Melanie & Harry always knew they wanted their wedding day to be personal and just right for them. The perfect choice? To marry at her parents’ beautiful Maryland home (which gives us serious Father of the Bride vibes.) Going to eight other weddings within six months of their own made the couple want to avoid traditions they’d seen plenty of, and keep things simple and fresh. This meant the bride switching out a veil for a sweet flower crown, putting bridesmaids in punchy peach, and serving roving canapés including beer shots to down with mini pretzels. Our favorite part? The New Orleans-style second line that took guests from dinner to the dance floor!
Photography by Elizabeth Fogarty.
How did you go about planning your wedding? We used a wonderful event planner, Alex Meyer Events, who broke down the process into easy steps for us. She had us take it one category at a time instead of trying to make all the decisions at once and was great about showing us visual representations of ideas we liked. The planning flowed pretty easily and naturally.
The bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her dad, to their string quartet’s version of When You Were Young by the Killers. She says “it’s one of our favorite songs and has one of our favorite music videos about a wedding.”
The emotions on Melanie’s face here are so touching!
What were your vows like? We went with classic vows because we felt like each word was chosen intentionally and it gave the moment weight and a sense of tradition.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? We wanted the ceremony to feel warm and personal, so we asked one of our close friends, Paul Krupp, to do it. He’s an attorney as well as the son of two ministers and while he had never officiated a wedding before, he turned out to be a natural. The first thing he had us do was each write a letter to the other that would be opened on our first anniversary about why we loved each other and what our hopes for our life together were. He used those letters to craft his readings and the ceremony. The result was full of heart and humor and warmth. It was one of the highlights of the wedding for us.
Your ceremony in three words. Warm, light-hearted, fun.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Having all of our favorite people together and all of the personal details that really made it ours.
The couple joined their guests straight after the ceremony for a relaxed cocktail hour on the lawn, before everyone moved around to the front of Mel’s parents’ property for a seated dinner. Passed hors d’oeuvres included mini shots of beer with pretzel bites, shrimp ‘n grits, cream of tomato soup with petite grilled cheese, and two-bite angus burgers.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We kept the design minimal so the elements we had made a big impact. The farm tables, custom modern signage, toile linens, and bistro lights really enhanced the already wonderful space my parents and I love so much.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We used my parent’s house as the starting point. My mom is an amazing gardener and my dad’s obsessed with his grass so it has a wonderful British garden vibe. I wanted to keep that sort of traditional look mixed with a really big, exciting, non-conventional party. Our focus was on our big, amazing band, lots of dancing, the pig roast and on the intimate setting of my family’s house. We avoided anything too conventional, ‘romantic’ or precious.
What was your wedding menu? We had a family style meal with a pig roast, barbecue chicken, watermelon and feta salad, roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled baby artichokes, and a grilled summer vegetable medley.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We had our band escort guests from dinner to the dancing portion of the evening with a New Orleans style second line with big trombones and brass instruments. It surprised everyone and was a huge burst of energy and excitement to transition from dinner to our first dance.
What was your first dance song? Try Me by James Brown
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? We wanted our wedding to really represent us. We planned based off a feel, not a theme, so the whole day was relaxed and really felt like us. It was sophisticated but low-key and very classically cool. Everyone had a blast, and that was the goal!