, homegrown Patapsco Female Institute Wedding in Maryland!

Kayte & Luke’s Brightly Colored, DIY Newton House Mansion Wedding in Maryland

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[Images: Liz Fogarty Photography]

I loved the way you could totally feel this couple’s personality from their wedding images. From the bright orange, pink, and yellow color palette, to all the DIY projects – it was no wonder that this Maryland wedding totally rocked, with the bride being a SUPER talented musician. (Check her out!). The wedding has a slight bohemian meets Rock N Roll vibe and I am pumped to get to share some awesome insight from the couple to go along with their gorgeous wedding images from Liz Fogarty. Enjoy!

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Since we were long distance engaged (I was in MD where we’d be getting married & Luke was in LA), Luke gave me free reign to make a lot of the design choices, although I tried to run things by him whenever I thought he might have a preference :)  We wanted the wedding (which we referred to as ‘the party’) to feel young and colorful and delightful and casual.  We wanted all of our friends and family to have an amazing time. We went with a palate of shades of hot pink, fuchsia and orange for the bridesmaids, navy blue suits on the (12!) groomsmen, and pops of yellow to tie it all together – DIY-ed billy ball bouquets for the girls and (also DIY-ed) boutonnieres for the guys.

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Our invitation photo, which came before all of our wedding design choices, totally encapsulates the feel of the wedding – Luke and I sat on a bench in LA front of a hot pink wall and asked random strangers walking by to snap photos of us with his iPhone.  The very first one was the best and when I was back in Maryland, we designed our invitation together over Skype. When a cousin we’d invited noticed the lack of formal wording and fancy calligraphy on our invitations I was super happy because I knew it felt like “us” … as a couple we’re more “print” than “cursive.”

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The gorgeous grounds and architecture and round reception room with floor to ceiling windows at Newton White Mansion sold us on the venue. I knew the pictures would be gorgeous.  Luckily the rain on our wedding day held off long enough for us to get pictures outside, but by the time the ceremony started it was pouring, so we were glad we decided to move everything into the reception space as our rain plan. Having windows on all sides made us feel like we were outside and in at the same time.

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Kayte’s friend and former band mate Kevin accompanied her on guitar from his seat as she sung to Luke during the ceremony. Luke’s friend Adrian sweet talked a store into opening early and picked up Luke’s tie the morning of the wedding (don’t ask!) and got it to him just in time for the ceremony. Our friend Peter put together amazing playlists of music for before the ceremony, the cocktail hour, eating and dancing.  Luke’s friend Stephen drove all night from Ohio to be at the wedding and pick up the beer in time for the cocktail hour and reception. Our friend Nicole was the crazily organized ring master who was the “Day Of Coordinator” for us.  And our amazing bridal party made sure we had a great time.

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Click inside for more of Kayte & Luke’s adorable DIY Maryland wedding!

Annie & Kelvin’s Thai Chinese Fusion Wedding at Black Rock Arts Center in Maryland

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Images: Jerold Santa Cruz Photography

I thought it might be fun to throw something different at you guys for today. This real Maryland wedding features BOLD colors (purple, pink, red, and gold) a blend of Asian cultures (Thai & Chinese) and the setting of an Arts Center! So many blended vibes and themes – I dig it! Annie & Kelvin mixed their traditions and also threw a rockin’ wedding reception at the end. There’s a lot of different and interesting shots from their ceremony – I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did!

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From the couple:

We had a blend of Asian cultures of Thai and Chinese, the colors were Purple, Pink, Red and Gold. The purple and pink represented orchid colors, used in various thai ceremonies and the red and gold are common colors representing the Chinese, where red symbolizes good fortune and joy, and yellow symbolizes neutrality and good luck. The venue was the perfect setting for us to showcase our wedding on stage and to honor the thai water ceremony, Chinese tea ceremony and western ceremony in a theatrical setting.

