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!

Pretty much obsessed with Allison’s hat & blue jacket. She shares the details:

The shawl/scarf: January in Maryland isn’t necessarily always cold, but Allison wasn’t taking chances. She knit a wedding shawl that could be used as a scarf with her dress and coat. She forgot to pose in it for fancy photos though :(

The hat: Made by Behida Dolić , a milliner in NY and bought on Etsy, Yellow Field, not specifically for the wedding, but it went well with the dress. Allison’s brother in law was sad whenever she took it off.

 Ah! The prices for a single bouquet! Pinterest to the rescue! Allison practiced once before the wedding and only had one flower related meltdown, so overall it could be considered a success. They went to Whole Foods and bought a bunch of bouquets to put together. Mark provided extra hands. The kittens were locked up in another room because they just wanted to chase the ribbon.

Allison & Mark love doing things their own way, even when it came to their wedding website:

Allison is not the sentimental sort and though she loves looking at other wedding websites, she couldn’t imagine writing about her story with Mark in such a serious and sappy way. So Mark came up with the idea of photoshopping their heads onto famous couples in history and pop culture, like Han Solo and Princess Leia, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Will and Kate, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, and of course Troy and Abed from Community. Allison may have suggested a few of those.

They also created an “about us” and proposal story that was a little more creative than average. It might have involved a first meeting as babies and a trip to the Kingdom of Atlantis, where Allison temporarily took the throne.

 Their wedding was a complete labor of love, with a ton of family & friend involvement:

Friends made beer, picked up cupcakes. and  brought her flowers to the party when she left them at home

Details on the beeeeeeeer: Mark’s friend is starting a microbrewery in June (Forge Brew Works, it’ll be in Alexandria) and made all the beer for the party. The beers were a 3.5% petite saison, a 9% abbey ale and a 5.5% oatmeal stout. It was 15 gallons in all, and none of it survived.

On taking wedding portraits in a library:

Duh, we’re both librarians! We love libraries and books! The Rockville Public Library is a lovely space, and since we were getting married in *January* we thought having an indoor space scouted for photos was a good idea.

Love how they included their love of Star Wars into their wedding:

Mark looooooooooves Star Wars. Allison loves it too, but she can’t recite every line of the movie, so she defers to him in Star Wars fandom. But she was always Princess Leia when she played Star Wars games as a kid, so it suited her just fine.

So they had Hans Solo & Princess Leia cake toppers!

Congratulations Mark & Allison ~ thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous, intimate & offbeat Maryland Courthouse wedding with us! A special thanks again to Amber Wilkie Photography for sharing her images.


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