Who tosses around a football on their wedding day? Kristy and Jack did. But why? The answer is: why not? It’s your special wedding day. Do what you want. If it’s your wedding day, then you get to make the rules. Plan your day exactly the way you imagined it and then remember one thing – it’s supposed to be a day of FUN.
You probably already know that planning a wedding these days isn’t easy. Couples have so many choices to make that you could go a bit crazy before the big day. After all that work, and timelines, and floor plans, it’s so important to relax and enjoy yourself.
Your wedding will take on a life of its own. On the big day, you can’t worry about the things that you can’t change. Spend as much time with friends and family as you can – and know that most people won’t remember the little, unimportant details. They will remember a great party (most of them, anyway) and seeing you – the happy couple – having the time of their life. Hire a great storytelling photographer who knows how to capture these candid moments.
Looking for some tips to help you plan a perfect wedding day? First of all, trust me, no wedding is perfect. Here are a few things to remember when planning your special day. Plan early. Many vendors book popular dates a year or more in advance. If you like them, hire them – but only hire professionals that you trust and want to work with. They should be able to work together as a team and fix any glitches before they became issues; you should never know about any trivial problems on your wedding day.
There are so many moving parts on a wedding day that it’s impossible to plan for every circumstance. True professionals will know how to problem solve, so let the people you’ve hired do all the heavy lifting. Select a venue that complements your personality and sets the tone for
your day, and by all means, allocate time for photographs but also make sure you have down time to enjoy one another.
Take a break for private walk on the beach or in the gardens – you’ve earned it!
Lastly, invite your photographer to take photos of you enjoying a quiet moment from a distance. These images will often be some of your favorites. Herrington on the Bay is located in Anne Arundel County, not too far from historic Annapolis. It’s about as close as you can get to having a Caribbean wedding without having to leave central Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay offers beautiful backdrop and nice afternoon light that photographers absolutely love. While this couple hired me for one of my entry-level packages (which is only 4 hours), we had plenty of time to get all the shots they wanted, without feeling rushed at all. They even had time to break into an unplanned game of football – how fun is that? This bride really knew how to plan her dream wedding, and it shows. She selected a perfect venue that set the tone for a relaxing and enjoyable wedding day. Congratulations Kristy and Jack!
Photography and Blog Provided by: Eric Stocklin Photography
Virginia and Jake’s wedding day was a dream come true! Hidden View Farm was the perfect location for this couple. The bride’s love of horses and the outdoors was woven into the soft color palette, setting and decor. Three words that describe the day are family, fun and elegance! One way Virginia and Jake highlighted how important family is to them was by having all their nieces and nephews join them in the ceremony. They gave them each a special gift and said a prayer together. It was one of the most moving parts of the day!
The couple met through an awkward introduction by Virginia’s dad through Facebook. What was meant to be a private message, was a public post about this great guy she should meet! In his speech, he had the whole crowd laughing and vowed to never use Facebook again.
Virginia and Jake are an amazing couple whose love for each other and their families and friends was evident in every aspect of the wedding day.
Event Planner: KO Events, Karma O’Neill
Venue: Hidden View Farm
Rentals: Grand Rental Events
Restrooms: Tents for Rent
Florist: Cache Fleur
Caterer: Bowl of Cherries
Beverages: Dawson’s Liquors
Cake: Cakes and Confections
Photographer: Kate Fine Art
Hair and Make-up: Brushed Beauty
Officiant: Billy Gould
Ceremony Music: Bay Strings
Band: Dan Haas
Weddings on the water are always a bit more relaxed. It is a nice change of pace from the normal hustle and bustle of a wedding day. What is it about water that helps us to breathe and relax? I have photographed weddings in Annapolis and Baltimore on Watermark Cruises. Watermark makes it very easy for couples to create a one-of-a-kind wedding on the water. The couples who wed on the water want a special way to celebrate with friends and family. Susie and Donnie planned their wedding aboard the Lady Sarah for a Saturday night in September. Susie wanted to marry Donnie beneath the stars so she planned a night cruise. Susie contacted me to coordinate professional photos and video of the wedding. I received the Cruise orders from Maggie at Watermark that lists the options the couple selected and the details for the cruise. Kona Prann was the Watermark Day of Coordinator. My videographer Dan and I arrived at the city dock early to get on board before the guests. I captured drone video of the Lady Sarah arriving at the Annapolis City Dock at Sunset. Everyone boarded the Lady Sarah with anticipation as the golden sunset slowly faded. Susie and her bridesmaids boarded last so Donnie wouldn’t see her. Susie and Donnie said their personal vows in front of everyone and they did their first dance together. We captured the ceremony then took photos with the couple under the stars. Each wedding has a unique vibe and this wedding was relaxing with family and friends. Kona, the wedding coordinator, did an amazing job making sure the couple had everything they wanted and everything was organized. Susie and Donnie spent time with each of the 60 guests. What a beautiful night on the water. The ceremony and cruise was everything Susie and Donnie wanted exactly as they wanted it.
