wedding Chesapeake Bay
GETAWAY CARS COCKTAILS COUPLES ON LOCATION
A look at some of the area’s finest wedding venues
The height of elegance and fun with classic cars
Perfect pairings with signature cocktails Inspiring weddings from around the region
CHESAPEAKE BAY WEDDING FALL 2021
FALL EDITION 2021
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CHESAPEAKEBAYWEDDING.COM | FALL 2021 5 On the Cover: Our styled shoot in Wilmington, DE 10 Our Featured Venues: Hotel DuPont 10 Harbourside Hotel 44 Brampton Inn 62 Wedding Wonders: Why a Fall Wedding? 28 Think Outside the Box 50 A Matter of Black and White 70 Crafty Combos: Cocktails and Cravings 22 Getaway in Style: Radio Static and Rock & Roll 32 Family Fun: Swishing Lace 38 Our Couples: Rebekah & Michael 10 Katelyn & Christian 54 Maria & Leo 56 Katie & Shawn 58 INSIDE 10 32 38 70 32
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I’ve now had the pleasure of introducing two editions of Chesapeake Bay Wedding. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up around weddings. At first, it was because my father was a pastor and so he not only officiated many, but my mom and him (and subsequently my siblings and me) were invited to many more.
It didn’t take long before I grew up and took an interest in video cameras and soundboards, and thus earned myself even more opportunities to be present for “Here Comes the Bride.” It was always fun, though, and a good kind of stress as I got to play a small part in making people’s special day perfect.
Then again, we all have our favorite weddings we attended, right? Three weddings come to my mind as my favorites, but for different reasons. The first happened when I was in high school and my elder sister got married. It was a fun event at a beautiful venue and I wasn’t quite self-aware enough yet to realize how much of a goofball I was when I cut up a rug.
The next one on the list was when my elder brother got married. This time, I was the best man and it was my first major role in a wedding. I had just graduated high school and I was experiencing a taste of what it was like to have real-life adult responsibility.
The other one of my favorites is totally out in left field. I was tasked with helping to run the soundboard, a slideshow, and the video camera during my high school Biology teacher’s wedding. He was a cool guy — laidback teacher who was the linebackers coach for the high school football team at the time.
“Well, Eli, why does that seemingly random one stand out to you?” you may ask. Well, the ceremony lasted all of 22 minutes. 22 minutes! It was the most efficient and to-the-point knot-tying I’ve ever attended, and everyone was out of the church and headed to the reception in under a half hour. Amazing!
I’m sure you reading this have your fair share of great wedding stories, too. You know what? Send ‘em our way! If you have a favorite or funny wedding story to share, send it to us. And who knows, maybe it will appear in the next edition of Chesapeake Bay Wedding!
Jim Normandin email@example.com
Betsy Griffin firstname.lastname@example.org
Eli Wohlenhaus email@example.com
Jennifer Quinn firstname.lastname@example.org
William Cotter email@example.com Brook Ash firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Wagner email@example.com
Chad Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTING CONTENT CREATORS
Caroline Shively Sucher, Jennifer Quinn, Ashley LeCompte, Laura Olson
Chesapeake Bay Wedding will help couples plan their special destination wedding around the Bay.
13,000 Target dropped in high traffic locations.
3,100 home delivery inserted in the Cecil Whig.
Full list can be viewed at chesapeakebaywedding.com
52,000 emails sent to couples and bride’s mothers residing in the Washington DC and Baltimore area who have asked for information on Chesapeake Bay weddings
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8 CHESAPEAKEBAYWEDDING.COM | FALL 2021 2955709 Heaven Sent Weddings
CHESAPEAKEBAYWEDDING.COM | FALL 2021 9 2955423 Century 21 Gold Key Realtor (1) Real Estate 2954164 Venue
About the Cover
BY ELI WOHLENHAUS STYLED SHOOT | PHOTOS BY IN HIS GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION: HOTEL DUPONT | WILMINGTON, DELAWARE
Our site for this edition of Chesapeake Bay Wedding could not have been more perfect. On its website, Hotel DuPont in downtown Wilmington, Del., says when you step inside, you “find yourself transported back to an era of Old World elegance with a reinvented swagger.”
We have to agree.
Hotel DuPont has an incredible history. In the very early 1900s, Pierre S. du Pont built the DuPont Building, which would officially become the city’s first skyscraper in 1904. The hotel is on that same site to this day.
