Every love story has a beginning—or maybe two! Jay Steinberg is convinced that Chloe Heckman made the first move when she friended him on Facebook in May of 2011 after meeting through Greek life at the University of Pennsylvania, but she says otherwise. “We all know he was into me first!” she laughs. However it happened, their love stuck. In December of 2015, Jay started planning what would eventually lead to their engagement. The couple belongs to a wine club on Long Island, and Chloe has always wanted to get to one of its seasonal dinners.
That December, Jay sent Chloe the menu for a dinner in April of 2016 that happened to be filled with her favorite foods. “I agreed without hesitation,” says Chloe. The day finally arrived, and the pair drove out to the vineyards for dinner. “As we walked across the property while the sun was setting, Jay got down on one knee,” says Chloe. “I was in absolute shock!” The vineyard owners offered to take the couple into the cellar for a celebratory glass of wine, and Chloe was surprised yet again to see both of their families waiting to celebrate.
“Jay had been working on the proposal for months, and it was one of the most magical moments in my life,” she says.
The couple gave themselves almost 18 months to plan their wedding, setting the date for September 16, 2017. Chloe grew up in Maryland, and Jay fell in love with it over the years (including the crab cakes, despite growing up kosher!), so heading to Baltimore for their 250-person celebration was an easy choice. The challenge, though, was finding a big enough space. “We loved the American Visionary Arts Museum because it had plenty of room and a unique urban feel,” Chloe says. But in the waterfront city, it was hard to ignore the beauty of the Chesapeake.
“Jay and I came up with the idea of getting married on a water taxi, which evolved into a ceremony on the pier at Frederick Douglass Maritime Park, followed by a water taxi ride across the harbor to the reception,” Chloe describes. The pair worked hard to combine the urban setting with a timeless Audrey Hepburn–inspired style, making memories they knew would last a lifetime.
With guests in black tie, crisp white blooms, and a few surprises along the way, this Charm City wedding, photographed by Ken Pak Photography, is one the bride and groom will always remember as a perfect celebration.
Chloe spotted her Carolina Herrera gown a year before she and Jay got engaged. “When I saw the bow on the back, I knew it was made for me,” she says. So as soon as Jay proposed, she went on a hunt to find her dream gown. “The dress was traveling for trunk shows, and there was only one made at the time,” says Chloe. “I found out it would be in New York a few weeks later, so I grabbed a girlfriend after work, snuck up to the city, and tried it on. I knew immediately that it was the one.” The silk faille gown featured a plunging neckline, a sculptured bow, and an elegant swoop train.
Chloe paired her wedding gown with soft waves and a hand-tied bouquet of garden roses, gardenia, ranunculus, and hellebores. Jay’s Hugo Boss tuxedo featured a textured black fabric with a bold shawl collar, and he topped his jacket with a gardenia boutonniere.
The bride had her initials and the wedding date embroidered inside her gown.
The waterfront ceremony was centered around a wooden chuppah, topped with a lattice canopy and garlands of greenery. “The setting was so spectacular, so we didn’t want to add too much,” says Chloe.
After exchanging emotional, personalized vows, Jay took a moment to stretch before the traditional breaking of the glass!
Baltimore Water Taxis brought the entire party across the harbor to the reception.
Ivy-covered walls and lush gardenia greenery created a romantic setting, where guests were greeted with champagne that was adorned with their escort cards. The eclectic menu featured latkes (for the Jewish side of the family), empanadas (for the Latin side), and crab cakes with Natty Boh [National Bohemian beer] for the Marylanders.
The three-tiered wedding cake featured a marble design that was totally tempting—especially to the flower girl and ring bearer! The most popular flavor by far was the layer of key lime cake.
After the first dance, Chloe’s dad surprised her for the father-daughter dance. “He hated just about every song I suggested, so he wrote and recorded his own!” says Chloe. “I can’t even begin to explain how emotional that moment was.” Once the band got started, the dance floor was packed, creating the perfect opportunity for Jay to crowd-surf!
“A friend gave us advice before the wedding that we should grab one another every hour, run to the corner of the room, and take it all in,” says Chloe. “This really stuck, and I vividly remember the quiet moments we spent, holding hands and staring at all the people we love most in the world. My heart was exploding with love!”
Wedding Coordinator: Almost Wed || Ceremony Venue: Cardin Pier at Frederick Douglass Maritime Park || Reception Venue: American Visionary Arts Museum || Bride's Dress: Carolina Herrera || Bride's Veil: Wedding Belles New York || Bride's Shoes: Tamara Mellon || Bride's Jewelry: Greg Jezarian NYC || Hair & Makeup: Stacie Snyder Bridal Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Hayley Paige || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Windsor Jewelers || Wedding Bands: Greg Jezarian NYC || Floral Design: My Flower Box || Paper Products: Champagne Press || Catering: Absolutely Perfect Catering || Cake: Kupcakes & Co.