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My bridesmaids were involved in the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutineers all diy. All family and friends helped with the set up of the centerpieces, stage and coordination. I had my bridesmaid give an introduction for each ceremony as well.

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Click inside for more of Annie & Kelvin’s Thai-Chinese Fusion wedding at Black Rock Arts center in Maryland!

Julice & Steve’s DIY, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

Thrift store finds, DIY bouquets from herbs, pops of orange, and dreamy photography courtesy of An Endless Pursuit. What more could I ask for in a gorgeous real Maryland wedding submission?! (Answer: nothing). Julice & Steve poured their hearts and souls into their wedding and the end result is so beautiful. I know you guys are going to love this one.

Julice & Steve’s Natural, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

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Photographer: An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Woodlawn Manor | Catering: Stone Soup Catering | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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My main goal was shooting for a picnic type feel. Very casual and let nature just do its thing as far as visual aesthetics, and decorations went. I relied heavily on the trees, gardens, fences, little shacks, and the grass area from our venue.

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I chose herbs and such as our bouquets and cake decorations because I didn’t want to hire a florist and pay $3,000-5,000, even 10,000 on flowers! Therefore I opted to make my own bouquets and boutonnieres, herbs were the most affordable, easy to work with, could withstand a few days after we had assembled them.

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The reason I chose blue plaid table runners is because my favorite artist Degas used a lot of blues and orange complimentary colors, which is why I chose orange flowers.

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Click inside for the rest of Julice & Steve’s adorable, picnic themed, Woodlawn Manor wedding in Maryland!

Hanna & Jamison’s Personal, DIY Woodend Sanctuary Wedding in Maryland

You might remember the insanely gorgeous Hanna & Jamison from their AWESOME Union Market engagement session in DC. If not, check it out, or just scroll to begin viewing the insane beauty of their wedding day, capturing PERFECTLY by Porter Watkins Photography. I seriously cannot imagine anyone else capturing this wedding – Porter killed it, and Hanna & Jamison poured themselves into their wedding (its obvious) and the result is breathtaking. Enjoy ever pin-worthy image. I know I already have.

Hanna & Jamison’s Personalized, Gorgeous Woodened Sanctuary Wedding in Maryland

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Photography: Porter Watkins Photography | Wedding Coordinator: The Plannery | Venue: Woodend Sanctuary | Catering: A Main Event | Cake: Room 11 Cake, Katie Ross cake, Parkway Diner cake | Ceremony Music: Randy Barrett Trio | Reception Music: DIY iPod | Florist: H. Bloom | Hair Stylist: Meg at Eastern Confederate

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- When Jamison and I got engaged, we sat in the National Arboretum and contemplated our next steps. Driving straight to Reagan National and flying to Vegas, heading to the DC courthouse then taking off to Paris, having a small ceremony on my parent’s farm, having a big party with our friends and family in our beloved city; these were all appealing options. In about 15 minutes we made the call. The decision was simple, we’d be happy getting married in a courthouse, in our living room, or on a faraway cliff so long as we had the legally binding ceremony and some sweet outfits. But, we reasoned, how many opportunities do we have in our lives to bring our tribes together? When would we next be able to bring my four big families, his close-knit extended family, and our friends from DC and all over the world together? We needed to party with our people.

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That became the core of the entire wedding process and simplified how we made decisions about the day. Instead of using the loaded “W” word, we thought Party. We host parties all of the time and we’ve never given out a welcome bag, hence we did not fret about welcome bags. Music, good food, and alcohol; these are central elements to our kind of party, so that’s where we put our money. Also, we liked the idea of snazzy outfits and I used to operate a small organic gardening business so I wanted a lot of local, seasonal flowers. We wanted the whole day to feel like a beautiful Sunday party in a park with our nearest and dearest.

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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!