That original building, which was placed on land next to historic Rodney Square in downtown Wilmington, always seemed to be under construction. Pierre S. du Pont was an heir to the vast du Pont family fortune and was a main leader in the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, which was a chemical corporation.
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PLANNER & DESIGNER: Christina D. Maddox - Heaven Sent Weddings heavensentweddings.com 267-334-0301
PHOTOGRAPHER: Laura Olson - In His Grace Photography inhisgracephotography.com email@example.com
FLORIST & DECOR: Reverend Jennell of Heaven Sent Weddings Floral Division 267-970-0285
HAIR: Amber Gray OOH My Hair 215-554-1806
MAKE UP: Tanya Robinson TDR Makeup 267-861-8823
LOCATION: Hotel DuPont hoteldupont.com
CAKE: Sparkd Creative Pastry. sparkdcreativepastry.com 302-203-4962
TUXEDO, SHOES & VEIL: The Country Bride & Gent countrybrideandgent.com 215-699-1480
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At the turn of the decade, du Pont was ready for expansion. He authorized construction of two additional wings, which included a 1,300-seat theater called the “DuPont Playhouse.” The wings weren’t the only new things to come for the DuPont Building, as a part of the original structure was converted into a brilliant hotel. Construction of the hotel completed shortly before the beginning of World War I.
On January 15, 1913, the hotel officially opened with a dazzling gala. Some of the hotel’s first celebrity guests were Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh. Throughout its over 100 year history, numerous famous guest have made it a point to stay at Hotel DuPont. From Jonas Salk and Jacques Cousteau to various princes, presidents and first ladies, it just goes to show you how big of a draw the Wilmington staple is to the Chesapeake Bay region and to the world.
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And draw you in it does, with its Renaissance Revival-style architecture, complete with astonishing doorways and vast, spiraling staircases. When our team arrived for the day of the cover shoot, collectively our jaws hit the floor.
The location was perfect and our team was ready. It was like “Avengers Assemble,” but for wedding vendors. Christina Maddox, owner of Heaven Sent Weddings, was in total command as the cover shoot planner, and she didn’t miss a beat. She called upon her own floral department director, Reverend Jennell Maddox, to create the beautiful arrangements.
A major thank you, also, to makeup artist Tanya Robinson, and hair stylist Amber Gray. Our cover models, Michael and Rebekah Viall were utterly delightful. They were the perfect pair to capture the magnificence of Hotel DuPont, as their natural wonder and awe practically leap off the page.
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Photo by Jenn Quinn Creative
Photo by Jenn Quinn Creative
Photo by Jenn Quinn Creative
Photo by Jenn Quinn Creative
For Rebekah and especially Michael, one the highlights was Rebekah wearing her original wedding dress for the photo shoot.
“The best part of the experience for me was getting to see Rebekah in her wedding dress again,”l said, Michael, an electrical designer for an engineering firm. “Getting dressed up and being able to relive the happiest day of my life was an unforgettable experience.”
Michael was dressed in a sleek tux, courtesy of The Country Bride & Gent out of Lansdale, Pa.
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Photo by Jenn Quinn Creative
A love that began to bloom in 2017 with some help from OkCupid’s arrow, Michael and Rebekah got engaged on May 17, 2019. Unfortunately, they were one of the innumerable couples thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their love was too strong!
On September 5, 2020, after a four month delay, it was official — Michael and Rebekah were wed. 11 months later it was time for another first — becoming cover models for a premier wedding magazine.
Rebekah said she was honored, and said it was really special becaus it felt like an opportunity to make up for some of the things they missed due to COVID restrictions during their wedding. She said it was especially meaningful because their wedding-day photos felt rushed and this became an opportunity to just enjoy the moments together.
While the architecture and history of Hotel DuPont had them both in awe, they both sang the praise of the hotel staff and amenities provided.
“The hotel staff was really nice,” said Rebekah, a team lead in the medical records department at a hospital. “Everyone was so excited to see us and people kept coming up to us and saying congratulations.”
It may not have been their actual wedding day, but the exuberance of an actual wedding was in full-force for all involved. And for the Hotel DuPont, well let’s just say it added another timeless classic to its long and beautiful history.
