Some couples absolutely hit it off the first time they meet. Take Harper and Matt, for example. "We met at a mutual friend's birthday party in 2009. We talked the entire night, and when we realized we were the last ones there, Matt sent me home in a cab and we made plans to see each other again soon," says Harper. The couple dated for four years and, in October of 2013, Matt snuck off to Harper's parents' house to ask them for her hand in marriage. A few days later, back in Baltimore, he got down on one knee and proposed, with a little help from their rescue dog, Addie.
The pair spent a year and a half planning their May 9th, 2015 wedding for 130 guests. They love the Baltimore waterfront (and have lived along the water for years), so they chose a venue that would give guests the same experience: the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum. Keep reading to see the garden-inspired celebration, photographed by Lindsay Hite of Readyluck.
Harper started dress shopping with two criteria: that her dress not be strapless or made of lace. In the end, though, she walked down the aisle in both! "I loved the structured bodice and the romance of the flowing lace and tulle skirt," she says of her Jim Hjelm gown. She compromised by adding custom beaded straps, the perfect match for her crystal-embellished heels.
Matt wore a custom navy blue suit, which he paired with a blush and blue tie. A boutonniere of pink and white roses finished the look, while Harper carried a bouquet of pink and peach garden roses, ranunculus, hypericum berries, dianthus, and greenery.
Bridesmaids chose their own blush pink dresses and gold heels, settling on a combination of lace and chiffon and carrying bouquets that matched Harper's. The groomsmen wore their own navy suits. The bride and groom sourced a selection of blush ties that matched the groomsmen to the bridesmaids.
The ceremony took place at the chapel at St. Timothy's School, with a wall of windows overlooking the nearby forest.
Wild arrangements of garden roses and ranunculus flanked the altar. Harper's father, an Episcopal priest, walked her down the aisle and then took his place at the head of the ceremony to co-officiate the special celebration with Harper's brother. "It was a family affair!" says Harper.
The couple chose a fun gold foil floral invitation suite, which was the perfect way to invite guests to their garden-inspired bash.
At the reception, long tables were topped with flowers arranged by the bride's mother, while café lights hung from the ceiling to soften the brick space.
Butterflies in shadow boxes marked each table, while succulents and hypericum berries brightened white and gold vessels, including a few fun ceramic animals. Favors were jars of local honey, wrapped by the bride.
The vases the couple used were a mix of vases, votives, bottles and pots from thrift stores and Anthropologie sales. "The garden roses and hydrangeas helped bring the garden feel to the space," says Harper.
After a first dance to "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, the newlyweds cut into a lemon pound cake, frosted with butter cream and topped with strawberry glaze.
The night didn't end there. "My family is very musical, and at one point my mom, dad and brother performed a wedding rap!" laughs Harper. "The night was a huge success."
Ceremony Venue: Katharine B. Wilson Memorial Chapel, St. Timothy's School || Reception Venue: Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum || Day-of Coordinator: Jenny Bartkus of JPB Designs || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm || Shoes: Betsey Blue || Jewelry: Erica Koesler || Hair: Wave Hair Trends || Makeup: Natasha Ivchankova || Groom's Attire: Christopher Schafer Clothier || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Ricardo's Gems & Jewelry || Florist: Maryland Bay Blossoms || Invitations: Minted || Music: Mixing Maryland || Catering: Sascha's || Cake: Graul's Market || Lighting & Draping: Event Dynamics || Rentals: Cozyberry Designs & Rentals, Loane Bros., Inc., Select Event Group || Favors: Banner Bee Company || Photography: Lindsay Hite of Readyluck
Want to see more weddings on the water? Then watch another couple say I do in the Hamptons in the video below.