3 Things Every Bride Can Learn from This Tradition-Focused Wedding in Annapolis, Maryland

Real Weddings
Bride and Groom With Navy Swordsmen

Photo: Vivian Smith of Sapphire Style

For their September 28, 2013 nuptials, Charlotte Kaplan, 28, and Stephen Hughes, 26, had no trouble agreeing on a theme and location. The pair of soon-to-be Navy doctors, who met in medical school in 2010 and fell in love over home-cooked dinners and study sessions, decided to honor Steve's alma mater and their family Naval history with a wedding at the United States Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis. They embraced an all-out Navy theme, selecting blue and gold as their colors and incorporating nautical touches wherever possible.

Vivian Smith of Sapphire Style captured their big day. Take a look at some of our favorite details below.

Navy Uniform Accessories Navy and Gold Wedding Cake With Sword

Photo: Vivian Smith of Sapphire Style

Make the day special for you both.
With long lines of Naval Officers and Naval Academy graduates in both families, it made perfect sense for Charlotte and Steve to honor the Navy throughout their wedding day. "Getting a wedding date at the United States naval Academy Chapel can be a challenge," says Charlotte, "but Steve attended weekly services there, so we had to at least try to get in! It was such an honor to get married there."

The couple also included a symbolic Navy tradition, the arch of swords. After the ceremony, Steve's swordsmen lifted their sabres for the bride and groom to pass beneath.

Bride in Lace Wedding Dress

Photo: Vivian Smith of Sapphire Style

Match your dress to your venue (and groom).
With a fear of looking yellow next to her groom's all-white uniform, Charlotte picked an almost pure white Enzoani gown with lace cap sleeves, a scalloped neckline, and a keyhole cutout in the back. In addition to her love of all things lace, Charlotte says she had the venue in mind when selecting her dress. "I chose a long train since I knew I'd have a long aisle to walk down at the chapel!" she says.

Handmade Knot Place Holders

Photo: Vivian Smith of Sapphire Style

Yes, you can DIY.
Though Charlotte and Steve spent most of their 10-month engagement doing med school rotations, they found time for a few DIY projects. Several hundred yards of rope, 200 rubber balls, and a YouTube tutorial helped the bride, her mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law create 200 monkey fist knots to hold the escort cards.

Ceremony Venue: United States Naval Academy Chapel || Reception Venue: The Loews Annapolis || Bride's Wedding Dress: Enzoani Bridal, from Ferri Formals and Bridal || Veil: Matthew Eachus, Ferri Formals and Bridal || Hair: Jamie Halcott, Baltimore Bridal Hair, LLC || Makeup: Tori Harris, Blush Makeup Artistry || Groom's Suit: United States Navy Dress White Uniform || Favors: Donation to Wounded Warrior Project || Photography: Vivian Smith for Sapphire Style ||

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