Christine Tanner and Christopher Perdue first met on a big family vacation, when their families joined forces at Bethany Beach, Delaware, during the summer of 2016. And after a weekend with their families (including both sets of parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews!) and more than a few attempts to set them up, the two decided that maybe their families were right. The only problem? They lived two hours apart! But the distance didn't stop them, and Chris drove down to D.C., where Chrissy was living at the time, to take her to dinner. "We had such a great time that he ended up staying the entire weekend," she recalls. "We immediately knew that this was something special, and the day after he left, we couldn’t wait to see each other again. So we didn’t." They "met in the middle" for a date the next day—and after those first few dates, Chrissy says they tried not to spend more than three days apart, with Chris often driving down as many as three times a week.
Fast forward to a year and a half later—to March 17, 2017, exactly—when Chris popped the question on yet another family vacation in Aspen. After a sleigh ride and a wine-paired dinner in a remote cabin restaurant, Chris knew exactly how he'd propose: by placing the ring below Chrissy's pillow. "Very early on I knew I wanted to marry her, so I started this “tradition” where every night I would sneak a ring pop under her pillow," he explains. "Months later, with about 150 ring pops piled around various places, here we were with me placing one final ring under her pillow." He then told Chrissy that he'd forgotten something underneath her pillow, and asked her to retrieve it before he got down on one knee by a fire pit outside their room.
After such a romantic Aspen engagement, the couple considered the mountain destination for their wedding but ultimately kept coming back to Chris's family farm in Berlin, Maryland. "Not only is it a beautiful property—it's 168 acres of forest, farmland, and shoreline with gorgeous views of Assateague Island—but the area carries significance for both Chris and me," says Chrissy, who grew up vacationing in nearby Ocean City, Maryland. So, with their Eastern Shore venue set, Chris and Chrissy hired local planner Kari Rider Events to bring their "black tie meets coastal chic" vision to life and asked photographer Kate Headley to capture every detail of the day—even those that weren't, well, quite as planned. More on that below!
Chris and Chrissy made sure to welcome their guests to the "shore" in style. To do that, they started with a custom invitation suite that featured a drawing of the family's farm, as well as illustrations of chickens and sailboats, to set the scene for a farm wedding on the water. And once the big day arrived, they welcomed everyone with bags stuffed with local brews and snacks.
Chrissy accessorized with her solitaire engagement ring, an oval diamond necklace, and diamond stud earrings—all gifts from her groom. They were photographed in a basket with an oyster shell and dusty blue ribbon to again set the tone for the day's design.
Chrissy wore a lace trumpet gown by Monique Lhuillier, which she admits she "kept coming back to" while dress shopping. "I loved how delicate the lace was and the classic feel of the dress," she explains.
During the wedding party portraits—and just minutes before the ceremony start time!—it became clear to the couple that their outdoor ceremony was no-go thanks to a surprise storm. "We had eight inches of rainfall in the span of an hour," the bride recalls. But that didn't stop them from nailing the group shots and adjusting the ceremony plan from outdoors—first, in the garden and then in a nearby tent—into their indoor Plan C: the farmhouse's living room.
"Within seconds, all the furniture had been removed, the flower boxes that were meant to line the aisle were placed on the mantle of the fireplace, and our 220 guests filed into the living room and overflowed into the foyer and onto the porch, creating an intimate ceremony no one will soon forget," Chrissy explains. During the standing room only event, the bride walked down a spiral staircase as "her aisle" before she and her groom exchanged vows they'd written themselves.
After the indoor ceremony, the skies miraculously cleared in time for the crowd, including the adorable flower girls dressed in tulle J.Crew dresses, to move outside for dinner and dancing in a gorgeous sailcloth tent.
But first: Everyone enjoyed cocktails and cold brews (in personalized koozies!) as they played corn hole and games on the lawn.
Guests found their seat assignments attached to mini honey jars, which were filled with honey harvested from bees on the family's farm.
The reception's decor reiterated the couple's Eastern Shore aesthetic with dusty blue linens, woven accents, and white blooms mixed with natural greenery.
Dancing was a large part of the night as the couple kicked off the party with a special set before the salad course was served. And after family-style dinner of beef tenderloin and lobster risotto, everyone returned to the dance floor as Starlight Orchestra played contemporary pop music and classic hits. "We were told by several guests that they were the best band they had ever seen perform at a wedding," Chrissy says.
And though the wedding didn't go quite as planned, it ended on a high note (with fireworks!) and the bride even counts the impromptu ceremony as her favorite part of the day. "It was intimate, spontaneous, and memorable," she says. "The room was full of love and support."
Venue: Sandy Point Farm
Wedding Planning & Design: Kari Rider Events
Officiant: Jacob Day
Bride's Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier
Jewelry: Kuhn's Jewelers
Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair & Makeup: Andrea Bounds Beauty
Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: J.Crew
Ring Bearer Attire: J.Crew
Floral Design: Flowers by Alison
Invitations & Paper Products: Stephanie B. Design
Catering: Gourmet by the Bay
Linens: La Tavola Linen
Lighting: City Florist
Tent: Coastal Tented Events
Transportation: Executive Transportation
Fireworks: Fireworks Extravaganza
Photography: Kate Headley