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Photo by Jenn Quinn Creative CBW
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Cocktails and Cravings
Empress 1908 Gin, Club Soda, Blackberry Syrup, Lime Garnish
Recommendation: Lemon Tart
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Signature Cocktails and Perfectly Paired Desserts will wow and delight guests at any venue. These pairings are made to inspire! Make the names fit your ceremony for an even more personal touch.
Ingredients: Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, Pomegranate Juice, Lime Juice, Club Soda, Lime Garnish
Recommendation: Pear Macarons
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aka Pomegranate Margarita
Photo By: Megan Medina Photography
Ingredients: Deep Eddy’s Lemon, Soda Water, Garnish with Rosemary or Lemon
Recommendation: Blueberry Cobbler
Ingredients: Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, Triple Sec, Splash of Lemon Lime Soda, Grand Marnier & Orange Garnish
These pairings are made to be as beautifully matched as you and your love.
Signature Sangria Crush
Ingredients: Rose wine, Red Wine, Orange Juice, Brandy, Sugar, Seltzer & desired fruit choices: Oranges, Lemons, Blueberries, Apples, Blackberries
The best part of any pairing is finding what makes your tastebuds sing. Each of these combinations has a drink and dessert that will play off of each other, enhancing the flavors. Just another way to enjoy your special day! CBW
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CHESAPEAKEBAYWEDDING.COM | FALL 2021 27 HelwigKatelyn & Christian 05.29.21 McIverMaria & Leo 10.30.20 McGeeKatie & Shawn 12.11.20 Photo Contest Winners wedding Chesapeake Bay
Why a Fall Wedding?
You don’t have to look too far when trying to decide if a fall wedding is right for you. One glance outdoors at the changing leaves and gorgeous fall foliage is enough to make it an easy decision.
The fact that it is an off peak season is also attractive to many brides and grooms because of the cost breaks offered by venues, vendors and entertainers.
Yes, there are many advantages to a fall wedding. But is it right for you? Read on for some of the biggest benefits of getting married in the fall, and then make your decision depending on your goals.
Photos by Jenn Quinn Creative
When considering a fall wedding, it’s important to understand recent weather trends in your area. Holding your wedding indoors or outdoors in the fall greatly depends on the type ofweather your region experiences in the months of September, October and November.
The West Coast and South will likely still be sunny and temperate during the fall season, while northern and Midwestern states may see a dip in temperatures. Ask local wedding planners and venues about their past experiences with fall weddings.
Follow their recommendations, but the ultimate choice is up to you. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, it’s smart to make a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Finally, don’t be afraid to travel if your home base isn’t ideal for a fall wedding. You don’t necessarily have to leave the country to experience a destination wedding, as seven out of 10 occur in the continental United States.
According to the website, GroupTravel.org, 350,000 destination weddings take place annually. Las Vegas is the category leader for weddings with over 100,000 per year.
All Your Favorite Colors
Choosing your wedding colors is one of the most fun –and important – decisions related to your wedding. And there is no doubt that the fall season offers an opportunity to take advantage of a color palette that guests will remember for years to come.
Deep reds, oranges or browns offer a great backdrop to pair with other natural palettes. Emerald green or glitzy purple can make for an elegant touch if you’re looking to add a little flair to the more earthy tones of fall.
Whatever you choose, it’s obvious that the fall holds a distinct advantage over other seasons when it comes to the natural colors of the outdoors. CBW
The Blackwall Barn & Lodge Venue
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2952634 Dj Jimmy T
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and Rock & Roll
By Ashley LeCompte
The sound of gravel crunching under tires. Air rushing through an open window.
A set of car keys pressed into your palm.
Is there anything that can compare to the feeling of hitting the open road for the first time?
We know where we were by the songs playing on the radio when we had our first kiss, or the movie star gracing a silver screen when we bought our first R-rated ticket. And sometimes, by extension, we know who we were by those moments. The same can be said about the time we first sat behind the wheel, hit the ignition and found our first taste of true freedom. I was seventeen. It was spring and I was nearing high school graduation. I bought myself a greasy cheeseburger.
Being in control of a car, perhaps even one as unassuming as an off white Buick Regal, marks one of the most defining coming of age moments we can experience. Maybe it wasn’t a Ford Mustang or a Pontiac Firebird. Maybe the dashboard needed a firm slap before the radio filtered out music instead of grainy static. Or, if you’re like me, your seats were peppered with a few cigarette burns and innocuous stains. But it was yours.