Photographer: Dave McIntosh Photographics
Planning the perfect wedding begins with choosing the right destination. With a huge range of venues and styles, it’s no wonder that countless couples have celebrated the start of their married lives in Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. From weddings in historic Annapolis to countryside receptions in South County or grand ballrooms in the BWI region, there are plenty of places to say ‘I do’. But what about couples who are looking for something a bit more nautical? In addition to Annapolis being the sailing capital of the world, Anne Arundel County’s rivers, streams, and coves form over 533 miles of shoreline. We claim the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, as our very own playground and picture-perfect wedding destination! See more below for all you need to know when planning your magical maritime wedding!
Annapolis Maritime Museum
The Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park gives guests a real “Annapolis” feel. This unique waterfront venue boasts an interactive museum exhibit and much more. Ride the water taxi to and from your event – guests can arrive in style! This venue is perfect for the conscious couple looking to give back, all rental fees support the museum’s mission in serving 10,000 schoolchildren in Anne Arundel County through environmental education programs. Choose from 2 campuses: McNasby Campus – the “museum” with a waterfront tented deck situated right on Back Creek, a beachfront canoe and kayak launch, 3 piers, and 2,500 sq ft of climate-controlled interior reception space, and Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park – 12 wooded acres, 30’ x 30’ tent, indoor restrooms, a dinghy dock, on-site parking lot and waterfront on a secluded cove on Back Creek.
The Schooner Liberté is a 49-passenger sailboat offering private, personalized charters out of Annapolis from late April through June, then September through October. With the largest deck space and most comfortable seating of any vessel of her class on the Bay, the Liberté is the perfect venue for your waterfront wedding. The smooth ride allows you to move about the deck and mingle, truly sharing the adventure. A full beverage bar onboard and wonderful catering menu round out this venue option. Ondeck speakers allow you to enjoy your own music. We are conveniently located alongside the Chart House Restaurant on “Restaurant Row” in the charming neighborhood of Eastport and parking is free. A wedding on the Liberté offers a unique opportunity to see Annapolis from the water, making it a day or night you and your guests will never forget.
Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
Waterfront weddings at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club leave a lasting impression for couples and their guests. The ballrooms and spaces at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club provide the perfect setup for elegant waterfront weddings. The Chesapeake Bay Beach Club offers ceremony and reception venues with extraordinary sunset views overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Couples can access everything they need to get ready for their big day to include guest rooms, intimate venues for the Rehearsal Dinner and post-wedding brunch and a spa specializing in wedding hair and makeup services. The Market offers “Market to the Room” where wedding parties can order food and beverages to their rooms while getting ready for the big day. Guests staying at The Inn can fill any downtime by dining at Knoxie’s Table, shopping in The Market, playing outdoor games and lounging by the pool. The catering team offers menu selections for both seated and buffet-style events, and have the option to handpick their menu selections to make their wedding day truly memorable. The gorgeous waterfront views, The Inn and Spa, dedicated staff, award-winning catering, and guidance for personalizing weddings make the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club a leading waterfront wedding destination.
Other venues include:
Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa
Michael’s on the South River
Aislinn and Nico are 2017 USNA graduates who both majored in Cyber Operations and now hold the rank of LTJG. They were able to seamlessly integrate a traditional Navy wedding with a fun and festive flair using Aislinn’s hometown, historic Annapolis, as the backdrop.
It was an intimate wedding with 100 guests who were treated to a game day introduction of the Bridal Party to the delight of the Brides Navy Women’s Lacrosse family. Local musicians Jocelyn Faro & Chris Windebank, along with a hometown band, The Shatners, brought the Bride and Groom’s love of music to life. The highlight of the evening was the Groom joining the band to sing and play guitar for his rendition of “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” (Arctic Monkeys).
The night was capped off with a trip Downtown by the Bride & Groom with stops at all their favorite Annapolis establishments.
Preparations – Go Navy Rentals
Ceremony – US Naval Academy Chapel
Reception + Catering – Historic Inns of Annapolis, Governor Calvert House
Rehearsal Dinner – Harry Brown’s
Photography – F.A. Formica
Gown – Bridals by Elena
Hair & Makeup – UpDos For I Dos
Florist – Blooming Arts
Music – Jocelyn Faro & Chris Windebank
Music – The Shatners
Bakery – Blue Crab Cupcakes
Transportation – Towne Transport
Event Planning- Adriana Marie Events
Event Décor Rental – 2Hands Studios
After 5 years of dating, Lauren & Tony made things official. Bleues on the Water Wedding was blessed with overcast skies that held out long enough for us to get all portraits completed and made the ambiance for the candid shots something to remember. When the rain started the celebrations were far from deterred and the dancing continued throughout the night. Their family and friends helped to achieve what was a beautiful day for a couple who’s all about the fun. Lauren and Tony, Congratulations! May you be blessed with a lifetime of love and happiness.