Sara & Mayan’s Simple Summer Garden Wedding at Antrim 1844 in Maryland

Sara and Mayan met through work and fell in love! Sara made the flower arrangements and the decorations for the wedding. Mayan’s mother and brother and sister in law flew over from Israel! I love how simple and soft this summer garden wedding is. Sara’s simple wedding makeup and soft (DIYed) romantic curls in her hair were the perfect touch to this beautiful Maryland wedding.

 Sara & Mayan’s Summer Garden Wedding at the Antrim 1844 in Maryland

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Photographer: Kirsten Smith Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Antrim 1844 House and Hotel | Bride and Bridesmaids Dresses: Love it at Stella’s Bridal | Groom and Groomsmens Tuxes/Suits: Dana’s Tuxedo | Hair & Makeup: DIYed by the Bride | Florist: and Michaels – arranged by Sara and her mom! | Caterer: The Antrim | Cake: Bakery Express Ms. Desserts | Officiant: Ellen Schwab | DJ & Uplighting: Jordan and Lior from Event Pro Live | Programs/Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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One of the reasons why we chose the venue because Mayan’s name in Hebrew means “fountain” and he is a Leo, so when we saw that the fountains had lions on them, we loved that! So fun! The venue is just amazing and the garden is so beautiful. We fell in love with the flow of the property and the luxury of being able to have everything in one place for the day’s events. I wanted bright and happy colors but also an elegant touch, so we kept a bright color scheme for the flowers and details kept a “bright and fun yet sophisticated” theme throughout.

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We kept things pretty traditional yet simple as far as the ceremony, but our timeline was nontraditional. We wanted to have cocktail hour before the ceremony and wanted to be there for it to mingle with our guests. So it was nice to spend time with them before the celebration started! I wore a different dress too so that no one would see my wedding dress until I walked down the aisle. :)

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Click inside for the rest of Sara & Mayan’s beautiful summer garden wedding in Maryland!

Wendy & Nathan’s Personalized, Waterfront Wedding in Maryland

A simple quote that sums up this wonderful couples love. Wendy and Nate are so perfect for each other. Who will cross the ends of the earth, just to be in each other’s arms.

^How beautiful is that? Wendy & Nate’s Maryland wedding is chock full of personal touches (Lord of the Rings quotes in the ceremony, a bride in chucks!) that made their love shine throughout their wedding day. I think the photographer summed it up the best though — ” This couple sure showed us that, as traditional as weddings can be, making it your own is what makes it perfect. ” Boom. Exactly. Traditional or nontraditional, it doesn’t really matter as long as you make it your own.

Wendy & Nathan’s Personalized, Geek Influence, Waterfront Maryland Wedding

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Photography: The Messenger Image | Venue: Private Residence | Florist: My Flower Box | Cake: Catering By Uptown | DJ: Event Entertainment – Dave | b: Lisa, 1612 | Bride’s Dress: Bridal Boutique | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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My triple star jewelry (1 on the necklace, and one in each ear) was part of the “something old” since I’ve had that necklace (and it’s been a favorite) since I was 16; also, one of my sorority’s (Kappa Delta) symbols are 3 stars. I was wearing a bracelet from Nate (new-ish), a bracelet from my dad (new), and a bracelet from my best friend (old family heirloom, also my “borrowed” item). My “something blue” were my powder blue Chucks.

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The details are where it gets fun! The bride and groom both wore Chucks (as did all the groomsmen), because who doesn’t love Chucks? Also because heels are incredibly uncomfortable.

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Nate’s cuff links (my wedding present to Nate) were the Hyrulian Shield from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time because we both love gaming and it’s a shared favorite of ours.

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We chose the venue based on how easy they made the planning process. Since Celebrations had lots of experience and preferred vendors (and had the most beautiful view), we decided to use them. The colors that we chose (blue, gold, and silver) were based on what would look best on the girls and with the light blue/grey background of the waterfront venue.

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Click inside for the rest of Wendy & Nathan’s Personalized, Waterfront Maryland wedding!

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