It was your time.
You put miles on those tires, spending summer nights getting rowdy in a corn field before sneaking home at midnight, or tracing the asphalt veins of a busy city lined with street lamps. You found yourself as you tasted the time of your life between teenage years and burgeoning adulthood while navigating the miles between two yellow lines on the pavement.
Now you stand at another cusp, ready to surge ahead once again as the road stretches forward, ready to greet you. A new journey for the next phase. This time, though, you’ll have a passenger for the miles ahead.
There may be few things as synonymous with the idea of marriage as the notion that at its core, it is a journey. An adventure waiting to take place. A destiny perhaps ultimately unknown, yet we sense the dreams the miles ahead promise. us The question becomes how we get there. And how we mark the start of it.
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Photos by Jenn Quinn Creative
“A new journey for the next phase”
Back in a time when cars were practically considered art, the idea of the quintessential American man meant a knight in shining armor. The provider, the protector. The perfect car is his faithful steed, waiting to be unleashed. A car was a symbol of stability and status, yet freedom and grit. The bloom of the promise of the American Dream and all it could be.
“A Knight in shining armor”
Whether it was a rebellious leather jacket wearing James Dean spinning gravel, a dapper James Bond leaning against an Aston martin, or Humphrey Bogart behind the wheel with a luminous Audrey Hepburn singing “La Vie En Rose” from the passenger seat, the idea of a man and his car became something almost inseparable from one another.
For the rugged male made of brawn. Thedapper gentleman. The everyman, full of grit. There was, and still thankfully is, a car for everyone.
And it is with these classic cars that many couples choose as a means to mark the start of their journey. With rice falling from the hands of loved ones, tin cans tied to the bumper, or a bride in the backseat peeking from behind a veil, the timeless art form of the classic automobile lends itself beautifully to a day marked full of beginnings.
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Car In Images: 1965 Ford Falcon Futura
Of Our Dreams
1966 Cadillac DeVille Convertible Coupe
1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
1970 Volkswagen Beetle
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe
1906 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
1967 Ford Mustang GT Tribute
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
1966 Shelby 427 Cobra
1962 Ferrari 250 GTE
1965 Ford Falcon Futura
Or maybe mix it up with a classic truck
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By Ashley LeCompte
Photos by In His Grace Photography
These come to mind when I recall my first experience of wedding celebrations. It wasn’t as a bridesmaid in a satin cornflower blue dress, hair pulled back and held with more pins than grains of sand along the Chesapeake. Not even my own wedding day, as a beaming bride in ivory satin, barefoot and carrying roses.
No. My first wedding magic was experienced as a flower girl for my aunt. I was seven and highly opinionated. I was forced into a scratchy lace dress and had my permed hair piled high. I was quite a sight.
One hundred and twenty pairs of eyes landed on me as I tossed white and pink flower petals down on the red aisle carpet. At the time, I was sure it was the worst task I had ever been asked to do in my seven years on earth.
This was before I discovered a little drink called Shirley Temples. I became convinced maraschino cherries were a fruit plucked from the orchard of the gods. After a sugar rush, my mother removed the cumbersome hoop skirt from my dress so I could swish when I turned. I felt like a princess.
My reluctance aside, being in and observing a wedding was a defining moment for me. My younger sister got engaged last year, and planning has led to one of the most tedious debates amongst modern brides to be: Should young children be included on the big day?
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I enthusiastically say: yes.
As a parent, I admit there is at times nothing more tedious than being at the chaotic whim of a toddler or mealymouthed small child. Children, as wonderful as they are, present unique challenges all their own. The notion of potential temper tantrums or a toppled wedding cake doesn’t mesh with the image of a storybook wedding day.
Yet despite how they may complicate matters, there is not much that compares to the unscripted and wild magic children bring with them. In a challenging time that sees our society rushing to adapt and reorganize itself, is it time to welcome children like never before?
Is it past time to remember what weddings should really be about?
Weddings are tremendous occasions. The most paramount day in the life of a bride or groom. A joining of souls, a celebration of what matters most and what is to come . A commitment to build and choose love; isn’t this what such a day should be about?
Weddings are one of the few intergenerational occasions we have that draws people across decades and distance to celebrate together. A chance for children to see people choosing something bigger than themselves. An opportunity to celebrate love across generations and time.