Photography: Meghan Elizabeth
Liz and Dan are a wonderful couple! Liz is such a strong, amazing woman with a compassionate, funny man by her side. This Navy couple planned their wedding from across the country, all while the bride worked on her law degree and dealing with the extended separation that comes with being in the military. Liz is a graduate of the US Naval Academy so they held the ceremony at the chapel. The reception was a huge celebration at the Governor Calvert House, which is one of the Historic Inns of Annapolis.
The couple emphasized how the love and support of their families and friends helped to strengthen their relationship. Dan’s sister surprised him before the ceremony by showing up with his 5 day old nephew! Along with a moving speech at the reception by his brother, the groom shed a few tears that day. Along with plenty of laughs and winks for his bride, we had so much fun photographing this Annapolis wedding the 9 hour day flew by!
I don’t know what I did to get so lucky, but we are blessed with the most wonderful couples and the most wonderful colleagues to work with. Thank you for having us along for the ride of one of the most amazing days of your love story. Liz and Dan’s wedding is a true celebration of love, family and the beautiful city we live in. Congratulations!
Photography – Kate Fine Art Photography
Preparations – Go Navy Rentals
Ceremony – US Naval Academy Chapel
Reception + Catering – Historic Inns of Annapolis, Governor Calvert House
Gown – Nordstrom
Hair – Mindy Whalen
Makeup – Michelle McConarty
Florist – Rhonda Kaplan
DJ – Mixing Maryland, DJ Sean
Bakery – Graul’s Market
Transportation – An Extraordinar Limousine
*Blog was featured in the Washingtonian Magazine and written by Hayley Garrison Phillips
Jenna and Ben met at a restaurant in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore during the summer of 2012. After graduating from UNC, Ben, who was born and raised in Annapolis, played lacrosse professionally with the Chesapeake Bayhawks for eight years before he began coaching at St. Mary’s High School. Jenna had just graduated from Towson the previous spring and was out at a local restaurant when the two crossed paths.
In December 2015, the couple got engaged during a vacation in the Dominican Republic and began planning one of the most playful, sunshine-soaked weddings we’ve seen in a while. The bride didn’t hold back on her color of choice—fans of pop art-pink will be smitten with the bold, bubblegum pink bridesmaids’ dresses Jenna selected for her squad. The ceremony began at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis before migrating over to the Westin Annapolis for ‘the party of the year.’ A quick glance through the pink, orange, and yellow toned wedding below, captured by Renee Hollingshead Photography, will have you more than ready for some summertime sun.
Dani & Drew married on April 27th, at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, MD.
Their reception was in the new Garden Room at the Beach Club which is stunning! Wait until you see the floral ceremony arch Vintage Affairs put together!
This was the most teary-eyed wedding I’ve shot to date. Both sides of the family were emotional all day long, and it made me tear up a couple of times too! I love when a family isn’t afraid to show how they truly feel about the bride and groom. It’s no question these two are deeply loved and cherished. They each had 9 bridal party members, so the getting ready part of the day was wild and filled with lots of fun!
I loved so many moments of this day, but my favorite was during the ceremony. The officiant had Dani & Drew look at each other’s hands and she talked all about what those hands will do and see together in their lifetime. It was really special. I also loved at the reception when their daughter walked over to guests and held out her hands for them to dance with her— so stinkin’ precious! This wedding day was perfect in every way and I hope you enjoy a glimpse of it!
Thank you to a very special couple, Dani & Drew, for having me document your wedding day!
Photographer: Kira Nicole Photography
On the morning of their 7th anniversary, Sophia and Nathan said “I do” in front of their closest friends and family at the Loews in downtown Annapolis. Sophia and her bridesmaids paid attention to every detail when planning her day, even putting together decor and designing bouquets themselves! With a vision for a classic, glamorous look, Sophia opted for vintage waves and makeup done by Pretty Weird Beauty, while Grove Lettering Co. designed the most beautiful keepsake suite inspired by Sophia and Nathan’s natural, earthy wedding colors. Following the ceremony, their guests were invited to a farewell brunch, where mimosas were served all around! After the toasts and a few twirls on the dance floor, we made our way to State Circle to capture the just married bliss in the soft morning light. When the party was over, their guests sent them off tossing handfuls of lavender over the newlyweds. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day!
Photography: Megan Harris Photography
Makeup: Pretty Weird Beauty
Design: Grove Lettering Co.