I, Laura, graduated from University of Maryland College Park, and after graduation moved back to my hometown of Baltimore where I currently work and live. I am a property manager and policy writer. Eric graduated from Bridgewater College, and then moved back to Baltimore. He owns a tenant placement company, and works in IT.
I actually used Eric's tenant placement company to find a tenant for my condo in Baltimore City. I got a referral from my real estate agent: a really good one, I might add LOL!
We were business associates for many months before we officially started dating. I tried to keep it professional, so I rejected his advances. But what can I say? The guy was persistent! After about six months of using him on a consulting basis, I was completely intrigued by his strong work ethic, his integrity, and his determination. As a first time property owner and landlord, I was full of questions on how to best handle obstacles, and he was my go-to-guy. He's been my go-to-guy, my travel partner, my ace, and my friend ever since.
He proposed on his birthday weekend in May 2016 on the rooftop of a local restaurant with the help of our family and friends. I thought l was attending his surprise birthday party, but the surprise was on me! I was escorted to the rooftop of a local restaurant in Little Italy (Baltimore). Out on the terrace, standing in a heart made of red roses alongside a trail of candles and pictures of us from over the years, I said "yes!" to my friend and my love. And the rest is history.
Also: He went to Jared!
Eric is Catholic; I converted from Protestant, and we had a Catholic mass and shared the sacrament of marriage in front of our family and friends. The church was the most beautiful in Baltimore, and also historically significant to our hometown, as the Baltimore Basilica was the first Roman Catholic church built in the U.S.
For our reception, the Belvedere had the old Hollywood glam theme that we wanted, and the food was delicious. It was five minutes from the church, which was key to cut down on travel time from church to reception. We wanted to spend our time taking pictures and enjoying our guests!
When it came to choosing vendors, it was all about reviews. I spent hours online reading. After, I drove around to check out each place to sample the cakes, meet the vendors, and size up the location and all personalities, etc. If it wasn't a good fit, l kept searching. Assertive, but easygoing personalities were important because I knew l would need that. Passive personalities aren't helpful and neither are aggressive ones, so it was all about fit. We wanted everything centrally located. In addition to the church being minutes from the reception, the reception was walking distance from our hotel suite.
I wore my great aunt's diamond and pearl earrings for something "old," my mom's pearl necklace for something "borrowed," my toes were polished "blue, " and I bought a "new" diamond and pearl broach for my hair accessory. My gown was an ivory, trumpet style gown with a sweetheart neckline, modestly plunging back, and a lace overlay. I wore a cathedral style veil with lace trim. My shoes followed my jewelry theme and were also ivory, adorned with ivory beads, mimicking the pearls that I wore.
Eric wore a traditional black tuxedo and new black Ferragamo loafers (a gift from me!) He and his groomsmen also wore their custom engraved Ray-Ban aviators, prior to arriving at the church, and they put them back on for some fun photos during cocktail hour.
Our ceremony was a true mass, with a sermon, singing, communion, and booming organ. It was held by Eric's childhood priest, whom he considers a friend and is very down to earth. Our ceremony spoke our values: God, faith, and family, so we wouldn't change a thing. To signify uniting of families, both moms lit unity candles prior to the start of the ceremony.
At the reception, the matron of honor and best man toasts were so touching and special to us because they were made by some of our favorite people. My matron of honor was one of my college roommates and a best girlfriend of twelve years, so her toast was nostalgic and reminiscent of all we've experienced together.
Eric's brother basically just roasted him from start to finish, so that got a lot of laughs and smiles from all of us. They are best friends, and they both think they are comedians, so we had fun listening to the best man's toast.
We both lost our fathers when we were kids, so it was important to us to have a memory table for our dads and other special loved ones who would be there if they were still with us and pay honor and tribute to their memories. We included ornate photo frames and pictures, rose petals, candles, and flowers in our display.
After such a formal ceremony, we wanted an adult turn up, so we had open bar all night. This was extra, but definitely worth it if you and your guests enjoy wine and spirits.
The bouquets and boutineer leaves were sprayed gold. Our colors were gold and blush pink.
Even though we had open bar from cocktail hour through the end of the reception, we somehow ended up at a local bar/restaurant in Fells Point, near the Baltimore waterfront for more drinks and fun, in our wedding attire, with some of the wedding party and friends/family.
After the party was the after party, and we hung out until about 1 am, leaving our guests to continue on without us until closing time. It was great to hang out and to get additional congrats and well wishes from community strangers.
Eric would like to add that I looked really beautiful that day.
I'm Kanayo, a Washington DC area (Maryland, Virginia) and destination wedding and lifestyle photographer. My approach to photography is extremely artistic, photojournalistic and arguably cinematic. With every shot I take I’m constantly thinking of new ways to creatively tell your story using unconventional techniques and unique angles, while creating that captivating feeling of presence when viewing your photos. My goal is to preserve your special moments by creating romantic, yet visually striking imagery to be enjoyed for years to come.