Whether it is as a ring bearer or flower girl, a junior bridesmaid or groomsmen, or simply as a guest, children, even in their beautiful innocence, still seem to grasp the enormity of such moments.
Wedding planning can become a blur of appointments and decisions, losing its magic along the way as couples arrange seating charts and menus for the caterer. The monotony of wedding planning can exhaust even the most eager bride before the big day has arrived.
It is unscripted moments shared with family and loved ones that a wedding evolves from being merely an occasion to becoming a memory. It shapes not only the memories of the bride and groom, but all who are privileged to partake in their most special of days. It is a day for legacy building, from the oldest guest to the youngest.
During family gatherings, it is still not uncommon for a cousin or aunt of mine to point out how much I pouted before I was saturated with ginger ale and grenadine syrup, dancing to “Twist and Shout.” To remind me of how I fell asleep on my dad’s shoulder on the way back
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“An opportunity to celebrate love across generations and time”
to the car or how I’m pouting in wedding photos that still hang in my mother’s hallway.
Seemingly imperfect moments involving children, ones that don’t land on the glossy pages of bridal catalogs, are moments worth savoring. Cake covered faces. Children dancing furiously all night long. Tiny flower girl dresses and cummerbunds. Starry eyed faces watching people pledge their lives to one another. These are all worth cherishing.
Small or imperfect moments can become memories that last a lifetime. Keeping us company long after the cake has been eaten, the tent broken down and the wedding photos framed. Even for children, if we allow them the chance.
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“And maybe, a shirley temple or two”
CHESAPEAKEBAYWEDDING.COM | FALL 2021 41 Check Us Out On Instagram! @chesapeakebaywedding and online www.chesapeakebaywedding.com wedding Chesapeake Bay
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By Caroline Shively Sucher
Photos by Jeff Heeney
Elizabeth Della Ratta has a certain philosophy about the hospitality industry.
“You either love it or you shouldn’t be in it. There’s no middle of the road.”
And how does she personally feel about it?
“I love every single minute. It’s like meeting new friends every single day.”
Della Ratta is the general manager and part owner of the Harborside Hotel in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Countless couples have had their weddings there since the hotel was built 36 year ago, including two generations of some families.
A favorite part of the family-owned hotel for many bridal parties and their guests is the location – just a five-minute drive from the waterfront of the National Harbor, and 15 minutes south of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
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“Guests from out of town enjoy that our hotel is located in the metropolitan area,” Marketing and Media Manager Fatima Chase says. “You can go to National Harbor, which is a destination, you can go to Old Town Alexandria which is another destination. It’s very convenient to many popular destinations in the area and many of our out-of-town guests like it because you get a two-for-one vacation. You can come for a wedding and stay for a vacation.”
The hotel also offers guests a shuttle around the National Harbor area where they can find more than 40 restaurants, plus shopping opportunities from outlets to haute couture. There are also entertainment spots that range from theater to gambling to a giant Ferris wheel that can take you 180 feet above the Potomac River.
The river and harbor are also ideal for those all-important wedding photos, says Nina Salahadin, Director of Catering at the Harborside Hotel.
“Since we’re so close to the water, a lot of the brides like to go over to the waterfront and take pictures then share them with us,” she says.
There’s another thing that the owners and staff say makes the hotel special. It’s independently owned, not part of a chain, so if a bride or groom has a special request, they don’t have to look at a corporate rulebook.
“I can make a decision on the spot. I have no corporate I have to get back to and ask if I can do something,” Della Ratta says.
That can be especially important with a wedding.
“I’ve heard [brides] say, ‘We went to another venue, and we couldn’t do this, and we couldn’t do that,’” says DaVon Jones, Assistant Sales Manager. “We win people over because we are independent and other hotels have to go to corporate and have to go through other channels, but we don’t.”
The Harborside caters to a wide range of wedding sizes, from an intimate ceremony of 50 people to a blow-out bash of 400. The large weddings can be held in the full 6,100-square-foot Grand Ballroom, or the room can be separated into three separate spaces for smaller events. The ballroom also has the option to be divided between an area for the wedding and one for the reception.
Those smaller weddings also have an event space with natural light. In all of the indoor locations, the wedding party can have up to four hours to decorate before the big event, a much longer time than many venues. That can help in the larger weddings that have elaborate decorations and flowers, but also the smaller events.
