Erica Francios and Keith Carney first met while on vacation in Ireland—even though they were living a mile apart from each other in Houston! "Once we got back to Houston, we became friends, but it took me about three years to ask her out," Keith recalls with a laugh. But he evidentially did, and nearly ten years later, they made their relationship even more official in yet another unique location—this time, a casita in Santa Fe—with a proposal. "We came back from dinner, built a fire, and, before we knew it, we were engaged," Keith says.
For their wedding, the jet-setting couple selected a special place for a destination wedding and invited 104 guests to join them in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 29, 2017. "We wanted to give our guests a 'Baltimore' experience for the weekend," explains the bride. The main event took place at Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, a recently opened hotel in the center of the Fells Point neighborhood, where the group took over the property for a ceremony in the courtyard, cocktails by the pool, and dinner and dancing in the main ballroom. "For each of the events, we envisioned a style that was elegant and romantic, beautiful and happy, and yet easy going," Erica adds. But while all the events felt romantic and beautiful (with stunning florals!), each had a unique color scheme, atmosphere, and vibe.
Keep scrolling to see more of this creative wedding—designed by Lemon & Lime Event Design and photographed by Abby Jiu Photography— for yourself. And fair warning: You may want to steal this couple's cocktail hour display, which included a nod to Texas in the middle of all the Baltimore fun.
"The Baltimore theme was prevalent in the invitations, the gift bags, and the local food and drink items included at the various events," says the bride. "We included some Texas treats as well!"
The bride carried a textural bouquet of white blooms that perfectly illustrated the couple's elegant garden theme.
When she started dress shopping, Erica admits that she didn't know where to start! "I went online to see what was out there and after hours of searching, I came across Lihi Hod’s Alona gown," she says. "It was love at first sight."
While Erica didn't technically have bridesmaids, she wanted to make her best friends feel special so she had the florist create a variety of floral jewelry pieces for them to wear. "From floral rings, necklaces, and earrings, they were able to pick what best accompanied their outfits and personalities," she explains.
The ceremony took place in the hotel's courtyard, where the couple brought in trees and floral towers to create a garden party vibe in the middle of the modern, sleek space. They added a final modern touch with the acrylic seating.
In addition to creating the garden environment, the couple's planners and florist created a "mother's table" in honor of the bride and groom's late mothers. The table was topped with a statement floral arrangement for each mother and packed with seed packets for guests to take home and plant gardens of their own. "Our mothers loved being outside and in the garden, so this was a lovely way to incorporate them into the wedding," Erica says.
The bride's best friend officiated a highly personalized and emotional ceremony. The officiant's partner also played live music throughout, selecting "Isn't She Lovely" as a special recessional for the newlyweds.
The couple's modern garden theme was further played out on the pool deck, where guests posed in front of yet another creative wedding detail: a flower-wall photo booth!
The cocktail hour menu was thoughtfully curated. "We worked with the chef to create custom dishes not on their menu," says the bride. "That way, we were able to give our guests a taste of Baltimore, Houston, and our travels."
The focal display at cocktail hour was definitely the signature cocktail set-up. The massive acrylic unit was decorated with floral-filled boxes (hello, modern garden party!) and featured a choice of three signature cocktails named after the couple's hometown, wedding venue, and garden theme.
Following cocktails, guests found their table assignments calligraphed on floral-pressed window panes. "Our hope was that the ornaments would make their way back to the guests’ homes to put on their Christmas trees as a memory from the weekend," says the bride.
The night concluded in the ballroom, where everyone enjoyed a menu of seafood, pancetta, and lamb before the couple cut into a cactus-covered cake (another nod to their Texas roots!).
Looking back, the bride has some advice for those planning a destination wedding. "There was an amazing energy from all of our family and friends that traveled to Baltimore to help us celebrate," she says. "We tried to involve everyone in the wedding festivities as much as possible. It made us feel connected and loved being with so many amazing people."
Venue, Catering & Cake: The Sagamore Pendry || Wedding Planner: Lemon & Lime Event Design || Bride's Dress: Lihi Hod || Hair & Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty || Floral Design: Steelcut Flower Co. || Paper Products: Cheree Berry Paper || Escort Cards: KM Pressed || Entertainment: Ginger House Music || Rentals: White Glove Rentals, Party Rental LTD., La Tavola Linen || Production, Lighting & Rentals: Event Revolution || AV: Five Star AV || Calligraphy: Shotgunning for Love Letters || Favors: Floret Flowers || Photography: Abby Jiu