Susan and Nic chose a classic Inn at Perry Cabin wedding in St Michaels, Maryland. Brides who love stately seaside homes and are quick with a crab mallet will adore this fun Chesapeake celebration. Details we’re pinning include their nautical invitation suite, the timeless green and white blooms, and their stunning tented reception.
Wondering about the crab mallet? “We had a big ‘Welcome Crab Feast’ to kick off the weekend, which was such a blast,” says Susan. “People got down and dirty, using crab mallets to pick crabs. There were big plastic bibs and rolls of paper towels at the picnic tables, and we served flavored popcorn and ice cream from a local creamery. There was a phenomenal bluegrass band, a nod to one of our first dates. At the end of the night, the band played Drink Up and Go Home! to send everyone off before the wedding the next day. It was the perfect way to start the weekend.”
“Many of my family vacations were spent sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, and I knew I always wanted to get married by the water. When we thought about places that were ‘destination,’ yet had significance, St. Michaels came to mind. It wasn’t pretentious or over-the-top, but it was quaint and intimate – a perfect spot for a summer wedding, and a beautiful place to visit.”
Welcome bags (in nautical navy and white stripes, naturally) included local Route 11 potato chips, chocolates, and a weekend itinerary.
Susan’s bouquet of ivory garden roses, dusty miller, and greenery, hinted at the lush flowers that would decorate the reception space.
“We really wanted to emphasize and focus on our ceremony. Our faith is very important to us, and we felt strongly that God be always at the center of our celebration. Our vows were the traditional Catholic marriage vows. We love them – so simple, yet so meaningful.
Your ceremony in three words. Traditional, intimate, meaningful.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? My favorite thing about our ceremony was seeing the look on Nic’s face as I walked down the aisle. I knew how nervous he was, and so I expected him to look very serious. But when he saw me, he looked overwhelmed and I could see the tears forming in his eyes. It was so touching!
Who officiated your ceremony? Our ceremony was officiated by Father Thomas Roach, S.J. He was a former high school teacher of my father and my four uncles.
What were your ceremony readings? First Reading: Song of Songs 2:8-10, 14, 16; 8:6-7 / Second Reading: Colossians 3:12-17 / Gospel: John 15:9-12
Tell us about how you chose your ceremony music. We knew we were going to have a Catholic ceremony, and therefore much of the ceremony was predetermined. The ceremony music, however, was of utmost importance, and we spent a lot of energy choosing the perfect music. I was raised in a musical family, and have long had a love of traditional choral music. We had a quartet accompanied by a pianist and a trumpeter; a piano was a must, even if it meant having one delivered to the church ahead of time!
Seating of the families: “Bist Du Bei Mir,” J.S. Bach // Bridesmaids’ Processional: Air from “Water Music,” G.F. Handel // Bride’s Entrance: “Trumpet Voluntary,” J. Clarke // Hymns: “All Creatures of Our God and King,” Ralph Vaughan Williams / “Lord of all Hopefulness,” J. Struther / “Ave Maria,” Bach/Gounod / “The Lord’s Prayer,” A.H. Malotte / “Set Me as a Seal,” R. Clausen // Recessional: “Hornpipe,” G.F. Handel
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Nic and I always say that even with all the little imperfections we wish we could live it over again exactly as it was. It was our day, and everything about it was wonderful!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received as a bride was to enjoy every moment. I was told that it all goes by so fast, so take time to soak it all in, and I think we did just that. Once or twice, Nic and I snuck away from the dinner tent to just watch our guests having a great time on the dance floor. We made a point of freezing that image in our heads to hold on to. It was the most special day of our lives, and we will never forget it!
“I came across the Inn at Perry Cabin while exploring places to stay in St. Michaels and immediately fell in love with its charm and romance. When Nic and I visited for the first time, we knew it would be the perfect place for our wedding reception. Being on the water was a must, and the grounds were stunning.”
How would you describe your reception? We wanted our reception to be all about togetherness and time shared with the people we love most. Nic took me dancing on one of our first dates, and it has since become one of our favorite things to do together, so we knew we wanted there to be a lot of dancing and great music.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? While planning our wedding, I was inspired by the Chesapeake Bay itself and the Inn. For these reasons, I knew the natural surroundings would provide most of the décor, but I also wanted lots of flowers and candlelight. I loved the idea of hanging arrangements that would seemingly float about the tables, and our florist pulled these off beautifully. I couldn’t have been happier with the results!
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We had a photo booth, and people were invited to put their photo in an album and leave a message for us. It doubled as our guestbook, and we love looking back through all the funny photos and people’s comments. It’s one of our favorite mementos from the weekend. // Our wedding band was so amazing. They were energetic and their stage presence was fantastic. They played off the crowd amazingly well, and everyone was on the dance floor all night long. People are still saying they were the best wedding band they had ever seen!
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? My favorite part of the reception was our first dance. As I mentioned, we love to dance together, and this was where we had the most fun. We first danced to “Do I Love You?” by Ella Fitzgerald, and then broke out into a more up-tempo dance to “All My Lovin’” by The Beatles. We had so much fun, and our guests loved it too!
Were there any surprises at your reception? From the time I was a teenager, my godfather has told me that he had picked out the song that he and I would dance to at my wedding. He had kept it a secret all this time, and on my wedding day, he and I danced to “Susan,” by Dean Martin. I had never heard it before, and halfway through the song he passed me off to Nic while the following lyrics played, “Susan has made her mind up who she’s choosin’, who she’s gonna be. Susan’s in love with me.” It was such a wonderful surprise, and it was perfectly executed!