“Because we have a family environment and extended set-up hours, many times we find that smaller weddings will appreciate that when they have do-it-yourself
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decorations. There’s been many times when our own staff even down to security has helped guests set up. For those that didn’t have event planners or had a limited budget, we helped them still create that special day without having that stress,” Fatima says.
Whatever the size or budget, or whether the bride and groom have a wedding coordinator or just themselves, Harborside staff members say they have a specialized approach to putting on an event.
According to Hannah Beall, Marketing Coordinator at the hotel, “They work one-on-one with these couples when they come in. They spend so much time, going over the details of what this couple is envisioning to make their day magical, and I’ve seen them bend over backwards to make their dreams into a reality.”
Della Ratta explains it this way: “By us being able to deliver intimate, hand-holding, one-on-one, especially for a wedding, that makes a difference. [The wedding party] needs to know that they can call your cellphone, if they need something different, that I can go out and get it for them.”
Hotel staffers say they don’t only focus on the bridal party, they also like to please the people attending the wedding. Two things that make their lives easy are the complimentary, on-site parking, a rarity in the DC area, and the fact that it’s an easy drive from DC, Virginia, other parts of Maryland and beyond.
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“They can park for free and there is very easy access off of I-95, 295 and 495,” Della Ratta says. “It’s an ideal location.”
The Harborside Hotel can also make a special menu specific to each wedding reception. Executive Chef Moustafa Elakel worked for some of the leading hotels and resorts in the U.S. before settling in Maryland.
Della Ratta describes him this way: “He’s absolutely incredible, there’s nothing that man can’t do.”
Chef Elakel is originally from Egypt and can cook a Mediterranean reception menu or a thoroughly American one. That’s one of the worldly touches of the hotel that often brings in international wedding celebrations that can last for two or three days.
Those weddings fit with Della Ratta’s own heritage. “I’m Italian so I love to feed people and take care of them.”
That’s exactly how she wants her brides and grooms to feel on their wedding day –taken care of. CBW
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Key Realtor (4) Real
2955431 Century 21 Gold
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Think Outside the Box
With the overall natural beauty found during the fall season, it’s no wonder why so many couples are opting for unique venues to host their special day.
Fall lends itself to a variety of enchanting venue ideas indoors or outside. You can access the great outdoors to take advantage of the fall beauty or invite the colors inside with a unique theme.
No matter which location you choose, the season provides a bounty of outstanding options when it comes to choosing your colors, decor and attire.
The temperate weather and the beautiful colors make the outdoors an ideal option for planning a romantic, memorable wedding.
Vintage farms. Thinking rustic? Consider a local country farm for your venue. These venues combine the best of both worlds – classic outdoor beauty and reclaimed barns. Many vintage farms offer plenty of space for a large guest list. You’ll also be supporting local farmers, as many have found ways to host events to supplement their regular revenue streams.
Wineries and breweries. Wineries offer breathtaking views and spacious indoor or outdoor options for your festivities. And while you’ve likely celebrated a wedding at a local winery, have you considered a brewery? This is a trendy option that offers industrial backdrops for photos and reception celebrations, not to mention plenty of drink options for your thirsty guests.
Local forests. Looking for a stunning, sustainable location for your wedding? You won’t find a venue more fitting than your local forest. Nature-lovers agree, forest-theme weddings offer beautiful, serene locations for getting married to your special someone.
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Due to the uncertainty of Mother Nature, many couples opt for an indoor wedding during the fall season.
Fortunately, fall color palettes and decorations can be easily adapted indoors.
Castles. Frequently found along the east coast, step inside a storybook castle venue to host the wedding of our dreams. There are many of these venues that were built in the 1880s and have since been reclaimed and restored to their original glory.
Historic hotels. For a more intimate setting in fall, small historic inns, lodges and hotels can help whisk you and your guests away to a simpler, more understated time that is equal parts charm and nostalgia.
Large estates. Watch the leaves change color against the stunning, spacious exteriors of large, historic estates. You likely have one of these restored mansions in your neck of the woods, and they create an idyllic setting for a unique indoors ceremony or reception.
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Photos by In His Grace Photography
Haven Harbour Marina Venue
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2954639 Colonial Jewelry & Gift
Caroline Co Office of Tourism Venue
HelwigKatelyn & Christian 05.29.21
How We Met:
We actually went to high school together but somehow didn’t meet until our senior year. We quickly became best friends and then not so long after developed much stronger feelings for one another so we started dating. Just over 8 years later, he asked me to marry him. Of course my first response was finally...followed with a yes!
The Best Part: MARRYING MY BEST FRIEND.
We had a very small and intimate wedding. The best part was not only getting to spend the special moment with our closest friends and family but truly getting to focus on each other and our love!
The Hardest Part:
We had planned for an outside wedding on the river but mother nature had other plans! It rained...no it absolutely poured the entire day of our wedding. We had to make some adjustments to our plans but the venue was very accommodating and the day was still absolutely perfect.
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Photographer: Kristen Leigh Photography
Venue: North Tara Events, Federalsburg, MD
How We Met:
My husband, Leo, and I met around six years ago while working at the Olive Garden in California, MD. We immediately became best friends, and did not take long to start dating. We were constantly causing trouble and were ALWAYS laughing together. Everything instantly clicked for us. One of those “when you know, you know” moments.
No honeymoon yet! We are waiting for travel to be safer before going somewhere out of the country. We would still love to visit Spain, but with all this time to ponder, who knows if we’ll change our minds! Anywhere with my husband is an adventure, and our love is fueled by our chaotic and spontaneous nature.
Photographer: KE Photography LLC
McIverMaria & Leo
The Best Part:
The hardest part of the wedding, was that a wedding wasn’t in the plan at all! We originally wanted to elope, spend a couple of weeks in Spain, and take a cruise ship back. When COVID shut down any plans of travel, we decided VERY last minute that we wanted to have a small wedding instead of waiting to carry out our original plan. My gratitude is endless for the people who helped make it all happen just as magically as though it were planned years ahead.
The Hardest Part:
The best part of our wedding day was 100% the reception! My mom and her fiancé were absolutely amazing and opened up their waterfront home for a small reception of around 20 people. My family had come together in a way we hadn’t in a long time for this event, and all of our friends were there to support us. It was a party full of love, good food, endless drinks, and good vibes, and that’s all we could’ve wished for. We can’t thank the people in our lives enough for embracing our chaos!
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How We Met:
McGeeKatie & Shawn
We met at Triton bar and grill, I was a server there and he had a girlfriend at the time. Believe it or not we are 20 years apart so we never thought about dating but he became someone I saw out frequently.
The Best Part:
The best part of my day was the first look with him and my boys. This was a long time coming as we were together 8 years before getting engaged.
The Hardest Part:
The hardest part of my day would be that I kept my 8 month old daughter with me while getting ready, as it’s never easy having a baby around during that part!
We did not do a honey moon due to covid but we took time off work and did day trips with our kids! We joke and tell people we went to chuckee cheese for our honeymoon because it’s true!
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Photographer: BrookLynn Photography
Venue: Chesapeake Inn Chesapeake City, MD
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The Smokehouse Grill Food
EBB Tide Tent & Party Rentals
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Brampton Inn is a bed and breakfast tucked away, waiting to surprise you at every corner. Located less than two miles away from historic downtown Chestertown, a trip here will leave you feeling like you are part of your own fairy tale. There are even a few feline friends to welcome you to such a magical place.
Photos by Jenn Quinn Creative
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The location for weddings, elopements and romantic getaways, everyone is welcome at Brampton Inn and is made to feel as such. From the rooms inside of the inn to the cottages, each space is unique and allows access to all of the gardens, walking paths and stunning grounds.
The rooms inside the inn take you back in time with all the modern conveniences you could want, architectural details to leave you speechless, and the perfect place to lose track of time. The cottages are made for privacy and relaxation, with outdoor showers, soaking tubs, and plenty of personal outdoor space. Gardens surround the inn and cottages, perfect for a quiet moment any time.
Brampton Inn also pairs with local businesses to make your stay even more memorable. If you are looking for the perfect cozy venue, this is the place.
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Photo by Jumping Rocks
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Photo by Jumping Rocks
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The Other Big Question
Will you be my bridesmaid?
Things to put into a bridesmaid proposal package
Something in your Wedding Colors
If you know what you want your wedding colors to be, this is
A Piece of Jewelry
(they could wear to the wedding)
This piece is something they can hold on to forever and will play a small part in the wedding, tying your bridal party together.
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A Matter of Black and
By Ashley LeCompte
The top layer of a frothy, buttercream wedding cake goes in the freezer. An ivory dress is packed away neatly in a closet. Thank you’s are mailed, the gifts unpacked and put away. And so it goes, the afterglow of a momentous day becomes a hazy cloud of memories a couple can only begin to parse through. But weeks after the bustling of their joyful day has quieted, they have something useful with which to do so: the wedding photos.
A photographer’s job is a duality of roles. They endeavor to tell the bride and groom’s wedding story chronologically throughout the day. A smear of mascara in a vanity mirror, the fixing of a groom’s tie, a first kiss shared. The moments that can’t be missed.
In doing so, they also aim to capture the essence of who the bride and groom are. They memorialize the special moments unfolding around the couple and the ones who came to share in such a remarkable occasion. It is an immersive effort, with them melting into the lives of many for one day.
And yet, while cementing the couple’s vision, the photographer also uses their medium to craft their own art: one of storytelling.
The value of such portraiture and journalistic shots cannot be understated or overlooked. Finding a photographer who will aspire to shape a couple’s vision while not compromising the artistry of what they do is key. A professional and seasoned photographer will use every skill at their disposal to tell the story. One such tool is the value of monochromatic, black and white portraits used economically and artistically as needed. Words may be bantered about to describe the vision of a wedding day in the making. Will it be modern? Perhaps, a fairytale? An affair of simplicity? I once read a celebrity bride describe her wedding day as something akin to “romantic bordello meeting the wide open wilderness under a wild western sky.” That’s quite a few “w’s” to sift through, and yet it was her and her husband’s vision, however convoluted or extravagant it may sound to the rest of us.
One word, however, always seems to emerge in the conversation for brides across all spectrums of planning and design: timeless.
And what is that word, truly?
Does it conjure memories of the greatest movie stars of Hollywood’s golden age? Or perhaps a sepia toned photograph sitting on a mantlepiece at your grandmother’s? Does it mean something frozen or forgotten with time instead of something pulsing and relevant?
Has the word lost its luster over the years in a world saturated with social media? Through posts and media reels, we have many glimpses into the lives of others at the tips of our fingers. We are inundated to the brim with these brief snapshots, and yet, which things truly stay with us?
What can make a wedding day, and by extension, the story around it one that stands out?
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Photos by In His Grace Photography
What can make it a story that lasts?
Perhaps at times the word “classic” becomes lumped in the description of that which is outdated. We view it as outmoded and, as with so many things, including weddings, bow to the trends around us instead of endeavoring to tell our own story.
We are a world filled with timestamps and filters.
We are a world where 140 characters and story highlights vie for our limited attention.
We are a world that is slowly losing the ability to tell a story, giving way to one instead that is bent on creating content.
How can a bride and groom utilize the art of photography, the various skills of their photographer, to capture and cement their story? To make their story one that will stand the test of time?
While black and white shots may not be the preferred medium a wedding couple’s mind first leaps to, it is one that ought to be considered, both by them and the wedding photographer.
We once lived in a world of silent, black and white movies.There were no televisions, only the crackle of a radio
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that kept families gathered in the living room company. You paid to sit in a theater to watch the newsreels and a movie all in one. The notion of a constant stream of media to keep us company at all times was generations away. The world moved slower, the antithesis to the rush of today’s society.
In our times, camera negative specks became associated with a colorless world we once viewed only on newsreels, in newspapers and in photographs. We lived in a world without knowing the blue and brown eyes of our men returning from war, the sweeping gold of the American midwest and the roaring blue of the Pacific Ocean in photographic form.
We associate a lack of color as something lost, a piece of the story missing or the context of a perfect moment long since forgotten.
We think the full story can only be told with the assistance of color imagery and saturation. And while we would miss a world without knowing the glow in a bride’s brown eyes, the richness of a navy three piece suit or the petaled rainbow in a wedding bouquet, we indeed miss a world of storytelling if we think the only way we can even shape a story is through a prism of color.
Some moments allow the world to melt away. The backdrop of a cathedral or melon colored sunset melts into a single, flawless minute of time. Hands clutching one another. A father and daughter dance. The catchlights in a flower girl’s eyes. The world grows quiet for just a moment.
Some moments stop time. And some moments capture time. And within those moments, a stillness gives way to something that churns with life and activity.
Black and white does not denote a time long since passed. It cements a moment as one for the ages, where all things collectively held their breath and distilled into one perfect shot.
Where a story shone through. CBW
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